Tour Guide - Itinerary

Russia Scandinavia 1981

Started 13/07/1981 Finished 10/08/198129 Days ITINERARY

Day 28 date 09/08/1981BERLIN to COLOGNE, GERMANY

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The first urban settlement on modern-day Cologne was founded in 38 BCE by a Germanic tribe. In 50 CE, the Romans founded Colonia Claudia Ara (Cologne) on the river Rhine and the city became the provincial capital of Germania Inferior in 85 CE.

The Rhine and the Danube rivers formed most of the northern inland frontier of the Roman Empire and has been a vital navigable waterway carrying trade and goods deep inland. The Rhine and Danube have been natural borders separating many empires, including the Romans from the Germanic tribes and the Huns, increasing the importance of cities like Cologne throughout European history.

From 260 to 271, Cologne was the capital of the Gallic Empire. In 310, under emperor Constantine I, a bridge was built over the Rhine at Cologne. Roman imperial governors resided in the city and it became one of the most important trade and production centers in the Roman Empire north of the Alps.

Cologne was the capital of the Roman province of Germania Inferior and the headquarters of the Roman military in the region. However, the Germanic tribes and the Huns are best known for their defeat of the Roman Empire.

Attila (c. 406–453), commonly called Attila the Hun, was the ruler of the Huns from 434 until his death in March 453. He was the leader of a tribal empire consisting of Huns, Ostrogoths, Alans and Bulgars, among others, in Central and Eastern Europe.

During his reign, Attila was the most feared enemy of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires. He crossed the Danube twice and plundered the Balkans, but was unable to take Constantinople.

Atilla’s invasion of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire emboldened him to invade the West. Attila attempted to conquer Roman Gaul (modern France), crossing the Rhine in 451 and marching as far as Aurelianum (Orléans).

Atilla subsequently invaded Italy, devastating the northern provinces.

After the western Roman Empire fell apart at the hands of the Germanic tribes and the Huns, Cologne was occupied by the Franks from 462.

During the Middle Ages Cologne flourished on one of the most important major trade routes between east and western Europe. Cologne was a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire and one of the major members of the Hanseatic League. It was one of the largest European cities in medieval and renaissance times.

Cologne was occupied by the French (1794–1815) and was part of Prussia since 1815.

Construction of Cologne Cathedral began in 1248 but was slow for three centuries, and building halted in 1560, unfinished. Work did not restart until the 1840s, and was completed to its original Medieval plan in 1880.

Cologne Cathedral is a Catholic cathedral and a renowned monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture. It is Germany's most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day. At 157 m, the cathedral is the tallest twin-spired church in the world. It is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe, and has the second-tallest spires. The towers for its two huge spires give the cathedral the largest façade of any church in the world.

Cologne's medieval builders had planned a grand structure to fit its role as a place of worship for the Holy Roman Emperor. Despite having been left incomplete during the medieval period, Cologne Cathedral eventually became unified as "a masterpiece of exceptional intrinsic value" and "a powerful testimony to the strength and persistence of Christian belief in medieval and modern Europe."

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