11 interesting Cologne facts about the House of 4711

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1. The Glockengasse
Over 100,000 international guests visit the Glockengasse sightseeing spot every year. It is one of the most famous streets in Cologne – despite being less than 400 metres long. These historic cobblestones lead not only to the House of 4711, but also to the Theater am Dom (Cathedral Theatre).

2. The Glockenspiel
Today, the Glockengasse still lives up to its name: Three melodies from the bells of the House of 4711 ring out on the hour from 9 am to 7 pm – including "The Marseillaise" and "The Loyal Hussar". The third song varies depending on the season – every hour, other familiar melodies are played from Carnival and Christmas compositions.

3. Eau de Cologne
It’s clear from its name where the fragrance "Eau de Cologne" has its origin – namely in Cologne. People who wish to buy Eau de Cologne often mean “4711 Original Eau de Cologne” – the iconic product in this class. "Original Eau de Cologne" has often been awarded the distinction of brand of the century.

4. Special features
The term "Eau de Cologne" is an overarching term for a special type of toilet water. The addition "Original" is merely a reference to the fact that the essential manufacturing steps take place in Cologne. Accordingly, anyone is entitled to sell a toilet water with the name "Original Eau de Cologne" – provided that this condition is met. This naturally applies to 4711.

5. The Carnival
The carnival is as much part of Cologne as the Cathedral and the Rhine. Even the familiar dialect band, Klüngelköpp, sings: " Mir sin jedäuf met 4711" ("We are baptised with 4711"). 4711 Original Eau de Cologne, however, is not only extolled by carnival revellers, but also used for spontaneous refreshment in the carnival procession in the form of fragrance miniatures and cloths. Costumes in 4711 style are also a recurring special highlight during the “fifth season” (Carnival).

6. The house number
Where does the name "4711" come from? This sequence of numbers is neither a reference to quantities used in the formula nor a date: instead it is the so-called “conscription number” given to the legendary fragrance house in Cologne’s Glockengasse by a French soldier during the occupation period at the end of the 18th century.3

7. Cologne Central Station
Tourists who arrive by train have their first encounter with 4711 before they even go to the Glockengasse: In Cologne’s Central Station, every visitor is welcomed with a set of illuminated numbers more than one and a half metres high. The classic 4711 logo shines down from the glass facade into the interior and delights both local residents and visitors on the platforms. Over the decades, the illuminated sign has become a real landmark of the city and one that is here to stay.

8. The ”Heinzelmännchen“ (elves)
Equally traditional, and not forgotten, is the legend of the Heinzelmännchen, or elves. It tells of Cologne’s small and hard-working house elves who take over the work of the citizens at night. In addition to the well known Heinzelmännchenbrunnen, many lovingly designed effigies still remind visitors of the legend. The elves can be found all around Cologne – and the House of 4711 is no exception: The small Heinz Eau bathes in the toilet water as he relaxes after his work.

9. The historical traces
4711 also forms part of Cologne’s city image in many other places. In Ehrenfeld, for example, the Barthonia Forum is well worth a visit. This is the site of the 4711 building, now a protected monument, in which the perfume used to be produced before the company relocated. A further reference to the world-famous brand 4711 can be found directly adjacent to the Central Station. In the 1950s, the Blue Gold House was built for 4711. It now also stands under monument protection and forms an imposing entrance to the city centre. Here, too, the golden lettering welcomes all visitors.

10. The hotels
Those who wish to add the crowning glory to their Cologne visit can experience first-hand the style of the world brand in Motel One. Comfortable armchairs in the iconic colour Bremer Blue, bright logos on the walls behind the spacious bar and a very special flair await guests in this hotel. The Lindner Hotel City Plaza dedicates an entire floor to the brand. The lovingly designed images depict the close connection between the city and the fragrance.

11. The archive
Original documents for the traditional House of 4711 can be found above all in the 100-year Rhineland-Westphalian commercial archive in Cologne. Among other things, the archive curates the history of advertising around the famous toilet water. An important part of German industrial and company history!

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