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Cologne Travel Guide

Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany and one of country's oldest cities, having been founded in 38 BC by the Ubii. The city's name was derived from Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, which a Roman settlement. Cologne has been a major cultural center and home to more than 30 museums. Next to Hamburg, Cologne is also an important media center and also known as Germany's 'gay capital.'

The population of Cologne is the fourth largest in all of Germany with 995,000 people living in this city after Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich. About 17.2% of Cologne's population is non-German and Turkish is the largest group that settled in the city, comprising 6.3% of its total population.

Cologne is one of the warmest cities in Germany with changeable, seasonal changes to its climate. It has relatively mild winters and warm summers where travelers can expect July as the hottest month while February is the coldest month. The average January temperature is 34 degrees F (1 degrees C) while the average July temperature is 68 degrees F (20 degrees C). June is the month where the most precipitation is expected and the average annual rainfall is 30 inches (76 cm).

The city of Cologne is well known for its magnificent landmarks, especially the post-war buildings. Although the city was completely destroyed during World War II, it was reconstructed especially the pre-war buildings to maintain its historical significance. The most famous and most respected landmark of the city is the Cologne Cathedral. Located on Cologne's old city, the Cologne Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church that seats the Archbishop of Cologne and a great example of Gothic architecture. The construction of this church began in 1248 and completed in 1880. The Cologne Cathedral was built in dedication of Saint Peter and the Blessed Virgin Mary. It also houses the Shrine of the Three Kings where it was believed that their relics are located. About 20,000 people visit the Cologne Cathedral every day.

Another famous landmark in Cologne is the Great St. Martin Church. Founded in 960 AD, the Great St. Martin Church is one of the twelve Romanesque churches located in Old Town of Cologne. The church was built between 1151 and 1240 as a Benedictine monastery until the church was badly damaged during World War II.

Cologne is also known for its numerous museums reflecting Germany's rich history. The Museum Ludwig houses modern art collection and includes Abstract and Surrealism. The museum has one of the largest collections of Pablo Picasso art work in Europe.

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