Cologne is widely known as a cultural and vibrant city whose history dates more than 2000 years back. The city houses 40 museums, more than 100 galleries and hosts several large conventions and fairs each year. Cologne is beautifully situated along the brinks of the Rhine, one of the most important and longest rivers in Europe.
With its 6.5 million visitors per year, the Cologne Cathedral is Germany’s most visited tourist attraction. The cathedral is 750 years old and the third largest of its kind in the world and is on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1996. Inside the Gothic Cathedral one finds the Shrine of the three Kings, a reliquary which makes the cathedral an important point of pilgrimage for people from all over the world.
Cologne is also an important media centre in Germany and a number of big national tv and radio stations headquarter in the city, including RTL and Westdeutscher Rundfunk.
Cologne has a close relation to and interest in sport, which is exemplified by the hosting of sporting events such as the 2010 World Hockey Championship, the 2010 World Gay Games and parts of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
On a permanent basis, Cologne is home to the largest Sport University in Europe, the German Sport University Cologne. The city’s focus on sport can also be found in the German Sports and Olympic Museum, the Football Instructor's School, and the Federal Institute for Sports Science.
The local football club F.C. Köln enjoys a huge local fan backup and their home stadium is the RheinEnergie Stadion, situated close to the Play the Game 2011 venue; the German Sport University. The RheinEnergie Stadion was one of the 12 stadia used for Germany’s hosting of the 2006 FIFA World Cup during which 6 matches were played here.
Facts about Cologne:
German name: Köln
Founded in 38 BC
Distance from Berlin: approx. 570 km west
Inhabitants: approx. 1 milion
Fourth largest city in Germany
The Cologne-Bonn Airport (CGN) connects to a large number of, mostly European, airports. An airport shuttle bus runs regularly between the airport and Cologne, taking 20 minutes. Cologne is also easily accessible from Frankfurt and Düsseldorf airports.
Info on how to get to Cologne from the three airports: http://www.suite101.com/content/cologne-airport-transportation-a34885
Cologne is connected to main European cities by high-speed trains, which can take you to Paris in three hours, Brussels in two and London in four hours’ travel time. More information can be found here: www.bahn.de/en
Photo (c) KölnTourismus