Cologne originals

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As Kölsche originals (kölsch "Cologne Orjenaale") one calls in Cologne notorious persons historical, the special by their skills, habits, errors or weaknesses on everyone's lips were. See also city ​​original .

Cologne originals mostly come from the 18th and 19th centuries, when Cologne was comparatively manageable. Although some of them have been dead for more than a century, the originals live on in stories and legends. Their pictures and names adorn beer glasses and coasters, are eye-catchers for shop displays, serve as templates for carnival medals , decorate house fronts or appear as puppets in Cologne's Hänneschen Theater . As living figures, they appear every year in the Cologne street carnival, at masked balls, carnival meetings and Cologne's home stages.

Tünnes & Schäl

Tünnes and Schäl are two legendary characters from the Hänneschen puppet theater in Cologne. They are the only fictional people who are counted among the Kölsch originals in the broadest sense, since they are ascribed numerous Cologne characteristics.

Organ palm

Johann Palm

Johann Joseph Palm (1801–1882) was a hussar , military invalid and organ grinder . Around 1815 he began training as a gilder and varnisher and then worked in these professions. In 1820 he was drafted into the Body Hussar Regiment No. 1, the "Black Hussars", in Danzig . After he was wounded in battle, he returned to Cologne and received an organ turner's license. He continued to perform in the white tied tunic of the "black hussars" when playing the organ barrel in Cologne's street life .

Because of his performances, Palm was so well known in the streets of Cologne that he was later referred to as the city original.

Fleuten Arnöldche

Arnold Wenger (1836–1902) was a street musician . He coaxed the most wonderful tones and melodies from his flute . The applause that met him in his parents' restaurant when he entertained the guests by playing the flute gave him the idea of ​​making a living with music. And so the sedate, stocky fellow with the round, rosy face, the cuffed nose, the happy and funny winking slit eyes began his career on the streets of Cologne.

Fleuten-Arnöldche, as he was soon called, was always satisfied with himself and the world. He became a Cologne popular figure with strong echoes of the medieval fool. No artist, no witty joke, but “only” a Cologne original whose naive, limited way of life aroused everyone's joy.

Teacher Welsch

Heinrich Welsch (1848–1935) was the founder and director of the first auxiliary school in Cologne-Kalk . His merits in promoting mentally and physically disabled children are recognized. However, Heinrich Welsch only became known many years later, through a song that was written and set to music by the “Drei Laachduve” in 1938 on the occasion of a celebration of the carnival society “Mer blieve zesamme”. In the course of the war, the text of the song was changed slightly, and teacher Welsch was transferred to the Kaygasse on the left bank of the Rhine in Kalk's song because it rhymed better (“In d'r Kaygass number zero”). So the teacher Welsch was erected in an unusual way up to our time (see De Vier Botze ).

Painter buck

Heinrich Peter Bock

Heinrich Peter Bock (1822–1878) was supposed to learn the butcher's trade. But Heinrich had other things in mind. In his middle-class environment, he quickly became a well-known figure in the city who constantly changed his place of residence. Bock's stilted language ensured constant amusement, especially among the market women, of whom he was the star. On every name day, Bock appeared as a congratulator. In the right hand a self-picked bouquet of flowers, under the left arm a folder allegedly containing drawings and pictures that have never been seen by anyone.

Lasche Nas

Läsch-Nas-Brunnen, Cologne-Ehrenfeld

Andreas Leonhard Lersch (1840–1887) was a butcher, actor , district coverer , city dog ​​catcher and executioner .

An oversized olfactory organ was the most striking feature of the man who led a short but very eventful life.

After his military service and his return from the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871, he aimed at a new career in the police. The use as a "secret" did not remain a secret with the crooks for long. From 1875 he was on the payroll of the city of Cologne as a district coverer and from 1878 as a city dog ​​catcher. His new job was a success for the city treasurer , because the revenue from dog tax increased tremendously. Lersch's doings were a thorn in the side of the dog owners. In 1885 Lersch took over the office of executioner, but never had to exercise it.


Johann Arnold Klütsch (1778–1845) was an old trader and valuer of the city.

The stocky person is said to have devil powers. His immense appetite and great thirst must have been amazing. Cologne's landlords outdid each other in their descriptions of ever larger eating and drinking bouts, to which he was happy to be persuaded.

His name became known beyond the city and has found its way into some dialects and colloquial languages as a word . In Kölsch, an immoderate eater is called " ene Freßklötsch ", in Bönnschen as " Frässklötsch ", in Aachen dialect as " Fressknütsch ". Conversely, it is possible that a word that was already present in North Central Franconia became his nickname.


Doctor Melchior Bauduin (1797–1880) was a surgeon and obstetrician .

His name is associated with Schabau in the play on words . In summer and winter he wore a wide blue coat with several collars on top of each other. He was only found wearing an umbrella and hat, which he never put on. He was not allowed to take an exam, but he still worked as a doctor.

Bolt Lott

Scholastika Bolz (1825–1902) was a Kääzemöhn (candle seller), smuggler and traveler.

As the daughter of a rhingroller , she always knew how to assert herself verbally and effectively. After she could no longer make a living as a candle girl, she became a smuggler. The fashion of the time with flared skirts suited her. If a tax collector tried to obey the law, she blew him properly. In her old age she traded candles and saints again in places of pilgrimage .

Policeman Streukooche

Johann Jakob Hehn (1863–1920) was a city night watchman and royal Prussian police officer.

The royal Prussian police officer (previously he was a night watchman) was very popular with everyone, especially the children. As a night watchman, his job was u. a. in waking up the journeyman bakers and apprentices in his district, the Severinsviertel, at night. One night he experienced the mishap of stepping into a crumble cake (Kölsch: Streukooche) in the hall of a bakery - this earned him his nickname. He had 3 boys and 2 girls: Jakob, Lieschen, Hanni (Johannes), Röschen and Karl. Lieschen has a daughter, 5 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren

Böckderöck Wau-Wau

Anna Maria Zaudig (1803–1876)

The scolding and cursing of the crouched, somewhat depraved-looking woman about a neighbour's quail living in a cage was known in the whole Veedel . She is said to have said to the bird: "Dat ewije Pöcderöck is still mowing me really jeck." Therefore she got the nickname "Pöckderöck" or "Böckderöck". That's why they teased the children on the street with the Böckderöck call. If she then ran after the children with a stick swinging, others - as an answer - heard a loud “woof woof”. She desperately tried to calm her nerves with schnapps.


Hieronymus Blau (1815–1884), municipal road supervisor.

Hieronymus Blau supervised the facilities at the Eigelsteintor and the security harbor (turret). As a “service cap” he wore an old green forester's cap, he always held his stick in his hand, on which he sometimes leaned, but which he also used to bring the Pänz (children) to reason. The Bullewuh led a strict regime: Wherever he showed up, the children shouted after him: "Bulle-Bullewuh - hit the children nit esu!".

Master Lupus

Cornelius Wolff (1802–1887), master tailor .

With his two sisters Johanna and Josephine, Cornelius Wolff lived in the house at Langgasse 18 on the corner of Appellhofplatz . His two sisters ran a haberdashery, while Cornelius was a sought-after tailor. The Nelles family ran the “Schnapskasino” right next to it on Schwalbengasse. In this restaurant the "Mr. Lupus clothing artist" ( lat. Lupus = wolf ) frequented members of the middle class, scholars, painters, lawyers, musicians, civil servants and officers. He made many contributions to the entertainment of the guests until he had enough of the punch that the landlord made himself. Friends then sent him home to save him from the ridicule of other guests. The easiest way to achieve this was to tell him that they had to discuss a "purveyor title" for him.

20th and 21st centuries

At least in press articles, people from recent history are also referred to as Cologne originals. This applies, for example, to the actor Willy Millowitsch , the boxer Peter Müller ("Müllers Aap"), the demi-world greats Anton Dumm ("Dummse Tünn") and Heinrich Schäfer ("Schäfers Nas") or the innkeeper Hans Lommerzheim .

The art collector Hermann Götting († 2004) was sometimes referred to as the city original during his lifetime due to his extravagant appearance in the street scene, but he himself did not agree.

Web links


  • Reinold Louis: Kölner Originale, 1997, Greven Verlag Cologne

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l Photo from the Divertissementchen 2005 of the Cologne stage play group Cäcilia Wolkenburg
  2. on July 20, 2007
  3. on July 20, 2007
  4. a b Rhenish dictionary . Josef Müller, Heinrich Dittmaier, Rudolf Schützeichel, Mattias Zender (arrangement and ed.) 9 vols. Bonn / Berlin 1928–1971.
  5. ^ Adam Wrede : Neuer kölnischer Sprachschatz, 12th edition. Greven, Cologne, 1999, vol. 1, p. 252, ISBN 3-7743-0243-X
  6. on July 20, 2007, cit. after: Herbert Weffer: Bönnsches dictionary
  7. Willy Millowitsch - the eternal "Cologne boy" in RP online on January 8, 2009, online , accessed on April 15, 2012.
  8. Cologne in the Spiegel der Wochenschauen in: Köln im Film, online , accessed on April 15, 2012
  9. With Schäfers Nas and Dummse Tünn in: Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger from August 28, 2010, online , accessed on April 15, 2012
  10. Bernd Imgrund : 111 Cologne places that you have to see 2008, place # 61
  11. Cornelia Auschra: Hermann Götting, Collector Cologne Past, 1939–2004 , at:, online ( Memento of the original from April 19, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked . Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed March 26, 2011 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /