Europe

 
 

The Elves Fountain

Near the Cathedral in Colgne is a charming fountain. The sculpted characters respresent the heroes of a German folksong. These “magic helpers” worked there magic at night when the citizens are fast asleep to help finish the households chores they has started earlier.
Even though the elves loved to be hard at work, they did not like being around humans. All went well until one evening the tailor’s wife decided she wanted to see the helpers. She scattered peas all over her floor in hopes that the little elves would slip on them and then she could rush in to see them for herself.

She heard a commotion and quickly lit her lantern and stomped her feet. The elves ran out of the house and were so offended that they left the city. The people of Cologne then had to finish all of there chores by themselves.

You can see the hardworking elves and the tailor’s wife with her lantern carved into the fountain.

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Basilica Church of St. Ursula

Built on the ancient ruins of a Roman cemetery, where 11,000 virgins associated with the legend of Saint Ursula were supposedly buried. Inside the church is a reliquary featuring the bones of these martyred girls. The story of Saint Ursula is now considered to be fiction. It’s thought that there were originally 11 girls accompanying St. Ursula but over the years the letter M was mistaken for the Roman numeral for 1000.

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The Bubble Man

On the plaza behind the Cologne Cathedral was amgical man blowing the most amazing bubbles.

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Hahnentorburg (Hahnen Gate)

There are 12 gates through which you can enter the city of Cologne. Hahnentorburg is the most popular.

The gate features 2 semi-circular towers. In between you can see Cologne’s Coat of Arms. As was the case with much of Cologne, the gate was damaged during WWII and later rebuilt.

On the day I visited, there was a flea market going on with many vendors set up along the path to the Gate.

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Locks of Love

There is an arched bridge that spans the Rhine River in Cologne. Hohenzollern Bridge has become a “Love Lock” bridge where couples lock a padlock onto the bridge and throw the key into the river to show their love and devotion.

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Is Someone Watching Me?

In Gothic architecture, a gargoyle is a carved figure with spout to move water away from the building and prevent damage from rainwater eroding the mortar between the bricks.

A gargoyle is often times a fantastic creature, an animal or grotesque creation.

The French word gargouille which means throat or gullet leads to the name and gargoyle calls to mind the sound of the water rushing out it’s mouth as it gargles.

A carved figure that does not act as a rainspout is called a Chimera or grotesque.

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Standing Guard

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The Majesty of Koln

The German city of Koln or Cologne is just a short train trip from Papenburg, where we were staying. A city renowned for it’s Eau de Cologne and it’s imposing Cathedral. Kolner Dom or Cologne Cathedral is the third largest church and the tallest cathedral in the world.

During WWII, Cologne lost 93% of it’s population, mostly due to evacuation. Most of the thousand year old city center was destroyed by allied bombs. Despite recieving 14 hits from the bombing, the Cathedral still stood among the desolate landscape. There is a legend that the Cathedral was such a doo landmark for the BRitish and American bombers that they secretly conspired to not destroy it. The repairs were finished in 1956, but the Cathedral is in a constant state of repair.

The Cathedral’s sandstone facade gets it’s grey appearance from exposure to acid rains. Among the saints and apostles covering the outside are also gargoyles, grotesques. Out of sight on the Cathedral’s roof are statues of John F. Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev, Charles de Gaulle, a buxom Tanzmariechen, one of the high-kicking women dancers at Carnival parties, a local boxer, a handful of soccer players and the billy goat mascot of the FCKoln. The goat is named Hennes and Hennes IX is the latest incarnation. In 2018 a small gargoyle of Pope Francis was added very quietly. It took the locals a week to spot him.

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Exploring The Marktplatz: Bremen Cathedral

The medieval market place in Bremen features many old and interesting buildings. In addition to the Rathaus, The Cathedral of St. Peter has 1200 years of history. Among it’s many treasures are the remains of the old choir stalls built in 1630. The oldest portion of the cathedral dates bate to the 11th century.

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Ackbar Returns

After a full 15 months of travel from The US to Canada to Panama Canal to Germany to The Netherlands to France, Ackbar and I have returned home and now it’s time to sort through thousands of photos and memories. We spent a month in Papenburg, Germany from April to May of 2022.

Papenburg, Germany is situated on the Ems River in Lower-Saxony. For Disney fans this is where the Meyer-Werft Shipyard is located and the Disney Cruise LIne ships – Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy and Disney Wish have been built. Each ship starts it journey along the Ems to the North Sea on it’s way to new adventures.

A charming city of canals, windmills and sailing ships, Papenburg is a delightful escape from Germany’s more metropolitan cities. With a population of about 40,000 people, the city has a very laid back feel. There is something for everyone here, fine dining, shopping, culture events and historic sights.

The Rathaus is Papenburg’s City Hall. Located on the Haupkanal, this Neo-baroque building was built in 1913.

One of six sailing ship replicas on display in the canals of Papenburg, The Freiderike is situated outside the Rathaus. These stand as a symbol of the area’s rich shipbuilding tradition.

Meyer’s Mill, erected in 1888 is between the canal and the city park.

Muhle’s Mill is near the city center.

We can’t talk about Papenburg without talking about the many wonderful restaurants. Be sure to brush up on your German as many of the residents do not speak English. Despite the language difference, we managed to dine at these restaurants on multiple nights and eventually made friends with the owners who remembered our favorites.

Wirsthaus am Zeitspeicher has excellent wienerschnitzel

https://www.wirtshaus-am-zeitspeicher.de/

Adriatik had an amazing filet

https://www.restaurant-adriatik.de/

Olympia had the most delicious Beef Stroganoff

https://www.olympia-papenburg.de/

Bellini served Italian favorites, I highly recommend the Filet Gorgonzolo with Pasta.

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063545115044

Mediterra served us a memorable meal in their upstairs dining room.

https://www.mediterra-papenburg.de/

Papenburg has a convenient train station where you can roam around Germany and Europe. We visited Koln and Bremen from here.

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