20 Informative Facts About Cologne


Cologne Summary

A 2,000-year-old city spanning the Rhine River in western Germany is the region’s cultural hub. A landmark of High Gothic architecture set amid reconstructed old town, the twin-spired Cologne Cathedral is also known for its gilded medieval reliquary and sweeping river views.

Cologne was founded and established in Ubii territory in the 1st century AD as the Roman Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, the first word of which is the origin of its name. An alternative Latin name of the settlement is Augusta Ubiorum, after the Ubii. “Cologne”, the French version of the city’s name, has become standard in English as well.

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.

City Councillors are elected for a five-year term and the Mayor has a six-year term. The city also has the most pubs per capita in Germany. The city has 70 clubs, “countless” bars, restaurants, and pubs.

Informative Facts About Cologne:

  1. It took 632 years to build the Cologne Cathedral. It’s the third-tallest cathedral in the world.
  2. People of Cologne and nearby have their own language. They call it Kölsch. During carnival time it even appears on nationwide broadcasts.
  3. Cologne has 31 museums.
  4. Cologne has 22 nature reserves, and 15% of its territory is covered in forests.
  5. 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.
  6. Cologne is the biggest city in North Rhine-Westphalia.
  7. Cologne was the hometown of Italian expatriate Johann Maria Farina, who created a fragrance and named it after the city. Eau de Cologne or “water from Cologne” is still famous the world over, and is still produced in Cologne today.
  8. The city was founded by the Romans in the year 50.
  9. The Population of Cologne is 1,108,000, as of 2019.
  10. The city is officially held to be Germany’s capital of carnivals.
  11. During the period of the persecution of witches (1435-1655), the city held 96 trials, with 37 of the accused women being burned at the stake.
  12. Cologne is twinned with: Barcelona, Spain; Berlin-Neukölln, Germany; Berlin-Treptow, Germany; Bethlehem, Palestine; Cork, Ireland; Cluj Napoca/Klausenburg, Romania; Corinto/El Realejo, Nicaragua; Esch-Sur-Alzette, Luxembourg; Beijing, China; Lüttich, Belgium; Liverpool, UK; Lille, France; Kyoto, Japan; Katowice, Poland; Istanbul, Turkey; Indianapolis, USA; Rio de Janeiro, Brasil; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel; Thessaloniki, Greece; Tunis, Tunisia; Turin, Italy; Turku, Finland & Volgograd, Russia.
  13. Cologne is home to Germany’s largest and oldest university, the University of Cologne, founded in 1388. 
  14. Cologne becomes the first German city with a population of more than a million people to declare a climate emergency.
  15. Cologne’s largest daily newspaper is the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger.
  16. Cologne’s tallest structure is the Colonius telecommunication tower at 266 m.
  17. Cologne is the fourth-largest city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich.
  18. 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 Claudia Ara Agrippinensium (Cologne) on the river Rhine and the city became the provincial capital of Germania Inferior in 85 AD.
  19. In Cologne, you will find Germany’s only Palm Tree Alley (at Flora).
  20. Every year in July, Cologne hosts Germany’s largest high-altitude musical firework display – the “Cologne Lights” (“Koelner Lichter”).


20 Informative Facts About Cologne
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