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Kolumba, Cologne

4.4
#7 of 18 in Museums in Cologne
Specialty Museum Museum
Built around the ruins of the Gothic Church of St. Columba, which was destroyed in World War II, the starkly modern Kolumba displays the art collection of the Catholic Archdiocese of Cologne. Paintings, drawings, and sculptures from Late Antiquity to the modern era are mixed together, with no informational plaques or chronological or stylistic order. Guests are simply invited to contemplate the oddly discordant space and artwork. The minimalist building, designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, mirrors the art collection within, highlighting the dissonance between modernity and the ancient ruins of war. Highlights include a 12th-century ivory crucifix in Romanesque Rhenish style, an extensive rosary collection, and Jannis Kounellis' Tragedia Civile dating from 1975. Use our Cologne vacation generator to add Kolumba and other attractions to your Cologne vacation plans.
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Where to stay in Cologne

The Ring is a semicircular area around the edge of the city's walls from Chlodwigplatz to Ebertplatz. Along the semicircle are hotel chains and boutique accommodations that offes ready access to the city center on foot or via a short metro ride. For access to nightlife, consider the Südstadt area known for its rock bars, cocktails, and theaters. The luxury accommodations in the elegant Friesenviertel area often attracts local celebrities. Search for lodging deals in the Nippes area, which is away from the busy center and known for its local character.
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4.6
  • I wasn't expecting to love this museum as much as I did. The ruins were very interesting but that was only the start. The modern art was amazing. Extremely unique and different. There's not much signa...  more »
  • Its a must visit in Cologne. wonderfully reconstructed over an old Roman ruin and a beautiful museum  more »
  • I went to the Kolumba at the suggestion of some German diners I was sitting next to. I was more intrigued with the modern architecture, than the contents itself. The building was erected over the ruin...  more »
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  • Contemplating the centuries, even millennia, of layers of architecture that are the foundations of this place sets the mind to wonder the ephemera and eternities of human culture. The art exhibitions in the lobby and upstairs continue this theme; during my visit there were interesting juxtapositions of both ancient and modern works sometimes without any obvious thematic connection, sometimes commenting on each other, always provoking feelings or thoughts.
  • Interesting building with good architecture but it can be a bit underwhelming when you see that many of the materials have cracks in them which Zumthor probably didn't calculate. The doorman was supposed to open the door for me... which he didn't and the atmosphere in the exhibition rooms is a bit off as there is staff in every single room and it feels like they're watching every step you take. The reading room was my personal favourite.
  • Masterpiece by Peter Zumthor. Quiet space made by simple materials and perfect details. A place can wash all the bad things out of your mind.
  • a museumsjewel . one of its own! divine space
  • Very nice museum where history and modern art is naturally tight together. Located in the center, cheap tickets and much to have a look at. Definitely worth to visit.