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 1
20 Informative Facts About Cologne
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20 Interesting Cologne Cathedral Facts

Cologne Cathedral Facts:

  1. The cathedral has eleven church bells, four of which are medieval.
  2. In 1996, the cathedral was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List of culturally important sites.
  3. In 2004 it was placed on the “World Heritage in Danger” list, as the only Western site in danger, due to plans to construct a high-rise building nearby, which would have visually impacted the site, However, In 2006 it was removed from the list of in Danger Sites, due to the limit the heights of building contrsucted near and around the cathedral.
  4. The Construction of the Cathedral began in 1248, and was not completed until 1880, with the assistance of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, a mere 632 years later.
  5. The cathedral covers almost 8,000 square meters of floor space and can hold more than 20,000 people.
  6. Originally the cathedral was built to house the Three Wise Men’s shrine.
  7. The height of the northern tower of the Cologne Cathedral is 157,38 meters, while the height of the southern tower is 6 cm below that.
  8. The external length of the cathedral is 144,58 meters and the width is 86.25 meters.
  9. St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. was modeled after the cathedral.
  10. The Cologne Cathedral was the tallest building in the world between 1880 and 1884.
  11. The Cologne Cathedral is the third biggest church, built in the Gothic Architecture, only being beaten by The Silvelle Cathedral in Spain and the Milan Cathedral in Italy.
  12. Pope Benedict XVI visited the cathedral in 2005, as part of World Youth Day 2005 festivities. 
  13. The cathedral’s oldest stained-glass windows were crafted in the 13th century. More modern in style is an immense stained-glass window by the Cologne-based artist Gerhard Richter, completed in 2007 as a permanent replacement for 19th-century glass that was destroyed in World War II.
  14. The Cathedral towers for its two huge spires give the cathedral the largest façade of any church in the world. The choir has the largest height to width ratio, 3.6:1, of any medieval church.
  15. The Lady Chapel contains the Altar of the City Patrons, painted in 1442 by Stefan Lochner.
  16. The Cathedral was hit by 14 bombs during World War II, Lucky the building didn’t fall. 
  17. The building plan for the Gothic Cathedral was drawn up by master mason Gerhard of Reil, who modelled the new church on the cathedrals of Paris, Strasbourg and Amiens.
  18. Cologne Cathedral has two pipe organs by Klais Orgelbau: the Transept Organ, built in 1948, and the Nave Organ, built in 1998.
  19. As of 1 March 2017, authorities instituted a ban on large bags in the cathedral in light of recent terrorist attacks in the country.
  20. Cologne Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Cologne, Germany.
20 Interesting Cologne Cathedral Facts 2
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10 Informative Museum Ludwig Facts

Museum Ludwig Facts

  1. The museum was established in 1976 as an independent institution from the Wallraf-Richartz Museum.
  2. In 2016 the museum joined forces with the Bell Art Center to organize an unofficial retrospective of Anselm Kiefer, which opened at Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts.
  3. Today the museum houses the most comprehensive collection of early Russian avant-garde artworks outside Russia.
  4. In 1999 Steve Keene painted in the museum.
  5. Museum Ludwig has one of the largest Picasso collections in Europe & It holds many works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.
  6. On Novem­ber 1, 2001 the mu­se­um was re­opened by Kasper König. Un­der his di­rec­tion (2000–12) the col­lec­tion was ex­pand­ed with es­sen­tial pie­ces and en­tire groups of works, es­pe­cial­ly in the area of con­tem­po­rary art, and is to­day one of the lead­ing mu­se­ums of mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary art in Eu­rope.
  7. In Oc­to­ber 1946 a se­lec­tion of one hun­dred paint­ings was shown for the first time at the old Uni­ver­si­ty of Cologne.
  8. On Fe­bruary 5, 1976 Peter and Irene Lud­wig and the Ci­ty of Cologne signed a do­na­tion con­tract found­ing the Mu­se­um Lud­wig.
  9. The world’s largest private collection of Picasso’s art has been offered to a museum in Cologne, Germany, by the widow of a renowned art patron.
  10. In February 2015, Yil­maz Dziewior was made the director of the musuem. 
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