City Center is one of the nine districts of the independent city of Cologne. It bears the number 1 in the official numbering. It was created in the course of the municipal reorganization on January 1, 1975. The city district is on the left and right of the Rhine. It comprises the districts of Altstadt-Nord, Altstadt-Süd, Deutz, Neustadt-Nord, Neustadt-Süd.
The Cologne downtown is the historic town center, in it the main attractions can be found the city in a small space. From an administrative point of view, it is urban district 1, it comprises the districts of Altstadt North and Altstadt Süd on the left bank of the Rhine, the districts of Neustadt North and South and the district of Deutz on the right bank of the Rhine. When Cologne residents and visitors talk about the old town, they mean the Martinsviertel between the pedestrian zone (Hohe Straße) and the banks of the Rhine, some of which has retained its old charm.
With a mixture of historic buildings and 1950s charm, the old town is the most historic part of the city. It is a residential area as well as a place of pilgrimage, with the highest church density in Germany. Once a year, the old town also becomes the backdrop for the legendary Cologne Carnival.
The district was established with the last communal land reform in 1975, and comprises Cologne’s historic old town (Altstadt), the Gründerzeit era new town (Neustadt) plus the right-Rhenish district of Deutz. The Innenstadt has about 129,000 inhabitants (as of December 2019) and covers an area of 16.4 square kilometres.
The history of the city of Cologne is identical to that of the old town until the late 19th century. The city center is the Roman colony – the Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium (CCAA), from which Cologne owes its name.
The old Roman city was supplemented by a few smaller extensions in the early Middle Ages. Finally, the city council of Cologne – at that time by far the largest city in Germany – decided on a major project: A huge city wall should not only enclose the historic city center, but also the monasteries and collegiate churches in front of the previous city walls and their surroundings. This wall surrounded the entire city of Cologne from around 1225. In 1248 the cornerstone of today’s Gothic cathedral was laidplaced. The area inside the wall was sufficient until the first half of the 19th century. As the city continued to grow and more and more people populated the city, the city wall was torn down in 1881 to make room for new buildings outside the wall ring.
In the next decades the area of the new town emerged, most of which was completed by around 1910. The division of the Neustadt into the two districts of Neustadt-Nord and -Süd is purely administrative in nature, because the underlying development plan was the same for both parts: A few meters in front of the old city wall, the Cologne Rings were laid out as a generous boulevard that spans the entire old town enclosed in a semicircle. Large squares were created at the intersection of the ring road and the arterial roads. Today these squares are in part pure traffic junctions, in particular the Barbarossaplatz has completely lost its character, while urban development measures over the last 20 years have restored part of the old character.
Further streets were laid out from the squares, and large, representative churches were erected at various points of view. Large public buildings were also erected, for example the opera house on Rudolfplatz, which was destroyed in World War II, or the Higher Regional Court on Reichenspergerplatz.
The new town was closed to the outer districts by the inner fortress belt. After the First World War, this was largely converted to the inner green belt.
Deutz was incorporated in 1888 – against the resistance of large parts of the population. The exhibition tower has been a trademark of Deutz since its construction in 1928. Another eye-catcher in Deutz since 1998 has been the extraordinary architecture of the Kölnarena or “Henkelmännchen”, as some Cologne residents call this multifunctional hall.
Among the landmarks in Innenstadt are Cologne Cathedral, the twelve romanesque churches of Cologne (St. Andreas, St. Aposteln, St. Cäcilien, St. Georg, St. Gereon, St. Kunibert, St. Maria im Kapitol, St. Maria Lyskirchen, Groß St. Martin, St. Pantaleon, St. Severin and St. Ursula) and the 14th century Cologne City Hall (Kölner Rathaus). Several high rise structures were built over the last years as landmarks for Veedel (city quarters) within the district, most notably KölnTurm at MediaPark and the three Kranhaus buildings at Rheinauhafen.
The Innenstadt is made up of 5 Stadtteile (city parts):
Old town / north district
The district forms the core of Cologne’s old town. Here you can find the beginnings of the Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium. The Roman colony was raised to a full city in AD 50. The center of the district is the High Cathedral of Cologne. Thanks to the relics of the Three Kings, the cathedral is one of the most important pilgrimage churches in Europe. In addition to the Gothic cathedral, there are numerous other places of worship in the old town, especially magnificent Romanesque buildings. The church Groß Sankt Martin was rebuilt in the course of the extensive renovation of the old town in the 1970s and the entire Martinsviertel was repaired.
The redevelopment of the old town is one of the major reconstruction work and decisive urban development in Cologne after 1945. The changes between the cathedral, town hall, old market, Heumarkt and Rhine have made a decisive contribution to the fact that the center of the 2,000-year-old city could be preserved in its substance.
In the immediate vicinity of the High Cathedral of Cologne is the “Hub of the West”, Cologne’s main train station, where 500,000 travelers get off or change trains every day. Not far from here are the West German Broadcasting Corporation (WDR) and, to the east, the Roman-Germanic Museum, the Cologne Philharmonic and the Museum Ludwig.
Another important Cologne museum, the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud, moved from its location on the Rhine to a new building on the Gürzenich in 2000. The historic town hall is in the immediate vicinity.
The Archaeological Zone is located under the Town Hall Square. Evidence from both the Roman and medieval history of Cologne is brought to light here. An underground museum is to be built for them on an area of 7,000 square meters. The mikveh, the Jewish cult bath, and the remains of the Jewish quarter under the town hall square can already be visited today. Not far away, under the historical town hall, parts of the Roman governor’s palace and the Roman sewer can be admired.
Between all the historical sights, the squares create open spaces in the old town: Roncalliplatz, the Alter Markt and the Heumarkt, which was completed again in 2000. The typical “Cologne way of life” is expressed here through numerous events and festivals. The squares are particularly known as the center of the Cologne street carnival on the “great days”. Setting the course was also the creation of the Rhine bank tunnel, which enabled the creation of the Rheingarten, an inviting green oasis along the Rhine in the middle of the city, inviting you to linger and relax.
Between the Deutzer Brücke and the Hohenzollernbrücke there are landing stages on the banks of the Rhine, here the passengers of the river boats get off to explore the touristic parts of the old town around the Alter Markt, Heumarkt, Fischmarkt an Groß St. Martin and the cathedral on foot. The district extends north to the Bastei, the western border is the Rudolfplatz with the Hahnentorburg and the adjacent Hohenzollernring
Alt Sankt Alban, Alter Markt, Antoniterkirche, Archaeological Zone and Praetorium, Fragrance Museum, High Cathedral of Cologne, Groß Sankt Martin, Gürzenich, Central Station, Heinzelmännchenbrunnen, Heumarkt, Historic Town Hall, Hohenzollern Bridge and Rheingarten, Appellhofplatz, Cologne City Museum, Minoritenkirche, Museum of Applied Applied Sciences Art, Museum Ludwig, music college, NS documentation center in the EL-DE house, opera and drama, philharmonic hall, Roman-Germanic museum, Roncalliplatz, Sankt Andreas, Sankt Gereon, Sankt Kolumba, Sankt Kunibert, Sankt Mariä Himmelfahrt, Sankt Ursula, Spanish building, Wallrafplatz, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud and WDR
The Hohe Domkirche is the longest and, at 157 m high, the second highest German church, but by no means the oldest. Its foundation stone was laid in 1248, but it was not completed until 1880. The choir up to the beginning of the transept is essentially medieval. The rest is from the 19th century, with the plan for the main facade drawn in the Middle Ages and the towers also being started. It is the cathedral of the Catholic Archdiocese of Cologne and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.
The church is open to the public; a tour is possible outside of the church services. The main nave is 144 m long and its vault is 43 m high.The stained glass windows, some of which are from the Middle Ages, as well as choir stalls, side altars and the Epiphany shrine behind the choir are worth seeing. Access to the crypt with the remains of former archbishops is also free.
Next to the south tower, a staircase first leads down. You can use it to reach the parking garage under the Domplatte, a public toilet and access to the tower ascent. This leads to the cathedral shop. A total of 533 steps lead – initially via a stone spiral staircase – up to the bell chamber at a height of 53 m. In it hang 8 of the 11 bells of the cathedral. The largest of these is the thick pitter, with 24 tons the largest free-swinging bell in the world. For reasons of noise protection, the belfry is closed on Sundays and public holidays until 12:30 p.m., sensitive people have their problems as soon as the hour strikes. The stone staircase continues up to a height of 70 m, then it continues on a normal iron staircase, the last meters on a somewhat narrower spiral staircase. Then you have reached the viewing platform at a height of 97 m, which offers a magnificent view of the old town and the surrounding area.
Great St. Martin: The Romanesque style church was built in the 12th century on the remains of Roman buildings. Her tower is 75 m high. The church stands in the middle of the densely built-up old town above the fish market. The church, which is quite simple inside today, belongs to the community of Jerusalem. The church was almost completely destroyed in World War II and only rebuilt in 1984.
St. Andrew, Komödienstraße 4-8
St. Apostles, Romanesque basilica from the 11th century on Neumarkt. Neumarkt 30
Gereon, Gereonsdriesch 2-4
St. Kunibert, Kunibertsklostergasse 2
St. Ursula, Ursulaplatz 24, closed on Mondays
St. Maria in Lyskirchen, To Lyskirchen 12
St. Mary in the Capitol, Kasinostr. 4th
St. Pantaleon, Am Pantaleonsberg 2
St. Cecilia, today the exhibition room of the Schnütgen Museum
Old St. Alban ruin as a memorial Quatermarkt 4
St. Kolumba • only the vestibule rebuilt • Tunisstrasse 4
St. Maria Ablass (small chapel, used by the Russian Orthodox community) Maria-Ablass-Platz 14
St. Mary’s Assumption • (baroque) • Marzellenstrasse 26
St. Mary’s Conception (Minorite Church) • (Gothic) • Kolpingplatz
St. Maria in the Kupfergasse (baroque) Schwalbengasse 1
St. Mary of Peace • (baroque) • In front of the Siebenburgen 6
Ursuline Church (St. Corpus Christi) Machabäerstraße 75
Antoniterkirche • (Gothic, Protestant church since 1805) • Schildergasse 57 – sculpture “Der Schwebende” by Ernst Barlach
St. Peter • (Gothic) • Jabachstraße 1 – many art exhibitions, picture “Crucifixion Petri” by Rubens
St. Mauritius • (neo-Gothic and 1950s) • Mauritiuskirchplatz
Kartäuserkirche • (Gothic, Protestant church since 1922) • Kartäusergasse 7
Trinitatiskirche (neo-Romanesque) Filzengraben 4
Römerturm, Zeughausstraße 33, the best preserved remnant of the Roman city wall, directly attached is a residential building in the neo-Gothic style.
Eigelsteintorburg, Eigelstein 135 – mighty city gate in the north from the early 13th century. On the old town side is the figure of the “Kölschen Boor” as a representative of the city in a niche.
Hahnentorburg, Rudolfplatz – Medieval city gate in the west, originally built as a gate castle.
Gürzenich: The former department and dance store was built in 1441-47 by the Cologne City Council. It was rebuilt and expanded in 1855-57. During the Second World War, the interior was destroyed in 1943 and rebuilt from 1952 to 1955 including the ruins of Alt St. Alban. In 1996-97 it was modernized and expanded. In the late Middle Ages it was the largest department store in Cologne and a venue for glamorous celebrations for emperors, kings and citizens. In the 19th century the use of a department store ended and the festival tradition was revived. Since then, Gürzenich has been a traditional venue with the Gürzenich Orchestra, carnival festivals, receptions, congresses and celebrations of all kinds.
Old City Hall: Cologne’s first city hall has been preserved since the middle of the 12th century. Around 1330 a building in the Gothic style was built. The Gaffeln, the association of Cologne craftsmen and merchants, had the 61-meter-high town hall tower with its extensive decorative figures built between 1407 and 1414 as a sign of their power. The Renaissance-style arbor on the Alter Markt was built between 1569 and 1573. The town hall was badly damaged in the last two years of World War II. The tower was completed in 1975, its new figure decorations – only five old figures are among them – it received between 1985 and 1995. The renaissance arbor with the town hall entrance will be closed for three and a half years from spring, because the construction of the Jewish Museum is to begin before then. The town hall entrance will then be on the Alter Markt.
Glockengasse 4711: In the main building Glockengasse there is a fountain with cologne next to the entrance door, on the outside of the house there is an hourly carillon with historical figures. The scented waters are also a nice souvenir.
Hansahochhaus, Hansaring 97 – built in 1924/25 as Cologne’s first high-rise. On completion the tallest building in Europe.
Streets and squares
Heumarkt – Here on 11.11. the carnival opens at 11.11 a.m.
Fish market – The fish market is located between the former Frankenwerft and the Romanesque church of Groß St. Martin. After moving the thoroughfare underground and dismantling the Rheinuferbahn Cologne-Bonn line, the Rheingarten was created, which turns into the fish market and has become a popular place to stroll and dine.
Roman-Germanic Museum: Closed for a few years since January 2019 due to extensive renovation. Dionysus mosaic and Poblicius tomb can still be visited as part of guided tours. The museum was built over the Dionysus mosaic of a Roman city villa. It can be seen from Roncalli Square. Tip: it is best to come in the evening when it is dark, then you can see the illuminated mosaic particularly well. From the abundance of exhibits of Roman and Germanic everyday life in the then city of Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium. The collection of Roman glasses and the tomb of the legionnaire Publicius (replica) are to be emphasized.
Roman-Germanic Museum in the Belgian House: Since November 15, 2019, the interim exhibition building of the Roman-Germanic Museum, while the main building is being renovated.
Museum Ludwig: Heinrich-Böll-Platz, 50667 Cologne(between Domplatte and Hohenzollern Bridge, next to the Roman-Germanic Museum
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Foundation Corboud: Cologne’s oldest museum is housed in a modern building near the town hall and is one of the most important German picture galleries. Exhibits: paintings from the 13th to 19th and 20th centuries Century, graphic. Special exhibitions.
Archaeological Zone, Jewish Museum: Since 2007 the archaeological zone of Cologne has been established, which is one of the largest underground museums in Europe and is located to the west and northwest of the old town hall. In the north is the praetorium, the Roman commanders ‘and later governors’ palace, further south the synagogue with the mikveh, a Jewish cleaning bath, and further south-east the remains of the Roman city wall with the Mar’s gate. Parts of the praetorium are now part of a museum that can be reached via Kleine Budengasse.
Cologne City Museum: The armory, which was destroyed in the war, was rebuilt in 1958 and the city museum moved in, but you can still see that it used to be an armory. Today you can learn a lot about the city’s history and the population in “Kölle” from the Middle Ages. For your “Pänz” (children) you can borrow a special audio guide for free. There are wooden swords, children’s armor and damsels’ hats in the shop that cannot be bought by mail order.
Museum of Applied Arts – MAKK: Collections: Furniture and interior art, jewelry, design, ceramics, textiles and fashion, paintings and sculpture, porcelain, fine arts of the 20th century, glass, metal art, graphics and posters, book art. The internationally renowned design collection is one of the largest and highest quality collections of its kind in Europe.
Fragrance Museum: In the head office of the Farina perfumery, the oldest manufacturer of cologne, there is a small museum on the history of perfume and especially of eau de Cologne. As you would expect, there is also a shop where you can buy the company’s products.
Old town / south district
In the southern area of Cologne’s old town there are numerous remains of the city wall, which was completed around the middle of the 13th century. For example the Hahnentor on Rudolfplatz, the Severinstorburg, the Ulrepforte and the Bayenturm, which today houses the feminist archive as a women’s media tower. In the south of the old town, part of the Roman city wall has been preserved over a length of about 100 meters.
On the Neumarkt, founded in the 11th century as “novus mercatus”, mostly cattle markets were previously held. In the Prussian times in the 19th century it was used as a parade ground. In 1970 the first Cologne Christmas market took place here, which is still one of the most popular in the Rhineland. Due to its central location, Neumarkt is one of the busiest traffic hubs in the city center. This is where the most important local public transport lines intersect above and below ground. In addition, the Neumarkt is directly adjacent to the city’s major shopping streets.
To the southeast there are impressive new buildings, such as Renzo Piano’s Weltstadthaus, which opened in 2005, or the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum – Cultures of the World. Together with the neighboring Schnütgen Museum and the Sankt Peter art station, this forms part of the newly designed cultural quarter. In the neighborhood, at Josef-Haubrich-Hof, named after the art collector Josef Haubrich, there are other central Cologne cultural institutes such as the adult education center (VHS) and the central library
The southern part of the old town also includes the “Südstadt”. The people of Cologne understand it to mean the quarter south of Severinsbrücke and Ulrichgasse as far as the Rhine, that is, west and east of Severinsstrasse. The quarter is known for its very own and typically Cologne flair with a whole range of popular trendy bars around the Severinstorburg.
The area of the peninsula of the Rheinauhafen has been redesigned. The centerpiece are the impressive crane houses. These offer space for both exclusive office space and sophisticated apartments with a view of the Rhine and the old town. The former warehouses of the Rheinauhafen, the so-called “Siebengebirge”, are integrated. The Sport & Olympia Museum and the Chocolate Museum are also located on the Rheinau peninsula. It integrates the old port customs office in an attractive new building.
The southern part of the old town covers the area between the Bayenturm and the Deutz Bridge, it extends to Rudolfplatz. The focus is on the Severinsviertel, or rather on Kölsch Vringsveedel. Another area of tourist interest has developed from the Rheinau port in recent years. The former port area has become a modern district with attractive residential and office buildings.
Bayenturm, Bottmühle, Bürgerhaus Stollwerck, German Sports & Olympia Museum, Hahnentorburg, Kranhäuser, Museum Schnütgen – Art of the Middle Ages, Neumarkt, Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum – Cultures of the World, Rheinauhafen, Sankt Aposteln, Sankt Pantaleon, Sankt Georg, Sankt Maria im Capitol, Sankt Severin, Schildergasse, Chocolate Museum, Severinstorburg, Trinity Church, Ulrepforte, adult education center, Weltstadthaus and central library
St. Mary in the Capitol
St. Cäcilien – today Museum Schnütgen
In the vicinity of the (road) rings there was a semicircular medieval city wall with 12 gates and the defenses on the Rhine. Of these, there are still 3 large archways, the Ulrepforte and the Bayenturm on the Rhine.
Overstolzenhaus – the oldest preserved patrician house in Germany, built around 1230.
Severinstorburg- one of the 4 preserved city gate castles of the medieval city wall. Next to the Church of St. Severin, the gate on Chlodwigplatz is the landmark of the Severinsviertel.
Ulrepforte – once the smallest city gate in the medieval wall
Bayenturm – once a corner tower at the transition from the Cologne city wall to the Rhine. Today it is used by the FrauenMediaTurm foundation
Malakoff Tower – The tower for the Prussian Rhine bank fortification, built between 1848 and 1858, stands across from the tip of the Rheinauhafen peninsula. A hydraulic system is hidden in the tower that was once used to pivot the steel bridge that leads to today’s Chocolate Museum.
Museum Schnütgen: Christian art of the Middle Ages
Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum: Cultures of the world
Imhoff Chocolate Museum: It deals with all the details of the cultural history of chocolate. The history of the cocoa bean is shown in the museum and the industrial production of chocolate products can also be seen there, which can also be purchased in the museum shop.
German Sport and Olympic Museum: Exhibits from the ancient Olympics to gymnastics father Jahn to the sporting highlights of the present.
Cologne Mustard Museum: Exhibits on the history of spices in a historic mustard mill from 1810. The focus is on the sale of high quality mustard products.
Deutz offers much more than just a fantastic panoramic view of Cologne’s old town. For many centuries the “Castrum Diventensium” founded in the fourth century served as a bridgehead to protect Cologne. Later, as a Prussian town, Deutz became a junction of important railway lines and an important industrial location.
Cologne’s life is also pulsating in Deutz, the only city center district on the right bank of the Rhine – this is ensured by the events in the Tanzbrunnen as well as the Koelnmesse with Anuga, photokina, the international furniture fair, the confectionery fair and others. The tradition established in Deutz with the construction of the exhibition halls in the 1920s was successfully continued with the construction of the new exhibition halls in the new millennium. The LANXESS arena, a modern multi-purpose event hall, offers space for around 20,000 visitors to concerts, sporting events and other major events.
In addition to the arena, numerous employees of the city of Cologne work in the Deutz town hall. Another architectural highlight is a high-rise that was implemented on behalf of the LVR between 2004 and 2006: the 29-story KölnTriangle, the height of which has been discussed for years. In addition, more office space has been created around the Deutz train station. The ICE trains that connect Cologne with Frankfurt am Main in just over an hour have also stopped here since 2002. The engineering center of the Cologne University of Applied Sciences is also located in Deutz.
In addition to business people and students, those looking for relaxation will also get their money’s worth: With the Rheinpark, Deutz has one of the most attractive green spaces in Cologne. Federal garden shows have already been held twice, in 1957 and 1971, on the extensive grounds. The special attractions of the Rheinpark include, among others
The district of Deutz became world famous for the engine works, which were co-founded by none other than the father of the gasoline engine w: Nikolaus Otto. Deutz is on the right bank of the Rhine and was incorporated into Cologne in 1888. Deutz has been part of the city center district since 1975 and is connected to the left bank of the Rhine via the Hohenzollern Bridge, the Deutz Bridge and the Severins Bridge. Only a few buildings are of touristic importance, but according to Victor Hugo Deutz is the place with the most beautiful view of Cologne.
DB depot Deutzer Feld, Design Post, Deutzer Brücke, Deutzer Freiheit, Eduardus-Krankenhaus, Fachhochschule, Koelnmesse, KölnTriangle, LANXESS arena, Neu Sankt Heribert, Rheinpark, Sankt Heribert, Stadthaus Deutz, Tanzbrunnen and thermal baths Claudiustherme
KölnTriangle: The tower has a height of 103 m, the viewing platform can be reached via an elevator. The last floor can be reached by stairs, there is an elevator for the disabled. The viewing platform is closed in bad weather. The viewing platform is surrounded by a pane of glass on which the outlines of prominent buildings are marked with their names. When taking pictures, it is advisable to take a cloth with you to clean, to wipe fingerprints from the windows and to reduce annoying reflections.
The Rheinpark is located north of the Hohenzollern Bridge on the banks of the Rhine; the Federal Garden Show took place on the grounds of the green area in 1957 and 1971.
Cologne Fair: The site connects to the Rheinpark, and more than 70 events take place here every year. The Anuga, ArtCologne, imm (international furniture fair) and photokina are well known. The listed old exhibition halls from the 1920s were gutted and converted into offices and the radio house for the TV station RTL. The 85 m high exhibition tower directly on the banks of the Rhine is currently empty.
Tanzbrunnen: a 30,000 m² culture and leisure park at the Rheinpark with an open-air stage and theater
Lanxess Arena: The arena is also known by its old name Kölnarena, the people of Cologne call it Henkelmännchen because of its shape, and that’s also the name of the restaurant there
Townhouse Deutz, directly at the Lanxess Arena
Neustadt / North district
As one of the most modern media locations in Cologne, the MediaPark stands in contrast to the traditional streets and green spaces of the district. This is where young and old meet and make up the flair of this district. As part of the fourth city expansion of Cologne, the new town was laid out in a semicircle around the old town from 1881 to around 1905. It extends between the Cologne Rings and the Inner Green Belt / Inner Canal Street. Neustadt / Nord is bounded by the Rhine in the north and by Aachener Strasse in the south.
The building blocks of the MediaPark were built on the site of the former Gereon freight yard in the 1990s. Numerous companies from the media industry as well as radio and television broadcasters have settled here, providing jobs for more than 2,000 people. The SK Stiftung Kultur with the Photographic Collection, the German Dance Archive / Dance Museum and the Akademie för uns kölsche Sproch is also based here. In 1992 the Cinedom opened its doors, a large cinema with more than a dozen movie theaters.
In 2013, the Alpenzauber winter market was held here for the first time with alpine huts, a traditional Viennese coffee house, various “stands” as well as an ice rink and curling rink. It lasts until the beginning of February and gives you that winter feeling even in spring-like temperatures.
The oldest preserved green space in Cologne is the city garden. It was created around 1828 and modified in 1862 and 1888. Numerous old solitary trees grow in the park, which is laid out in a classic landscape style. At the entrance to Spichernstrasse, those looking for relaxation can find reading material in the minibib, the little bookshop in the city library, and browse the greenery. And in the evening there are concerts, readings and discussions in the Stadtgarten concert hall with the Studio 672 (live club), café and beer garden.
In the north of the district is the ice and swimming stadium, which in a spectacular new building – unique in Europe – connects an ice and swimming pool with a circulating ice rink. In addition, the north of Neustadt is the seat of the Oberfinanzdirektion and the Higher Regional Court, which has been located on Reichenspergerplatz in an imposing neo-baroque palace for more than 100 years. In the immediate vicinity is the entrance to a tubular bunker, which has been almost completely preserved with its original fittings.
Other architecturally extraordinary buildings in the district are the churches of Neu-Sankt Alban and Sankt Gertrud. The Church of St. Agnes is the largest church in Cologne after the cathedral. Further to the west is Fort X, which is one of the best preserved fortifications in Cologne. It is part of the former inner fortification ring and is therefore on the outer edge of the new town. Today clubs meet in the rooms of the former military plant; On the inner wall, a rose garden that was laid out in the 1920s delights the eyes and nose.
Akademie för uns kölsche Sproch, Bastei, Deutsches Tanzarchiv Köln, ice and swimming stadium Lentpark, TV tower Colonius, Fort X, MediaPark, Neu-Sankt Alban, Oberfinanzdirektion, Oberlandesgericht, Photographic Collection, Sankt Agnes, Sankt Gertrud and Stadtgarten
Neustadt / South district
As part of the fourth city expansion of Cologne, the new town was laid out in a semicircle around the old town from 1881 to around 1905. It extends between the Cologne Rings and the Inner Green Belt. Its southern part is bounded in the north by Aachener Strasse and in the south by the Rhine. The rings were designed as a “chain of festive rooms”. The intersections of these ring roads with the gate roads, which lead to the former city gates, have been expanded into squares (for example, Chlodwigplatz and Rudolfplatz). From the original architecture, some residential buildings and the former commercial college have been preserved in the southern part of the Neustadt.
As a green area in this part of the district, the Volksgarten is a magnet for young and old, especially in summer. The Aachener Weiher is located in the central axis of the inner green belt. The hills surrounding it contain the rubble of Cologne’s old town, which was 90 percent destroyed in the Second World War.
The “Kwartier Latäng” on the Rathenauplatz is a veedel with tempting trendy bars and restaurants with a variety of foreign cuisine. Due to its proximity to the university, its name is an allusion to the traditional Parisian student district ” Quartier Latin “. Before the Weimar Republic, the Rathenauplatz was called Königsplatz. It was renamed after Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau, who was killed in 1922 by members of the right-wing extremist “Organization Consul”. Before the Cologne Rose Monday procession began at Severinstorburg, the Rathenauplatz had served as a place to set up the carriages.
The “Kwartier Latäng” is known for its numerous independent theaters, for example the film canister, the studio theater and others. The traditional Volkstheater of the Millowitsch family and the Theater im Bauturm are also located in Neustadt / Süd on Aachener Straße. On the western edge of the Aachener Weiher is the Museum of East Asian Art, dedicated to the culture of China, Japan and Korea.
At the other end of Neustadt, near Chlodwigplatz, on Claudiusstraße, is the humanities center of the Cologne University of Applied Sciences. It is housed in the so-called “Old University”, the former commercial college. The commercial college, founded in 1901, was the forerunner of the University of Cologne, which was re-established in 1919. When the French occupied Cologne at the end of the 18th century, the original university was closed in 1798. In the vicinity of Rathenauplatz you can also find the synagogue of the Jewish community, which was rebuilt in the same place from 1958 after the destruction in the pogrom night. Today it is the center of Jewish life in Cologne.
Aachener Weiher, Fachhochschule, Fort V and Fort VI, Friedenspark, Kartäuserkirche, Museum for East Asian Art, Rathenauplatz, Römerpark, Sankt Michael, Sankt Paul, Synagoge and Volksgarten
The so-called old town (everything was rebuilt after 1945) offers very good shopping opportunities. The allegedly most popular shopping mile in Europe is an L-shaped pedestrian zone: the way from the cathedral through Hohe Strasse to Schildergasse leads past numerous specialist shops. Turning right into Schildergasse to Neumarkt, you cross a single, diverse shopping mile. It is a bit quieter, but no less busy, on Breite Strasse, which runs parallel to Schildergasse. (It’s really called Breite Strasse, in all declinations. The same applies to Hohe Strasse.)
If you mirror the shopping L and at the end of Hohe Straße you don’t turn right towards Neumarkt, but rather left, you reach the completely built-up and confusing Heumarkt and behind it the Rhine. The business density is decreasing here.
The two large department stores Karstadt and Galeria Kaufhof are in the immediate vicinity of Neumarkt, and well-stocked specialist shops can be found in Neumarkt-Passage and Neumarkt-Galerie. Mention should be made of shopping centers such as the Olivandenhof (Globetrotter right next to it), Dumont-Carré and the rather quiet Opera Passagen. The largest bookstore in town is Mayersche am Neumarkt. It has branches all over the city, which make the small bookstores difficult, but also large bookstores, such as Thalia, also on Neumarkt, which have meanwhile been pushed to the outskirts of the city and brought to their knees.
The bookstore Walther König (Breite Straße 79) is very central, relatively large and exquisite. There are numerous smaller booksellers around the shopping streets of the city center, including the Agnes bookstore to the north (Neusser Straße 63), Alibi Krimi (Limburger Straße), Ömer Özerturgut (Eigelstein 126) or, to the south, the bookstore on Chlodwigplatz and Der Other bookstore (Ubierring 42). If you love the large volumes of color from Taschen-Verlag, you should head west along Ehrenstrasse (Hohenzollernring 28).
In Mittelstrasse between Neumarkt and Rudolfplatz you can find a number of exclusive brands, the same applies to the glass gallery in the Hotel Maritim on Heumarkt near Deutzer Brücke.
If you absolutely need a carnival costume in midsummer, you will find it at Dieters in Gürzenichstrasse. Or maybe the mouse from the WDR shop will do the same…
The much quieter shopping can be found in the Altstadt Süd (the people of Cologne simply call it the Südstadt). You can reach it on foot by walking south along Hohe Straße. After about 5 minutes you cross Cäcilienstraße and you come to a quiet, narrow street with sex shops, bistros, an Asian shop and a post office. The next big street that crosses is the Sternengasse. On the left (here it is called Stephanstraße) there is a small sushi snack bar, on the right a model railway shop. But we continue straight ahead and cross the saddest area of current city history: the funnel of the collapsed historical archive of the city of Cologne, one of the oldest archives in the world. In this 500 meter long line called Waidmarkt, the few shops have been fighting for survival since then, many have died. The owner of the small kiosk right in front of the excavation pit on the left, Waidmarkt 2, is worthy of support.
Severinstrasse is one of the oldest shopping streets in the city. It was also largely destroyed in World War II and today shows architecture from the 1950s. Since 2011, the street based on the Dutch model has become a shared space, i.e. a street in which road users mix, cyclists, pedestrians, motorists, where there are hardly any traffic signs, there are no curbs and the speed limit of 20 km / h applies.
All kinds of shops can be found on this 2 km long street, but not the big brands. At the very beginning on the left, behind a major construction site for years, is the Dorothee boutique with a large selection of sports shoes. Anyone who needs a used mobile phone for 10 euros will find it in this shopping mile as well as those looking for jeans. About in the middle of the street on our left (east side of the street) is one of the oldest fish shops in town, Fisch Hembs. Here the matjes or the fried fish with homemade potato salad are recommended for plus minus 5 euros, which you can also eat standing up in the shop.
A little further south on the opposite side of the street at number 53 is an Indian restaurant, the India Curry House, which can already be smelled spicy from afar(India, instead of Indian, very charming). Finally, you reach Severinkirchplatz with the organic market on Tuesday and Friday. The Balchem house from 1676, which today houses a branch of the Cologne City Library, is also worth a look. Finally you reach the Severinstorburg and the Chlodwigplatz with old Kölsch pubs and Turkish restaurants. From Chlodwigplatz you can take the subway (which runs here for days), drive back towards the city center via the rings and get off at Rudolfplatz, for example. From there it is a short walk to Neumarkt and back to the cathedral.
Cologne is a well-rounded city and has some remarkable symmetries. This includes the old town north, which is a mirror image of the old town south. If you go north from the cathedral, you should choose Marzellenstraße, because it leads directly into the street called Eigelstein, quasi the equivalent of Severinstraße in the south, only shorter and much more Turkish. You can even find Turkish wedding dresses here. What the Choldwigplatz is in the south, is the much busier Ebertplatz in the north of the city.
Kölsch, a light, top-fermented beer, belongs to Cologne. It is served in small, narrow Kölsch glasses with a capacity of 0.2 l. The waiters transport these bars in a wreath. There are also 0.3 l glasses for non-residents. It is best enjoyed in a quaint pub on the Alter Markt or on the Heumarkt, together with one of Cologne’s specialties such as Himmel un Äd. See also here. The easiest way is to go to the old town and look for one of the numerous bars. You will quickly find what you are looking for at Heumarkt, Alter Markt and the Rhine promenade between the Deutz Bridge and the cathedral. However, some of these offers are very much tailored to tourists.
Most of the well-known Kölsch breweries have a brewery in the old town and are all worth a visit. Other Kölsch breweries are, for example, Früh am Dom, Sion Unter Taschenmacher, the Gaffel-Haus on Alter Markt, the Em Kölsche Boor Eigelstein brewery (all downtown, stops: Dom / Hauptbahnhof, town hall or Heumarkt), Päffgen on Friesenstrasse (Friesenviertel, Stop: Friesenplatz) and the Stüsser on Neusser Straße (stop: Ebertplatz).
Some of the breweries are located in the “old town” (located directly on the Rhine, stops: cathedral / main station, town hall or Heumarkt), which also has a wide range of bars. These are primarily aimed at tourists and guests from the surrounding area and are rarely visited by most Cologne residents. However, it should not go unmentioned that a visit to an old town pub with outdoor dining can be very attractive, especially in summer. Due to the tourist factor, the price level is slightly higher here than in the student district.
Good, hearty dishes are served in all breweries and you will find a rustic atmosphere on scoured wooden tables. You will be served by the Köbes (Köbinen), who will hopefully bring a sense of humor if you come out as a Cologne ignorant (a certain prickly detachment from the guest is a prerequisite for employment). An empty Kölsch glass is replaced by a full glass without being asked by the Köbes. If you don’t want to drink anymore, you have to put the beer mat on the glass. If this doesn’t help either, you have to leave the glass half full.