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Cologne Cathedral

    Cologne Cathedral is the pride of the city and its inhabitants, and the most visited tourist attraction in Germany. It was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1996. The cathedral, which houses the sacred relics of the Three Kings among others, is the third tallest church building in the world. At the end of the 19th century it was even the tallest building in the world.

    It was constructed in several stages which stretched over a total of 600 years. The foundation stone was laid in 1248 and the two towers were completed in 1880. During the Second World War, large parts of the cathedral were destroyed by 14 aircraft bombs and were subsequently rebuilt.

Kölsch - Language and the art of brewing

    Kölsch is the name of both the beer brewed in Cologne and the surrounding area, and the regional dialect.

    Kölsch is somewhat difficult for those not local to the area to understand and still in use today in advertising slogans, during the carnival and among many regional music groups.

    Kölsch is also the regional beer and therefore essentially the “national drink” of those from Cologne. Kölsch is traditionally drunk from slim, cylindrical glasses capable of holding 0.2 liters. A waiter in a Cologne brewery is called a Köbes.


    Cologne is the capital of carnival, a celebration which begins in the Rhineland at 11:11 on 11th November every year and escalates up to Ash Wednesday in February or March.

    The high point of the carnival is the week before Ash Wednesday with the official end of the carnival marked by “Weiberfastnacht”, the day when women rule the roost, and the “Rosenmontagszug”, or Shrove Monday procession. During this period the city is turned on its head. Thousands of “Jecke” (crazy carnival fans) in fancy dress celebrate in the city’s streets and pubs, which naturally involves a considerable amount of Kölsch.

1. FC Köln

Just like the cathedral, Kölsch and the carnival all belong to Cologne, so does premier football club Köln. Almost no other club in Germany has such close ties with its home town and hardly any other club has such loyal fans, in victory or defeat.

The fans, who often simply refer to their club as “FC”, have suffered the latter more often than not this last season and the club has been relegated for the fifth time. The club colors are red and white (in Kölsch: Rut un Wiess) and the billy goat Hennes VII is probably the most well-known mascot in German football.

Mentality - the Cologne Constitution

The liberal and carefree mentality of the citizens of Cologne is best illustrated by the eleven articles of the so-called “Cologne Constitution?

      Article 1: Et es wie et es.
      (“It is as it is.”)
      Confront the matter head on.

      Article 2: Et kütt wie et kütt.
      (“It comes as it comes.”)
      Go with the flow; there’s nothing you can do to change the course of events anyway.

      Article 3: Et hät noch emmer joot jejange.
      (“It’s always worked out in the end so far.”)
      Whatever worked well yesterday will continue to function tomorrow.
      Similarly, depending on the situation: we know it’s a bit of a botch, but it’ll be OK.

      Article 4: Wat fott es, es fott.
      (“What’s gone has gone.”)
      Don’t keep whining about things.

      Article 5: Et bliev nix wie et wor.
      (“Nothing stays the same forever.”)
      Be open to change.

      Article 6: Kenne mer nit, bruche mer nit, fott domet.
      (“We don’t know what it is, we don’t need it, get rid of it.”)
      Be critical when changes gain the upper hand.

      Article 7: Wat wells de maache?
      (“What do you want to do?”)
      Take control of your fate.

      Article 8: Maach et joot, ävver nit zo off.
      (“Do it well, but not too often.”)
      Look after your health.

      Article 9: Wat soll dä Käu?
      (“What is all that nonsense?”)
      Always ask the universal question.

      Article 10: Drinks de ejne met?
      (“Would you like to join me for a drink?”)
      Always be hospitable.

      Article 11: Do laachs de disch kapott.
      (“You’ll laugh yourself to death.”)
      Hold on to a good sense of humor.