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Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of
Germany's
Germany's
most populous
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...

state
of
North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia (german: Nordrhein-Westfalen, ; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Pre ...
(NRW) and the fourth-most populous city and one of the oldest in Germany. With 3.6 million people in the
urban region An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized by urban morphology as city, cities, towns, conurbat ...
and 1.1 million inhabitants within its
city proper A city proper is the geographical area contained within city limits. The term ''proper'' is not exclusive to city, cities; it can describe the geographical area within the boundaries of any given locality. The United Nations defines the term as "t ...
, Cologne is the largest city on the river
Rhine ), Surselva Surselva Region is one of the eleven administrative districts Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many s ...

Rhine
and also the most populous city of both the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region and the
Rhineland The Rhineland (german: Rheinland; french: Rhénanie; nl, Rijnland; ksh, Rhingland; Latinised name: ''Rhenania'') is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly Middle Rhine, its middle section. Term ...

Rhineland
. Centered on the left (west) bank of the Rhine, Cologne is about southeast of NRW's state capital
Düsseldorf Düsseldorf ( , , ; often in English sources; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, 199 ...

Düsseldorf
and northwest of
Bonn The Federal city The term federal city is a title for certain cities in Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official langua ...

Bonn
. The city's medieval Catholic
Cologne Cathedral Cologne Cathedral (german: Kölner Dom, officially ', English: Cathedral Church of Saint Peter Saint Peter; he, שמעון בר יונה, Šimʿōn bar Yōnāh; ar, سِمعَان بُطرُس, translit=Simʿa̅n Buṭrus; grc-gre, Πέτ ...

Cologne Cathedral
(''Kölner Dom''), the third-tallest church and tallest cathedral in the world, constructed to house the
Shrine of the Three Kings . The Shrine of the Three Kings ( German language, German ''Dreikönigsschrein'' or ''Der Dreikönigenschrein''), Tomb of the Three Kings, or Tomb of the Three Magi is a reliquary A reliquary (also referred to as a '' shrine'', by the French ter ...
, is a globally recognized landmark and one of the most visited sights and pilgrimage destinations in Europe. The cityscape is further shaped by the
Twelve Romanesque churches of CologneThe twelve Romanesque architecture, Romanesque churches of Cologne are twelve landmark churches in the Innenstadt, Cologne, Old town ''(Altstadt)'' of Cologne, Germany. All twelve churches are Catholic Church, Catholic. Churches The twelve churche ...
, and Cologne is famous for
Eau de Cologne Eau de Cologne (; German: ''Kölnisch Wasser'' ; meaning "Water from Cologne"), or simply cologne, is a perfume Perfume (, ; french: parfum) is a mixture of fragrant essential oils or aroma compounds, fixatives and solvent A solvent (from t ...
, that has been produced in the city since 1709, and "cologne" has since come to be a generic term. There are many institutions of higher education in the city, most notably the
University of Cologne The University of Cologne (german: Universität zu Köln) is a university in Cologne, Germany. It was the sixth university to be established in Central Europe and, although it closed in 1798 before being re-established in 1919, it is now one of ...
, one of Europe's oldest and largest universities; the
Technical University of Cologne Cologne University of Applied Sciences, officially called TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences (''german: Technische Hochschule Köln'', abbreviated TH Köln) is an institute of higher education located in Cologne, Germany ) , imag ...
, Germany's largest university of applied sciences; and the
German Sport University Cologne German Sport University Cologne ( German: Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln, DSHS, Spoho), founded in 1947, is a sport university in Cologne Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of Germany's most populous state of Nort ...
. It hosts three Max Planck science institutes and is a major research hub for the aerospace industry, with the
German Aerospace Center The German Aerospace Center (german: Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V., literally ''German Center for Air- and Space-flight''), abbreviated DLR, is the national center for aerospace, energy and transportation research of Germany ...
and the
European Astronaut Centre The European Astronaut Centre (EAC) (German: Europäisches Astronautenzentrum, French: Centre des astronautes européens), is an establishment of the European Space Agency and home of the European Astronaut Corps. It is near to Cologne, Germany, a ...
headquarters. It also has significant chemical and automobile industry.
Cologne Bonn Airport Cologne Bonn Airport (german: Flughafen Köln/Bonn 'Konrad Adenauer') is the international airport of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , la ...
is a regional hub, the main airport for the region is
Düsseldorf Airport Düsseldorf Airport (german: link=no, Flughafen Düsseldorf, ; until March 2013 ''Düsseldorf International Airport''; ) is the international airport An international airport is an airport An airport is an aerodrome with extended fac ...

Düsseldorf Airport
. Cologne was founded and established in
Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes * Germanic languages :* Proto-Germanic language, a reconstructed proto-language of ...

Germanic
Ubii 350px, The Ubii around AD 30 The Ubii were a Germanic tribe This list of ancient s is an inventory of ancient Germanic cultures, tribal groupings and other alliances of Germanic tribes and civilisations in ancient times. The information comes ...
territory in the 1st century CE as the
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...
''
Colonia Agrippina ''Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium'' was the Roman colony A Roman colonia (plural ''coloniae'') was originally a Roman outpost established in conquered territory to secure it. Eventually, however, the term came to denote the highest status of ...
'', hence its name (''Augusta Ubiorum'' was also used). "Agrippina" was later dropped (except in Latin), and "Colonia" became the name of the city in its own right, which developed into modern German as ''Köln''. "Cologne", the French version of the city's name, has become standard in English as well. Cologne functioned as the capital of the Roman province of ''
Germania Inferior Germania Inferior ("Lower Germania") was a Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Roman Italy that were controlled by the Romans under the Rom ...
'' and as the headquarters of the Roman military in the region until occupied by the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...
in 462. During the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
the city flourished as being located on one of the most important major
trade routes A trade route is a Logistics, logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. The term can also be used to refer to trade over bodies of water. Allowing Good (economics and accounting ...
between east and western Europe (including the Brabant Road,
Via Regia The Via Regia (Royal Highway) is a European Cultural Route A Culture Route of the Council of Europe, sometimes referred to as a European Cultural Route, is a certification awarded by the Council of Europe The Council of Europe (CoE) (fre ...
and Publica). Cologne was a
free imperial city In the Holy Roman Empire, the collective term free and imperial cities (german: Freie und Reichsstädte), briefly worded free imperial city (', la, urbs imperialis libera), was used from the fifteenth century to denote a self-ruling city that h ...
of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
and one of the major members of the trade union
Hanseatic League The Hanseatic League (; gml, Hanse, , ; german: label=Modern German New High German (NHG) is the term used for the most recent period in the history of the German language German (: , ) is a mainly spoken in . It is the most widely ...
. It was one of the largest European cities in medieval and renaissance times. Prior to
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, the city had undergone occupations by the French (1794–1815) and the British (1918–1926), and was part of
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...

Prussia
beginning in 1815. Cologne was one of the most heavily bombed cities in Germany during World War II. The bombing reduced the population by 95%, mainly due to evacuation, and destroyed almost the entire millennia-old city center. The post-war rebuilding has resulted in a very mixed cityscape, restoring only major historic landmarks like city gates and churches (31 of them being
Romanesque Romanesque may refer to: In art and architecture *First Romanesque, or Lombard Romanesque architectural style *Pre-Romanesque art and architecture, a term used for the early phase of the style *Romanesque architecture, architecture of Europe wh ...
). Cologne is a major cultural center for the
Rhineland The Rhineland (german: Rheinland; french: Rhénanie; nl, Rijnland; ksh, Rhingland; Latinised name: ''Rhenania'') is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly Middle Rhine, its middle section. Term ...

Rhineland
; it hosts more than 30 museums and hundreds of galleries. Exhibitions range from local ancient Roman archeological sites to contemporary graphics and sculpture. The Cologne Trade Fair hosts a number of
trade show A trade fair (trade show, trade exhibition, or trade exposition) is an exhibition organized so that companies A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity In law, a legal person is any person A person (plural people or persons) i ...
s such as
Art Cologne Art Cologne is an art exhibition, art fair held annually in Cologne, Germany and was established in 1967 as ''Kölner Kunstmarkt''. It is regarded as the world's oldest art fair of its kind. The fair runs for six days and brings together galleries f ...
,
Dmexco The DMEXCO (pronounced D-M-EXCO / Digital Marketing Expo & Conference) is an annual trade fair for digital marketing and advertising. The largest congress trade fair for the digital industry in Europe has been held in Cologne, Germany since 200 ...
,
imm Cologne The imm Cologne (internationale möbelmesse) is an international, publicly open furniture trade show held at ''koelnmesse'' exhibition centre in Cologne, Germany, every year in January. The exhibition's primary focus is contemporary furniture an ...
,
Photokina South Entrance of the Cologne Trade Fair during Photokina 2008 Photokina (rendered in the promoters' branding as "photokina") is a trade fair A trade fair (trade show, trade exhibition, or trade exposition) is an exhibition organized so that ...

Photokina
and
Gamescom Gamescom (stylized as gamescom) is a trade fair for video games held annually at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Since 2018, it has been organised by ''game – Verband der deutschen Games-Branche'' (English: Associa ...
, a leading video games fair.


History


Roman Cologne

The first urban settlement on the grounds of modern-day Cologne was ''Oppidum Ubiorum'', founded in 38 BCE by the
Ubii 350px, The Ubii around AD 30 The Ubii were a Germanic tribe This list of ancient s is an inventory of ancient Germanic cultures, tribal groupings and other alliances of Germanic tribes and civilisations in ancient times. The information comes ...
, a Cisrhenian
Germanic tribe This list of ancient s is an inventory of ancient Germanic cultures, tribal groupings and other alliances of Germanic tribes and civilisations in ancient times. The information comes from various ancient historical documents, beginning in the 2nd ...

Germanic tribe
. In 50 CE, the Romans founded ''
Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium ''Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium'' was the Roman colony in the Rhineland from which the Germany, German city of Cologne developed. It was usually called ''Colonia'' and was the capital of the Roman province of ''Germania Inferior'' and the h ...
'' (Cologne) on the river
Rhine ), Surselva Surselva Region is one of the eleven administrative districts Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many s ...

Rhine
and the city became the provincial capital of
Germania Inferior Germania Inferior ("Lower Germania") was a Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Roman Italy that were controlled by the Romans under the Rom ...
in 85 CE. Considerable Roman remains can be found in present-day Cologne, especially near the wharf area, where a 1,900-year-old Roman boat was discovered in late 2007. From 260 to 271, Cologne was the capital of the
Gallic Empire The Gallic Empire or the Gallic Roman Empire are names used in modern historiography for a breakaway part of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rh ...
under
Postumus Marcus Cassianius Latinius PostumusJones & Martindale (1971), p. 720 was a Roman commander of Batavian origin who ruled as Emperor in the West. The Roman army in Gaul threw off its allegiance to Gallienus around the year 260,The year of Postu ...

Postumus
, Marius, and
Victorinus Marcus Piavonius VictorinusSome of the inscriptions record his name as M. Piavvonius Victorinus, as does the first release of coins from the Colonia mint. A mosaic from Augusta Treverorum (Trier) lists him as Piaonius. was emperor in the Gallic ...

Victorinus
. In 310, under emperor
Constantine I Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). Th ...
, a bridge was built over the Rhine at Cologne. Roman imperial governors resided in the city and it became one of the most important trade and production centers in the Roman Empire north of the Alps. Cologne is shown on the 4th century
Peutinger Map ' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it ...
. Maternus, who was elected as bishop in 313, was the first known bishop of Cologne. The city was the capital of a Roman province until it was occupied by the
Ripuarian Franks Ripuarian or Rhineland Franks (Latin: ''Ripuarii'' or ''Ribuarii'') were one of the two main groupings of early Frankish people The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman s ...
in 462. Parts of the original Roman sewers are preserved underneath the city, with the new sewerage system having opened in 1890. After the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem and the associated dispersion (diaspora) of the Jews, there is evidence of a Jewish community in Cologne. In 321 CE, Emperor Constantine approved the settlement of a Jewish community with all the freedoms of Roman citizens. It is assumed that it was located near the Marspforte within the city wall. The Edict of Constantine to the Jews is the oldest documented evidence in Germany.


Middle Ages

Early medieval Cologne was part of
Austrasia Austrasia was a territory which formed the northeastern section of the Merovingian The Merovingian dynasty () was the ruling family of the Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples whose name was first mention ...
within the
Frankish Empire Francia, also called the Kingdom of the Franks ( la, Regnum Francorum), Frankish Kingdom, Frankland or Frankish Empire, was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom A barbarian is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most popu ...

Frankish Empire
. Cunibert, made bishop of Cologne in 623, was an important advisor to the merovingian King Dagobert I and served with domesticus Pepin of Landen as tutor to the king's son and heir Siegebert III, the future king of Austrasia. In 716,
Charles Martel Charles Martel (c. 688 – 22 October 741) was a Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient ...

Charles Martel
commanded an army for the first time and suffered the only defeat of his life when
Chilperic II Chilperic II (c. 672 – 13 February 721), known as Daniel prior to his coronation, was the youngest son of Childeric II and his half-cousin, king of Neustria from 715 and sole king of the Franks from 718 until his death. As an infant, he was ...
, King of
Neustria Neustria was the western part of the Kingdom of the Franks Francia, also called the Kingdom of the Franks ( la, Regnum Francorum), Frankland, or Frankish Empire, was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe Western ...
, invaded Austrasia and the city fell to him in the Battle of Cologne. Charles fled to the
Eifel The Eifel (; lb, Äifel, ) is a low in western and eastern . It occupies parts of southwestern , northwestern and the southern area of the . The Eifel is part of the ; within its northern portions lies the . Geography Location The ...
mountains, rallied supporters and took the city back that same year after defeating Chilperic in the Battle of Amblève. Cologne had been the seat of a bishop since the Roman period; under
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; 2 April 748 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks The Franks—Germanic-speaking peoples that invaded the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century—were first led by i ...

Charlemagne
, in 795, bishop
Hildebold Hildebold (died 3 September 818) was the Bishop of Cologne from 787 until 795 and the first Archbishop of Cologne thereafter. A friend of Charlemagne, in 791 Hildebold was made the archchaplain and chancellor of the Carolingian Empire, Imperial C ...
was promoted to
archbishop In many Christian Denominations Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' an ...
. In the 843
Treaty of Verdun The Treaty of Verdun, signed on 10 August 843, was the first of the treaties that divided the Carolingian Empire The Carolingian Empire (800–888) was a large Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were ...

Treaty of Verdun
Cologne fell into the dominion of
Lothair I Lothair I or Lothar I (Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" ...
's
Middle Francia Middle Francia or the first state of Lotharingia ( la, Francia media, links=no) was a short-lived Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples ( ...
– later called
Lotharingia Lotharingia (Latin: ''regnum Lotharii, regnum Lothariense, Lotharingia'', French: ''Lotharingie'', German: ''Reich des Lothar'', ''Lotharingien'', ''Mittelreich'') was a short-lived medieval successor kingdom of the Carolingian Empire The Caro ...
(
Lower Lorraine The Duchy of Lower Lotharingia, also called Northern Lotharingia, Lower Lorraine or Northern Lorraine (and also referred to as ''Lothier'' or ''Lottier''
). In 953, the archbishops of Cologne first gained noteworthy secular power when bishop
Bruno BRUNO was the first commercial computer software program for creating presentations (Presentation program In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and ...
was appointed as duke by his brother
Otto I Otto I (23 November 912 – 7 May 973), traditionally known as Otto the Great (german: Otto der Große, it, Ottone il Grande), was East Francian king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973. He was the oldest son of Henr ...

Otto I
,
King of Germany King of the Romans ( la, Rex Romanorum; german: König der Römer) was the title used by the German king following his election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple in ...
. In order to weaken the secular nobility, who threatened his power, Otto endowed Bruno and his archiepiscopal successors with the prerogatives of secular princes, thus establishing the
Electorate of Cologne The Electorate of Cologne (german: Kurfürstentum Köln), sometimes referred to as Electoral Cologne (german: Kurköln, links=no), was an ecclesiastical principality A principality (or sometimes princedom) can either be a monarchical ...
, formed by the temporal possessions of the archbishopric and included in the end a strip of territory along the left Bank of the Rhine east of
Jülich Jülich (; in old spellings also known as ''Guelich'' or ''Gülich'', nl, Gulik, french: Juliers) is a town A town is a human settlement In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") ...

Jülich
, as well as the
Duchy of Westphalia The Duchy of Westphalia (german: Herzogtum Westfalen) was a historic territory in the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Imperium Romanum; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in West ...
on the other side of the Rhine, beyond
BergBerg may refer to: People *Alban Berg (1885–1935), Austrian composer *Berg (surname), a surname (including a list of people with the name) *Berg Ng (born 1960), Hong Kong actor Former states *Berg (state), county and duchy of the Holy Roman Emp ...
and
Mark Mark may refer to: Currency * Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark The Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark (Bosnian Bosnian may refer to: *Anything related to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina or its inhabitants *Anything related to Bo ...
. By the end of the 12th century, the Archbishop of Cologne was one of the seven electors of the Holy Roman Emperor. Besides being prince elector, he was
Archchancellor An archchancellor ( la, archicancellarius, german: Erzkanzler) or chief chancellor was a title given to the highest dignitary of the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) w ...
of Italy as well, technically from 1238 and permanently from 1263 until 1803. Following the
Battle of Worringen The Battle of Worringen was fought on 5 June 1288 near the town of Worringen (also spelled Woeringen), which is now the northernmost borough of Cologne Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of Germany's most populous s ...
in 1288, Cologne gained its independence from the archbishops and became a Free City. Archbishop Sigfried II von Westerburg was forced to reside in
Bonn The Federal city The term federal city is a title for certain cities in Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official langua ...

Bonn
.Harry de Quetteville.
History of Cologne
. ''The Catholic Encyclopedia'', 28 November 2009.
The archbishop nevertheless preserved the right of capital punishment. Thus the municipal council (though in strict political opposition towards the archbishop) depended upon him in all matters concerning criminal justice. This included torture, the sentence for which was only allowed to be handed down by the episcopal judge known as the "Greve". This legal situation lasted until the French conquest of Cologne. Besides its economic and political significance Cologne also became an important centre of medieval pilgrimage, when Cologne's archbishop,
Rainald of Dassel Rainald of Dassel (c. 1120 – 14 August 1167) was Archbishop of Cologne and Archchancellor An archchancellor ( la, archicancellarius, german: Erzkanzler) or chief chancellor was a title given to the highest dignitary of the Holy Roman Empi ...
, gave the relics of the
Three Wise Men 3 is a number, numeral, and glyph. 3, three, or III may also refer to: * AD 3 __NOTOC__ AD 3 (III) or 3 AD was a common year starting on Monday or Common year starting on Tuesday, Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian ca ...

Three Wise Men
to Cologne's cathedral in 1164 (after they, in fact, had been taken from
Milan Milan (, , Milanese: ; it, Milano ) is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the List of cities in Italy, second-most populous city proper in Italy after Rome. The city proper has a population of about 1.4 million, while its ...

Milan
). Besides the three magi Cologne preserves the relics of
Saint Ursula Saint Ursula (Latin for 'little female bear') is a legendary Romano-British culture, Romano-British Celtic Christianity, Christian saint who died on 21 October 383. Her feast day in the pre-1970 General Roman Calendar is 21 October. There is l ...
and
Albertus Magnus Albertus Magnus (c. 1200 – November 15, 1280), also known as Saint Albert the Great or Albert of Cologne, was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany ...

Albertus Magnus
. Cologne's location on the river Rhine placed it at the intersection of the major
trade route A trade route is a Logistics, logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. The term can also be used to refer to trade over bodies of water. Allowing Good (economics and accountin ...
s between east and west as well as the main south–north Western Europe trade route, Northern Italy to Flanders. The intersection of these trade routes were the basis of Cologne's growth. By 1300 the city population was 50,000–55,000. Cologne was a member of the
Hanseatic League The Hanseatic League (; gml, Hanse, , ; german: label=Modern German New High German (NHG) is the term used for the most recent period in the history of the German language German (: , ) is a mainly spoken in . It is the most widely ...
in 1475, when
Frederick IIIFrederick III may refer to: * Frederick III, Duke of Upper Lorraine (died 1033) * Frederick III, Duke of Swabia (1122–1190) * Friedrich III, Burgrave of Nuremberg (1220–1297) * Frederick III, Duke of Lorraine (1240–1302) * Frederick III of Sici ...

Frederick III
confirmed the city's imperial immediacy.


Early modern history

The economic structures of medieval and early modern Cologne were characterised by the city's status as a major harbour and transport hub on the Rhine. Craftsmanship was organised by self-administering guilds, some of which were exclusive to women. As a
free imperial city In the Holy Roman Empire, the collective term free and imperial cities (german: Freie und Reichsstädte), briefly worded free imperial city (', la, urbs imperialis libera), was used from the fifteenth century to denote a self-ruling city that h ...
, Cologne was a self-ruling state within the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
, an
imperial estate An Imperial State or Imperial Estate ( la, Status Imperii; german: Reichsstand, plural: ') was a part of the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Imperium Romanum; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex o ...
with seat and vote at the
Imperial DietImperial Diet means the highest representative assembly in an empire, notably: * Imperial Diet (Holy Roman Empire), general assembly of the Imperial Estates of the Holy Roman Empire (962–1806) * Diet of Japan, Has been going on since 1889 (1889 ...
, and as such had the right (and obligation) to contribute to the defense of the Empire and maintain its own military force. As they wore a red uniform, these troops were known as the ''Rote Funken'' (red sparks). These soldiers were part of the Army of the Holy Roman Empire ("Reichskontingent"). They fought in the wars of the 17th and 18th century, including the wars against revolutionary France in which the small force was almost completely wiped out in combat. The tradition of these troops is preserved as a military persiflage by Cologne's most outstanding carnival society, the ''Rote Funken''. The Free Imperial City of Cologne must not be confused with the
Electorate of Cologne The Electorate of Cologne (german: Kurfürstentum Köln), sometimes referred to as Electoral Cologne (german: Kurköln, links=no), was an ecclesiastical principality A principality (or sometimes princedom) can either be a monarchical ...
which was a state of its own within the Holy Roman Empire. Since the second half of the 16th century the majority of archbishops were drawn from the
Bavaria Bavaria (; German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language ...

Bavaria
Wittelsbach The House of Wittelsbach () is the Kingdom of Bavaria, Royal Bavarian dynasty from Germany, with branches that have ruled over territories including Bavaria, the Palatinate, Holland and Zeeland, Sweden (with Denmark and Norway), Hungary (with ...

Wittelsbach
dynasty. Due to the free status of Cologne, the archbishops were usually not allowed to enter the city. Thus they took up residence in
Bonn The Federal city The term federal city is a title for certain cities in Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official langua ...

Bonn
and later in Brühl on the Rhine. As members of an influential and powerful family, and supported by their outstanding status as electors, the archbishops of Cologne repeatedly challenged and threatened the free status of Cologne during the 17th and 18th centuries, resulting in complicated affairs, which were handled by diplomatic means and propaganda as well as by the supreme courts of the Holy Roman Empire.


From the 19th century until World War II

Cologne lost its status as a free city during the French period. According to the Peace
Treaty of Lunéville The Treaty of Lunéville was signed in the Treaty House of Lunéville on 9 February 1801. The signatory parties were the French First Republic, French Republic and Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor, Holy Roman Emperor Francis II. The latter was negot ...
(1801) all the territories of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
on the left bank of the Rhine were officially incorporated into the
French Republic France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of severa ...
(which had already occupied Cologne in 1794). Thus this region later became part of Napoleon's Empire. Cologne was part of the French
Département In the administrative divisions of France, the department (french: département, ) is one of the three levels of government under the national level ("territorial collectivity, territorial collectivities"), between the regions of France, admini ...
Roer The Rur or Roer (german: Rur ; nl, Roer ; french: la Roer) is a major river that flows through portions of Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Eur ...
(named after the river Roer, German:
Rur The Rur or Roer (german: Rur ; nl, Roer ; french: Rour) is a major river that flows through portions of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. It is a right (eastern) tributary to the Meuse ( nl, links=no, Maas). About 90 percent of the rive ...

Rur
) with
Aachen Aachen ( ; Aachen dialect Aachen dialect (natively ''Öcher Platt'') is a dialect of Ripuarian language, Ripuarian Franconian spoken in the German Rhineland city of Aachen. This dialect, as part of the large West Germanic languages, West Ger ...

Aachen
(French: Aix-la-Chapelle) as its capital. The French modernised public life, for example by introducing the
Napoleonic code The Napoleonic Code (, lit. "Code Napoleon"), officially the Civil Code of the French (; simply referred to as ) is the French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), of ...
and removing the old elites from power. The
Napoleonic code The Napoleonic Code (, lit. "Code Napoleon"), officially the Civil Code of the French (; simply referred to as ) is the French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), of ...
remained in use on the left bank of the Rhine until 1900, when a unified civil code (the ''
Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch The ''Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch'' (, lit.: 'Civil Law Book'), abbreviated BGB, is the civil code of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languag ...
'') was introduced in the
German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont Bennington is a New England town, town ...
. In 1815 at the
Congress of Vienna The Congress of Vienna (, ) of 1814–1815 was an international diplomatic conference to reconstitute the European political order after the downfall of the French Emperor Napoleon I Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) w ...

Congress of Vienna
, Cologne was made part of the
Kingdom of Prussia The Kingdom of Prussia (german: Königreich Preußen) was a German kingdom Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy * A realm ruled by: **A king, during the reign of a male monarch **A queen regnant, during the reign of a female ...
, first in the Jülich-Cleves-Berg province and then the
Rhine province The Rhine Province (german: Rheinprovinz), also known as Rhenish Prussia (''Rheinpreußen'') or synonymous with the Rhineland The Rhineland (german: Rheinland; french: Rhénanie; nl, Rijnland; ksh, Rhingland; Latinised name: ''Rhenania'' ...
. The permanent tensions between the Roman Catholic
Rhineland The Rhineland (german: Rheinland; french: Rhénanie; nl, Rijnland; ksh, Rhingland; Latinised name: ''Rhenania'') is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly Middle Rhine, its middle section. Term ...

Rhineland
and the overwhelmingly Protestant Prussian state repeatedly escalated with Cologne being in the focus of the conflict. In 1837 the archbishop of Cologne,
Clemens August von Droste-Vischering Baron Baron is a rank of nobility or title of honour, often hereditary, in various European countries, either current or historical. The female equivalent is baroness. Typically, the title denotes an aristocrat who ranks higher than a lord or ...
, was arrested and imprisoned for two years after a dispute over the legal status of marriages between Protestants and Roman Catholics (''Mischehenstreit''). In 1874, during the
Kulturkampf ''Kulturkampf'' (, 'culture struggle') was the conflict that took place from 1872 to 1878 between the government of the Kingdom of Prussia The Kingdom of Prussia (german: Königreich Preußen) was a German Monarchy, kingdom that constituted th ...
, Archbishop was imprisoned before taking asylum in the Netherlands. These conflicts alienated the Catholic population from Berlin and contributed to a deeply felt anti-Prussian resentment, which was still significant after World War II, when the former mayor of Cologne, Konrad Adenauer, became the first West German chancellor. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Cologne absorbed numerous surrounding towns, and by World War I had already grown to 700,000 inhabitants. Industrialisation changed the city and spurred its growth. Vehicle and engine manufacturing was especially successful, though the heavy industry was less ubiquitous than in the Ruhr area. The Cologne Cathedral, cathedral, started in 1248 but abandoned around 1560, was eventually finished in 1880 not just as a place of worship but also as a German national monument celebrating the newly founded German empire and the continuity of the German nation since the Middle Ages. Some of this urban growth occurred at the expense of the city's historic heritage with much being demolished (for example, the city walls or the area around the cathedral) and sometimes replaced by contemporary buildings. Cologne was designated as one of the Fortresses of the German Confederation.United Services Magazine
December 1835
It was turned into a heavily armed fortress (opposing the French and Belgian fortresses of Verdun and Liège) with two fortified belts surrounding the city, the remains of which can be seen to this day. The military demands on what became Germany's largest fortress presented a significant obstacle to urban development, with forts, bunkers, and wide defensive dugouts completely encircling the city and preventing expansion; this resulted in a very densely built-up area within the city itself. During World War I Cologne was the target of several minor air raids but suffered no significant damage. Cologne was occupied by the British Army of the Rhine until 1926, under the terms of the Armistice and the subsequent Peace Treaty of Versailles, Versailles Peace Treaty. In contrast with the harsh behaviour of the French occupation troops in Germany, the British forces were more lenient to the local population. Konrad Adenauer, the mayor of Cologne from 1917 until 1933 and later a West German chancellor, acknowledged the political impact of this approach, especially since Britain had opposed French demands for a permanent Allied occupation of the entire Rhineland. As part of the demilitarisation of the
Rhineland The Rhineland (german: Rheinland; french: Rhénanie; nl, Rijnland; ksh, Rhingland; Latinised name: ''Rhenania'') is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly Middle Rhine, its middle section. Term ...

Rhineland
, the city's fortifications had to be dismantled. This was an opportunity to create two green belts (''Grüngürtel'') around the city by converting the fortifications and their fields of fire into large public parks. This was not completed until 1933. In 1919 the
University of Cologne The University of Cologne (german: Universität zu Köln) is a university in Cologne, Germany. It was the sixth university to be established in Central Europe and, although it closed in 1798 before being re-established in 1919, it is now one of ...
, closed by the French in 1798, was reopened. This was considered to be a replacement for the loss of the University of Strasbourg on the west bank of the Rhine, which reverted to France with the rest of Alsace. Cologne prospered during the Weimar Republic (1919–33), and progress was made especially in public governance, city planning, housing and social affairs. Social housing projects were considered exemplary and were copied by other German cities. Cologne competed to host the Olympics, and a modern sports stadium was erected at Müngersdorf. When the British occupation ended, the prohibition of civil aviation was lifted and Cologne Butzweilerhof Airport soon became a hub for national and international air traffic, second in Germany only to Tempelhof International Airport, Berlin Tempelhof Airport. The democratic parties lost the local elections in Cologne in March 1933 to the Nazi Party and other extreme-right parties. The Nazis then arrested the KPD, Communist and Social Democratic Party of Germany, Social Democrats members of the city assembly, and Mayor Adenauer was dismissed. Compared to some other major cities, however, the Nazis never gained decisive support in Cologne. (Significantly, the number of votes cast for the Nazi Party in Reichstag (Weimar Republic), Reichstag elections had always been the national average.) By 1939 the population had risen to 772,221 inhabitants.


World War II

During World War II, Cologne was a Military Area Command Headquarters (''Militärbereichshauptkommandoquartier'') for the Military district (Germany), Military District (''Wehrkreis'') VI of Münster. Cologne was under the command of Lieutenant-General Freiherr Roeder von Diersburg, who was responsible for military operations in
Bonn The Federal city The term federal city is a title for certain cities in Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official langua ...

Bonn
, Siegburg,
Aachen Aachen ( ; Aachen dialect Aachen dialect (natively ''Öcher Platt'') is a dialect of Ripuarian language, Ripuarian Franconian spoken in the German Rhineland city of Aachen. This dialect, as part of the large West Germanic languages, West Ger ...

Aachen
,
Jülich Jülich (; in old spellings also known as ''Guelich'' or ''Gülich'', nl, Gulik, french: Juliers) is a town A town is a human settlement In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") ...

Jülich
, Düren, and Monschau. Cologne was home to the 211th Infantry Regiment and the 26th Artillery Regiment. The Allies dropped 44,923.2 tons of bombs on the city during World War II, destroying 61% of its built up area. During the Bombing of Cologne in World War II, Cologne endured 262 air raids by the Western Allies of World War II, Allies, which caused approximately 20,000 civilian casualties and almost completely wiped out the central part of the city. During the night of 31 May 1942, Cologne was the target of "Operation Millennium", the first 1,000 bomber raid by the Royal Air Force in World War II. 1,046 heavy bombers attacked their target with 1,455 tons of explosives, approximately two-thirds of which were incendiary. This raid lasted about 75 minutes, destroyed of built-up area (61%), killed 486 civilians and made 59,000 people homeless. The devastation was recorded by Hermann Claasen from 1942 until the end of the war, and presented in his exhibition and book of 1947 ''Singing in the furnace. Cologne – Remains of an old city''. Cologne was taken by the American First United States Army#World War II, First Army in early March 1945. By the end of the war, the population of Cologne had been reduced by 95%. This loss was mainly caused by a massive evacuation of the people to more rural areas. The same happened in many other German cities in the last two years of war. By the end of 1945, however, the population had already recovered to approximately 450,000. By the end of the war, essentially all of Cologne's pre-war Jewish population of 11,000 had been deported or killed by the Nazis. The six synagogues of the city were destroyed. The Roonstrasse Synagogue, synagogue on Roonstraße was rebuilt in 1959.


Post-war Cologne until today

Despite Cologne's status as the largest city in the region, nearby
Düsseldorf Düsseldorf ( , , ; often in English sources; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, 199 ...

Düsseldorf
was chosen as the political capital of the States of Germany, federated state of
North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia (german: Nordrhein-Westfalen, ; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Pre ...
. With
Bonn The Federal city The term federal city is a title for certain cities in Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official langua ...

Bonn
being chosen as the provisional federal capital (''provisorische Bundeshauptstadt'') and seat of the government of the Federal Republic of Germany (then informally West Germany), Cologne benefited by being sandwiched between two important political centres. The city became–and still is–home to a number of federal agencies and organizations. After reunification in 1990, Berlin was made the capital of Germany. In 1945 architect and urban planner Rudolf Schwarz (architect), Rudolf Schwarz called Cologne the "world's greatest heap of rubble". Schwarz designed the master plan for reconstruction in 1947, which included the construction of several new thoroughfares through the city centre, especially the ''Nord-Süd-Fahrt'' ("North-South-Drive"). The master plan took into consideration the fact that even shortly after the war a large increase in automobile traffic could be anticipated. Plans for new roads had already, to a certain degree, evolved under the Nazi administration, but the actual construction became easier when most of the city centre was in ruins. The destruction of 95% of the city centre, including the famous Twelve Romanesque churches of Cologne, Twelve Romanesque churches such as St. Gereon's Basilica, St. Gereon, Great St. Martin Church, Great St. Martin, St. Maria im Kapitol and several other monuments in World War II, meant a tremendous loss of cultural treasures. The rebuilding of those churches and other landmarks such as the Gürzenich event hall was not undisputed among leading architects and art historians at that time, but in most cases, civil intention prevailed. The reconstruction lasted until the 1990s, when the Romanesque church of St. Kunibert (Cologne), St. Kunibert was finished. In 1959, the city's population reached pre-war numbers again. It then grew steadily, exceeding 1 million for about one year from 1975. It remained just below that until mid-2010, when it exceeded 1 million again.


Post-reunification

In the 1980s and 1990s Cologne's economy prospered for two main reasons. The first was the growth in the number of media companies, both in the private and public sectors; they are especially catered for in the newly developed Media Park, which creates a strong visual focal point in Cologne's city centre and includes the ''KölnTurm'', one of Cologne's most prominent high-rise buildings. The second was the permanent improvement of the diverse traffic infrastructure, which made Cologne one of the most easily accessible metropolitan areas in Central Europe. Due to the economic success of the Cologne Trade Fair, the city arranged a large extension to the fair site in 2005. At the same time the original buildings, which date back to the 1920s, were rented out to Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, RTL, Germany's largest private broadcaster, as their new corporate headquarters. Cologne was the focus of the 2015-16 New Year's Eve sexual assaults in Germany, with over 500 women reporting that they were sexually assaulted by persons of African and Arab appearance.


Geography

The metropolitan area encompasses over , extending around a central point that lies at 50° 56' 33 latitude and 6° 57' 32 longitude. The city's highest point is Above mean sea level, above sea level (the Monte Troodelöh) and its lowest point is above sea level (the Worringer Bruch). The city of Cologne lies within the larger area of the Cologne Lowland, a cone-shaped area of the central
Rhineland The Rhineland (german: Rheinland; french: Rhénanie; nl, Rijnland; ksh, Rhingland; Latinised name: ''Rhenania'') is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly Middle Rhine, its middle section. Term ...

Rhineland
that lies between
Bonn The Federal city The term federal city is a title for certain cities in Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official langua ...

Bonn
,
Aachen Aachen ( ; Aachen dialect Aachen dialect (natively ''Öcher Platt'') is a dialect of Ripuarian language, Ripuarian Franconian spoken in the German Rhineland city of Aachen. This dialect, as part of the large West Germanic languages, West Ger ...

Aachen
and
Düsseldorf Düsseldorf ( , , ; often in English sources; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, 199 ...

Düsseldorf
.


Districts

Cologne is divided into 9 boroughs (''Stadtbezirke'') and 85 districts (''Stadtteile''):


Climate

Located in the Rhine-Ruhr area, Cologne is one of the warmest cities in Germany. It has a Temperateness, temperate–oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification, Köppen: ''Cfb'') with cool winters and warm summers. It is also one of the cloudiest cities in Germany, with just 1567.5 hours of sun a year. Its average annual temperature is : during the day and at night. In January, the mean temperature is , while the mean temperature in July is . The record high temperature of happened on 25 July 2019 during the July 2019 European heat wave in which Cologne saw three consecutive days over . Especially the inner urban neighbourhoods experience a greater number of hot days, as well as significantly higher temperatures during night time compared to the surrounding area (including the airport, where temperatures are classified). Still temperatures can vary noticeably over the course of a month with warmer and colder weather. Precipitation is spread evenly throughout the year with a light peak in summer due to showers and thunderstorms.


Flood protection

Cologne is regularly affected by flooding from the Rhine and is considered the most flood-prone European city. A city agency (''Stadtentwässerungsbetriebe Köln'', "Cologne Urban Drainage Operations") manages an extensive flood control system which includes both permanent and mobile flood walls, protection from rising waters for buildings close to the river banks, monitoring and forecasting systems, pumping stations and programmes to create or protect floodplains, and river embankments. The system was redesigned after a 1993 flood, which resulted in heavy damage.


Demographics

In the Roman Empire the city was large and rich with a population of 40,000 in 100–200 AD. The city was home to around 20,000 people in 1000 AD, growing to 50,000 in 1200 AD. The
Rhineland The Rhineland (german: Rheinland; french: Rhénanie; nl, Rijnland; ksh, Rhingland; Latinised name: ''Rhenania'') is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly Middle Rhine, its middle section. Term ...

Rhineland
metropolis still had 50,000 residents in 1300 AD. Cologne is the fourth-largest city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. As of 31 December 2016, there were 1,080,701 people registered as living in Cologne in an area of . The population density was . The metropolitan area of the Cologne Bonn Region is home to 3,573,500 living on . It is part of the polycentric megacity region Rhine-Ruhr with a population of over 11,000,000 people. There were 546,498 women and 522,694 men in Cologne. For every 1,000 men, there were 1,046 women. In 2015, there were 11,337 births in Cologne (of which 34.53% were to unmarried women); 7,704 marriages and 2,203 divorces, and 9,629 deaths. In the city, the population was spread out, with 15.6% under the age of 18, and 17.6% were 65 years of age or older. 163 people in Cologne were over the age of 100. According to the Statistical Office of the City of Cologne, the number of people with a migrant background is at 36.7% (393,793). 2,537 people acquired German citizenship in 2015. In 2015, there were 557,090 households, of which 18.3% had children under the age of 18; 50.6% of all households were made up of singles. 8.7% of all households were single-parent households. The average household size was 1.87.


Residents of Cologne with foreign citizenship

Cologne residents with a foreign citizenship as of 31 December 2015 is as follows:


Turkish community

Cologne is home to 80,000 people of Turkish origin and is the second largest German city with Turkish population after Berlin. Cologne has a Little Istanbul in Keupstraße that has many Turkish restaurants and markets. Famous Turkish-German people like rapper Eko Fresh and TV presenter Nazan Eckes were born in Cologne.


Language

Colognian or Kölsch () (natively ''Kölsch Platt'') is a small set of very closely related dialects, or variants, of the Ripuarian language, Ripuarian Central German group of languages. These dialects are spoken in the area covered by the Archdiocese and former
Electorate of Cologne The Electorate of Cologne (german: Kurfürstentum Köln), sometimes referred to as Electoral Cologne (german: Kurköln, links=no), was an ecclesiastical principality A principality (or sometimes princedom) can either be a monarchical ...
reaching from Neuss in the north to just south of
Bonn The Federal city The term federal city is a title for certain cities in Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official langua ...

Bonn
, west to Düren and east to Olpe, Germany, Olpe in the North-West of Germany. Kölsch is one of the very few city dialects in Germany, which also include the Berlinerisch dialect, dialect spoken in Berlin, for example.


Religion

As of 2015, 35.5% of the population belonged to the Catholic Church, the largest religious body, and 15.5% to the Evangelical Church in Germany, Evangelical Church. Irenaeus, Irenaeus of Lyons claimed that Christianity was brought to Cologne by Roman soldiers and traders at an unknown early date. It is known that in the early second century it was a bishop's seat. The first historical Bishop of Cologne was Maternus of Cologne, Saint Maternus. Thomas Aquinas studied in Cologne in 1244 under
Albertus Magnus Albertus Magnus (c. 1200 – November 15, 1280), also known as Saint Albert the Great or Albert of Cologne, was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany ...

Albertus Magnus
. Cologne is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cologne. According to the 2011 census, 2.1% of the population was Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodox, 0.5% was member of an Evangelicalism, Evangelical Free Church and 4.2% belonged to further religious communities officially recognized by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (such as Jehovah's Witnesses). There are several mosques, including the Cologne Central Mosque run by the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs. In 2011, about 11.2% of the population was Islam, Muslim. Cologne also has one of the oldest and largest Judaism, Jewish communities in Germany. In 2011, 0.3% of Cologne's population was Jewish. On 11 October 2021, the Mayor of Cologne Henriette Reker, announced that all of Cologne's 35 mosques would be allowed to broadcast the Adhan for up to five minutes on Fridays between noon and 3 p.m. She commented that the move “shows that diversity is appreciated and loved in Cologne.”


Government

The city's administration is headed by the List of mayors of Cologne, mayor and the three deputy mayors.


Political traditions and developments

The long tradition of a free imperial city, which long dominated an exclusively Catholic population and the age-old conflict between the church and the bourgeoisie (and within it between the patricians and craftsmen) have created its own political climate in Cologne. Various interest groups often form networks beyond party boundaries. The resulting web of relationships, with political, economic, and cultural links with each other in a system of mutual favours, obligations and dependencies, is called the 'Cologne coterie'. This has often led to an unusual proportional distribution in the city government and degenerated at times into corruption: in 1999, a "waste scandal" over kickbacks and illegal campaign contributions came to light, which led not only to the imprisonment of the entrepreneur Hellmut Trienekens, but also to the downfall of almost the entire leadership of the ruling Social Democrats.


Mayor

The current Lord Mayor of Cologne is Henriette Reker. She received 52.66% of the vote at the municipal election on 17 October 2015, running as an Independent politician, independent with the support of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany, CDU, Free Democratic Party (Germany), FDP, and Alliance 90/The Greens, Greens. She took office on 15 December 2015. Reker was re-elected to a second term in a runoff election on 27 September 2020, in which she received 59.27% of the vote. The Mayor serves a term of six years. The most recent mayoral election was held on 13 September 2020, with a runoff held on 27 September, and the results were as follows: ! rowspan=2 colspan=2, Candidate ! rowspan=2, Party ! colspan=2, First round ! colspan=2, Second round , - ! Votes ! % ! Votes ! % , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Henriette Reker , align=left, Independent politician, Independent , 187,389 , 45.1 , 174,263 , 59.3 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Andreas Kossiski , align=left, Social Democratic Party of Germany, Social Democratic Party , 111,353 , 26.8 , 119,753 , 40.7 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Jörg Detjen , align=left, The Left (Germany), The Left , 29,810 , 7.2 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Olivier Fuchs , align=left, Volt Europa#Germany, Volt Germany , 18,520 , 4.5 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Christer Cremer , align=left, Alternative for Germany , 17,441 , 4.2 , - , , align=left, Nicolin Gabrysch , align=left, Climate Friends , 14,370 , 3.5 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Roberto Campione , align=left, Independent politician, Independent , 14,122 , 3.4 , - , , align=left, Thor Zimmermann , align=left, Good Cologne , 8,613 , 2.1 , - , , align=left, Dagmar Langel , align=left, We Are Cologne , 4,464 , 1.1 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Robert Nussholz , align=left, Independent politician, Independent , 4,044 , 1.0 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Sabine Neumeyer , align=left, Independent politician, Independent , 2,547 , 0.6 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Rüdiger-René Keune , align=left, Ecological Democratic Party , 2,336 , 0.6 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Martin Przybylski , align=left, Independent politician, Independent , 924 , 0.2 , - ! colspan=3, Valid votes ! 415,933 ! 98.7 ! 294,016 ! 99.1 , - ! colspan=3, Invalid votes ! 5,633 ! 1.3 ! 2,727 ! 0.9 , - ! colspan=3, Total ! 421,566 ! 100.0 ! 296,743 ! 100.0 , - ! colspan=3, Electorate/voter turnout ! 820,527 ! 51.4 ! 818,731 ! 36.2 , - , colspan=7, Source: City of Cologne
1st round


City council

The Cologne city council (''Kölner Stadtrat'') governs the city alongside the Mayor. It serves a term of five years. The most recent city council election was held on 13 September 2020, and the results were as follows: ! colspan=2, Party ! Votes ! % ! +/- ! Seats ! +/- , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Alliance 90/The Greens (Grüne) , 118,997 , 28.5 , 9.0 , 26 , 8 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Social Democratic Party of Germany, Social Democratic Party (SPD) , 90,040 , 21.6 , 7.8 , 19 , 7 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Christian Democratic Union of Germany, Christian Democratic Union (CDU) , 89,659 , 21.5 , 5.7 , 19 , 6 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, The Left (Germany), The Left (Die Linke) , 27,044 , 6.5 , 0.4 , 6 , ±0 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Free Democratic Party (Germany), Free Democratic Party (FDP) , 21,965 , 5.3 , 0.2 , 5 , ±0 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Volt Europa#Germany, Volt Germany (Volt) , 20,783 , 5.0 , New , 4 , New , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Alternative for Germany (AfD) , 18,272 , 4.4 , 0.8 , 4 , 1 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Die PARTEI (PARTEI) , 10,261 , 2.5 , 2.4 , 2 , 2 , - , , align=left, Climate Friends (Klima Freunde) , 8,383 , 2.0 , 0.0 , 2 , ±0 , - , , align=left, Good Cologne (GUT) , 8,298 , 2.0 , 0.6 , 2 , ±0 , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Free Voters, Free Voters Cologne (FWK) , 2,501 , 0.6 , 0.2 , 1 , ±0 , - , colspan=7 bgcolor=lightgrey, , - , bgcolor=, , align=left, Ecological Democratic Party (ÖDP) , 374 , 0.1 , New , 0 , New , - , , align=left, We Are Cologne 2020 (Wir Sind Köln) , 265 , 0.1 , New , 0 , New , - , , align=left, Independent A. Krause , 107 , 0.0 , New , 0 , New , - , , align=left, Independent Neumeyer , 72 , 0.0 , New , 0 , New , - , , align=left, Independent Weber , 72 , 0.0 , New , 0 , New , - , , align=left, Independent R. Krause , 71 , 0.0 , New , 0 , New , - , , align=left, Independent Schidlowsky , 32 , 0.0 , New , 0 , New , - , , align=left, Party of Progress (PdF) , 31 , 0.0 , New , 0 , New , - ! colspan=2, Valid votes ! 417,227 ! 98.9 ! ! ! , - ! colspan=2, Invalid votes ! 4,596 ! 1.1 ! ! ! , - ! colspan=2, Total ! 421,823 ! 100.0 ! ! 90 ! ±0 , - ! colspan=2, Electorate/voter turnout ! 820,526 ! 51.4 ! 1.8 ! ! , - , colspan=7, Source
City of Cologne


Cityscape

The inner city of Cologne was completely destroyed during World War II. The reconstruction of the city followed the style of the 1950s, while respecting the old layout and naming of the streets. Thus, the city today is characterized by simple and modest post-war buildings, with a few interspersed pre-war buildings which were reconstructed due to their historical importance. Some buildings of the "Wiederaufbauzeit" (era of reconstruction), for example, the opera house by Wilhelm Riphahn, are nowadays regarded as classics of modern architecture. Nevertheless, the uncompromising style of the Cologne Opera house and other modern buildings has remained controversial. Green areas account for over a quarter of Cologne, which is approximately of public green space for every inhabitant.


Wildlife

The presence of animals in Cologne is generally limited to insects, small rodents, and several species of birds. Pigeons are the most often seen animals in Cologne, although the number of birds is augmented each year by a growing population of Feral organism, feral exotics, most visibly parrots such as the rose-ringed parakeet. The sheltered climate in southeast Northrhine-Westphalia allows these birds to survive through the winter, and in some cases, they are displacing native species. The plumage of Cologne's green parrots is highly visible even from a distance, and contrasts starkly with the otherwise muted colours of the cityscape.


Tourism

Cologne had 5.8 million overnight stays booked and 3.35 million arrivals in 2016. The city also has the most pubs per capita in Germany. The city has 70 clubs, "countless" bars, restaurants, and pubs.


Landmarks


Churches

*
Cologne Cathedral Cologne Cathedral (german: Kölner Dom, officially ', English: Cathedral Church of Saint Peter Saint Peter; he, שמעון בר יונה, Šimʿōn bar Yōnāh; ar, سِمعَان بُطرُس, translit=Simʿa̅n Buṭrus; grc-gre, Πέτ ...

Cologne Cathedral
(German: ''Kölner Dom'') is the city's most famous monument and the Cologne residents' most loved landmark. It is a gothic architecture, Gothic church, started in 1248, and completed in 1880. In 1996, it was designated a World Heritage Site; it houses the
Shrine of the Three Kings . The Shrine of the Three Kings ( German language, German ''Dreikönigsschrein'' or ''Der Dreikönigenschrein''), Tomb of the Three Kings, or Tomb of the Three Magi is a reliquary A reliquary (also referred to as a '' shrine'', by the French ter ...
, which supposedly contains the relics of the Biblical Magi, Three Magi (see also). Residents of Cologne sometimes refer to the cathedral as "the eternal construction site" (''die ewige Baustelle''). * Twelve Romanesque churches of Cologne, Twelve Romanesque churches: These buildings are outstanding examples of medieval church architecture. The origins of some of the churches go back as far as Roman times, for example St. Gereon, which was originally a chapel in a Roman graveyard. With the exception of St. Maria Lyskirchen all of these churches were very badly damaged during World War II. Reconstruction was only finished in the 1990s. Kdom.jpg,
Cologne Cathedral Cologne Cathedral (german: Kölner Dom, officially ', English: Cathedral Church of Saint Peter Saint Peter; he, שמעון בר יונה, Šimʿōn bar Yōnāh; ar, سِمعَان بُطرُس, translit=Simʿa̅n Buṭrus; grc-gre, Πέτ ...

Cologne Cathedral
Köln - Groß St. Martin vom Dom.jpg, Great St. Martin Church Severeinskirche aus Severinstorburg 2009.jpg, Basilica of St. Severin Koeln mariae himmelfahrt 001.jpg, Church of the Assumption Trinitatiskirche Koeln2007.jpg, Trinity Church


Medieval houses

The Cologne City Hall (''Kölner Rathaus''), founded in the 12th century, is the oldest city hall in Germany still in use. The Renaissance-style loggia and tower were added in the 15th century. Other famous buildings include the Gürzenich, Haus Saaleck and the Overstolzenhaus. File:Keoln Maerz 2009 PD 20090327 028.JPG, Cologne City Hall File:Köln gürzenich.jpg, Gürzenich File:Overstolzenhaus-Rheingasse-Köln.JPG, Overstolzenhaus


Medieval city gates

Of the twelve medieval city gates that once existed, only the Eigelsteintorburg at Ebertplatz, the Hahnentor at Rudolfplatz and the Severinstorburg at Chlodwigplatz still stand today. File:Köln eigelsteintorburg.jpg, Eigelsteintor File:Hahnentorburg.jpg, Hahnentor File:Severinstorburg Köln-0410.jpg, Severinstor


Streets

* The Cologne Ring boulevards (such as ''Hohenzollernring'', ''Kaiser-Wilhelm-Ring'', ''Hansaring'') with their medieval city gates (such as ''Hahnentorburg'' on ''Rudolfplatz'') are also known for their night life. * Hohe Straße (literally: ''High Street'') is one of the main shopping areas and extends past the cathedral in an approximately southerly direction. The street contains many gift shops, clothing stores, fast food restaurants and electronic goods dealers. * Schildergasse – connects ''Neumarkt'' square at its western end to the ''Hohe Strasse'' shopping street at its eastern end and has been named the busiest shopping street in Europe with 13,000 people passing through every hour, according to a 2008 study by GfK. * Ehrenstraße – the shopping area around ''Apostelnstrasse'', ''Ehrenstrasse'', and ''Rudolfplatz'' is a little more on the quirky and stylish side.


Bridges

Several bridges cross the Rhine in Cologne. They are (from south to north): the Cologne Rodenkirchen Bridge, South Bridge (Cologne), South Bridge (railway), Severin Bridge, Deutz Bridge, Hohenzollern Bridge (railway), Zoo Bridge (''Zoobrücke'') and Cologne Mülheim Bridge. In particular the iron tied arch bridge, tied arch Hohenzollern Bridge (''Hohenzollernbrücke'') is a dominant landmark along the river embankment. A Rhine crossing of a special kind is provided by the Cologne Cable Car (German: ''Kölner Seilbahn''), a cableway that runs across the Rhine between the Cologne Zoological Garden in Riehl and the Rheinpark in Deutz.


High-rise structures

Cologne's tallest structure is the Colonius telecommunication tower at . The observation deck has been closed since 1992. A selection of the tallest buildings in Cologne is listed below. Other tall structures include the Hansahochhaus (designed by architect Jacob Koerfer and completed in 1925 – it was at one time Europe's tallest office building), the Kranhaus buildings at Rheinauhafen, and the Messeturm Köln ("trade fair tower").


Culture

Cologne has List of museums in Cologne, several museums. The famous Roman-Germanic Museum features art and architecture from the city's distant past; the Museum Ludwig houses one of the most important collections of modern art in Europe, including a Picasso collection matched only by the museums in Museu Picasso, Barcelona and Musée Picasso, Paris. The Museum Schnütgen of religious art is partly housed in St. Cecilia, one of Cologne's Twelve Romanesque churches of Cologne, Twelve Romanesque churches. Many art galleries in Cologne enjoy a worldwide reputation like e.g. Galerie Karsten Greve, one of the leading galleries for postwar and contemporary art. Several orchestras are active in the city, among them the Gürzenich Orchestra, which is also the orchestra of the Cologne Opera and the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne (''German State Radio Orchestra''), both based at the Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra Building (Kölner Philharmonie). Other orchestras are the Musica Antiqua Köln and the WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln, and several choirs, including the WDR Rundfunkchor Köln. Cologne was also an important hotbed for electronic music in the 1950s (Studio für elektronische Musik, Karlheinz Stockhausen) and again from the 1990s onward. The public radio and TV station Westdeutscher Rundfunk, WDR was involved in promoting musical movements such as Krautrock in the 1970s; the influential Can (band), Can was formed there in 1968. There are several centres of nightlife, among them the ''Kwartier Latäng'' (the student quarter around the Zülpicher Straße) and the nightclub-studded areas around Hohenzollernring, Friesenplatz and Rudolfplatz. The large annual literary festival Lit. Cologne features regional and international authors. The main literary figure connected with Cologne is the writer Heinrich Böll, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Cologne is well known for its beer, called Kölsch (beer), Kölsch. Colognian language, Kölsch is also the name of the local dialect. This has led to the common joke of Kölsch being the only language one can drink. Cologne is also famous for
Eau de Cologne Eau de Cologne (; German: ''Kölnisch Wasser'' ; meaning "Water from Cologne"), or simply cologne, is a perfume Perfume (, ; french: parfum) is a mixture of fragrant essential oils or aroma compounds, fixatives and solvent A solvent (from t ...
(German: ''Kölnisch Wasser''; lit: "Water of Cologne"), a perfume created by Italian expatriate Johann Maria Farina at the beginning of the 18th century. During the 18th century, this perfume became increasingly popular, was exported all over Europe by the Farina family and ''Farina'' became a household name for ''Eau de Cologne''. In 1803 Wilhelm Mülhens entered into a contract with an unrelated person from Italy named Carlo Francesco Farina who granted him the right to use his family name and Mühlens opened a small factory at Cologne's Glockengasse. In later years, and after various court battles, his grandson Ferdinand Mülhens was forced to abandon the name ''Farina'' for the company and their product. He decided to use the house number given to the factory at Glockengasse during the French occupation in the early 19th century, 4711 (brand), 4711. Today, original Eau de Cologne is still produced in Cologne by both the Johann Maria Farina gegenüber dem Jülichs-Platz, Farina family, currently in the eighth generation, and by Mäurer & Wirtz who bought the 4711 brand in 2006.


Carnival

The Cologne carnival is one of the largest street festivals in Europe. In Cologne, the carnival season officially starts on 11 November at 11 minutes past 11 a.m. with the proclamation of the new Carnival Season, and continues until Ash Wednesday. However, the so-called "Tolle Tage" (crazy days) do not start until ''Weiberfastnacht'' (Women's Carnival) or, in dialect, ''Wieverfastelovend'', the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of the street carnival. Zülpicher Strasse and its surroundings, Neumarkt square, Heumarkt and all bars and pubs in the city are crowded with people in costumes dancing and drinking in the streets. Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to Cologne during this time. Generally, around a million people celebrate in the streets on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday.


Rivalry with Düsseldorf

Cologne and
Düsseldorf Düsseldorf ( , , ; often in English sources; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, 199 ...

Düsseldorf
have a "fierce regional rivalry", which includes Carnival in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, carnival parades, Association football, football, and beer. People in Cologne prefer Kölsch (beer), Kölsch while people in Düsseldorf prefer Altbier ("Alt"). Waiters and patrons will "scorn" and make a "mockery" of people who order Alt beer in Cologne or Kölsch in Düsseldorf. The rivalry has been described as a "love–hate relationship".


Museums

* Fragrance Museum, Farina Fragrance Museum – birthplace of
Eau de Cologne Eau de Cologne (; German: ''Kölnisch Wasser'' ; meaning "Water from Cologne"), or simply cologne, is a perfume Perfume (, ; french: parfum) is a mixture of fragrant essential oils or aroma compounds, fixatives and solvent A solvent (from t ...
* Römisch-Germanisches Museum (Roman-Germanic Museum) – ancient Roman and Germanic culture * Wallraf-Richartz Museum – European painting from the 13th to the early 20th century * Museum Ludwig – modern art * Museum Schnütgen – medieval art * Museum für Angewandte Kunst (Cologne), Museum für Angewandte Kunst – applied art * Kolumba, Kolumba Kunstmuseum des Erzbistums Köln (art museum of the Archbishopric of Cologne) – modern art museum built around medieval ruins of St. Kolumba, Cologne, completed 2007 * Cathedral Treasury "Domschatzkammer" – historic underground vaults of the Cathedral * EL-DE Haus – former local headquarters of the Gestapo houses a museum documenting Nazi rule in Cologne with a special focus on the persecution of political dissenters and minorities * German Sports and Olympic Museum – exhibitions about sports from antiquity until the present * Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum – Chocolate Museum * Geomuseum of the University of Cologne – the exhibition includes fossils (such as dinosaur bones and the skeleton of an Eryops), Rock (geology), stones and minerals * Forum for Internet Technology in Contemporary Art – collections of Internet-based art, corporate part of (NewMediaArtProjectNetwork):cologne, the experimental platform for art and New Media * Flora und Botanischer Garten Köln – the city's formal park and main botanical garden * Forstbotanischer Garten Köln – an arboretum and woodland botanical garden


Music fairs and festivals

The city was home to the internationally famous Ringfest, and now to the C/o pop festival. In addition, Cologne enjoys a thriving Christmas Market (''Weihnachtsmarkt'') presence with several locations in the city.


Economy

As the largest city in the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region, Cologne benefits from a large market structure. In competition with
Düsseldorf Düsseldorf ( , , ; often in English sources; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, 199 ...

Düsseldorf
, the economy of Cologne is primarily based on Insurance industry, insurance and media industry, media industries, while the city is also an important cultural and research centre and home to a number of corporate headquarters. Among the largest media companies based in Cologne are Westdeutscher Rundfunk, RTL Television (with subsidiaries), n-tv, Deutschlandradio, Brainpool TV and publishing houses like J. P. Bachem, Taschen, Tandem Verlag, and M. DuMont Schauberg. Several clusters of media, arts and communications agencies, TV production studios, and state agencies work partly with private and government-funded cultural institutions. Among the insurance companies based in Cologne are Central, DEVK, DKV, Generali Deutschland, Gen Re, Gothaer Group, Gothaer, HDI Gerling and national headquarters of AXA Insurance, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group and Zurich Financial Services. The German flag carrier Lufthansa and its subsidiary Lufthansa CityLine have their main corporate headquarters in Cologne. The largest employer in Cologne is Ford Europe, which has its European headquarters and a factory in Niehl, Cologne, Niehl (Ford Germany, Ford-Werke GmbH). Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG), Toyota's official motorsports team, responsible for Toyota rally cars, and then Formula One cars, has its headquarters and workshops in Cologne. Other large companies based in Cologne include the REWE Group, TÜV Rheinland, Deutz AG and a number of Kölsch (beer), Kölsch breweries. Cologne has the country's highest density of pubs per capita. The largest three Kölsch breweries are Reissdorf, Gaffel, and Früh. Historically, Cologne has always been an important trade city, with land, air, and sea connections. The city has five Rhine ports, the second largest inland port in Germany and one of the largest in Europe. Cologne-Bonn Airport is the second largest freight terminal in Germany. Today, the Cologne trade fair (''Koelnmesse'') ranks as a major European trade fair location with over 50 trade fairs and other large cultural and sports events. In 2008 Cologne had 4.31 million overnight stays booked and 2.38 million arrivals. Cologne's largest daily newspaper is the ''Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger''. Cologne shows a significant increase in startup companies, especially when considering digital business. Cologne has also become the first German city with a population of more than a million people to declare climate emergency.


Transport


Road transport

Road building had been a major issue in the 1920s under the leadership of mayor Konrad Adenauer. The first German limited-access road was constructed after 1929 between Cologne and
Bonn The Federal city The term federal city is a title for certain cities in Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official langua ...

Bonn
. Today, this is the Bundesautobahn 555. In 1965, Cologne became the first German city to be fully encircled by a motorway ring road. Roughly at the same time, a city centre bypass (''Stadtautobahn'') was planned, but only partially put into effect, due to opposition by environmental groups. The completed section became ''Bundesstraße ("Federal Road") B 55a'', which begins at the ''Zoobrücke'' ("Zoo Bridge") and meets with Bundesautobahn 4, A 4 and Bundesautobahn 3, A 3 at the interchange Cologne East. Nevertheless, it is referred to as ''Stadtautobahn'' by most locals. In contrast to this, the ''Nord-Süd-Fahrt'' ("North-South-Drive") was actually completed, a new four/six-lane city centre through-route, which had already been anticipated by planners such as Fritz Schumacher (architect), Fritz Schumacher in the 1920s. The last section south of ''Ebertplatz'' was completed in 1972. In 2005, the first stretch of an eight-lane motorway in
North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia (german: Nordrhein-Westfalen, ; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Pre ...
was opened to traffic on Bundesautobahn 3, part of the eastern section of the Cologne Beltway between the interchanges Cologne East and Heumar.


Cycling

Compared to other German cities, Cologne has a traffic layout that is not very bicycle-friendly. It has repeatedly ranked among the worst in an independent evaluation conducted by the Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad-Club. In 2014 it ranked 36th out of 39 German cities with a population greater than 200,000.


Rail transport

Cologne has a railway service with Deutsche Bahn InterCity and InterCityExpress, ICE-trains stopping at ''Köln Hauptbahnhof'' (Cologne Main Station), ''Köln Messe/Deutz station, Köln Messe/Deutz'' and ''Cologne/Bonn Airport station, Cologne/Bonn Airport''. ICE and Thalys, TGV Thalys high-speed trains link Cologne with Amsterdam, Brussels (in 1h47, 9 departures/day) and Paris (in 3h14, 6 departures/day). There are frequent ICE trains to other German cities, including Frankfurt am Main and Berlin. ICE Trains to London via the Channel Tunnel were planned for 2013. The Cologne Stadtbahn operated by Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe, Kölner Verkehrsbetriebe (KVB) is an List of Cologne KVB stations, extensive light rail system that is partially underground and serves Cologne and a number of neighbouring cities. It evolved from the tram system. Nearby
Bonn The Federal city The term federal city is a title for certain cities in Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official langua ...

Bonn
is linked by both the Stadtbahn and main line railway trains, and occasional recreational boats on the Rhine.
Düsseldorf Düsseldorf ( , , ; often in English sources; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, 199 ...

Düsseldorf
is also linked by S-Bahn trains, which are operated by Deutsche Bahn. The Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn has 5 lines which cross Cologne.The S13/S19 runs 24/7 between Cologne Hbf and Cologne/Bonn airport. There are also frequent buses covering most of the city and surrounding suburbs, and Eurolines coaches to London via Brussels.


Water transport

''Häfen und Güterverkehr Köln'' (Ports and Goods traffic Cologne, HGK) is one of the largest operators of inland ports in Germany. Ports include Köln-Deutz, Köln-Godorf, and Köln-Niehl I and II.


Air transport

Cologne's international airport is Cologne Bonn Airport, Cologne/Bonn Airport (CGN). It is also called Konrad Adenauer Airport after Germany's first post-war Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who was born in the city and was mayor of Cologne from 1917 until 1933. The airport is shared with the neighbouring city of
Bonn The Federal city The term federal city is a title for certain cities in Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official langua ...

Bonn
. Cologne is headquarters to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).


Education

Cologne is home to numerous universities and colleges, and host to some 72,000 students. Its oldest university, the
University of Cologne The University of Cologne (german: Universität zu Köln) is a university in Cologne, Germany. It was the sixth university to be established in Central Europe and, although it closed in 1798 before being re-established in 1919, it is now one of ...
(founded in 1388) is the largest university in Germany, as the Cologne University of Applied Sciences is the largest Fachhochschule, university of Applied Sciences in the country. The Cologne University of Music and Dance is the largest Music school, conservatory in Europe. Foreigners can have German lessons in the VHS (Adult Education Centre). Lauder Morijah School (german: Lauder-Morijah-Schule), a Jewish school in Cologne, previously closed. After Russian immigration increased the Jewish population, the school reopened in 2002.


Media

Within Germany, Cologne is known as an important media centre. Several radio and television stations, including Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), RTL Television, RTL and VOX (German TV channel), VOX, have their headquarters in the city. Film and TV production is also important. The city is "Germany's capital of TV crime stories". A third of all German TV productions are made in the Cologne (region), Cologne region. Furthermore, the city hosts the Cologne Comedy Festival, which is considered to be the largest comedy festival in mainland Europe.


Sports

Cologne hosts 1. FC Köln, who play in the 1. Bundesliga. They play their home matches in RheinEnergieStadion which also hosted 5 matches of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The International Olympic Committee and Internationale Vereinigung Sport- und Freizeiteinrichtungen e.V. gave RheinEnergieStadion a bronze medal for "being one of the best sporting venues in the world". Cologne also hosts FC Viktoria Köln 1904 and SC Fortuna Köln, who currently play in the 3. Liga (third division) and the Regionalliga West (fourth division) respectively. The city is also home of the ice hockey team Kölner Haie, in the highest ice hockey league in Germany, the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. They are based at Lanxess Arena. Several horse races per year are held at Cologne-Weidenpesch Racecourse since 1897, the annual Cologne Marathon was started in 1997. Besides, Cologne has a long tradition in rowing (sport), rowing, being home of some of Germany's oldest regatta courses and boat clubs, such as the Kölner Rudergesellschaft 1891 in the district Rodenkirchen. Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota have their major motorsport facility known by the name Toyota Motorsport GmbH. Which is located in Marsdorf suburb, and is responsible for Toyota's major motorsport development and operations, which in the past included the FIA Formula One World Championship, the FIA World Rally Championship and the Le Mans Series. Currently they are working on Toyota's team (Toyota Gazoo Racing) which competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship. Cologne is considered "the secret golf capital of Germany". The first golf club in
North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia (german: Nordrhein-Westfalen, ; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Pre ...
was founded in Cologne in 1906. The city offers the most options and top events in Germany. The city has hosted several athletic events which includes the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup, 2006 FIFA World Cup, 2007 World Men's Handball Championship, 2010 IIHF World Championship, 2010 and 2017 IIHF World Championship, 2017 Ice Hockey World Championships and 2010 Gay Games. Since 2014, the city has hosted ESL One Cologne (disambiguation), ESL One Cologne, one of the biggest CS GO tournaments held annually in July/August at Lanxess Arena.


Notable people

Notable people, whose roots can be found in Cologne: * Konrad Adenauer (1876–1967), politician, mayor of Cologne (1917–33, 1945) and first Chancellor of Germany (Federal Republic), West German Federal Chancellor (1949–1963) * Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486–1535), alchemist, occultist, and author of ''De occulta philosophia libri tres, Three Books of Occult Philosophy'' * Agrippina the Younger (15–59), Roman Empress (wife of Emperor Claudius) and mother of Emperor Nero * Doğan Akhanlı (1957–2021), Turkish-born author of historical novels, essays and a play * Rudolf Amelunxen (1888–1969), politician * Katarina Barley (b. 1968), politician (SPD) * Heinrich Birnbaum (1403–73), Catholic friar * Heinrich Boigk (1912–2003), Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, Knights Cross winner * Carl Bosch (1874–1940), entrepreneur, engineer and chemist * Robert Blum (1807–48), politician and martyr of the 19th century democratic movement in Germany * Heinrich Böll (1917–85), writer and winner of the Nobel prize for literature in 1972 * Georg Braun (1541–1622), topogeographer * Max Bruch (1838–1920), composer * Álex Calatrava (b. 1973), Spanish professional tennis player * Heribert Calleen (1924–2017), sculptor * Holger Czukay (1938–2017), musician * Leon Draisaitl (b. 1995), ice hockey player for the Edmonton Oilers * Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (b. 1973), Academy Awards, Oscar-winning director and screenwriter * Max Ernst (1891–1976), painter and artist * Kota Ezawa (b. 1969), Japanese German animator and artist * Wilfried Feldenkirchen (1947–2010), German professor and economic historian * Jürgen Fritz (b. 1953), musician and composer * Jan Frodeno (b. 1981), 2008 Olympic Triathlon Champion * Angela Gossow (b. 1974), former lead vocalist of Swedish melodic death metal band Arch Enemy * Britta Heidemann (b. 1982), épée fencer and Olympic medalist * H. Robert Heller (b. 1940), former professor, Governor of the Federal Reserve System and President of VISA U.S.A. * Trude Herr (1927–91), actress and singer * Jakob Ignaz Hittorff (1792–1867), French architect of German origin * Lutz van der Horst (b. 1975), comedian * Ernst Ising (1900–1998), mathematician and physicist * Yehudah Jacobs (c. 1940– 2020), American rabbi and mashgiach ruchani in Beth Medrash Govoha * Lilli Jahn (b. 1900), doctor, died presumably in 1944 in Auschwitz * Udo Kier (b. 1944), actor * Johannes Kalitzke (b. 1959), composer and conductor * Rudolf Klein-Rogge (1885–1955), silent film star * Jutta Kleinschmidt (b. 1962), off-road racing, off-road automotive racing competitor * Werner Klemperer (1920–2000), Emmy Award-winning comedy actor * Erich Klibansky (1900–1942), Jewish headmaster and teacher * Adolf Kober (1870–1958), Jewish rabbi and medievalist * Peter Kohlgraf (b. 1967), Catholic Bishop of Mainz * Gaby Köster (b. 1961), actress and comedian * Wilhelm Kratz (1902–1944), resistance fighter and nazi victim * Hildegard Krekel (1952–2013), actress * Uwe Krupp (b. 1965), professional (ice) Ice hockey, hockey player * Francis Kruse (1854–1930), politician * Ralf König (1960), comic book creator * Heinz Kühn (1912–92), Minister-President of
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(1966–78) * Thomas Laubach (after marriage Thomas Weißer, b. 1964), Catholic theologian and hymnwriter * Heiner Lauterbach (1953), actor * Julia Leischik (b. 1970), editor-in-chief, television presenter and television producer * Herbert Leuninger (1932–2020), Catholic priest and theologian, co-founder of Pro Asyl * Ottmar Liebert (b. 1961), musician * Henry van Lyck (b. 1941), actor * Georg Meistermann (b. 1911), painter, stained glass artist * Peter Millowitsch (b. 1949), actor, playwright and theatre director * Willy Millowitsch (1909–1999), actor, playwright and theatre director * Paul Moldenhauer (1876–1947), politician (DVP), lawyer and economist * Wolfgang Niedecken (b. 1951), singer, musician, artist and bandleader of BAP (German band), BAP * Marianne Nölle, former nurse and serial killer * Theodore of Corsica (1694–1756), briefly King Theodore of Corsica * Jacques Offenbach (1819–80), German-born French composer * Willi Ostermann (1876–1936), composer * Nicolaus Otto (1832–1891), inventor, 4 cycle internal combustion engine * Kim Petras (b. 1992), singer * Frederik Pleitgen (b. 1976), journalist * Lukas Podolski (b. 1985), footballer * Frederik Prausnitz (1920–2004), American conductor and teacher * Christa Päffgen a.k.a. Nico (1938–1988), model, actress, singer, and songwriter in Velvet Underground and Warhol Superstar * Hedwig Potthast (1912–1997), secretary and mistress of Heinrich Himmler * Stefan Raab (b. 1966), entertainer and host of Eurovision Song Contest 2011 * Felix Rexhausen (1932–1992), journalist * Joseph Nicolas Robert-Fleury (1797–1890), painter * Jürgen Rüttgers (b. 1951), politician (CDU), Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia (2005–2010) * Adam Schall von Bell (1592–1666), since 1622 active missionary of the Order of the Jesuits in China * Georg von Schnitzler (1884–1962), entrepreneur, jurist and industrialist * HA Schult (b. 1939), installation and conceptual artist * Marietta Slomka (b. 1969), journalist * William Steinberg (1899–1978), conductor * Markus Stockhausen (b. 1957), musician and composer * Gökhan Töre (b. 1992), Turkish footballer * Wolfgang von Trips (1928–61), Formula One racing driver * Joost van den Vondel (1587–1679), Dutch poet and playwright * Moshe Wallach (1866–1957), founder and director of Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Shaare Zedek Hospital, Jerusalem * Robert Weimar (1932–2013), legal scientist and psychologist * Thomas Wensing (b. 1978), writer * Anne Will (b. 1966), journalist * Carl Wyland (1886–1972), blacksmith


Twin towns – sister cities

Cologne is Sister city, twinned with: * Barcelona, Spain (1984) * Beijing, China (1987) * Bethlehem, Palestine (1996) * Cluj-Napoca, Romania (1976) * Corinto, Nicaragua, Corinto, Nicaragua (1988) * Cork (city), Cork, Ireland (1988) * Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg (1958) * Indianapolis, United States (1988) * Istanbul, Turkey (1997) * Katowice, Poland (1991) * Kyoto, Japan (1963) * Liège, Belgium (1958) * Lille, France (1958) * Liverpool, England, United Kingdom (1952) * Neukölln, Neukölln (Berlin), Germany (1967) * El Realejo, Nicaragua (1988) * Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2011) * Rotterdam, Netherlands (1958) * Tel Aviv, Israel (1979) * Thessaloniki, Greece (1988) * Treptow-Köpenick, Treptow-Köpenick (Berlin), Germany (1990) * Tunis, Tunisia (1964) * Turin, Italy (1958) * Turku, Finland (1967) * Volgograd, Russia (1988) * Petrovany, Slovakia (2021)


See also

* List of twin towns and sister cities in Germany * Stadtwerke Köln, the municipal infrastructure company, operator of the city's railways, ports, and other utilities. * New Year's Eve sexual assaults in Germany * Hänneschen-Theater


References


External links


Stadt Köln
official City of Cologne page {{Authority control Cologne, Cities in North Rhine-Westphalia Populated places on the Rhine Rhineland Catholic pilgrimage sites Holy cities Members of the Hanseatic League Coloniae (Roman) Roman towns and cities in Germany Free imperial cities Populated places established in the 1st century BC 30s BC establishments 38 BC Burial sites of the Pippinids Holocaust locations in Germany