Cologne is a Roman foundation (50 AD Colonia Agrippinensis, later Colonia). Due to its convenient location on the Rhine, the city experienced rapid growth early on and was the largest German city in the Middle Ages and, as the seat of an archbishop, an important spiritual center.
Cologne, capital of the administrative district of Cologne and an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, on both sides of the 400 m wide Rhine in the Cologne Bay, 36 m above sea level, with (2019) 1.1 million residents, the largest city in the Rhineland.
Cologne is the seat of an archbishop and an important cultural center. The University of Cologne has around 49,400 students and the Technical University of Cologne has a further 25,500 students. Important universities are also the University of Music and Dance, the German Sport University, the Art School for Media, the Catholic University and the University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration in North Rhine-Westphalia. Other important institutions are privately sponsored: Rheinische Fachhochschule, European University of Applied Sciences Cologne, University of Economics (FOM, Cologne location), Fresenius University (Cologne location), International School of Management (ISM, Cologne location), Cologne Business School (CBS). Research institutes: Max Planck Institute for Social Research, for Biology of Aging, for Metabolic Research and for Plant Breeding Research.
Cologne is the seat of many supraregional authorities and institutions under public law as well as numerous associations at the federal level: Federal Office of Administration, Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Federal Office for Goods Transport, Federal Office for Family and Civil Society Tasks, Federal Office for the Military Counter-Intelligence Service, Federal Center for Health Education; also: European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Army Development Office, Regional Finance Directorate North Rhine-Westphalia (Cologne location), seat of the Cologne District Government, Higher Regional Court, State Labor Court, Rhineland Regional Association (LVR), German Association of Cities, Institute of German Economy, Deutschlandradio, WDR. There are many diplomatic and consular representations in Cologne.
According to youremailverifier, Cologne has several theaters (drama, puppet shows [Hänneschen theater], private stages), a municipal opera and the privately operated chamber opera. The most important museums include Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud, Museum Ludwig, Römisch-Germanisches Museum, KOLUMBA Art Museum of the Archdiocese of Cologne, Museum of East Asian Art, Cologne City Museum, Museum of Applied Arts, Käthe Kollwitz Museum, Imhoff Chocolate Museum, Odysseum (Science Center).
Since October 2010, the Cologne cultural quarter has been home to, among other things. the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum für Völkerkunde and the enlarged Museum Schnütgen (medieval church sculpture and cabaret). There is also the Cologne Art Association and numerous galleries (especially for contemporary art), the feminist archive and documentation center »FrauenMediaTurm«, historical archives, the Rheinisch-Westfälische Wirtschaftsarchiv as well as large libraries. Cologne also has a planetarium and observatories, the zoological garden and the “Flora” (botanical garden) as well as numerous sports facilities (RheinEnergieSTADION, horse racing track).
Cologne’s economy is characterized by a pronounced variety of industries. In the industry, some of whose products enjoy a worldwide reputation (Original Eau de Cologne), machine and vehicle construction (Ford-Werke GmbH, Deutz AG), chemistry, pharmaceutical industry, electrical engineering and mineral oil processing dominate; the city is also a modern service location. Many banks (especially private banks) and insurance companies have their headquarters in Cologne. In recent years the city has established itself as a federal German media center (especially as the headquarters of television stations: WDR, RTL and others). Cologne is a traditional trading center (oldest German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, since 1797). The Cologne Stock Exchange (today “Rheinische Warenbörse”, founded in 1553) is one of the five oldest stock exchanges in the world. Large trade fairs and exhibitions take place on the exhibition grounds on the banks of the Rhine in Deutz (such as ANUGA, Photokina, art fair “Art Cologne”, entertainment electronics [“gamescom”], furniture and confectionery fair). The central urban development project, after the former Rheinauhafen has been converted into a new urban quarter, is the Koelnmesse 3.0 master plan, which provides for extensive construction work by 2030. Conferences and congresses as well as the Cologne Carnival play a major role in tourism. In 2017, the city had 3.59 million arrivals and 6.24 million overnight stays.
Cologne is an important traffic junction (seven bridges over the Rhine); The majority of all international trains run through the main train station, with the largest volume of passenger traffic in Germany. The city is surrounded by a closed motorway ring (51 km). The light rail (partly underground; in operation since 1968) has a route length of 198 km. With a throughput of 10.8 million t in 2017, the port ranks second among German inland ports. International Airport Cologne / Bonn (2017: 12.4 million passengers; 838 500 t air freight) in the Wahner Heide.