Two of the main sights of Cologne and its environs are, of course, the massive Cologne Cathedral and then Schloss Augustusburg, an 18th century palace.
Cologne Cathedral towers over the city unlike any church I’ve ever seen. In fact, when it was finished in 1880, it was the tallest manmade structure in the world. Entering through the main doors, the massive pillars and intricate stained glass windows and hanging tapestries are a feast for the eyes. It’s hard to even comprehend how far above the vaulted roof sat.
There were some intricate designs and carvings, such as the wooden angel, and the different decorations high up. Also contained within are rumored to be the relics from the three wise men (i.e. body parts?).
To reach Schloss Augustusburg, we the tram that stopped near our house all of the way out to a cute town called Bruhl. There were some beautiful parks and architecture. We grabbed a coffee and then entered the palace grounds to wait for the next tour (the only option to see the interior is on a tour). The tour is only offered in German, but thankfully they had an audio guide with English (otherwise it would have been a pretty odd tour).
Most of the palace was your typical rococo, but then we entered the area with the grand staircase and holy crap! I don’t think I’ve ever seen something so intricate and colorful. It was totally magnificent, with a vaulted painted ceiling, details carved in marble, and iron-wrought railings. It was really something.
After a leisurely walk through the forested grounds and spending some time watching some ducklings, we headed back home to the city.