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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the city of Cologne Map of Germany, position of the city of Cologne highlighted

Coordinates: 50 ° 56 '  N , 6 ° 57'  E

Basic data
State : North Rhine-Westphalia
Administrative region : Cologne
Height : 53 m above sea level NHN
Area : 405.01 km 2
Resident: 1,083,498 (Dec. 31, 2020)
Population density : 2675 inhabitants per km 2
Postcodes : 50667-51149
Primaries : 0221, 02203Template: Infobox municipality in Germany / maintenance / area code contains text
License plate : K
Community key : 05 3 15 000
City structure: 9 districts, 86 districts

City administration address :
Rathausplatz 2
50667 Cologne
Website :
Lord Mayor : Henriette Reker ( independent )
Location of the city of Cologne in North Rhine-Westphalia and in the administrative district of Cologne
Niederlande Belgien Niedersachsen Rheinland-Pfalz Hessen Essen Wuppertal Solingen Remscheid Hagen Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis Bochum Dortmund Herne Gelsenkirchen Bottrop Oberhausen Mülheim an der Ruhr Duisburg Kreis Mettmann Düsseldorf Rhein-Kreis Neuss Kreis Heinsberg Mönchengladbach Krefeld Kreis Viersen Kreis Wesel Kreis Kleve Rhein-Erft-Kreis Kreis Düren Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis Oberbergischer Kreis Kreis Recklinghausen Kreis Borken Kreis Unna Märkischer Kreis Kreis Olpe Hamm Kreis Soest Kreis Coesfeld Kreis Steinfurt Kreis Warendorf Leverkusen Köln Städteregion Aachen Bonn Rhein-Sieg-Kreis Städteregion Aachen Kreis Euskirchen Münster Kreis Siegen-Wittgenstein Hochsauerlandkreis Kreis Paderborn Kreis Gütersloh Kreis Höxter Kreis Lippe Kreis Herford Kreis Minden-Lübbecke Bielefeldmap
About this picture
View over the center of Cologne. From left to right: Cologne Old Town , Philharmonic Hall , Museum Ludwig , Cologne Cathedral, Hohenzollern Bridge , Central Station , Musical Dome . In the background the Colonius telecommunications tower and the Cologne tower in the Mediapark (August 2017)
Cologne bank of the Rhine at night
Aerial view of Cologne from the north

Cologne ( Kölsch Kölle ; originally Latin Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium , Colonia or CCAA for short ) is an independent city in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia with around 1.1 million inhabitants . It is the most populous municipality in the country and the fourth largest in Germany .

The city on the Rhine belongs to the administrative district of Cologne , whose administrative authority - the district government of Cologne - has its seat here. The Cologne / Bonn region is the center of the metropolitan area between Cologne Bay and Oberbergisches Land with a good four million inhabitants and at the same time the Rhenish population center of the Rhineland metropolitan region with around nine million inhabitants.

The city is one of the most important travel destinations in Europe , primarily because of the important Cologne Cathedral and its Romanesque churches as well as other medieval monuments , over 2000 years of city history, important events and its cultural and culinary heritage .

Today's city and former imperial city was in Roman times under the name Oppidum Ubiorum founded in the year 50 n. Chr. As Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium the city collected. The name means Claudian colony and sacrificial site of the Agrippinese . The favorable location on the Rhine with the crossing of important west-east trade routes and the seat of secular and especially ecclesiastical power contributed to Cologne's supraregional status in the Holy Roman Empire . Today the city is the seat of the Archdiocese of Cologne , the largest Roman Catholic diocese in Germany, and was the seat of the Electorate of Cologne until 1803 .

As a Hanseatic city , Cologne was an important trading location with its central traffic location. Cologne is of international importance as an economic and cultural metropolis. The city is one of the most important locations for the chemical and automotive industry and is home to, partly together with some of its suburbs, company headquarters and production facilities of automotive brands such as Ford and Toyota as well as chemical groups such as Lanxess . The carnival stronghold is also the seat of many public associations and professional sports clubs. Numerous television and radio stations such as RTL and Westdeutsche Rundfunk as well as film studios , music producers , publishing houses and other media companies are located here. Cologne is also one of the leading centers of the global art trade .

The city is also an important congress and trade fair location : the photo technology fair photokina , the fitness and health fair FIBO , the confectionery fair and the video game fair Gamescom are the world's leading trade fairs , and Art Cologne is the world's oldest art fair .

Thanks to the University of Cologne with around 51,000 students , the Technical University of Cologne (around 27,000 students) and numerous other universities , the city is the largest educational and research location in western Germany .

The importance of Cologne as a transport hub is demonstrated by the extensive long-distance passenger rail transport with three long-distance stations and the Eifeltor station , which is one of the largest container handling stations in Europe. The infrastructure is supplemented by four inland ports and Cologne / Bonn Airport .


Geographical location and climate

The urban area extends over 405.17 km² ( 230.25 km² on the left bank of the Rhine, 174.87 km² on the right bank of the Rhine ). Only the city-states of Berlin and Hamburg and four small and medium- sized towns in Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg have a larger urban area in Germany .

The topographical reference point of the city, the top of the northern cathedral tower, lies at 50 ° 56 ′ 33 ″ north latitude and 6 ° 57 ′ 32 ″ east longitude. The highest point is 118.04 meters ( Monte Troodelöh in the Königsforst ); the lowest 37.5 meters above sea level (in the Worringer Bruch ).

The city is located in the Cologne Bay , a funnel-shaped river barn landscape shaped by the Rhine between the gradual rising slopes of the Bergisches Land and the Eifel immediately after the Rhine emerges from the Rhenish Slate Mountains . This sheltered, favorable location gives Cologne a mild climate .

Cologne-Stammheim (43 m) 2015-2020
Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: [1]
Average monthly temperatures and precipitation for Cologne-Stammheim (43 m) 2015–2020
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 6.7 8.5 11.8 17.0 20.7 24.5 26.1 26.1 21.6 15.7 11.0 8.7 O 16.6
Min. Temperature (° C) 1.7 1.8 3.6 6.0 9.8 14.1 15.4 15.4 11.6 8.7 5.1 3.9 O 8.1
Temperature (° C) 4.2 5.0 7.6 11.6 15.3 19.3 20.6 20.5 16.2 12.0 8.0 6.3 O 12.3
Precipitation ( mm ) 72.8 58.5 65.0 37.0 44.4 73.0 60.0 67.6 55.7 54.4 66.2 71.3 Σ 725.9
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: [2]

Cologne is located in the greater area of ​​the transition zone from the temperate maritime climate to the continental climate with mild winters (January mean: 3.0 ° C) and moderately warm summers (July mean: 19.0 ° C). The mean annual precipitation is 802 millimeters, which is the German mean and significantly higher than in the neighboring Rhein-Erft district ( Erftstadt - Bliesheim : 631 mm) or the Jülich-Zülpicher Börde ( Zülpich : 582 mm), which gives commuters the impression of one "Regenlochs" awakened.

The Cologne-Stammheim weather station can be used as a representative of the urban climate in Cologne . It can be seen that the winter temperatures are among the mildest in all of Germany and the temperature minima are very high due to the urban microclimate . The mean values ​​from the period 2015–2020 are quite similar to the values ​​from the climate mean of Lyon over the years 1961–1990.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: DWD, data: 1991–2020
Climatic data Cologne
station Cologne / Bonn (airport), 91 m above sea level
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 5.9 7.2 11.4 16.1 19.7 22.7 24.9 24.5 20.4 15.2 9.8 6.5 O 15.4
Min. Temperature (° C) 0.0 0.1 2.0 4.5 8.1 11.2 13.3 12.8 9.7 6.8 3.5 1.0 O 6.1
Temperature (° C) 3.0 3.6 6.7 10.4 14.1 17.1 19.0 18.5 14.8 10.8 6.7 3.8 O 10.7
Precipitation ( mm ) 61.7 53.8 55.0 48.2 62.1 86.3 87.4 83.3 66.9 64.7 63.5 69.2 Σ 802.1
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 1.8 2.8 4.0 5.8 6.4 6.7 6.7 6.3 5.0 3.4 2.0 1.5 O 4.4
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: DWD, data: 1991–2020
Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: DWD, data: 1961–1990
Climatic data Cologne
station Cologne / Bonn (airport), 91 m above sea level
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 4.5 6.2 9.8 13.8 18.5 21.4 23.1 23.0 19.7 15.0 8.9 5.5 O 14.2
Min. Temperature (° C) −1.3 −1.2 1.1 3.6 7.6 10.7 12.4 12.1 9.5 6.3 2.4 −0.2 O 5.3
Temperature (° C) 1.8 2.5 5.3 8.8 13.3 16.4 18.0 17.5 14.3 10.4 5.7 2.9 O 9.8
Precipitation ( mm ) 62.0 48.0 64.0 55.0 74.0 86.0 84.0 77.0 62.0 55.0 66.0 72.0 Σ 805
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 1.5 2.8 3.5 5.2 6.2 6.2 6.3 5.9 4.8 3.6 2.0 1.4 O 4.1
Rainy days ( d ) 13.0 10.0 13.0 11.0 12.0 12.0 11.0 10.0 10.0 9.0 12.0 13.0 Σ 136
Humidity ( % ) 82 78 75 70 69 70 71 73 78 80 82 83 O 75.9
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: DWD, data: 1961–1990

In the last 30 years the temperatures in Cologne have risen noticeably on average over the long term; While the mean daily maximum temperature in July for the period 1961 to 1990 was around 23 ° C, it is around 25 ° C for the years 1991 to 2020. The winters have also gotten warmer; While the average daily maximum temperature in January for the years 1961 to 1990 was 4.5 ° C, it was 5.9 ° C for the period 1991 to 2020.

The mean precipitation profile, however, has hardly changed; the average annual precipitation has remained roughly the same. On the other hand, the number of hours of sunshine has increased over the last 30 years from 4.1 to 4.4 hours per day on a long-term average.

Cologne panorama seen from Severinsbrücke to the north, October 2019

Air quality and environmental protection

Energy generation, industry and transport are the main causes of anthropogenic air pollution. In the context of air pollution control planning to date , considerable successes have been achieved for almost all air pollutants, in particular for fine dust , which was still critical at the beginning of the 2000s . To protect human health, an annual limit value of 40 µg / m³ was set for nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) throughout Europe in 2010 , while a critical value of 30 µg / m³ NOx is used as an annual mean to protect vegetation . These limit values ​​are still widely exceeded in Cologne.

In order to permanently reduce air pollution, the district government of Cologne created an air pollution control plan in accordance with Section 47 (1) of the Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchG) for the first time in 2006 . The subject of such a clean air plan is the description of the exceedance situation, the polluter analysis, the consideration of the likely development of the pollution situation as well as the development of measures that should lead to a reduction of air pollutants. On January 1, 2008, the first environmental zone of North Rhine-Westphalia was established in Cologne , it extended over the inner area of ​​the city area. Since compliance with the limit values ​​for nitrogen dioxide could not yet be achieved, the clean air plan was updated and the environmental zone was extended to almost the entire city area on April 1, 2012. After a step-by-step introduction, since July 1, 2014, only vehicles with a green sticker have been allowed to enter the environmental zone.

Since the current limit value for nitrogen dioxide was still exceeded at nine measuring stations in Cologne in 2016 , the district government had to update the current clean air plan for the city of Cologne. Overall, at all measuring points affected by the exceedance of limit values, the share of emissions from road traffic has the highest share in the existing pollution situation. A large proportion of this results from nitrogen dioxide emissions from diesel vehicles. The annual mean limit value for particulate matter has been complied with at all measuring points in Cologne since 2009. The location of the areas in which increased pollution occurs extends to a larger area around the inner city and individual areas in the outer city districts. The five biggest problem areas are the Clevische Ring (Cologne-Mülheim), Justinianstraße (Deutz), Neumarkt (City), on Aachener Straße (Weiden) and Luxemburger Straße (Sülz). In this respect, there is a need for action to further reduce air pollution in the planning area.

Since mid-August 2019, trucks over 7.5 tons have been banned from entering Cologne city center as part of the clean air plan. Delivery traffic and residents are not affected by the ban. The city of Cologne participates in the " Earth Hour ", which has been held annually by the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) since 2007 .


Cologne is located on the southern edge of the Lower Rhine Bay, for the most part in the area of ​​the low terraces , which rise slightly like terraces from the Rhine. The geological substructure in the urban area is formed from up to 35 meters thick deposits from the Ice Age ( Quaternary ). They consist of gravel and sands from the Rhine-Maas system . Foothills of the Rhenish lignite mining area rich to lime : By 1860 there was lignite mine union New Deutz founded. Today located on the site brewery of brothers Sünner that could use the penetrating into the tunnel groundwater. In the deeper subsurface layers of the Tertiary and Devonian follow .

The terrain is dominated by the fertile soil of alluvial - level on the Rhine. In the western parts of the city they are covered by loess , which has been weathered to produce high-yield, arable clay soils ( parabrown soils ). They are often associated with fertile colluvia that formed in depressions from washed away soil material. At the end of the last Ice Age, the Rhine deposited sandy to loamy sediments in the adjacent Rhine plain to the east, which is divided by silted oxbow lakes . This resulted in high-yielding parabrown soils and brown soils , which are also used for arable farming. In the Rhine floodplain, fertile brown floodplain soils were created from alluvial soil material as a result of periodic flooding. The extreme east of the urban area is already part of the base of the Rhenish slate mountains . Here are geologically older terrace sands and drift sand spread from which most poor brown soils, acid Podsol -Braunerden and waterlogged in heavy ground Pseudogley emerged. These rather inferior soils are used as heather or forestry. Gleye influenced by the groundwater formed on streams and in gullies there, just as in the Rheinaue .

By tectonic movements of the Rhine dig -Bruchs built around Cologne pronounced mountain ridges, such as the Ville in Frechen . Immediately to the west of it is Germany's most active earthquake zone , the epicenter of which is in the Düren district . For earthquake prevention , a measuring network with 19 “strong-motion stations” was installed between Aachen , Bensberg , Meckenheim and Viersen in 2006 by the Department of Earthquake Geology at the University of Cologne and expanded to 24 stations by 2018. Several times a month, micro-earthquakes occur in the Cologne Bay that are imperceptible.

Cologne and the Rhine

Flood, April 1983; Level: 9.65 m above level 0
The Rhine flows along Cologne's old town, March 2017

The Rhine , after emerging from the slate mountains south of Cologne known as the Lower Rhine , reaches the city at Godorf and leaves it at Worringen . The gradient of the river is about 0.2  per thousand . Its current water level can be read on the clock on the Cologne level . Normally this shows 3.48 meters, which stands for a water depth in the fairway of approx. 4.48 meters.

Cologne was hit by floods several times . The worst recorded flood occurred in February 1784, when a temperature jump set in after the extremely long and cold winter of 1783/84 . The Rhine was frozen solid and the snowmelt and the breaking ice caused a record level of 13.55 meters. The floods, on which heavy ice floes drifted, devastated large parts of the bank development and all ships. The floodplain destroyed individual buildings, including fortifications; there were 65 dead. The flood of water and ice completely destroyed the Bergisch district town of Mülheim am Rhein on the right bank of the Rhine, now a district of Cologne.

In the 20th century, the three reached flood of the century in 1926, 1993 and 1995, water levels of up to 10.69 meters. A flood protection concept has been implemented since 2005, which uses fixed or mobile walls to protect the city up to a water level of 11.90 meters. The Rhine had low water several times . On September 20, 2003 at 8 a.m., the Rhine reached 0.8 meters at the Cologne gauge. This fell below the lowest recorded value from 1947. However, this negative record was broken in October 2018. First, the record was reached on October 18th. The water level was only 0.67 m on October 23. However, the 0 meter level means that the 150 meter wide fairway in the middle of the river is still one meter deep. The inland shipping suffered had limitations and was not, as on the same , all set.

The following list makes it clear which amounts of water move through the city depending on the water level: 0.80 m (lowest water level): 630 cubic meters / second; 3.48 m (normal water level): 2000 m³ / s; 6.20 m (high water mark I): 4,700 m³ / s; 8.30 m (high water mark II): 7200 m³ / s; 10.0 m (flood protection in old town, Rodenkirchen and Zündorf): 9700 m³ / s; 10.69 m (flood in January 1995): 11,500 m³ / s.

Panorama old town bank. In the middle Groß St. Martin , on the right the Cologne Philharmonic and Museum Ludwig , on the far outside the Hohenzollern Bridge with the entrance to Cologne Central Station , July 2006

Neighboring communities

Cologne is the center of a metropolitan area that has around two million inhabitants . In a closed settlement area, the following cities border the urban area in a clockwise direction, starting in the northeast: Leverkusen ( independent city ), Bergisch Gladbach and Rösrath ( Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis ), Troisdorf and Niederkassel ( Rhein-Sieg-Kreis ), Wesseling , Brühl , Hürth , Frechen and Pulheim (all Rhein-Erft district ), Dormagen ( Rhein district Neuss ) and Monheim ( district Mettmann ).

The city of Wesseling was incorporated into Cologne on January 1, 1975, and after a court decision on July 1, 1976, it regained its independence.

Pulheim Dormagen , Monheim am Rhein Leverkusen
Cheeky , Huerth Neighboring communities Bergisch Gladbach , Rösrath
Brühl , Wesseling Niederkassel Troisdorf

City structure

Districts and parts of Cologne

The city of Cologne is divided into 86 districts , which are combined into 9 districts . The city of Cologne numbers the boroughs from 1 to 9 and the city districts from 101 to 105, 201 to 213, 301 to 309, 401 to 406, 501 to 507, 601 to 612, 701 to 716, 801 to 809 and from 901 to 909 , where the hundreds corresponds to the number of the borough. However, the district number has no connection with the postcode.

Within the districts, the people of Cologne still differentiate between different " Veedeln " ( Kölsch for district ), the residents of which often maintain social ties and contacts that are reminiscent of village communities. The boundaries and names of the Veedel, however, vary considerably depending on the point of view of the residents. For statistical evaluations, the Office for Urban Development and Statistics has defined 371 city quarters - more precisely parts of city districts including the city districts themselves - which include residential areas with few inhabitants and settlements as well as commercial areas.

City structure of Cologne
No. Borough coat of arms Residents
Dec. 31, 2019
in km²
per km²
1 Downtown - 129,055 16.37 7,884 Altstadt-Süd , Neustadt-Süd , Altstadt-Nord , Neustadt-Nord , Deutz
2 Rodenkirchen
Rodenkirchen coat of arms
111.040 54.55 2,035 Bayenthal , Marienburg , Raderberg , Raderthal , Zollstock , Rondorf , Hahnwald , Rodenkirchen , Weiß , Sürth , Godorf , Immendorf , Meschenich
3 Lindenthal - 153,600 41.80 3,675 Klettenberg , Sülz , Lindenthal , Braunsfeld , Müngersdorf , Junkersdorf , Weiden , Lövenich , Widdersdorf
4th Ehrenfeld
Ehrenfeld coat of arms
109,770 23.98 4,578 Ehrenfeld , Neuehrenfeld , Bickendorf , Vogelsang , Bocklemünd / Mengenich , Ossendorf
5 Trinkets - 118,577 31.75 3,735 Nippes , Mauenheim , Riehl , Niehl , Weidenpesch , Longerich , picture sticks
6th Chorweiler - 82,732 67.16 1,232 Merkenich , Fühlingen , Seeberg , Heimersdorf , Lindweiler , Pesch , Esch / Auweiler , Volkhoven / Weiler , Chorweiler , Blumenberg , Roggendorf / Thenhoven , Worringen
7th Porz
Coat of arms of Porz
114,699 78.92 1,453 Poll , Westhoven , Ensen , Gremberghoven , Eil , Porz , Urbach , Elsdorf , Grengel , Wahnheide , Wahn , Lind , Libur , Zündorf , Langel , Finkenberg
8th lime
Lime coat of arms
121,637 38.16 3,187 Humboldt / Gremberg , Kalk , Vingst , Höhenberg , Ostheim , Merheim , Brück , Rath / Heumar , Neubrück
9 Mülheim
Coat of arms of Mülheim
150,709 52.20 2,887 Mülheim , Buchforst , Buchheim , Holweide , Dellbrück , Höhenhaus , Dünnwald , Stammheim , Flittard
City of Cologne (total)
Coat of arms of Cologne
1,091,819 404.9 2,697

63 percent of Cologne's residents live on the left bank of the Rhine (as of 2016). Since the historic city center is on the left bank of the Rhine, the right bank of the Rhine is patronizingly known as " Schäl Sick ".

Flora and fauna

Worring break in late summer

Cologne has extensive green spaces that are designed as parks in the urban area , and mostly managed forests in the outskirts . There are also 22 nature reserves , for example the Worringer Bruch in the far north of Cologne on the left bank of the Rhine, a former branch of the Rhine that is now silted up. It offers a home for rare animal and plant species and a characteristic meadow and forest landscape. To the right of the Rhine there are mainly open forest and heathland landscapes such as the Wahner Heide , the Königsforst nature reserve and the Dünnwald forest . According to the area survey of 2016, Cologne has 5,406 hectares of forest area, which corresponds to 13.3% of the urban area.

The fauna shows a very high number of cultural followers. In addition to pigeons , mice and rats , which are omnipresent and are often perceived as a nuisance, red foxes have immigrated to the urban area in significant numbers. They can now be found in the city center, where they use allotment gardens and parks as territory. As a result of the improvement in water quality, the Rhine flowing through Cologne has once again become home to many previously existing and newly immigrated species.

Various non-native animals have settled in Cologne's green spaces, benefiting from the mild climate. Larger populations of ring-necked parakeets and the great Alexander parakeet live on the Melaten cemetery and the grounds of the Riehler Heimstätten , among other places . Originally from Asian mountain regions ( India , Afghanistan ) for the zoo - and home entertainment after Germany introduced, these have parrots / parakeets as invasive species established. The information on the size of the populations ranges from a few 100 specimens to over 1000 specimens.


Development of the city name

The name of the city of Cologne is derived from its Latin name Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium . The current name developed from Colonia via Coellen, Cöllen, Cölln and Cöln (see section " Prussian rule " and Cöln ). In the Cologne dialect Kölsch , the city is called Kölle . The Latin origin of the name is still recognizable in most Romance and a large number of other languages ​​(for example Italian and Spanish Colonia, Portuguese Colônia, Catalan Colonia , French Cologne , Polish Kolonia, Turkish Kolonya, Arabic كولونيا, DMG Kōlōnyā ).


Reconstruction of Roman Cologne, 3rd century

The ancient name of the city, Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium (CCAA), goes back to the Roman Empress Agrippina : Claudius' wife was born on the Rhine and raised the Ubier settlement of Oppidum Ubiorum to the status of a city in AD 50; the city charter was officially granted on July 8, 1950. In Roman times, Cologne was the governor's seat of the province of Germania Inferior .

In January 69, Aulus Vitellius was proclaimed emperor here by the local Roman-Germanic legions , receiving the sword of Gaius Julius Caesar , which was kept in the local temple of Mars , as a symbol of his claim to power. He also adopted the nickname Germanicus . Together with vexillations of the British legions, parts of the troops stationed on the Rhine then marched to Italy: This withdrawal of significant troops was intended to cause a very dangerous situation for the Romans in Germania during the Batavian uprising of the same year .

Roman finds suggest that the city's water supply from the foothills had existed since around AD 30. Probably around 80 AD the city received one of the longest Roman aqueducts with the Eifel aqueduct .

Early middle ages

View of Cologne from Die Cronica van der hilliger Stat van Coellen , printed in 1499 by Johann Koelhoff the Elder. J.

In the early Middle Ages , Cologne was a major city. Against the background of the gradual decline of the Roman Empire , it was conquered by the Franks around 455 . Until the beginning of the 6th century, Cologne was the capital of an independent Frankish sub-kingdom, then merged into the kingdom of Clovis I and retained a strong degree of independence in the Ripuarier area . For a long time, the Romanesque population lived parallel to the Frankish conquerors in the city. In the course of the 6th to 8th centuries there was a complete acculturation between the two parts of the population. The mutual influence of the Franconian and Latin dialects can be proven on the basis of sources . The Franks quickly adopted the cultural achievements of the Roman urban population, for example in the field of construction technology or glass production. Towards the end of the Merovingian era , Cologne was the royal seat . From the Carolingian era at the latest , the bishop or archbishop of Cologne was one of the most important people in the empire.

In 862, Cologne was attacked for the first time by Vikings arriving on ships. There was devastation and looting. The Vikings subsequently settled permanently on the Waal and Lek, and there was a lively trade between the Normans and the Rhinelanders. The peaceful time ended in the winter of 881. The Vikings invaded the Meuse region and plundered numerous towns and cities. At the end of December, at least three of their ships appeared off Cologne and the Nordic warriors demanded tolls. In January 882, after tough negotiations, Cologne paid a large Danegeld in silver to the Normans . The city was therefore initially spared. The Vikings then sailed up the Rhine in February, plundered and pillaged Bonn , Andernach and Trier .

On the return journey or during their summer campaign in 882 , the robbery horde demanded renewed Danegeld from the Cologne people, which the squeezed out Cologne people could not raise. Your city was then also sacked. After the devastation, the Cologne people reinforced the ramshackle walls from Roman times, which in the following year, 883, proved to be very useful on the next Viking visit. Because Cologne did not go up in flames this year, unlike the recently rebuilt cities of Bonn and Andernach.

Under the Ottonians , Cologne played an important role in bringing the East Frankish-German Empire closer to the Byzantine Empire , since Empress Theophanu , a native of Greece and wife of Otto II, resided there as imperial administrator . From the 10th century onwards, a series of foundations of monasteries began, which resulted in Romanesque church buildings. As a result, Cologne achieved an undisputed rank as a spiritual center under the leadership of important and politically accomplished archbishops. The Archbishop of Cologne was elector of the archbishopric and electorate of Cologne, founded in the middle of the 10th century . The transfer of the bones of the three kings from Milan to Cologne by Archbishop Rainald von Dassel in 1164 made the city an important destination for pilgrims .

Largest city in medieval Germany

A plan from 1800 shows the still intact city wall and in the legend names 16 gates (nos. 36–51), e.g. B. 47:  Eigelsteintor , 43:  Hahnentor , 39:  Severinstor

In the High Middle Ages, Cologne became the largest city in the German-speaking area with around 40,000 inhabitants, so that its city fortifications had to be expanded several times. From the year 1180 (documents from July 27th and August 18th 1180) the then longest city ​​wall with twelve gate castles and 52 defensive towers in the ring wall, 22 gates and small gates in the Rhine wall was built and completed around 1250. It was bigger than the wall of King Philip II Augustus in Paris, which was built almost at the same time, and was 7.5 km long. The twelve gates - seven huge double tower arches (including the Eigelstein gate and Hahnentor ), three huge tower arches (including the Severin Gate ), and two smaller double tower gates (see Ulrepforte ) - integrated into the semicircular city wall - should remind of the heavenly Jerusalem .

Remnants of the high medieval city wall at today's Hansaring , March 2005

Since the 12th century, Cologne, along with Jerusalem, Constantinople and Rome, had the name Sancta in the city name: Sancta Colonia Dei Gratia Romanae Ecclesiae Fidelis Filia - Holy Cologne by God's grace, daughter loyal to the Roman Church. The name Dat hillige Coellen or the hillige Stat van Coellen was a term at that time. Even today, Cologne is popularly known as "et hillije Kölle". It was decided to build an unequaled large and impressive house of God to give the relics - especially those of the three wise men - an appropriate setting. The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral was laid in 1248.

Late medieval Cologne

On May 7, 1259, Cologne was granted the right to stockpile , which guaranteed the citizens of Cologne a right of first refusal for all goods transported on the Rhine and thus contributed to the prosperity of the city. The long battles between the Archbishops of Cologne and the patricians ended temporarily in 1288 with the Battle of Worringen , in which the army of Archbishop Siegfried von Westerburg (1275–1297) was defeated by Count Adolf V von Berg and the citizens of Cologne. From then on, the city no longer belonged to the archbishopric, and the archbishop was only allowed to enter it for religious activities. The official elevation to the Free Imperial City lasted until 1475, however. The disputes between the patrician council and the guilds not represented in the council led to the bloody Cologne weavers' revolt on November 20, 1371 .

Gothic seal of the city of Cologne (1396)

In 1396 the patrician rule in Cologne was finally ended by a bloodless revolution. It was replaced by a constitution based on the organization of the gaffs . This was preceded by a dispute within the Cologne patriciate, in which the party of the Griffins with its leader Hilger Quattermart von der Stesse was ousted from the party of the friends of Constantine von Lyskirchen . Hilger Quattermarts cousin Henry of Stave was posted on January 11, 1396 on the Neumarkt executed, many of the grip were to life imprisonment sentenced way.

On June 18, 1396, Constantine von Lyskirchen tried to restore old patrician rights. The craftsmen and merchants' guilds protesting against this were sent home by him "from a high horse". The guilds then captured the friends in their meeting room. The griffins were released. On June 24, 1396, a 48-member provisional council of merchants, landowners and craftsmen met. The town clerk Gerlach von Hauwe then formulated the so-called Verbundbrief , which was signed and put into force on September 14, 1396 by the 22 so-called Gaffels. The gaffs are composed heterogeneously. In them the disempowered patricians, offices, guilds and individuals are summarized, but not the numerically very strong clergy; every citizen of Cologne had to join a gaff. The Verbundbrief constituted a 49-member council, with 36 councilors from the Gaffeln and 13 imperialists who were appointed. The Verbundbrief remained in force until the end of the Free Imperial City in 1794.

Early modern age

Cologne 1531 Anton Woensam Detail from the washing gate to the Frankenturm
Reconstruction of the city of Cologne in the 17th century

From 1500 Cologne belonged to the newly created Lower Rhine-Westphalian Empire , while the surrounding area ( Kurköln ) belonged to the newly created Kurrheinische Reichskreis in 1512 . In 1582, the Archbishop of Cologne, Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg, renounced the Catholic Church, proclaimed the equality of Catholicism and Protestantism in his territory and later married the Protestant canon Agnes von Mansfeld . Since he refused, however, to apply the clause of the “spiritual reservation” (an exception to the otherwise applicable principle “ Cuius regio, eius religio ” laid down in the treaty ), anchored in the Augsburg Religious Peace of 1555, to what was assigned to him in accordance with the clause He was renounced the office of Archbishop of Cologne - after all, one of three prince-bishops of the empire endowed with the electoral dignity and as such at the same time in personal union Imperial Archbishop of Imperial Italy - he was renounced by Pope Gregory XIII. excommunicated and the reliable Catholic Ernst von Bayern , who had been defeated in the election of Gebhard as Archbishop of Cologne, appointed his successor. If Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg had been able to realize his plan, the Catholic majority in the electoral college would have been broken. Since he persisted in his position against the decisions of the Reichstag, the Truchsessian War (Cologne War) broke out , which lasted from 1583 to 1588 and in the course of which Deutz , Bonn and Neuss were devastated. In its destructive power, the war gave a foretaste of the coming denominational clashes in the Holy Roman Empire.

Unfinished cathedral, around 1665
Cologne and the surrounding area in 1692: Copper engraving by the Mainz cartographer Nikolaus Person

The Thirty Years War left the city unscathed. This was partly because the city bought itself free from sieges and conquests by paying cash to advancing troops. Cologne earned splendidly from the war by producing and trading arms. Cologne becomes the escape center for high Catholic leaders who try from Cologne to recapture the territories lost to Sweden or other Protestant powers. In addition, wealthy Cologne businessmen are involved in the Thirty Years' War as high creditors to the Catholic powers - in the spirit of the Vatican .

With the exception of Deutz, the districts on the right bank of the Rhine belonged to the Duchy of Berg until 1802 . The area within the Bischofsweg , which roughly corresponds to today's four districts of the Old and New Town, formed the Free Imperial City of Cologne. The other city districts were part of the electoral archbishopric of Cologne . The independent coinage of Cologne also ended in 1793. Taler last coined the city in 1742. Ducats were still being made in 1767. After that, copper small change worth 4 and 8 lighter was produced only sporadically, and in 1792 a silver lighter was also produced.

Cologne IIII Hellermünze from 1789
Back of the Cologne IIII Hellermünze from 1789

Cologne was the only large free imperial city of the old empire that did not adopt the evangelical creed. Even humanism was initially unable to gain a foothold in Cologne and the anti-humanist attitude of the Cologne clergy was parodied in the dark men’s letters in 1515. In the 18th century, Cologne largely closed itself to the Enlightenment . Especially among Protestant travelers from home and abroad, the city increasingly gained the reputation of a refuge for intolerant, obscurantist and anti- progressive Catholicism. As an example, Georg Forster noted after a visit in 1791:

“Nowhere does superstition appear in a more horrific form than in Kölln. Someone who comes there from our enlightened Mainz actually has a tormenting sight in the mechanical devotion with which so many thousands of people believe they sanctify idleness, and in the blind idolatry that the mob here really does with relics, which the outlaw religious worshipers among the Catholics themselves give a nuisance. "

- Georg Forster : Views of the Lower Rhine. Vol. 1. Berlin, 1791

53 years later Heinrich Heine did not write very favorably

“Yes, the Clerisey once practiced
her pious being here,
The flame of the pyre
devoured books and people here ;
The bells were rung while
Kyrie Eleison sang.
Stupidity and malice courted here like
dogs in the open street;
The brood of grandchildren can still be recognized today by
their hatred of faith. "

- Heinrich Heine : Germany. A winter fairy tale , 1844

French rule

Mayor resolutions of the French administration, 1808, here about the ruinous state of St. Jakob

The history of the free imperial city ended with the entry of French troops on October 6, 1794 during the coalition wars. The city, which had tried to remain neutral, was surrendered without a fight to the commander of the left wing of the Rhine Army, Jean-Étienne Championnet . Like the entire area on the left bank of the Rhine, the city became part of the French Republic and in 1798 was incorporated into the Département de la Roer , the capital of which was not Cologne, but Aachen . Cologne became the seat of a sub-prefect of the Arrondissement de Cologne . Many Cologne citizens welcomed the French revolutionary troops as liberators, and a freedom tree was erected on Neumarkt. The Jews and Protestant Christians who had been disadvantaged up to that point were put on an equal footing. Despite the often oppressive contributions , the citizens remained loyal to Napoleon's empire. During his visit to the city on September 13, 1804, he was enthusiastically received. In 1812 the city was given the title of Bonne ville de l'Empire français .

Prussian rule, spelling "Cöln"

For the spelling from 1857 to 1919:

In 1815 the Rhineland with the city of Cologne became part of the Kingdom of Prussia after the Wars of Liberation as a result of the Congress of Vienna . With the annexation to Prussia, nationalistic thinking gained increasing importance. However, French liberal laws such as the Civil Code remained in force. The name of the city was immediately "Germanized". The Prussian Minister of the Interior determined in 1900 by a decree, behind the King and German Emperor Wilhelm II. Was that the city henceforth only C could be written. The liberal newspapers like the Kölnische Zeitung , however, did not adhere to it. After the end of the German Empire in 1918, the municipal news office under Mayor Konrad Adenauer announced on February 1, 1919:

"From now on, the city name of Cologne will again be spelled with a K in the area of ​​city administration."

The fortification development of the city of Cologne up to the Prussian fortress ring

Not least because of the commitment of the Cologne banks, Cologne became the most important city in Prussia after Berlin in the course of the following decades . In 1880, after 632 years, at the instigation of the King of Prussia and the German Emperor, the construction of Cologne Cathedral was completed - at least largely, because repair work was necessary back then due to the centuries-long standstill, as it is today due to the damage in World War II and environmental influences in particular. Because this work will probably never be completed, the cathedral is referred to as the "eternal construction site", which Heinrich Heine satirized as early as 1844:

“It was not completed - and that is a good thing. - Because just the non-completion - makes it a monument of Germany's strength - and Protestant mission. "

- Heinrich Heine

At the end of the 19th century, the city was enlarged by buying and razing the city walls, ramparts and bastions in the fortress paleon. The city was bounded by the fortress ring Cologne . The settlement of the Neustadt ( Köln-Neustadt-Nord , Köln-Neustadt-Süd ) established contact with the rapidly growing surrounding communities and created the prerequisites for their incorporation. Only a few exemplary buildings were spared from the demolition of the old city wall due to an intervention by the Prussian Ministry of Culture.

20th century

In October 1914, Great Britain flew an airship attack on Cologne for the first time. British planes bombed the city on May 18, 1918 (Whit Saturday); 41 people died, including 19 children, 47 people were injured.

Notgeld - banknote for 10 Pfennig from 1918, signed by Mayor Konrad Adenauer , on the back the historic town hall of Cologne
Dedication card by Konrad Adenauer
Cologne's destroyed city center, 1945
Buildings destroyed after a bombing raid in December 1943; in the background the cathedral
A US soldier stands at Cologne Cathedral in front of the German " Panther " tank, which was destroyed a few weeks earlier in the battle on March 6, 1945 ,
April 4, 1945
Hohe Strasse at night, 1968

In 1915, on the occasion of the First World War, a so-called nail picture was set up in Cologne , Dä kölsche Boor en Iser . The figure is considered to be one of the most artistically valuable in Germany and is now in the Cologne City Museum . On September 28, 1917 Konrad Adenauer was elected mayor of Cologne for the first time. His term of office included the recognition of Germany's largest music academy on October 5, 1925 and the settlement of what was then the largest employer in Cologne, the Ford-Werke , on October 18, 1929.

Like the entire Weimar Republic , Cologne suffered from inflation in the years up to 1923 . After hyperinflation in 1922/23 there was a currency reform : First the Rentenmark and at the end of August 1924 the Reichsmark was introduced. As in many places in Cologne, there was local emergency money . Cologne also suffered from the global economic crisis from autumn 1929. The German banking crisis began in May 1931 . From August 1932, Cologne was connected to Bonn by the expressway , today's A 555 , designed by Mayor Konrad Adenauer as a job creation measure and built between 1929 and 1932 .

Cologne in the time of National Socialism

In the Reichstag election on March 5, 1933 , the NSDAP achieved 30% in the Cologne-Aachen constituency (center 35.9%); on November 6, 1932 it was only 17.4% (center 39.3%).

Adenauer was after the seizure of power of the Nazis on leave on March 13, 1933 and finally relieved from office on July 17, the 1,933th During the Second World War , the first bombs fell on Cologne on June 18, 1940. The British RAF Bomber Command intensified the air war from 1942 . At the end of May 1942, Cologne was the target of the first attack with over 1000 bombers , the " Operation Millennium ". On June 29, 1943, the city was badly hit at night by Royal Air Force machines and during the day by USAAF bombers. 90 percent of the city center was now destroyed by the area bombing ; the Cologne Cathedral was badly damaged.

On March 2, 1945, a few days before the invasion of the US Army , there was the last of a total of 262 air raids on the city. The population of Cologne fell from over 772,000 (May 1939) by the end of the war to around 104,000 inhabitants, who were registered after the invasion of the US troops (42,000 on the left bank of the Rhine on April 4, 1945, 62,000 on the right bank of the Rhine on May 5, 1945; 491,380 in the first Post-war census on October 29, 1946). In the course of the final phase crimes , 1,800 domestic and foreign resistance fighters and around 8,000 Jewish residents of Cologne were murdered by the National Socialists from January to March 1945 .

The 1st US Army finally reached the city as part of Operation Lumberjack on March 5, 1945. On the same day, the occupation of the part of the city on the left bank of the Rhine began. The occupation of Cologne on the right bank of the Rhine did not take place until a few weeks later. The war, which was still ongoing elsewhere in Germany, finally ended on May 8 with the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht .

Cologne after the war

Only in the course of 1959 did the population of Cologne return to the level of May 1939. With the regional reform implemented by the Cologne Law in 1975 , the population exceeded the million mark and Cologne became Germany's fourth metropolis alongside West Berlin , Hamburg and Munich . After Wesseling was re- outsourced on July 1, 1976, the number of inhabitants was again below one million by May 2010.


Population development

Population development in Cologne from 1871 to 2018

Cologne reached the threshold of 100,000 inhabitants in 1852 and thus became a major city for the first time . In 1939 the population reached a temporary high of around 770,000, before this number fell again to below 100,000 towards the end of the Second World War . As recently as 1945, the city recorded a rapid increase due to the return of forced evacuates and the arrival of displaced persons from the former German eastern regions, so that the population at the end of 1946 was around 500,000 people.

In the 1970s, Cologne was briefly a metropolis of millions as a result of incorporation under the Cologne Act : in the course of the last incorporation on January 1, 1975, the population reached one million. However, after the city of Wesseling had to be spun off again on July 1, 1976 by a decision by the Constitutional Court for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia , the number of inhabitants again fell below the million mark.

Since May 31, 2010, Cologne is officially the fourth metropolis in Germany with 1,000,298 inhabitants (only main residences ), according to the information and technology department of North Rhine-Westphalia . In the model calculation commissioned by the State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia on April 28, 2015, the State Office for Information and Technology in North Rhine-Westphalia expected a significantly greater increase in the number of inhabitants for the city of Cologne by up to 20 percent to around 1,243,000 by the year 2040.

Cologne is the largest German city, which (like Berlin and Hamburg) neither forms its own federal state, nor is it the capital of a federal state.

In 2015 the city of Cologne had 198,819 inhabitants without German citizenship . In 2015, 393,793 people or 36.8 percent had a migration background (population of foreign origin); of the under 18-year-olds, 88,321 people or 52.0 percent had a migration background.

Dialect (Kölsch)

Kölsch is the dialect spoken in the city of Cologne and the surrounding area (in different variants and in different expressions). It belongs to Ripuarian within Middle Franconia , which is differentiated from the Lower Franconian Platt with the Benrath line (maache-make border) near Düsseldorf . In the south and east of Cologne there are other dialect lines that are represented in the Rhenish fan .


Due to secularization and immigration of non-Christian population groups, the Christian population is falling.

Denomination statistics

At the end of 2020, 32.2% of Cologne's residents were members of the Roman Catholic Church, 14.1% of the Protestant Church ; 53.7% belonged to other denominations or religious communities or were non-denominational. In the previous year, 32.8% of Cologne's residents were members of the Roman Catholic Church, 14.4% of the Protestant and 52.8% belonged to other denominations or religious communities or were non-denominational .


Historically, Cologne, like the entire Rhineland, apart from parts of the Bergisches Land and some cities on the Lower Rhine, has been Catholic . Cologne has been the seat of a bishopric ( Archdiocese of Cologne ) since 313 at the latest . Cologne Cathedral has been the defining landmark of the city since the Gothic era . The Romanesque church of the Benedictine monastery Groß St. Martin and the town hall tower largely determined the silhouette of the city until the completion of the cathedral in the German Empire .

Cologne had after the transfer of the alleged bones of the Magi quickly rank on July 23, 1164 as one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the kingdom of the Holy Roman German nation held. The first journey of the newly crowned emperors and kings led from Aachen to the Epiphany Shrine , which Archbishop Philip I von Heinsberg had made for the bones. The pilgrims brought a lot of money into the city, which led to increased settlement and a surge in the city's population.

The successors of Philip I von Heinsberg had a new cathedral built from 1248 , the construction of which progressed more and more slowly and finally came to a complete standstill due to disputes with the city ​​council and the subsequent expulsion of the prince-bishop from Cologne.

Cologne developed in the Middle Ages a center of relics trafficking since the medieval man hoped by holding a sacred object or bone of a saint or the redemption to come closer. This importance of the city earned it the name "Holy Cologne". The importance of religion is shown in the city's coat of arms , on which the three crowns of the Magi and the eleven flames of St. Ursula of Cologne and her companions, who are said to have been martyred in Cologne , are depicted.

Modern times
Pilgrims in front of the welcome poster for Benedict XVI. at the cathedral

One of the highlights in Cologne's Christian history was the 20th World Youth Day in August 2005. Around 26,000 volunteers from 160 countries welcomed guests from 196 countries to the cities of Cologne, Bonn and Düsseldorf . 400,000 visitors were accredited to this major event of the “young Catholic Church”. At the closing fair on Marienfeld , a disused opencast mine near the suburb of Frechen , over a million people in the greater Cologne area. Even Pope Benedict XVI. visited the city of Cologne on this occasion on his first pontifical trip after his inauguration in April 2005.

In 2007, Cologne hosted the 31st German Evangelical Church Congress for the second time since 1965, with around 155,000 participants.

Pilgrimage sites

For the city of Cologne, in addition to the Three Kings and St. Ursula and her companions, St. Albertus Magnus in St. Andreas and St. Edith Stein (Theresia Benedicta a Cruce), a philosopher and religious woman murdered by the National Socialists, are important for pilgrimages . As retaining:

Church images


Cologne synagogue on Roonstrasse, October 2006

The Jewish community in Cologne is probably the oldest north of the Alps. In 321, Emperor Constantine confirmed in an official document that Jews were allowed to belong to the city council in Cologne, which was then Roman. Accordingly, there must have already been Jewish residents and a Cologne synagogue .

In 1183 the archbishop assigned the Jews their own area in which they could live reasonably in peace. This quarter in the old town, which could be closed with its own gates, was outlined by Portalgasse, Judengasse , Unter Goldschmied and Obenmarspforten. It was reserved exclusively for the Jews. This created the first ghetto in Cologne. The mikvah located under the town hall forecourt can be viewed via a separate entrance.

In the St. Bartholomew's Day in 1349 , there was a pogrom that became known as the "Jewish battle" in the city's history. An angry mob entered the Jewish quarter and murdered most of the residents. A family buried their belongings here that night . The coin treasure was discovered during excavations in 1954 and is exhibited in the city museum. In 1424 the Jews were banished from the city "for ever and ever". Between 1424 and the end of the 18th century, no Jew was allowed to stay in the city without the permission of the Cologne Council. After the entry of the French Revolutionary Army, the Jewish and Protestant citizens were put on an equal footing with the Catholics. It was not until 1801 that a new Jewish community came into being under French administration.

By 1933 around 18,000 Jews were living in Cologne again. They were allowed to resettle under Prussian rule. During the November pogroms in 1938 , the Glockengasse synagogue ( Glockengasse ) in Roonstrasse, on Mülheimer Freiheit and on Körnerstrasse and a prayer room in Deutz were set on fire. The Cologne Jewish faith that remained in Cologne until 1941 were locked up in the assembly camps of Fort IX (one of the former Prussian fortifications in the Cologne fortress ring in Cologne's green belt ) and at the Cologne exhibition center and later deported . 8,000 Jewish residents of Cologne were murdered during the Nazi era .

Today's synagogue community again has over 4850 members. It owns a cemetery, a primary school, a kindergarten, a library, a sports club ( Makkabi ) , a kosher restaurant, a youth center and a senior citizens' home. The community is headed by two Orthodox rabbis . Their large synagogue, rebuilt in 1959, is located in Roonstrasse on Rathenauplatz . Since 1996 there is also the small Jewish liberal community Gescher Lamassoret ("Bridge to Tradition"), which belongs to the Union of Progressive Jews in Germany . Your synagogue is in the basement of the Evangelical Kreuzkapelle in Cologne-Riehl .


Because of the high proportion of immigrants from Turkey and their descendants in relation to the rest of Germany before 1990, as well as the central location in the country at the time, the most important Turkish religious, Islamic and social organizations (e.g. Association of Turkish Workers in Cologne and the surrounding area ) set up theirs Based in Cologne and the surrounding area ( Kerpen ).

The 2011 census showed a share of 11.9 percent Muslims in Cologne's total population.

At the headquarters of the Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion (DITIB) in the Cologne district of Ehrenfeld, the DITIB Central Mosque Cologne was built with a 35 meter high dome , two 55 meter high minarets with a freely accessible inner courtyard and space for 1200 people. It replaces the previous center - a former factory building . After protests and discussions, the planning was modified: Fewer shops and ancillary rooms were planned inside, but the exterior design based on the design by Cologne architect Paul Böhm was retained. The foundation stone for the new building was laid on November 7, 2009, but the opening date of 2012 could not be met. In 2017 the opening was postponed again due to legal disputes over construction defects. Only the shopping arcade under the dome could be put into operation.

The official opening took place on September 29, 2018 in the presence of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan .

Since October 7, 2021, a model project limited to 2 years has been started that allows the call of the muezzin for the midday Friday prayer. This can take place between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. and last a maximum of five minutes. There are also maximum limits for the volume, which are location-dependent. Any local mosque community that wants to participate can submit an application to the administration.


Strongest party in the 2020 local elections by district:
  • CDU
  • SPD
  • Green
  • FDP
  • Election of the Council of the City of Cologne 2020
    in percent
    Gains and losses
    compared to 2014
     % p
    ± 0.0
    Distribution of seats in the
    Cologne City Council 2020
    A total of 90 seats
    Cologne's historic town hall with the representative town hall tower completed in 1414 and the Renaissance arbor built in the 16th century, which is unique in this form north of the Alps (in October 2004 before the start of the extensive archaeological excavations on the town hall forecourt).

    In Roman times, the respective admiral of the Classis Germanica headed the city administration. Later the Roman municipal constitution was introduced. Since the city was the seat of an archbishopric , the archbishop later obtained full power in Cologne. But the city tried to break away from the archbishop, which it finally succeeded in the 13th century (from 1288 de facto Free Imperial City ). There is evidence of a city council as early as 1180 . From 1396 the 22 gaffs were the political backbone of the city administration. They elected the 36-member council, which in turn could elect 13 people. The composition of the council changed every six months, with half of the members being replaced. The council elected two mayors each year . During the French occupation from 1794, the municipal constitution was introduced in 1798, which was based on French models. At the head of city administration, appointed by the French government was Maire (mayor). After the transition to Prussia in 1815, Cologne became an independent city in 1816 and at the same time the seat of the Cologne district , which was only dissolved during the regional reform in 1975. At the head of the city had been a mayor since 1815, and there was also a council. In 1856 the Prussian city order of the Rhine Province was introduced. The city council elected the mayor as the formal head and head of the city's administration.

    In 1933 the then mayor Konrad Adenauer was expelled by the National Socialists. During the Nazi era , the mayor was appointed by the NSDAP . After the Second World War , the military government of the British zone of occupation appointed a new Lord Mayor and in 1946 introduced the local constitution based on the British model. Then there was a city council elected by the people, who elected the mayor from among its members as council chairman and representative of the city, who was active on a voluntary basis. New was the office of the full-time senior city director , also elected by the council , who acted as head of the city administration.

    In 1999, the dual leadership in the city administration was given up. Since then there has only been the full-time mayor. He is chairman of the council, head of the city administration and representative of the city. Since then, he has been elected directly by the residents of Cologne. The mayor is supported by other mayors, currently (as of 2014) four, who are from the strongest parliamentary groups in the council.

    Traditions, mentality and politics

    Cologne's mayor is the mayor Henriette Reker .

    The long tradition of a free imperial city, the long exclusively Catholic population and the centuries-old contrast between church and bourgeoisie (and within that between patricians and craftsmen) have created a political climate of their own in Cologne. Different interest groups often form on the basis of social socialization and therefore across party lines. The resulting network of relationships, which connects politics, business and culture with each other in a system of mutual favors, obligations and dependencies, is called the Kölner Klüngel . Heinrich Böll described this historically shaped network in his essay What is Cologne? This clique has z. B. often led to an unusual distribution of proportional representation in the city administration and sometimes degenerated into corruption : The " garbage scandal " uncovered in 1999 over bribes and inadmissible party donations not only brought the entrepreneur Hellmut Trienekens into custody, but also caused almost the entire leadership of the ruling SPD to be overthrown.

    While the city was firmly linked to the Zentrum party due to its Catholic tradition during the Empire and Weimar Republic , soon after the war the political majority changed from the CDU (in which the Zentrum was merged) to the SPD. This ruled for over 40 years, sometimes with an absolute majority on the council. Due to liberal traditions, Cologne has always been a stronghold of the FDP, and because of its tolerant social climate also one of the Greens, who emerged victorious from a local election for the first time in 2020.

    Cologne City Council

    Council chamber during the swearing-in ceremony for Mayor Henriette Reker
    First outdoor meeting of District Representation 1, City Center / Deutz, due to the pandemic on April 22, 2021

    The City Council of Cologne has 90 elected city councilors ("MdR", member of the council). For the first time since the local elections in 2020, the Greens are the largest parliamentary group with 26 members. The CDU has had 20 members since a change, the SPD with 19. Also represented in the city council are the Left (six members), the FDP (five members), the AfD (four members), Volt (four members) and the GUT group of voters (two members), Die PARTTEI (two members), the Klima Freunde (one member since switching to the CDU) and a non-party member (formerly Free Voters Cologne ).

    Since the beginning of 2021 , the Greens, the CDU and Volt have formed a coalition in the council and have the majority there.

    For representation purposes, the council of the old trading and inland port city acquired a council ship in 1938, the city ​​of Cologne , which is now a listed building .

    Henriette Reker Jürgen Roters Fritz Schramma Harry Blum Norbert Burger (Politiker, 1932) John van Nes Ziegler Theo Burauen Ernst Schwering Robert Görlinger Ernst Schwering Robert Görlinger Ernst Schwering Hermann Pünder Willi Suth Konrad Adenauer Willi Suth

    Lord Mayor

    Henriette Reker (independent) is the Lord Mayor of Cologne . As a joint candidate for the CDU , Greens and FDP , she received 52.66 percent of the votes cast in the local elections on October 18, 2015 . On September 13, 2020, she ran again, with the support of the CDU and the Greens. This time she missed an absolute majority and then won the runoff election on September 27, 2020 with 59.27 percent. Their term of office is five years.

    Election of the Mayor of Cologne in 2020
    in percent
    ( SPD )
    ( left )
    ( volt )
    ( AfD )
    in percent
    ( SPD )

    Since 1999, the mayors of North Rhine-Westphalia have no longer represented their cities and municipalities exclusively politically, but again at the same time lead the local administrations , which were led between 1945 and 1999 by an additional full-time employee, the city director in large cities.

    City administration

    The city ​​administration of Cologne consists of seven departments , each headed by a professional city councilor as a municipal electoral officer and the department of the mayor . The Cologne city administration employs around 17,000 people. As city director, Stephan Keller is the first representative of the mayor within the city administration. He also heads the Department for General Administration, Order and Law.

    District Representations

    Parallel to the elections of the council, a district representative will be elected in each of the nine city districts in accordance with the requirements of the municipal code of North Rhine-Westphalia . In the 2020–2025 local election period, all nine district councils in Cologne each have 19 district councilors ("MdBV", member of the district council) including the district mayor. These represent the interests of the districts and the associated districts vis-à-vis the city council. They have decision-making authority on issues of local importance that do not affect the district boundaries, and they have the right to be heard on issues that also affect the city district. Due to a population of over 100,000 each, the Cologne district councils are responsible for city districts that already correspond to the definition of a large city . Only the borough of Chorweiler, with just over 82,000 inhabitants, is below this. They are represented by the district mayor.

    Symbols of sovereignty of the city of Cologne

    Coat of arms of Cologne
    Blazon : "Under the red shield head, in it three golden three-leaf crowns in bars, 11 black flames in silver (5: 4: 2)."
    Reasons for the coat of arms: The coat of arms of the city of Cologne shows the double-headed imperial eagle holding a sword and scepter. He recalls that in the Middle Ages the city had officially been part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation as a Free Imperial City since 1475. The eagle has two heads because the emperor was also the Roman-German king.

    The shield has the colors red and white, the colors of the Hanseatic League . As an important trading metropolis, Cologne not only belonged to this union of merchants and cities, but was - together with Lübeck - co-founder of the German Hanseatic League and thus one of the oldest Hanseatic cities in Germany.

    The three crowns have been the town's emblem since the 12th century; they are reminiscent of the Three Kings, whose relics were brought from Milan by Archbishop Rainald von Dassel of Cologne in 1164 and are kept in a golden shrine behind the high altar of the cathedral.

    The eleven black "flames" that have appeared in Cologne's city arms since the 16th century are a reminder of the very popular cult of St. Ursula . According to legend, Ursula was a Breton princess who was murdered on her way back from a pilgrimage to Rome, together with her companions, by the Huns who were then besieging Cologne. The eleven or 11,000 legendary virgins are symbolized in the city's coat of arms by the eleven teardrop-shaped ermine tails, which in turn could be reminiscent of the coat of arms of Brittany  - the home of Ursula - which is made of ermine fur . It is possible that the Huns passed Cologne on their way to or from the Battle of the Catalaunian Fields in 451, which could be the historical basis of the legend.

    The flag of the city of Cologne is striped lengthways in red and white. It is often shown with the city arms on top.

    Town twinning

    Cologne is one of the six European cities that first established a ring partnership in 1958 . This act, which took place immediately after the founding of the European Economic Community , was intended to underline the European solidarity in that one city from each of the former member states concluded a city ​​partnership with all the others . In 1993 the partnership between the participating cities of Cologne, Turin , Liège , Esch an der Alzette , Rotterdam and Lille was reaffirmed.

    Through the incorporated cities and municipalities, Cologne took over their partnership relationships with the cities of Benfleet / Castle Point ( United Kingdom ), Igny ( France ), Diepenbeek ( Belgium ), Brive-la-Gaillarde (France), Dunstable (United Kingdom), Eygelshoven ( Netherlands ) and Hazebrouck (France). In the latter case, it is about Porz ; the nonetheless existing partnership association points to a curious little thing: There walnuts are thrown instead of camels.

    The city of Cologne has been active in municipal development cooperation since the “One World City of Cologne” network was founded in 2011. The “Development Cooperation Funding Fund” specifically supports the implementation of the “Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations ” at the local level by civil society. The focus here is on education and public relations work as well as raising awareness of the international aspects of the 17 sustainable development goals.

    Special funding focuses in 2021 are the anniversaries “25 years Cologne-Bethlehem” and “10 years Cologne-Rio de Janeiro”.

    Culture and sights

    Interior view of Cologne Cathedral

    In the Middle Ages , Cologne became an important ecclesiastical and an important artistic and educational center. The Cologne Cathedral is home to the Three Kings Shrine , reportedly in the relics of the Magi are kept, so the three crowns in the municipal coat of arms. Cologne Cathedral - declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 - is the city's landmark and serves as an unofficial symbol. Cologne was badly destroyed in World War II, today the city is a cultural metropolis with many important museums, galleries and art fairs as well as a lively music scene.

    In 2012, after a long period of preparation, the Akademie der Künste der Welt was founded with city funds , initially acting virtually and working with local institutions and initiatives, appointing internationally prominent artists as members who can then realize their projects in Cologne.

    Foreign cultural institutes

    After the Second World War, Cologne was chosen as the location for a number of foreign cultural institutes . The British Council House from 1950 and the America House from 1954 have since changed their functions. The Italian , French and Japanese cultural institutes are still active in and beyond Cologne. The smaller Belgian house acts as a cultural mediator.


    Roman tower
    Art Nouveau houses in the Belgian Quarter
    The Dischhaus

    80 percent of Cologne's old town and adjacent areas were destroyed by air raids during World War II. During the reconstruction, the course of the streets and the historical street names were often retained, but the buildings were often built in the style of the 1950s. Thus, large parts of the city are characterized by post-war architecture and striking high-rise buildings; in between there are individual buildings from the prewar period that have been preserved or have been reconstructed due to their importance . Most of the historical church buildings in particular have been largely rebuilt true to the original.

    Roman Cologne

    Cologne is one of the oldest cities in Germany. The Roman general Agrippa settled in 19/18 BC. The tribe of the Ubier on the Rhine and provided an infrastructure based on the Roman model. Some of the ancient road network still exists today. The Roman Cardo maximus became the Hohe Straße and the Decumanus maximus is now the Schildergasse. Remains of Roman buildings can be found in the entire inner city area. Some of them are accessible underground under Cologne City Hall or in multi-storey car parks and cellars. Among them is the so-called Ubiermonument , the oldest dated stone building in Germany. Remains of the Roman city wall , for example the Roman tower , can be viewed above ground .

    Medieval Cologne

    Important medieval secular buildings have been preserved or rebuilt: Examples are the town hall , the Stapelhaus , the Gürzenich and the Overstolzenhaus , the oldest preserved residential building in the city. Parts of the mighty medieval city walls have also been preserved, including several city gates such as the Eigelsteintor and the city ​​wall at Hansaring (next to the former location of the Klingelpütz city ​​prison ), the Severinstor , the Hahnentor or the Ulrepforte including the city wall at the Sachsenring and the " Weckschnapp ". The picturesque Martinsviertel only partly consists of medieval buildings. Many buildings were rebuilt more or less in style after the Second World War.

    Prussian Cologne

    At Römerturm 3 is the only remaining classicist house. The first fortress ring in Cologne is located in the late 19th century Neustadt and was built at the beginning of the 19th century. Due to the massive population growth in the city and the increased range of artillery, the defense of Cologne was relocated to the city's suburbs on the left and right of the Rhine in the second half of the 19th century, where a new, modern fortress was built. However, the outdated forts in the new town continued to exist and were only partially demolished after the First World War. Many of the forts can still be visited today. These include Fort I in the Friedenspark , Fort IV in the Volksgarten or Fort X in the northern part of the Neustadt.

    The new town is a ring-shaped extension of the historic old town, which extends from the demolished medieval town wall to the inner fortress ring. It was built from 1881 to around 1914 and was the largest of its time in Germany. It was once a closed ensemble with all styles from historicism to art nouveau to expressionism; Significant war damage and demolition frenzy in the post-war period diminished its charm. Nevertheless, the original shape of the Neustadt can still be traced in several quarters: These include the Südstadt ( Ubierring , Alteburger Straße - mainly Art Nouveau), the university district (Zülpicher Straße, Rathenauplatz - mainly historicizing Wilhelmine houses), the patrician houses in the Belgian Quarter ( Aachener Straße , Lütticher Straße) and the Agnesviertel . The church of St. Agnes , after which the quarter was named, is an example of Rhenish neo-Gothic. Today the Neustadt is no longer a purely residential area, but the center of various cultural and business activities (media park, galleries, pub district, etc.).

    In 1914 the city invested five million marks in the Cologne Werkbund exhibition , at which leading architects of the German Werkbund erected exemplary and contemporary buildings.

    Between the world wars

    Under the then mayor Konrad Adenauer , a number of important buildings were built in Cologne in the 1920s. The exhibition grounds (now “ Koelnmesse ”) with the striking exhibition tower are built in the style of brick expressionism , with the buildings having a skeleton made of reinforced concrete and the ornamental facade made of facing clinker bricks . The Hansa high-rise building on the inner city ring was built in the same style . At the time of the topping-out ceremony in 1924, it was the tallest house in Europe.

    In 1926, Adenauer appointed the artist Professor Richard Riemerschmid as the founding director of the Cologne City Art School, Kölner Werkschulen , a parallel establishment to the Bauhaus in Dessau.

    An example of the New Objectivity architectural style is the Disch-Haus, the university was built in the style of the Werkbund until 1929. In the 1920s, housing development in Cologne reached a high point: Whole districts such as Zollstock and Höhenhaus were built by housing associations, mostly according to the urban planning ideals of the time and often according to the principles of the garden city .

    During the time of the National Socialist dictatorship, Cologne, as the Gau capital, was to be given a suitable framework: it was planned to demolish parts of the old town and large parts of the Deutz district in order to create space for deployment streets and a gigantic Gauforum on the right bank of the Rhine. The old town area around Groß St. Martin , classified as worthy of preservation, was completely renovated by 1939. The demolition work for the generously planned traffic lane in the west-east direction could only be started because of the war.

    Post war and new developments

    Museum Ludwig
    Cologne triangle at sunset
    Aerial view of Cologne's old town (Martinsviertel)

    After large parts of Cologne were destroyed in 1945, the American and later the British military government took the first steps towards rebuilding the city. The complete, car-friendly new building in the city center was soon abandoned in favor of a compromise solution that retained the road network with the traditional, narrow layout of the properties and provided wide routes through the city center. The focus was on the creation of affordable living space, so that the cityscape of post-war Cologne was often very uniform due to the architecturally uninteresting, hastily erected apartment buildings. Nonetheless, individual style-defining and pioneering projects that made Cologne an important location for modern urban development in the 1950s stand out from this period . Mention should be made of the design of the Domplatz with the blue and gold house, the complex of opera and theater designed by Wilhelm Riphahn and the west-east axis, which was designed with light pavilions and stone-clad multi-storey buildings as early as the late 1940s. The building complex of the Gerling -versicherung was very controversial due to its design language from the 1930s.

    In 1967 Hohe Strasse , a well-known Cologne shopping street, was the first street in Cologne to be converted into a pedestrian zone .

    The 1960s and 1970s brought Cologne mainly architecture made of functional concrete, which caused damage to the cityscape, some of which could not be repaired until today. It was not until the 1980s that the people of Cologne began to focus more on quality: after the Colonius telecommunications tower was built, the city center was increasingly upgraded. The Ludwig Museum , the Cologne Philharmonic and the Rhine Bank Tunnel have been connecting the city to the Rhine again since 1986 with an attractively framed bank promenade; At the same time, the inner city ring was relieved by the partial relocation of the light rail in tunnels and inaugurated in a new design in 1987. In the 1990s, the Mediapark followed on the site of the freight station and the KölnArena (now Lanxess Arena ) in Deutz. The Rheinauhafen with the distinctive crane buildings ( crane houses ), the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum , the Weltstadthaus or the Messe-City under construction in Deutz are examples of the redesign of the inner city.

    In the first years of the new millennium, the Kölntriangle was built in the Deutz district on the right bank of the Rhine, a new high-rise building with a viewing platform at a height of 103 meters.

    Important sacred buildings

    Groß St. Martin is the largest and most distinctive of the Romanesque churches . In the foreground the Rhine front with the stacking house .

    The most outstanding Cologne landmark is the Gothic St. Petrus Cathedral , one of the largest Gothic church buildings . About 600 years passed before it was completed; it was not completed until 1880. The relics of the Magi, who made Cologne a pilgrimage destination of the first order, are kept here. They are kept in the magnificently designed Epiphany Shrine (late 12th century / first half of the 13th century) in the cathedral's choir.

    In terms of cultural history, the twelve large Romanesque churches in the inner city area are no less important : St. Severin , St. Maria in Lyskirchen , St. Andreas Basilica , St. Aposteln , St. Gereon , St. Ursula , St. Pantaleon , St. Maria im Kapitol , Great St. Martin , St. Georg , St. Kunibert and St. Cäcilien . Most of them were badly damaged in the war, and the reconstruction was not completed until 1985.

    In the city center by, while the Gothic churches of St. Peter and the Minoritenkirche and Antoniterkirche and the Carthusian , on the baroque churches of St. Assumption , St. Mary in the Kupfergasse , St. Mary of Peace and the Ursuline Church St. Corpus Christi . Protestants were only allowed to celebrate public services in Cologne from 1802 onwards. For this purpose they got the Gothic Antoniterkirche from the French . The situation is similar with the Carthusian Church, which passed into Protestant ownership in 1923. The Trinitatiskirche , located near the Heumarkt, is the first Protestant church built as such in Cologne on the left bank of the Rhine. In the Mülheim district , which at that time belonged to the Duchy of Berg , the Friedenskirche was built as early as 1786. Two previous buildings were destroyed. St. Engelbert in Cologne-Riehl is the first modern church building in Cologne.

    Two church ruins are still represented in the cityscape: Old St. Alban near the town hall with a sculpture designed by Käthe Kollwitz in the former nave and the remains of St. Kolumba . Here, in the 1950s, the Chapel of St. Mary in the Ruins was built around a surviving statue of Mary, the completely destroyed church only retained temporarily secured stumps of the surrounding walls. In 2005 the new Diocesan Museum by Peter Zumthor was built on these ruins, the new building of which clearly emphasizes the integration of the remains.

    In the new town and the suburbs there are numerous other sacred buildings, including several small Romanesque and Gothic churches as well as examples of modern church construction. Buildings that are particularly worth seeing are described in the articles for the respective districts.

    Rhine bridges

    View from the south: Severinsbrücke, Deutzer Brücke, Hohenzollernbrücke
    View from the Kölntriangle to the Hohenzollern Bridge
    Severinsbrücke from the west, February 2005
    Rodenkirchener Autobahn bridge, Poller Wiesen at low water in autumn 2018
    District heating tunnel under the Rhine

    The first Rhine bridge in Cologne, the Constantine Bridge , was built by the Romans in 310 and destroyed by the Franks two centuries later. The remains were probably removed around 960. A pontoon bridge was built between Cologne and Deutz in 1822 and another between Cologne-Riehl and Mülheim in 1889 . In 1945 after the war-related destruction of all bridges, an American pontoon bridge was the first to be built between Bayenthal and Poll . It was dismantled again in June 1945 after a provisional Rhine crossing was completed between Cologne and Deutz next to the collapsed Hindenburg Bridge. Another provisional Rhine crossing, a Bailey Bridge (Patton Bridge) , was maintained by the British Army across the Rhine from 1946 to 1951 at the level of the Rheinpark. The bridge ran exactly on the south side of the bastion over to Deutz, a little north of today's Tanzbrunnen, a few meters past the old exhibition halls, it merged into the Auenweg. It was the first post-war bridge with free passage for shipping.

    Today eight bridges span the Rhine in the Cologne city area on its river length of eight kilometers through the city, of which two are railway bridges and six road bridges:

    • the Hohenzollern Bridge in the axis of the cathedral is one of the busiest railway bridges in Europe,
    • the south bridge relieves the Hohenzollern Bridge from freight traffic.

    Two motorway bridges connect the parts of the Cologne motorway ring on the left and right of the Rhine :

    Four urban road bridges, largely painted in Cologne green , direct traffic in the inner city area across the Rhine:

    • The Deutz Bridge was the first new bridge to be built in the post-war period, after the American army had built a pile bridge over the Rhine next to the Hindenburg Bridge , which collapsed in World War II, from 1945 to 1946.
    • Similar to its pre-war model, the Mülheimer Brücke is a suspension bridge to Mülheim;
    • the Severinsbrücke , a cable-stayed bridge from 1959, offers the city center as well as
    • the Zoobrücke further north connects to the motorway system on the right bank of the Rhine .

    Characteristic of four of the eight bridges is the paintwork, which was then given the name Cologne Bridge Green . In 1929, this special color was enforced by the then mayor Konrad Adenauer when the Mülheim bridge was built.

    Another Rhine crossing is an accessible, 470 meter long district heating tunnel created in 1984 by the Cologne energy provider Rheinenergie , under the Rhine to the north of the Hohenzollern Bridge. This tunnel is not open to the general public, but appointments to visit the tunnel system are occasionally offered.

    In addition to the bridges, there are also individual ferry connections across the Rhine in Cologne:

    • Car ferry from Cologne-Langel to Leverkusen
    • Passenger ferry from Cologne's old town to Messe / Rheinpark
    • Passenger ferry from Cologne-Weiß to Porz-Zündorf

    Parks and green spaces

    Water terraces in the Cologne Botanical Garden

    Cologne has two green belts on the left bank of the Rhine - the inner and the outer. The inner green belt is seven kilometers long, several 100 meters wide and has an area of ​​120 hectares. The city's fortified belts had to be torn down after the First World War as part of the Versailles Treaty , so that this large urban green area could be created here. The 25-meter-high Hercules Mountain, which is now densely overgrown, was created in the inner green belt as a result of the pile of rubble from the Second World War . The inner green belt is home to 25 tree species, meadows and several bodies of water.

    The outer green belt was created on the site of the outer fortress ring. The largest green area in Cologne, partly lined with trees, was originally intended to enclose almost the entire city, which was never realized for economic reasons. Nevertheless, 800 hectares of green space were created in the 1920s, including the Beethoven Park . The fortifications on the right bank of the Rhine were converted into green spaces where possible.

    The five hectare (originally eleven hectare) large city garden is the oldest park in Cologne. It was created as a landscape park in 1827/1828 and has had a restaurant with a beer garden for over 100 years. A jazz club can be found there today.

    In the more than 100-year-old Volksgarten in the southern part of the city , night-long grill happenings take place in the warm season, for which drummers and other instrumentalists often come together. Small and street artists can be found here. The park is also the location for many cultural events, for example plays are staged in the orangery .

    The green area at the Aachener Weiher , located on a hill, is a popular meeting place, especially for students. The gentle hill was also created by the pile of rubble from World War II. Since August 7, 2004, a new name commemorates the victims of the war: Hiroshima-Nagasaki-Park . Cologne has been a member of the international city alliance against nuclear weapons, the so-called "Hiroshima-Nagasaki Alliance", since 1985.

    The Blücherpark in the Bilderstöckchen district and the Vorgebirgspark in Raderthal were both laid out at the beginning of the 20th century according to the plans of the garden architect Fritz Encke , although they were designed very differently . The Klettenbergpark in Cologne-Klettenberg was created between 1905 and 1908 in a former gravel pit as a high-altitude park. The Fritz-Encke-Volkspark in Cologne-Raderthal is, despite the losses (partly development in the 1950s), one of the most important facilities of the 1920s.

    The ring road laid out with the city expansion after 1881 on the former bulwarks in front of the medieval city ​​wall was equipped with numerous park-like facilities, for example at Sachsenring, Kaiser-Wilhelm-Ring , Hansaring and Hansaplatz , Ebertplatz and Theodor-Heuss-Ring. After the Second World War, the facilities were changed or largely removed, and only the western part of the park at Theodor-Heuss-Ring with pond is still almost in its original state.

    On the right bank of the Rhine is the Rheinpark , the extensive area of ​​the Federal Horticultural Show 1957 and 1971 in Deutz , which is connected by the Rhine cable car to the Zoo and Flora facilities on the left bank of the Rhine. A little further away are the Groov in Zündorf and the Thurner Hof .

    The local recreation and sports area Fühlinger See is located in the north of Cologne . It consists of seven interconnected lakes and a regatta course . The area is ideal for bathing, swimming, diving, fishing, windsurfing, canoeing and rowing. The U-shaped street around the regatta course is often used by inline skaters.

    The green areas for recreation on the outskirts of Cologne are developed and connected by a circular hiking trail, the Cologne Path , the stages of which can be reached by public transport.

    The nearby Rhineland Nature Park beyond the Ville also serves as a recreational area for the urban population. The city is one of the sponsors of the nature park .

    Zoos and Botanical Gardens

    The Cologne Zoo was built in 1859, is around 20 hectares in size and is home to 700 species with around 7000 animals. He is particularly known for the many elephants born in 2006 and 2007 . The new elephant home, the elephant park , was built in 2005 with the help of private donations and cost around 15 million euros.

    In the Cologne city forest there has been a much smaller facility called the Lindenthaler Tierpark since 1908 .

    The Botanical Garden of Cologne is called Flora . It is part of the European Garden Heritage Network and in 2004/2005 was accepted as outstanding in the street of garden art between the Rhine and the Maas . The forest botanical garden with its landscape park extension, the peace forest, is located in the outer green belt in the Rodenkirchen district .


    The history of the Cologne theater has its roots in the Middle Ages. There are numerous theaters in Cologne today. The city is responsible for the “ stages of the city of Cologne ” with the theater and opera in Cologne .

    In the city of Cologne there are also around 60 professional, free and private theaters as touring theaters or those with their own venues. Most of the theaters are in the "Kölner Theaterkonferenz e. V. ”, to which the city theaters also belong. A special feature in Cologne's theater landscape is the “JuPiTer” (young audience in the theater) initiative, in which children's theater makers work together to strengthen children's and youth theater. The Cologne theater scene covers the entire spectrum from author's theater to experimental theater, cabaret, classical spoken theater, puppet theater, fairy tale games, performance, dance theater and folk theater.

    Well-known stages are:


    The Cologne Gürzenich
    Opera house on Offenbachplatz - closed until further notice

    Symphony and chamber orchestra

    Several renowned symphony and chamber orchestras are at home in Cologne. The Gürzenich Orchestra was founded in 1857 on the occasion of the inauguration of the Cologne concert hall of the same name as the successor organization to the “Musical Society”. The city has sponsored the orchestra since 1888. It plays in the Cologne Opera and gives numerous concerts, for example in the Cologne Philharmonic . Well-known music directors of the orchestra were Conradin Kreutzer , Hermann Abendroth and Günter Wand . From 2003 to 2014 Markus Stenz was General Music Director of the Gürzenich Orchestra. It has been headed by François-Xavier Roth since 2015 .

    The second symphony orchestra is the WDR symphony orchestra ; it has been headed by Jukka-Pekka Saraste since 2010 . This orchestra was founded in 1945 as the successor to the orchestra of the Reichsender Köln which was founded in 1926. The following chamber orchestras, some with a highly specialized repertoire and international renown (early music), should be mentioned: Camerata Köln (founded 1979), the Cologne Chamber Orchestra (founded 1923; 1976 to 1986 as Capella Clementina, succeeding Hermann Abendroth , Erich Kraack and Helmut Müller-Brühl has headed Christoph Poppen since 2013 ), Cappella Coloniensis (sponsored by WDR ), Collegium Aureum (founded in 1964, dissolved in the 1990s), Concerto Cologne (founded in 1985) and Musica Antiqua Cologne (founded in 1973 , dissolved in 2006).


    Cologne has a rich choral scene. A dozen concert choirs are organized in the Cologne Choirs Network , a lobby organization that is unique in Germany .

    Cologne Cathedral Music consists of four choirs. The Cologne Cathedral Choir (boys 'choir), the girls' choir at Cologne Cathedral, the Cologne Cathedral Choir and the Cologne Cathedral vocal ensemble.

    The Cologne youth choir Sankt Stephan was founded in 1984 and is one of the largest and most successful youth choirs in Germany.

    The Cologne men's singing association with around 190 active singers is known beyond the city limits.

    In addition, there is a very diverse scene in Cologne of “free” choirs that are not organized as a classical concert choir or are tied to parishes and have very different backgrounds and focuses.

    Music schools

    The Rheinische Musikschule offers music lessons at several locations in Cologne. In addition, the Cologne University of Music and Dance, Europe's largest music university, and the Musicological Institute of the University of Cologne make a significant contribution to the city's musical life.


    The Cologne Philharmonic is an important venue for music with a broad spectrum from classical music to contemporary music to jazz and popular music. The Lanxess Arena , the E-Werk in Cologne-Mülheim, the Palladium and the Live Music Hall are other popular venues in addition to the Tanzbrunnen in the Rheinpark (open-air stage).

    Concerts take place regularly in the broadcasting halls of Westdeutscher Rundfunk and Deutschlandfunk . In addition to the above-mentioned symphony orchestra , the WDR also has a big band , which is considered one of the best big bands in Europe. The Jazzhaus in the Stadtgarten has a rich program of the current varieties of jazz and world music ; improvised music is particularly popular in the loft . Music is also performed in the old ballroom of medieval Cologne, the Gürzenich .

    Cologne music

    The folk music shaped by the carnival is a fixture in Cologne. It is sung almost entirely in dialect , i.e. in Kölsch . The styles vary from Schlager to pop and hip-hop to carnival songs . An a cappella scene has emerged in the recent past . A variant of the Cologne music is the Kölschrock , which was mainly influenced by BAP and from which groups like Brings or Kasalla arose.

    Some artists who have made outstanding contributions to the Cologne music scene were, for example, Willi Ostermann and Willy Schneider and are currently, for example, the Bläck Fööss , Höhner , Paveier or Wise Guys . Cologne is also the home of the Krautrock band Can , which was founded in 1968 and became one of the most internationally influential German rock bands in the 1970s.

    Electronic music

    Cologne has been a center of modern electronic music since the early 1950s. In particular, the " Studio for Electronic Music ", headed by Herbert Eimert since it was founded in 1951, was the first of its kind to have an international reputation. In addition to Karlheinz Stockhausen , who headed the studio since 1963, Pierre Boulez , Mauricio Kagel , Pierre Henry and Pierre, for example, worked here Schaeffer .

    In the 1990s, electronic music flourished again in Cologne, but this time under less academic auspices. Based on techno , intelligent dance music and with recourse to popular musical avant-garde genres such as industrial , noise , ambient , krautrock , free jazz and free improv , a broad spectrum of modern electronic music was established under the heading Sound of Cologne , which was internationally successful. Musicians and bands such as Wolfgang Voigt , Whirlpool Productions and Mouse on Mars were the best-known representatives of this movement, which, however, was stylistically inconsistent and more of a social phenomenon. Important labels of the Sound of Cologne are for example Kompakt or A-Musik .

    The boathouse in Deutz is a club in the field of electronic dance music . Founded as a techno club called Warehouse, it has been home to world-famous artists of all EDM genres such as Hardwell , Tiësto and Armin van Buuren since the beginning of the millennium .


    Literature House Cologne

    From Goethe to Keun , Heine and Celan , well-known authors have been inspired by Cologne and its idiosyncrasies for poems and ballads. Numerous German-language novels are set in Cologne. Hans Bender and Dieter Weller Hoff and Nobel Prize carrier Heinrich Boell and Rolf Dieter Brinkmann belonged to the Cologne-based well-known authors. The Cologne literary scene is still extremely diverse today and is made possible by associations, private companies, universities as well as through municipal funding. Many authors live and work in Cologne.

    The literary house in Cologne on the Great Greek Market and Lit.Cologne invite authors from Germany and abroad to literary events. In addition, there are independent reading series that take place on a monthly or six-monthly basis and focus primarily on younger authors and poetry, such as the Cologne Literature Club since 2010 , Hellopoetry since 2012 and the Land in Sight reading series since 2014 . The reading stage at Brusselser Platz no longer exists since 2011. In addition to large publishers such as Bastei-Lübbe , Kiepenheuer & Witsch and DuMont, special publishers such as Musikverlag Dohr and small publishers such as Emons , edition fundamental , Krash Verlag , LUND , Parasitenpresse , Supposé Verlag and Tisch 7 enliven the literary field. Literary groups such as the Cologne Authors' Workshop or the Literature Atelier Cologne set their own accents. In the meantime, the trend towards the professionalization of literary writing can also be seen in Cologne, with courses in creative writing being set up in 2018 at both the University of Cologne and the Art Academy for Media . The literary magazine Schliff is also being created in the vicinity of the German Studies Institute . The city awards three literary prizes, the Heinrich Böll Prize , the Dieter Wellershoff Scholarship and the Rolf Dieter Brinkmann Scholarship ; the winners are presented in the Literaturhaus Köln. In recent years, several literary festivals have emerged such as Voices of Africa , the European Literature Festival Cologne-Kalk , Satellite Festival or Insert female artist , which bring national and international artists and the Cologne scene to the stage.

    The Literaturhaus and the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger organize the A Book for the City campaign every year . The Community Foundation Cologne presents the project "dog-ear" public bookcases in the urban area and jointly organized with district-community foundations open reading rounds.

    Visual arts

    The city is an important international art center. With Art Cologne it hosts the oldest art fair in the world, which today is one of the world's most important art fairs. The Wallraf-Richartz Museum for Classical Art and the Museum Ludwig for Modern Art enjoy an international reputation. There are also museums for medieval art, East Asian art and applied arts (see section Museums ). The Kölnischer Kunstverein , founded in 1839, offers contemporary art funding and exhibition space. Over 100 galleries and art dealers are on site, e. B. the Kunsthaus Lempertz , the galleries Karsten Greve , Boisserée and Jablonka . Some well-known artists live in Cologne, such as Gerhard Richter , Rosemarie Trockel and HA Schult .


    Roman-Germanic Museum
    The Chocolate Museum in the revitalized Rheinauhafen, October 2004
    The Cologne City Museum in the armory. The controversial wing car on the tower
    Fragrance museum in the Farina House, this is where the Eau de Cologne or eau de Cologne was created

    Cologne has many museums. According to the city of Cologne, no other city in Germany operates as many museums from its own budget as it does. The most important art museums are the Museum Ludwig , in whose post-modern building complex that clearly defines the Rhine frontage, modern and contemporary art is housed, and the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum , which moved into its own building in the heart of the historic old town in 2001 and houses art from the epochs of the Shows medieval to early 20th century. One of the most recent new museum buildings is the Archbishop's Diocesan Museum Kolumba , which, built over the remains of a Romanesque church ruin, shows works from different eras. Contemporary art can be found in the Kölnischer Kunstverein and in the Museum of Applied Arts , which also houses a large collection of design pieces. The artothek Köln for young art, the Käthe-Kollwitz-Museum , the Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst and the Museum Schnütgen for medieval art, which has been expanding since 2010 into a new building complex occupied together with the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum , are also pioneering in their direction is. The latter is the only ethnographic museum in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Cologne Sculpture Park shows contemporary outdoor sculptures.

    The flagship of Cologne's historical museums is the Roman-Germanic Museum , which exhibits art, jewelry and everyday objects from the Roman and Merovingian eras. Connected are the former Roman governor's palace and the mikveh , the medieval Jewish cult bath on the town hall forecourt. Extensive excavations are being undertaken on this site to uncover the foundations and basements of medieval Cologne. When the work is complete, the House of Jewish History will be built here.

    The history of the city of Cologne is presented in the Cologne City Museum in the Zeughaus , while the nearby EL-DE house as the NS Documentation Center of the City of Cologne (NSDOK) documents the history of Cologne under National Socialism. Also worth mentioning are the Agfa Photo Historama for Historical Photography (part of the Museum Ludwig since 2005), the Jawne exhibition room about Cologne's former Jewish high school, the Cologne Fortress Museum and the Fragrance Museum in the Farina House , the birthplace of Cologne water .

    In the Rheinauhafen there is the Chocolate Museum in a building from the 1980s and the German Sport & Olympia Museum , which is housed in a former customs hall from 1896, on over 2000 m², directly on the Rhine. Other, mostly private and foundation-supported museums are the Geldgeschichtliches Museum, the Cologne Carnival Museum, the Beckers ° Böll Artists Museum in the Kunsthaus Rhenania, the Odysseum , the Radio Museum , the Rheinische Industriebahn-Museum , the photographic collection of the SK Stiftung Kultur, the dance museum of the German Dance Archive Cologne , the theater studies collection Schloss Wahn and the wine museum.




    South side of the Rheinenergiestadion

    Sports facilities

    The Müngersdorfer Sportpark with the Rheinenergiestadion and the Lanxess Arena in Deutz, one of the largest multi-purpose halls in Europe, where ice hockey, handball and basketball games are played, are particularly well known . In addition, the city has a cycling track, a horse racing track , a regatta facility and numerous other sports facilities. Due to its infrastructure, Cologne is a regular venue for international sporting events that take place in Germany.

    The German Sport University Cologne is the only institution of its kind in Germany.

    Associations and traditional events

    In Cologne, around 600 sports clubs with around 200,000 members are financially supported by the city, with club sports including all important popular sports.

    The nationally best-known football clubs are 1. FC Köln , which has won three German championships , as well as SC Fortuna Köln and FC Viktoria Köln . The Kölner Haie are also very successful in ice hockey , having been German champions eight times .

    The RSV Köln in rugby , which operates an Olympic base on the green belt, and the TuS Köln in touch rugby , which has twice been German champion , also enjoy supraregional fame . With the Cologne Crocodiles and the Cologne Falcons , the city again has two American football teams in the upper leagues, and with the Cologne Centurions there was also an offshoot of the NFL in Cologne from 2003 to 2007 . The baseball club Cologne Cardinals plays in the 1st baseball league and was German champion in 1990 .

    In basketball , the city had a very successful time with the BSC Saturn Cologne . From 1999 until bankruptcy in 2009, the city was represented with the Cologne 99ers in the 1st basketball league . The amateur club is still the German basketball club with the largest number of members and joined the Rheinstars Köln syndicate on June 12, 2013 together with MTV Köln 1850 .

    The SC Colonia 06 is the oldest active amateur boxing club in Germany. The club's boxers won their first European championship titles as early as the 1920s. In total, the club provided four European champions, among others. The Cologne AC 1882 , the oldest active weightlifting club in the world, is also important.

    Since the end of the 19th century, Cologne has also been an important location for German rowing . A modern regatta course and the Rhine offer traditional rowing clubs such as the Cologne RG 1891 and the Cologne RV 1877 , a founding member of the German Rowing Association founded in Cologne , ideal conditions. Another nine rowing clubs are based in Cologne, which means that the city, along with Berlin and Hamburg, can at least be counted among the popular sports strongholds of German rowing.

    The Cologne Triathlon has been held since 1984 and the Cologne Marathon has been held every autumn since 1997 . The cycling classic around Cologne has been held annually since 1908, and the city's largest cycling club is the Cologne Cycling Club .

    The Rhineland-Cologne section of the German Alpine Club is the largest Alpine Club section in the Rhineland.


    Especially on weekends, locals and tourists, young people and students cavort in numerous discos, clubs, bars and pubs in the city center. The main points of contact are the old town, the student district “ Kwartier Latäng ” around Zülpicher Straße, the Friesenviertel near Friesenplatz , the Belgian quarter and the rings between Kaiser-Wilhelm-Ring and Rudolfplatz, and the southern part between Chlodwigplatz and Alteburger Straße. The LGBT community has established itself around Schaafenstrasse . Numerous clubs and live stages have settled in Ehrenfeld, mainly in former factories - the best-known were the underground, the live music hall and the Herbrands in the former Herbrand car-making factory.


    The Cologne triumvirate 2005 (from left Jungfrau, Prince, Farmer)
    Carnival meeting in Gürzenich , 2006

    The Cologne Carnival - the " fifth season " - begins every year on November 11th at 11:11 am on the Alter Markt . After a short, violent start, the carnival takes a break until the New Year. Then the actual "session" begins, which lasts until Ash Wednesday with the traditional fish meal. This farewell to the colorful carnival bustle is heralded by the so-called nubbel burning at midnight from Carnival Tuesday to Ash Wednesday.

    Numerous meetings and balls take place during the carnival session. The “official” traditional session carnival, controlled by the Cologne Carnival Festival Committee, finds its supporters predominantly among older and more conservative audiences. Local politicians and celebrities from the world of money come to the pomp meetings in particular.

    With the “alternative” carnival, a counter-movement has established itself, the flagship of which is the stunk session in the E-Werk . With over 40 days, it is now the carnival event with the highest turnover. In addition, there are your session and the immisession, as well as the gay and lesbian pink session , its various offspring and the bar movement Loss mer singe , which every year before Carnival gets thousands of people in the mood for the new songs of the session.

    The session culminates in the street and pub carnival. This begins on Wieverfastelovend ( Weiberfastnacht ), the Thursday before Shrove Monday and puts the city in a kind of "state of emergency" for the next six days, in which public life (authorities, schools, shops) largely comes to a standstill. During this time, the numerous carnival parades take place in the individual districts, the largest of which is the Rose Monday parade in the city center.

    The ghost procession is a specialty : in 1991, when the official street carnival and with it the Rose Monday procession was canceled due to the Second Gulf War , the old tradition of the ghost procession was revived. Unorganized groups follow the Ääzebär , who is supposed to drive away the cold season. Since then, the Cologne ghost parade has taken place almost every year on Carnival Saturday, which travels through various districts of the city at night.

    Regular events and festivals

    CSD parade, 2006

    The largest public event in Cologne is the carnival, to whose sessions and parades around two million guests are expected annually during the carnival week. On the first weekend in July, Cologne Pride , the largest lesbian and gay parade in Germany, followed in second place with regularly over a million visitors . In July, the Cologne Lights , a music and fireworks spectacle on the Rhine, attract hundreds of thousands of spectators.

    Since the Popkomm music fair moved to Berlin, one major event in Cologne has been canceled. With c / o pop (Cologne On Pop), a festival for electronic pop culture, the city is trying to establish a smaller and more specially dimensioned music festival. Other music events include the MusikTriennale Köln , a festival with music from the 20th and 21st centuries, the Cologne summer festival for dance, show and musicals, the Summerjam , the largest reggae festival in Europe on the first weekend in July, as well as the organ celebrations , international organ concerts in the Cologne cathedral.

    Other events include the eleven-day literary festival Lit.Cologne , the International Cologne Comedy Festival , the Lesebühne at Brusselser Platz and the Jewish Culture Days in the Rhineland , in which the city regularly participates, as well as the children's film festival Cinepänz . There are two big fairs, the spring and autumn fair on the Deutz bank of the Rhine. The beer exchange, an international beer festival, takes place annually, as does the “Day of the forts”, during which the Prussian military installations of the Cologne city fortifications are made accessible to the public free of charge with numerous events.

    E-sports competitions take place regularly in Cologne , such as the ESL One Cologne.


    Rhenish style mussels

    Cologne is characterized by a long culinary tradition that has been enriched with imported, sometimes exotic elements. Because of its outstanding position in international trade, herring, mussels and many spices were used in the kitchen in the past. In the Middle Ages, when the salmon , in Cologne mostly as Salm called, and the shad was still abundant in the Rhine present, these fish were considered poor man's food, while the herring in the home cooking was very popular. The Rhenish herring tip with apples, onions and cream is still evidence of this today. Rhenish style mussels are part of the gastronomy today.

    As is customary in the Rhineland, sweet and savory foods are often combined. The good soil and the climate also ensure that vegetables play an important role in Cologne's cuisine. A sweet and sour dish is the Rhenish Sauerbraten , which was originally prepared with horse meat and the simpler Himmel un Ääd , mixed potato and apple sauce, with fried black pudding (“ Flönz ”). Savoy cabbage and asparagus are often offered as seasonal vegetables.

    The breweries play a special role in Cologne. These were originally used for brewing beer in Cologne and have developed into the main provider of home-style cuisine. Besides the mentioned dishes hearty meals like are here Krüstchen , knuckle ( "Hämchen"), knuckle and potato pancakes ( "Rievkooche") to obtain. Due to the manufacturing effort, the latter is often only available on certain days. Tatar , Flönz or Halver Hahn are popular with Kölsch , which is tapped straight from the barrel in the breweries .

    Pastries are Mutze , Muzemandeln and donuts as well as a number of covered and uncovered pies topped with mainly apples and plums. It is sometimes sweetened with sugar beet syrup ("beet cabbage "), which is used as a spread.

    Economy and Infrastructure

    Cologne's economy is characterized by long-lasting and far-reaching structural change. While trade and transport have been a stable, supporting pillar of the local economy since the Middle Ages, many of the traditional manufacturing industries have now disappeared from the cityscape. The advancing tertiarization , however, has given rise to new employment impulses in the service sector. Cologne is generally regarded as a city of automobiles, mechanical engineering, chemicals, insurance and media. This is due, among other things, to the fact that a large number of company headquarters in the automotive, mechanical engineering, insurance and film and television production sectors have settled in Cologne. The reputation of a media city is promoted by Cologne politics to the best of its ability, with music production, computer games and electronic commerce increasingly gaining public attention alongside publishing and film studios .

    In 2016, Cologne achieved a gross domestic product (GDP) of 63.463 billion euros within the city limits , making it fifth in the list of German cities by economic output . In the same year, GDP per capita was € 59,407 (NRW: € 37,416, Germany: € 38,180). Nominal GDP growth was 2.2% in 2016. There were around 591,600 employed people in the city in 2019. The unemployment rate was 7.4% in December 2018, slightly above the North Rhine-Westphalia average of 6.4%.

    In 2015, Cologne was named the “most digital city in Germany” in a ranking by the management consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Geographical Institute of the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn . In the Future Atlas 2016 , the city was ranked 38th out of 402 rural districts and independent cities in Germany, making it one of the places with "very high future prospects".

    Economic structure

    Ford development center and European parts distribution center in Cologne-Merkenich (August 2012)

    Cologne has a very diversified economic structure that includes shrinking industries as well as growth industries. Cologne's banking system , which was important around 1800 , made the city one of the most important banking centers in Germany ( Sal. Oppenheim , Bankhaus JH Stein or the A. Schaaffhausen'scher Bankverein ). On March 2, 1705, the Banco di gyro d'affrancatione, founded by Elector Johann Wilhelm II , issued the first banknotes in Germany, the banco slips . The street Unter Sachsenhausen developed into the "Cologne banking mile". The contribution of all sectors of the Cologne economy to the total turnover in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia makes the city one of the German economic metropolises. Automobile production and energy and water supply traditionally occupy a special position . The chemical industry , the food industry and the publishing industry are some of the essential sectors. Cologne is the second largest insurance location nationwide. 6% of all employees worked in the financial and insurance services sector, while 5.5% were employed in the information / communication sector (2010).

    In 2017, according to the Cologne Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK), 553,442 worked as employees subject to social insurance. The service industry dominates with 85.4%, the rest is accounted for by the manufacturing industry. The gross value added was 55.9 billion euros (2017). In 2017, 83,282 companies were registered with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and 10,472 companies with the Cologne Chamber of Crafts. With an export quota of 54%, the economic metropolis is well above the average for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia of 44%.

    In terms of gross value added in 2008, the service sector in Cologne ranks first with a share of almost 52%, followed by the finance and rental industry (23%) and trade / hospitality / transport with 13%. Even the smallest sector, the manufacturing industry, achieved in Cologne with 26.5 billion euros (2010) 8.8% of the total turnover of this sector in North Rhine-Westphalia. Vehicle construction is strongly represented in Cologne with a turnover share of 56%.

    In 2017 Cologne had a capacity of 32,500 hotel beds. In 2017, Cologne recorded 124 million day visitors who generate around 4.77 billion euros in sales in the city and thus around 130 million euros in tax income for the city. There were also 3.6 million hotel guests with 6.24 million overnight stays. With 4.1 million overnight stays, the largest proportion of hotel guests came from German visitors, followed by the British (217,000), travelers from the USA (201,000) and the Dutch (171,000). In terms of overnight stays by foreign guests, Cologne ranks fifth in Germany with 2.1 million.

    The trade fairs and other events in Cologne in 2011 were visited by 3.3 million participants. Of the 28,900 exhibitors, 57.6% came from abroad, while the proportion of visitors was 30.7%. For this reason, Cologne's tourism grew by 8.1% compared to 2010, faster than in North Rhine-Westphalia (5.1%) and Germany as a whole (4%).

    The history of Cologne's economy and the region is documented and processed in the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Wirtschaftsarchiv (RWWA).


    Logo of the Koelnmesse

    The most famous trade fairs at Koelnmesse are:

    • Anuga , trade fair for the food and food industry
    • ISM , the largest trade fair for confectionery in the world
    • Art Cologne , trade fair for modern art
    • Gamescom , trade fair for interactive consumer electronics
    • imm cologne , trade fair for furniture and furnishings
    • intermot , international motorcycle and scooter fair
    • Photokina , trade fair for the photo industry
    • spoga + gafa , trade fair for sporting goods, camping equipment and garden furniture

    retail trade

    The Schildergasse is Cologne's most visited shopping street

    The Schildergasse and Hohe Strasse shopping streets in Cologne are among the busiest in Germany. There are also several shopping centers , such as the Rhein-Center in Weiden , the Köln Arcaden in Kalk and the City-Center in Chorweiler and Porz . The Hürth Park and the Rathaus-Galerie Leverkusen are in close proximity to the Cologne city limits.


    Traffic history

    Cologne already had an important port in Roman times and was connected to the Roman highway network.

    Road traffic

    Cologne motorway ring and important traffic arteries

    The Cologne road system has developed on the left bank of the Rhine in particular in the course of the city's expansion according to the ring-radial principle and partly followed military requirements. The arterial roads are crossed by a total of five concentrically arranged road rings, some of which trace the old fortifications. From the inside out they are: the rings (following the course of the medieval city wall ); the inner Kanalstrasse / Universitätsstrasse street , which connected the inner Prussian fortress belt ; the belt ; the military ring road , which connected the outer Prussian fortress belt , and the Cologne motorway ring , closed in 1965 , which is formed in the west and north by the motorway A 1 , in the east by the A 3 and in the south by the A 4 .

    A large number of radial roads begin at the rings , which are named after the places in which they lead from Cologne ( Neusser Strasse , Venloer Strasse , Aachener Strasse , Luxemburger Strasse , Bonner Strasse and others). In connection with the planning of Cologne city highway were with the national road B 55a and the A 559 two motorway-like equipped entry and exit roads created. Other important feeder lines are in the south of the A555 , in the southeast of the A 59 (a part of "airport highway" that the Cologne / Bonn airport connects with Cologne and Bonn) and the North West the A57 , by the Cologne city center via Neuss to Krefeld runs.

    Despite the good transport connections, the Cologne motorway ring is affected by frequent traffic jams due to the high volume of traffic . As a countermeasure, parts of the A3 were expanded to include up to ten lanes. The renovation that has become necessary and the new construction of the Leverkusen motorway bridge, which is planned from 2017, which closes the Cologne motorway ring in the north, creates another bottleneck. According to a decision by the Cologne Administrative Court (November 2018), diesel driving bans should be introduced from April 2019 . However, the state government obtained an appeal from the Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia in Münster, which has prevented the diesel driving bans from being implemented to this day. Since the end of the 1980s, 354 30 km / h zones have been set up to calm traffic .

    Bicycle traffic

    Bicycle traffic in Cologne has a share of 14% in the modal split and is growing steadily.


    Route network of the Cologne S-Bahn
    A railcar class 420 of the S-Bahn Cologne as S12 in Köln Messe / Deutz (May 2016).

    Local public transport (ÖPNV) is served by S-Bahn lines, the Stadtbahn and bus lines of the Cologne transport company (KVB) as well as bus lines from other transport companies. All means of transport in Cologne can be used at uniform prices within the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Sieg (VRS). This is dovetailed with the neighboring Rhein-Ruhr transport association (VRR). The completion of the north-south light rail planned for 2011 may be delayed until 2023.

    Taxi traffic

    There are around 1200 registered taxis in Cologne (as of 2015).

    Rhine cable car

    The Rheinseilbahn is a special feature . Until 2010, before the construction of the Rheinseilbahn for the 2011 Federal Horticultural Show in Koblenz, it was the only operating cableway to cross a river in Germany. It was created on the occasion of the Federal Horticultural Show in 1957 .

    Rail transport

    Reception hall of Cologne Central Station

    The Cologne Central Station is the western hub of the German long-distance rail traffic. Railway lines lead from here


    Excursion boats operate on the Rhine, mostly operated by the Cologne-Düsseldorfer . There are also several Rhine ferries in Cologne .

    For goods traffic on the Rhine, Cologne was the hub between the "lower lands" and the higher-lying Germany throughout the Middle Ages due to the stacking right . In 1848, three merchant ships were based in Cologne. Cologne has numerous ports . It was only after the Second World War that the importance of the inner city ports gradually declined, but capacities were expanded at the same time as the city was expanded through new port facilities in the north. Freight traffic increased from 1990 with 10,054,000 tons of freight to 15,948,000 tons in 2007, and fell to 12,009,000 tons in 2009. In 2017 it was 12,102,000 tons. This makes Cologne the second largest German inland port after Duisburg.


    Cologne / Bonn Airport, Terminal 1, July 2018

    The first event in Cologne's aviation history seems to have occurred in 1785. On October 21, 1785, the French traveler Jean-Pierre Blanchard applied to the Cologne City Council to allow his balloon to rise. This was interpreted as blasphemy and therefore forbidden. However, he was allowed to show his balloon publicly.

    In 1788 Georg Haffner let a self-made balloon rise in Deutz, which at that time did not belong to Cologne. He was one of the few professional pilots who called themselves aeronauts and who had to finance their art by appearing in amusement centers or fairs. Such appearances by mostly foreign aeronauts are documented for 1808, 1847 and 1878. Maximilian Wolff from Cologne was co-founder of the Ballon-Sport-Club Cöln, founded in 1888 and in 1890 founder of the Association for the Promotion of Airship Travel, Cologne . During this time he offered balloon rides with passengers as a permanent attraction at the Goldenes Eck restaurant in Cologne-Riehl.

    Paul Haenlein from Mainz, who worked as a mechanical engineer at Kölnische Maschinenbau AG in Bayenthal until 1861, patented the idea of ​​a steerable airship on April 1, 1865. In October 1871 he demonstrated some flight attempts with an airship model in Mainz. In 1872 he built a dirigible airship.

    Since around 1900, isolated balloons and airplanes have landed on the grounds of the Butzweiler Hof farm in Cologne-Ossendorf. There were also take-offs and landings on the parade grounds on the right bank of the Rhine in the Merheimer Heide and Mülheimer Heide. However, these systems could only be used temporarily and only made available upon revocation.

    Foreign pilots like Blériot and the first looping pilot Adolphe Pegoud showed their flying skills on the racecourse in the Merheimer Heide . The Cologne aviation and automobile pioneer Arthur Delfosse made his first attempts at gliding with a self-made airplane on the Mülheimer Heide in 1902.

    In 1912 the foundation stone for an airport was laid in Cologne-Ossendorf on the site of the former Butzweiler Hof farm . This was put into operation in 1913 and developed into the traffic junction of the west by the Second World War. After the Second World War it was used as a military airfield by the British and later the Belgian army until 1993. In addition, there was a simple take-off and landing site in Porz-Westhoven near the Mannesmann aircraft factory in Cologne.

    From 1937 to 1945 there was a military airfield in Cologne-Ostheim.

    Cologne / Bonn Airport is located in the southeast of the city, in the Porz district . It developed from an artillery firing range. In 1904, Berlin airships with kite balloons took part in target practice as artillery observers. On April 5, 1913, Lieutenant August Joly from Flieger-Bataillon 3, Cologne Butzweilerhof, landed first with his Rumpler pigeon on a small square between the commandant's office and an ammunition shed on the Wahner Heide firing range. Today it is one of the most heavily handled German cargo airports (over 650,000 tons in 2005), the European hub of UPS Airlines and an important location for low-cost airlines (9.85 million passengers in 2010). The aircraft and the flight readiness management of the Federal Ministry of Defense are stationed on the military part . It has been called Konrad-Adenauer-Flughafen since 1994 . Cologne / Bonn Airport, along with Leipzig / Halle , Münster / Osnabrück , Nuremberg and Hanover airports, is one of the near-city German airports with no night flight restrictions. There are 139 destinations in 38 countries.

    The first airship hangar was built in 1907 by the Cologne rubber goods manufacturer Clouth on its site on Niehler Strasse. In 1909, the War Ministry in Berlin began building or laying the foundations for the airship hangar in Cologne-Bickendorf between Venloer Strasse and Ossendorfer Weg. This gave rise to the Cologne airship port and the hall was given the title Reichsluftschiffhalle .

    From 1927 onwards, water airports were set up in Niehl and on the Kunibertsufer on the Rhine.

    Public facilities

    Cologne was and is the seat of numerous public institutions. In addition to a large number of federal and state authorities, church organizations, associations and clubs have their headquarters in Cologne. The large number of federal institutions was also due to the proximity of Cologne to the then federal capital Bonn . In addition to the size of Cologne, the proximity to the state capital Düsseldorf is a criterion for the settlement of state authorities .

    A European authority is represented with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

    Two of the three news services of the Federal resident in Cologne, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BFV) and the army belonging Military Counter (MAD). For the Bundeswehr , too, is the Federal Office of Personnel Management operates. The city also has several customs authorities : the Customs Criminal Police Office , the Central Customs Support Group , the Cologne Main Customs Office , the Cologne / Bonn Airport Customs Office, the Cologne West Customs Office, the Wahn Customs Office and the Cologne Trade Fair Center. Other federal institutions and federally owned companies based in Cologne are the Federal Office for Family and Civil Society Tasks , the Federal Office for Goods Transport , the Federal Administration Office , the Federal Center for Health Education , the Waterways and Shipping Office Cologne , DIMDI and the Cologne Employment Agency. The locations of federal institutions that are not headquartered in Cologne include the General Customs Directorate , the North Rhine-Westphalia West Family Fund, the German Pension Insurance (Service Center) and the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees . The Job Center Cologne is a joint institution of the Cologne city administration and the Federal Employment Agency.

    State authorities and companies in Cologne are the District Government of Cologne , the Rhineland Regional Council , the State Office for Information and Technology in North Rhine-Westphalia , the State Office for Measurement and Calibration in North Rhine-Westphalia , and the State Office for Road Construction North Rhine-Westphalia (head office in Gelsenkirchen ; in Cologne the branch office of the regional branch Rhein-Berg as well as the Cologne Road Maintenance Service), the North Rhine-Westphalia construction and real estate company (special fund of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia with partial legal capacity with Cologne branch and headquarters in Düsseldorf ), the Cologne Police Headquarters and the State Central Office for Distance Learning . In the financial sector there is a branch of the Deutsche Bundesbank (formerly known as the Landeszentralbank ), at the state level there is the Oberfinanzdirektion Nordrhein-Westfalen (located in both Münster and Cologne), the tax offices Cologne-Altstadt, Cologne-Mitte, Cologne-Nord, Cologne -Ost, Cologne-Porz, Cologne-South, Cologne-West, for large and group tax audits Cologne and for criminal tax matters and tax investigation Cologne. In the field of education, the University of Cologne (including the university clinic ), the TH Köln , the Sport University Cologne (all three public corporations supported by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia ), the Kölner Studierendenwerk ( institution under public law ) and the university library center of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia are To name Westphalia .

    As a (national) judicial institutions are in Cologne represent the Higher Regional Court of Cologne , the Cologne District Court , the District Court of Cologne , the Regional Labor Court of Cologne , the Labor Court of Cologne , the Finanzgericht Köln , the Social Court of Cologne , the Cologne Administrative Court , the General Prosecutor's Cologne , the Cologne public prosecutor and the prison in Cologne .

    The ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio Contribution Service (formerly GEZ) as a public service , unincorporated community facility of the state broadcasting corporation, has its headquarters in Cologne, as does Deutschlandradio as a non-profit, legal corporation under public law (supported by ARD and ZDF ) and the WDR .

    At the municipal level, the city ​​administration of Cologne is also the largest public institution with around 17,000 employees. She also owns the Cologne fire brigade . The clinics of the City of Cologne, one of the largest municipal clinics, are organized as a gGmbH , but are wholly owned by the City of Cologne.

    As Code of professional bodies under public law that exist Cologne Chamber of Commerce , Chamber of Cologne , the Cologne Chamber of Lawyers, the Rhenish Chamber of Notaries, the Chamber of Tax Consultants Cologne and the county office of the Medical Association of North Rhine.

    The professional association for energy, textile and electrical media products is based in Cologne.

    Associations and associations

    Important associations, clubs and church organizations based in Cologne include:

    Superordinate municipal associations such as the German Association of Cities , the Federal Association of Central Municipal Associations and the German section of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions also have their headquarters in Cologne.

    Associations formerly based in Cologne (until 1999 due to the relocation of the federal capital from Bonn to Berlin):


    In 2018 Cologne had 24 universities and 4 university-like educational institutions, 6 of them state, 19 private and 1 church with numerous different fields of study; 14 of these institutions have their headquarters there. With around 100,000 students, Cologne is one of the four largest university cities in Germany alongside Berlin , Munich and Hamburg .


    Along with Berlin , Hamburg and Munich, Cologne, with around 30,000 to 40,000 employees in this area, is one of the largest and most important locations for mass media in Germany. The media landscape is diverse; In addition to the large companies and institutions involved in television and radio production and the large publishing houses, a very differentiated supplier industry has developed in Cologne, which includes a broad spectrum from agencies and production companies to technical outfitters.

    Radio, television and music industry

    The public Westdeutsche Rundfunk Köln (WDR) alone, as the largest ARD broadcaster and largest German broadcaster, employs 3,500 people at its headquarters in Cologne and, in addition to the TV channels WDR Fernsehen and ONE, also operates the WDR radio programs such as 1LIVE and COSMO . The nationwide Deutschlandradio broadcasts Deutschlandfunk (Dlf) and Deutschlandfunk Nova from its headquarters in Cologne . The contribution service (formerly GEZ ) is also based in Cologne .

    RTL headquarters at the exhibition tower

    Europe's largest private television company RTL Deutschland with the television channels RTL Television , VOX , Super RTL , Nitro and other special interest channels has its headquarters in the Rheinhallen . The first German news channel n-tv is also part of RTL Germany and operates its main broadcasting center in Cologne.

    Other radio stations based in Cologne are the Domradio and the local radio station Radio Köln , as part of Radio NRW . The private broadcasters bigFM and RPR1 operate studios in the Capitol . With the Kölncampus , the city also has its own university transmitter .

    The most successful German music television broadcaster VIVA was founded in 1993 as VIVA Media in Cologne and broadcast the main program until 2005 and VIVA Zwei from the cathedral city. After the takeover by the MTV parent company Viacom , VIVA was relocated to MTV in Berlin and hired there. From October 2005 up to and including December 2014, broadcast daily exclusively about events in and around Cologne. From January 2015 to March 2016, the station continued to broadcast from Cologne and the surrounding area under the new name Kö The German wave had until she moved to Bonn in 2003, also based in Cologne. The British military broadcaster BFBS was located in the Marienburg district between January 1954 and October 1990.

    The record company EMI Music Germany , which moved its headquarters from Cologne-Braunsfeld to the MediaPark and then to Cologne-Bickendorf in August 2000, was bought by Universal Music in 2011 , leaving only the local Kölsch label Rhingtön in Cologne. There are also other smaller record labels and music publishers in the city.

    Print media

    With the publisher M. DuMont Schauberg, Cologne has a newspaper house of Germany-wide importance: The Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger and the Kölnische Rundschau , whose common area of ​​distribution extends far into the Eifel and the Bergisches Land in addition to Cologne and the immediate vicinity, appear here. The tabloid Express , produced in the same company, is also distributed in the Düsseldorf area in addition to Cologne. The business magazines Capital and Impulse should also be mentioned as print media appearing in Cologne . The monthly city illustrated StadtRevue and Kölner as well as the Kölner Wochenspiegel , which is published by the Kölner Advertisement Gazette GmbH & Co. KG , are of local importance .

    The Taschen , as well as the publisher of the Walther König known as an international book publishers on selected themes in art, architecture and eroticism. With Kiepenheuer & Witsch and DuMont Buchverlag , the city is home to important literary publishers. Subreport Verlag Schawe , founded in 1918, has been based in Cologne since it was founded. The Lübbe publishing group , one of the largest book publishers in Germany, moved from Bergisch Gladbach to Cologne-Mülheim in 2010 .

    Facilities and locations

    Kölnturm in the Mediapark, January 2005

    Important media institutions in Cologne are, for example , the Cologne Academy of Media Arts , the Cologne International Film School and the GAG ​​Academy for young comedians . Cologne is the seat of the North Rhine-Westphalia film office . In the Belgian Quarter in particular, there are many small film production companies that usually do not shoot themselves, but support larger film production companies with individual services and technical equipment.

    Media locations in Cologne are spread across the entire city. In addition to the headquarters of the major broadcasters, Mediapark am Hansaring (20 ha, 174,000 m² of office space), which was built from 1992 to 2003 on the site of the former Gereon marshalling yard, is located in the city center. In the modern buildings in the Mediapark, including the 148-meter-high Kölnturm , there are around 250 companies with around 5,000 employees, 60 percent of whom work in the media and communications sector.

    Studios and film production facilities that take up space, on the other hand, are located on the periphery, such as the WDR studio grounds in Bocklemünd or the Mülheim media center . Many artists and agencies have settled there on parts of a former factory site around the large E-Werk event hall . Some television studios can be found there, in which, among others, production takes place for Sat.1 and ProSieben .

    In the north-west of the city, on the site of the former Butzweilerhof military airfield, there is the Coloneum , one of the largest studio complexes in Europe with a floor space of 157,000 m². In the south-west of the city between Cologne and Hürth , large studio complexes were built for Nobeo and MMC , in which many shows for Sat.1 and RTL are produced, among others by the production company action concept .

    Troops and armed forces

    Not least because of its strategic location, Cologne has repeatedly been the starting point, target and point of attack for combative-military actions over the centuries.


    The proven history of armed forces in Cologne begins with a first occupation by the Romans around 57 BC. BC, who had expelled the Eburones. They then relocated the Ubier from the eastern bank of the Rhine to Cologne. At 68 the Batavians were in Cologne. From 260 to 274 insurgent Roman border troops took power in Cologne, 274 Germanic tribes attacked Cologne, 355 the Franks, who finally took power in 454. In 557 the Saxons invaded Deutz, which was later incorporated in 1888. In the winter of 881/882 the Normans came up the Rhine. In 1096 crusaders from the Lower Rhine gathered in Cologne . In 1583 there was fighting between the Palatinate and Bavarian-Spanish troops in Cologne and Deutz. Dutch troops came to Cologne around 1587.

    The first standing troop after Roman times does not seem to be documented until 1681. According to the realm register of 1681, Cologne built up a mercenary force with 383 men in three companies. They were popularly called Red Sparks .

    French troops occupied Cologne from October 6, 1794, followed by the Prussians in 1814, who expanded Cologne into a fortress. From 1871 the land forces were referred to as the German Army , which Cologne expanded further.

    Due to the Versailles Treaty , the Rhineland and thus Cologne became a demilitarized zone after the First World War and therefore no German units were allowed to be stationed in Cologne until the Wehrmacht invaded Cologne in 1936 as part of the Rhineland occupation.

    World War I to World War II

    As a result of the defeat in World War I and the Compiegne armistice, Cologne became a British bridgehead with a 30 km zone of occupation in the French-occupied Rhineland. The 1st British unit marched as the first. Cavalry Division entered Cologne on December 6, 1918. From December 19, the headquarters of the British occupation was established there, which did not leave until February 20, 1920. The British armed forces moved into the Barbara barracks in Riehl. The Arnoldshöhe barracks, built in 1911, were moved into on Bonner Strasse at the corner of Gaedestrasse. On December 10, 1918, the cavalry of the 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions reached Cologne. The headquarters of the 1st Division was established in Cologne until the complete withdrawal on January 28, 1919. On December 23, 1918, New Zealand units established their headquarters in Holweide. The 2nd Brigade was in Mülheim and from December 26th an artillery unit followed to Mülheim and Deutz. The 3rd and 4th Battalions were quartered in Dellbrück and Dünnwald. From March 9, 1919, further units were relocated to the Hacketäuerkaserne in Mülheim - until the withdrawal on March 25, 1919 with 700 men from Germany. The Wahner Heide military training area was initially taken over by Canadian and British units in 1918, who handed them over to French units from 1920 to 1926.

    Barracked units of the state police were set up, which were organized militarily after Hitler came to power in 1933 and later became part of the Wehrmacht . Units of the state police were in Westhoven, Wahn and Longerich. In 1936 German troops marched into demilitarized Cologne. Wehrmacht units were stationed at Butzweilerhof, Ostheim and Porz-Wahn airports, among others, and at the Arnoldshöhe , Etzel , Mudra , Unverzagt and Hacketäuer barracks in Mülheim.

    Occupation after World War II

    War damage from 1945, still visible in 1984

    Cologne on the left bank of the Rhine was captured on March 6, 1945 by troops of the 3rd US Armored Division . On April 11, 1945, American spearheads, which had first crossed the Rhine in Remagen , reached Porz. On April 14, 1945, the districts on the right bank of the Rhine were completely occupied. The US Army crossed the Rhine with the help of a pontoon bridge between the districts of Poll and Bayenthal. On March 9, 1945, the US military government was established in Cologne. Within 100 days, the American occupiers promoted the repair of Cologne's infrastructure, pushed ahead with denazification and laid the foundations for the reconstruction of Cologne. They also created collection points for displaced persons : in Junkersdorf, Etzelkaserne for Poles, in Ossendorf for Soviet citizens and in Brauweiler for French and Italians. On June 21, 1945, a British military government replaced the Americans in Cologne. In January 1954 the radio station of the British Armed Forces BFN, later BFBS , was relocated from Hamburg to Cologne-Marienburg in the Villa Tietz. On June 15, 1945, the American forces handed over Wahn Airport and Camp Wahn to British forces (RAF and Army). From 1950 to 1955 the British High Commissioner resided with 560 officials in the Wahner barracks. In 1955 the British High Commissioner moved to Bonn and became the foundation of the British Embassy. A Royal Navy seaplane is said to have been stationed in the port of Niehl. After the units withdrew on July 18, 1957, only one detachment is said to have remained in Cologne.

    Belgian garrison from 1946

    Shortly after the end of the Second World War, the first units of the Belgian armed forces began to be stationed in Cologne and the surrounding area . From 1951 they became less and less part of the occupation forces of the Belgian Corridor in the south of the British zone , but became the pioneers of NATO . In 1947 the headquarters of the Belgian armed forces were relocated from Lüdenscheid via Bonn to Cologne-Weiden . In the Cologne area either existing facilities of the former Wehrmacht were used or new barracks were built. Housing estates for members of the armed forces were built near the barracks. At times Cologne was the largest Belgian garrison abroad.

    From 1988 the Belgian armed forces were restructured, in 1993 compulsory military service in Belgium was abolished and from 1996 the headquarters moved back to Belgium. Associated with this was a downsizing of the units in Germany up to and including their dissolution. The barracks and facilities were then partially demolished, converted or converted for residential purposes. The associated housing estates became sought-after residential properties, not least thanks to their outdoor location and larger-than-average plots. Many of the members of the armed forces remained in Germany after their units were withdrawn or dissolved.

    armed forces

    After the Bundeswehr was founded in 1955, Cologne became one of the largest Bundeswehr locations in Germany . In the current Bundeswehr structure, there are 5,720 posts in Cologne. The higher federal authorities based in Cologne in the division of the Federal Ministry of Defense (BMVg) are the Federal Office for Personnel Management of the Bundeswehr (BAPersBw) with an attached assessment center for executives (ACFüKrBw) and the Federal Office for the Military Counter- Intelligence Service (BAMAD). In addition, the air force command (LwTrKdo), the Army Development Office (AHEntwg), the BMVg flight readiness and the center for aerospace medicine as well as several smaller agencies such as a Bundeswehr service center (BwDLZ), a Bundeswehr technical school (BwFachS), are stationed in Cologne Sports promotion group of the Bundeswehr , a medical support and a medical supply center (SanUstgZ / SanVersZ), a Bundeswehr fire brigade and parts of a career center of the Bundeswehr (KarrC Bw).


    Ferdinand Franz Wallraf , first honorary citizen of Cologne

    Honorary citizen

    Between 1823 and 2007, Cologne granted 23 people honorary citizenship.

    Alternative Cologne honorary citizenship

    The alternative Cologne honorary citizenship is an honor for Cologne citizens. It was created in 2002 in opposition to the award of honorary citizenship of Cologne to the publisher Alfred Neven DuMont and the chocolate manufacturer Hans Imhoff .

    Thirty Cologne personalities, including Martin Stankowski and the cabaret artist Heinrich Pachl , founded the initiative group alternative honorary citizenship . The committee members include the writer Günter Wallraff , the actress Marie-Luise Marjan , the musicians Tommy Engel and Wolfgang Niedecken , the cabaret artist Jürgen Becker and the writer Elke Heidenreich .

    With the award, the Citizens Committee would like to draw attention to citizens and networks who are involved in Cologne without financial resources and often outside the mainstream of public opinion.

    The award is given irregularly.

    Award winners

    • 2002 Pastor Franz Meurer , the so-called Don Camillo from Vingst , for his social commitment in the community of Cologne-Höhenberg / Vingst, in which he has built up an extensive social network.
    • 2006 Gunter Demnig , who meanwhile has laid around 22,000 stumbling blocks in over 530 towns in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Hungary and Spain to commemorate victims of National Socialism.
    • 2011 Hedwig Neven DuMont (wife of the Cologne publisher Alfred Neven DuMont ), as chairwoman of the association We help , as well as Kurt Holl (1938–2015). In Cologne he got involved in setting up the NS documentation center in the former Gestapo headquarters in the EL-DE building. His main focus of voluntary work has been working for Sinti and Roma in Cologne since 1980. In 1990 he initiated the first exhibition on their persecution by the National Socialists. Holl was one of the founders of the “Rom e. V. "; In 2004 he was able to open “Amaro Kher”, a project for the school integration of Roma refugee children.
    • 2016 Irene Franken (co-founder of the Cologne Women's History Association ) for her academic work on women in the history of Cologne.

    sons and daughters of the town


    • In July 2018, the city of Cologne was apparently the first municipality in the Federal Republic of Germany to compile a sustainability report and make it publicly available.
    • Discovered in 2009, the asteroid (243440) Colonia was named after the city's Roman name.

    See also

    Portal: Cologne  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Cologne


    • Seven Merian issues have been published about Cologne : 1948 (No. 3), August 1960, December 1979, July 1988, January 1994, March 2002 and September 2012.

    Illustrated books and dictionaries

    City books and atlases, streets

    • Hansgerd Hellenkemper , Emil Meynen: City folder Cologne. In: Heinz Stoob, Wilfried Ehbrecht, Jürgen Lafrenz, Peter Johannek (eds.): German city atlas. Volume 2, part 2. Dortmund 1979, ISBN 3-89115-317-1 .
    • Dorothea Wiktorin (Ed.): Cologne, the historical-topographical atlas. Emons Verlag , Cologne 2001, ISBN 3-89705-229-6 .
    • Erich Keyser (Ed.): Rheinisches Städtebuch. Volume III 3rd part of the German city book. Urban History Handbook. On behalf of the working group of historical commissions and with the support of the German Association of Cities, the Association of German Cities and the Association of German Municipalities. Stuttgart 1956.
    • Helmut Signon, Klaus Schmidt: All roads lead through Cologne. 3rd Edition. Greven, Cologne 2006, ISBN 3-7743-0379-7 .
    • Ansgar Bach: Literary Cologne. 80 authors - places of residence, work and works. Verlag Jena 1800, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-931911-23-3 .
    • Uwe Schwarz: Cologne and its surroundings in old maps. From the Eifel map to the general staff map (1550 to 1897). Published by Werner Schäfke. Cologne, Emons Verlag 2005, ISBN 3-89705-343-8 .
    • Rüdiger Schünemann-Steffen: Cologne street names lexicon , Jörg Rüshü self-published, Cologne 1999, ³ / 2013.


    • Gérald Chaix: Cologne in the Age of Reformation and Catholic Reform 1512/13 - 1610 (= History of the City of Cologne, Volume 5). From the French by Ursula Vones-Liebenstein Greven, Cologne 2021, ISBN 978-3-7743-0446-8 .
    • Gerhard Curdes , Markus Ulrich: The development of the Cologne urban area. The influence of models and innovations on the shape of the city. Dortmund sales for building and planning literature, Dortmund 1997, ISBN 3-929797-36-4 .
    • Werner Eck : Cologne in Roman times. History of a city under the Roman Empire. Greven, Cologne 2004, ISBN 3-7743-0357-6 ( History of the city of Cologne in 13 volumes. Volume 1).
    • Hiltrud Kier : Small art history of Cologne. CH Beck, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-406-47170-6 .
    • Dirk van Laak : Archeology of everyday life. Cologne and its infrastructure . Greven, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-7743-0678-3 .
    • Jürgen Pöttgen: 700 years of bell casting in Cologne. Masters and workshops between 1100 and 1800 (= workbooks of the Rhenish Monument Preservation 61). Wernersche Verlagsgesellschaft, Worms 2005. ISBN 978-3-88462-206-3 .
    • Andreas Rossmann : That can only be Cologne. A glossary. Photos by Manfred Wegener Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne 2019, ISBN 978-3-96098-727-7 .
    • Martin Rüther: Cologne in the Second World War. Everyday life and experiences between 1939 and 1945. Emons, Cologne 2005, ISBN 3-89705-407-8 ( Writings of the NS Documentation Center of the City of Cologne. Volume 12).
    • Christian Schuh: Cologne's 85 districts. History, dates, facts, names. From A for old town to Z for Zündorf. Emons, Cologne 2003, ISBN 3-89705-278-4 .
    • Arnold Stelzmann, Robert Frohn : Illustrated history of the city of Cologne. 11th edition. Bachem, Cologne 1990, ISBN 3-7616-0973-6 (1st edition 1958).
    • Bernhard van Treeck: Street Art Cologne. Edition Aragon, Moers 1996, ISBN 3-89535-434-1 .
    • Gerta Wolff: The Roman-Germanic Cologne. Guide to the museum and city. Bachem, Cologne 2000, ISBN 3-7616-1370-9 .

    Travel literature

    • Ansgar Bach: Literary Cologne , 1st edition, Verlag Jena 1800, Berlin 2002, ISBN 978-3-931911-23-2 .
    • Alexander Kuffner: "Time Travel Guide Cologne 1933–1945." A contemporary historical travel guide. Helios, Aachen 2009, ISBN 978-3-938208-92-2 .
    • Maik Kopleck (Ed.), Gregory Piatkowski: From the Colonia Agrippina to the "German Autumn". PastFinder, Düsseldorf 2008, ISBN 978-988-99780-4-4 ( PastFinder ZikZak. Series ).
    • Dieter Luippold (editor), Achim Bourmer and others: Cologne. 10th edition. Baedeker, Ostfildern 2007, ISBN 978-3-8297-1131-9 ( Baedeker Alliance Travel Guide. ).
    • Martin Stankowski That's why it's so beautiful on the Rhine. From Cologne Cathedral to the Loreley. The other guide. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 2009, ISBN 978-3-462-04107-1 .
    • Kirstin Kabasci: Cologne. Reise-Know-How-Verlag, Bielefeld 2006, ISBN 3-8317-1396-0 .



    • History in Cologne. Magazine for town and regional history. (One volume appears annually; Volume 55 appeared in 2008, SH-Verlag Cologne)
    • Yearbook of the Cologne History Association V. (appears annually with one volume, 2008 yearbook 79, SH-Verlag Cologne; supplements appear at irregular intervals)

    Monographs and miscellaneous

    • Historical archive of the city of Cologne (ed.): Music. Theatre. Dance. Literature. Museums - art and culture in Cologne after 1945. Wienand Verlag, Cologne 1996, ISBN 3-87909-455-1 .
    • Ed. LVR-Jüdisches Museum in the Archäologische Quartier Köln: The decree of 321: Cologne, the emperor and the Jewish history. undated, ISBN 978-3-96719-002-1 .
    • Christian Bartz: Cologne in the Thirty Years War. The Politics of the City Council (1618–1635). Mainly based on the council minutes in the historical archive of the city of Cologne. (= Military historical studies, vol. 6). Frankfurt et al. 2005 (also Diss. Univ. D. Bundeswehr Munich 2004).
    • Gérald Chaix: Cologne in the Age of Reformation and Catholic Reform 1512/13 - 1610 (= History of the City of Cologne, Volume 5). From the French by Ursula Vones-Liebenstein Greven, Cologne 2021, ISBN 978-3-7743-0446-8 .
    • Carl Dietmar, Werner Jung: Small illustrated history of the city of Cologne. 10th edition. Bachem, Cologne 2009, ISBN 978-3-7616-2226-1 (special edition Historical Archive of the City of Cologne ).
    • Carl Dietmar and Werner Jung: Cologne. The great city history , clear text, Essen 2015, ISBN 978-3-8375-1487-2 .
    • Barbara and Christoph Driessen : Cologne. A story . Greven, Cologne 2015, ISBN 3-7743-0653-2 .
    • Alexander Hess and Henriette Meynen (eds.): The Cologne city fortifications. Unique evidence from Roman, Middle Ages and modern times (= Fortis Colonia series of publications, Volume 3). Regionalia, Daun 2021, ISBN 978-3-95540-370-6 .
    • Mario Kramp : From dream to nightmare. Cologne and the beginning of the bombing war . Greven Verlag, Cologne 2014, ISBN 978-3-7743-0652-3 .
    • Mario Kramp: Cologne on the Seine. The pavilion at the Paris World Exhibition in 1937. With photographs by Hugo and Karl Hugo Schmölz , Greven, Cologne 2019, ISBN 978-3-7743-0902-9 .
    • Claus Leggewie : 50 years '68. Cologne and its protest history. Greven, Cologne 2018, ISBN 978-3-7743-0693-6 .
    • Horst Matzerath : Cologne in the time of National Socialism 1933–1945. Greven, Cologne 2009, ISBN 978-3-7743-0429-1 ( History of the City of Cologne. Volume 12).
    • Thomas Mergel : Cologne in the Empire 1871-1918 (History of the City of Cologne, Volume 10). Greven, Cologne 2018, ISBN 978-3-7743-0454-3 .
    • Klaus Müller : Cologne from French to Prussian rule, 1794–1815. Greven, Cologne 2005, ISBN 3-7743-0375-4 ( History of the City of Cologne. Volume 8).
    • Klaus Müller: Ferdinand Franz Wallraf. Scholar, collector, honorary citizen of Cologne 1748–1824 . Published by Historical Society Cologne, Greven, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-7743-0680-6 .
    • Ute Planert (ed.): Albert's daughters. Cologne women between city, university and republic (1914–1933). Röhrig Universitätsverlag, St. Ingbert 2019, ISBN 978-3-86110-737-8 .
    • Martin Rüther: Cologne in the Second World War. Everyday life and experiences between 1939 and 1945. Emons, Cologne 2005, ISBN 3-89705-407-8 .
    • Werner Schäfke , Marcus Trier (Ed.): Middle Ages in Cologne. A selection from the holdings of the Cologne City Museum. Emons, Cologne 2009, ISBN 978-3-89705-654-1 .
    • Werner Schäfke: Cologne after 1945. The history of our present. Regionalia, Rheinbach 2017, ISBN 3-95540-321-1 .
    • Klaus Schmidt : Faith, Power and Struggles for Freedom. 500 years of Protestants in the Rhineland , with an afterword by Günther van Norden, Greven, Cologne 2016, ISBN 978-3-7743-0385-0 .
    • Bettina Schmidt-Czaia (Ed.): Welcome to old Cologne - history (s) around the city wall: Contributions to the accompanying program of the exhibition (messages from the city archive of Cologne, issue 103). Cologne 2018, ISBN 978-3-928907-36-1 .
    • Gerd Schwerhoff : Cologne in the Ancien Régime 1686–1794 (History of the City of Cologne Volume 7) . Greven, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-7743-0450-5 .
    • Robert Steimel : Cologne Heads , Steimel Verlag, Cologne-Zollstock 1958.
    • Rita Wagner (Ed.): Konrad the Great. The Adenauer period in Cologne 1917 to 1933 , Nünnerich-Asmus, Mainz 2017.
    • Ruta Wagner (ed.): Cologne on the Rhine. Or: from time to time. Unchanged perspective - constant change. Nünnerich-Asmus, Oppenheim am Rhein 2019, ISBN 978-3-96176-090-9 .
    • Paul Wietzorek: The historical Cologne. Tell pictures . Michael Imhof Verlag, Petersberg 2006, ISBN 978-3-86568-115-7 .

    Architecture, preservation of monuments and art

    Entertaining things about Cologne


    • Rheinhard Zeese: 1900 years of fortified Cologne. LEB, Brühl 2006 (CD-ROM).
    • Rheinhard Zeese: Historical parks and public gardens in Cologne 1801 to 1932. LEB, Brühl 2007 (CD-ROM).
    • Hermann Rheindorf: Chronicle of the Cologne Rhine bridges. DVD, ISBN 3-9813237-4-2 , distributor: KÖLNPROGRAMM, 2010.
    • Hermann Rheindorf: Cologne in the Third Reich Part 1 The road to the Nazi dictatorship , Part 2 Everyday life under the swastika , Part 3 Cologne at war . DVD, COLOGNE PROGRAM 2012 (2 + 3 2013).

    Web links

    Further content in the
    sister projects of Wikipedia:

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    Individual evidence

    1. Population of the municipalities of North Rhine-Westphalia on December 31, 2020 - update of the population based on the census of May 9, 2011. State Office for Information and Technology North Rhine-Westphalia (IT.NRW), accessed on June 21, 2021 .  ( Help on this )
    2. ↑ For historical and technical reasons, some parts of the city are assigned the area codes from the neighboring cities of Wesseling , Brühl , Hürth and Frechen : 02232 ( Meschenich ), 02233 ( Rondorf ), 02234 ( Lövenich , Weiden ), 02236 ( Godorf , Hahnwald , Immendorf , Sürth , White , parts of Rodenkirchen ). Despite its location in the Porz district, the Poll district uses the Cologne area code 0221.
    3. Archdiocese of Munich is the richest diocese in Germany (quote: "Archdiocese of Cologne: The largest diocese in Germany recorded assets of around 3.4 billion euros in the 2014 financial report.")., June 20, 2016, accessed on May 11, 2018 .
    4. Outlook and review of Koelnmesse 2015/2016. (PDF; 773 kB) In: Retrieved October 21, 2018 .
    5. ^ State database NRW - structural data for the independent city of Cologne, status July 17, 2012 ( memento from September 25, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on November 16, 2012.
    6. ^ District government Cologne: Topographic map 1: 50,000 (TK 50), sheet L 5106 Cologne. Cologne 2012, ISBN 978-3-89439-420-2 .
    7. ^ District government Cologne: Topographic map 1: 50,000 (TK 50), sheet L 5108 Cologne-Mülheim. Cologne 2012, ISBN 978-3-89439-422-6 .
    8. Herbert Liedtke, Joachim Marcinek (Ed.): Lower Rhine and Cologne Lowland Bay. In: Physical geography of Germany. Gotha 1995, ISBN 3-623-00840-0 , pp. 314-315.
    9. ^ Ministry of the Environment, Regional Planning and Agriculture of North Rhine-Westphalia: Climate Atlas of North Rhine-Westphalia. Düsseldorf 1989, DNB 901161098 .
    10. Deutscher Wetterdienst> Climatic data Germany> Climatic data from selected German stations> Average values: Download the average precipitation values ​​for the period 1991–2020 (338 kB)
    11. ^ German weather service: Climate information Cologne. German Weather Service, accessed on June 17, 2021 .
    12. ^ German weather service: Climate information Cologne. German Weather Service, accessed on June 16, 2021 .
    13. Air pollutants at a glance. Nitrogen oxides. In: Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), represented by the President of the Federal Environment Agency., Accessed on July 28, 2019 .
    14. New clean air plan for Cologne. (PDF; 5.0 MB) No driving bans only with consistent implementation of measures New measured values ​​show a positive trend. District government of Cologne, accessed July 2019 .
    15. Clean air plan of the Cologne district government for the city of Cologne. (PDF) District government of Cologne, 2006, accessed on November 8, 2018 .
    16. Clean air plan for Cologne. In: Retrieved November 8, 2018 .
    17. Clean air plan for the city of Cologne - First update 2012. (PDF) District government Cologne, April 2012, accessed on November 8, 2018 .
    18. Tim Walther: But no diesel driving bans for Cologne? District government presents new clean air plan. In: image. Axel Springer SE, February 1, 2019, accessed September 2019 .
    19. ^ Cologne district government: Clean air plan for the city of Cologne. (PDF; 5.0 MB) Second update 2019. April 2019, accessed in July 2019 .
    20. ↑ No passage for trucks in Cologne. City of Cologne Mayor, July 2019, accessed in September 2019 .
    21. ^ City of Cologne - Office for Press and Public Relations, City participates in "Earth Hour 2021". Retrieved March 25, 2021 .
    22. ^ Josef Klostermann: Quaternary of the Lower Rhine Bay. Krefeld 1992, ISBN 3-86029-925-5 .
    23. ^ Bahnen im Rheinland, Cologne underground, (1) Das Lehrbergwerk under the University Status: November 12, 2009, accessed on March 1, 2010.
    24. Harald Frater: Geological forays - Cologne, Bergisch Gladbach and the surrounding area. Cologne 2004, ISBN 3-7616-1754-2 , pp. 24–31.
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