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Hidden Spots in Cologne – PT. I

In Cologne, you’ll find your fair share of beautiful monuments (the Kölner Dom being numbers 1-10 on that list).  We were pretty wiped out during the war so it can hard to find local spots that overwhelm you with beauty.  Plus if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you can walk right past some incredible history.  We’ve got your back.  We put together the first of a two part list of hidden gems and local treasures in Cologne.

Let’s get started shall we!

 

Cologne’s Hidden Spots

Written by Mike Clarke, Cologne Resident and Spelunker

 

 

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The Rose Garden in Fort X

In Agnesviertel (a neighborhood we very much recommend), you’ll find a large fort in the north of the Veedel.  The fort was part of the a ring of similar military outposts build by the Prussians as they expanded the city.  The fort itself is pretty great (you can find events such as movie nights, small concerts and more throughout the summer there).  The park around it is also a haven for locals to spend their time.  But the hidden oasis is on top of the fort.  Once summer hits its peak, you’ll find a beautiful Rose Garden in full blume.  Benches covered in shade surround the bluming flowers for a relaxed feel and wonderful hidden locale to spend some time to get out of the city’s hustle and bustle.

 

Hidden Spots in Cologne
Medieval stuff looks dope at night.

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The Frauen Turm

A little more obvious in its placement, this medieval tower sits on the Rheinauhafen in full view of all passersby.   While the building itself holds historical value, the interior is perhaps even more important.  The Frauen Turm (Women’s Tower) has a goal to catalogue and protect the history of women’s emancipation.  With tens of thousands of books, articles, posters, pamphlets and magazines, this Feminist Archive is one of the most important Non-Profits in Cologne.  That makes this hidden beauty worth a visit when you have the chance!

 

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Nice little church tower. Bet there’s bones in there.

 

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St. Ursula’s Bone Chamber

Tucked away in an obscure part of the old town (although one of our favorite breweries is right next door), is St. Ursulas.  A patron saint of the city, Ursula’s legend plays an important part in our story.  For those who have been on your tour, you’ll know the story has something to do with bones.  (Join a tour if you want more info 🙃.)  What makes this church such a hidden wonder is the Bone Chamber on the inside.  A massive golden shrine covered in human bones makes up Golden Chamber with more than 11 skulls and less than 11,000.  Not many people know about of visit the shrine, possibly because of its morbid nature.  Still, it is an interesting and strangely beautiful part of the city’s past.

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The bunker is in front of this building. We didn’t want to just show a picture of a door in the ground.

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The Röhrenbunker Köln

This one is difficult to visit as it doesn’t open all that often.  Again in Agnesviertel, you can find a well preserved World War II bunker.  Built as an airraid shelter, it has served multiple purposes since including storage and a homeless shelter.  Now it is used for cultural purposes and a reminder of our history.  It opens the first Sunday of every month for a free tour.  If you happen to be in town, try to join!

 

 

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The Underground Sewer

Even harder to visit is the underground sewer system built by the romans.  This hidden marvel is particularly notable for its Chandelier Hall, a section of the system adorned with a large chandelier.  In this space, concerts are rumored to be held sometimes.  Visiting requires a private tour to show you the most fascinating parts of the system and a not always available.  Still, if you can get in, this spot is worth a visit.

 

We’ll have Part II of our list available soon, check back for more hidden destinations to explore in Cologne!

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