The Rheinauhafen with it's extraordinary "crane houses" represents the modern side of Cologne. But their are also the Rheinparkhallen, the Arena, the Weltstadthaus and much more impressive monuments.
At the time of its construction (1920), it was the tallest "skyscraper" in Europe; today it is a commercial and administration building. Among other occupants, it houses the department store with the widest selection of audio media in Europe (Saturn).
The gardens were landscaped in 1863 according to designs by Peter Josef Lenné and Joseph Maria Olbrich. The botanical garden was added in 1914. The site, which was destroyed during the Second World War, has completely been restored, and now has a stock of plants including approx. 12 000 species. At the centre of the spacious park of the Botanical Gardens stands the historical banqueting house dating from 1864 , which has been restored according to old plans. The is located adjacent to the gardens. Starting from the Zoo one can cross over into the Rheinpark on Europe's only cable car traversing the Rhine. Former site of Germany's Federal Garden Show, the park is an oasis of flowers and bushes surrounded by open green spaces, which serves as an ideal spot to relax in fine weather.
The New Gothic head office of the famous "Eau de Cologne" manufacturer with a carillon that chimes every hour - opposite the opera house. The number "4711" refers to the house-numbering system adopted by the French occupying power in 1795 whereall private houses were numbered sequentially from 1 - 7 404. (Glockengasse).
Both buildings (1957-1962) on the Offenbachplatz were built by Wilhelm Riphahn, the Cologne architect, and can accommodate 1,400 and 920 visitors respectively. Starting from 2008 the opera house will be renovated. The Cologne architect built miscellaneous edifices in his hometown as the "Bastei" near the Rhine or some dwellings in the urban area.
The Cologne exhibition center reopened 2006 with a new look. Four new multipurpose trade fair halls have been built to replace the historic Rhineside Halls. Lying adjacent to it is the Rheinpark, a green area designed in pure 50's style for the 1957 Federal Garden Show with a sculpture park, Tanzbrunnen fountain and the Sternwellenzelt by the Architect Frei Otto, who was also responsible for Munich Olympia Stadium. The Rheinseilbahn (Rhine cable car) at the end of the park leads over to the flora, Cologne zoo and the sculpture park by the donor couple Eleonore and Michael Stoffels on the other side of the Rhine.
Ludwig Museum /Philharmonic Orchestra
The historic centre of Cologne was completely redesigned in the eighties with the construction of the museum and the Philharmonic Orchestra building. Each year more than 600,000 people can attend about 400 live concets that are held there. In addition to the "resident orchestras", the Gürzenich Orchestra and the Cologne WDR Symphony Orchestra, the principal international orchestras, ensembles and soloists also make guest appearances. The Ludwig Museum designed by the architects Peter Busmann and Godfried Haberer was opened in 1986. It is located between the Cathedral, the Rhine river and the Central Station.
WDR Arcades/Broadcasting House on Wallraff-Platz/Vierscheibenhaus
This building houses the Radio and television production studios of the largest German broadcasting station. The WDR-Arkaden are architecturally one of the most interesting buildings in Cologne. The shopping arcade was designed by Gottfried Böhm.
The Media Park on the area of the former Gereon goods station combines media companies and cultural and leisure facilities. The photographic collection of the SK Stiftung Kultur cultural foundation and the Cologne House of literature can be found here, in addition to the Cinedom, one of the most successful German cinemas. The Köln Turm is a new landmark, housing a restaurant at an altitude of 100 metres.
Lanxess Arena (formerly KölnArena)
The KölnArena events hall, which was opened in 1998, is one of Cologne's landmarks on the right bank of the Rhine: the glazed structure is dominated by a steel arch, 78 meters high, which casts its glow into the surrounding countryside at night. All types of events can be organised in the largest events hall in the Federal Republic of Germany: sport, concerts, operas, shows, parties, general meetings, congresses, conferences and, of course, carnival.
The "Weltstadthaus" designed by Italian architect Renzo piano can be seen as a whale or as a waterfall - always a question of the point of view. The building is a real masterpiece, which found its place in the city centre. The glass dome rests weightlessly on the gigantic roofridge. 4,900 square meters glass carry themselves and mediate the airiness of the building.
The Rheinauhafen close to the old part of town and the Rhine gardens extend on a length of approximately two kilometers - into the range of the popular Cologne southern part of the town. It is a true contrast between monument-protected environment and newest technologies. The character of the old, 1898 built port of transshipment, is preserved after the change, in addition three "crane houses" are shared to great cranes. They are an extraordinary eyecatcher. The Museum of Chocolate and the German sport and Olympia museum are located in this area as well.
The tower on the right bank of the Rhine is 103 metres high and has 29 floors and a viewing balcony from where one has a great view over Cologne, especially of the Cathedral and the Old Town. Because of its height, the Unsesco had once considered not to grant the Cathredral the title of a World Heritage Site.
Photos: Bilderbuch Köln (www.bilderbuch-koeln.de), kb, js, hl, dapd