The History of Cologne, Germany's oldest major city, began with:

Table of contents
1 The Romans
2 Franks, Merovingians and Carolingians
3 The Prince-Bishops of Cologne
4 The Hanseatic League
5 The French
6 The Prussians
7 The Nazis
8 Jews in Cologne

The Romans

In 39 BC, the tribe of the Ubii enter into an agreement with the Roman forces and settle on the left bank of the Rhine. Their headquarters was Oppidum Ubiorum - the settlement of the Ubii, and at the same time an important Roman military base. In 50 AD, Agrippina the younger, the wife of the Emperor Claudius, who was born in Cologne, asked for her home village to be elevated to the status of a colonia - a city under Roman law. Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensis (A colony of Claudius and the altar of Agrippina) became the capital of the Roman province Lower Germania in 90 AD. By the 3rd century, 20,000 people lived in and around the town. A water supply was built and delivered 20,000 cubic metres of water to the city every day. In 310 AD, the Emperor Constantine had a bridge over the Rhine constructed; this was guarded by the castellum Divitia (nowadays "Deutz").

Franks, Merovingians and Carolingians

In 355 AD, the Salian Franks besieged the town for 10 months. In 455, they finally captured Cologne and made it their capital city.

The Prince-Bishops of Cologne

Cologne's first Christian bishop was Maternus. He was responsible for the construction of the first cathedral, a square building erected early in the 4th century. In 794, Hildebald (or Hildebold) was the first Bishop of Cologne to be elevated to Archbishop. Bruno I (925-965), younger brother of Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, founded several monasteries here. Subsequent Archbishops of Cologne became very influential as advisers to the Saxon, Salian and Hohenstaufen dynasties. Since 1031, they also held the office of Arch-Chancellor of Italy. Between 1159 and 1167, Rainald von Dassel was Archbishop of Cologne, as well as being Imperial Chancellor and adviser to Emperor Frederick Barbarossa...... In 1821, the Archbishopric was re-instated, and the Archbishops resided again in the city.

The Hanseatic League

Cologne was a leading member of the "Hansa", especially through trading with England.

The French

In 1794, the French occupied Cologne.

The Prussians

In 1814, Cologne was occupied by Prussian and Russian troops. In 1815, Cologne and the Rhineland were allocated to Prussia.

The Nazis

Jews in Cologne

As early as 321 AD, an edict by the Emperor Constantine allowed Jews to be elected to the City Council. The first pogrom against the Jews was in 1349, and in 1424 they were evicted from the city, but were allowed back again in 1798. In Kristallnacht 1938, synagogues were set on fire......

See also: University of Cologne