Yes, Cologne has a really big church…..but that´s just one aspect. A history spanning thousands of years, the annual Carnevale celebration and the romantic river Rhine are the main ingredients to make Cologne to “en Stadt met Hätz un Siel” – local dialect for “a town with heart and soul”.
Actually, the people of Cologne are a “nation” of their own kind. As an ancient Roman city, Cologne was home to a population in which the characteristics of many races were united in a successful “Gemölsch” (blend). The city grew to be Germany’s largest trading metropolis in the Middle Ages with an influx of merchants, craftsmen and pilgrims over the course of the centuries. That was the basis of the Rhineish tolerance, in the modern world you would call it multi cultural
Home is where the Dom is…..
But back to the church: it´s true, life in Cologne runs around the Cathedral, which was for a while, after its completion in 1880 (after 600 years of building time), actually the highest structure in the world. Built to host the Shrine of the Magi, The Dom still is the landmark of the region, on clear days you can see the twin spires from 50 km afar and many songs in Cologne dialect (Kölsch) are dedicated to the famous church. Generally, no other city is sang about as often as Cologne – this pool of Cologne-favored songs is a strong corner-post of the Carnevale, called the fifth season, but this is a chapter of its own.
Kölsch and Köbes
Want a true taste of Cologne culture and cuisine? Than you have to visit a brewery. You sit down and get a Kölsch (Cologne beer) right away, without asking for it. The eagle-eyed Köbes (waiter) will get you a new one every time you finish yours – the stop-signal is putting a coaster on top of your glass. Just because it´s all called Kölsch, it doesn´t mean it tastes all the same – you should tour the city’s many pubs and breweries and compare their individual takes on the style. Menus can be a little confusing due to a strong regional bias and regional dialect. Halve Hahn (half chicken) is not, as you might imagine, half a chicken but a bread roll with cheese, matches perfectly to Kölsch!
Beergarden at the Rhine – a place for Foodies
Although many breweries are big enough to seat hundreds of people, empty tables are often hard to find. It is common to share your table with people you don’t know, so look out for free seats and make some new friends, which is pretty easy in Cologne: the city is called to be the most open minded in Germany and most likely you will end up in a chat.
In fact, every Cologne resident has more than their fair share of zest for life and partying spirit – it’s the local mentality. After all, Cologne is more than just a city – it is a matter of the heart, an emotion and an unfaltering positive state of mind. Also read article Bike tour along the Rhine