Day 295:Augustusberg & Cologne CathedralDecember 6, 2017 in Germany
Next day-trip, this time to Augustusburg Castle to the south of Cologne. This was a fair bit closer to the city, only about 30 minutes on the train. Despite the name, it's not really a castle - more of a grand manor house. It's world heritage listed as a great example of rococo architecture, which I struggle to differentiate from baroque, but oh well, let's have a look.
The building itself was fairly impressive: U-shaped, three tall stories, very French design and with rococo touches (apparently the key differentiator is that rococo designs are asymmetrical). The outside was nice, but honestly not super inspiring. Apparently the inside is much nicer and probably the main reason for the listing, but of course it was closed for winter (though we knew this in advance).
Did a lap of the outside filming what we could, then headed off into the gardens towards the Falkenlust Lodge about 2km away. The name literally means Falcon Lodge, and the aristocrat who built the whole thing loved going hunting, particularly with falcons. So the small but still grand building at the far end of the property was where he'd stay while going falconing. Again - geschlossen!
Wrapped up our filming and headed back into town. Took the impulse decision to do our Cologne Cathedral video today as well, giving us a complete free day tomorrow.
Cologne Cathedral is massive - at one point during the 1890s it was briefly the tallest building on earth. It was founded in the early 13th century, and was actually never finished - after 150 years it still wasn't done so they just consecrated it and called it a day anyway. Building resumed in the 19th century when someone rediscovered the original plans in the city archives, and was finally finished in the early 20th century. Before of course it was heavily bombed during WW2 - apparently the distinctive twin spires made a perfect navigation landmark for Allied bombers.
After the war it was rebuilt and now is finally finished, though it has a strange black appearance thanks to years of pollution and soot. Shandos went in first while I did more exterior filming, dodging the groups of noisy teenagers who apparently call the plaza their home base.
I spent about 45 minutes inside exploring - very beautiful though very dark, and difficult for filming. It's crazy how tall the interior is - apparently it has one of the largest height-to-width ratios for any church in the world. Lots of nice stained glass inside too, including some originals from the 13th century that have improbably survived, along with the holy relic - the bones of the Three Kings (who I think are the three wise men from the nativity).
Finished our filming fairly late as we were starting to run out of daylight, then headed home. Ventured out again to the Christmas markets for dinner, though a bit later this time since it had been really crowded last night. Not quite as bad this time, but still quite crowded.Read more