Fri. Dec 6th, 2019

25Hours at the discovery of Köln, its Dom and the famous Eau de Cologne, among others…

9 min read

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A cultural and pilgrimage city, Cologne is the ideal destination for a weekend. Accessible from Paris Gare du Nord, in 3h30 thanks to Thalys, this proximity allows all the desires of discovery. In the heart of Cologne, The Circle Hotel made by the 25Hours German group occupies the former premises of an insurance company. A building of the 60s, all in concrete, which offers a specific curved form, like its name.
…start of your eye-catching!
This muscled architecture is a key…

This iconic construction of this cleaving era that bears witness to another time gone by but still present in people’s minds. A period when the Soviet model was the stooge in contemporary architecture, where a certain proportion was the norm (photo credits: Alex Plato).
Taking advantage of the boon of a building requiring a buyer, following the departure of the Gerling insurance company, the 25Hours hotel group seized the opportunity to invest this historic listed building in the heart of the business area, the Friesen Viertel, with pronounced curves and a certain personality.
The result, a building renovated by renowned architectural design entities O&O Baukunst, who designed the building, and Studio Aisslinger, for the more artistic part, converted the company’s spectacular rotunda, originally occupied by the Insurance Gerling, in a set worked around the theme of “retro-futurism”. A specific order from this company mogul, to the visionary architect of the time Franz Heinrich Sobotka to imagine those generous lines around this concrete rotunda.

The result, after many months of renovation, is amazing. Once you walk inside, you think as if you were in a rocket, ready to fly to the moon. An authentic counter where you would have the opportunity to write on a typewriter, while your friend stops at the souvenirs shop, with full of surprises… and your colleagues are busy in the huge co-working space or in the conference center with its spacecraft portholes. 

A real world apart in the center of Cologne, where you would just need 15 minutes to reach the famous cathedral of Cologne, the Dom and its adjoining international Thalys train station.

Would you invite this cosmonaut in your room?

A galaxy that invites you to invest in its various satellites including the one inspired by the conquest of space.
Many points scattered throughout the hotel mean this aspect. Like this cosmonaut model neglected in the lobby, waiting for a passing visitor to pose in his company.
A real spatial staging illustrates this position with a cosmonaut straight back from the moon, he looks a bit tired by this long trip!

Your journey in this cosmic space continues at altitude thanks to the various disco atmosphere lifts available for you to climb into your rooms or in the common areas that overlook the city of Cologne.

…with a view on the TV and the city
An open space bathroom…

For your part, do not worry, your resort will also offer a first-class panorama of the city’s strongly post-war architecture, even from your bathroom, which is sheltered by wooden windscreens.
When the night falls, if you leave the curtains open, you will admire the charm of a city at night and will be directed by a blue clock of the future, which you can eventually turn off if its light disturbs you.
A minimalist atmosphere where the functional reigns. Indeed, you will have as decoration and at the same time of utilitarian, some objects which will make you the visit of the city of Cologne very pleasant.

 

Thus a Freitag bag will facilitate your shopping trips and a bike will be ready from your room and can be completed by another model possibly to borrow gracefully at the reception.
Indeed, the traffic in Cologne is much by bike or on foot because the places of tourist interest are close to each other and the 25Hours Hotel is a 10-minute walk from the train station.
But if you want to get some time out of the city and explore the surroundings of Cologne, know that you could also borrow one of the two Austin Mini for a journey 4 hours!

The comfortable deckchairs to relax at the SPA.. 

Those are not the only facilities offered by the establishment since you could also borrow a camera to immortalize your memories on electronic snapshots.

After your full day of sightseeing, why not relaxing at the sauna located at the top of the building?
A place of rest conducive to meetings with your neighbors of the hotel, accompanied by tea at discretion available at the fountain.

 

 

…and its incredible terraces
The sun always shines on Neni…

You would be relaxed enough to face the evening that could naturally extend to the Neni restaurant, overlooking the 25Hours Hotel and the city in addition. This concept of Israeli and Lebanese fusion cuisine is present in many hotels of the group as a partner institution.
The present configuration offers you here a terrace that bypasses the whole Circle, like its colleague in Düsseldorf, what to play hide and seek with your friends.

On the menu, the traditional menu cooked up by the Neni‘s inspired teams, that you many find in many other restaurants of the 25Hours chain.
The menu includes great classics like mezze reworked with homemade sauces like hummus, tahina and grilled Mediterranean vegetables and sweet potato fries.
In addition, other typical dishes of Jerusalem or surroundings promise you strong sensations, unequaled… To accompany Israeli wines or champagne according to your mood!
The dessert promises to be just as promising! The trio allows you to taste the bestsellers such as cheesecake, tiramisu and sesame tahina ice cream, all revisited by the very inspired cooking team. It must be certain that you have never tasted them!
Just as much as the view of Cologne that is breathtaking at night!

…of cocktails or just detox tea
A large counter for your order…

A digestive or a cocktail, direction to the Monkey Bar, on the same floor, including a theme on monkeys as the name suggests, starring the creative cocktails of the mixologist Joerg Meyer. A nice way to end the night!

The next morning, your breakfast brunch is still waiting for you at Neni, certainly your restaurant the day before!
On the program, hummus with three flavors, various German breads to fill up with buckwheat and cereals, omelettes and fresh salty such as cheese, cold cuts and fish from the North (salmon and herring). It is certain that you will appreciate to accompany this plate composed of a fruit salad and a cup of sparkling wine!

Once refreshed, the city of Cologne awaits you. Heavily damaged during the bombings of the Second World War, nevertheless it contains many treasures.

25Hours Hotel Koeln The Circle / Adress : Im Klapperhof 22-24, 50670 Köln, Germany / Phone : +49 221 162530


…and the massive facade
The high church nave…

Like this famous cathedral, also called the Dom of Cologne

Located in the heart of the city, the Cathedral stands on the banks of the Rhine river, which runs through the city and near the central station. This Gothic catholic church is also consecrated as Cathedral of the Archbishopric of Cologne. With its 157 meters high and 533 steps, it is the second highest church in Germany and the world for its towers, after the main church of Ulm.

Cologne becoming the religious capital of a vast region from the southern Belgium to Bremen. Around 850, a fire destroyed the original church, a vast project of religious replacement building occurred there, referred as the “old cathedral”. In 1164, this church, meanwhile embellished, receives the relics of the three Magi, brought from Milan by Rainald von Dassel.

…before admiring the reliquary
A kind profile…

The monument which shelters them would have been realized between 1181 and 1230 by the workshop of Nicolas de Verdun, this shrine of the three Magi is a reliquary installed in the center of the choir.

Large (it is more than 2 meters long), it is made of oak, covered with gold, silver and copper, representing seventy-four characters, wearing blue inscriptions, watermarks and precious stones.

More than a thousand gems, semi-precious stones and pearls are set in the shrine, with gems and three hundred antique cameos. As it is settled on an altar table, it is the largest reliquary altar in Europe. The reliquary is the destination of a pilgrimage each year, settled on January 6, during a procession of the “Sternsinger”.

Some altitude walk around…
Who said there was no holy water?

The first gothic Cathedral project dates back to 1220. The assassination of the archbishop adjourned the project. The idea was taken again in 1247. The new bedside was put in service in 1265. The consecration finally took place on September 27, 1322.

The cathedral had many uses including a granary, in 1794, when the French army entered in Cologne.

A huge effort to complete this gigantic building was pursued through the centuries. Unfortunately, disturbed by the fourteen bombs that crashed on the Cathedral during the Second World War. The vault was completely destroyed and one can thus observe that the northern part of the facade presents weaknesses consolidated by bricks. The bedside was only returned to worship in 1948.

It was not until the late 1950s that the cathedral is fully restored but remains in constant maintenance. This is how the entrance fees for access to the towers allow the financing of its works.

A real climb for the bravest to reach the last level and enjoy the view from the bell tower, and the panorama of the city!

Cathedral of Cologne (Kölner Dom), Domkloster 4, 50667 Köln, Germany

Visits of the towers, open every day:

From January to February: 09:00 – 16:00
From March to April: 09:00 – 17:00
From May to September: 09:00 – 18:00
In October: 09:00 – 17:00
From November to December: 09:00 – 16:00
The following days are closed: New Year, “Carnival of Women”, Carnival Weekend, Carnival on Monday, November 4, July 4, 2019, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve.

The last climbs of the tower take place 30 minutes before the closing of the visits.


…with some kitsch items inside
A real 18th Century edifice…

You may not leave Köln without visiting the birthplace of the famous Eau de Cologne, the Farina Fragrance Museum!

In 1709, the perfumer Farina created undoubtedly one of the most famous waters in the world, the legendary Eau de Cologne.

Everybody has already once perfumed himself with this fine fragrance, that was born in this house and still made today by the same family.

In the 18th century no patent rights existed and many copycat versions of this perfume quickly came to being. That’s why, due to these incidents, Eau de Cologne is designated today as a perfume category.

…that lead to the first productions
You will learn all the methods…

A bit of History… Jean-Marie Farina (1685-1766) came from Italy to settle in Cologne, and named his fragrance so far unequaled Eau de Cologne, as a tribute to his new city.

He imported from Italy the art of distilling wine to obtain pure alcohol. The conditions were thus met to create a high quality perfume. All of them loved her new fragrance, and Farina had many prestigious clients such as Empress Elisabeth, Napoleon and Goethe.

Indeed, by the time of the Rococo, as the legislation for the protection of brands did not exist yet, a whole category of perfumes was named Eau de Cologne. The perfume is a bouquet of lemon notes, which surrounds you pleasantly. The first scent of fresh bergamot, followed by scents of jasmine and violet, to finish with warm notes of sandalwood and oliban. You have to know that the original Farina Eau de Cologne is elegant but never penetrating and a timeless fragrance for men and women. Only high quality essences are used to make this famous perfume.

…in the shelves of this boutique
Many products are only sold…

The history of Eau de Cologne can be read as an exciting novel: plagiarism, false parents and secret preparations. The history of the world’s first Eau de Cologne is referenced since its inception. The life of the young Italian Farina, who settled in Cologne in 1709 and invented his famous perfume, inspired many writers to write their works. By reading you will discover in detail the history of this world-famous perfume.

At the end of the tour, you would have the chance to get a sample of the precious flacon and taste as well the other home fragrances, like their last creation of Cuir de Russie. Farina was inspired by worldly life in the 20th century. The fragrance, unique in its kind, is made of leather, moss and fern, embellished with captivating musk and vanilla, lightened by refreshing bergamot. Russian Leather is a successful combination of classic and modern perfume, and is the perfect companion for both day and night.

This museum may only be visited within guided tours, proposed every day at every full hour, in various languages. All guided tours last approximately 45 minutes and have a limited capacity. Tickets can also be bought directly on their website.

Johann Maria Farina, Obenmarspforten 21, 50667 Köln, Germany / Phone +49 (0) 221-399 89 94 / Opening times: Monday – Saturday 10 am – 7 pm, Sunday 11 am – 5 pm

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