It might be a strange thing to say, but I like cemeteries and I like visiting them when I travel. So, this is my Cologne tip for like-minded travelers.
Melatenfriedhof is really extensive. With more than 55,000 graves, it’s still by far the biggest graveyard in the city, even though it is rather central and has nowhere to expand. Imagine, when it was built more than 200 years ago, it was outside the city walls!
Even though Melaten is ‘in use’ and old graves are replaced by new ones, it is not at all inappropriate to go there simply for a walk. Melaten is a relaxing and inspiring place and because of all the trees, I find it especially beautiful in autumn.
The cemetery is also interesting for those who are not familiar with Cologne’s history. The names of all the rich and famous citizens of Cologne might not be familiar to you, but it still shows some of the city’s peculiarities and offers an interesting insight to arts and architecture over the last two centuries. Many of the large graves are decorated with sculptures and impressive tombstones. It feels like some sort of outdoor museum – and the best is that it’s completely for free!