Cologne / Germany
Cologne (ital. Colonia) is the fourth largest city and the largest city of North Rhine-Westphalia. It lies on the Rhine and has one of the most important inland ports in Europe. Cologne is an important railway hub. The resaon for the economic importance of Cologne is the city's location at the intersection of the Rhine with one of the main trade routes between eastern and western Europe. As much as the Rhine has brought the city prosperity and quality of life, so feared is its flood. The current water level can be read by the "clock" of the Cologne flood marker. The name Cologne, during Roman times called Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium (CCAA), goes back to the Roman empress Agrippina. The wife of Claudius was born on the Rhine and had "Agrippina Agrippinensis" built as city in the year 50 AD. During World War II, the city was destroyed more than 90%by flat bombing.
The main attraction of Cologne is of course the cathedral where the Epiphany shrine is kept. In it the relics of the three kings are kept.There are a number of museums, among others a chocolate museum, a perfume museum and a carnival museum.Attractive buildings include the town hall, the batch house, the Gürzenich (a festival hall, donated by the same-named family) and the Eigelsteintorburg. A stroll through the historic district of Cologne is a must when visiting Cologne as well as the tasting of beer in Cologne, the "Kölsch" and the Cologne caviar, a piece of black pudding with onion rings, gherkin and mustard on a rye roll.