The Kallendresser on Alter Markt is certainly the best-known sculpture of its kind in Cologne, but not the only one. A close look at the ensemble of figures on Cologne's Town Hall Tower reveals such or similar figures on the consoles of various personalities.
An exact meaning has not been clearly clarified, but there is agreement that the figures quite clearly reflect the (vulgar) opinion of a person or thing (preferably towards the authorities). In the case of the Kallendresser on the Alter Markt, it can consequently be assumed that it is the opinion of a Cologne citizen towards the city council, opposed to it.
The Kallendresser is the blunt representation of a very simple truth that everyone understands: whether poor or rich, strong or weak, no matter how things stand in life, no one can get past the essential things in life, beautiful or not.
With this message, the Kallendresser is a symbol of the down-to-earth and equally egalitarian attitude of Cologne's city population, which has been (and still is) in permanent dispute with its authority(ies) since the Middle Ages.
Jupp Engels did not just leave it at the restoration of the figure, however. The self-proclaimed "Chief Kallendresser" founded the Kallendresser Order, which only admits people who have shown particular commitment to Cologne's customs. The significance of the figure has been reversed in this respect, the act of polluting the city has now become an act of preserving the city and its customs.
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