Köln Waterfront Church

Köln (Cologne) is located in the largest city in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Köln survived the largest bombardment of any city in Europe by the Royal Air Force In World War Two. It was nearly destroyed in the process but has been thoughtfully reconstructed. This waterfront church is a example of the reconstructed city.

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Köln Waterfront Church

Cathedral Garden Köln

We toured Köln with Claudia, a truly awful guide. Most of the guides we had on our Viking River Tour were exceptional but not Claudia. She was so awful we eventually turned off our headsets and strolled behind her. We got tired of hearing her psycho babble about World War 2 and how awful the Americans were. Köln was the most bombed city in Germany and the destruction was truly awful but we wanted to learn about the culture of the city, not a faux history lesson on the war. Once she pointed to a picture of Eisenhower and refereed to him as General MacArthur, her knowledge was not only prejudicial but inaccurate.

However she did point out one thing we might not have noticed on our own. This is the beautiful terrace garden and sculpture along the back of the Cologne Cathedral. Pretty on a gray rainy day but probably wonderful in the Spring and Summer.

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Cathedral Garden Köln

Cathedral Garden Köln

Karlskirche Wien

Karlskirche (St Charles)) in Wien (Vienna) in my opinion is one of the beautiful churches in the world. We were fortunate enough to see a string ensemble perform a concert inside this magnificent structure but that will be the topic of a future post.

This beautiful baroque church is located on the south side of Karlsplatz in Vienna, Austria. Widely considered the most outstanding baroque church in Austria. It is dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo, a great Austrian reformer of the sixteenth century.

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Karlskirche  Wien

Karlskirche Wien

Saint Stephen’s Cathedral in Wien.

In the center of Vienna is St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom) which is the founding church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna. It is a huge Gothic Cathedral in the Stephansplatz and building began by Duke Rudolf IV in 1339. It is a beautiful Cathedral but also one of the most commercial Cathedrals I have ever been in. In order to stand in the center you need a special pass and another pass for photography and another pass to see the crypt, etc. It was difficult to get this photograph.

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Saint Stephen's Cathedral in Wien.

Saint Stephen’s Cathedral in Wien.

Rhine River at Köln

Köln (Cologne) is located in the largest city in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The river is very wide here compared to further downstream and flows at a steady current. Köln survived the largest bombardment of any city in Europe by the Royal Air Force In World War Two. It was nearly destroyed in the process but has been thoughtfully reconstructed. Köln was not far from Maastricht in Belgium and considered by the Allied forces to be the gateway to Germany strategically.

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Köln Waterfront

Prague Castle

Prague Castle is the largest and oldest castle in the world. It is actually not a castle but a complex of buildings including two cathedrals, the most famous being the St. Vitus Cathedral.The castle dates back to the early ninth century and is currently the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic. The castle was previously a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia.

This view is from the lower garden. It is too large to capture in one image and worthy of a panoramic photo project and is probably best viewed from the air.

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Prague Castle

Prague Castle

View of Saint Francis Church Praha

There are so many churches in Praha (Prague) and so many church spires. I think that is why I was drawn to the view of this church from Prague Castle. It is one of the few that has a dome in addition to the spires. This is the Saint Francis of Assisi Church located near the foot of the Charles Bridge on the Prague Castle side. You can see this view from the upper garden of the castle below the St Vitus Cathedral.

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The Dome of St Francis

The Dome of St Francis