A navel called Chlodi
The Chlodwigplatz is the real heart of Cologne, far more than the touristy old town. This is the site of the Severinstorburg, one of the most beautiful city gates in Cologne. The Noble prize-winner Heinrich Böll was born in this neighbourhood. Here, in November 1992, more than 100,000 people gathered for a peaceful demonstration against the wave of xenophobic acts of violence that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall [LINK to LONG TEXT COLOGNE]. Wolfgang Niedecken, the lead singer of the band BAP, is also a native of the Südstadt district. “This is where I was born, here was my home, in the eight-hundred-metre radius. Here, I know all the plane trees by name, every sparrow, every stone in the wall of the old city. My centre of the world is still the Chlodwigplatz”, he sings in the song “Chlodwigplatz”.
few blocks further on (and passing the concert-café “Lichtung”, where you can enjoy fantastic concerts almost every evening free of charge), you’ll find the blue-painted “Chlodwigeck” bar. It is of particular importance for the local pop history of Cologne. For the alternative music scene, the bar was the most important living room from 1979 onwards. Here, in the triangle formed with the “Opera” and “Climax” bars, everyone who was socially and politically active, liked drinking and who had artistic ambitions met here during the 1970s and 80s. However, the literary scene could also be found here, since the bar was owned by Heinrich Böll’s nephew Clemens. The band BAP is particularly associated with the “Chlodwigeck”. They played at the opening the ‘new’ “Chlodwigeck” in 1979, when it moved to its current location. Later, the performances by Wolfgang Niedecken attracted so many people in and in front of the bar that the concerts had to be repeatedly interrupted to let through buses driving past the bar. And the hardcore fans of BAP know that the entertaining story (as well as many other songs) of the “Ruut, wieß, blau querjestrieften Frau” (“Red, white, blue-striped woman”) is set at the bar of the “Chlodwigeck”. After all, at the end of the song, the singer orders a drink from the bar: “Jenau, Clemens, dunn uns zwei Schabau” (“That’s right, Clemens, give us two schnapps”).
Chlodwigplatz, 50678 Cologne
Chlodwigeck: Annostraße 1, 50678 Cologne