Köln, in english Cologne, is a city in federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. It is the fourth most populous city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich, with 1 million inhabitants. Köln is the largest city on the river Rhine. There are also primary dialect spoken: Kölsch. It is the local dialect of Cologne and the most well known Ripuarian language.
Cologne is one of the oldest large German cities and its name dates back to Roman times. The Romans established a village on the Rhine in 50 AD and named it "Colonia".
The city became to one of the most important majour trade routes between east and west in Europe in the Middle Ages. Cologne was a free city a sovereign state within the Holy Roman until the French period in 1801. This region later became part of Napoleon's Empire.
In 1815 at the Congress of Vienna, Cologne was made part of the Kingdom of Prussia.
During the WWI was the city the trarget of a several minor arid raids, but it was not so worst like in the WWII. Cologne was occupied by the British Army of the Rhine until 1926, under the terms of the Armistice and the subsequent Versailles Peace Treaty after the World War I.
During the Second World War around 90 percent of the inner city was destroyed. By the end of the War, only around 40,000 people were still living in the city area. After initial thoughts of giving up the old area, work began in 1947 to rebuild the Old Town.
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