Cologne – Rhenish Vitality, Openness and Carnival
Located at the river Rhine, Cologne is ranked as one of the most important travel destinations in Europe. Due to its reputation as centre for culture, media, sports and industry the Rhine metropolis has a lot to offer for everyone! With round about one million inhabitants Cologne is the biggest city in the state North Rhine-Westphalia and the fourth biggest in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. The increasing tourist rates indicate the popularity of the Rhine town, too: More than 6 Million tourists from all over the world visited the city in 2017.
Tomasz Grenke, spokesperson of the LANXESS arena where the main round of group 1 of the 26th IHF Handball World Championship will take place, knows that it is always worth a visit: “Cologne is famous for fun, party, good mood and open-minded people. And besides the city’s handball tradition it has much more to offer for tourists and fans.”
Not only the more than 2,000 years old past as Roman town, the medieval buildings and the famous Cologne Cathedral make the city a popular destination. Also the significance in the car industry, media world and as location for fairs and exhibitions contributes to its popularity. The Cologne Cathedral, though, is the cultural landmark of the town and a real tourist magnet. Belonging to the UNESCO world heritage since 1996 the Cathedral was built in the 13th century and is the most visited sight of Germany.
Besides its Cathedral Cologne has a second big love: the Carnival. Every year in the “fifth season” Cologne changes into a big party with everyone wearing crazy costumes when it states: “Kölle Alaaf”. 1.5 million visitors mainly from Germany, Belgium, France and the Netherlands ensure a sales of 48 million Euros for Cologne’s pubs and bars and catch 330 tons of sweets while the Carnival parade.
Whoever prefers a calm stay is recommended to visit the town in another time of the year – for example in January 2019 during the Handball World Championship. Cologne has much experience in hosting big events – in both the sport and cultural sector. On the one hand the city is an important location for worldwide art trade on the other hand it is host of the World’s leading trade fairs like Gamescom or Photokina.
As one of the biggest multipurpose halls of Europe the LANXESS Arena is well-prepared for the main round games as Grenke explains: “Our preparations are running at full speed, gradually we are on the final straights. We are sure that we will host great games and are looking forward to a fantastic atmosphere in the arena.”
Opened on October 17th, 1998 with an audience capacity of 19.250 seats, the arena since then hosted various events. Besides being the home ground of the Ice Hockey club Cologne Haie it also hosted several international sports events like the Ice Hockey World Championships (three times!) – and handball is popular here, too: Since 2010 the EHF Champions League Final4 takes place in the LANXESS Arena which was also one of the venues of the 2007 Handball World Championship in Germany. “Obviously the memory of the German “winter’s tale” with the former national coach Heiner Brand is still present”, knows Grenke.
With Brand and Lukas Podolski Cologne has two famous faces representing the venue and are looking forward to exciting games: “I really hope that in the next months the euphoria will grow around the DHB-Team and will carry the German team through the tournament in January. A World Championship at home is something really special”, states Podolski full of anticipation. Brand emphasizes the strong opponents Germany could meet in Cologne: “Spain, Croatia, Macedonia or Iceland can be really nasty. Thus, the fans in Berlin, Munich and Cologne can look forward to great games.”
For more information about a great stay in Cologne go to www.koelntourismus.de.
Arena Name: LANXESS Arena
Arena capacity: 19,250
Games in the LANXESS Arena: Main Round of Group 1, January 19th until 23th, 2019