Cologne [German: Köln, Latin: Colonia], founded over 2.000 years ago, lies in western Germany on the shores of the Rhine, ca. 160 km east of Brussels and 50 km south of the Ruhr region, largest city in the german state Northrhine-Westphalia, 4th largest in Germany and 29th in Europe.
Population: 1.047.00 (2014) | 953.000 (1990) | 740.000 (1930) | 372.000 (1900)
Cologne was declared a roman city as Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippensium (CCAA) in the year 50 and was capital of the province Germania inferior. Since then it always retained its prominent role in the region, has been a member of the Hanseatic League, has always been a key city of the Catholics and in more recent history also been famous for its Carnival. Cologne is part of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region (the 6th largest in europe) and home to one UNESCO world heritage site – the Cologne Cathedral, the largest gothic church of Northern Europe.
The Schildergasse (literal english: shields alley) is, despite its modern looks, the second oldest street of Cologne, having been the major east-west street of the roman city. Today it is the cities major shopping street (and one of the most frequented in Germany) with several big department stores and high street labels. Cologne was one of the most severe hit german cities in WWII, so the old town looks rather modern today, as can be seen in this street section. The only historic building here is the Haus Schierenberg, built in 1894.
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