Official language: German
Time zone: UTC+2 (summer), UTC+1 (winter)
Currency: Euro (EUR)
One of the biggest LGBT community’s feast in the world and the biggest one in Germany – Christopher Street Day – is taking place in Cologne.
Production of this special perfume started in the 18th century. Its recipe remains secret to this day with production of cologne still being in hands of the family of the author of the original formula.
In Cologne there are around 3000 pubs, which place the city on the first spot in Germany in terms of number of pubs per capita.
Cologne is the fourth most populated city in Germany and the cultural and economic centre of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is one of the oldest German city, established around 50 year AC by empress Agrippina; it had an important role in the Roman Empire. For 20 years, on the turn of the centuries 18th and 19th, Cologne was incorporated into France.
In 1815 the city was incorporated to Prussia and in this time, while the Industrial Revolution was taking place, it became an important transportation and industrial centre. Cologne was severely damaged during the Second World War with estimated 260 bombings hitting the city. The reconstruction of the city lasted till the end of the 20th century and during that time its population grew significantly.
The city sporting showcase is a football club FC Köln, which plays home games on a stadium Rhein Energie that has 50 thousand people capacity. The special vibe of the city is provided by small, cosy eateries and numerous breweries located around the main square. The most known regional beer is Kölsch. Prices in Cologne are pleasant surprise as they are relatively low for such a big city.
Each year Cologne is hosting a carnival. The feasting period is called by citizens the fifth season of the year. Colourful costumes, music, parades are the perfect tell-tales of temper of inhabitants of this region. Celebrations draw in not only citizens, but also lots of tourists. The party end at night preceding Ash Wednesday with the burning of the Nubbela effigy, which is said to symbolize purification from sins.
Art lovers definitely should pay a visit to the Museum Ludwig, where you can admire pieces by such masters like Pablo Picasso or Andy Warhol. It is worth stepping by the museum of chocolate. Those craving for lovely views, should climb the peak of a skyscraper Köln-Triangle, from where you can admire the whole city’s panorama or even see Düsseldorf.