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A view of Cologne
The Cologne Cathedral

Cologne (German: Köln) is Germany's fourth-largest city (after Berlin, Hamburg and Munich), and is the largest city both in the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants. Cologne is a major cultural centre, and its University is among the oldest and largest of Europe.


  • In Köln, a town of monks and bones,
    And pavement fang'd with murderous stones,
    And rags and hags, and hideous wenches,
    I counted two-and-seventy stenches,
    All well defined, and several stinks!
    Ye nymphs that reign o'er sewers and sinks,
    The River Rhine, it is well known,
    Doth wash your city of Cologne;
    But tell me, nymphs! what power divine
    Shall henceforth wash the river Rhine?

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