Archaeological Zone /
Jewish Museum

The heart of Roman Cologne is being excavated by archaeologists in front of the historic Town Hall. A spectacular museum landscape is being planned for this area forming a link between the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages. From the massive ruins of the Roman proconsul’s palace to the remains of the Jewish quarter, the excavations have already revealed the secular heart of the city.

The Praetorium was the official residence of the Imperial Governor of Cologne, the capital city of the Roman province of Lower Germania. Nearby is the entrance to the Mikvah, the Jewish Ritual Bath. At present the Mikveh or Jewish ritual bath with its shaft reaching down 17 metres to groundwater level, can be seen underneath a wooden covering in the Town Hall Square. Its first building phase dates back to a time before 1100 AD.

The Mikvah was at the centre of the Jewish quarter. The remains form a unique architectural ensemble which is now, after more than 40 years, again accessible to the general public. Large parts of the museum will extend across an underground area beneath the Town Hall, the Spanischer Bau and the Town Hall Square in which, above ground, the Jewish Museum sets a distinctive accent both architecturally and in town planning terms.

At the same time, it protects the upper parts of the Synagogue and Mikveh.The architects' firm Wandel, Hoefer, Lorch + Hirsch from Saarbrücken was awarded the first prize for its concept in an international architectural competition in 2008. The original design has subsequently been slightly reduced in size. The concept places the main entrance to the Archaeological Zone in Alter Markt where the former Ratskeller (restaurant in the basement of the Town Hall) provides enough room for a spacious foyer and introductory exhibition. The new North-South Metro takes visitors right to the entrance of the museum. Presentation of the original finds is planned both below and above ground and will invite visitors to embark on an exciting journey into the past.

On the periphery of the Roman city the ruins of one of the oldest preserved stone-block structures in Europe; the Ubii Monument is concealed in the cellar of a private house.


public guided tours (in German only)

Sa. 30.03.
14:15 - 17:30 Uhr

»Salve, Schalom, Guten Tag!« Unterwegs im Praetorium

Für: Alle | Treffpunkt: Eingang: Kleine Budengasse 2, 50667 Köln (nicht barrierefrei) | Teilnahme: kostenlos


acitivities (in German only)

Sa. 30.03.
14:00 - 14:15 Uhr

Eröffnung | Praetorium und Archäologische Zone

»Salve, Schalom, Guten Tag!« Begrüßung

Für: Alle | Treffpunkt: Eingang: Kleine Budengasse 2, 50667 Köln (nicht barrierefrei) | Teilnahme: kostenlos

Sa. 30.03.
17:30 - 19:00 Uhr

Eröffnung | Praetorium und Archäologische Zone

»Salve, Schalom, Guten Tag!« Sounds & Beats. DJ Mr. Knister legt auf

Für: Alle | Treffpunkt: Eingang: Kleine Budengasse 2, 50667 Köln (nicht barrierefrei) | Teilnahme: kostenlos


Guided tours can be booked for groups and are available in a variety of languages.


Guided tour: The Praetorium – the palace of the Roman Proconsul of the province of Germania Inferior

The still visible foundations of the palace complex, which went through a series of changes between the 1st and late 4th century, convey an impressive picture of Roman representational architecture at an important scene of historical events. Scale models and reconstruction drawings illustrate the monumental character of the complex. Join us on a trip to the centre of Roman governance in the province of Germania Inferior and meet some of the Proconsuls and Emperors who are closely connected to Cologne’s history and the history of the Praetorium.

Duration: 60 mins
Max. group size: 25
Target groups: lower and upper secondary education level, students, adults 
Tuesday to Friday: 75 € plus admission for adults | 50 € plus admission for students | 40 € for school classes
Supplement: weekends/foreign language tour: 10 € each

The tour can be booked for a maximum of three groups at a time.

Entrance: middle of Kleine Budengasse



Praetorium - römischer Statthalterpalast

Das Praetorium war der Amtssitz des Statthalters in der Hauptstadt Köln der römischen Provinz Niedergermanien. Erhalten sind Reste aus allen Epochen des mehrphasigen Baus von der Zeit um Christi Geburt an. Komplett zugänglich und sichtbar sind aber vor allem die Mauern des monumentalen Palastes des 4. Jahrhunderts.

Römischer Abwasserkanal

Einer der Hauptabwasserkanäle, der unter der Großen Budengasse durch die Stadtmauer in den Rhein führte, ist unterirdisch erhalten; ein Teil ist gehoben und auf dem Theo-Burauen-Platz aufgestellt. An dieser Stelle kreuzt heute ein moderner Abwasserkanal das historische Bauwerk.

Mikwe - Jüdisches Ritualbad

Zur Zeit noch unter einer Holzabdeckung auf dem Rathausplatz ist die Mikwe zu sehen, das jüdische Ritualbad, dessen Schacht 17 Meter bis zum Grundwasserspiegel hinunterreicht.


Bereits 1969 wurde ein kleiner Bereich direkt am Alten Rathaus vor der Laube ergraben. Neben einer imposanten Bogenstellung (Porticus) des ersten Jahrhunderts finden sich weiterhin herausragende Reste des jüdischen Viertels, u.a. die des Hospitals.



Heumarkt 64-66
50667 Köln
Kleine Budengasse 2
50667 Köln

Opening hours

Tue to Sun 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Every 1st Thu of each month: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. 
closed on Mondays 



Tickets are valid for one day

Praetorium (Roman Governor's Palace)
Adults: 3,50 €, Concession: 3,00 €

Combination ticket (Praetorium and Romano-Germanic Museum)
Adults: 9,50 €, concession: 5,00 €

Free admission for children up to 6 years, for Cologne residents up to 18 years, students (incl. 2 teachers per group), holders of the KölnPass, Cologne residents on their birthday

Free admission to the permanent collection on the 1st Thu of each month (except public holidays): for Cologne residents 


The forecourt  of the excavation site can be reached through a side entrance (closed weekends; step) via the “Fahrstuhl in die Römerzeit” (lift to the Roman Empire). The excavation site can only be reached via a ramp and accessibility for wheelchair users is restricted. Emergency exit only via main staircase

Public transport

Public transport
rail service, local trains (S-Bahn): "Hauptbahnhof" (5 to 10 min walk)
underground: “Dom/Hauptbahnhof” (5-10 min walk)
tram: "Heumarkt"
Bus: "Rathaus" 
Car parks
Am Dom / An Farina / Groß St-Martin