Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Köln and the Counting Crows

So we've driven past or through Köln (also referred to as Cologne) several times, but other than a quick meal we had not stopped. Given we move all the time (with a limit on how much stuff we can ship), we've moved towards doing trips or experiences for gifts (Disney tickets one year, a cruise another year, etc). I've enjoyed the band Counting Crows for years (ask my dad.....we listened to a Counting Crow album, a Pearl Jam album, and a Pink Floyd album on a short weekend trip from St. Louis, MO, to Pensacola, FL, for a college campus tour (about 12 hours each do the math on how many times I played the CD that weekend)). So when I saw they were coming to Germany, I asked for tickets. Then because of the C-19 pandemic, the concert was rescheduled for about 6 months after the initial date. When concert date finally arrived, Richard and I got the kids off to school and we headed up to Köln. We had a few hours to sightsee before the concert, stayed the night, and drove home the next morning. On our way up, we passed some hay people (since I've seen hay people here and there).

The biggest highlight in Köln is Cathedral Church of Saint Peter (also called the Kölner Dom or Cologne Cathedral).

According to the internets, at 515 feet (or 157 meters) the cathedral is the tallest twin-spired church in the world! It also touts the title of second tallest church in Europe and third tallest church of any kind in the world! When it was completed, it was the tallest building in the world (but was surpassed by the Washington Monument four years later). It is built with gothic architecture and the sand stone has darkened to a black color due to a chemical reaction, so it has a spooky ominous feel as well. So needless to say, with the style and size it is very impressive!

Construction began in 1248, paused in 1560, and there was not have enough funds to restart until the 1840s. The cathedral was completed following the original medieval plan in 1880. The pair of spires results in the cathedral having the largest façade of any church in the world! We found a bronze image of Pope John Paul II on one wall (which makes sense being a Catholic church).

We peeked inside and saw a huge buttressing ceiling and stained glass windows. It houses the Shrine (or Tomb) of the Three Kings. Which is said to be the remains/bones of the three wise men. We didn't check that out. 

We meandered around some of the other streets of the cities. Saw an old classic car decked out for a wedding.

We found the Old St. Alban church which was first recorded in documents in 1172 and was rebuilt several times. The church was majorly damaged in World War II (note there's no roof), it was decided not to be rebuilt but has been secured. In the 1950s, it became a memorial for the dead of the world wars. We were there so late in the day, that it had closed so we did not enter. There is a new St. Alban church that has been built in a different location.

Cool doorway on a little small street. 

Köln (aka Cologne) is the where Eau de Cologne (water of Cologne)....or more simply Cologne was invented around 1709! There are tons of small shops selling cologne. We ended up getting some at a shop at Glockengasse No. 4711. This is where the Original Eau de Cologne 4711 was developed in the 18th century by Wilhelm Mülhens. The Original Eau de Cologne 4711 has been produced here since at least 1799 and is therefore probably one of the oldest fragrances still being produced. We picked up some gifts for the kids and my bestie (and here. We then had some dinner before heading to the concert.

There was no assigned seats so we snagged a great spot up on balcony just over the stage!

I wanted the tickets, but brought Richard came as my plus one.....He wasn't the biggest Counting Crows fan, but ended up really enjoying the concert because he knew so many of the songs, just hadn't realized they were sung by Counting Crows. Here's a little clip of one of my favorite songs. The Counting Crows remake of the song Big Yellow Taxi.

The show was at E-Werk, which is an old power station that was built in the historicist style. The E-Werk has been converted to a venue site now. Here's a shot of the old building while we waited on our Uber.

The next morning, we stopped at the Haribo outlet shop to grab some treats to share. Richard was a kid in a candy

It was a fun overnight and the kids did great on their own. So fun that they've reached the age and maturity to stay home alone one night.

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