Cologne is a city in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, located in the west of the country, on the banks of the Rhine. Founded in 16 AD, Cologne (then Ara Ubiorum) in the year 50 was elevated to the rank of the city of Agrippina, the wife of Emperor Claudius. In the Middle Ages, the number of religious buildings grew, Cologne became equal to Jerusalem (at least as it was said in those days). In 1248, the cathedral was founded. But its construction was completed only in 1880. In 1388, a university was founded in the city. Cologne was the first city with a democratic constitution and kept aloof from any kind of upheaval. However, in 1794, French troops entered the city, and after 1815 he moved to Prussia. In 1945, the city was destroyed by 80 percent, but the inhabitants lovingly restored it literally “from the ashes.”
Cologne, like most large German cities, has several faces. Cologne is medieval, with its outstanding gothic and romance. Cologne Museum, with its collections from the Romans to the Impressionists at the Valraff-Richartz Museum. Cologne Exhibition, where the whole world gathers to communicate and conclude trade deals. Cologne Media is the second capital of television, radio and the press after Munich. Cologne Universitetskiy is the largest educational center on the Rhine. And just Cologne is a cozy city with a special atmosphere, which is nice to walk around, go to a restaurant and have a beer.
The main attraction of the city is the world famous Cologne Cathedral, a grandiose medieval Gothic monument with a height of more than 150 m. The Cathedral is one of the most famous architectural structures in Germany. The construction of the cathedral lasted more than 600 years, from 1248 to 1880. Not far from the cathedral are the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, the Roman-German Museum.
From the cathedral you can clearly see the tower of Greater St. Martin – one of the most beautiful Romanesque churches of the city. Cologne has several surprisingly beautiful Romanesque churches, for example, the early Romanesque church of St. Gereon, and the late Romanesque church of St. Pantaleon with a wonderful layout and aerial stone carving.
The city has 31 museums, the subject of museum expositions ranges from archaeological finds to modern painting. Along with permanent exhibitions, the annual Art Fair Cologne, the largest art fair in Germany, takes place here.
The narrow streets of the old city, stretching along the Rhine south of the cathedral, give an idea of what Cologne looked like before the Second World War. Among the most famous sights: Rheinharten, Rathouse, the Palace of the Roman governor, the Philharmonic Hall, the shopping streets of the city, always filled with people.
Shrovetide carnivals take place in many German cities, especially on the Rhine. But the Cologne Carnival is the most beautiful, large-scale, crazy “event” of its kind in Germany, it is attracted from all over Europe. The heart of the carnival is a march of carnival “guilds” in costumes across the city, starting from Cologne Cathedral. Each guild has its own cart, on which there are speakers, decorations, some simple action is played out, members of the guild dance for the cart.
The city at that time is also changing radically: Cologne seems to be going crazy, everyone is captivated by the frivolous, reckless mood of the carnival, everyone drinks Cologne beer – Kelsh, flirts, plays each other – and no one is offended! And in the evening the procession develops into a huge party with disc jockeys and buffoons, with authentic old music and techno rap. And special cakes that are baked in huge quantities during the carnival.