Cologne (Ger. Koln), a city and free port on the left bank of the Rhine, 362 miles by rail WSW. of Berlin, 175 SE. of Rotterdam, 149 E. of Brussels, and 302 NE. of Paris. Formerly an independent city of the German empire, it is now the most important town of Rhenish Prussia; a fortress of the first rank, forming a semicircle along the Rhine, and connected with the town of Deutz on the opposite bank by a bridge of boats, and an iron bridge, 1362 feet long, for railway and carriage traffic. Pop. (1871) 129,233; (1900) 372,229. The old streets are mostly narrow and crooked; but the area freed by the removal of the ancient fortifications was purchased in 1882 by the corporation for about 600,000; its most prominent feature is the handsome ' Ringstrasse' or boulevard, nowhere less than 60 feet wide, which encircles the entire old town. The new fortifications include a number of detached forts, planted round Cologne and Deutz, within a radius of about 4 miles from the cathedral. The church of St Maria im Capitol was consecrated in 1049; in St Ursula are preserved the bones of the 11,000 virgins. The cathedral is one of the noblest specimens of Gothic architecture in Europe. Traditionally founded by Archbishop Hildebold, during Charlemagne's reign in 814, and gifted by Frederic Barbarossa in 1162 with the bones of the three Magi, it was rebuilt after burning in 1248. The choir was consecrated in 1322; and the work was carried on till 1509, when it was suspended; but the work of renovation began in 1823, and in 1842 the foundation-stone of the new part was laid. The naves, aisles, and transepts were opened in 1848; the magnificent south portal was completed in 1859; in 1860 the iron central fleche was added; and the western spires, the crown of the edifice, were finished in 1880. The church measures 440 feet in length, and 240 in breadth; the spires rise 515 feet. The great bell, the ' Kaiserglocke' (1887), made of French cannon, weighs over 26 tons. Among secular buildings are the 14th-century town-house; the noble Gothic Gurzenich (1441-52), a banqueting-hall, now containing the exchange; the modern law-courts; and the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, with a good collection of paintings. The situation of Cologne is extremely favourable for commerce; and the manufactures include the making of eau-de-Cologne, beet-sugar, tobacco, glue, carpets, soap, leather, furniture, pianos, chemicals, and spirits of wine. The city was founded by the Ubii, about 37 b.c, and was at first called Ubiorum oppidum; but a colony being planted here in 50 a.d. by Agrippina, the wife of the Emperor Claudius, it received the name of Colonia Agrippina. It entered the league of the Hanse towns in 1201, and contended with Lubeck for the first rank. Cologne was at a very early period the seat of a bishopric, elevated at the end of the 8th century into an archbishopric, whose holders took their place amongst the princes and electors of the empire. The archbishopric was secularised in 1801, when the city also lost its independence, and the Congress of Vienna assigned the whole territories to Prussia. Colombia, a republic occupying the north-west corner of the South American continent, and till 1903, when Panama (q.v.) became independent, including also the Isthmus of Panama. Its area is estimated at about 510,000 sq. miles (nearly as large as Great Britain, France, and Spain together). The population amounts to about 4,000,000, including some 200,000 uncivilised Indians in the remote forests. The situation of Colombia, washed by two oceans, with a coastline of nearly 3000 miles, and many good harbours, is very favourable to commerce. The surface of the country is extremely varied, with lofty mountains in the west, and vast plains in the east scarcely above the level of the sea. For the mountain system, which spreads out in three great ranges, like the rays of a fan, see Andes. From the Central Cordillera descend the two principal rivers of Colombia, the Magdalena and its tributary the Cauca, which flow north into the Caribbean Sea, besides several affluents of the Amazon in the east, and the Patia, which forces its way to the Pacific through a gorge between cliffs 10,000 to 12,000 feet high. The Eastern Cordillera, by far the largest chain, consists of a series of extensive tablelands, cool and healthy, and is the most thickly populated portion of the republic; on one of its plateaus, at an elevation of 8694 feet, stands the capital, Bogota (q.v.). Eastward from this Cordillera stretch vast llanos or plains, through which flow many tributaries of the Orinoco. Other rivers are the San Juan (navigable 150 miles), on the Pacific coast, and the Atrato and Zulia flowing north. In the course of one day's journey, the traveller may experience in this country all the climates of the world; perpetual snows cover the summits of the Cordilleras, while the valleys are smothered in the rich vegetation of the tropics. The climate of Panama is notoriously unwholesome, and in some parts of Bolivar and Magdalena marsh fevers abound. The hot region, extending to an elevation of about 3200 feet, produces in abundance rice, cacao, sugar-cane, bananas, yams, tobacco, indigo, cotton, caoutchouc, vegetable ivory, medicinal plants, resins, and dyewoods. In the temperate zone, from 3200 to 8500 feet above the sea, the coffee plant, the fig, and the cinchona-tree flourish. The wax-palm extends beyond this region, and is found at a height of nearly 11,000 feet, and large crops of potatoes, grain, and leguminous plants are raised in the cold region; but from 10,000 feet rises the bleak paramo, with its scanty vegetation, ending in lichens at the snow-line. The fauna of Colombia is very varied, including the condor, capy-bara, tapir, armadillo, sloth, seventeen kinds of monkeys, jaguar, puma, ocelot, margay, and bear. The boa and numerous other snakes are common, alligators swarm in the rivers. Enonnous herds of cattle are found throughout the temperate zone. In minerals the country is exceedingly rich, although the mines have been little wrought, owing to the lack of roads. Yet from the dep. of Antioquia alone over 400,000 worth of gold is annually exported. The dep. of Tolima is the richest in silver. Iron, copper, lead, platinum, coal, sulphur, zinc, antimony, arsenic, cinnabar, rock-salt, crystal, granite, marble, lime, gypsum, jet, amethysts, rubies, emeralds, porphyry, and jasper are also found.

The only industries common to all the deps. of Colombia are agriculture and the rearing of cattle. Coarse cloths, soap, and candles are manufactured; and the so-called Panama straw-hats are exported. The transit trade across the Isthmus of Panama (q.v.), which was formerly very important, was lost to the republic in 1903, when Panama became a separate state. The foreign trade proper is mainly with Great Britain and the United States. The imports are mostly food-stuffs, textiles, machinery, and ironwares; the exports, coffee, gold, silver, and other ores, caoutchouc, ivory-nuts, divi-divi pods (for tanning), tobacco, cacao, cotton, cinchona, cattle, balsams, timber and dyewoods, hides and wool. At the beginning of the 20th century the annual value of exports was $20,000,000, and of imports $19,000,000. Of the export trade 27 per cent. goes to the United States, and 25 per cent. to Britain. The revenue for the usual biennial periods averages about $29,000,000, and the expenditure about $40,000,000, showing a serious deficit. The internal debt amounts to about $11,350,000. The foreign debt, mostly to Britain, was cut down in 1897, by arrangement, to $13,122,000, but even so the interest fell steadily into arrears. There are 400 miles of railway in Colombia and over 9000 miles of telegraph.

The population is mainly descended from the numerous Indian tribes, partly Hispanicised in language and habits. The chief aborigines of the country, the Chibchas or Muyscas, inhabiting the plateau of Bogota, were a comparatively civilised race at the discovery of the New World; the uncivilised Indians are now mostly confined to the eastern plains, the northern portion of Magdalena, and the district of Darien and the Atrato. The pure whites form about a fifth of the entire population, and the Indian half-breeds more than half; mulattoes and zambos, resulting respectively from the union of negroes with whites and Indians, exceed a sixth of the whole. Slavery was finally abolished in 1852, and in 1870 a system of compulsory education was adopted. The state church is Roman Catholic, but toleration in matters of religion is guaranteed.