Travel The World

Cologne’s Secret Streak

Cologne’s Rathaus Has A Secret…

The city of Cologne has a proud, upstanding Rathaus (Town Hall.) Important civic duties, from weddings to council meetings take place behind its carved and elegant façade – and have done for almost 500 years. Over 130 figures stand solemn, silenced by stone on the outside of the building. From kings and queens to saints and prophets, these noble and serious influences guide the good people of Cologne in their daily administrative duties.

Serious Cologne…

Except…It took a local to point out the following sculpture:

Not All Well Behaved…

Right there, among all those dignitaries, I discovered Cologne’s secret streak.

Naked in Cologne…

I visited Cologne as part of the Eurostar Explorer expedition.

10 Responses to Cologne’s Secret Streak

  1. ross September 9, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

    I went to Koln for the carnival in Jan, what a great city http://europetraveler.co.uk/the-koln-carnival/

    loved your pics of the gargoyles in your posting.

  2. ross September 9, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

    Just read your Bio – I did neuroscience at uni and ended up in the online travel industry!

  3. Name Tags September 11, 2010 at 12:47 am #

    Is that last sculpture really on the building? If so, that is crazy and very strange.

  4. ross September 11, 2010 at 12:48 am #

    it looks weird!

  5. Abi September 11, 2010 at 3:46 am #

    Ross- Neuroscience as well? Small world!
    Yep – they’re all real (and weird!)

  6. Michael June 1, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    How amusing! I’ve been thre several times but never knew this was there. Learn/see something new everyday, I say.

  7. Martin Rath June 1, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    Unfortunatly the nacked back is not just a funny topic. As far as I know it is defensive magic. (Current Italian soccer players grab between the legs to banish [d]evil.) Above the inscription is a statue of Katharina Henot, victim of a sorcery trial in 1700th century. (The flames around her show what sentence was passed.)

    The statue on the left hand shows Friedrich von Spee (erroneously named “Spee von Langenfeld”), an early and brave critic of the witch-huntings.

    See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katharina_Henot
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Spee

    • Abi June 2, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

      Thanks, Martin. That’s absolutely fascinating…I might write a separate post about your comments. Cheers!

  8. Rosy Anny October 18, 2012 at 7:39 am #

    That’s 500years old statues it’s really an awesome work by the artists who worked to design these at that time. some of thoese may be look weired but its an nice art of work by old generation to future show how great is our art .

  9. Gayla~ November 23, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    I’ve been to Cologne many times and hope to return this year for the Christmas markets, and to search out these very interesting gorgoyle carvings. As with most things, there’s an interesting story there. I look forward to learning more of it. Thanks for the post!

Silver Footprint Ltd 6464260 Registered in England & Wales. All links are hand-checked and only included if they are both useful and relevant. Some may earn this website money. See the small print for more details. Profile on

css.php