- Germany's darkest chapter and "Let us never forget"
During this general overview you will get to know the cathedral (from the outside) and the historic Town Hall district with the former Jewish quarter of the Middle Ages. The cobblestoned lanes of the medieval merchants' quarter will give you an idea of Cologne's rich history.
The EL-DE House - officially the NS Documentation Center - was the former headquarters of the Gestapo (secret police) from 1934 onwards when they turned a regular house into a virtual "place of terror". Surprisingly, the building survived the Allied bombing of Cologne during World War II. The basements of the house had been used as prison cells and torture rooms for forced laborers and political enemies. Inscriptions made on the walls by inmates can still be viewed today. Depressing, but very informative. In 2006, the EL-DE House was awarded the "Best in Heritage" award.
Please, contact me before making the reservation. Availability changes quickly and does not always correspond with the online calendar. Thank you.
We will spend approx. a good hour doing the walking tour and almost one hour inside the NS Documentation Center. But I am flexible and can adapt to your preferences. It has the prison cells in the basement where the detainees were kept and tortured (memorial place). Upstairs are two floors with photos, letters, posters, audio presentation on the 3rd Reich in general, and Cologne's situation in particular (documentation center).
Have in mind, that this is a depressing experience.
Meeting Point + Tour Duration
Meeting Point Options: Suggested by Guide: Roman side portal (= entrance arch) right in front of cathedral (see pic).
Duration: 2 hours
Opening hours 10 AM - 5 PM, closed on Mondays.
Walking tour, a lot of standing in documentation center, few steps, no elevator.
- Guiding Services
Estimated Local Cash Needed
5 euro - entrance to exhibit/museum
I am a licensed Cologne Cathedral guide - but inside visits/guided tours require advance reservations.
A Recent Review of this tour
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My wife and I just completed a tour in Cologne guided by Marc P. Marc did a great job. He was informative and very knowledgeable. His English was very good. He worked hard to please us and he succeeded. I would highly recommend him. We rate him 5 out of 5 stars. Ben Hill