Germany: Köln (Cologne)

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Michele Moricci

KÖLN – in English, Cologne – is not far from Düsseldorf: in about 30/40 minutes you can reach the city centre by train. So, with a ticket, we take the opportunity to visit the city where the famous perfume for gentlemen was born.

As soon as you leave the central station, the square opens to make room for the large stairs that surround the Cathedral of the city. Impressive and corvine, the Kölner Dom, is 157 meters high. It was built between 1248 and 1880 in an explosion of gothic glory.

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Like Düsseldorf, also this city is in perfect balance between recent history – due to WWII bombing – and modern architecture, but although it is more active in nightlife than the other city, Cologne is not as beautiful as the latter. According to our Wallpaper* Guide architecture is the great deal, a shame that is often decentralised and difficult to reach by feet. So, after walking in the center to see the typical little streets, we stroll along the river to land on the dock and focus on the modern part of the city.

The unmissable destination are certainly the Kranhäuser, crane-like dwellings and offices that revolve around the ex-grain-storage buildings. There is also the Kunsthaus Rhenania, studio of a collective of 50 artists, not far from the Microsoft Building.

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We love this pulsating heart of this architectural agglomeration  so much that it leave us speechless. By pausing on the shady stairs that look at the Rhine, we look around to breathe cosmopolitan air. Silence resides in this futuristic spot of the city. The unusual air in August gives no respite and so we look for a place to eat. We find the delightful Bona’me, a Turkish restaurant offering contemporary delicacies in a minimal environment with Ottoman references, we order pita and a fresh Coke.

Back in the center, we devote some more time to explore the surroundings and find the Overstolzenhaus with its elegant facade in a typical example of Romanesque architecture. Satisfied with this day trip, we are ready to return to Düsseldorf to enjoy the last night in town before departure.


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Michele Moricci