Cologne (Germany): what to see

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What to see in Cologne, itinerary including the main monuments and places of interest, including the Cathedral, with the relics of the Three Kings, Chocolate Museum, Ludwig Museum.


Tourist information

Located in the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia, on the banks of the Rhine river, the topography of the settlement of Cologne reveals the Roman origins of the first nucleus of the city, which grew up in the Middle Ages on the left bank of the Rhine.

In the second half of the nineteenth century the city was affected by further urban development which incorporated many nearby towns.


In 1881 the medieval walls were demolished and a large semicircular road was built, Deutscher Ring, beyond which the new city was built.

The part of the city located on the right bank of the Rhine was incorporated from 1888.

The city was rebuilt in a few years after the aerial bombings of the Second World War, which had destroyed it almost totally.


Cologne thus recovered its important economic role, held since the times of the Hanseatic League, and regained its place as a cultural center of primary importance, with the famous University founded in 1388, the Archbishop's seat and many cultural institutions.

What see

The grandiose cathedral, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, is one of the most famous monuments in Germany.

It is a Gothic-style Catholic church, whose construction lasted over 600 years, having started in 1248 and finished in 1880.


It was erected to house the relics of the Three Kings, brought from Milan by the emperor Federico Barbarossa and kept in the Ark of the Three Kings, a prestigious work of art dating back to the thirteenth century located behind the main altar.

The Basilica of Santa Maria in Campidoglio, in Romanesque style, has a plan with three naves with arches on pillars and three equal apses, enclosed by an ambulatory inserted as a continuation of the side naves.

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Inside the church there are important works of art, including the wooden doors, dating back to 1060, the thirteenth century Madonna of Limburg, an ancient enameled cross, the ambo of 1523 and the altar placed at side, which includes a sixteenth-century altarpiece, by a pupil of Hans Baldung.

The Basilica of San Gereone is the oldest church in the city, with an interesting exterior characterized by two square towers placed on the sides of the presbytery.

There are also four other cylindrical towers, inserted with the aim of supporting the single nave.

To compensate for the lack of towers in some points of the structure, flying buttresses were inserted as reinforcement.

In the multi-level interior, various types of windows stand out, some with polychrome glass, others with highly-worked gates in Gothic style.

The Corpus Domini Church has an exterior characterized by a beautiful facade, with two octagonal bell towers on the sides, a slate roof, topped by a lantern with a wrought iron cross on its top.

The single-nave interior follows the classic model of Venetian churches dating back to the seventeenth century.


To admire the wooden pulpit and the Madonna and Child, a statue of fine workmanship.

The Imhoff Chocolate Museum is named after the founder Hans Imhoff.

Dedicated to chocolate, it is divided into various sections, in the first the history of cocoa is shown, starting from the Maya until today, in the second there is a greenhouse where cocoa plants are exposed, while in the third there is a production plant faithfully reproduced to scale.

The Ludwig Museum, dedicated to modern and contemporary art, was founded in 1976 by Peter Ludwig and is located near the Duomo and the central railway station.

Romisch Germanisches Museum was built around a mosaic which portrays different scenes from the life of Dionisio.

It is thought to have originally been part of a third-century Roman housing complex.

THINGS TO DO IN COLOGNE GERMANY | Köln Travel Guide (June 2021)


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