Köln or Cologne pops up every know and then in all things related to Germany, several people I have meet during my travels is either from here or is related to the city and several friends really like the city. For me it’s my first time here though. I am staying with Sabrina that I met in San Francisco in july when we were hosted by the same guy Eric.
The city is the fourth largest in Germany and among other things famous for the Carnival that takes place every year, but the most famous tourist attraction is the cathedral, the Dom.
I got a glimpse of the Dom when i arrived by train from the airport and even though I’m not that big of a fan of sightseeing, I felt straight away that I had to go there.
The cathedral itself is from the beginning of the 13th century and a lot bigger than I thought it would be. I just stand there on the square in front of it. It is probably one of the most beautiful churches I’ve seen, a lot nicer than both the Notre Dame or St. Peters in rome. It’s impossible not to get impressed.
It must have taken hundres of years of combined hours of work from thousands of people to build this cathedral, to work on every small little detail.
During the last six months, I have noticed that I not only pay attention to things, my thoughts automatically also goes to the person behind the thing, how they have put their soul into the creation of it, the enormous amount of time and energy spent on it’s perfection.
It hits me that I’m not only in a building that has a function, practising ones belief, but that people have invested a lot into something that doesn’t directly give you anything back. An enormous building that really isn’t useful.
In todays society, this is something strange, we hardly build anything anymore that doens’t have a direct use. Concrete is popular partly because it is so easy to maintain, you don’t need someone who cut the grass or trim the garden. No one spends months anymore, carving out tiny details in a rock, everything gets done fast and it has to be cheap to maintain.
If you look at what is built today in our society as a symbol for what we as a culture think is important, it’s remarkable to observe that what is built today is Sport arenas and shopping centers.
ABB Arena, Swedbank Park, Cloetta Center.
Less and less people go to these sport events and yet we have seen dozens of these huge business sponsored arenas pop up all over Sweden, just like we have never seen so many shopping centers being built. All of them with the same stores.
These huge areas of malls is our times temples and cathedrals. Sunday mass has been replaced by sunday shopping at Ikea and Media Markt.
Today, many look at religion as an escape from reality, but in a hundred years, maybe our children’s children will look back at our society and say the same thing about shopping.
Karl Marx once called religion for the opium of the people, today we drug ourselves with entertainment and consumption. Every time has it’s drug of choice, but the question is what this so called reality we are escaping from really is.
Are we not already in the middle of it?