The fragrant city

December 28, 2014  •  4 Comments

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.

Koln cathedralKoln cathedral

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.

Köln Botanical Gardens Surf's upKöln Botanical Gardens Surf's up

The pond and surrounding landscaping are stunning in themselves, but the marble statue of Zeus completes the halcyon setting.

Neptune statue, Köln Botanical GardenNeptune statue, Köln Botanical Garden

Little things lurked everywhere, including amphibians in the small tropical house amidst the lotus, water lilies, and taro plants.

Köln Botanical Gardens-4Köln Botanical Gardens-4

Köln Botanical GardensKöln Botanical Gardens

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". Large MIrror NijinskiLarge MIrror Nijinski   

Below is a very unintentional "selfie", courtesy of a parabolic mirror art piece, untitled, by London artist Anish Kapoor.

untitled mirror, Cologne Botanical Gardensuntitled mirror, Cologne Botanical Gardens

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]



Blacks Crossing Photography and Writing
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.

Happy 2015!
Blacks Crossing Photography and Writing
Thanks, Tina! The old lady surfers just tickled me from the first time I saw them.
the old lady surfers are to die for! the rabbits make me dance for joy Thanks for the big smiles
Steve Immel(non-registered)
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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