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.
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.