The fragrant city
Although writer Samuel Taylor Coleridge had little good to say about the city of Cologne or Köln of years past, the modern city is packed with a million people and all the culture that accompanies such a diverse metropolitan area. It is Germany's fourth largest, famous for, among other things, fragrances worn by wealthy women who bathed twice a year. (Let that wander the halls of your imagination for a bit.) Much of the city was destroyed during World War II, but, fascinating to me was the fact that the stained glass windows of the cathedral were removed so they could be saved if the cathedral was hit. The photograph below is not a particularly stellar example of the stained glass but gives a flavor of the Gothic architecture of "Kölner Dom" and its delicate, intricate details.
Köln was another city worthy of a week or so. Thus, after the walking tour (and believe it or not, skipping a tour of the Chocolate Museum), we opted to investigate the Botanical Gardens and later, the Sculpture Park. The layout of the city was complicated enough (at least to neophytes) for us to get lost in a multi-story parking garage, trying to find the zoo and botanical gardens. A kind gentleman under the hood of his car, working on the engine, walked us to the zoo entrance. We eventually found the gardens beyond and spent nearly three hours there. The huge variety of plant material was not the only thing that surprised us. For instance, these bathing beauties. At a distance, they appear quite real.
The pond and surrounding landscaping are stunning in themselves, but the marble statue of Zeus completes the halcyon setting.
Little things lurked everywhere, including amphibians in the small tropical house amidst the lotus, water lilies, and taro plants.
Although there was more to see, we were burning daylight, and we began the walk back to the ship. Along the way, we stopped at the Skulpturen Park Köln (the sculpture park), which has presented an international overview of contemporary sculpture since its opening in 1997. Among my favorites were what appeared to be sparring bronze hares, a work by Welsh sculptor Barry Flanagan titled "Large Mirror Nijinski".
Below is a very unintentional "selfie", courtesy of a parabolic mirror art piece, untitled, by London artist Anish Kapoor.
2014 is exiting stage left and 2015 is waiting in the wings to challenge, stimulate, and excite us all. Happy New Year!
until next Monday,
a passion for the [email protected]
Keywords: Anish Kapoor, Barry Flanagan, Blacks Crossing Photography, Cologne, Cologne Botanical Garden, Cologne Sculpture Park, Daryl A. Black, Germany, Köln, Large Mirror Nijinski, amphibians, cathedrals, frogs, gardens, sculpture, travel, water features
Thanks, Steve! I could have spent so much time in the botanical gardens. Photographing the frogs was totally cool. I actually one more shot that I am "saving" for Taos Fall Arts next year, but may end up doing the Taos Open. Who knows?
A week in Cologne would be interesting.
the old lady surfers are to die for! the rabbits make me dance for joy Thanks for the big smiles
You keep exceeding yourself, Daryl. Here you have captured the Gothic architecture, the humorous and classical sculpture and close-ups showing us the tiny flora and fauna of Cologne. I am particularly drawn to the frog and the wide angle shot of the floating saucer.
A week in Cologne sounds like a very good idea.
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