A 2000-year old baroque city set on the banks of the Rhine, Cologne was one of the largest cities of the Holy Roman Empire in the Middle Ages. In the modern world, the city rose to prominence when it became a thriving harbor and transport hub on the Rhine and has since flourished as North-Rhine Westphalia's cultural center. Cologne's instant recognition is evoked by the padlock-studded Hohenzollern Bridge that spans the river and the dual spires of the remarkable Kölner Dom that tower over the city in Gothic glory. Instilled with several religious structures, Cologne is home to 12 Romanesque churches and the restored pre-Nazi era Roonstrasse Synagogue. An exceedingly friendly city, Bonn's veedel, or city quarters have distinct personalities, from the hipster-chic abundance of Agnesviertel, to the cosmopolitan charm of Neusser Strasse. Cologne's urban sprawl is also teeming with a bounty of eclectic museums, markets, spa and thermal bathhouses, and traditional stores and boutiques.
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