Captivated by Cologne

On 14th Sept, Saif and I came to Dusseldorf to meet and join my husband for the rest of the vacation. From now on our vacation became a little smoother as we had a rental car and could travel in style at any time , to any place. And with Gazanfar with us , it was more fun.
Oh how much we missed Subuhi. InshaAllah on our next vacation all four of us should go, Amen
We drove to a small village near Cologne called Eulanthaler, where some friends of ours were living.
The hotel was neat and comfortable, surrounded by rolling meadows and mooing cows. The advantage was that not only could we be close to Joachim and family but also midway between Bonn and Cologne where most of our sight seeing was scheduled.

Yeh tasweer dekhkar meri maid bahut pareshaan ho gayi. ” Madam Saif bahut dublaa ho gaya, usko khaane ko nahin mil raha kya?”
Given half a chance she would go and take care of him

We drove to Cologne and straight away into the parking of the Cologne Dom.
Tip : If you are driving yourself around do make sure you google and find the addresses of all the parking platz. Every major tourist attraction has a dedicated parking. Normally the town square is around the Main Church or Dom and you can then walk everywhere.
And yes don’t forget to take a satnav. For those who do their sight seeing or travelling by car it’s literally their guide and best friend.
As soon as on gets out on the Dom square you are captivated by its vibrancy. There was a buzz and festive spirit which I had not experienced in Berlin.
The Cologne Roman Catholic cathedral or Dom is a renowned monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture and is a World Heritage Site.[1] It is Germany’s most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day.
Construction of this ornate church began in the 12th Century, and took approximately 600 years to complete. The site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List of culturally important sites in 1996.

The soaring towers


The serene inside

The side view

The beautiful back


A young priest looking at the gaggles of tourists and maybe wondering whether they are there for photo ops or salvation


Rock of Ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.
( All the hymns I sang in school came rushing back)


We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star

The Shrine of the Three Kings:The Dom’s most revered relic is the golden and jewel encrusted Sarcophagus of the Magi, which is said to hold to the skulls of the Three Magi who visited Christ.


The High Altar of black marble with decorative work in white marble


Every window in the Cathedral is stained with religious history


Lead Kindly Light Amidst the encircling doom, lead Thou me on


If you want a slice of Heaven right here right now, for a few € you can get your picture clicked with these angels!!!


Intricate work on the entrance

and then there was a Chinese cultural festivl happening on one side of it.

With some Chinese and some of the local populace dressed up and showing some martial moves to music . as well as Chinese food stalls.

a Chinese band singing Smoke on the Water!!!


The year of the Dragon: a parade on Dom square


There are many street entertainers all over Europe but this pair doing levitation was “magical!”
More pictures from other angles to ensure there was no trick we were missing.





Little elves are said to have done all the work of the citizens of Cologne during the night, so that the inhabitants of Cologne could be very lazy during the day. According to the legend, this went on until a tailor’s wife got so curious to see the gnomes that she scattered peas onto the floor of the workshop to make the gnomes slip and fall. The gnomes, being infuriated, disappeared and never returned. From that time on, the citizens of Cologne had to do all their work by themselves.
This story was first written down by the Cologne teacher Ernst Weyden (1805-1869) in 1826. It was translated into English by Thomas Keightley and published 1828 in his book “The Fairy Mythology”

Cologne has a Roman past and that is evident from excavations, museum and objects from the Roman Era on display. This is the remains of an underground Roman water pipe


remains of an underground Roman water pipe. Reminded me of an Asterix comic, where irders are given to build aqua ducts like the Romans. When told that the Gauls have canals and rivers, the answers is divert them and build aqua ducts. Read it eons ago and don’t remember which one it was

Remains of a Roman cobbled pathway


An antique tapestry which tells the story


At the entrance is this basin with Eau de Cologne instead of water running from it. And curious hubby dear put his fingers under it to test if its authentic and reeked of the citrus smell for couple of days!!!!



Beware : if you have grown up with elders who used Eau de Cologne ( my grandmother, mother and aunts did) you will be swept away on a wave of nostalgia and want to buy everything in sight.

At the middle of the Alter Markt stands the Jan-von-Werth-Brunnen, a fountain erected here in 1884 in honor of Jan von Werth, a successful general during the Thirty Years’ War. According to legend Werth fell in love with Griet, but she rejected him because he was a simple farmboy. later when he returned as a conquering hero , she saw him and was full of regret, still unmarried since no rich man had proposed to her. Old and wrinkled she muttered the words ‘Oh, Jan, if only I had known’
At the foot of the pedestal are allegorical statues of the Kölner Bauer and Kölner Jungfrau, representing valor and purity.The fountain was created by the German sculptor Wilhelm Albermann.

near the statue is ‘Kallendresser’ (freely translated as gutter shitter), a sculpture of a man with his trousers down at the top of the facade of house nr 24. It was created in 1956 by the German sculptor Ewald Mataré.
The legend according to locals describes the plight of the poor apprentice boys who lived in the attic of these merchant houses.Since there were no toilet facilities for them there and they had to travel some distance for that, in winters they would use the drain pipes !!!
The city council nearby must be ensuring it doesnt happen again…


Weddings being solemnised in the town HAll.


I wish this young couple lots of happiness


Comment List

  • Subaika 11 / 10 / 2012 Reply

    Splendid! Loved going through the pictures with the vivid description of your visit.Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience.

    • RaanaSafvi 11 / 10 / 2012 Reply

      Thanks Subaika. Do read the rest of the posts too. Just an attempt at remembering a lovely holiday

  • I loved the reference to Asterix & the levitating guys. Plus, I managed to catch a whiff of cologne…Thanks for taking me along with you (via pictures).

    • RaanaSafvi 12 / 10 / 2012 Reply

      Do you remember which comic it was? Where orders are given to divert waterways and make aquaducts because Romans did so?

  • Nazma 12 / 10 / 2012 Reply

    Wonderful! Loved reading it. Love the way you describe the whole experience.

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