Cologne Again

Yep, it’s time for the bi-annual jolly boys’ outing to Cologne that is Orgatec. We’re being slightly facetious, of course. Orgatec is the biggest (and arguably still the best) office furniture show out there. 

Dominated by the major Germanic players, the exhibition is as hard on your feet as it is on your head – in other words you’ll be walking an awful lot (however organised you are) just because of the sheer scale of the Messe. You’ll also be very well looked after – and that means you can get watered and fed on just about any major stand. 

Like we said, the biggest and best of Germany’s home market (Interstuhl, K+N, Sedus, Brunner, Dauphin – and Swiss neighbours Vitra) take most of the biggest and best pitches. Orgatec is an international show, though, with most major nations represented (one thing we have noticed from the Orgatec exhibitor website is that there is an even greater than normal number of Chinese and South East Asian suppliers). There will, as ever, be plenty of (hopefully) innovative new products on show. One thing that Orgatec has always been able to boast is that it is a major launch event. 

But it’s about more than just the products and the stands. Cologne itself is the oldest major city in Germany. Named by the Romans Colonia, it was one of the Empire’s most important trade and manufacturing centres and has many impressive sites dating from this time onwards. The city is dominated by the Dom, one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture, but there are also many incredible Romanesque churches and the Römanisch-Germanisches-Museum, which is built around the famous Dionysius mosaic. 

The Dom, was built, it is believed, to house the relics of the Magi, its sheer size was not just a matter of self-aggrandisement on the part of Cologne’s citizens but also to respond to the vast number of pilgrims wishing to view the relics. Construction started in 1248 but did not finish until 1880, although the original plans were strictly adherred to. When it was completed, the two 515 ft west towers were the tallest structures in the world. Open 06.00 – 19.30, no tours during services. Tel: +49 (0) 221 1794 0100 www.koelnerdom.de