Visit Cologne, Germany by Mouse
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Cologne, Germany (Tourist Site), our second stop on our 2005 trip, is on the Rhine river, 48 miles east of our first stop in Aachen. Our campground was not as close to the town center as in most other cities. We had to take a bus and then a tram to get into the town center. We missed the transfer stop and had to double back, eventually to get on a train which went between the city of Bonn and Cologne and had just left Bonn, about 18 miles south of Cologne. So we had really screwed up and, as a result, had lost a lot of time. When we finally got to Cologne, we just had time to check email, send out the letter included here, visit the cathedral, and walk around the pedestrian shopping area. This is unfortunate for us because, amont other things, Cologne has 36 museums, none of which did we get to visit.
Like Aachen's cathedral, Cologne's also is a UNESO World Heritage Site. We spotted the cathedral spires from a long way off. It is a huge gothic structure, which can be seen in our photos. The cathedral is handsome outside and very beautiful inside. Many cathedrals boast of some particular relic they own. These were brought from the middle east by Crusaders in the 10th through the 12th centuries. Many stretch crudulity, and the ones that the Cologne cathedral claims to have are no exception. Would you believe that the three Magi are interred in a handsome gold reliquary on display there? I have the photo that you can see on our photo page to prove it--that they have the reliquary on display, that is, not that the three Magi are in it. (While we are on the subject of relics, the cathedral in Amiens, France claims to have the head of John the Baptist, as we described in a letter about a visit to that cathedral. Other places also claim this " trophy")
 
The city was heavily damaged during WW II. It was a German military command post which made it an especially sought for target.  It suffered 262 air raids, including the first 1000 bomber raid.  The whole city center was totally destroyed.  But it now shows little sign of that.  Like Aachen and other German cities rebuilt after the war, it has  a large pedestrian only shopping zone and is a very comfortable and interesting place in which to walk around.
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