The city of Cologne dates back to Roman times, some 2000 years ago. Roman ruins are located all over the city, and a walk around the city gives you an idea of how large, powerful, and important the Roman presence was here. Here’s a gateway that stands in the middle of town. This is part of the side portal that was built when the colony was founded in 50AD and called Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium. You can touch what Roman hands touched two thousand years ago. Thrilling to say the least.
This is an enormous Dionysus mosaic floor. It was part of a Roman town villa, and, wonderfully, it is still in its original location. You cannot walk on it, of course, but I managed to get the reflection of my shoes to seem as though I am standing there. Walking where the Romans walked!!!!
This Roman mosaic floor is located just yards away from the magnificent Christian Cologne Cathedral. The cathedral was started in 1248, and it took another 632 years to finish.
Time has not been a friend to the Gothic exterior of the cathedral. The outside bears the stamp of the centries and cannot be cleaned. The stone is too soft to be blasted or even chemically cleaned. The people of Cologne are trying to be proactive about preventing further damage to the cathedral due to time and pollution, but it is a difficult battle. Currently, an army of specialists are constantly at work to wage war against weather and environmental impacts.
Indoors, the cathedral is grand. The stained glass is magical, and
the cathedral also houses the supposed mortal remains of the Three Kings (The Magi). This golden shrine or tomb is the largest reliquary in the western world.
The people of Cologne feel that it is a miracle that their cathedral escaped being destroyed in WWII especially since the bombing was extensive. A number of other notable Cologne sights escaped the extensive bombing of the city. Among them is the Farina fragrance museum located within walking distance of the great cathedral. The word cologne has become a generic term for all kinds of fragrances, but the museum documents the story of how the Italian perfumer John Maria Farina made the city of Cologne world-famous by naming his new fragrance Eau de Cologne in its honor. So, the city existed before the fragrance was ever thought of.
Yup…this is the place where it all started three hundred years ago, and where people like myself buy tiny bottles of the stuff Napoleon and Josephine doused themselves with on a regular basis.
Note: Small box and even smaller bottle of the precious liquid.
It is a fact, that Napoleon carried a special bottle of the fragrance inside his boot at all times.
In addition to Napoleon and Josephine, the list of users includes Goethe, Mozart, Mark Twain, Princess Diana, Grace Kelly, and now, Jackie Henry.
Well, the town of Cologne, its cathedral, and Farina’s fragrance have been around a long time, and hopefully for some time to come. Fabulous!!!!
Love, The Unseasoned Traveler