Over 2000 years ago the Romans settled what’s today Cologne and dubbed the city a Roman colony, "Colonia", in 50 ACE (the German name has stuck since then as Koln). Out of these times came a large number of artifacts which one can witness under the open sky or un- der the roof of the Römisch-Germanisches Museum (Roman-Germanic Museum). For those wishing to experience that history all the way up to the present, they should seek it out at the Kölnische Stadtmuseum (Cologne City Museum), Cologne’s old weapons depository.
This historical cemetery outside of the old city walls, placed here in accordance with Napoleon's directives that burial laws should be in accordance with the traditions of Ancient Rome, is home to some of the city's most famous characters. While many come to Melatenfriedhof to see the graves of well-known Germans, the artistic splendour of some of the headstones also makes it of interest to artists or those simply looking for an atmospheric stroll among the cemetery's tree-lines paths.
Cologne Cathedral. The Dom is actually Germany’s largest cathedral. Its construction began in 1248, and was finished in 1880. The huge building covers a surface area of 8,000 sq. m., both towers stand 157 m tall. The Dom houses some unique treasures like the remains of the three Wisemen.
Guided Tours to Old Town. Everyone visiting Cologne ought to be part of a guided tour into the city's magic cathedral and through the Old Town with its beautiful squares, historical monuments and houses. Because there's no better and cheaper way to learn that much about the old roman town.
The Roman-Germanic Museum. The museum belongs among the most loved in Germany because it houses artifacts from the Roman times, such as, the Dionysus mosaic, Poblicus’ tomb and worldwide the largest collection of Roman glass. One must unconditionally visit.
The Wallraf-Richartz-Museum. The Wallraf Richartz Museum (WRM) shows artwork from 1250 to 1900. One of the highlights are paintings of the "Kölner Malerschule" of the middle ages with works of Stefan Lochner as well as paintings of Dürer, Cranach, Rubens or van Gogh.
Popular Personalities from Cologne. Innumerable prominent figures belong to Cologne’s city history. Everyone knows the name of Konrad Adenauer and often Willy Millowitsch (see photo). Even Albertus Magnus once lived and taught in Cologne when Thomas Aquinas was one of his students.
Boat trip on the rhine. Making a boat trip on the rhine is one of the duties for every Cologne-visitor, espacially when the weather is high. Three shipping companies always offer several trips of various duration. Being on board you'll have a beautiful panorama view on Cologne's nice old town.
Cologne Zoo and Aquarium (Zoo Köln).Cologne Zoo is the perfect family attraction and boasts an enormous collection of animals, including one of the biggest elephant parks in the whole of Europe. Other top attractions include the monkey island, giraffes, hippos, an indoor rainforest area, a modern owl house and an outstanding group of aquariums, where many brightly coloured marine fish reside, amongst beautifully landscaped coral reefs. If you time your visit right you will be able to enjoy the feeding displays and talks, which feature the zoo's penguins, sea lions and otters.
Phantasialand.It is debatable whether the park lives up to its claim of being 'Europe's most unique theme park', but a day out at Phantasialand does guarantee plenty of fun. With all the attractions that you would expect from an adventure theme park, kids and adults alike can get splashed on the water rapids, spook themselves in the mystery castle, or simply lay back and relax in the lovely park. International cuisine is served up at various on-site themed restaurants, so that thrill-seekers do not have to leave the grounds for anything.
EL-DE Haus .This fascinating building was once the Gestapo's (secret police) headquarters during WWII. Almost untouched since then, EL-DE Haus acts as both a memorial and an enthralling exhibition, giving visitors an absorbing insight into the workings of this Nazi regime. Guided tours will take you past cells that once held Jews, homosexuals and other 'enemies' of this unimaginable regime. Further attractions on-site include the Nazi Documentation Centre, where you can digest the permanent exhibition entitled 'Cologne under National Socialism'.
Früh am Dom .A Cologne institution, no visitors should miss out on a taste of the city's best beer offerings at the Früh am Dom. The selection of German ales here is outstanding, with the locally-brewed Kölsch beer being a local favourite. The Früh, as it is known by residents, is not just popular with tourists, as the locals enjoy this place for its menu of national dishes too. Tuck into some German sausage and sauerkraut, which are amongst the other main attractions here, and come closer to understanding the rich German culture.
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