Biggest Brothel Opens in Cologne Despite Protest

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1 Jan

Before 1972 there were two red-light areas in Cologne, Germany: one in Kleine Brinkgasse and another in Im Stavenhof. The authorities declared the 150 year old traditional small-brothel streets ‘prohibition zones’. Allegedly, the aim of the then police superintendent was to build a new Eros centre – a large commercially owned brothel.

Sex workers did not want to work in an Eros centre. The rents were higher and sex workers would earn less money. Sex workers protested the decision and filed a legal appeal at the federal high court of justice. The appeal was not successful and the decision stood.

The new brothel was located on Hornstraße, and dubbed the ‘Eros Center’. It was Europe's first high rise large brothel. It comprised 200 apartments with all modern conveniences including such things as little movie-projectors next to their beds for their clients. 

In 1995 the owner of the Eros Centre went bankrupt, and the brothel’s name changed to ‘Pascha’. Pascha is now a 12-storey 9,000 square metre brothel. With about 120 freelance sex workers, over 80 employees and up to 1000 customers per day, it is the largest brothel in Europe. The house rents 126 rooms on 7 floors to sex workers for a fee of 180 Euros per day, which includes meals, medical care, and the 20 Euros of tax that authorities collect per sex worker per day (including Cologne's "pleasure tax" of 6 Euros).