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Old July 16th, 2017, 06:39 PM   #2001
Tiaren
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Cologne is as good as unrecognizable today. Basically only the Cathedral and churches remained. It has an extraodinarily unattractive and bland inner city today.
At leat the other three big German cities, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich have retained some identity. Munich did it the best.
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Old July 16th, 2017, 09:00 PM   #2002
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Dresden
Hahn, Walter August 1923


http://www.deutschefotothek.de/docum...atalog_0305353
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Old July 16th, 2017, 10:35 PM   #2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiaren View Post
Cologne is as good as unrecognizable today. Basically only the Cathedral and churches remained. It has an extraodinarily unattractive and bland inner city today.
At leat the other three big German cities, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich have retained some identity. Munich did it the best.
A funny story:

I have never been to Cologne myself, but interestingly I have 4 rather close friends who have each been to the city, on different occasions and in different circumstances. Nonetheless, all 4 of them were very impressed by the city's historical center (not just the cathedral, that is) and described the city as very attractive and even beautiful. I think they enjoyed in particular a small area around the Rhine river which I understand has retained its medieval charm, but I am pretty sure they all liked the city quite a lot, and spent there at least one full day. Perhaps they don't know how the city looked like before the war, but I find their opinions surprising given what you and others here have said about the city. I imagine most tourists simply don't care so much about architectural details/history and just want to enjoy the city

By the way, it goes without saying that I've heard from them similar things about cities like Frankfurt, and that Munich was almost universally seen as an absolute gem!
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Old July 16th, 2017, 10:36 PM   #2004
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Dresden. Innere Neustadt








Blockhaus



Neustädter Markt





Goldener Reiter









Narrenhäusel







Königsufer




DF / Bildindex
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Old July 16th, 2017, 10:39 PM   #2005
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Köln










Heumarkt





Markthalle












Bildindex
Bildarchiv Köln
KSTA
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Old July 17th, 2017, 12:34 AM   #2006
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...
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Old July 17th, 2017, 06:52 AM   #2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soren5en View Post



That's a weirdly proportioned monument, that feels way too big and important for that relatively small square and the modest houses surrounding it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emperormadness View Post
A funny story:

I have never been to Cologne myself, but interestingly I have 4 rather close friends who have each been to the city, on different occasions and in different circumstances. Nonetheless, all 4 of them were very impressed by the city's historical center (not just the cathedral, that is) and described the city as very attractive and even beautiful. I think they enjoyed in particular a small area around the Rhine river which I understand has retained its medieval charm, but I am pretty sure they all liked the city quite a lot, and spent there at least one full day. Perhaps they don't know how the city looked like before the war, but I find their opinions surprising given what you and others here have said about the city. I imagine most tourists simply don't care so much about architectural details/history and just want to enjoy the city

By the way, it goes without saying that I've heard from them similar things about cities like Frankfurt, and that Munich was almost universally seen as an absolute gem!
That is indeed funny, because Cologne is buttugly. It really is. But I too experienced that many people, who don't care for historical architecture, like the city. It is a very young and vibrant city and especially students love it.
I always disliked it though... It's a shame that Germany's most amazing cathedral and some other important romanesque churches are basically wasted in a sea of ugly post-war concrete and glass boxes.

Just an example: You know that famous view, which you find in many medieval cities, where a street directly leads to the west portal of their gothic cathedral? This is Cologne's sad view:

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Last edited by Tiaren; July 17th, 2017 at 07:15 AM.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 09:37 AM   #2008
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You're right Tiaren. Thing is, most people never will see this exact view, because, there is absolutely no reason to got this way from the cathedral. The street leads absolutely nowhere remarkable. Most tourist visit the shoping streets, which are pretty dense and full of people, so you're focused on the store windows and dont realize any architecture, above em. Despite that, there are a few interesting remains of old departmend stores in that area, and recent replacements are often way better that their postwar predecessors.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 12:36 PM   #2009
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I think ultimately beauty or ugliness in a city aren't simply about its historic architecture, and things like the place's vibe, its prosperity, its cleanliness, etc. are all things which might influence someone's perception of the town in question.

I would also say that from the pictures of Cologne I saw from a friend (who actually described the city as "absolutely beautiful") and even from the one you posted the city doesn't strike me as ugly, even though it's no Florence and it's definitely much uglier than its pre-war version. Munich is definitely nicer overall, I agree. But if you think Cologne is ugly, I wonder what you'd say about many of the cities where I live (north-east US)

Anyway, I might be a bit off-topic, sorry for this!
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Old July 17th, 2017, 01:13 PM   #2010
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Well, to be honest, looking at the photos of prewar Cologne, I don't see a gem of a city. I don't know if it's the photos that show some unremarkable parts of the city instead of the beautiful ones, but most historical buildings presented here looked dull, at least to me.

Also, is the Cathedral's stone turning black because of the pollution or is it a natural process?
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Old July 17th, 2017, 01:15 PM   #2011
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While the attractiveness of a city is certainly an important factor to overall enjoyment and liveability, it isn't everything. Cologne strikes me as being full of life, and while it is definitely a shadow of its former self, it still scores better than many other modernist cities in Europe and across the globe.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 08:01 PM   #2012
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I'd recommend Google Maps to everyone here, who hasn't ever been in Cologne and who wants to get a picture of what the city looks like.
Here, let me drop you right off in the heart of Cologne's old city:

https://www.google.de/maps/@50.93517...7i13312!8i6656

Enjoy!
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Old July 17th, 2017, 08:32 PM   #2013
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Cruel and unusual punishment.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 08:56 PM   #2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiaren View Post
I'd recommend Google Maps to everyone here, who hasn't ever been in Cologne and who wants to get a picture of what the city looks like.
Here, let me drop you right off in the heart of Cologne's old city:

https://www.google.de/maps/@50.93517...7i13312!8i6656

Enjoy!
Shame! Shame! Shame! (Game of Thrones fans will get it )
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Last edited by Titan Man; July 17th, 2017 at 09:04 PM.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 09:00 PM   #2015
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Here's one of Cologne's typical Altstadtgässchen (old city alleyways):

https://www.google.de/maps/@50.93951...7i13312!8i6656

Here is another beauty:

https://www.google.de/maps/@50.93602...7i13312!8i6656

Just stroll a bit around for your own pleasure.
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Last edited by Tiaren; July 17th, 2017 at 09:11 PM.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 09:36 PM   #2016
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Haha, point taken ^

Although these ones (completely randomly taken, I don't know the city) look pretty nice, even if not spectacular:

https://www.google.de/maps/@50.93954...7i10240!8i5120

https://www.google.de/maps/@50.93771...7i10240!8i5120

Anyway, I think most cities have incredibly ugly parts in the center, often close to the most interesting sights, and that still does not take away too much from their charm (*cough* London); I would also argue that a clean, well-kept bland city might be more attractive than an old, dilapidated town; I was recently in Coimbra in Portugal, which has a fantastically well-preserved old center on the hills, but the city is SO dirty and dilapidated that in all honesty Duisburg or Bochum would probably seem much more attractive to most people...anyway, since I like Germany so much, I really don't mind it when people enjoy its cities, even though they sometimes exaggerate
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Old July 17th, 2017, 09:55 PM   #2017
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That is as nice as it gets in Cologne, tiny pockets of pre-war buildings, greenery and the Rhine. 98% of the city is however surpremely ugly. This is really not an exaggeration. Just explore a bit more in Google Maps, I dare you.

Regarding London:
The ugliness of London is imo an exaggeration. Yeah, London is no traditional beauty like Paris, Vienna or Prague are, but for every ugly part it also has its beautiful and grand parts. There are whole streets and quarters of beautifully preserved architecture with lots of charm. In no German cities over 1 million will you find that. The closest would be Munich with its well preserved royal streets and boulevards. But walk 50 metres more and you stand amidst bland, cheap post-war boxes again.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 10:26 PM   #2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiaren View Post
Cologne is as good as unrecognizable today. Basically only the Cathedral and churches remained.
Well, no. That's actually just not true.

I believe I could locate every single photo of Cologne posted on the last pages because in almost every photo at least one of the captured buildings still exists today.
Actually, I would say, that the overall post-war urban planning in Cologne was quite thoughtful. They maintained the pre-war street grid on a close-to-complete scale.

That being said, I agree with you that the individual rebuilt post-war architecture is often bland and uninspiring - especially in the city centre. This is something which hopefully will change sooner or later as hastily rebuilt post-war architecture wasn't meant to outlast centuries and will have to be replaced bit by bit.

The way you are talking about the Heumarkt with the monument of Friedrich Wilhelm III. (which btw had been restored almost completely some years ago) makes me think that you haven't paid much attention to Cologne so far. Since you are interested in historical architecture I would recommend visiting the Twelve Romanesque Churches, the remnants of the Roman times or the medieval city fortifications.

Btw here's a comparison of the standard view of Cologne. You just can't call that "unrecognizable".



(own photo)

A bit off topic, but for those who are interested: here are some more photos of Cologne which I've taken over the last months: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...921412&page=16
Plz don't call all that "butt-ugly".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Titan Man View Post
Also, is the Cathedral's stone turning black because of the pollution or is it a natural process?
It's both. Nowadays, this process is much slower than it used to be. But we probably won't see a Dom without renovation works anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiaren View Post
Here, let me drop you right off in the heart of Cologne's old city:

https://www.google.de/maps/@50.93517...7i13312!8i6656
https://www.google.de/maps/@50.93767...!7i7784!8i3892
https://www.google.de/maps/@50.93738...7i12000!8i6000
ftfy
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Old July 17th, 2017, 10:37 PM   #2019
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Cologne is really not a beauty. The churches are great and unique in this amount. But as a tourist, one just does not want to hurry through real urban trash all day to see nice churches now and then. The "old town" is really big by the way, just doesn't feels that way in most parts.
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http://www.deutschefotothek.de/docum...atalog_0310346


http://www.deutschefotothek.de/docum...atalog_0310347
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Old July 17th, 2017, 11:07 PM   #2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SputnikBooster View Post
Well, no. That's actually just not true.

I believe I could locate every single photo of Cologne posted on the last pages because in almost every photo at least one of the captured buildings still exists today...

...The way you are talking about the Heumarkt with the monument of Friedrich Wilhelm III. (which btw had been restored almost completely some years ago) makes me think that you haven't paid much attention to Cologne so far. Since you are interested in historical architecture I would recommend visiting the Twelve Romanesque Churches, the remnants of the Roman times or the medieval city fortifications.
I was in Cologne multiple times and the Cathedral as well as most of the romanesque churches were the sights that I visited. Unfortunately they are small islands in a vast ocean of post-war trash architecture and broad highways dissecting everything.

Funny, that you claim I am wrong, when I say that basically all that is left is the Cathedral and the romanesque churches, then you recommend me to visit the romanesque churches and post a picture where the Cathedral and church towers dominate the cityscape.

"As good as" by the way means something like "almost" or "pretty much" and "basically" means something like "fundamentally" or "predominantly". So I never claimed there was nothing left other then the Cathedral and churches. Of course here and there something else survived, but that's like a drop in a bucket in the case of Cologne.

This "almost complete restoration" looks absolutely hideous by the way:



This is just a raw concrete socket with some spoils attached to it.

That's all I am going to say about the city here.

Last edited by Tiaren; July 17th, 2017 at 11:28 PM.
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