today i am showing you another sight in Cologne. This one is almost directly next to the crane houses that I introduced to you in my last post. The crane houses are a few minutes' walk from the cathedral of Cologne, directly on the banks of the Rhine. Today it's about the Bayenturm. It is located in a well-frequented side street directly on the Rhine next to restaurants, cafés and many high-rise commercial buildings, as well as two of the crane buildings.
Part of a medieval city fortification
The Bayenturm is a medieval defence tower. And it's right in the centre of Cologne. Next to it, many buildings with open glass windows. Modern architecture. I really liked the contrast. Even though the tower, with its architecture and outdated construction, didn't really want to fit into the cityscape. It stands next to a square, a bit out of the way, but still so that you know it belongs.
Yet the tower has a special history: the Bayenturm looks as if it has sprung from a medieval castle. It was built around 1220. At that time, it was part of a medieval city fortification several kilometres long.
One of the few remaining parts of the city wall
The Bayenturm was the southern corner tower of the city wall. Today, it is one of the few remaining parts of the city wall.
Cologne's city wall existed for 700 years.
There is an easy-to-find entrance to the tower (the whole complex is actually not as big as it looks). The tower has a ground floor and four upper floors (which can normally be visited, but the tower is currently closed to visitors). With battlements, it is about 35 metres high.
If you search for the Bayenturm on the internet, you will often find the term "FrauenMediaTurm". This name is also written on an information sign directly at the tower. This is because the tower is now the seat of the non-profit foundation "FrauenMediaTurm".
He who had the tower had the power
The complex has a square floor plan, as can be seen clearly in the photos. The walls are very thick at 2.50 metres and could thus serve well for defence. Octagonal upper storeys were built around the walls. At the top there are so-called cloverleaf arches with projecting battlements. The tower made a nice impression on me (it looked very well preserved), but it was also quite capable of weeping. To the south and west of the tower were the fortifications of the Cologne city wall. On the eastern side of the Rhine there was a wall, a battlement and a building with a hipped roof.
At that time, when the city wall was still standing, if you wanted to enter the city of Cologne, you first had to pass through the wooden gate on the left of the Rhine wall.
The fortification with a battlement and a guardhouse did not end at the city wall, however, but was actually extended to the banks of the Rhine.
In the 13th century, the tower was conquered by the citizens of Cologne, thus ending the archbishop's dominance. And a Cologne saying goes: He who had the tower had the power.
The tower was severely damaged in parts during the Second World War. For many decades it was left to its fate. Only after many years was the ruin rebuilt. Hence the "new" look.
What do you think?
What do you think of the Bayyenturm? Do you like the building and the story behind it? Feel free to write your feedback in the comments. I always find it great to write about the city I live in. And especially about interesting places in it. See you next time!