The history of Cologne started back in the time of Christ´s birth. With more than 2000 years of history, this city on the Rhine has had a very eventful history, with many different empires ruling it over these two millennia.
The Romans were the first to occupy the city. Agrippa, a military leader during the time of Emperor Augustus, decided to found a city where the Rhine went out the valley into the plain. Cologne’s name comes from the Latin name, Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium. For more than four centuries, Cologne was under the Roman influence and today you can enjoy its archaeological remains. Below the Rathausplatz (the City Hall), in the Archäologische Zone (the archaeological zone), part of the Jewish Museum, you’ll find over 250,000 artifacts, the remains of the governor´s palace and Cologne´s oldest stone building that were found during a 13500 m2 excavation. All these can be accessed at the Kleine Budengasse for just € 3.50 from Tuesday to Sunday from 10h to 17h.
Traveling in time some centuries ahead, we find the most famous landmark of the city: the cathedral, better known as Dom. The construction of the Dom began in the XIII century, but stopped in the XV century and three centuries later resumed to be finished in 1880. Until 1884, it was the tallest building in the world and today, the most visited monument in Germany; The Dom has the largest facade of any church anywhere in the world. Based in the cathedral of Amiens, the church’s floor was built with the shape of a Latin cross and has vaults that are among the highest in the world. The church contains the largest swinging bell in the world, der dicke Petter, which is rang for special occasions. You can go up 95 of its 157 meters high to contemplate a unique view of the city. The Dom also contains the shrine of the three Magi and UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site in 1996.
Cologne is also famous for its twelve Romanesque churches; you’ll find all of them in the Altstadt (the old city). The construction of these churches ranges from the fourth to the eighth century, which are, in chronological order, the following: St. Andreas Church, St. Maria im Kapitol Church, St. Aposteln Church, St. Maria Lyskirchen Church, St. Cecilia´s Church, Gross St. Martin, St. Georg Church, St. Pantaleon, St. Gereon Church, St. Severin Church, St. Kunibert Church and St. Ursula Church. When in the Altstadt you can’t miss a tour around these beautiful constructions.
Another important building in Cologne is the synagogue located in Roonstraße. This synagogue is the meeting point of the city´s Jewish population, a population that has lived in Cologne since its foundation. Its yellow façade features a Romanesque style and was built in the nineteenth century. The synagogue was destroyed during the Nazi era, was rebuilt by the end of the war and today is one of the architectural attractions of the city. The synagogue contains Jewish artifacts of great value and it is such the status of this synagogue that Pope Benedict XVI visited it in 2005; the second visit by a pope to a synagogue in the history.
Contemporary architecture also has a place in the city. Skyscrapers and modern buildings like Köln Turm (148m) and Köln Triangle (103m) are part of the cityscape. Also, the Crane House, two buildings with a 90 °particular form give a modernist touch to the city.
More than 2000 years of history await you in this beautiful city on the Rhine. Rent apartments in Cologne and make sure to visit its impressive and historic buildings.