The blind or the severely visually impaired can attend concerts in the Kölner Philharmonie without any inconvenience either alone or accompanied by another person.
Since the Philharmonie is in the immediate proximity of Cologne's main station it is easily accessible via public transport. There is one main entrance, beyond which the evening box office is located on the left-hand side. Ticket attendants are then waiting at the second door which opens out into the spacious foyer. Once in the foyer we recommend that patrons turn left where an information desk is situated and further along the cloakroom. The staff at the information desk will gladly guide visually impaired visitors not accompanied by a fully-sighted person to their seats.
The easiest way from the foyer into the concert hall itself is via a broad staircase which - walking in a straight line from the main entrance through the foyer - leads directly through to the back of the foyer and then up into the main aisle encircling the hall. Located on the right-hand side of the foyer are further cloakrooms and a staircase leading up to the hall. Coats and other garments can be handed in at the cloakrooms free of charge in return for a square token bearing a number. After the concert you can retrieve your garments upon presentation of the token.
The architecture of the concert hall resembles that of an ancient amphitheatre: The circular podium is positioned almost in the centre of the hall. In front of the podium the rows of seats incline steeply upwards in a semicircle. Another semicircle is formed by the choir gallery (block Z) and the two tiers of balconies behind the podium. To the left of the podium is the large, permanently installed concert organ.
The seating areas are divided into blocks which are labelled alphabetically. The blocks A, B, E, D and the choir gallery Z are closest to the podium. Facing the podium but positioned somewhat further away are blocks C and F in the centre, surrounded by a semicircular section comprising the blocks G, H, L, Q, N and M. To the left and the right on the upper tiers are the blocks I, K, R, P, O and S. The balconies are blocks X and Y.
The acoustics are excellent throughout the hall. We particularly recommend blocks C, F, L or Q, as these are easily accessible from the straight broad stairway leading up from the foyer. In easy access of these blocks, two areas have been set aside for patrons wishing to take refreshments in the interval. These can be reached from the seating area by taking the stairs leading to the circular aisle and turning right into the Rheingartenfoyer or left into the main foyer.
Guide-dogs are also welcome in the Philharmonie, although the choice of seats is somewhat restricted. Consequently, we recommend that on purchasing tickets patrons advise staff of the presence of the guide dog and report to the information desk on the evening of the concert.Back