Fourteen funny things I saw in Cologne

This is the approximate translation of a previous post: Catorce cosas curiosas que vi en Colonia, originally written in Spanish.

I passed by Cologne in April 2009. I came from Hannover, arriving in town one night in which I just could admire the enormity of its cathedral, which can be found next to the train station. I devoted the next day to go around the most typical places of the city. It was a hot, humid day that made me give up the idea of ascending up to the belfry of the cathedral tower. Luckily the following day (in which I had to go to Duesseldorf) showed up shiny and clear: clearly favourable to the expected ascension.

Köln, 13 April 2009. Armed with my camera I saw a series of funny things that I list in strictly chronological order:

1. Achtung

One of the better-known words among those who don’t speak the German language. We can find it here, in a sign advising of the danger implicit to tramways. Certainly, tramways are more difficult to be seen -and therefore more dangerous- when one walks looking down. Thus its placement seems appropriate.

Achtung

Achtung

2. Grünfeld

A bar named after a chess opening. It also has a grafitto representing a chess knight on its wall. Nothing special, but I need help to reach the magical number fourteen.

Grünfeld Bar

Grünfeld Bar


3. Fists-and-ear statue.

I simply cannot imagine what this statue is representing. It may be struggle as much as deafness or the idea that listening to others makes us stronger. None of the things that came to my mind seems to make total sense. There was litter inside the ear, butts mainly, but I do not thing it was an ashtray at all.

Fisted ear

Fisted ear

4. Ice-cream on the attic

A favourite of the tourist photos. I have one myself, I just don’t show it out of embarrasment. It is in Pisa-tower style, the ice-cream seems to have landed on my head.

The ice-cream crashed on the building

The ice-cream fell on the building

5. The littel piece in front of the cathedral

The cathedral of Cologne is a spectacular monstrosity. Certainly it goes first on the list of things worth seeing in the city. It just does not fit in this list. We can make some room among the funny things for the piece in front of the Dom. It is said that the piece is identical to the one on top of each of the towers, 140 metres over the ground level. One can hardly imagine the effort to put it up there. Formidable, in every sense.

Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral


6. Pixelled stained-glass window.

Inside the cathedral this curious stained-glass window can be found. It looks like a tribute to the geek world. I’ve always been fascinated by the colours of stained-glass windows and this one is no exception in spite of its low definition.

Pixelled window

Pixelled window

7. The fish lantern

In the old town, die Altstadt (actually not so old as not much of the city survivied WWII) there is an area of narrow streets and restaurants. In one of them I found this lantern, with a whale as ornament.

Cologne, old town

Cologne, old town


8. Soccer latrine

This urinary was in an Italian restaurant’s gents’, goal included. There’s a pinkish football and even if I’m telling too much I muss confess that you can move the ball, but it is impossible to score.

Sport everywhere

Sport everywhere

9. Urban ground, Philarmonic ceiling.

The auditorium in which the Philarmonic plays is under ground, specifically under a square next to the railways and close to the cathedral. Apparently, people’s steps disturb the acustics, so whenever there is a concert or an audition, some gentlemen prevent pedestrians from stepping over the musicians.

It is all explained in here

It is all explained in here

Acoustics law's agents. Cathedral on the background.

Acoustics law's agents. Cathedral on the background.

10. Space invaders.

A friendly alien on a post beside the railways. It must be one of those guerrilla art stunts.

Alien

Alien

11. Love locks

This one is a meme which has been expanding lately. I think I read that the city of Florence is going to fine the dummies which make it look ugly with this junk. The happy couple places a lock with their names or initials in a public bridge and then they throw the key away or eat it or keep it until the point of oxidation. The iconic train bridge is the selected place in Cologne.

Sentimental junk

Sentimental junk

The locks are on the fence that separates the pedestrian walk from the railways

The locks are on the fence that separates the pedestrian walk from the railways

12. Building in inverted-L shape

Futuristic architecture has arrived everywhere, but buildings this size and kind are still curious to see. As I just watched them in the distance, I’m not sure whether their reason is to preserve the space on the ground or to provide it with shade and shelter against the rain.

The double inverted L.

The double inverted L.

13. Elephant

Germans love antiques markets. Coins, stamps and old postcards can be traded in this Flohmarkt (literally “flea market”) and similar ones. Also some funnier items, such as this elephant. I can’t imagine its price or what it is good for.

Bogus elephant

Bogus elephant

14. Books as stairs

In an underground pass, advertising for a bookshop chain. The idea is that the stairs represent the book spines. A beautiful and funny metaphor, as each book is a new step in life.

Just about rising on the stairs of knowledge

Just about rising on the stairs of knowledge

3 respuestas a Fourteen funny things I saw in Cologne

  1. […] y vertí al inglés sendos textos sobre dos ciudades centroeuropeas: Breslavia y Colonia (Wroclaw, Cologne). Quise hacer más de estas a lo largo del año, pero no encontré el momento. Celebramos el año […]

  2. […] several months 14 funny things I saw in Cologne about the city of Cologne (Köln), is one of the most successful posts in this blog, so I started […]

  3. […] There is an English translation of this post here. […]

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