During World War II, along with much of Germany, Cologne took a serious hit by the American military. Virtually the entire city was completely leveled to the ground, leaving only the cathedral standing in the middle still intact. That is one thing that is strange about this city, is that so much here is new, but in the middle is a humongous piece of architecture that is extremely old. Although the cathedral was finished in 1890, the construction actually began in 1248. The office that I work is about a 2 minute walk to the Cathedral (known here as the "Dom"), and can be seen from most parts of the city.
Here I have posted a video that I have found on youtube showing tanks in WWII moving throughout the city. You can see the immense amount of destruction that took place. The video is slightly graphic, so you are warned. This is actual wartime footage taken by American troops.
In the video, the tanks are moving through right where I work here. Now this area is full of trendy shops and restaurants, and definitely not the buildings of old. You can also see a couple of other structures that still exist here. There are pictures of another church that still stands here, and you can also see a castle-like structure that is still here in the city, also embedded within all of the new cityscape.
More posts coming soon! Thanks for reading, I enjoy reading the comments!