Cologne - a cultural tour
Cologne’s vibrant cultural scene has a rich variety of attractions: from the cathedral, with its world-famous treasures of art, via Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque finds in Cologne’s museums to enthralling works in the fields of photography, painting, multimedia, dance and theater in the city’s galleries and art centers. Join us on a cultural tour of selected highlights.
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Of Kulturbunker and modern art
Kolumba, the art museum of the archbishopric of Cologne, is an oasis of calm at the heart of the bustling town – an unusual building in an unusual location. Designed by star architect Peter Zumthor, the modern, brick building with a warm, gray hue, was built on the ruins of the St Kolumba church, which was destroyed in the Second World War. It displays art and culture from Late Antiquity to the present day, artifacts from the St Kolumba treasury, as well as collections of Romanesque sculpture, medieval painting and modern, secular works of art.
Kolumba, art museum of the archbishopric of Cologne: Kolumbastrasse 4, Old Town, Tel.: +49-(0)221/933 193-0, Hours: daily except Tuesdays, noon – 5pm, admission charge: free up to age 18, €5 for adults, www.kolumba.de
The Kulturbunker Köln-Mülheim in the northeastern part of the cathedral city has undergone more than a few transformations since it was constructed in 1943. It has served as an air-raid shelter, a hotel, dancehall and dingy warehouse, was closed down, forgotten about and rediscovered. Following extensive remodeling in the 1990s, the bunker has become one of the most interesting locations in Cologne today. A diverse program of events awaits visitors on six levels: temporary exhibitions are complemented by readings, concerts and theatrical performances, along with Pilates courses, parties and poetry slams.
Kulturbunker Köln-Mülheim, Berliner Strasse 20, District: Mülheim, Tel.: +49-(0)221/61 69 26, program of events:
The name is Ludwig. Museum Ludwig. Underneath an undulating roof alongside the cathedral, this crowd puller is the first port of call for modern and contemporary art enthusiasts. And not only on account of the marvelous Picasso and Pop Art collections, nor the unique assemblage of important photographic art, to mention just a few of the museum’s highlights. With an ever changing series of regional and international exhibitions, Ludwig is very much alive. Workshops, art discussions, lectures and film nights in the museum’s own cinema round off the program.
Museum Ludwig, Heinrich-Böll-Platz, Old Town, Tel.: +49-(0)221/22 12 61 65, Hours: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm, admission charge: €10 for adults, €7 reduced rate, www.museum-ludwig.de
Art by the Rhine and in the Volksgarten
New media art, dance, theater - the Kunsthaus Rhenania at the Rheinauhafen docklands is an absolute powerhouse of creativity. Dozens of artists from home and abroad under one roof, active in the most diverse disciplines imaginable. The broad range of projects and the interaction of artists based here both define and reflect the basic philosophy of the house, to the advantage of creative artists and visitors alike. While Rhenania regularly plays host to events and exhibitions, the city of Cologne has displayed impeccable timing with a modernization program for the Rheinauhafen harbor. A very attractive residential quarter is developing here, provided ample space for architecture, art and culture.
Kunsthaus Rhenania, Bayenstrasse 28, District: Rheinauhafen, Tel.: +49-(0)221/16 89 84 79, Program of events: www.rhenaniakunsthaus.de
Without a doubt, Cologne Cathedral is the focal point and heart of the cultural city. Wars, weathering and polution have left their mark on the Gothic structure over the centuries. A host of stonemasons, sculptors, painters and restorers have dedicated themselves to repairing and maintaining the grandeur of the mighty cathedral. The cathedral is graced with a wealth of historically significant works of art, intricately crafted mosaic floors, impressive stonemasonry and stained glass windows. Guided tours of the treasury and excavation site in the vaults beneath the cathedral are particularly popular, while those with a head for heights can brave the windswept roof.
Cologne Cathedral, Old Town, Hours: November-April 6am-7:30pm, May-October 6am-9pm. For details (times, admission charges, contact and telephone) on guided tours please check the website www.koelner-dom.de
Deep inside Cologne’s Volksgarten, concealed behind tall trees, stands an especially beautiful venue for dance, music, art and performance: the Orangerie. The Theater im Volksgarten can look back on a long and memorable history, the location itself well worth a visit on its own merit. Its program features performances from Cologne’s independent theater scene, as well as from traveling companies, along with dance performances presented by local and international choreographers and dancers.
Orangerie, Theater im Volksgarten, Volksgartenstrasse 25, District: Südstadt, Tel.: +49-(0)221/952 27 09, Event listings: www.orangerie-theater.de
Pictures: Imagesource, Sackermann/Bilderberg (2), Zuckerman/Corbis, PR (3)