Cologne ranks fourth as size in Germany and first in the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area. The city is located on both sides of the river Rhine and is the home of one of the oldest and biggest universities in Europe. Cologne is also renowned for its famous Cologne Cathedral Dom where the Catholic Archbishop of Cologne resides.
After withstanding several bombings in World War II, Cologne rebuilt many historic buildings which end result was a mixed and unique cityscape.
The city is home to hundreds of galleries and around 30 museums, which together with its vibrant art scene it became a major cultural center of the Rhineland. The international trade fair and exhibition center named Koelnmesse regularly hosts trade shows such as Gamescom, the Photokina, imm Cologne and Art Cologne and it is the largest trade fair organizer in Germany.
Cologne is divided in 9 districts and each has its own city parts. The districts are Innenstadt, Rodenkirchen, Lindenthal, Ehrenfeld, Nippes, Chorweiler, Porz, Kalk and Mülheim. The city parts together are 85 in number.
In terms of occupants, Cologne ranks as fourth in Germany and is the centre of the Cologne/Bonn Region including neighboring cities of Bonn, Bergisch, Leverkusen and Hürth rising to a grand number of 3 million inhabitants.
From all the population in Cologne, around 17% of the population is non-German. Of these, the largest numbers of non-German inhabitants are Turks followed by Asians and then Africans along with other mixed nationalities.
When visiting Cologne, some of the important landmarks that are worth seeing are the Cologne Cathedral, which is a gothic church that was chosen as a World Heritage site. In here, you will find the Shrine of the Tree Kings, which is rumored to hold relics of the Three Magi. Then there are the Twelve Romanesque churches, a wonderful example of medieval architecture for churches.
For an imposing view go view the Cologne City Hall and look at the Renaissance style loggia and tower added later in the 15th century. The Cologne City Hall is the oldest City Hall still in use in Germany dating back from the 12th century.
In Cologne history there were 12 medieval city gates standing but after so much time that has passé only three are left today, the Hahnentor located at Rudolfplatz, the Eigelsteintorburg at Ebertplatz and the Severinstorburg that stands at Chlodwigplatz.
Cologne also has several famous museums such as the Museum Ludwig which is home of important modern art collections some unrivaled even by museums at Barcelona or Paris, or the Roman-Germanic Museum which offers architectural art from the city’s past.
Also you can find several orchestras active in the city, for example the Gürzenich Orchestra that has its base at the Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra Building.
For a fun nigh out you can visit the many clubs around Rudolfplatz and Hohenzollernring.
There is an annual literary festival Lit. Cologne, where both international and regional authors gather.
Other well-known products of Cologne are its beer called Kölsch which is the name of the local dialect and also the famous Eau of Cologne which is a perfume made by Johann Maria Farina around the 18th century.
On 11th of November the biggest street carnival in Europe officially starts and it continues until Ash Wednesday. Lots of visitors appear during this time and the pubs are full with costumed people drinking and dancing in the street. This is one of the most busiest time for Cologne as it attracts a multitude of visitors ready to have fun.
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