The city of Cologne was founded in 50 CE as Colonia Claudia Are Agrippinenisum on a site settled by Germanic tribes. It was a major centre for administration in the region. As such it was the seat of many major rebellion. It was briefly a capital city of the breakaway Gallic Empire. It contains some major archaeological sites.
The Roman-Germano Museum, next to the Cathederal sits on top of an impressive mosaic discovered during the construction of an air raid shelter. The Museum was built in 1974 around the mosaic.
The Dionysius mosaic
The Dionysius mosaic contains several references to the cult of Dionysius.
Sepulchre of Poblicius
The msuseum also holds the Sepulchre of Poblicius.
The Philosopher’s Mosaic
On an upper floor you can also see an additional mosaic called the Philosopher’s Mosaic. this portrays Seven major philosophers, revered in the 3rd century CE including Aristotle, Plate and Socrates.
Egyptian Gods in Cologne
Cologne was a major centre of Roman life and enjoyed a cosmopolitan religious life. As such it contains several figurines of various figurines including several from Egypt. It is hard to tell the differences between images of the deities of different traditions.
When I visited the museum was showing an impressive collection of oil lamps. All of a similar size and hue, the lamps contained different designs on the flat surface at the top of the map. These were crafted by pressing a fresh mould into the clay, making them cheap and easy to produce. Not all the lamps contained images of Roman gods, but some did.
An intriguing image shows a crocodile enjoying intimate relations with a woman on a boat, presumably on the River Nile.
The Praetorium sits on the ruins of the official residence of the Imperial Governor of Cologne. It is an impressively sized archeological site and is atmospherically set in the dark basement twilight. You can also walk along part of the old Roman sewage system.
Cologne contains much of the old Roman walls.
Cologne is proud of its Roman past and the streets contains several references to it.
Overall well worth a visit for its history, culture and beer.