At Christmas, nativity scenes celebrating the Christmas story spring up around the city. Take a Krippenweg tour and enjoy both traditional, and somewhat curious nativity scenes.
You don’t have to be a believer to visit churches in the Rhineland. The architecture and history are enough to entice people into places like the Kölner Dom or Roman churches like the Gross St Martin.
Around Christmas, there’s another reason to poke your head around those imposing wooden doors. The nativity scenes laid out are an attraction in themselves. The one in the Kölner Dom is huge and extremely detailed.
Not just in churches
Across the city there are around 110 different locations hosting nativity scenes from November through till January. The scenes themselves come in a variety of different styles: some are extremely traditional, others minimilist, a few are painted by kids, some feature people, others animals, there’s even one made of lego.
What’s surprising is that they’re not only in churches: you’ll find them in chemists, Christmas markets, museums and art galleries, as well as cultural institutions and council offices.
They are all listsed here on the Krippenweg website. If you have time on your hands, take a tour. It’s €10 for adults and €3.50 for children aged between 3 and 14 years. Private group tours for up to 20 people lasting around two hours cost €230. Tours can be booked on the “Kripenweg” website – the Route of the Nativity Scenes.
You’ll also find a comprehensive guide to the nativity scenes at the KölnTourismus office. Further information on the guide book and the tours can be found under www.koelner-krippenweg.de.