Cologne is the largest city in the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the fourth most populated city in Germany. It is located within the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region which is Germany's largest and one of Europe's major metropolitan areas. Cologne is about 45 kilometres southeast of North Rhine-Westphalia's capital of Düsseldorf and 25 kilometres northwest of Bonn.
Cologne is located on both sides of the Rhine, near Germany's borders with Belgium and the Netherlands. The city's famous Cologne Cathedral is the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Cologne. The University of Cologne is one of Europe's oldest and largest universities.
Cologne was founded and established in Ubii territory in the 1st century AD as the Roman Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, the first word of which is the origin of its name. An alternative Latin name of the settlement is Augusta Ubiorum, after the Ubii. "Cologne", the French version of the city's name, has become standard in English as well. The city functioned as the capital of the Roman province of Germania Inferior and as the headquarters of the Roman military in the region until occupied by the Franks in 462.