Historic Town Hall, Cologne

Historic Town Hall, Cologne (must see)

The town hall in Cologne was constructed by Wilhelm Vernukken between 1569 and 1573. He was a well-known master builder. This building is also referred to as loggia and is a standing example of a typical Renaissance era construction. Originally, the function of loggia was to act as a link between the citizens and the city council. Even today, in many aspects, it functions in the same manner. Previously, latest rulings used to be informed to the citizens during the morning address at the loggia. Now, it acts as an informal link between Cologne citizens and the council. It houses part of the city government, including the city council and offices of the Lord Mayor. It is Germany's oldest city hall with a documented history spanning some 900 years. The history of its council during the 11th century is a prominent example for self-gained municipal autonomy of Medieval cities. Today's building complex consists of several structures, added successively in varying architectural styles: they include the 14th-century historic town hall, the 15th-century Gothic style tower, the 16th-century Renaissance style loggia and cloister, and the 20th-century Modern Movement atrium. The so-called Spanischer Bau is an extension on Rathausplatz but not directly connected with the main building.

On the upper floor parapet, you can find an exquisite sculpture that depicts the struggle between a lion and mayor Gryn. This sculpture was created to symbolize the council’s power. The tower of the town hall was constructed by the Cologne Guilds between 1407 and 1414. The height of this tower is 61 meters and there are a total of five floors. Three lower floors are tetragonal shaped and the two upper floors are octagonal. At the upper floors, you can find a popular wooden sculpture with a grotesque face called "Platzjabbeck" and 130 impressive stone statues. When the tower clock strikes twelve, the grotesque faced statue sticks out its tongue. Other impressive features of the City Hall you must not miss include the Gothic shaped Hansasaal, which is the meeting room and the heart of town hall, the eight figures of prophets located at the north side, council chairs and the wood inlay doorways.

Why You Should Visit:
Oldest town hall in Germany; a complex of different architectural styles, pleasant to see. The stone-paved area is perfect for a walk.

Tip:
Nice views from the other side of the river, along with the bridge and the cathedral.
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Cologne, Germany within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Historic Town Hall on Map

Sight Name: Historic Town Hall
Sight Location: Cologne, Germany
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: City Orientation Walk  

Walking Tours in Cologne, Germany

Create Your Own Walk in Cologne

Create Your Own Walk in Cologne

Creating your own self-guided walk in Cologne is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Beerhouses Tour in Cologne

Beerhouses Tour in Cologne

Beer is an important part of Germany's culture. German beer is considered among the best beer in the world due to the German Beer Purity Law, which says that the only ingredients that can be used for producing beer are water, hops and barley. In Germany there is a wide variety of beer specialties. One of them, Kolsch beer, is brewed in Cologne. Take this tour to visit the most popular...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Architectural Landmarks in Cologne

Architectural Landmarks in Cologne

Cologne boasts Gothic, Neo-Romanesque and modernist architecture, such as the Cologne Cathedral, the 12 Neo-Romanesque Churches and some new glass and steel architectural splendors. The city has also some impressive remains that weren't destroyed during the war. Follow this tour to admire Cologne's best examples of architecture.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.8 km
Nightlife in Innenstadt-Sud

Nightlife in Innenstadt-Sud

Known as a city for students, Cologne is home to a large number of clubs. The colorful nightlife scene consists of different types of clubs, including nightclubs, lounges, and live concert clubs. Take this tour to experience the rhythm of Cologne's nightlife.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
The Churches of Cologne

The Churches of Cologne

For centuries, Cologne has been regarded as a very important religious center. The Cologne Cathedral is renowned as a symbol of Christianity and is part of the estimated 30 or so churches located in this German Catholic city.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.3 km
Rodenkirchen Walk in Cologne

Rodenkirchen Walk in Cologne

Rodenkirchen is the southern city district of Cologne. The district is known for its bridge, the impressive St. Maternus church and the two green parks which make Rodenkirchen an important district. Rodenkirchen offers you the opportunity to taste a bit of Cologne's food and culture, by visiting the famous Zum Treppchen and the Youth Kammeroper. Take this tour to find out more about...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
The Museums of Cologne

The Museums of Cologne

Cologne is an important city in Germany with French influence that makes it a major cultural center in the entire Central Europe. It is the home of more than 30 museums and hundreds of galleries. Exhibitions vary from ancient Roman archaeology to modern graphics and sculpture.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km