The cathedral , started in but abandoned around , was eventually finished in not just as a place of worship but also as a German national monument celebrating the newly founded German empire and the continuity of the German nation since the Middle Ages. Some of this urban growth occurred at the expense of the city's historic heritage with much being demolished for example, the city walls or the area around the cathedral and sometimes replaced by contemporary buildings.
Cologne was designated as one of the Fortresses of the German Confederation.
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Cologne was occupied by the British Army of the Rhine until , under the terms of the Armistice and the subsequent Versailles Peace Treaty. Konrad Adenauer , the mayor of Cologne from until and later a West German chancellor, acknowledged the political impact of this approach, especially since Britain had opposed French demands for a permanent Allied occupation of the entire Rhineland. As part of the demilitarisation of the Rhineland , the city's fortifications had to be dismantled. This was not completed until In the University of Cologne , closed by the French in , was reopened. This was considered to be a replacement for the loss of the University of Strasbourg on the west bank of the Rhine, which reverted to France with the rest of Alsace.
Cologne prospered during the Weimar Republic —33 , and progress was made especially in public governance, city planning, housing and social affairs. Social housing projects were considered exemplary and were copied by other German cities.
When the British occupation ended, the prohibition of civil aviation was lifted and Cologne Butzweilerhof Airport soon became a hub for national and international air traffic, second in Germany only to Berlin Tempelhof Airport. The democratic parties lost the local elections in Cologne in March to the Nazi Party and other right wing parties.
The Nazis then arrested the Communist and Social Democrats members of the city assembly, and Mayor Adenauer was dismissed. Compared to some other major cities, however, the Nazis never gained decisive support in Cologne.
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Significantly, the number of votes cast for the Nazi Party in Reichstag elections had always been the national average. Cologne was home to the th Infantry Regiment and the 26th Artillery Regiment. The Allies dropped 44, During the Bombing of Cologne in World War II , Cologne endured air raids  by the Western Allies , which caused approximately 20, civilian casualties and almost completely wiped out the central part of the city. The devastation was recorded by Hermann Claasen from until the end of the war, and presented in his exhibition and book of Singing in the furnace.
Cologne — Remains of an old city . Cologne was taken by the American First Army in early March This loss was mainly caused by a massive evacuation of the people to more rural areas. The same happened in many other German cities in the last two years of war. By the end of , however, the population had already recovered to approximately , With Bonn being chosen as the provisional federal capital provisorische Bundeshauptstadt and seat of the government of the Federal Republic of Germany then informally West Germany , Cologne benefited by being sandwiched between two important political centres.
The city became—and still is—home to a number of federal agencies and organizations.
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After reunification in , Berlin was made the capital of Germany. In architect and urban planner Rudolf Schwarz called Cologne the "world's greatest heap of rubble". The master plan took into consideration the fact that even shortly after the war a large increase in automobile traffic could be anticipated.
Plans for new roads had already, to a certain degree, evolved under the Nazi administration, but the actual construction became easier when most of the city centre was in ruins. Gereon , Great St. Martin , St. The reconstruction lasted until the s, when the Romanesque church of St. Kunibert was finished. In , the city's population reached pre-war numbers again. In the s and s Cologne's economy prospered for two main reasons. The second was the permanent improvement of the diverse traffic infrastructure, which made Cologne one of the most easily accessible metropolitan areas in Central Europe.
Due to the economic success of the Cologne Trade Fair , the city arranged a large extension to the fair site in At the same time the original buildings, which date back to the s, were rented out to RTL , Germany's largest private broadcaster, as their new corporate headquarters. Cologne was the focus of the New Year's Eve sexual assaults in Germany , with over women reporting that they were sexually assaulted by persons of African and Arab appearance. Cologne is divided into 9 boroughs Stadtbezirke and 85 districts Stadtteile : .
Located in the Rhine-Ruhr area, Cologne is one of the warmest cities in Germany. It is also one of the cloudiest cities in Germany, with just hours of sun a year. Its average annual temperature is In January, the mean temperature is 5. The record high temperature of 40C F happened on 25 July during the July European heat wave in which Cologne saw three consecutive days over 38C F. Temperatures can vary significantly over the course of a month with warmer and colder weather.
Precipitation is spread evenly throughout the year with a light peak in summer due to showers and thunderstorms. Cologne is regularly affected by flooding from the Rhine and is considered the most flood-prone European city. Cologne is the fourth-largest city in Germany after Berlin , Hamburg and Munich. As of 31 December , there were 1,, people registered as living in Cologne in an area of There were , women and , men in Cologne. For every 1, males, there were 1, females. In , there were 11, births in Cologne of which In the city, the population was spread out, with According to the Statistical Office of the City of Cologne, the number of people with a migrant background is at The average household size was 1.
Cologne residents with a foreign citizenship as of 31 December is as follows: . As of , It is known that in the early second century it was a bishop's seat. The first historical Bishop of Cologne was Saint Maternus. According to the census, 2. In , about Cologne also has one of the oldest and largest Jewish communities in Germany. The city's administration is headed by the mayor and the three deputy mayors. The long tradition of a free imperial city, which long dominated an exclusively Catholic population and the age-old conflict between the church and the bourgeoisie and within it between the patricians and craftsmen have created its own political climate in Cologne.
Various interest groups often form networks beyond party boundaries. The resulting web of relationships, with political, economic, and cultural links with each other in a system of mutual favours, obligations and dependencies, is called the 'Cologne coterie'. This has often led to an unusual proportional distribution in the city government and degenerated at times into corruption: in , a "waste scandal" over kickbacks and illegal campaign contributions came to light, which led not only to the imprisonment of the entrepreneur Hellmut Trienekens, but also to the downfall of almost the entire leadership of the ruling Social Democrats.
She received City Councillors are elected for a five-year term and the Mayor has a six-year term.
Source: City of Cologne . The reconstruction of the city followed the style of the s, while respecting the old layout and naming of the streets. Thus, the city today is characterized by simple and modest post-war buildings, with a few interspersed pre-war buildings which were reconstructed due to their historical importance.
Some buildings of the "Wiederaufbauzeit" era of reconstruction , for example, the opera house by Wilhelm Riphahn , are nowadays regarded as classics of modern architecture.
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The presence of animals in Cologne is generally limited to insects, small rodents, and several species of birds. Pigeons are the most often seen animals in Cologne, although the number of birds is augmented each year by a growing population of feral exotics, most visibly parrots such as the rose-ringed parakeet. The sheltered climate in southeast Northrhine-Westphalia allows these birds to survive through the winter, and in some cases, they are displacing native species. The plumage of Cologne's green parrots is highly visible even from a distance, and contrasts starkly with the otherwise muted colours of the cityscape.
Cologne had 5. Great St. Martin Church. Basilica of St. Of the twelve medieval city gates that once existed, only the Eigelsteintorburg at Ebertplatz, the Hahnentor at Rudolfplatz and the Severinstorburg at Chlodwigplatz still stand today. Several bridges cross the Rhine in Cologne. The observation deck has been closed since A selection of the tallest buildings in Cologne is listed below. Cologne has several museums. The famous Roman-Germanic Museum features art and architecture from the city's distant past; the Museum Ludwig houses one of the most important collections of modern art in Europe, including a Picasso collection matched only by the museums in Barcelona and Paris.
Cecilia, one of Cologne's Twelve Romanesque churches. Many art galleries in Cologne enjoy a worldwide reputation like e. Galerie Karsten Greve , one of the leading galleries for postwar and contemporary art. The public radio and TV station WDR was involved in promoting musical movements such as Krautrock in the s; the influential Can was formed there in The large annual literary festival Lit.
Cologne features regional and international authors. During the 18th century, this perfume became increasingly popular, was exported all over Europe by the Farina family and Farina became a household name for Eau de Cologne. He decided to use the house number given to the factory at Glockengasse during the French occupation in the early 19th century, The Cologne carnival is one of the largest street festivals in Europe. However, the so-called "Tolle Tage" crazy days do not start until Weiberfastnacht Women's Carnival or, in dialect, Wieverfastelovend , the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of the street carnival.
Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to Cologne during this time.