Cologne is Germany's oldest city, with its great - innumerable cultural and historical treasures, world-famous museums and active art scene.
The world feels at home in Cologne, where people meet for a Kölsch, a chat or simply a laugh. Life in Cologne is uncomplicated and vivacious.
Cologne (Köln) is like a three-dimensional textbook on history and architecture. Drifting about town you’ll stumble upon an ancient Roman wall, medieval churches galore, nondescript postwar buildings and avant-garde museums and concert halls. Germany’s fourth-largest city, founded by the Romans in 38 BC, has a long list of sightseeing attractions, led by its famous Dom whose filigree twin spires dominate the impressive Altstadt skyline. The Altstadt is also the best place to sample Kölsch, the refreshing local brew, in beer halls rivalling those in Bavaria in rollicking intensity. Those with more refined tastes have numerous museums – art to chocolate to sports – to explore or concerts to attend.
More about Cologne
When you visit Cologne Germany you're sure to be enchanted by the blend of Romanesque churches, simple post-war buildings, and classic modern architecture. Like many of the other cities of Germany, Cologne suffered many air raids during World War II (262 in total). It was the site of the first 1,000 bomber raid by the Royal Air Force as well. As a result of such heavily focused fire, many of the old buildings were destroyed. However, efforts have been lead to reconstruct these buildings, including the twelve Romanesque churches in order to draw more to visit Cologne Germany. Many who look to Cologne Germany travel for visiting historic monuments; the majority of the classic buildings have been restored.
However, what draws most to visit Cologne Germany is its cathedral. Known as Kölner Dom, this popular landmark is the unofficial symbol for the city. Construction began in 1248 A.D., but it took over 600 years to complete this mammoth gothic church. Its twin towers are 157 meters (515 feet) tall and the church is 144 meters (472 feet) long. The cathedral is under the control of the Roman Catholic Church and is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne. For a time it held the honor of the world's tallest structure until the Washington Monument was finished. However, the cathedral remains the tallest Gothic edifice in the world and is an essential part of Cologne Germany history.
Another piece of Cologne Germany history that has made the city bears its namesake: Eau de Cologne. The perfumed water was first created in Cologne during the 18th century by an Italian merchant who had moved to Germany to make his fortune. Initially it was marketed as a cure-all before eventually evolving into what we commonly know cologne as today.
Adding to Cologne Germany history are its numerous museums. Of particular note is Schokoladen Museum which is dedicated solely to the process of chocolate making and includes state of the art methods. If you've got a sweet tooth, you won't want to miss it.
Cologne Sights and Attractions:
You already guessed it - the Cologne Cathedral, a UNESCO world heritage site, is the city's famous landmark and one of the most important architectural monuments in Germany. The best way to get to know Cologne and its attractions is by foot. Many interesting sights are within 30-minute walking distance in the city center; make the Cologne Cathedral your point of orientation and explore the city from there. The Cologne tourism office, which is located right across the Cathedral, offers guidebooks and free city maps. You can also see a map of Cologne's center and its sights here.
Cologne - Going Out:
Cologne is famous for its beer culture; try the local Kölsch, which is only brewed in and around Cologne. Hit Cologne’s Old Town, where you’ll find plenty of traditional pubs selling the straw-yellow Kölsch beer in long, thin glasses called Stangen ("poles").
Cologne Airport & Main Train Station:
Cologne shares an international airport with the neighboring city Bonn, the Köln-Bonn Airport. By local train, the airport is approximately 15 minutes away from Cologne’s city center.
Cologne’s main train station (“Köln Hauptbahnhof") is conveniently located in the heart of the city center, just a stone’s throw away from the Cologne Cathedral; you will see the impressive building right away when you leave the station. Cologne's main station is a busy railway hub in Germany, connecting you easily with many German and European cities and offering plenty of fast ICE trains.
Source: Cologne Germany
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