We checked out of our hotel this morning at 11 am, and headed out on our 3 hour drive to Koln. We planned to get into the city a few hours early so we could go to Kölner Dom Cathedral which is one of the largest churches in the world. The construction of the Church started around 1200 AD and is an amazing piece of Gothic architecture and took over 600 years to complete construction. It is a breathtaking masterpiece to say the least. Not only is the structure the only piece of note, but in the Cathedral they also house their "Holy Treasures" including the supposed remains of the Three Kings/Wisemen who brought gifts to Jesus, but also artifacts of Roman Catholicism dating back to the 4th century. For 4 Euro you can pay to enter this underground safe that they store more of the "treasures" in. The underground architecture is stunning even without the hundreds of pounds of gold and history that surrounds the place. Some of the walls are still the original foundation of the church, while others are black marble, cement and stone giving it a very modern feel meet with antiquated history.
While walking through seeing these amazing pieces of art made of golden and precious jewels it struck me how sad this all was. One of the reasons the church was so popular (and large) was the fact they housed so many artifacts from Christendom, and King, Priests and common people would make pilgrimages to see all these "treasures" and pray and pay penance to them hoping that the bishop's, cardinals, saints and wisemen would petition God on their behalf. I immensely enjoyed seeing the history and art, but was overwhelmed with sadness that for all those years people were worshiping everything except Christ. Praying to the dead bones of three Kings is not supplement or intercessory for God himself. I couldn't appreciate the art for what is was, just art, knowing how much deceit and gaudiness lies beneath it. I would urge you to visit the Kölner Dom Cathedral if you have the chance, I would surely go again, you could hardly see that much gold in one place standing in Fort Knox. And the history and architecture is a thing of breathtaking beauty, but know that the bones of the dead hold nothing in terms of your relationship with One who rose from the dead.
After our sight seeing adventure we headed to the venue, The Underground, which has the vibe of an old squatter house, complete with bunk beds and a friendly rat our driver Peter saw scurrying through our bags. Once again, Germany was a great show. The stage was very small, so it was hard to move around a whole lot, but the crowd was definitely into it, singing along, throwing their fists in the air, and starting some pretty rowdy circle pits. The girls in Germany are fearless, not only fearless, but rowdy. Always pushing their way to the front of the stage, and holding their own against all the sweating testosterone that surrounds them. All in all we had one of the better shows of tour interacting with the crowd. We also met a US soldier stationed in Germany who made it out to the show, and one guy brought us 2 cans of nutella from reading this blog (SWEET!).
We are now all tucked into our bunks in the squat, keeping an eye out for the hitch hiking mouse, ready to get up in a few hours to head to the Neatherlands tomorrow.
A contemplative American in Germany.