Founded by the Romans in 50 AD, Cologne is one of Germany’s oldest major cities. It was here at Colonia Agrippina that the Romans established a key outpost on the northeastern edge of the empire. With its strategic location on the Rhine river it was an important military and trading settlement. In 1941 crews digging air raid shelters discovered a well-preserved Roman villa, which housed a large mosaic dating back to the 3rd century AD. The Dionysus Mosaic, as it came to be known, remains in its original location in the basement of the Romisch-Germanisches Museum. The museum’s architects designed the building around the fragile mosaic in order to protect it from further damage. Visit the museum to learn about Cologne’s role in the Roman Empire and see objects from daily life 2000 years ago, including the largest collection of Roman glass in the world.