The Römisch-Germanisches Museum

The museum with a glimpse of the Dom on the left.
The Römisch-Germanisches Museum or Roman-German Museum (RGM) is an archeological museum conveniently located next to the Dom and Schildergasse across from Cologne Main Station, so there's no excuse not to visit!

Like many other museums in Europe, students under the age of 25 who produce a students card are able to receive a discount on their admission ticket. When I visited the museum (June 2014), student admission was just over 3 euros (~$3.35). 

The Dionysus mosaic, created
between 220 and 230 AD.
A closer view of one of the scenes.
The site of present-day Cologne used to be a settlement in the Roman Empire (Colonia Claudia Ara Aprippinensium), which is the focus of the museum. While the RGM is small, visiting is an awesome experience since the building was constructed above/in the vicinity of several of the artifacts it contains. For instance, a portion of the downstairs museum floor is a Dionysus mosaic left undisturbed in its original position! Unfortunately, there are tiles from the middle missing, but it's still an incredible piece. There is a large window which allows people to view it from the outside.

Towering over the mosaic is the Sepulcher of Poblicius, built in honor of Lucius Policius. It is a reconstruction of the previous sepulcher or monument which, I believe, contains nearly all of the original pieces. It stands over two stories tall and is truly magnificent! Like the mosaic, it can be seen from the outside through a window.

The Sepulcher of Policius, 40 AD.
Part of an original tapestry and a second Dionysus mosaic,
all formerly part of a private residence.
While the main Dionysus mosaic and the Sepulcher of Policius can been seen for free from outside the museum, getting a ticket to enter the RGM is still worth it as there are many impressive artifacts inside. I find RGM special as most of the artifacts housed there are in wonderful condition. It's incredible how long building parts, weapons, tools, etc. were able to survive essentially intact after all these years!

A closer look at the mosaic,
which includes portraits of the owners.
Jewels on display.
Rich ancient Roman women were lucky! 
My friend and I fell in love with the jewelry collection! Before you think it's typical that a pair of girls would love looking at jewelry, I challenge anyone to walk by RGM's collection of Roman bling—male or female—and not take a double-glance at any of the displays. The jews are simple yet appealing, and even the gaudier ones firmly state wealth and class instead of reckless extravagance. I wanted to take several earrings home with me, but I wasn't interested in an encounter with any Polizisten.

My favorite necklace in the collection.
A tiara of leaves made from real gold.
Glass whistles carved in the shapes of various animals.
Generally, I'd say visitors to the RGM certainly receive the bang for their buck. It is an inexpensive museum that is conveniently located and displays a variety of pieces which are unique not only to Germany but Cologne. Visitors can enjoy the well-rounded collection while learning about Cologne's origins. After all, gaining a deeper level of understanding regarding the places you visit offers a more profound traveling experience.

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