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Cologne Cathedral at nighttime
Cologne Cathedral at nighttime
Flag of Cologne
Coat of arms of Cologne
Cologne is located in Germany
Coordinates 50°57′N 6°58′E / 50.95°N 6.96667°E / 50.95; 6.96667
Country Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. region Cologne
District Urban district
Lord Mayor Jürgen Roters (SPD)
Basic statistics
Area 405.15 km2
Elevation 37 m  (121 ft)
Population 998,105 (31 December 2009)[1]
 - Density 2,464 /km2 (6,381 /sq mi)
Founded 38 BC
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate K
Postal codes 50441–51149
Area codes 0221, 02203 (Porz)

Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city (after Berlin, Hamburg and Munich), and is the largest city both in the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants. It is one of the oldest cities in Germany, having been founded by the Romans in the year 38 BC. The name is derived from that of the Roman settlement, Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium.

Cologne lies on the River Rhine. The city's famous Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) is the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Cologne. The University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln) is one of Europe's oldest universities.

Cologne is a major cultural center of the Rhineland and has a vibrant arts scene. Cologne is home to more than 30 museums and hundreds of galleries. Exhibitions range from local ancient Roman archeological sites to contemporary graphics and sculpture. The Cologne Trade Fair hosts a number of trade shows such as Art Cologne, the International Furniture Fair (IMM) and the Photokina.

Within Germany, Cologne is known as an important media center. Several radio and television stations, including Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), RTL and VOX, have their headquarters in the city. Both Pro7 and Sat.1 produce TV shows in Cologne as well. Further, the city hosts the Cologne Comedy Festival, which is considered to be the largest comedy festival in mainland Europe.[2]


  1. Amtliche Bevölkerungszahlen (German). Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW (31 December 2009).
  2. Cologne Comedy Festival website. (2007-10-21). Retrieved on 2009-07-24.
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