Cologne has been selected by Roberto Amati in relation to the real history of european integration, then enlisted in the CITY OR CIVITAS category, accompanied by own fact SHEET useful to the comprehension, completed of historical MAPS AND IMAGES or with a direct linking to the related Blog contents dedicated to the entire history of european integration and the future of Europe.

Cologne civitas

Cologne is one of the most ancient cities of the history of European integration, signed in great part by Christianity. The Civitas Cologne was founded in 50 AD by Romans on a strategic point at the river Rhine on the northern Limes of the Roman Empire and called Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium in honour to the nepow of Augustus, daughter of Germanicus (the conqueror of Western Germany) wife of the emperor Claudius and mother of emperor Nero. In origin Cologne was a Castra of Germans and Romans veterans of the Legio I Germanica and the Legio XX Valeria Victrix there stationed. In 85 AD became the capital of Germania inferior province and one of the most important trade and stategic civitas of the empire, connected throught many roman ways: the Flavia Way starting in Xanten and passing through the civitas of Trier, Metz, Chalon-sur-SaƓne, Lyon, Vienne and Arles; Cologne was the starting (or arrival) point of the Germanica way, running all along the Rhine river and passing through the civitas of Mainz and Strasbourg up to Susa, and the Aquitania way passing through the civitas of Reims, Paris and Bordeaux up to Narbonne.

With the reform of Constantine I (see Christian Empire), Cologne became part of the imperial Gallia Diocesi and was the starting point of the emperor militar escalation to the power. Afterthat, Cologne had imperial governors resided in the city and was elevated to bishopric seat in 313 AD. There is evidence of the Jewish presence in Cologne since the distruction of the Jerusalem Temple, so that in 321 AD Constantine I approved the settlement of their community among all the free Roman citizens of the civitas. Cologne remained the principal passing point on the Rhine thanks to its Roman bridge and a strategic strong base against the Barbarian invasions until 462 AD, when the city was occupied by the Ripuarian Franks tribe.

Within the Franks empire, Cologne was included in the Austrasia reign and recovered to Christianity in the VIII century by the Irish monks who built there a big monastir, basis for the evangelization of Saxons and Magyars: for that reason, with the renovatio imperii of Charlemagne Cologne became one of the biggest and wide Christian archbishopric, attribuited of temporal powers and included in the Imperial Diet for centuries. With the 843 AD Treaty of Verdun, Cologne fell into the dominion of Lotharingia reign (Lower Lorraine), ruled by the emperor's families for more than a century until 953, AD when the emperor Otto I assigned the Archbishops of Cologne noteworthy with the prerogatives of secular princes power endured until XX century AD!

Cologne was granted the status of a Free Imperial City in 1288 AD and independent of the Prince-Bishop of Cologne. The city became an important centre of medieval pilgrimage, cause of the relics of the "Three Wise Men" conserved into Cologne's cathedral since 1164 AD, and a central point of intersection of the major trade routes along Europe connecting the markets to the principal northern ports to Venice. That evolution brought Cologne to become a member of the Hanseatic League and a medieval and early modern major harbour and transport hub on the Rhine. Within the Reich, Cologne was a "free imperial city" with a seat in the Imperial Diet and maintained its own military force, under the rule of Wittelsbach dinasty and the Electorate of Cologne. Always on the Catholic side during the Protest crisis, had its priviliges confirmed with the Augusta Peace treaty and continued growing up all along the modern era.

When the Holy Roman Empire (Reich) was dissolved in 1806 by Napoleon I, the German states were reunited into the Rhine Confederation and Cologne was designated as one of its Fortresses against French borders and annexed to the Kingdom of Prussia, following its destiny and the Germany history until today. Cologne became a rich industrial city in modern era and the seat of an important University founded in 1388 AD and remained a principal catholic centre, nowadays is a big city in the west of Germany, part of the North Rhine-Westphalia lander, whose patron is Saint Severine the first bishop

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