Cologne is one of the oldest and fourth largest cities in Germany, as well as the administrative center of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is located in the southwestern part of the country, on both banks of the Rhine River, and dates back to the Roman colony of the beginning of our era, from the time of Emperor Claudius. Subsequently, the Latin word colonia was transformed into the Germanized Köln, in which form it has been preserved to this day.
Over its long history, Cologne was repeatedly raided and devastated, it burned in flames and drowned in floods, but it suffered the most terrible cataclysm during the Great Patriotic War, when as a result of the bombing of Anglo-American aviation it was almost completely destroyed, with the exception of the main cathedral. However, the stubborn Germans were able to quickly rebuild their hometown, completely restoring the ancient buildings in their historical form, and now more than a million Cologne is the center of the metropolis, which includes a dozen more satellite cities that have practically merged with it. Continue reading