🇩🇪 Cologne is the largest city of Germany's most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the fourth-most populous city in Germany. Cologne is the largest city on the river Rhine and also the most populous city of both the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region and the Rhineland. Cologne is situated on the left bank of the Rhine. The city's medieval Catholic Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom), the third-tallest church and tallest cathedral in the world, constructed to house the Shrine of the Three Kings, is a globally recognised landmark and one of the most visited sights and pilgrimage destinations in Europe. The cityscape is further shaped by the Twelve Romanesque churches of Cologne, and Cologne is famous for Eau de Cologne, that has been produced in the city since 1709, and "cologne" has since come to be a generic term.
There are many institutions of higher education in the city, most notably the University of Cologne, one of Europe's oldest and largest universities; the Technical University of Cologne, Germany's largest university of applied sciences; and the German Sport University Cologne. It hosts three Max Planck science institutes and is a major research hub for the aerospace industry, with the German Aerospace Center and the European Astronaut Centre headquarters. It also has significant chemical and automobile industry. Cologne Bonn Airport is a regional hub, the main airport for the region is Düsseldorf Airport.
Cologne was a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire and one of the major members of the trade union Hanseatic League. It was one of the largest European cities in medieval and renaissance times. Cologne is a major cultural centre for the Rhineland; it hosts 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, Dmexco, imm Cologne, Photokina and Gamescom, a leading video games fair.
Economy As the largest city in the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region, Cologne benefits from a large market structure. In competition with Düsseldorf, the economy of Cologne is primarily based on insurance and media industries, while the city is also an important cultural and research centre and home to a number of corporate headquarters.
Among the largest media companies based in Cologne are Westdeutscher Rundfunk, RTL Television (with subsidiaries), n-tv, Deutschlandradio, Brainpool TV and publishing houses like J. P. Bachem, Taschen, Tandem Verlag, and M. DuMont Schauberg. Several clusters of media, arts and communications agencies, TV production studios, and state agencies work partly with private and government-funded cultural institutions. Among the insurance companies based in Cologne are Central, DEVK, DKV, Generali Deutschland, Gen Re, Gothaer, HDI Gerling and national headquarters of AXA Insurance, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group and Zurich Financial Services.
The German flag carrier Lufthansa and its subsidiary Lufthansa CityLine have their main corporate headquarters in Cologne. The largest employer in Cologne is Ford Europe, which has its European headquarters and a factory in Niehl (Ford-Werke GmbH). Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG), Toyota's official motorsports team, responsible for Toyota rally cars, and then Formula One cars, has its headquarters and workshops in Cologne. Other large companies based in Cologne include the REWE Group, TÜV Rheinland, Deutz AG and a number of Kölsch breweries. Cologne has the country's highest density of pubs per capita. The largest three Kölsch breweries are Reissdorf, Gaffel, and Früh.
Historically, Cologne has always been an important trade city, with land, air, and sea connections. The city has five Rhine ports, the second largest inland port in Germany and one of the largest in Europe. Cologne-Bonn Airport is the second largest freight terminal in Germany. Today, the Cologne trade fair (Koelnmesse) ranks as a major European trade fair location with over 50 trade fairs and other large cultural and sports events. In 2008 Cologne had 4.31 million overnight stays booked and 2.38 million arrivals. Cologne's largest daily newspaper is the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger.
Cologne shows a significant increase in startup companies, especially when considering digital business.
Cologne is rated Gamma + by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Gamma level cities are cities that link smaller economic regions into the world economy.
Cologne is ranked #55 and rated D+ by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. D+ cities are strong regional hub cities. Cologne was ranked #127 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Cologne has a population of over 1,085,664 people. Cologne also forms part of the wider Cologne-Bonn metropolitan area which has a population of over 3,600,000 people. Cologne is the #127 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 4.1462 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores. Cologne is ranked #127 for startups with a score of 4.584.
Twin Towns – Sister Cities Cologne is twinned with: 🇪🇸 Barcelona, Spain; 🇨🇳 Beijing, China; 🇵🇸 Bethlehem, Palestine; 🇷🇴 Cluj-Napoca, Romania; 🇳🇮 Corinto, Nicaragua; 🇮🇪 Cork, Ireland; 🇱🇺 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg; 🇮🇳 Indianapolis, United States; 🇹🇷 Istanbul, Turkey; 🇵🇱 Katowice, Poland; 🇯🇵 Kyōto, Japan; 🇧🇪 Liège, Belgium; 🇫🇷 Lille, France; 🏴 Liverpool, England, United Kingdom; 🇩🇪 Neukölln, Germany; 🇳🇮 El Realejo, Nicaragua; 🇧🇷 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 🇳🇱 Rotterdam, Netherlands; 🇮🇱 Tel Aviv, Israel; 🇬🇷 Thessaloniki, Greece; 🇩🇪 Treptow-Köpenick, Germany; 🇹🇳 Tunis, Tunisia; 🇮🇹 Turin, Italy; 🇫🇮 Turku, Finland; 🇷🇺 Volgograd, Russia.