COLOGNE (=Kőln), Germany


          Cologne is one of Germany’s most ancient cities.  It was founded as the Roman military outpost of Colonia Agrippina in 38 BCE. and was named for the wife of Emperor Claudius.  From Charlemagne’s time to the present, it has flourished as the Rhineland’s foremost religious and mercantile center.


          The Altstadt (= Old Town) contains tall, narrow houses painted in pastel shades.  The city’s ecclesiastical heritage is reflected in 12 beautifully restored Romanesque churches, including St. Andreas, Great St. martin and St. Gereon.   A walk through the soaring nave of Cologne Cathedral reveals a medieval fantasy in stone and the finest example of High Gothic architecture in Germany.  Begun in 1248, construction continued for six centuries!  The cathedral’s artistic treasures include Altar of the Magi, the Milan Madonna & Child and the Shrine of the Three Kings.  It also has many beautiful stained-glass windows.  [see Photos]