Cologne Philharmonic

If you like listening to wonderful orchestra music or if you just need to get out of the cold and do something different, go and listen to the Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra near the Ludwig Museum and the cathedral.

Cologne is our Destination of the Month for January and here is one highly recommended thing to do in this fantastic city…

Philharmonic Cologne

At about 12.00 noon on a Thursday make your way to the theatre below the Ludwig Museum near Cologne Cathedral.

The theatre, which seats more than 2000 spectators, is called the Philharmonic Hall and dates from 1986. Shaped like a huge amphitheatre it is home to resident orchestra Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne; one of the country’s leading orchestras.

As the hall is one level below the Ludwig Museum, and the public open space is right on top, when the orchestra practices in the sound-proof auditorium, people are not allowed to walk on the pavement directly above the hall and there are cordons and controls directing the public away from walking across this space above the hall as it interferes with the acoustics!

Philharmonic, Köln

At 12.30pm every Thursday there is a free concert lasting for 40 minutes and performed by the orchestra inside the huge Philharmonic Hall. It’s not possible to book and all you have to do is turn up. When the doors open it is a free-for-all to find a seat.

The concert is normally popular but is rarely full. That said, it’s a good idea to get there early just to make sure. The seating is well tiered and the views and acoustics are great from all parts of the hall, so don’t worry too much about where you sit.

Philharmonic, Köln Philharmonic, Köln Philharmonic, Köln

Once you are seated and the show is about to start, there is a slight buzz of anticipation as the spectators await the action. The buzz increases as the musicians enter the stage and take their places and then the buzz erupts into full-blown applause as the conductor takes to the stage and picks up his baton.

When the applause dies down, there is a brief silence in the hall before the conductor starts his graceful dance and the first bass notes fill the auditorium. At this point, sit back, relax and let the rising and falling crescendos wash over you as you are transported to a world where nothing exists except that warm feeling of awe in your chest.

Philharmonic, Köln

All too soon the concert is over but if you love it as much as I did, you can always book to attend a full-length concert in the evening… Just see the box office on your way out.

Have you attended a concert at this hall? What did you think? What other cities offer free concerts like this one? Please share your thoughts and feelings below…


Step into my shoes in Cologne and discover how to make the most of your time in this wonderful city…


Filed Under: colognefeaturedgermany

About the Author: Based in Mallorca, obsessed with the world and have a lot to say about both... Step into my shoes and join me on a journey...

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