Buttresses and Arches - A Day in Cologne
-Aaron Bonar ´10
After the exciting day-trip to Aachen, the group decided to stay in Cologne to view the many different types of architecture. We started our day at the Cologne Cathedral. Widely regarded as one of the prime examples of Gothic architecture in Europe, the cathedral has been under constant construction for over six hundred years. Most Germans will tell you that it will never be finished, and they are absolutely correct. On the inside, however, one can view the marvelous interior of the structure. Flying buttresses and pillars force one's eyes skyward. The altar and the many chapels filled with old statues and religious works of art have stood the test of time, and are just as beautiful today as they surely were in older times.
Next, we traveled to the Cathedral of St. Gereon. This proved a stark contrast to the Gothic style of the Cologne Cathedral, as it was constructed in the Romanesque style. Arches and columns adorned the interior, giving the structure, as its architectural style suggests, a distinctly Roman flavor. It was built in a decagonal figure, as were many buildings of the time. However, not all of this cathedral is original either. Large sections of the cathedral were rebuilt after the war. Entire sections of wall and, no doubt, priceless religious works, were lost to Allied bombs, but one would barely guess it today.
All in all, today was very exciting. We took a small tour through German history, and learned a lot just from architectural styles. Tomorrow, we head to Brühl!
In Photo: After climbing to the top of one of the towers of the Cologne Cathedral, some of the guys hangout partway down to hear the bells.