Cologne’s history begins more than 2000 years ago. When Julius Caesar crossed the Rhine around 50 B.C. a thriving settlement of the Germanic Ubier was already there. In 50 A.D. the settlement received the rights and status of a Roman city and the name Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium. Archeological finds of the ancient Romans and Germans are on display in Römisch-Germanisches Museum, located next to the cathedral. If you are interested in archaeology and ancient history, this museum is a must.
In the heart of the city center right to the side of the Cologne Cathedral, lies Cologne's German/Roman Museum. The Roman-Germanic Museum (RGM, in German: Römisch-Germanisches Museum) is one of the better archaeological museums in the region. This museum houses and protects a humongous collection of Roman artifacts from the Roman settlement Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, on which modern Cologne is built. The museum is also an archaeological site as it also protects the original place of a Roman town villa, down in the basement, of which the large Dionysus Mosaic remains in its original place and the related Roman Road just outside. Within the museum is an institution to preserve the Cologne Roman cultural heritage, and therefore preserves wonderful Roman glass from Roman funerals and burial. This archaeological function also includes the supervision of the Cologne underground, which is now under construction.
Most of the museum's collection was formerly housed at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne until 1946. In the front of the museum the former northern town gate of Cologne with the inscription CCAA (for Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium) is shown. The museum was completed in 1974 near the Cologne Cathedral at the place of a 3rd century villa. The villa was discovered in 1941 during the construction of an air-raid shelter. In its main room there was the Dionysusmosaic. Since the mosaic could not be moved easily, the architects Klaus Renner and Heinz Röcke designed a museum around the mosaic. The museum's inner courtyards mimic the ancient villa's layout. As well as the 220/230 AD Dionysusmosaic, the museum houses a reconstructed sepulcher of the 40 AD legionnaire Poblicius. Home to the world's largest collection of Roman glasses as well as an outstanding collection of Roman and medieval jewellery, the collection also consists of everyday Roman life implements, household items, pieces of architecture, portraits, inscriptions and pottery. Each year that I've come to visit Cologne, this is a definite must-stop for me as the collection is amazing. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Cologne stood on the northern frontier of the Roman Empire. Once, the Romans ventured across the Rhine River into the wild territory beyond. Germanic tribes ambushed and nearly annhilated them in the Battle of the Teutoberg Forest. From that point on, the Romans stayed mainly on the west side of the river. Cologne and Trier (see my tips on Trier) made up part of the Empire's northern border.
The Roman Museum contains many priceless artifacts from that historic period. One of the best-known is an original mosaic depicting scenes from the life of the god Dionysis. The museum also contains many items from the medieval period. A must-see for historians.
The Dionysius mosaic, made in typical Roman style, is one of the best pieces in the display at the museum. Its a beautiful and eye-catching floor. The mosaic was excavated from the same place where the museum has now been built, i.e. exactly behind the Cologne Cathedral. The museum was built after the WWII in order to display archaeological excavated items showing the Roman rule from all across city of Cologne.
Cologne was one of the famous cities under Roman Empire. Many old relics and stone sculptures, artefacts etc. were excavated here. It is a good place to know the ancient history of the region. The items have been beautifully displayed. The entrance fee is not much but one idea is also to see the museum from outside as the museum has mainly clear glass walls and a large portion of the display items including the most important ones can be very easily seen ad photographed from outside. All my photos are taken from outside. I did not have enough time to visit it although I would have loved to.
As the historic Colonia Agrippinensis was located at the frontier between the Roman and the Germanic world, many archaeological findings were excavated here that give a glimpse on how life was in a Roman border town in antiquity. The Roman-Germanic museum is a good place to brush up your knowledge on ancient history and is probably one of the the top museums of its kind in Germany. Located just next to the Cologne Cathedral.
The Romano-Germanic Museum exhibits a large collection of pieces from the roman period. One of the most impressive is the Dionysos mosaic. It is made up of about 1.5 million. It was discovered in 1941 in a Roman villa. The motifs are scenes related to the Dionysos legend.
Next to the Roman museum is an old excavated street which shows what those looked like. Unfortunately, it is not in its original place but has been moved here during the building on modern Cologne and when they moved it, they only chalkmarked the stones which meant that the marks disappeared in the rain and the street is now put together in a "guesswork". Sadly, it is today also mostly used for passing partygoers at night, which means that whilst perfectly safe, it is littered with glass and other waste, but it is still not a wasted effort seeing it since it is in such a central location anyway.
As mentioned by others you can get a glimpse of the interior of this museum without entering. This makes sense if you are not into this sort of stuff or if you do not have time (been-there-seen-that) as we are doing now apologetically. The Dionysius mosaic is the greatest item in the collection, so look at it for a while. I could not make out the revelries from outside, but that is certainly a neat floor for a party room!The Germans have been very careful with their Roman Antiquities and they have always been leading Archeologists. The last picture was taken in the parking garage where we parked our car under the nearby parvis.
I spent hours visiting the art museum and then the museum of Roman antiquities. Sometimes people forget that many countries in Europe (and the UK) have great Roman artifacts. Both museums are located near the main square in front of the famous and magnificent cathedral.
Cologne is the oldest major city in Germany. The name Cologne stems from the Roman empress Agrippina. The wife of the Emperor Claudius was born on the banks of the Rhine and elevated her "Colonia" to the status of a city in the year 50 A.D. Today, traces of the Romans are still to be found at every turn in Cologne: the Dionysus mosaic in the Römisch-Germanisches Museum, sections of the Roman city wall and the Roman water system, which formerly brought fresh spring water to the Roman city from the Eifel region.
I must admit I did not venture inside this museum, but it was very popular and looked extremley busy!
You can see some of the artefacts from outside of the museum as my photograph shows.....its located next to the Dom in the heart of Cologne.