Historical information

Cologne has been continuously populated since the time around the birth of Christ. A decree of Emperor Constantine from 321 attests the existence of the oldest Jewish community north of the Alps. Recent findings on the town hall square unveiled that the community existed without interruption until the Middle Ages. That is why the excavations presently rank among the most important archeological sites in Germany.

In Roman times, the Governor`s Palace, the Praetorium, represented the political-administrative centre of the region. Cologne was departure point for strongly frequented Roman long-distance roads such as the Via Belgica which led to Boulogne-sur-Mer in northern France. In the Middle Ages Cologne counted among the largest and most impressive cities north of the Alps, in later times it overtopped even Paris or London in importance. Today Cologne is the largest city and centre of the region North Rhine Westphalia.

The uninterrupted population of Cologne led to an overlapping of various structural layers dating back to most diverse époques. This makes the town hall square in Cologne a unique archeological site. Here, more than 2.000 year old monuments and evidences of historical events accumulate at one site. There is no other place where relicts of a Jewish quarter can be found atop of a Roman governor’s palace. The location is unique too: the ARCHEOLOGICAL ZONE JEWISH MUSEUM COLOGNE is situated right in the city centre and makes history visible.


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