Cologne (or sometimes "Kölle") is a city on the Rhine River in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia Germany. About 970,000 people live there.
The city was founded by the Romans in the year 50, but before that, it was a Roman castle ("castellum") and a town with inhabitants of the local German tribe named "Ubier" at least for 100 years.. There had been people living in the area during stone age.
The most interesting thing to see there is Cologne Cathedral.
This church was built from about 1248 to about 1550, but finally finished in 1880.
The United Nations list it as 'World Cultural Heritage'.
Cologne's archbishop Rainald von Dassel brought the relics
of the biblical Three Wise Men there in 1164.
They are kept in a very beautiful
golden shrine
Three golden crowns in the coat of arms of the city symbolize them.
They made Cologne a major place of pilgrimage.
Traditionally, the city was always Roman Catholic. That changed only recently after the Second World War,
as a result of massive immigration of protestants from the East of Germany.
Still the majority of 41,6% is Roman Catholic, compared to 17% Protestant.
10% of the population are muslim
Cologne is the biggest city in North Rhine-Westphalia.
The University of Cologne alone has more than 50,000 students. It was founded 1919 and is one of the biggest in Germany. There are several specialized Schools in addition to the university. The "Hochschule für Musik" is the biggest Academy of Music in Europe. Cologne has two Colleges of Arts and the Sports College again is one of the biggest worldwide.
Cologne has one of the busiest train stations in Europe. It is the only train station located next to a big cathedral.
People in Cologne and nearby have their own language. They call it Kölsch. During carnival time it even appears on nationwide broadcasts.
Cologne has a handful of broadcasting stations. The Westdeutscher Rundfunk, part of the network ARD, is the biggest producer of television and radio programs in Germany.
Cologne is in the southern part of the 'Rhine-Ruhr agglomeration' of cities, where there live about 10 million people. This is one of the most densely populated areas of the world.

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