Cologne lies on the River Rhine. The city's famous Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) is the seat of the Roman 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 city's Trade Fair Grounds are host to a number of trade shows such as the Art Cologne Fair, the International Furniture Fair and the Photokina. Cologne is also well-known for its celebration of Cologne Carnival, the annual reggae summerjam, and the gay/lesbian pride festival Christopher Street Day
Cologne is also famous for Eau de Cologne (Kölnisch Wasser). At the beginning of the 18th century, Italian expatriate Johann Maria Farina created a new fragrance and named it after his hometown Cologne, Eau de Cologne (Water of Cologne). In the course of the 18th century the fragrance became increasingly popular. Eventually, Cologne merchant Wilhelm Mülhens secured the name Farina, which at that time had become a household name for Eau de Cologne, under contract and opened a small factory at Cologne's Glockengasse. In later years, and under pressure from court battles, his grandson Ferdinand Mülhens chose a new name for the firm and their product. It was the house number that was given to the factory at Glockengasse during French occupation of the Rhineland in the early 19th century, number 4711. In 1994, the Mülhens family sold their company to German Wella corporation. In 2003 Procter & Gamble took over Wella. Today, original Eau de Cologne still is produced in Cologne by both the Farina family (Farina gegenüber since 1709), currently in the eighth generation, and by Mäurer and Wirtz who bought the 4711 brand in December 2006.Cologne cathedral with its two spires 157 metres in height, has been the city's most famous landmark for centuries and the most well-known architectural monument in Germany.
Photo Christoph Rückert
It took 632 years until construction of the largest German cathedral was completed. After the laying of the foundations in the year 1248 and making rapid progress initially, construction work gradually came to a standstill. It was only with 19th century romantic enthusiasm for the Middle Ages and the commitment of the Prussian Court that construction work resumed in 1842. In 1880, completion of the cathedral was celebrated as a national event.
Twelve Romanesque Churches: These buildings are outstanding examples of medieval sacral architecture. The roots of some of the churches date back as far as Roman times, like St. Gereon, which originally was a chapel on a Roman graveyard. With the exception of St. Maria Lyskirchen all of these churches were very badly damaged during World War II. Reconstruction was only finished in the 1990s.
The relics of the Holy Epiphany found their last resting place in the cathedral. The Sarcophagus of Epiphany (dating from the 13th century) surpasses all comparable golden sarcophagi in Western Christendom, in terms of scale and magnificence. Other outstanding works of art are to be found in the cathedral treasure chamber.
The University of Cologne, with approx. 44,000 students as of 2005, is the largest university in Germany. The University of Cologne was established in 1388 as the fourth university in the Holy Roman Empire after the Charles University of Prague (1348), the University of Vienna (1365) and the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg (1386). The charter was signed by Pope Urban VI. The university began teaching on January 6, 1389.
Photo Tim 'Avatar' Bartel
Farina Fragrance museum, the birthplace of Eau de Cologne. The Farina fragrance museum is situated across from the town-hall, and near the famous Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in the Obenmarspforten street in Cologne. Founded in 1709, John Maria Farina opposite the Jülichs Place is the eldest fragrance factory still standing and has house the registered office since 1723.
Römisch-Germanisches Museum (English: Roman-Germanic Museum) for ancient Roman and Germanic culture.
Festivals & Events
Black Forest Open-Air Museum
24 March onwards
Find out all about life and work in the Black Forest over the last 400 years. As well as the farmhouses that represent all the regions in the Black Forest, the museum also has animals, craft demonstrations and activity days for people of all ages. The season's highlights will include the German Mills Day (Deutscher Mühlentag) on 20 May, the Open-Air Museums Day (Tag der Freilichtmuseen) on 4 August and the Gutach Traditional Costumed Wedding Procession (Trachtenhochzeitszug) on 22 September.
Munich - Old Town Hall
Photographer: Christl Reiter
22. March - 21. April 2002
The biggest public festival in northern Germany on the Heiligengeistfeld
Oktoberfest - Munich
The world's largest beer-party draws visitors from around the globe. The festival is the biggest public festival in the world and will be held for the 169th time in the year 2002.
Munich - Octoberfest
Photographer: Christl Reiter
The Stuttgart Beer Festival
September - October
Today it is one of the largest and most enchanting beer festivals in the world, visited by millions of people. Traditional brass bands keep everyone’s spirits high, and delicious Swabian specialities are served.
DWT / Foto Strehlow
Street Music Festival on the ‘Ring’ - Cologne
The world’s biggest open-air music festival with 10 live music stages on the ‘Rings’ in Cologne, featuring rock, pop, and jazz music.
The German Alpine Route
Originally one of the oldest German tourist routes, it runs along the foothills of the Alps between Lindau on Lake Constance and Berchtesgaden on the Koenigsee. It reveals along 450 km. all the beauty of the countyside with it's rural farmer villages, 21 picturesque lakes, 64 renowned spa towns, 25 awe inspiring fortresses and castles as well as the unique richness of culture and nature at the edge of the Allguer and the Bavarian Alps. cycle enthusiasts, fans of fun sports and winter sports et.. culture and wellness will all get their money's worth here as do ramblers.
Berlin Tourist Boad
The route of emperors and kings
This stretches from the main metropolis Frankfurt via Vienna to Budapest, a route which captures a piece of European history and tradition. Over 1,100 km. we are taken back in time to the Middle Ages, when kings and emperors travelled through the country accompanied by their huge entourage. discover culture in monasteries, palaces and castles, medieval towns and magnificent residences enjoying some of the most beautiful countryside that Germany, Austria and Hungary have to offer.
Alster Fair, Hamburg
The largest summer festival in Hamburg is the Alster-Vergnügen, which takes place from August 30 through September 2, 2002. Featuring everything from street theatre to music and art on the waterfront in Hamburg, the ‘Venice of the North’ is a magnificent host for this upbeat, exciting festival.
Music in Bavaria
"Ludwig II" - Experience the fairy tale of King Ludwig II. Set at the base of his famous Neuschwanstein Castle in Fussen, the Musical Theatre Neuschwanstein brings to life, for the first time, the story of this magical character.
We offer scheduled, round trip transfers by luxury coach from Munich to Füssen, and a ticket to this beautiful musical extravaganza.
Enjoy world famous operas in July of 2002, in Munich.
Celebrate the "Festival Mitte Europa" in the summer of 2002, in Bavaria.
Spring and Summer 2002
Celebrate the 10th Jubilee of the "Festival Sandstein und Musik" set
in beautiful palaces, castles and gardens in the spring & summer of 2002.
Dedicated to "Aspiration & Valediction" The Dresden Music Festival
will enchant audiences, in the summer of 2002.