Cologne became a Roman city in 50BC, called Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium. Because of its location, it became a very important city during Roman and Frankish times.
During the Middle Ages, Cologne was one of the most important cities in Europe with religious, economic and political significance, especially after Archbishop Rainald von Dassel gave the relics of the Three Wise Men to Cologne in 1164. These relics were the occasion to build the world famous Kölner Dom.
Cologne has always been a souverain and proud city until it was occupied by France in 1794. Because of this heritage, the Cologne dialect uses several French terms. In 1815, Cologne became a part of Prussia in the German Empire.
During the Second World War, most of Cologne was destroyed. The city was rebuilt, being the neighbour of the new capital Bonn, and exceeded one million inhabitants in 1975. In the 1980's and 90's, Cologne became host to many media companies and very important fairs like the Gamescom.