The brothel was opened in January 1972 in the Hornstraße, under the name "Eros Center". It was Europe's first high rise brothel. The city of Cologne wanted to eliminate the red light district "Kleine Brinkgasse" in the city centre and issued a licence to build the new brothel on land owned by the city in the outskirts of town. The prostitutes sued against closure of the Kleine Brinkgasse area and ultimately lost. In 1995 the owner of the Eros Centre changed after foreclosure, and the new name "Pascha" was introduced. They later added houses under the same name in Salzburg, Munich and Linz.
The house rents 126 rooms on 7 floors to prostitutes for a fee of 180 Euros per day, which includes meals, medical care, and the 20 Euros of tax that authorities collect per prostitute per day (including Cologne's "pleasure tax" of 6 Euros). The women come from many countries; about 30% of them are German. They typically sit outside of their rooms and negotiate with customers who wander the hallways. Some of the women live in their rooms, others rent a second room to stay in, while still others stay in their own apartments in Cologne.
The house is open 24 hours a day; customers of the prostitutes pay an entrance fee of 5 Euros and then negotiate directly with the women, who work independently and keep all of the money. One floor is reserved for low-cost service and another one for transsexual prostitutes. The house also contains a regular hotel, a table dance nightclub with separate entrance, several bars, and a separate club-style brothel on the top floor.
In June 2003 a Thai prostitute was stabbed to death by a customer in the Pascha; she managed to press the alarm button in her room and security personnel caught the culprit. In January 2006, another prostitute was attacked by a customer with a knife. The woman working next-door alerted security and the perpetrator was caught; the victim survived.
After a police raid of the brothel in April 2005, it was reported that a gun and some cocaine was found and 23 people were arrested, most of them because of suspected violation of immigration laws. Further it was reported that four of the prostitutes were between 14 and 15 years old. The brothel was not fined however, since the girls, who were from Africa, looked older and carried fake documents showing an older age.
A bizarre story was reported in August 2005: two women, 19 and 29 years old, had rented two rooms in the Pascha and announced over the internet that they would pay any man 50 Euros for sex; the goal was to find out who could have more partners in one day. In the end they had sex for 11 hours with a total of 115 men, and about 1,700 others had to be turned away. The German tabloid Bild turned the story into a headline the next day. The women insisted that they had paid the men from their own vacation money and had not received any compensation from Bild or Pascha. The 19-year-old woman later worked in the club brothel of Pascha.
Before the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, Muslims protested that the brothel insulted Islam when it advertised using a 24-metre-high by 8-metre-wide poster, mounted on the side of its building, showing a half-naked woman and the flags from all of the countries which qualified for the world cup, including those of Muslim nations. The slogan on the poster read Die Welt zu Gast bei Freundinnen (The world as guest with girlfriends), a pun on the slogan for that year's World Cup, Die Welt zu Gast bei Freunden (The world as guest with friends). The protesters compared the poster to the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons. In response to the protests, and threats of violence, which began on 2006-04-21, the owners blacked out the flags of Saudi Arabia and Iran (both of which include words from the Quran), though the flag of Tunisia (which does not show any scriptural text) was left alone.
In March 2007, the Pascha announced that senior citizens above the age of 66 would receive a discount during afternoons; half of the price of 50 Euros for a "normal session" would be covered by the house.
In September 2007, a Turkish customer tried to set fire to the Pascha by igniting gasoline in the entrance area; he also carried a number of Molotov cocktails. He had earlier had a conflict with a prostitute and security personnel and returned with 10 accomplices. He received a suspended sentence of two years in prison.
In December 2008, three of Pascha's bouncers beat up an Albanian man who supposedly had ignored an order to stay away from the house and who might have been involved in the bouncer scene. The three men received fines and suspended sentences of 18 months for aggravated assault.
In December 2009, American rapper 50 Cent gave a concert in Pascha's night club.
Like a Pascha (2010) (Swedish: Som en Pascha) is a documentary by Svante Tidholm looking at the crisis of masculinity from a feminist point of view. It was filmed at Pascha over the course of three years. The film features interviews with the manager, an employee, a prostitute, a customer and some footage of a rooftop orgy at the brothel. Tidholm remained critical of the business.
- „Die Welt zu Gast bei Freundinnen“, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 8 June 2006. (German)
- "All inclusive" für Mieter und Gäste, Allgemeine Hotel-und-Gaststättenzeitung, 8 October 2005. (German)
- Lustsilo am "Goldenen Horn", WDR Stichtag, 11 January 2007. (German)
- "Welcome to the World Cup 2000... and sex", Daily Star Sunday, 16 October 2005
- Andreas Gustavsson (8 January 2010), "Orgasmgaranti i Köln", ETC.se (in Swedish) (first published in 2006)
- Steffen Kopetzky (2003). "Im Baumarkt der Lust. Deutschland extrem (13): Ein Besuch im Kölner "Pascha", dem größten Bordell der Republik", Süddeutsche Zeitung, 3 April 2003. (German)
- Prostituierte im Pascha erstochen, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, 14 June 2003. (German)
- Hilfe für blutendes Opfer, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, 14 September 2006. (German)
- Pascha-Razzia: Jüngstes Mädchen gerade 14 Jahre alt, koeln.de, 28 April 2005. (German)
- Keine Strafe für „Pascha“, Kölnische Rundschau, 23 May 2005. (German)
- Der Bettkampf, Der Spiegel, 29 August 2005. (German)
- "German brothel ad angers Muslims". BBC News. 25 April 2006.
- Christian Parth (24 April 2006). "Pascha von Vermummten bedroht". Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger (in German).
- German Brothel Offers 50-Percent Discount to Senior Citizens, Spiegel Online, 15 March 2007
- "Brandanschlag auf Pascha-Frauen", Express.de (in German), 10 September 2007
- "Im "Pascha" gezündelt", Kölnische Rundschau (in German), 28 July 2008
- "Tätowiert – freier Eintritt im Puff", Express.de (in German), 13 November 2008
- "Schlägerei zwischen Bordell-Türstehern". Kölner Stadtanzeiger (in German). 3 February 2010.
- "Für 50 Cent in den Puff", Express.de (in German), 1 December 2009
- "Fantasien im Bordell-Hochhaus". Kölner Stadtanzeiger (in German). 10 May 2011.
- Rodney Perkins (10 March 2010), "LIKE A PASCHA Review", Twitch Film
- "Som en Pascha", SVT
- Official web site
- Press and TV reports
- Interview with Pascha's hair dresser (German)
- Interview with Pascha's manager (German)