Lucerne, Switzerland & Rhine River Cruise travel blog

Rinehart's special visitor

The Cathedral from 6 blocks away

The only two houses that escaped destruction close to the Cathedral

One of the other 189 churches in Cologne - at one time...

One side of the Cathedral

The center walkway - 15 stories high

The altar & Archbishop's seat. The Altar is in the center of...

Contains the bones & skulls of the Magi - not proven

The tomb of the first Archbishop - he laid the first stone...

Taking a break on the way back to the boat

The sundeck on the riverboat

Demo of Black Forest Cake by the pastry chef

And then we got to eat it!!


During the night, we arrived and docked in Cologne, Germany. We had a walking tour of the old part of Cologne which was almost completely reduced to rubble during the bombing but some buildings close to the Cathedral escaped destruction.

A great addition to this morning for Darrel and Kathy was the arrival of Silke who lived with them for a year as a foreign exchange student about 30 years ago. Our cruise director was able to arrange that she could board the ship, have breakfast with us and join the tour. She said she learned a lot of information about the Cathedral from the local guide.

The Cathedral is massive (from the front, you can't get all of it in a photo) and has centuries of history.  It is Germany's most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day and currently the tallest twin-spired church at 515 ft tall.

Construction of Cologne Cathedral commenced in 1248 and was halted in 1473, leaving it unfinished. Work restarted in the 19th century and was completed following the original plan, in 1880. The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe and has the second-tallest spires. The towers for its two huge spires give the cathedral the largest facade of any church in the world. The choir has the largest height to width ratio, 3.6:1, of any medieval church and the height from floor to ceiling in the middle is 15 stories.

Cologne's medieval builders had planned a grand structure to house the bones & skulls of the Three Magi Kings and fit its role as a place of worship for the Holy Roman Emperor. The box holding the relics are covered in pure gold on two sides and bronze & gold on the other. The Archbishops of the Cathedral are all buried inside in tombs around the inside with a bronze sculpture of them on the top.

The riverboat left Cologne at noon headed for our final destination of Amsterdam. We will arrive during the night and head for home in the morning. This will be the final post to the journal for this trip. I hope you have enjoyed it.



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