Cologne – 2000 years of history

Friday, 29 April 2011 - 02:52 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Architecture, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Rhine Garden © Raimond Spekking/cc-by-sa-3.0

Rhine Garden © Raimond Spekking/cc-by-sa-3.0

Cologne is Germany’s fourth-largest city (after Berlin, Hamburg and Munich), and is the largest city both in the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.

Cologne is located on both sides of the Rhine River. 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 universities. The city is host to 72,000 students. Green areas account for over a quarter of Cologne which is approximately 75 m² of public green space for every citizen of the city.

Cologne is a major cultural centre of the Rhineland and has a vibrant arts scene. Cologne is home to 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 International Furniture Fair and the Photokina. Cologne is also well-known for its celebration of Cologne Carnival, the annual reggae summerjam, and Cologne Gay Pride.

Town Hall © Politikaner Rheinauhafen - Crane House South © Raimond Spekking/cc-by-sa-3.0 Old Market Square © Thomas Robbin Old Hey Market © ZH2010 New Market Square © Raimond Spekking/cc-by-sa-3.0 Glockengasse4711 © VollwertBIT Cologne Cathedral © Thomas Wolf City Museum © VollwertBIT Belgian Quarter © 27292 Rhine Garden © Raimond Spekking/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Rheinauhafen - Crane House South © Raimond Spekking/cc-by-sa-3.0
Within Germany, Cologne is known as an important media center. Several radio and television stations, including Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), RTL and VOX, have their headquarters in the city. Both Pro7 and Sat.1 produce TV shows in Cologne as well. Further, the city hosts the Cologne Comedy Festival, which is considered to be the largest comedy festival in mainland Europe.

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 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 in modern architecture. Nevertheless, the uncompromising style of the Cologne Opera house and other modern buildings has remained controversial.

Cologne carnival is one of the biggest 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. But the so-called “Tolle Tage” (great days) don’t start until Weiberfastnacht (Women’s Carnival) or, in dialect, Wieverfastelovend (Thursday before Ash Wednesday), which is the beginning of the street carnival. Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to Cologne during this time. Generally, around a million people are celebrating in the streets on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday.

Cologne had 4.31 million nights accommodation booked and 2.38 million arrivals in 2008. The city also has the most pubs per capita in Germany. The city has 70 clubs and other party spots. The city has “countless” bars, restaurants and brewhouses.

To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facepage pages/Twitter accounts. Read more on City of Cologne, Cologne Tourism, Cologne Panorama, Wikitravel Cologne and Wikipedia Cologne. Learn more about the use of photos.




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