Romisch-Germaniches Museum and Kölner Dom
(Saturday - June 9, 2018)
Today I got out and explored a bit of old Cologne. I actually didn´t have much time again, but I went to the Roman-Germanic Museum which explores the history of Roman Cologne (or Colonia... ¨Colony¨ in Latin). The museum has more of a classic style with each piece grouped by topic and small explanatory texts. Not much context about WHERE in Köln these items were found.
The most interesting was the glass and potteryware, the old arch from the Northern Gate, the gravestones, and busts of Roman Emperors. About the Roman Emperor busts, you may recognize the names from the movie Gladiator: Marc Aurel or Marcus Aurelius and Commodus his son (Of course it is fiction. Marcus Aurelius was played by Richard Harris and Commodus played by Joaqin Phoenix). Here is a link to the opening battle scene to get you in the mood:
But Roman Köln was a very large and civilized city, not very close to the border with barbarian Germania. This is shown very clearly by all of the fine glassware and pottery. It was a very interesting museum and, in particular, seeing the writings on the memorials to the dead and altars to the gods.
After the museum, I went into the Cologne Cathederal. I beleive it the largest gothic Cathederal in northern Europe and construction started in 1248 but was only completed in 1880. Why was it built in Köln? Köln´s Catholic Archdiocese was a powerful Catholic administrative region in the middle ages and the Cathederal was the place of worship for the Holy Roman Emperor (the Holy Roman Empire was really neither Holy or Roman, but an early middle ages kingdom stretching across modern Germany and some of France). It is very difficult to convey the size of this Cathederal. You literally cannot see the top of the spires when you are at the bottom. I couldn not fit the entire Cathederal in a photo without standing about 1,000 feet away.
Dinner with a new Russian friend
I met a fellow hostel-ler named Anton from Russia. He was very friendly and I asked him if he wanted to join me for dinner at an authentic German restaurant. I really, really wanted to try Rheinesches Sauerbraten. My mother made sauerbraten for the family, and it became my favorite birthday dinner. So we went off to a local brewery pub near the hostel. Afterwards we walked throug the Neustadt (New City) part of Köln. This is the 18th or 19th century ¨New City\"... compared to the Alt Stadt (Old City) that has buildings from probably the 13th - 17th century. We went through the Eigelstein Torburg and walked around Kirchegemiende St. Agnes, only recently built in 1902.
I also saw a cute dog and asked the owner if I could say hello to it... I tried my pidkin German, but the man was very friendly and replied in English. He and his friend Reinhold joked that the dog, Maxi, was very vicious. She wasn´t at all and rolled over so I could scratch her belly. The man (sadly I forget his name), said she is a terrier bred to hunt boars and sometimes foxes or badgers. He said that in Germany, to own a hunting dog you need a special license. But sometimes the puppies of a hunting dog do not take to hunting and end up in a kennel or rescue place (Ha! I can´t remember the English word).
I said the men, ¨Ich komme aus USA beim Seattle in Nordwestlichen USA. Ich bin am Fahrradtour durch Deutschland. Letztes Samstag war Ich in Frankfurt und hoffentlich am Montag ich werde bei mein verwandten in Essen kommt.¨ (I came from the USA be Seattle in the Northwestern USA. I am on a bicycle tour through Germany. Last Saturday I was in Frankfrut and hopefully by Monday I will be at my relatives in Essen.) That was the best German I can do... it isn gramatically perfect. But they understood. Reinhold said... ¨Ah, Seattle. Boeing is from Seattle!\" I was surprised as many German folk don´t know Seattle or my home state of Wisconsin (I usually just say ¨north of Chicago¨).
They were very friendly men and we talked about dogs, Seattle, my time in Köln and such. I wished them ¨Ein fröliches Abend.¨ and went on my way.
<span style=\"font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 18px;\">Now I will end by saying to all of you: Ihr habt ein fröliches Abend auch!</span>