COLOGNE is situated on the river Rhein in North Rhine-Westphalia and is the fourth largest city in Germany. Cologne's very name bears witness to its Roman past as the town of Colonia. The city has an extremely lively arts and culture scene and it is known as the "capital of Rhenish joie de vivre".
Cologne is Germany's oldest city and, until the 19th century, the grandest - a status still reflected in the scores of spires that serrate its skyline, and its massive cathedral, or Dom. Cologne, like most areas of Germany, has its very own local dialect of German, though this is improbable to hinder the average sight-seeing tourist.
As many cities in Germany, Cologne was bombarded during the World War II. All the buildings of the Altstadt were damaged and the reconstruction process brought to light a period of Cologne's history that had been a mystery for centuries. This evidence showed that Cologne was an important city during the Christian era.
In Cologne there is so much to see, from the old Roman towers to the modern opera house, it is gradually becoming the fine-art capital of Germany. Cologne spoils its visitors: it heaps on the magnificent architecture, splendid museums, superb theatre and concerts, excellent dance clubs, and enormous department stores, and then, if that wasn't enough, it heaps some great food and beer on top.
As a matter of fact, Cologne is one of Germany’s leading gastronomic lights, from venerable breweries offering unique Kölsch beer and typical Cologne delicacies to first-class restaurants - boasting well in excess of 3000 public houses, restaurants and breweries.