today I'm talking about another sight in my home town of Cologne - or rather a whole part of Cologne - namely the old town of Cologne.
On Google Maps, i.e. the map, the Cologne Old Town is delimited by the city centre with the udn edge of the Nippes district. The southern part of the city also belongs to the old town.
In colloquial terms, however, the Altstadt in Cologne refers to the small alleys that lie directly on the banks of the Rhine. The cobblestones are characteristic of the alleys. If I had to choose one sight that figuratively represents Cologne's old town, it would be the colourful houses directly on the Rhine. You can see them in the picture below. A little tip: you can eat delicious ice cream in the narrow blue house in the middle.
On this picture you can see the "territorial" classification of Cologne's old town. If you ask me, Cologne's city centre is not that far inland from the city centre.
Cologne's Old Town - formerly a trading and crafts quarter
But there are other sights and places that people from Cologne think of when they hear of Cologne's old town: the fish market and the church Groß Sankt Martin. The church is directly on the right, a little behind the colourful row of houses.
In the past, Cologne's old town was a trading and crafts quarter. This was probably mainly due to the fact that the old town was so close to the Rhine. However, the importance of the old town as a trading centre declined more and more because the harbour facilities were outdated and had not been renewed. Instead, complex office complexes such as the crane houses were built. Here at the harbour there are also lots of pubs, restaurants and Cologne breweries (highly recommended). If you walk along the promenade, you will reach the famous fish market after a few minutes.
From the Cathedral to Cologne's Old Town
If you want to visit Cologne's old town, I would recommend starting at Cologne Central Station. There you can also visit the cathedral (probably the most famous landmark of Cologne, I will make a separate post about the cathedral). Cologne Central Station is also a great meeting point, as if you don't live in Cologne you will usually travel from there. It is also the most important railway station in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
If you now want to go to the banks of the Rhine and the old town, it is best to walk across the Domplatte to the street Am Hof. There you keep to the left. You will pass landmarks such as the Saaleck House, which dates back to 1460. Continue on to Bechergasse and the Alter Markt.
What I didn't know until then: I usually cross the Alter Makrt "only" to get to the Rhine when I take the tram to the Rhine. I have not used it as a meeting place so far. But in fact, next to Heumarkt, it is the largest square in Cologne's old town.
We continue through Lintgasse and pass the Groß St. Marti. It is one of a dozen Romanesque churches in Cologne's city centre. From the opposite bank of the Rhine, from Deutz, you can also see so many Romanesque churches next to modern buildings and the cathedral.
And you're already at the fish market and the colourful houses. Further on, we keep to the right. There is an alley called "Buttermarkt". Funny, isn't it?
If you keep to the left, you'll find yourself right on the Rhine at Deutzer Brücke. You can then walk on to the Rheinauhafen. This is also where the three crane houses are, which I introduced to you in a previous post. In general, the area is characterised by restaurants and office buildings.
If you want to extend your walk, you can also cross the Severinsbrücke bridge and change the bank of the Rhine.
A little further on you will reach the Hohenzollern Bridge.
Nearby is the Cologne Rhine Park and you can return to the western bank of the Rhine via the Zoobrücke bridge.
I hope you enjoyed the post and the little virtual walk. Feel free to write me your feedback in the comments.Which sights do you like best in Cologne? Have you ever been to the harbour? See you next time!