In the emperor Constantine the Great built a castle and a permanent bridge to it across the Rhine. Ceramics and glass were manufactured in Cologne in Roman times. About it was conquered by the Franks , and it soon became the residence of the kings of the Ripuarian part of the Frankish kingdom. A Christian community existed in Cologne probably as early as the 2nd century, and the town is first mentioned as a bishopric in Charlemagne made it an archbishopric in the late 8th century; by the 10th century the archbishop dominated the city, receiving a wide range of tolls, customs duties, and other payments.
The former sought commercial and political freedom, the latter the preservation of his temporal power, which was augmented from the 13th century when the archbishop became one of the electors privileged to choose the German king. It was not until the Battle of Worringen, in , that the archbishop was finally defeated, and the city of Cologne secured full self-government.
From that time, Cologne was in fact a free imperial city , although it was only officially recognized as such in Until the end of the 14th century, the government of the city was in the hands of the wealthy patricians, but in , after a bloodless revolution, a new municipal constitution was established under which the 22 branches of the guilds became the basis of the government, for they elected a council that had power over all internal and external affairs.
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This medieval period was a splendid one for Cologne. It was a prominent member of the mercantile Hanseatic League , and its merchants had probably the most extensive connections and the most varied trade of all the German towns. The arts and religion flourished there also. As late as , when the French occupied Cologne, public Protestant services were still banned, and the city has remained predominantly Roman Catholic.
The Jewish community, which had existed from the time of Constantine the Great, was expelled in , and until Jews were forbidden to remain overnight in the city. In Cologne passed to Prussia , and from that time a new era of prosperity began. A wide range of industries flourished, and a chamber of commerce was established, the oldest in Germany.
The population grew from 41, in to , in By the population had reached , There were 20, casualties, and the city was left in ruins, with nearly all the dwellings in the old town damaged and 91 out of churches destroyed. By December, however, there were some , people in the city, and the population continued to rise rapidly while the work of clearance and reconstruction was undertaken.
Since the war the process of growth has continued with the development of new industrial areas and satellite towns and the improvement of transportation, and Cologne has regained its place as the economic and cultural centre of northwestern Germany. By the late 20th and early 21st century, the economy shifted away from traditional industry and toward high technology, such as telecommunications.
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When the throne was vacant, the count palatine would be regent in southern Germany and the duke of Saxony in the north; thus…. Cologne reached its peak in the 13th century with a population of 60, but sank to 40, by following epidemics, internal disputes, and expulsions. In Augsburg was the most populous German city, with a resident population of 50, Third place was held by…. At Cologne , Eastern painted books must also have been available as models, since the wonderfully fluid painterly compositions of the early works of the school appear to have been inspired by contemporary Byzantine painting as in the Gospels of Abbess Hitda of Meschede, early….
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The reconstruction lasted until the s, when the Romanesque church of St. In , the city's population reached pre-war numbers again. In the s and s Cologne's economy prospered for two main reasons. 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 At the same time the original buildings, which date back to the s, were rented out to RTL , Germany's largest private broadcaster, as their new corporate headquarters. Cologne was the focus of the New Year's Eve sexual assaults , with over women reporting that they were sexually assaulted by persons of African and Arab appearance.
Cologne is divided into 9 boroughs Stadtbezirke and 85 districts Stadtteile: Located in the Rhine-Ruhr area, 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 hours of sun a year.
Its average annual temperature is In January, the mean temperature is 2. 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. Cologne is regularly affected by flooding from the Rhine and is considered the most flood-prone European city. Cologne is the fourth-largest city in Germany after Berlin , Hamburg and Munich.
As of 31 December , there were 1,, people registered as living in Cologne in an area of There were , women and , men in Cologne. For every 1, males, there were 1, females. In , there were 11, births in Cologne of which In the city, the population was spread out with According to the Statistical Office of the City of Cologne, the number of people with a migrant background is at The average household size was 1.
Cologne residents with a foreign citizenship as of 31 December is as follows: Slightly more than half of the residents of Cologne are members of a religion. As of , Cologne also has one of the oldest and largest Jewish communities in Germany. The city's administration is headed by the mayor and the three deputy mayors. The long tradition of a free imperial city, which long dominated an exclusively Catholic population and the age-old conflict between the church and the bourgeoisie and within it between the patricians and craftsmen have created its own political climate in Cologne.
Various interest groups often form networks beyond party boundaries. The resulting web of relationships, with political, economic, and cultural links with each other in a system of mutual favours, obligations and dependencies, is called the 'Cologne coterie'. This has often led to an unusual proportional distribution in the city government and degenerated at times into corruption: City Councillors are elected for a five-year term and the Mayor has a six-year term. City of Cologne . The reconstruction of the city followed the style of the s, 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. 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. Of the twelve medieval city gates that once existed, only the Eigelsteintorburg at Ebertplatz, the Hahnentor at Rudolfplatz and the Severinstorburg at Chlodwigplatz still stand today. Several bridges cross the Rhine in Cologne. They are from south to north: The observation deck has been closed since A selection of the tallest buildings in Cologne is listed below.
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. Cecilia, one of Cologne's Twelve Romanesque churches. Many art galleries in Cologne enjoy a worldwide reputation like e. Galerie Karsten Greve , one of the leading galleries for postwar and contemporary art.
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The public radio and TV station WDR was involved in promoting musical movements such as Krautrock in the s; the influential Can was formed there in The large annual literary festival Lit. Cologne features regional and international authors. Cologne is also famous for Eau de Cologne German: 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.
He decided to use the house number given to the factory at Glockengasse during the French occupation in the early 19th century, The Cologne carnival is one of the largest street festivals in Europe. However, the so-called "Tolle Tage" crazy days do not start until Weiberfastnacht Women's Carnival or, in dialect, Wieverfastelovend , the 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 celebrate in the streets on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday.
In addition, Cologne enjoys a thriving Christmas Market Weihnachtsmarkt presence with several locations in the city. As the largest city in the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region, Cologne benefits from a large market structure. Bachem, Taschen , Tandem Verlag , and M. Several clusters of media, arts and communications agencies, TV production studios, and state agencies work partly with private and government-funded cultural institutions. The German flag carrier Lufthansa and its subsidiary Lufthansa CityLine have their main corporate headquarters in Cologne.
Cologne has the country's highest density of pubs per capita. Historically, Cologne has always been an important trade city, with land, air, and sea connections. Cologne-Bonn Airport is the second largest freight terminal in Germany. In Cologne had 4. Cologne shows a significant increase in startup companies , especially when considering digital business.
Road building had been a major issue in the s under the leadership of mayor Konrad Adenauer. The first German limited-access road was constructed after between Cologne and Bonn. Today, this is the Bundesautobahn In , Cologne became the first German city to be fully encircled by a motorway ring road. Roughly at the same time, a city centre bypass Stadtautobahn was planned, but only partially put into effect, due to opposition by environmental groups. Nevertheless, it is referred to as Stadtautobahn by most locals.
Welcome to Cologne
The last section south of Ebertplatz was completed in 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 it ranked 36th out of 39 German cities with a population greater than , 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. There are also frequent buses covering most of the city and surrounding suburbs, and Eurolines coaches to London via Brussels. 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 until Check In Check Out.
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