Yesterday was the five week marker of my arrival in Brussels- eeeek!! Where has the time gone?! Of course, my parents will laugh and tell you about how I called them twice within the first three days in tears, begging to come home. And now, I can’t believe that I’m almost halfway done with this incredibly adventure! As the first round of assessments are taking place, I’m so excited to be traveling with my European Studies course throughout Europe! I’ve attached below the itinerary from my weekend in Cologne and Aachen (14-15 September), along with the photos I took. I tried to upload the pictures after each of the stops, but please bear with me! Spent a wonderful day Bruges yesterday – look for those photos soon!! Love to all and thanks for following my blog xo 🙂
Saturday, September 14
8:00 a.m. Get on coach (De Strycker or Bus & Co) in front of Vesalius College.
We watch the beginning of the BBC series I Claudius based on Robert Graves’ eponymous novel. An amateur historian, Claudius, Rome’s fourth emperor, recounts the intrigues at the imperial court. The story begins with the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the battle of Actium (31 BC) by his grand parents, Augustus and Livia.
**This is actually a great movie! I highly recommend it for all history buffs (and even those like me who like an exciting plot twists!)
±10:00 Student presentations on Roman Burial rites
10:45 Arrival in Köln. The bus drops us near the Cathedral (Dom).
First, we get in the Choir because it closes at noon. There, you will see the 10th c. Gero crucifix, the shrine of Nicolas de Verdun (1184) and Stephan Lochner’s altarpiece of the City patrons (1440). Then we see the nave before looking at the exterior of the Dom. Student presentation on the Cathedral (**that was me! I rocked it!!)
12:00 Break for lunch (picnic lunch provided)
13:00 Go to the entrance of the Praetorium (Kleine Buddengasse) where a tour guide will be waiting for us. She will show us the excavations of the praetorium and what remains of the Roman sewers. Then we will walk to the Romisch-
Germanisches Museum where our guided tour continues.
15:30 The guide leaves but we stay to enjoy among others the glass collection.
16:30 Pass by the modern Ludwig Museum and enjoy the view of the Rhine.
17:10 Take the Hohenzollernbrücke that leads across the Rhine to Deutz where is our hostel and where the Romans had a fort called Divitia (the word became Deutz).
18:45 Meet in lobby. Take the bridge in opposite direction to go to dinner.
19:15 Dinner at Gaffel Haus restaurant, Altermarkt 20
After dinner you are on your own to enjoy Cologne by night. There is no curfew at the hostel but remember that you need some sleep to be able to get on the next day.
Sunday, September 15
9:00 Place luggage on bus, then walk across the Rhine. Walk to the Dom.
9:30 All courageous students are invited to climb up the towers (500 steps!).
10:00 Walk to Fischmarkt (where was the medieval Fish market) and the nearby
Romanesque Church Gross St Martin.
10:20 Visit the Wallraf Richartz Museum (Obenmarspforten street).
We will see first the 15th c. paintings of the Cologne region.
Student presentations on Stefan Lochner
Afterwards, we will see the highlights of the rich museum collection.
12:30 Leave the museum. Just in front is the ground of extensive excavations that will soon be a museum to the Jewish past of Cologne. In this neighborhood lived the Jews since the 3rd c. In the Middle Ages they built a Synagogue that was razed down after their expulsion in 1424. The 12th c. Jewish ritual bath, the Mikwe, survived. This is situated close to the Rathaus (town hall) built on top of the praetorium we visited on Saturday. There took place the meetings of the Hanse.
Most of the Rathaus was destroyed in WWII except for a Renaissance wing.
12:45 Break up for lunch.
(The railing at the top of the tower is where we climbed earlier!!
13:45 Meet by the Roman North gate in front of the Cathedral and walk to where our bus is parked to go to AACHEN.
Student presentation on Roman Leisure
We start watching Gladiator (Directed by Ridley Scott, 2000). The movie begins with the victory of the Roman army against the Germans on the Danube and death of emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180), who, in the story, planned to appoint the victor, general Maximus, as his successor but his son Commodus takes power.
14:50 Arrive in Aachen. Walk by the Rathaus that was built on the location of
Charlemagne’s palace. From there we walk to the Dom.
Student presentation on Charlemagne
15:30 Guided visit of the Cathedral and the Treasury.
17:00 Tour is over.
Coffee or tea break.
17:45 Walk back to the bus where you will receive a snack before we start driving back.
On the road to Brussels, we will watch the rest of Gladiator or at least most of it.
±20:00 Arrival in Brussels.