Today I set out to discover my hometown of Cologne.
The first destination was of course the famous Cologne Cathedral. It’s pretty big and pretty impressive, I tell ya!
Then I followed the footsteps of the ancient Romans. Right in front of the Cologne Cathedral, for example, there is still a remnant of an old Roman city gate. The city wall used to be here, in the middle of the city. Apparently, Cologne has grown quite a bit in the last two thousand years.
Just a little further I discover a piece of the earlier Roman aqueduct. It delivered fresh water from the Eifel to Cologne.
There is also an original, genuine piece of the former Roman harbor road.
On my further way I am impressed by a huge city coat of arms above the entrance of a house where it is obviously always early. At least they call it “Früh”, which means “early”. Inside there is always something delicious to drink – early or late: Kölsch! The lokal beer. Yummy! Of course, the “Halve Hahn” belongs to the Kölsch, but althoug it means “half rooster”, be careful: This is not fried chicken!
Immediately in front of the Brauhaus Früh I stumble across the Heinzelmännchenbrunnen. It tells the story of the hard-working elves who once helped the town’s residents. At least until they were badly linked. Impertinence, outrageous!
The only cardinal to whom the people of Cologne have erected a monument is Cardinal Josef Frings. In his New Year’s Eve sermon in 1946, he practically gave absolution for stealing coal, when people would otherwise freeze to death and nobody else would help them. To this day, such an act out of necessity is referred to as “Fringsen”.
Of course, a visit to my old friend Konrad Adenauer is a must when I’m walking through Cologne. Konrad, that was a fine man! Aye! That’s what they say here in Cologne, and it’s the highest aristocratic title that can be awarded on Kölsch. Aye!
There is another memorial for the city soldiers of Cologne, the Red Sparks, called “Rote Funken”. They are still performed by one of the oldest carnival companies in Cologne and are legendary for their – let’s say – serenity. For example, when Napoleon’s army was at the gates of Cologne, the Cologne city soldiers shouted from the city wall: “Nit scheeesse! Heh stonn doch Lück!”, i.e. “Don’t shoot! There are people here!” I think that’s a healthy attitude. Hehe!
At the end of my walk, I refresh myself with 4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser right across from the opera house.