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Cologne sights

Cologne is an ancient German city that has a very worthy and multifaceted history, which means it has many historical, cultural and architectural attractions. A visit to the glorious German city of Cologne will bring tourists many new discoveries.

During World War II, almost all of Cologne’s historical and cultural heritage in Germany was destroyed by bombing. All modern monuments have actually been restored from the ruins. But this makes them no less beautiful and majestic.

Top 15 sights in Cologne

We offer you the most famous sights of Cologne with photos and descriptions. Surely they will interest you and encourage you to go to this ancient German city to see them for yourself.

Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral - a Cologne landmark

This attraction of Cologne is probably the most well-known. When the question arises: what to see in Cologne, the first thing that comes to mind is Cologne Cathedral. It is a magnificent temple, made in the best Gothic traditions, one of the highest churches in the world, which is also included in the famous UNESCO list. When you see the Cologne Cathedral, you get the feeling that it was not created by man, but by God himself.

Cologne Cathedral - the city's main attraction

The cathedral was built in two stages: first in the 13th-15th centuries, and then in the 19th century. And back in Roman times there were Christian churches or houses of worship on this site. In the 13th century Cologne was one of the most powerful cities in Europe, so it was simply obliged to have its own cathedral. And today Cologne Cathedral is constantly being completed and restored.

Cologne Cathedral

The main values and relics of this cathedral are the relics of the three Magi, who once announced the birth of the Savior. There is also a staff and offering plate of St. Peter. You can see many symbols of the power of the Cologne archbishops – staves, swords, scepters, church vestments. There are unique ancient crosses, monstrance, valuable manuscripts, etc.

Cologne city hall

Cologne Town Hall - Cologne (Germany)

This is another famous sight in Cologne. The town hall still serves as the city government today. It has occupied its place for centuries between Town Hall Square and the Old Market, not far from the Cologne Cathedral. The building of the Town Hall began to be built in the 14th century.

Cologne City Hall as a landmark

In the 15th century, a beautiful Gothic tower over 60 meters high was added to the Town Hall, where firefighters carried out their service. The tower was later decorated with beautiful sandstone sculptures of kings, emperors, popes, and famous city dwellers, which over the centuries are destroyed and replaced by new figures.

Cologne Town Hall

In the 16th century, the Baroque facade of the Town Hall was built in the then fashionable Baroque style. During World War II this facade was destroyed and later rebuilt in exactly the same way. Even the French Revolution did not pass by this famous building. At that time the town hall belonged to France.

Town Hall Square

Cologne Town Hall Square

It is the very center of the Old Town, the center of its cultural and historical monuments. What to see in Cologne? First of all, this old Town Hall Square. She is truly magnificent. Here is carefully preserved and restored medieval era of this city in all its beauty.

Here you will see medieval streets, Gothic cathedrals and churches, the current City Hall, built in the 14th century, and many other masterpieces of medieval architecture. Right next to the square stands Cologne Cathedral, the greatest masterpiece of Gothic architecture. You will feel yourself in the Middle Ages at its best.

Town Hall Square in the center of Cologne

And under the Town Hall Square there is an underground museum with unique collections that tell about the history of the city, from the Holy Roman Empire to the present day. The careful Germans have even preserved the ancient Roman sewers. This landmark of Cologne was built at the very beginning of our era, at the time of Jesus Christ.

Greater St. Martin’s Church

In Cologne, the Church of Greater St. Martin is worth seeing

It is a famous Catholic church located in the old part of Cologne, between the Old Marketplace and the Rhine Embankment. It is known that Cologne in the Middle Ages was one of the centers of the Benedictines, the oldest Catholic monastic order. This order erected the Great St. Martin, which today belongs to his abbey in Cologne.

Great St. Martin's Church - Cologne

According to ancient manuscripts, St. Martin’s Church was built in the Romanesque style in the 12th and 13th centuries. Later it suffered many times from fires, hurricanes, and wars. The church has been reconstructed and restored throughout its existence. In the 18th century it received a modern Baroque interior and a large organ.

Great St. Martin's Church in Cologne

After World War II, the Great St. Martin, which had been almost completely destroyed, was again completely rebuilt and given to the Benedictine order. Today it is one of the best attractions of Cologne and Germany, very popular with tourists and loved by the inhabitants of the city.

Church of St. Panteleimon

Church of St. Panteleimon - Cologne sights with names and photos

This is another ancient Catholic church located on a small hill above the Rhine River in the old part of the city and built in the form of a basilica. The Church of St. Panteleimon was first mentioned in the ancient German chronicles in the 9th century as a Benedictine monastery.

Church of St. Panteleimon - Cologne

Later the church was expanded, rebuilt, and decorated from century to century. From Constantinople she received a piece of relics of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. In the 17th century she had an organ. In the 18th century its interior was decorated in the Baroque style. But at the time of the French Revolution a stable was organized in the church.

Church of St. Panteleimon in Cologne

Today, after all the historical vicissitudes of Cologne and all of Germany and a long restoration, the Church of St. Panteleimon has the most luxurious interior decoration in the city. The faithful and tourists can come here to see and enjoy its sublime beauty. It is one of the best attractions in Cologne.

Romano-Germanic Museum

Roman-German Museum - Cologne (Germany)

In this archaeological museum tourists can learn about the history of the entire federal state and the city of Cologne, from the Paleolithic to the Middle Ages. The museum was founded just after World War II, and one of its main exhibits is the Dionysus mosaic, accidentally discovered in Cologne a few years earlier.

Romano-Germanic Museum - Cologne

Here you can also see various cultural artifacts from the time of the Roman emperors of the late Empire, found in the ancient Roman settlement of Divitia near Cologne: from everyday objects and cults to various Latin inscriptions on tombstones. In this settlement even today, excavations are actively carried out.

Cologne - Romano-Germanic Museum

The Archaeological Romano-Germanic Museum will tell you about the high level of culture and development of the tribes that inhabited these places thousands of years ago. Here you can see antique jewelry and utensils made of precious metals and colored glass. The museum also has Scythian gold, weapons of the Goths, Franks, Saxons, etc.

White House

Interesting places in Cologne - White House

This ancient castle, built on the water, is a famous landmark in the vicinity of Cologne. Hundreds of years ago it was a fortified fortification defending the fortress wall of a medieval city. At that time Cologne’s relations with Luxembourg were not good, and the city was under constant threat of attack.

Attractions near Cologne - White House

The White House was built by the Benedictine monastery order of St. Panteleimon, who played a leading role in the political and spiritual life of Germany and Cologne in those distant times. Between the wars, the castle served as a summer residence for the Benedictine abbey. And today it is a magnificent landmark of Cologne, which collected a significant part of the medieval history of the city.

St. Severin’s Gate

St. Severin Gate - Cologne

This is the southern gate of the Cologne fortress wall that once surrounded the city during the Middle Ages. The wall was destroyed for hundreds of years and later finally demolished, but the gate of St. Severin, built back in the 13th century, remained and to this day enjoys its ancient beauty of the inhabitants of the city and its guests.

St. Severin's Gate in Cologne, Germany

At the gate of St. Severin since their construction it is customary to hold official meetings of various statesmen and dignitaries. And the towers of the gate at various times housed museums and various public organizations. Today it is a beautiful monument to the medieval life of the city and an interesting landmark of Cologne.

Apostolic Church

Cologne's Apostolic Church - a landmark

This is another old cultural attraction in Cologne, located in the Old Town. The Apostolic Church was built by the Benedictines in the 11th century in the form of a Catholic basilica on the site of the monastery of the Holy Apostles. At the end of the 12th century it was badly damaged by fire and was rebuilt.

Apostolic Church in Cologne

The Apostolic Church of Cologne was secularized during the Great French Revolution, after which it began to decay. In the mid-19th century the church was restored and its premises housed a gymnasium. During World War II it, like the rest of Cologne, was destroyed.

Cologne - Apostolic Church

Then for many decades the Apostolic Church was rebuilt, after which it was given the title of papal basilica. Today it is the center of the Cologne Catholic community and one of the city’s most famous tourist attractions, telling its history, centuries-old ties with the Vatican, and culture.

House of Cologne

House of Cologne in Cologne

As you know, Cologne is the birthplace of cologne or Cologne water 4711. The House of Cologne housed a factory in the 18th century during the Great French Revolution, where the cologne first began to be produced by the famous local perfumer Mülchens. There was also a shop where it was sold. It was the French gave the name to this perfume water and advertised it to the whole world. Today the House of Cologne is a museum.

Cologne - House of Cologne

According to legend, the perfumer received the recipe for the cologne as a wedding present from a monk unknown to the world for having been sheltered in the house of Mülhenson. Interestingly, the monk presented this gift as a prescription for a headache. But then, thanks to its perfumery properties, it became a famous Cologne water, and the factory became a favorite tourist attraction in Cologne.


The Ulrefort, a landmark in Cologne

This fort is another part of the fortifications around Cologne. For many centuries, until the 19th century, potters settled around this fort and worked in their workshops. In old German, “ulrep” means pottery.

The fortification of Ulreforth began as early as the 12th century. During the century, a strong fortress wall and several watchtowers were built here. So the fort became known as the Potter’s Gate and fulfilled its defensive function.

Inside the Ulrefort - Cologne

Later, in the 15th century, the gate was bricked up and given to the nearby Carthusian monastery. The monks converted the main tower of the fort into a mill. At the beginning of the 21st century, the fort was completely restored and given to tourists and citizens.

Hohenzollern Bridge

Hohenzollern Bridge - Cologne

It is an extraordinarily beautiful railway bridge over the Rhine, located in Cologne, very close to the Cologne Cathedral, and connects the two train stations of the city. The Hohenzollern Bridge is the most important European transport hub. And together with the Cologne Cathedral, the bridge is the hallmark of Cologne.

Cologne sights photo - Hohenzollern Bridge

It was built in the early 20th century in the Romantic style and is decorated with equestrian statues of Prussian kings. During the war the Hohenzollern Bridge was completely destroyed, and at the end of hostilities – was rebuilt. It currently has six tracks, as well as walkways and railroad tracks.

The Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne

Interestingly, today it is called the Bridge of Love and symbolizes eternal, swan love. Romantic couples in love come here to hang the lock and throw the key into the Rhine. This wonderful tradition over time began to be observed not only by the townspeople, but also by tourists from all over the world.

Chocolate Museum

Cologne Chocolate Museum

This museum is the most interesting place in Cologne for children. It was opened in 1993 by a local chocolate factory. Since then, the Cologne Chocolate Museum has hosted about five thousand guided tours a year, with more than half a million visitors a year. Statistically, it is one of the most popular museums in Germany.

Chocolate Museum - Cologne, Germany

The Chocolate Museum is located on the Rhine promenade and is built in the shape of a ship. There are exhibits that tell everything about the history of this delicacy from the Maya and Aztecs, who considered it “the food of the gods”, to the present day. You will learn about the technologies and secrets of its production, get acquainted with the oldest recipes.

Cologne - Chocolate Museum

Children will not only be able to see how chocolate is made, but also to taste it immediately after making it. There are hundreds of chocolates to choose from. And the most delightful thing about this museum is the real chocolate fountain. Children can use waffles to scoop chocolate from this fountain and immediately eat it.

Flora Botanical Garden

Interesting place in Cologne - the Flora Botanical Garden

It is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Europe. It was built in 1864 on the outskirts of Cologne when the old city garden in the heart of the city was demolished. Famous Prussian landscape architects worked on its creation. If you’re wondering what to see near Cologne, Flora is a great choice.

Cologne - Flora Botanical Garden

Here you can stroll around, see the well-groomed classical park and sculptures in the ancient style, see baroque flower beds, artificial waterfalls, etc. Interestingly, in the center of the botanical garden or park there is a lake in which turtles, ducks and other wildlife swim. Your kids are sure to love it.

The Flora Botanical Garden in Cologne

Actually, the Flora Botanical Garden is part of the park, and for many botanists it is of scientific interest with its variety of vegetation from all over the world. It is visited by at least a million tourists every year. Walking during the day, you can visit all the climatic zones of our planet.

Cologne Zoo

Cologne Zoo

This zoo is one of the oldest in Germany. It is located in the center of the city, and parents and their children can go there any day to observe the life of wild animals. In general, the zoo specializes in different species of monkeys, but other exotic animals, reptiles, fish and birds can be found here.

Cologne Zoo - an attraction for children and adults

The Cologne Zoo first opened its doors to visitors in 1860, and has since been considered one of the main attractions of Cologne, where you can go with children. The scrupulous Germans estimate that Cologne Zoo receives almost two million visitors a year.

Cologne Zoo - an interesting place to visit and see in Cologne

First we recommend you to go to the elephants, then to see a huge bird house of tropical birds with extremely beautiful plumage. It is interesting to visit the pinniped rock, where seals, sea lions and white rhinos live. The terrarium aquarium is very popular with crocodiles, lizards, snakes, fish, etc.

Video overview of Cologne sights

Cologne has many museums, cathedrals, churches, galleries and concert halls; it is one of the largest centers of cultural life in Germany. It is very popular with tourists from all over the world, who love the European comfort and measured way of life.

Cologne – sightseeing map

To get to Cologne and move around it is not difficult: it has its own airport, one of the most powerful European rail hubs and even a system of high-speed streetcars. Welcome!

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