1. The First Sight of the Kölner Dom
This church is just absolutely breathtaking. I can't explain to any of you that haven't seen it how incredibly huge it is. According to Wikipedia (which is a completely legitimate source in every way) it is one of the top 5 highest churches in the world. The tallest church is also in Germany, the Ulmer Munster and I will probably be visiting that, too. But, after having read "Fluch über dem Dom" in German 212 I have wanted to come to this magnificent Cathedral to see what all the fuss was about. The fuss is right. You feel so small when standing next to this church in a completely different way than when you're standing by say the Sears Tower or the Empire State Building. The magnitude is overwhelming. Braden and I spent a lot of time just standing in front of the church and looking at it. We walked around the entire building and there was never a moment when it lost its grandeur. And then we went inside. This was equally as magnificent. The stained glass windows were reflecting with the setting sun and there was so much room in there! There was one stained glass window that I really liked that was a bunch of squares and the sun was hitting it just so that it made the floor look like a disjointed rainbow. It was really cool. We also got a look at the reliquian (relics) in the Church. Apparently the bones of the three Wise Men are in this church inside a golden structure. It was pretty far away and looked up for the day, but I could see it and it was cool being able to see something that has been in the possession of the Catholic Church since it began. Overall, the church was amazing and really big and very tall. After we had explored the interior and exterior it was time to make the huge climb to the top.
2. Climbing the Steps to the Top of the Kölner Dom.
OK. I don't really need to say much here except that...OMG. There were SO many stairs. It was very hard. There were also so many people that we were constantly touching someone and constantly moving up. My legs HURT. But, we got to the top. I wish I could say the view was breathtaking, but it was just high. The city of Cologne is not THAT pretty. But, the river was pretty and just being at the top of one of the tallest churches in the world was cool, especially when I thought of how each stone was laid by hand well before any modern technology.
3. The Dom at Night
Here is where the magnificence really became apparent. This monster of a structure dwarfed everything around it and its light can be seen from all over the city. The church is just wonderful.
I know, this is kinda lame as one of the Top 5 Moments, but it was really nice. We were in a little gay café and we had a great time just sitting and people watching. I had eggs with some ham in them and Braden had a typisch deutsches breakfast. It was really a nice way to relax and hang out. It was here that we decided that Cologne is one of those cities that would be great to live in, but is not the best tourist destination for anything really except for the Dom. And the Dom is worth coming to Cologne just to see it.
5. The Roman Museum
In the shadows of the Dom lies a museum dedicated to when the Romans occupied Cologne. I must say, this part of history was VERY interesting. The picture below is made of little pebbles and is a mosaic dedicated to Dionysus. They found this completely in tact when they were building bomb raid shelters during World War II. Imagine digging and finding something so beautiful and old! They continued to find more objects every time they built a new station for their subway system. The museum has jewelry, pots, coins and much more. There was even a well that was built before Jesus Christ that we could touch. It was a really good way to spend some time while we were waiting for our train.
There were a few other random things we did like take artsy pictures buy the river, and eating some eis by the Alt Stadt (Old City), and even trying to see one of Braden's favorite German artists (but none of her paintings were on display). However, we ended up hanging out in the Hauptbahnhof waiting patiently for our train. There is enough to do in Cologne for exactly one day. Arrive in the morning and leave at night. It is amazing and beautiful, but there just isn't a ton to see.