Cologne (German: Köln) is the largest city in the Rhineland region of Germany, with a population of about 1 million. It is located 17 miles north of Bonn and 117 miles northwest of Frankfurt. Cologne's population is 43% Roman Catholic, 18% Protestant and 39% nonreligious or other. Cologne is best known for its magnificent Gothic cathedral, which was once the tallest building in the world. But Cologne is also so rich in antiquity that every time a new foundation is dug, the excavators come up with archaeological finds.
Extensive bombing during World War II seriously damaged nearly all the buildings of the Old Town, but the cathedral was mostly spared and the old churches have all been lovingly restored. Today, Cologne is a bustling modern city with much to see, from ancient Roman artifacts to magnificent Romanesque churches. Cologne has 31 museums, with exhibits ranging from archeological findings to contemporary art. Most recently, Cologne hosted the 2005 World Youth Festival, attended by German native Pope Benedict XVI.