Art of German Cathedrals

A cool 3-minute video by the BBC on the art in the cathedral in Cologne (Köln); particularly interesting, the grotesques at the end. One of the most wonderful side benefits of business travel has been the opportunity to see–and go to Mass in–a variety of beautiful Gothic European churches. I was in Cologne on business last year and taking a run on a Friday evening and found myself in front of the cathedral described in the video linked to above as the hour struck. Amazing, massive sound! Like a squadron of jets going right overhead; huge, overwhelming, amazing, numinous. Shakes awake one’s very soul.

Running Tip: The famous Rhine River runs through Cologne, and there are pedestrian paths on both sides. Bridges take you across the river at regular intervals. I started my run at the Radisson Blu on the east side of the river, which is a quick walk from the Köln Messe (the big exposition center).  It was a quick jog down the Duetz-Meulheimer Straße, and I think I cut over on the Barmer Straße as I worked my way toward the river, but I can’t recall, doesn’t really matter. You can see where you headed as you see the city skyline and the cathedral on the other side of the river. You’ll get there. I got to the river’s east bank and there was a wonderful path, often packed dirt, that ran north treelined through a lark park area – wonderful views of downtown across the river. I went up about three  miles and crossed a bridge and came down slightly more crowded but very picturesque bike path that offered great views of the river and of the city center coming up in front of me as I ran south. As you can tell, I don’t tend to map these out ahead of time. I use my Garmin to tell me distance and keep major landmarks in sight. That allows for happy accidents, like in Cologne, when a few winding turns around crowded blocks in the downtown brought me to the square in the front of the cathedral! Wunderbar!

The rivers of great cities usually offer great running opportunities along their banks, and even in densely crowded cities, the river walkways usually let you avoid frequent stops for lights at intersections!

Here are a few shots I took while I was there.

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