At this stop, we stopped in Cologne, Germany, a famous city on the Rhine River. The top of the pointed black church is as far as our eyes can see. At a glance, we know where in the world this is.
Cologne, which is a tough-sounding name, gradually developed into a famous heavy industrial city in Germany with the development of the early Ruhr coal fields and the construction of railways. The famous Cologne Cathedral has made the city's ancient heritage. It was built in 1248, and despite damage and war (to this day, almost any time you come here, you can see it being restored), but it still shines in time. People praised it as the most perfect Gothic church building in the world, with its towering spires stacked one by one, making it the tallest twin-towered church in the world.
Walking into the church, you can't help but be amazed by what you see. The supporting columns of the nave are lined up one after another and extend towards the sky, meeting at the 43-meter-high dome. It constantly pulls people's sight upwards, and reflects their own insignificance. In the center of the church, the golden coffin of the remains of the Three Holy Kings of the East is enshrined. Its arrival has also made this place a pilgrimage site in Europe. The stained glass windows around the church have a total area of more than 10,000 square meters. The sunlight penetrating the stained glass windows decorates the church extremely gorgeously. Unique beauty.
There is also a pair of elderly people who are equally addicted to the charm of the church. I saw my grandparents holding each other's hands, looking up at the towering church spire, and admiring. I suddenly remembered the phrase "love is not staring at each other, but looking at the same distance together", and suddenly I was moved to tears by this picture.
Not far from the church is Cologne Railway Station and the landmark Hohenzollern Bridge. The steel arches make the bridge look hard and cold, and it seems to reflect the German spirit of German perseverance. Trains from the railway station cross the Rhine River through this iron bridge with three parallel tracks, leading to all parts of Europe. Now it shoulders the heavy burden of transportation, and at the same time it has become a cultural landscape full of sentiment. The love locks of lovers are densely hung on the bridge, each with its own special story, and the names, dates, vows, etc., engraved crookedly on the locks, are their most sincere wishes.
After visiting the church, I sat alone in the open-air cafe at the foot of the church, and spread out the dozen or so postcards I bought. The time to write the postcards during each trip became an opportunity to briefly review the trip. Pair it with a warm cappuccino, look at the people around you, and the pigeons who are flying around the table and don't want to go away, you can't help but feel the beauty of life.
At six o'clock in the evening, Mass in Cologne Cathedral began. Although not a believer, he was still moved by this solemnity. We sat quietly in the back, unable to understand their language or their ceremonies, but just sat quietly and felt everything around us, the sun shining through the glass, the golden Virgin Mary overhead, resounding through the church. The sound of the organ, and their sincere eyes.
I was still immersed in such a world for a while and could not extricate myself, but when I opened the door of the church, the noisy tourists on the bustling commercial street immediately brought their thoughts back to the present. I walked around the path beside the church one by one, I wasn't looking for anything, I just wanted to feel. Such a city with the smell of 4711 cologne in the air, a city connected with elegant classical music, and a city where pigeons fly freely, how can it be as ruthless and resolute as its name sounds? Softer than its name is its soul.
When night falls, the spire of the cathedral is dazzlingly illuminated by bright lights in the night. Every detail of it is more delicate and complicated against the backdrop of this dark night. With its proud head up, it overlooks the whole city and the western part of Germany. The gate overlooks the quiet Rhine River.