Unusual Cologne – The Naked Bottom on the Rathaus

By Abi King | Germany

Sep 09

Cologne’s Rathaus Has A Secret…

Unusual Cologne

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…



About the Author

Abigail King is a writer and photographer who swapped a career as a doctor for a life on the road. Now published by Lonely Planet, the BBC, CNN, National Geographic Traveler & more, she feels most at home experimenting here: covering unusual journeys, thoughtful travel and luxury on www.insidethetravellab.com

ross September 9, 2010

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.

ross September 9, 2010

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

Name Tags September 11, 2010

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

ross September 11, 2010

it looks weird!

Abi King September 11, 2010

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

Michael June 1, 2011

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

Martin Rath June 1, 2011

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.


    Abi King June 2, 2011

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

Rosy Anny October 18, 2012

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 .

Gayla~ November 23, 2012

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!

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