We have been to Cologne on several occasions and found something new and interesting to see each time. It proved to be an easy choice for one of our Top Ten German Cities for senior travellers.
Cologne, Germany’s fourth largest city is a major cultural centre on the banks of the Rhine. The centre is dominated by the Gothic Cologne Cathedral, which at 515 ft high is the tallest twin-spired church in the world. If you are feeling nimble, then a mere 500 steps can take you to the top for great views of the city.
The Ludwig Museum of 20th Century and contemporary art is housed in a stylish, grey building next to the cathedral.
Strolling south along the river from the cathedral takes you past the imposing Romanesque Great St Martin Church to the pretty squares of the Old Town with their tall, brightly coloured buildings and to the Chocolate Museum. We like to head back to the Cathedral via the shopping streets including the Belgian Quarter with its street name referring to Belgian cities and provinces. This is a good place to stop for refreshments at one of its many bars and restaurants.
A pleasant thirty minute walk along the banks of the Rhine north from the cathedral takes you to the Flora und Botanischer Garten, which date back to 1863. There are almost 10,000 types of plant in both the open areas and in the imposing Main Greenhouse, the small Tropical House, the Subtropical House and the Cactus House.
If you enjoy gardens, as we do, then its worth it to take the 30 minute drive, or bus-ride, south from the cathedral to the Forstbotanischer Garten (Forest Botanical Garden). This 60 acre site has over 3,000 species of trees and shrubs set out beside walkways and includes a North American forest area and a Japanese section. The many peacocks wandering around adds an extra dimension.
POSTED 18th FEBRUARY 2021 by STEVE HANSON. The photographs were taken by BARBARA HANSON.