Cologne, Germany

According to abbreviationfinder, Cologne is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, with (2019) 1.1 million residents, is the fourth largest city in Germany, in the fertile Cologne basin on both sides of the Rhine area.

Cologne has a university (founded in 1388, abolished in 1798, reopened in 1919), several colleges (Technical University, German Sport University, University of Music and Dance) and research institutes as well as important museums.

Cologne as a business location is characterized by a wide variety of sectors in industry, media business (headquarters of WDR, RTL, etc.) and retail. The Cologne carnival and famous trade fairs (“Art Cologne”, “gamescom”) stimulate tourism. Cologne is an important traffic junction (railway junction, inland port, Cologne / Bonn airport).


Despite major destruction in the Second World War, many churches and other buildings from the Middle Ages were preserved or could be restored (e.g. St. Gereon, St. Aposteln, St. Pantaleon; the festival building Gürzenich). The Cologne Cathedral is world-famous , with one of the most important Gothic buildings in the choir (construction started in 1248, end of 1880; height of the two towers 156 m).


Around 38 BC BC M. Vipsanius Agrippa promoted the settlement of Germanic Ubians on the left bank of the Rhine, whose city-like founding Oppidum Ubiorum (Ara Ubiorum) became the nucleus of today’s Cologne. In 50 AD the city of Ubier was expanded, fortified and, at the instigation of Agrippina the Younger, who was born here, it became the Roman colony Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium (CCAA or Colonia Agrippinensis for short , later just Colonia)) collected. Especially in the 2nd century as the capital of Lower Germany (seat of the governor in the praetorium; excavated in 1953 under today’s town hall complex), it quickly developed into a center of handicrafts (especially pottery, glassworks) and trade; it had a Christian center as early as the 3rd century Congregation and a bishop since 313 at the latest. The usurper Postumus founded the special empire encompassing Gaul, Britain and parts of Spain in 260, which existed until 273/274. Around 310 there was a permanent bridge to today’s Cologne-Deutz and the Roman fort Divitia there built. In the middle of the 5th century, Cologne came under Frankish rule. For a time it was the royal seat of the Rhine Franconians (“Cologne Empire”; expansion controversial, probably to Lorraine, Trier, Luxembourg and Limburg) and was incorporated into the Franconian Empire under Clovis I. Gold coinage in the 6th century and gold jewelry from the graves of the Merovingian nobility attest to the importance of Cologne from the early Middle Ages to the Carolingian era.

Due to its convenient location at the intersection of several roads running from west to east with the Rhine, which provided the connection from Italy and the Danube region to the north, and as an important inland port, Cologne experienced an upswing as a junction for far-reaching economic relationships and to an important German transshipment point. Cologne was the largest German city in the Middle Ages (12 gates, over 80 towers). As the seat of an archbishop (since the end of the 8th century) it also became a spiritual center of northwest Germany. At the site of the fort on the right bank of the Rhine, a Franconian royal court was built, which forms the core of the up-and-coming Deutz settlementformed (town charter in 1230). Around 953 the city of Cologne came under the control of the archbishop (city rule until 1288). Violent disputes between this and the citizens followed (including 1074 against Anno II.), Until Cologne achieved direct imperial status in the Battle of Worringen (June 5, 1288) (officially free imperial city since 1475). Already in 1106 the citizens had significantly intervened in the conflict between Emperor Heinrich IV. And his son Heinrich V, in 1198 in the Roman (German) controversy for the throne in favor of Otto IV.

The city of Cologne was the most important member of a merchants’ association in London until it became a member when the Hanseatic League was founded. The patriciate was replaced in 1370 and finally in 1396 by the merchants and craftsmen organized in gaffs. After the Dominican religious school in Cologne became a spiritual and theological center in the 13th century (Albertus MagnusThomas von AquinoMeister EckhartH. SeuseJ. Tauler) and also the Franciscans (J. Duns Scotus) and established Carmelite religious colleges, the city council founded the University of Cologne with papal privilege in 1388; it was the first German university to be founded, the initiative of which came from the city council. Attempts by the Protestant Archbishops Hermann V von Wied and Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg to push through the Reformation (Cologne War) failed in 1542–47 and 1582/83 because of Cologne’s obedience to the emperor and the conservative attitude of the theological faculty and the cathedral chapter.

In the early modern era, the city was able to maintain its neutrality in the numerous wars. From 1794 French troops occupied Cologne. Under French rule, the university was dissolved in 1798. From 1815 it belonged to Prussia and was extended to the fortress, from then on Cologne was the seat of a district president; the Oberpräsidium Cologne existed only from 1816-22. During the economic boom in the 19th century, the city developed into a banking and insurance center, three railway companies were based here, as was the Rheinische Dampfschiffahrtsgesellschaft (1831; 1825 the first Rhine steamship was launched). The metal industry, especially mechanical engineering, and the chemical industry became important for the flourishing economy (1801: 41,700 residents; 1831: 66,000 residents; 1852: 101,000 residents). Shrovetide).

In 1888, inter alia Deutz, Ehrenfeld, Longerich and Müngersdorf incorporated, in 1910 the Kalk settlement , which grew by leaps and bounds following the settlement of the chemical industry and which was elevated to a town in 1881 ; Mülheim(city since 1322), which owed its growth primarily to the iron processing industry, became a district of Cologne in 1914. Lord Mayor K. Adenauer (1917–33, again 1945) campaigned for the re-establishment of the university (1919), left the two green belts on the former fortress grounds (with stadium, 1925), Niehler Hafen and Mülheimer Brücke (1927–29) in 1921–23 create as well as the airport (1926) and radio building (1927), and in 1922–24 and 1927 the exhibition grounds in Deutz are laid out and expanded. In 1922 Worringen was incorporated. During the Second World War, Cologne was one of the main targets of Allied air bombardments (especially on May 30/31, 1942 and June, July and October 1943); On March 7, 1945, the city, 72% destroyed (inner city over 90%), was taken by American troops. In 1946 Cologne came to North Rhine-Westphalia.

When the historical city archive collapsed on 3rd March 2009 and two residential buildings in the Severinsviertel, numerous valuable documents were destroyed; two people died. The archive comprised 65,000 documents from the year 922, 104,000 maps and plans, 50,000 posters and around half a million photos from Cologne, Rhenish and Prussian history, including the entire tradition of the city of Cologne. 780 estates and collections were also housed in the building built in the early 1970s in the southern part of Cologne. The accident is presumably due to the construction of an S-Bahn line under the old town.

Since 2010 (previously already in 1975/76) Cologne has been one of the four megacities in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg and Munich.

Cologne, Germany