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“Home is where the Dom is”. The Cologne Cathedral dominates the city skyline like no other building. The Dom is a not only a popular destination for tourists. The stairs leading down from the cathedral to the train station or the square on the opposite side – the so-called “Domplatte” – is a popular meeting place. So a visit to the Dom is an absolute must for everyone. If you want, you can also climb the 533 steps to the lookout platform and, from 97 meters up in the air, enjoy a unique view over all of Cologne.
What is the only dialect you can drink? Right, Kölsch! Of course, the Cologne beer is well known far beyond the city limits. But here in Cologne, there is practically no alternative to the best of all beers. If you order “a beer” in Cologne, you get a Kölsch. And no sooner have you emptied your glass that the next one is already on the table. This is repeated many times until a beer coaster covering your glass signals, “My thirst is quenched.” Kölsch is the common libation for every occasion. So it’s no surprise that a keg gets tapped at almost every CBS ceremony as well.
After a few glasses of the Cologne dialect, you’ll be speaking like a native. Nowadays, very few people are left in Cologne who speak “true” Kölsch, the demise of the dialect owing largely to the high-German language. Nevertheless, the dialect can still be heard quite often. For although it has lost its use as an everyday language, the typical Cologne native is still very proud of “sing Sproch”.
Wherever beer flows, a brewpub cannot be far. This also goes for Cologne. The Cologne brewpub scene is a cult of its own. Even if you only visit the city for a few days, you should definitely take a detour into one of the numerous brewery pubs. The lively atmosphere immediately sucks every Cologne newcomer into its wake. Kölsch flows endlessly here and is distributed by the “Köbes” – a sort of waiter in the loosest sense, who “reigns” the brewpub with his usually somewhat bold attitude. His most important utensil is the “Kranz” (engl. “wreath”). With this loaded artillery, he provides constant Kölsch replenishment – until the beer coaster lies atop the glass…or its drinker under the table.
Thanks to hearty specialties, no one has to go hungry at the Cologne brewpubs. Whether “Rheinischer Sauerbraten”, “Schweinshaxe”, “Himmel un Äd” or “Halver Hahn” – though some of these creations may take a little getting used to for non-Cologners, there is surely something here for everyone.
As a CBS student, there’s no getting around a visit to a brewpub. Whether with a project group or as a course field trip, the brewpub is a highly appreciated intermezzo. Our international students also visit one of these popular establishments to get a taste of Cologne life right away during orientation week.
If you live in Cologne, there’s no way around it – unless you lock yourself in at home for a week. Every year during Carnival, the entire city is rendered out of commission. And whoever forgets to book his vacation beforehand will have to occasionally fight his way through the masses of partygoers on Rosenmontag (transl. Rose Monday) in order to get to work. But CBS students need not worry – there are no lectures for one week over Carnival.
The fifth season of the year officially starts on 11/11 at 11:11 am. From this point onward, the Carnival clubs put on their events. The highlight of the Carnival celebrations is the Street Carnival early in the year. From Weiberfastnacht to Ash Wednesday, the city goes crazy. The Cologne Rosenmontags Parade is well known far beyond the national borders and is the highlight of the Carnival week. Here, the whole city hits the streets – together with hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world.