Cologne Loop

Cologne Loop

You spend a lot of time on holiday walking around and visiting the sites and it is without a doubt the best way to see a city. After checking in at the hotel and grabbing a map there was something startlingly obvious, Cologne is rather green. Apparently over a quarter of the city is made up of green space, approximately 75 square metres of green space for each of Cologne's one million inhabitants, and certain areas have been designated 'green zones' so are only accessible by foot, bike or public transport.

Today's walk was a wander around the edge of the city following linked green spaces and even included a half-mile cable car ride across the Rhine!

The walk started in the Rheinauhafen, which was once a commercial harbour developed during the 1880s. Redevelopment began in 2002 and the area now comprises offices, cultural institutions, hotels and residential properties. The former port is now a marina.

Heading clockwise you reach the Volksgarten (People's Garden), which is used for various social activities throughout the year and can attract more than 10,000 visitors on some days. Most of the area was originally used for fortifications and remains of a small fort still exists in the centre of the park, though this was unfortunately missed on this walk.

Next you enter the semicircular Inneren Grungurtel (Inner Greenbelt) which, along with the Ausseren Grungurtel (Outer Greenbelt), was developed in the 1920s on the site of the former fortress. The large park, which also includes an artificial lake, is used for many social activities including picnics, barbecues, jogging, Nordic walking and cycling, and is popular with students as the University is based on the edge of the park. The skyline includes a view of the Colonius which is a telecoms tower finished in 1981 and was 252.9m high but was increased to 266m in 2004 to add range to the transmission.

Once you reach the west bank of the Rhine you have two choices for crossing, either walk over the Zoobrucke (Zoo Bridge) or jump on the Kolner Rhein-Seilbahn (Cologne Cable Car). Opened in 1957 it links the exhibition sites of the biannual horticultural show at Rheinpark with areas close to the Zoo and Flora and Botanical Gardens. It closed in 1963 to make way for the new Zoo Bridge and the new extended route re-opened in 1966.

Over the river you enter the Rhinepark which was opened in 1913, and now mirrors the redesign of the park for the horticultural show in 1957. The park includes a beach club, open-air theatre and a Roman styled thermal public bath.

The walk ended with a wander over the Severinsbrucke (Severin's Bridge) before finishing back at the Rheinauhafen.

Distance: around 9 miles.

Cologne City Walls

Cologne City Walls

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