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

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Köln Out of the Ashes

I was excited to visit Köln (Cologne). I had heard it was one of the best cities in Germany but I was more impressed withe Heidelberg, München and the smaller towns we visited. Maybe it was the guide that we had. She was the worst guide of our excursion. Maybe it was because the city was bombed to almost oblivion so it didn’t have the architectural diversity of other cities. Maybe it was the cold and dreary day that we were there.

The cathedral,Kölner Dom was magnificent however and was not bombed during the war. It goes back to the year 1270 and is one of the oldest cathedrals in the world and the most visited historic building in all of Germany. The walkway along the Rhine River is also quite a lovely place for a walk or bike ride. This picture was taken from the river walk.

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Köln Cathedral

Köln Cathedral