Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cologne (again!)

As you already know, last weekend we once again visited Cologne.  After exploring the chocolate factory and enjoying some delightfully delicious treats :), we headed out into the city - our main goal being to make our way back to our parking garage (and hence to the van), but we had a few adventures along the way!!

 Mommy and all of us kids in front of the Rhine

 It is so beautiful!

 Daddy had been explaining to us how they transport these large shipping containers by barge on the Rhine and then we actually saw one!!

 Cologne is much more pleasant when it is NOT Carnival!! :)

 An old church in the town.

 I thought this was a pretty picture on the sideline.

 We went back to Cologne cathedral.

Here is a little bit of history on it:

"Cologne Cathedral stands on the site of a 4th century Roman temple, followed by a square church known as the "oldest cathedral" commissioned by Maternus, the first Christian bishop of Cologne. A second church built on the site, the "Old Cathedral," was completed in 818. This burned down on April 30, 1248.

The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral was laid on August 15, 1248, by Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden, and the choir was consecrated in 1322. After this initial rapid progress, construction work gradually came to a standstill, and by the year 1560, only a torso had been built.

Only with the 19th century Romantic enthusiasm for the Middle Ages and the commitment of the Prussian Court did construction work resume. 1824 saw the addition of the towers and other substantial parts of the cathedral, mostly according to surviving medieval plans and drawings.

The completion of Germany's largest cathedral was celebrated as a national event in 1880, 632 years after construction had began. The celebration was attended by Emperor Wilhelm I."

Thanks to a good friend of our family's, Mrs. McKinnen, here is a little story about the cathedral from WWII:
"American bombers were told by the U.S. to never bomb the most important cathedral in Europe, the Cologne Cathedral.  The Germans would taunt the Americans during their radio broadcasts about how the Americans couldn't even hit the world famous cathedral with their bombs...believing that they were just inept in this respect.  To show how precise our bombers were, a squadron dropped sacks of flour on the cathedral just to show that they could bomb it if they wanted to." 

Thank you for sharing that Mrs. Mckinnen - we really enjoyed that story!!

 The architecture of the cathedral is amazing.  They all look pretty similar!!

 The crowds were INCREDIBLE!!! 
We were attempting to find our way back to our parking garage.  We're used to the "grid" layout of the midwest. :)  We ended up overshooting and going in a semi circle!!  Oh well - I guess we had plenty of opportunity to walk off all of the chocolate. :)  The mass of people didn't help anything either.  

 Look what I saw!  This is the first Starbucks I've seen since we've been over here.  You know daddy really wants to get out of the crowd and back to the car when we don't stop to get any. :)

 We ate dinner here.

 It was very good!!

 This was a pleasant square.  Apparently this was the right place to be to get away from the crowd!

 When we were walking back to our parking garage, we saw this!!  

 We stopped to get some!!

 It was delicious!!!

 Our clan
 (minus me behind the camera :)

 We made it back to our car!!! Everyone had fun, but was tired from the day. :)

 It didn't take long for most people to fall asleep

 When we got home, we quickly unloaded things and were going to take Shenandoah up to bed when mommy found her here - too cute!!

One more picture before closing...
When we were leaving Cologne, we crossed over the Rhine river on this bridge.  The city was BEAUTIFUL with all of the lights up against the dark night sky and the Cathedral looked magnificent!! Unfortunately, we weren't able to get a picture of the whole scene, but it was too pretty not to include here.  Thanks to Google images :), I found one that captures it for you exactly!!

1 comment:

Rebekah said...

WOW!! The last picture is breathtaking! It reminds me of a post card!