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

Rathaus-Glockenspiel Detail

Last year i published a post on the famous Glockenspiel in München Bavaria. Although it was a nice scenic picture of Town Hall where the Rathaus-Glockenspiel is located it occurred to me that you really couldn’t see the detail of this famous landmark. I recently found this closeup which provides a much better view of what the Rathaus-Glockenspiel is all about and why each day hundreds gather to see and hear the performance.

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Rathaus-Glockenspiel Detail

The Holy Crucifix and Calvary on the Charles Bridge

The Charles Bridge is an historic bridge that crosses the Vltava river in Prague. Construction began in 1357 and for a long time it was the only way to cross the river in Prague. The bridge was the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city’s Old Town. The bridge is lined with sculptures and always filled with vendors, street musicians and tourists from all over the world.
The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic in the 1970’s and had to undergo significant repairs. It was decided to make it only pedestrian traffic and has become a famous tourist location. You stroll on the bridge, but it is not a good place for excercize although you see some attempting to jog.

The balustrade of the bridge is lined with 30 baroque sculptures created between 1683 and 1714.The Holy Crucifix and Calvary is one of the most famous and as you can see difficult to photograph on a crowded bridge. I do believe the young lady’s face adds more to the composition than would the top of the cross. Although at the very top are the Hebrew words “Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh” which is part of an ancient and important Jewish prayer.

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The Holy Crucifix and Calvary on the Charles Bridge

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

The Barrel Room at Marksburg Castle

Wine was really important in the 15th Century. Fresh water supply was not always available and this was especially true if a castle was under siege. Each castle we visited had a large wine cellar. At Marksburg Castle it was on the ground floor near the stable. While these barrels are huge they aret not as large as the one in Heidelberg Castle which is thought to be the largest wine barrel in the world and almost impossible to photograph.

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The Barrel Room at Marksburg Castle

The Barrel Room at Marksburg Castle

Marksburg Castle

Last month I published a post about Marksburg Castle. This post contains some more detailed information and additional images of this UNESCO World Heritage Site

Along the Rhine River is a stretch known as the Rhine Gorge which is a UNESCO world heritage site. Forty castles line both sides of this section of the river. Marksburg is the only castle that was never destroyed and sits above the town of Braubach. The fortress was used for protection rather than a residence for royal families.

Originally it was stone keep was built at the current location in 1100 by the Eppstein family and expanded into a castle around 1117 to protect the town of Braubach. When French emperor Napoleon seized the Holy Roman Empire in 1803 he gave the Marksburg to his ally the Duke of Nassau for his service. He used the castle as a prison and as a home for disabled soldiers. The castle has one of the first known indoor privies.

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Marksburg Southern View

Marksburg Southern View

Marksburg Dinning Room

Marksburg Dinning Room

Marksburg Privy

Marksburg Privy

Braubach View

Braubach View

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