4711 Cologne, the Alte Markt, Rathaus and “Früh” brewery pub: Trip Notes

The original 4711 Cologne shop is worth a visit, the outside is easy to shoot and they didn’t seem to mind us taking photos inside – they’re used to tourists! Incidentally, use a wide lens for the best offered, as you go in, on the right there’s a fountain where you can wash your hands in the cologne! But be warned, I did this and smelled of the stuff for hours….

Just a short distance from Cologne Cathedral is the Alte Markt, and on the way there are some photogenic “half-timbered” houses and hotels bedecked with flowers. The Alte Markt is undergoing some renovation work on one side, but the square is still worth visiting. The old Rathaus (town hall) has just been spectacularly renovated with all the statues, row upon row of them, having been replaced. Each character is named, and they’re a really eclectic bunch, all having a connection with the city, from various saints and the Romans Augustus and Agrippa to more modern personalities. Take a telephoto and zoom in on your favourites. You may also be lucky enough to catch a wedding couple outside the Rathaus itself, as it’s a popular place for tying the knot.

Around the corner from the Cathedral as well is the renowned “Früh” brewery pub. We had bad light there in the afternoon, but shooting the scene at the tables outside was OK if you kept everything in the shadow and warmed it up (in my case, later in Photoshop), try the “cloudy” white balance setting.

The large “Heinzelmännchenbrunnen” (fountain) in front of the “Früh” is a popular and photogenic subject, but difficult to shoot effectively because of the busy background. We had poor light which didn’t help matters. You might like to concentrate on some of the invididual figures rather than try to get it all in one shot. Using the people sitting at the table drinking in your composition might also help. Heinzelmännchen are apparently kind brownie-like little people who do all the work of the lazy ones during the night. Hmm, wish I knew some…

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