Founded 2000 years ago by the Romans, it is the oldest and, with a population of almost one million, the fourth largest city in the Federal Republic of Germany. The location on the Rhine has always favored its development. It also shapes its distinctive panorama which is charcterized today by the tremendous Gothic Cathedral, the city’s landmark. Numerous museums, galleries, opera and theater have consolidated Cologne’s reputation as a European center of art. The old town with Rhine Park, the new Ring boulevards and pedestrian zones invite you to take a stroll and see the sights. Shopping centers & arcades offer diverse and inexpensive shopping possibilities. Every year between January and March, Carnival fever breaks out, reaching its climax on Rose Monday when Cologne’s famous Carnival attracts one million people to one of Europe’s largest folk festivals. Today Cologne presents itself as an art and trade fair city of world class, a key center of transport and business in Western Europe and as a vital, charming city in which its great past and the present, commerce and culture create a fascinating blend.