Spotlight on Germany

Cologne around 1411

The best thing about living in central Europe is the availability of public transportation. Don’t even have to fly. From where I’m sitting, I can be in  Nuremberg in thirty minutes, I can be in Munich two hours, Prague in four hours, Vienna in five, Brussels in, say, seven hours, and London in twelve.

High-speed trains. The railway expansion is causing chaos on Bavarian streets at the moment. Everywhere you turn, and I mean everywhere, bridges are shut and roads are dug up. But when it’s done, those trains’ll be faster than ever.

View from the train station

I can get to the city of Cologne in about four hours. After passing Frankfurt, the train makes a picturesque journey along the Rhine River, past the mystical Lorelei, impressive at the least, breathtaking at the best.

Breathtaking: the first impression of the famous Kölner Dom, the Cologne Cathedral as one exits the train station.


View from the Rheine
Some bullet-point facts about the cathedral:
  • Work began on the cathedral in 1248 and stopped in 1473. It was finally finished in 1880.
  • It is 474 ft long, 283 ft wide and its towers are approximately 515 ft tall.
  • It is the world’s largest Gothic cathedral.
  • From 1880 bis 1884, the Kölner Dom was the highest building in the world.
  • 20,000 people a day visit the cathedral, that makes how many million every year?
  • The cathedral has eleven bells, the largest which weighs 24,000 kilos.
  • It costs about 10 million Euros a year upkeep.


After WW II-courtesy of NS DokuZentrum Köln



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