The Info List - Cologne

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COLOGNE (English: /kəˈloʊn/ ; German : _KöLN_, pronounced (_ listen ), Colognian : Kölle_ ( listen )) is the largest city in the German federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the fourth-largest city in Germany (after Berlin , Hamburg , and Munich ). It is located within the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region, one of the major European metropolitan areas, and with more than ten million inhabitants, the largest in Germany. Cologne is about 45 km southwest of North Rhine-Westphalia's capital of Dusseldorf and 25 km northwest of Bonn .

Cologne is located on both sides of the Rhine River, near Germany's borders with Belgium and the Netherlands . The city's famous Cologne Cathedral (_Kölner Dom_) is the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Cologne . The University of Cologne (_Universität zu Köln_) is one of Europe's oldest and largest universities.

Cologne was founded and established in Ubii territory in the 1st century AD as the Roman _ Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium _, from which it gets its name. "Cologne", the French version of the city's name, has become standard in English as well. The city functioned as the capital of the Roman province of _ Germania Inferior _ and as the headquarters of the Roman military in the region until occupied by the Franks in 462. During the Middle Ages it flourished on one of the most important major trade routes between east and west in Europe. Cologne was one of the leading members of the Hanseatic League and one of the largest cities north of the Alps in medieval and Renaissance times. Prior to World War II the city had undergone several occupations by the French and also by the British (1918–1926). Cologne was one of the most heavily bombed cities in Germany during World War II, with the Royal Air Force (RAF) dropping 34,711 long tons (35,268 tonnes) of bombs on the city . The bombing reduced the population by 95%, mainly due to evacuation, and destroyed almost the entire city. With the intention of restoring as many historic buildings as possible, the successful postwar rebuilding has resulted in a very mixed and unique cityscape.

Cologne is a major cultural centre for the 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 shows such as Art Cologne , imm Cologne , Gamescom , and the Photokina .


* 1 History

* 1.1 Roman Cologne * 1.2 Middle Ages * 1.3 Early modern history * 1.4 From the 19th century until World War II * 1.5 World War II * 1.6 Post-war Cologne until today * 1.7 Post-reunification

* 2 Geography

* 2.1 Districts * 2.2 Climate * 2.3 Flood protection

* 3 Demographics

* 4 Government

* 4.1 Political traditions and developments * 4.2 Mayor * 4.3 Elections * 4.4 Make-up of city council

* 5 Cityscape * 6 Wildlife

* 7 Tourism

* 7.1 Landmarks

* 7.1.1 Churches * 7.1.2 Medieval houses * 7.1.3 Medieval city gates

* 7.2 Streets * 7.3 Bridges * 7.4 High-rise structures

* 8 Culture

* 8.1 Carnival * 8.2 Rivalry with Düsseldorf * 8.3 Museums * 8.4 Music fairs and festivals

* 9 Economy

* 10 Transport

* 10.1 Road transport * 10.2 Cycling * 10.3 Rail transport * 10.4 Water transport * 10.5 Air transport

* 11 Education * 12 Media * 13 Sports * 14 Notable residents

* 15 International Relations

* 15.1 Twin towns and sister cities

* 16 See also * 17 References * 18 External links


Main articles: History of Cologne and Timeline of Cologne


Fresco with Dionysian scenes from a Roman villa of Cologne, Germany (site of the ancient city Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium ), 3rd century AD, Romano-Germanic Museum

The first urban settlement on the grounds of modern-day Cologne was _Oppidum Ubiorum_, founded in 38 BC by the Ubii , a Cisrhenian Germanic tribe . In 50 AD, the Romans founded Colonia on the Rhine and the city became the provincial capital of Germania Inferior in 85 AD. The city was named "_ Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium _" in 50 AD. Considerable Roman remains can be found in present-day Cologne, especially near the wharf area, where a notable discovery of a 1900-year-old Roman boat was made in late 2007. From 260 to 271 Cologne was the capital of the Gallic Empire under Postumus , Marius , and Victorinus . In 310 under Constantine 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 centres in the Roman Empire north of the Alps. Cologne is shown on the 4th century Peutinger Map .

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 occupied by the Ripuarian Franks in 462. Parts of the original Roman sewers are preserved underneath the city, with the new sewerage system having opened in 1890.


Early medieval Cologne was part of Austrasia within the Frankish Empire . Cologne had been the seat of a bishop since the Roman period; under Charlemagne , in 795, bishop Hildebold was promoted to archbishop . In 843, Cologne became a city within the Treaty of Verdun -created East Francia .

In 953, the archbishops of Cologne first gained noteworthy secular power, when bishop Bruno was appointed as duke by his brother Otto I , King of Germany . In order to weaken the secular nobility, who threatened his power, Otto endowed Bruno and his successors on the bishop's see with the prerogatives of secular princes, thus establishing the Electorate of Cologne , 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 , as well as the Duchy of Westphalia on the other side of the Rhine, beyond Berg and Mark . 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 Arch-chancellor of Italy as well, technically from 1238 and permanently from 1263 until 1803.

Following the Battle of Worringen in 1288, Cologne gained its independence from the archbishops and became a Free City . Archbishop Sigfried II von Westerburg was forced into exile in Bonn . 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, which sentence was only allowed to be handed down by the episcopal judge, the so-called "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 gave the relics of the Three Wise Men to Cologne's cathedral in 1164 (after they in fact had been captured from Milan ). Besides the three magi Cologne preserves the relics of Saint Ursula and Albertus Magnus .

Cologne's location on the river Rhine placed it at the intersection of the major trade routes between east and west as well as the main Western Europe trade route, South - North Northern Italy-Flanders. These two 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 in 1475, when Frederick III confirmed the city's imperial immediacy. Cologne around 1411


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 city, Cologne was a sovereign state within the Holy Roman Empire and as such had the right (and obligation) to 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") and fought in the wars of the 17th and 18th century, including the wars against revolutionary France, when 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 city of Cologne must not be confused with the Archbishopric of Cologne which was a state of its own within the Holy Roman Empire . Since the second half of the 16th century the archbishops were drawn from the Bavaria 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 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.


Hohestraße, 1912 Hängebrücke

Cologne lost its status as a free city during the French period. According to the Peace Treaty of Lunéville (1801) all the territories of the Holy Roman Empire on the left bank of the Rhine were officially incorporated into the French Republic (which had already occupied Cologne in 1794). Thus this region later became part of Napoleon\'s Empire. Cologne was part of the French Département Roer (named after the River Roer, German: Rur ) with Aachen (French: Aix-la-Chapelle) as its capital. The French modernised public life, for example by introducing the Napoleonic code and removing the old elites from power. The Napoleonic code remained in use on the left bank of the Rhine until 1900, when a unified civil code (the _Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch _) was introduced in the German Empire . In 1815 at the Congress of Vienna , Cologne was made part of the Kingdom of Prussia , first in the Jülich-Cleves-Berg province and then the Rhine province .

The permanent tensions between the Roman Catholic 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 , 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 , Archbishop Paul Melchers was imprisoned before taking refuge 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 were especially successful, though heavy industry was less ubiquitous than in the Ruhr area . The 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 . 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 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 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 , 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 Berlin Tempelhof Airport .

The democratic parties lost the local elections in Cologne in March 1933 to the Nazi Party and other right wing parties. The Nazis then arrested the Communist and 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 elections had always been the national average.) By 1939 the population had risen to 772,221 inhabitants.


The devastation of Cologne, 1945

During World War II, Cologne was a Military Area Command Headquarters (_Militärbereichshauptkommandoquartier_) for the 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 , Siegburg , Aachen , Jülich , Düren , and Monschau . Cologne was home to the 211th Infantry Regiment and the 26th Artillery Regiment.

During the Bombing of Cologne in World War II , Cologne endured 262 air raids by the Western 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 600 acres (243 ha) of built-up area, killed 486 civilians and made 59,000 people homeless.

Cologne was taken by the American First Army in early March, 1945. By the end of the war, the population of Cologne had been reduced by 95 per cent. 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 500,000.

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 synagogue on Roonstraße was rebuilt in 1959.


Cologne, seen from the International Space Station

Despite Cologne's status as the largest city in the region, nearby Düsseldorf was chosen as the political capital of the federated state of North Rhine-Westphalia . With 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 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 such as St. Gereon , 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 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. Cologne in 2013


_ Soviet letter's envelope in honor of the Internationale Philatelic Exhibition LUPOSTA_ in Cologne in 1983.

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 strongly visual focal point in Cologne 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 RTL , Germany's largest private broadcaster, as their new corporate headquarters.

Cologne was the focus of the 2015 New Year\'s Eve sexual assaults , with over 500 women reporting that they were sexually assaulted by persons of African and Arab appearance.


The metropolitan area encompasses over 405 square kilometres (156 square miles), extending around a central point that lies at 50° 56' 33 latitude and 6° 57' 32 longitude. The city's highest point is 118 m (387.1 ft) above sea level (the Monte Troodelöh ) and its lowest point is 37.5 m (123.0 ft) above sea level (the Worringer Bruch ). The city of Cologne lies within the larger area of the Cologne Lowland , a cone-shaped area of southeastern Westphalia that lies between Bonn , Aachen and Düsseldorf .


Main article: Districts of Cologne

Cologne is divided into 9 boroughs (_Stadtbezirke_) and 85 districts (_Stadtteile_):

Innenstadt (Stadtbezirk 1) Altstadt-Nord, Altstadt-Süd, Neustadt-Nord, Neustadt-Süd, Deutz Rodenkirchen (Stadtbezirk 2) Bayenthal , Godorf, Hahnwald, Immendorf, Marienburg, Meschenich, Raderberg, Raderthal, Rodenkirchen, Rondorf, Sürth, Weiß, Zollstock Lindenthal (Stadtbezirk 3) Braunsfeld, Junkersdorf , Klettenberg, Lindenthal, Lövenich, Müngersdorf, Sülz , Weiden, Widdersdorf Ehrenfeld (Stadtbezirk 4) Bickendorf, Bocklemünd/Mengenich, Ehrenfeld, Neuehrenfeld, Ossendorf, Vogelsang Nippes (Stadtbezirk 5) Bilderstöckchen, Longerich, Mauenheim, Niehl , Nippes, Riehl, Weidenpesch

Chorweiler (Stadtbezirk 6) Blumenberg, Chorweiler, Esch/Auweiler, Fühlingen, Heimersdorf, Lindweiler, Merkenich, Pesch, Roggendorf/Thenhoven, Seeberg, Volkhoven/Weiler, Worringen Porz (Stadtbezirk 7) Eil , Elsdorf, Ensen, Finkenberg, Gremberghoven, Grengel, Langel, Libur, Lind, Poll , Porz, Urbach, Wahn, Wahnheide, Westhoven, Zündorf Kalk (Stadtbezirk 8) Brück, Höhenberg, Humboldt/Gremberg, Kalk, Merheim, Neubrück, Ostheim, Rath/Heumar , Vingst Mülheim (Stadtbezirk 9) Buchforst, Buchheim, Dellbrück, Dünnwald, Flittard, Höhenhaus, Holweide, Mülheim, Stammheim


Cologne is one of the warmest cities in Germany. It has a temperate –oceanic climate with cool winters and warm summers. It is also one of the cloudiest cities in Germany, with just 1568 hours of sun a year. Its average annual temperature is 10.3 °C (51 °F): 14.8 °C (59 °F) during the day and 5.8 °C (42 °F) at night. In January, the mean temperature is 2.6 °C (37 °F), while the mean temperature in July is 18.8 °C (66 °F). Temperatures can vary significantly 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.



RECORD HIGH °C (°F) 16.2 (61.2) 20.7 (69.3) 25.0 (77) 29.0 (84.2) 34.4 (93.9) 36.8 (98.2) 37.3 (99.1) 38.8 (101.8) 32.8 (91) 27.6 (81.7) 20.2 (68.4) 16.6 (61.9) 38.8 (101.8)

MEAN MAXIMUM °C (°F) 12.5 (54.5) 14.0 (57.2) 19.0 (66.2) 23.7 (74.7) 27.7 (81.9) 30.8 (87.4) 32.3 (90.1) 32.0 (89.6) 26.4 (79.5) 21.9 (71.4) 16.4 (61.5) 12.8 (55) 34.1 (93.4)

AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) 5.4 (41.7) 6.7 (44.1) 10.9 (51.6) 15.1 (59.2) 19.3 (66.7) 21.9 (71.4) 24.4 (75.9) 24.0 (75.2) 19.9 (67.8) 15.1 (59.2) 9.5 (49.1) 5.9 (42.6) 14.8 (58.6)

DAILY MEAN °C (°F) 2.6 (36.7) 2.9 (37.2) 6.3 (43.3) 9.7 (49.5) 14.0 (57.2) 16.6 (61.9) 18.8 (65.8) 18.1 (64.6) 14.5 (58.1) 10.6 (51.1) 6.3 (43.3) 3.3 (37.9) 10.3 (50.5)

AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) −0.6 (30.9) −0.7 (30.7) 2.0 (35.6) 4.2 (39.6) 8.1 (46.6) 11.0 (51.8) 13.2 (55.8) 12.6 (54.7) 9.8 (49.6) 6.7 (44.1) 3.1 (37.6) 0.4 (32.7) 5.8 (42.4)

MEAN MINIMUM °C (°F) −10.3 (13.5) −8.9 (16) −5.2 (22.6) −3.2 (26.2) 1.3 (34.3) 4.7 (40.5) 7.6 (45.7) 6.8 (44.2) 3.5 (38.3) −0.8 (30.6) −4.2 (24.4) −8.3 (17.1) −13.0 (8.6)

RECORD LOW °C (°F) −23.4 (−10.1) −19.2 (−2.6) −12.0 (10.4) −8.8 (16.2) −2.2 (28) 1.4 (34.5) 2.9 (37.2) 1.9 (35.4) 0.2 (32.4) −6.0 (21.2) −10.4 (13.3) −16.0 (3.2) −23.4 (−10.1)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES) 62.1 (2.445) 54.2 (2.134) 64.6 (2.543) 53.9 (2.122) 72.2 (2.843) 90.7 (3.571) 85.8 (3.378) 75.0 (2.953) 74.9 (2.949) 67.1 (2.642) 67.0 (2.638) 71.1 (2.799) 838.6 (33.016)

MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS 54.0 78.8 120.3 167.2 193.0 193.6 209.7 194.2 141.5 109.2 60.7 45.3 1,567.5

Source: Data derived from Deutscher Wetterdienst


Flood protection in Cologne The 1930 flood in Cologne

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.


Main article: Demographics of Cologne

_ This section needs to be UPDATED. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (June 2017)_

_ THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it . (June 2017)_



Turkey 57,131

Italy 18,245

Poland 9,606

Serbia 7,851

Greece 5,699

Bulgaria 5,486

Russia 4,655

Iraq 4,164

Iran 3,826

Romania 3,592

Bosnia margin-right:auto; overflow:hidden; width:auto; max-width:1008px;"> Panoramic view of Cologne over the city forest Panoramic view of the city at night as seen from Deutz ; from left to right: Deutz Bridge, Great St. Martin Church , Cologne Cathedral , Hohenzollern Bridge

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 75 m2 (807.29 sq ft) of public green space for every inhabitant.


Aerial view Cologne *

Rheinenergiestadion Cologne *

Colonius *

DITIB Zentralmoschee Cologne


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 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.


Cologne had 4.31 million overnight stays booked and 2.38 million arrivals in 2008. The city also has the most pubs per capita in Germany. The city has 70 clubs, "countless" bars, restaurants, and pubs.



* Cologne Cathedral (German: _Kölner Dom_) is the city's most famous monument and the Cologne residents' most loved landmark. It is a 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 , which supposedly contains the relics of the Three Magi (see also ). Residents of Cologne sometimes refer to the cathedral as "the eternal construction site" (_die ewige Baustelle_). * 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.


Cologne Cathedral *

Great St. Martin Church *

Basilica of St. Severin *

Church of the Assumption *

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.


Cologne City Hall *

Gürzenich *


Medieval City Gates

A plan published in 1800 shows the mediaeval city wall still intact, locating 16 gates (Nr. 36-51 in the legend), e.g. 47: Eigelsteintor, 43: Hahnentor, 39: Severinstor

Of the once 12 medieval city gates , only the Eigelsteintorburg at Ebertplatz, the Hahnentor at Rudolfplatz and the Severinstorburg at Chlodwigplatz still stand today.


Eigelsteintor *

Hahnentor *



Main article: Streets in Cologne

* 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.


Several bridges cross the Rhine in Cologne. They are (from South to North): the Cologne Rodenkirchen Bridge , South Bridge (railway), Severin Bridge, Deutz Bridge, Hohenzollern Bridge (railway), Zoo Bridge (_Zoobrücke_) and Cologne Mülheim Bridge . In particular the iron tied arch Hohenzollern Bridge (_Hohenzollernbrücke_) is a dominant landmark along the river embankment. A Rhine river 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.


Cologne's tallest structure is the Colonius telecommunication tower at 266 m or 873 ft. 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").


KölnTurm _ 148.5 43 2001 MediaPark 8, Neustadt-Nord (literally: Cologne Tower_), Cologne's second tallest building at 165.48 metres (542.91 ft) in height, second only to the Colonius telecommunication tower. The 30th floor of the building has a restaurant and a terrace with 360° views of the city.

Colonia-Hochhaus _ 147 45 1973 An der Schanz 2, Riehl tallest building in Germany from 1973 to 1976. Today, it is still the country's tallest residential building.


138 34 1980 Raderberggürtel, Marienburg former headquarters of Deutsche Welle , since 2007 under renovation with the new name Rheintower Köln-Marienburg_.


133 45 1973 Luxemburger Straße, Sülz

TÜV Rheinland

112 22 1974 Am Grauen Stein, Poll


109 26 1973 Ebertplatz , Neustadt-Nord

Justizzentrum Köln

105 25 1981 Luxemburger Straße, Sülz


103 29 2006 Ottoplatz 1, Deutz opposite to the cathedral with a 103 m (338 ft) high viewing platform and a view of the cathedral over the Rhine; headquarters of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).


102 31 1969 Graeffstraße 1, Ehrenfeld


102 19 1975 Raderberggürtel, Marienburg


Courtyard of the Kolumba museum in 2007, designed by Peter Zumthor

Cologne has 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 Barcelona and Paris . The Museum Schnütgen of religious art is partly housed in St. Cecilia, one of Cologne's Twelve Romanesque churches . Many art galleries in Cologne enjoy an 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 and the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne , both based at the Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra Building. Other orchestras are the Musica Antiqua Köln and the WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln , as well as the Cologne Opera 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 WDR was involved in promoting musical movements such as Krautrock in the 1970s; the influential 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 writer Heinrich Böll , winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature .

Cologne is well known for its beer, called Kölsch . 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 Street Food Festival, 2017

Cologne is also famous for Eau de Cologne (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 . Today, original Eau de Cologne is still produced in Cologne by both the Farina family , currently in the eighth generation, and by Mäurer "> The Museum Ludwig houses one of the most important collections of modern art . Roman excavation in Cologne: Dionysus Mosaic on display at Römisch-Germanisches Museum Main article: List of museums in Cologne

* Farina Fragrance Museum – birthplace of Eau de Cologne * 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 – applied art * Kolumba Kunstmuseum des Erzbistums Köln (art museum of the Archbishopric of Cologne) – modern art museum built around medieval ruins, 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 ), 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


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.


North entrance to Koelnmesse , 2008 Modern office building at Rheinauhafen

As the largest city in the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region, Cologne benefits from a large market structure . In competition with Düsseldorf , the economy of Cologne is primarily based on insurance and 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 , 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 (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 breweries. Cologne has the country's highest density of pubs per capita. The largest three Kölsch breweries are Reissdorf, Gaffel, and Früh.


Heinrich Reissdorf 1894 650,000

Gaffel Becker "> Major roads through and around Cologne .

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 . Today, this is the Bundesautobahn 555 . In 1965, Cologne became the first German city to be fully encircled by a motorway ringroad. 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 A 4 and 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 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 was opened to traffic on Bundesautobahn 3 , part of the eastern section of the Cologne Beltway between the interchanges Cologne East and Heumar.


Cologne Stadtbahn at Bensberg station Train at Köln Hauptbahnhof

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.


Cologne has a railway service with Deutsche Bahn InterCity and ICE -trains stopping at _ Köln Hauptbahnhof _ ( Cologne Main Station), _Köln Messe/Deutz _ and _Cologne/ Bonn Airport _. ICE and 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 Verkehrsbetriebe (KVB) is an 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 is linked by both the Stadtbahn and main line railway trains, and occasional recreational boats on the Rhine . Düsseldorf is also linked by S-Bahn trains, which are operated by Deutsche Bahn.

There are also frequent buses covering most of the city and surrounding suburbs, and Eurolines coaches to London via Brussels .


_ 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.


Cologne's international airport is 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 . Cologne is headquarters to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The airport is also the main hub of the airline Germanwings .


Cologne is home to numerous universities and colleges, and host to some 72,000 students. Its oldest university, the University of Cologne (founded in 1388 ) is the largest university in Germany, as the Cologne University of Applied Sciences is the largest university of Applied Sciences in the country. The Cologne University of Music and Dance is the largest conservatory in Europe. Foreigners can have German lessons in the VHS (Adult Education Centre).

* Public and state universities:

* University of Cologne (_Universität zu Köln_); * German Sport University Cologne (_Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln_).

* Public and state colleges:

* Cologne University of Applied Sciences (_"Technology, Arts, Sciences TH KöLN" Technische Hochschule Köln_); * Köln International School of Design ; * Cologne University of Music and Dance (_Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln_); * Academy of Media Arts Cologne (_Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln_);

* Private colleges:

* Catholic University of Applied Sciences (_Katholische Hochschule Nordrhein-Westfalen_); * Cologne Business School ; * international filmschool cologne (_internationale filmschule köln_); * Rhenish University of Applied Sciences (_Rheinische Fachhochschule Köln_)

* Research institutes:

* German Aerospace Centre (_Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt_); * European Astronaut Centre (_EAC_) of the European Space Agency ; * European College of Sport Science (_ECSS_); * Max Planck Institute for the Biology of Ageing (_Max-Planck-Institut für die Biologie des Alterns_); * Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (_Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung_); * Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research (_Max-Planck-Institut für neurologische Forschung_); * Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (_Max-Planck-Institut für Züchtungsforschung_). * CologneAMS - Centre for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Institute for Nuclear Physics, University of Cologne

Former colleges include:

* The Cologne Art and Crafts Schools (_Kölner Werkschulen_); * The Cologne Institute for Religious Art (_Kölner Institut für religiöse Kunst_)


Within Germany, Cologne is known as an important media centre. Several radio and television stations, including Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), RTL and 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 . Furthermore, the city hosts the Cologne Comedy Festival , which is considered to be the largest comedy festival in mainland Europe.


RheinEnergieStadion is the stadium of Bundesliga club 1. FC Köln

Cologne hosts 1. FC Köln , who play in the 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 play in the Regionalliga West (fourth division) respectively the 3. Liga (third division).

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. From 2002 to 2009, the Panasonic Toyota Racing Formula One team was based in the Marsdorf suburb, at the Toyota Motorsport GmbH facility.

Cologne is considered "the secret golf capital of Germany". The first golf club in North Rhine-Westphalia 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 and 2017 Ice Hockey World Championships and 2010 Gay Games .


Notable people, whose roots can be found in Cologne:

* Konrad Adenauer (1876–1967), politician, mayor of Cologne (1917–33, 1945) and first West German Federal Chancellor * Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486–1535), alchemist, occultist , and author of _Three Books of Occult Philosophy _ * Agrippina the Younger (15–59), Roman Empress (wife of Emperor Claudius ) and mother of Emperor Nero * Heinrich Birnbaum (1403–73), a Catholic monk * Heinrich Boigk (1912–2003), Knights Cross winner * Robert Blum (1807–48), German politician and martyr of the 19th century democratic movement in Germany * Heinrich Böll (1917–85), German writer and winner of the Nobel prize for literature in 1972 * Georg Braun (1541-1622), topogeographer * Max Bruch (1838–1920), composer * Álex Calatrava (born 1973), Spanish professional tennis player * Heribert Calleen (born 1924), German sculptor * Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (born 1973), Academy Award -winning director and screenwriter * Max Ernst (1891–1976), German painter and artist * Kota Ezawa (born 1969), Japanese German animator and artist * Angela Gossow (born 1974), former German lead vocalist of Swedish melodic death metal band Arch Enemy * Everhard von Groote (1798–1864), Germanist and writer * Britta Heidemann (born 1982), épée fencer and Olympic medalist * H. Robert Heller (born 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 * Stefanie Höner (born 1969), actress * Ernst Ising , (1900–1998), mathematician and physicist * Lilli Jahn , (born 1900), doctor, died presumably on 19 June 1944 in Auschwitz * Udo Kier (born 1944), actor * Lukas Podolski (born 1985), German footballer * Jutta Kleinschmidt (born 1962), 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 * Gaby Köster (born 1961), German actress and comedian * Wilhelm Kratz , (1902–1944), resistance fighter and nazi victim * Hildegard Krekel (1952–2013), German actress * Lotti Krekel (born 1941), actress and singer * Uwe Krupp (born 1965), professional (ice) hockey player * Heinz Kühn (1912–92), Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia (1966–78) * Heiner Lauterbach (1953), German actor * Julia Leischik (born 1970), German editor-in-chief, television presenter and television producer. * Ottmar Liebert (born 1961), musician * Mariele Millowitsch (born 1955), actress * Peter Millowitsch (born 1949), actor, playwright and theatre director * Willy Millowitsch (1909–1999), actor, playwright and theatre director * Wolfgang Niedecken (born 1951), German singer, musician, artist and bandleader of BAP * Theodore of Corsica (1694–1756), briefly King Theodore of Corsica * Jacques Offenbach (1819–80), German-born French composer * Willi Ostermann (1876–1936), composer * Nikolaus Otto (1832–1891), German inventor, 4 cycle internal combustion engine * Kim Petras (born 1992), German singer * 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 (born 1966), German entertainer and host of Eurovision Song Contest 2011 * Joseph Nicolas Robert-Fleury (1797–1890), painter * Jürgen Rüttgers (born 1951), German politician (CDU), Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia (2005–2010) * Jürgen Fritz (born 1953), musician and composer * Adam Schall von Bell (1592–1666), since 1622 active missionary of the Order of the Jesuits in China * Markus Stockhausen (born 1957), musician and composer * Wolfgang von Trips (1928–61), German Formula One racing driver * Joost van den Vondel (1587–1679), Dutch poet and playwright * Moshe Wallach (1866–1957), founder and director of Shaare Zedek Hospital , Jerusalem * Christoph Watrin (born 1988), singer, US5 * Robert Weimar (1932–2013), German legal scientist and psychologist * Thomas Wensing (born 1978), German writer * Carl Wyland (1886–1972), German blacksmith * Leon Draisaitl (born 1995), German ice hockey player for the Edmonton Oilers * Gökhan Töre (born 1992), Turkish footballer


See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Germany


Cologne is twinned with:

* Barcelona , Spain (since 1984) * Berlin-Neukölln , Germany * Berlin-Treptow , Germany * Bethlehem , Palestine (1996) * Cluj Napoca /Klausenburg, Romania (1976) * Corinto /El Realejo, Nicaragua (1988) * Cork , Ireland (27. June 1988) * Esch-sur-Alzette , Luxembourg (1958) * Indianapolis , USA * Istanbul , Turkey (1997) * Katowice , Poland (15. March, 1991) * Kyoto , Japan (21. January, 1963) * Lille , France (1958) * Liverpool , UK (1952) * Lüttich , Belgium (1958) * Beijing , China (14. September, 1987) * Rio de Janeiro , Brasil (19. September, 2011) * Rotterdam , Netherlands (1958) * Tel Aviv-Yafo , Israel (6. August, 1979) * Thessaloniki , Greece (3. May, 1988) * Tunis , Tunisia (12. June, 1964) * Turin , Italy (1958) * Turku , Finland (1967) * Volgograd , Russia


* 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


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