[ source: Flickr ]

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Previously asked Bonn questions and answers:

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Where can one get a great breakfast in the morning?

"Where in Bonn can I buy fresh rolls in the morning or get a nice breakfast with coffee?" (posted 09/02/2014)

Well you can have breakfast in: Café Blue, Franziskanerstr. 9 gout in Bonn center or Bon (n), Remigiusplatz 4 in Bonn center or in the Brasserie, Godesberger Avenue. The fresh bread is such a thing, there are countless bakeries in Bonn, where there is always fresh bread. I hope I could help a little. Herzl. Greetings H. Schilling
Answer provided by Hiltrud Schilling on 09/13/2014
This answer is helpful

Are there any cultural highlights, museums?

Ideas for 2-3 activities and daytrips?

Good restaurants for dinner?

Typical tourist activities or places that one should NOT do, as they are not worthwhile doing.

Things can do to make it a fun and memorable evening?

How to get around and find best means of local transportation?

Where to find good quality groceries?

Are there any special local events?

"I would like to see "Rhine in Flames" this upcoming May, but do not want to do a river cruise. What would be the best way, and best place, to see the fireworks? Is there a hotel I could stay in that has a view of them?" (posted 10/27/2016)

Hello, best view is from Kameah Grand Hotel: http://www.kamehabonn.de/ or from the banks of river rhine on did side of the river Rhine. In front of you there are about 50 illuminated ships on the river and in the background you'll see the firework. I have been there more last year with our guests from Canada and They told me it did was the best firework They seen ever. But the greatest firework in our aerea is Cologne Lights in Cologne. http://www.koelner-lichter.de/ Kind regards Uli
Answer provided by Ulrich Bécu on 10/27/2016
This answer is helpful

Are there any local food specialties one should try out?

What makes this destination special? Why should one spend some time here during vacation?

"We have 3 days (thursday 29, friday 30 and saturday 31 may) to explore in and around Bonn by boat, bus and train. We like gentle walking, cafe culture and galleries. Any suggestions? Also, are there any ways of meeting local people to chat about life, the universe and everything, perhaps over coffee outside somewhere? We are an English couple aged 69." (posted 05/08/2014)

Walk through the downtown area with Beethovens birthplace, Muenster Church, University, Go to the Tourist Office downtown to get a map and a three day pass for public transportation and museums Take the boat to Königswinter and go up to the Drachenfels Take the train to Bruehl to visit Augustusburg castle, continue to Cologne for the cathedral Have a great time in Bonn!
Answer provided by Silke Kinzig on 05/10/2014
This answer is helpful
"Hello! I'm living in Bonn since May and have been (desperately) looking for an apartment for the next two years. I have seen a lot of offers in Bonn-Castell but I've never been there. Is this a nice area to live? Thanks a lot! Juliana" (posted 07/01/2014)

From my perspective, it is not a nice residential area. It was renamed from Bonn-Nord to Bonn-Castell in 2003. As reflected in its former name, the neighborhood is somewhat far from the center. Greetings, H. Schilling
Answer provided by Hiltrud Schilling on 07/02/2014
This answer is helpful
"Why should someone do a vacation in Bonn? Can you possibly tell me 2-3 popular travel tips for Bonn, which everyone visiting Bonn should see? Also let me know 2-3 special insider travel tips for Bonn that a typical tourist may not know about, but that you can highly recommend. Thanks!" (posted 07/02/2014)

Popular destinations are the nearby castles Augustusburg and Falkenlust, and the Phantasialand theme park. Of course, the Drachenfels. A beautiful lake district, as well as the adjacent Kotten Forst-Ville Nature Reserve, is ideal for hiking and cycling.
Answer provided by Brigitte Kuhlmann on 07/02/2014
This answer is helpful
Here are some tips for a Bonn holiday: 1 The "Old Customs Building" with a view of the Seven Mountains (Petersberg with the guest house of the FRG and Drachenfels) 2nd Beethoven's birthplace in Bonngasse 3 The "Bonner Münster" oldest church in the Rhineland 4 Today's University (former castle) 5 The "Poppelsdorfer Castle" with botanical gardens 6 visit to the "Old Cemetery" with graves of many scholars and professors Definitely take a ride up to the Drachenfels with wonderful views. I got these tips have from a good acquaintance who gives city tours in Bonn His e-mail address is: heinrich.hoenig @ gmx.de, telephone in Germany 02222-3590. He would be happy to help the customer even further. I hope I could help you and hope that the customer will feel inspired to take a trip to Bonn. Kind Greetings, H. Schilling
Answer provided by Hiltrud Schilling on 07/02/2014
This answer is helpful 1

Is there a good local deli or restaurant with lunch menu?

Are there any points of interest or local attractions?

What are good places to go for shopping?

Any sporting activites and recommendations to stay active?

"Hi there Any info on aikido schools, live music hapennings etc?" (posted 07/17/2014)

Good day, I'm very sorry. We could not find out anything about this, so we cannot offer a recommendation. Our advice: comtact the Tourist Information OFfice in Bonn. Best wishes, and we hope you have you an excellent stay in Germany. Alexandra Esper
Answer provided by Alexandra Esper on 07/18/2014
This answer is helpful
Unfortunately, I cannot answer the vacationer's question, but here is the email address of the Bonn tour guide, who can surely respond to this: heinrich.hoenig @ gmx.de But again my question: Did the vactioner's question about the sites of Bonn reach you ? I responded in detail and also sent the email address of the Bonn city guide. Kind regards, H. Schilling
Answer provided by Hiltrud Schilling on 07/18/2014
This answer is helpful

Questions around the weather, different seasons, ...



Popular Points of Interest in and near Bonn

  • Palais Schaumburg
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Palais Schaumburg

    The Palais Schaumburg is a castle-like building in Bonn which has housed parts of the German Federal Chancellery since 1949 and from 1976 to reunification was the first official residence and office of the Chancellor. As headquarters of the Federal Chancellery it was simply known as the House of the Federal Chancellor (German: Haus des Bundeskanzlers).

    The late neoclassical palais was built between 1858 and 1860 for the cloth manufacturer Wilhelm Loeschigk. Bought by Prince Adolf of Schaumburg-Lippe it was enlarged during the following years. On January 31, 1939, the army bought the palaces from Ernst Wolrad, Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe.

  • Siebengebirge
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Siebengebirge

    The Siebengebirge (lit. "seven hills" in German) is a German range of hills to the East of the Rhine, southeast of Bonn, consisting of more than 40 mountains and hills. It is located in the municipalities of Bad Honnef and Königswinter. It is of volcanic origin and came into being between 28 and 15 million years ago. Much of the territory covered by the Siebengebirge belongs to the Naturpark Siebengebirge, which is under environmental protection.

    The highest peak is the Ölberg at 460 metres. It is a popular tourist destination for hiking, because of its natural beauty. Large parts of the range are part of the Siebengebirge nature reserve and are subject to environmental protection regulations.

  • Hotel Petersberg
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Hotel Petersberg

    Hotel Petersberg is a hotel and official guest house of the Federal Republic of Germany, termed the "Bundesgästehaus" (the official title being Gästehaus der Verfassungsorgane der Bundesrepublik Deutschland). It is located on the Petersberg, a prominent mountain of the Siebengebirge near Bonn, Germany. With a height of 331 metres (1,086 ft), it overlooks the cities of Königswinter, on the right bank of the Rhine river, and Bonn on the opposite side.

  • Bonn Women's Museum
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Bonn Women's Museum

    The Bonn Women's Museum (German: Frauenmuseum Bonn) is a women's museum in Bonn, Germany. It was founded in 1981 by Marianne Pitzen (the current director) and an interdisciplinary group of working women, and claims to be the first museum of its kind in the world. It hosts temporary exhibitions (over 500 since its founding) and accompanying events, and is run by the society "Women's Museum – Art, Culture, Research".

  • Haus der Geschichte
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Haus der Geschichte

    Haus der Geschichte (officially Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, i. e. "House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany") is a museum of contemporary history in Bonn, Germany. With around one million visitors every year, it is one of the most popular German museums. The Haus der Geschichte is, as well as the "Zeitgeschichtliches Forum Leipzig", the "Tränenpalast" am Bahnhof Friedrichstraße and the Kulturbrauerei with the collection of industrial design ("Sammlung Industrielle Gestaltung") part of the Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Foundation. The foundation's place of business is Bonn.

    In its permanent exhibition, the Haus der Geschichte presents German history from 1945 until the present. Numerous temporary exhibitions emphasize different features. The Haus der Geschichte also organizes guided tours of the Palais Schaumburg, the Chancellor's bungalow and the former place of the Federal Assembly. Moreover, the museum maintains a cartoon gallery with over 75,000 political cartoons and caricatures.

  • Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

    Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Art and exhibition hall of the Federal Republic of Germany) is a museum in Bonn, Germany. Located on the Museum Mile in Bonn it has exhibitions of art treasures and important cultural objects from around the world. It has an exhibition area of 5600 square meters.

  • Arboretum Park Härle
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Arboretum Park Härle

    The Arboretum Park Härle (4.7 hectares) is a nonprofit arboretum located on the slopes of the Rhine Valley between Bonn and the Seven Mountains at Büchelstraße 40, Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is open twice a month during the warmer months; admission is free.

    The arboretum dates back to 1870, when the director of the Rheinische Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft created a large country house in the English half-timbered style, with park plantings that still remain, including two cedars (Cedrus libani and Cedrus atlantica), a Ginkgo biloba, a Sequoiadendron, and an incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens). In 1921 the property was acquired by jurist Dr. Carl Härle, who actively planted a wide variety of trees and shrubs. After his death in 1950, his daughters Maria and Regina Härle maintained the property, and ultimately willed it to a nonprofit foundation in 2000. Today's arboretum consists of three distinct parts: the old park with old buildings, the new park on the grounds of a former nursery, and the extensive woods with lawn and fruit trees. All told, the arboretum contains more than 800 varieties of trees and shrubs, with extensive collections of Chamaecyparis, Juniperus, Taxus, and Thuja, as well as roses and fine specimens of Acer griseum, Cornus controversa, Cupressus sempervirens, Juniperus deppeana, Pseudotsuga menziesii, and Quercus pyrenaica.

  • Kunstmuseum Bonn
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Kunstmuseum Bonn

    The Kunstmuseum Bonn or Bonn Museum of Modern Art is an art museum in Bonn, Germany, founded in 1947. The Kunstmuseum exhibits both temporary exhibitions and its collection. Its collection is focused on Rhenish Expressionism and post-war German art. It is part of Bonn's "Museum Mile".

  • Botanische Gärten der Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Botanische Gärten der Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

    The Botanische Gärten der Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn (6.5 hectares open to public, 3 hectares private), also known as the Botanischer Garten Bonn, is a botanical garden and arboretum maintained by the University of Bonn. It is located at Meckenheimer Allee 171, Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and open except Saturdays in the warmer months; admission is free on weekdays.

    The gardens were originally castle grounds for the Archbishop of Cologne, dating to about 1340, which circa 1650 were fashioned into a renaissance garden. In 1720 the site was reworked as a baroque garden, setting the basic structure of today's garden, with the rococo Poppelsdorf Palace completed in 1746 by Archbishop Clemens August. When the University of Bonn was founded in 1818, its first garden director, Dr. Christian Gottfried Daniel Nees von Esenbeck (1776-1858), began to focus the garden on scientific botany. By 1900 the garden was second only to Berlin's within Germany, but it was utterly destroyed in World War II. Reconstruction began after the war and was completed in 1979-1984 with the construction of two conservatories.

  • Museum Koenig
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Museum Koenig

    The Alexander Koenig Research Museum (German: Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig) is a natural history museum and zoological research institution in Bonn, Germany. The museum is named after Alexander Koenig, who donated his collection of specimens to the institution. The museum was opened in 1934 and is affiliated with the University of Bonn.

    The museum defines its mission as "researching and explaining the diversity of species of Earth". The main exhibition is titled "Unser blauer Planet - Leben im Netzwerk" (Our blue planet - living in a network). It shows complex ecological systems through dioramas of the African Savannah, a tropical rain forests, the polar regions, deserts and Central Europe.

    Aside from the permanent exhibition the museum houses special exhibitions regularly.

  • Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn

    The Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn, or LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn, is a museum in Bonn, Germany, run by the Rhineland Landscape Association. It is one of the oldest museums in the country. In 2003 it completed an extensive renovation.The museum has a number of notable ancient busts and figures dating back to Roman times.

    The archaeological exhibits are divided into historical themes, e.g. "From the Gods to God", "The Rhineland and the World", or "From Primeval Landscapes to Cities". Works of art are also displayed (non-chronologically) throughout the exhibition, with masterpieces next to simple tools and religious works beside everyday objects. The museum also owns a collection of prints and photographs, and one of coins and medallions. The "Stone Age Area" features the original skeleton of a neanderthal, and displays the evolution of humanity from the development of upright posture to the early Celtic cultures of Europe.

  • The Bonn Minster (Das Bonner Münster)
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    The Bonn Minster (Das Bonner Münster)

    The Bonn Minster (Das Bonner Münster) is one of Germany's oldest churches having been built between the 11th and 13th centuries. At one point the church served as the cathedral for the Archbishopric of Cologne. However, the Münster is now a Papal Basilica.

    The basilica of Bonn was built on the site of the graves of the two martyrs Cassius and Florentius, the city’s patrons. The whole of its development is recorded, from its beginnings as a small place of worship in the late Roman period to its becoming the first large church complex in the Rhineland, and later a significant example of medieval Rhenish church architecture. Most of today’s building dates back to the period of active building work from the 11th to the 13th centuries. Its blend of Romanesque and gothic elements is unusually harmonious. The furnishings, too, most of which date back to the Baroque period, to the end of the 19th and to the 20th century, fit in well, giving the Basilica its own special atmosphere which envelops the visitor and makes him or her feel secure.

    Hours: Basilica: Monday to Saturday 8am - 7pm, Sunday 9am - 8pm. Cloister: Monday to Saturday 10am - 5:30pm, Sunday 1-5:30pm.

  • Kreuzberg Church

    Kreuzberg Church

    Today’s Kreuzberg Church with its impressive Holy Staircase is known as one of the most graceful Baroque creations in the Rhineland. The Kreuzberg has its name from a place of pilgrimage, where the holy cross is said to have been venerated already in the 15th century. In 1746, Clemens August donated the Holy Staircase. The famous Balthasar Neumann was involved in its planning. It is located in the magnificent front section, which is supposed to show the house of Pontius Pilatus. The small brass crosses on the second, the eleventh and the last step mark the places, at which particles of the Cross of Christ are said to be set in the staircase. The staircase leads to a chapel, on the altar of which is a crucifixion group, while the paintings in the vault display the triumph of the cross.

    Hours: Summer: 9am - 6pm daily. Winter: 9am - 5pm daily. Visit of the Holy Staircase: 9am - 5pm daily.

  • Godesburg Fortress and St. Michael Chapel
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Godesburg Fortress and St. Michael Chapel

    The Godesburg is the first fortress in the big series of the fortresses in high altitude at the romantic Middle Rhine. It is located on a mountain peak, which had been a Roman and later on a Frankish cult site. Since the times of christianising the holy St. Michael has been venerated here, whose holy shrine had to disappear in 1210 due to the erection of the fortress, but was re-established at the north side of the mountain. In the Middle Ages, the fortress was a popular place of the electors of Cologne. In the Sewer War against the Cologne-based Elector Gebhard Truchseß zu Waldburg, who changed to reformation, the fortress was blasted in 1583. A part of it – the “Bergfried”, the highest part of the fortress -, was maintained though. Today, the Godesburg appears as a picturesque ruin in numerous pictures featuring the Romantic Rhine. It was restored with style in 1960 and equipped with a hotel and a restaurant. The St. Michael Chapel was supplemented by a long house from 1697 – 99 and has a magnificent Baroque stucco decoration. As the oratorio of the St. Michael order it was equipped in a rich way. On the occasion of a visit to the Godesburg you should take a look at the historical fortress cemetery at the foot of the mountain, which is the so-called pendant to the old cemetery (Alter Friedhof) in Bonn.

    Hours: St. Michael Chapel: May – Oct., 09am - 6pm daily. Guided tours upon request. Access to the Godesburg Tower: April – Oct., Wed.–Sun. 10am - 6pm.

  • Beethoven House and Museum
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Beethoven House and Museum

    The house at the Bonngasse No. 20, in which Beethoven was born in 1770, is the family's only residence in Bonn which is still maintained and in its original condition. Since 1893, it has been a museum, which presents the biggest Beethoven collection in the world. In addition to the exhibitions in the Beethoven-Haus, visitors to the Museum will find a studio in the adjoining Digital Beethoven-House for digital collections and a stage for musical visualisation.

    Hours: April 1 to October 31, Mondays - Saturday 10am - 6pm. Sundays and public holidays 11am -6pm. November 1 to March 31, Saturday 10am - 5pm. Sundays and public holidays 11am - 5pm.

    Admission: Adults 5 €, Concessions 4 €.

  • Brewery Tours
    [ source: Brauhaus Bönnsch ]

    Brewery Tours

    This guided brewery tour for groups goes to the four traditional taverns Em Höttche, Im Stiefel, Sudhaus and Bönnsch, and gives additional information about sightseeing highlights on your way through the city. In every tavern you can try one local beer and Rhenish specialities. The starting and endpoint of the tour are flexible, so that you can choose your individual program.

    Contact the Tourism Office to arrange your tour. Minimum of 8 people. Cost is 30 € per person.

  • Museum Mile

    An impressive cultural center has sprung up at the heart of the city, with institutions such as the Bonn Art Museum, the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Deutsches Museum Bonn (technology), the Haus der Geschichte (history of the Federal Republic of Germany) and the Alexander Koenig Zoological Research Institute and Museum.

    The Haus der Geschichte presents German contemporary history. The permanent exhibition of photography, documents, and many original objects of German post war history covers 4.000 square meters.

    Two of the major collections of the Kunstmuseum Bonn (Bonn Art Museum) are August Macke and the Rhenish Expressionists and works of internationally recognized representatives of German art since 1945. The works are housed in a spectacular building designed by the Berlin architect Axel Schultes.

    The Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn), designed by Gustav Peichl, is a venue for temporary exhibitions in the heart of Europe that emphazises trends of national and international cultural developments, taking into account also scientific and technological aspects.

    Museum Alexander Koenig is one of the best zoological museums in Germany. It was enlarged in 2003 by an ecological information center called The Blue Planet - Living in a Network

    Milestones of German research discoveries during the last 50 years are on exhibit in the Deutsches Museum Bonn (German Museum Bonn). In the Wissenschaftszentrum about 100 original items - from the magnetic rail Transrapid to the Nobel Prize winning ion trap are to be admired on a surface of 1.500 square meters.

    Check with each musuem for location, hours, and admission prices.

  • Arithmeum
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Arithmeum

    The Arithmeum is a mathematics museum owned by the Forschungsinstitut für Diskrete Mathematik (Research Institute for Discrete Mathematics) at the University of Bonn.

    It was founded by the Director of the Institute, Bernhard Korte, who contributed his private collection of calculating machines.

    The building's steel-glass facade - located at Lennéstrasse 2 - is meant to represent the "transparency of science".

  • Beethovenhalle
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Beethovenhalle

    The Beethovenhalle is a concert hall in Bonn. It is the third hall in that city to bear the name of Bonn-born composer Ludwig van Beethoven.

    Spot for political and historical events

    When Bonn was capital of West Germany the Beethovenhalle was often an important spot for political and historical events. For four times between 1974 and 1989 the Bundesversammlung, which elects the President of Germany, took place in this historical site. Since 1990 the Beethovenhalle has been under a preservation order. In 1996 it was modernized for an estimated cost of 22.6 Million DM (11,55 Million €).



What is your insider travel tip for Bonn?

Travel Insider Tips for Bonn

Bonn Overview

Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located about 20 kilometers south of Cologne (Cologne vacation rentals | Cologne travel guide) on the river Rhine in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999. Starting in 1998, many national government institutions were moved from Bonn to Berlin (Berlin vacation rentals | Berlin travel guide). Both houses of the German national parliament, the Bundestag as well as the Bundesrat, were moved along with the Chancellery and the residence of German head of state, the Bundespräsident.

Bonn remains a centre of politics and administration, however. Roughly half of all government jobs were retained as many government departments remained in Bonn and numerous sub-ministerial level government agencies relocated to the former capital from Berlin and other parts of Germany. In recognition of this, the former capital now holds the title of Federal City ("Bundesstadt").

Bonn has developed into a hub of international cooperation in particular in the area of environment and sustainable development. In addition to a number of other international organizations and institutions, such as, for instance, the IUCN Environmental Law Center (IUCN ELC) the City currently hosts 16 United Nations institutions. Among these are two of the so-called Rio Conventions, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The number of UN agencies in Bonn, most of which are based at the newly established United Nations Campus in the city's former parliamentary quarter on the banks of the Rhine, continues to grow.

Bonn is the seat of some of Germany's largest corporate players, chiefly in the areas of telecommunications and logistics. Simultaneously, Bonn is establishing itself as an important national and international center of meetings, conventions and conferences, many of which are directly related to the work of the United Nations. A new conference center capable of hosting thousands of participants is currently under construction in the immediate vicinity of the UN Campus.

From 1597 to 1794, it was the residence of the Archbishops and Prince-electors of Cologne, and is the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven (born 1770).

Things to See

Beethoven's birth place is located at Bonngasse. Next to the market place is the Old Town Hall, built in 1737 in Rococo style, under the rule of Clemens August of Bavaria. It's used for receptions of guests of the town, and as a bureau for the mayor. Nearby is the Kurfürstliches Schloss, built as a residence for the prince-elector and now the main building of the University of Bonn.

The Poppelsdorfer Allee is an alley flanked by chestnut trees which had the first horsecar of the town. It connects the Kurfürstliches Schloss with the Poppelsdorfer Schloss, a palace that was built as a resort to prince-electors in the first half of the 18th century. This axis is interrupted by a railway line and Bonn Central Station, a building erected in 1883/84.

The three highest buildings in the city are the radio mast of WDR in Bonn-Venusberg (180 m), the headquarters of the Deutsche Post called Post Tower (162.5 m) and the former building for the German members of parliament Langer Eugen (114.7 m) now the new location of the UN-Campus.

[ source: Bonn ]

More about the History of Bonn

The history of the city dates back to Roman times. In about 11 BC, the Roman Army appears to have stationed a small unit in what is presently the historical centre of the town. Even earlier, the Army had resettled members of a Germanic tribal group allied with Rome, the Ubii, in Bonn. The Latin name for that settlement, "Bonna", may stem from the original population of this and many other settlements in the area, the Eburoni. The Eburoni were members of a large tribal coalition effectively wiped out during the final phase of Caesar's War in Gaul. After several decades, the Army gave up the small camp linked to the Ubii-settlement. During the 1st century AD, the Army then chose a site to the North of the emerging town in what is now the section of Bonn-Castell to build a large military installation dubbed Castra Bonnensis, i.e., literally, Fort Bonn. Initially built from wood, the fort was eventually rebuilt in stone. With additions, changes and new construction, the fort remained in use by the Army into the waning days of the Western Roman Empire, possibly the mid-5th century AD. The structures themselves remained standing well into the Middle Ages, when they were called the Bonnburg. They were used by Frankish kings until they fell in disuse. Eventually, much of the building materials seem to have been reused in the construction of Bonn's 13th century city wall. The Sterntor (star gate) in the center of town is a reconstruction using the last remnants of the medieval city wall.

To date, Bonn's Roman fort remains the largest fort of its type known from the ancient world, i.e. a fort built for one full-size Imperial Legion and its auxiliaries. The fort covered an area of approximately 250,000 square meters. Between its walls it contained a dense grid of streets and a multitude of buildings, ranging from spacious headquarters and large officers' houses to barracks, stables and a military jail. Among the legions stationed in Bonn, the 1st, i.e. the Prima Legio Minervia, seems to have served here the longest. Units of the Bonn legion were deployed to theaters of wars ranging from modern-day Algeria to what is now the Russian republic of Chechnya.

The chief Roman road linking the provincial capitals of Cologne (Cologne vacation rentals | Cologne travel guide) and Mainz (Mainz vacation rentals | Mainz travel guide) cut right through the fort where it joined the fort's main road (now, Römerstraße). Once past the South Gate, the Cologne-Mainz road continued along what are now streets named Belderberg, Adenauerallee et al. To both sides of the road, the local settlement, Bonna, grew into a sizeable Roman town.

In late antiquity, much of the town seems to have been destroyed by marauding invaders. The remaining civilian population then holed up inside the fort along with the remnants of the troops stationed here. During the final decades of imperial rule, the troops were supplied by Germanic chieftains employed by the Roman administration. When the end came, these troops simply shifted their allegiances to the new barbarian rulers. From the fort, the Bonnburg, as well as from a new, medieval settlement to the South centred around what later became the minster, grew the medieval city of Bonn.

Between the 11th and 13th centuries, the Romanesque style Bonn Minster was built, and in 1597 Bonn became the seat of the Archdiocese of Cologne. The town gained more influence and grew considerably. The elector Clemens August (ruled 1723-1761) ordered the construction of a series of Baroque buildings which still give the city its character. Another memorable ruler was Max Franz (ruled 1784-1794), who founded the university and the spa quarter of Bad Godesberg (Bad Godesberg vacation rentals | Bad Godesberg travel guide). In addition he was a patron of the young Ludwig van Beethoven, who was born in Bonn in 1770; the elector financed the composer's first journey to Vienna.

In 1794, the town was seized by French troops, becoming a part of the First French Empire. In 1815 following the Napoleonic Wars, Bonn became part of the Kingdom of Prussia. Administered within the Prussian Rhine Province, the town became part of the German Empire in 1871 during the Prussian-led unification of Germany. Bonn was of little relevance in these years.

Modern history

During World War II, Bonn had some military significance due to its population. Following World War II, Bonn was in the British zone of occupation, and in 1949 became the capital of West Germany. The choice of Bonn was made mainly due to the advocacy of Konrad Adenauer, a former Cologne Mayor and Chancellor of West Germany after World War II, who came from that area, despite the fact that Frankfurt (Frankfurt vacation rentals | Frankfurt travel guide) already had most of the required facilities and using Bonn was estimated to be 95 Mill DM more expensive than using Frankfurt. Because of its relatively small size for a capital city, Bonn was sometimes referred to, jokingly, as the Bundeshauptstadt ohne nennenswertes Nachtleben (Federal capital without noteworthy night-life) or the 'Bundesdorf' (Federal Village). At one point in the post-WWll/Cold War era, the U.S. Embassy in Bonn was America's largest, comparable, with its thousands of staff, to the [U.S.] Baghdad embassy today.

German reunification in 1990 made Berlin (Berlin vacation rentals | Berlin travel guide) the nominal capital of Germany again. This decision did not mandate that the republic's political institutions would also move. There was heated debate about whether the capital of the newly reconstituted Germany should be in Berlin, Bonn, or another city. Berlin's history as Germany's capital was strongly connected with Imperial Germany, and more ominously with Nazi Germany. It was felt that a new peacefully united Germany shouldn't be governed from a city connected to such overtones of war. The debate was concluded by the Bundestag (Germany's parliament) only on 20 June 1991, concluding that Berlin should be the capital city of the reunified republic. While the government and parliament moved, as a compromise, some of the ministries largely remained in Bonn, with only the top officials in Berlin. There was no plan to move these departments, and so Bonn remained a second, unofficial capital with the new title Federal City (Bundesstadt). Because of the necessary construction work, the move took until 1999 to complete.

At present, the private sector plays a major role in Bonn's economy. With 5 stock listed companies, Bonn has the 4th highest market capitalisation amongst German towns. With headquarters of DHL, T-Mobile and other renowned companies, managers have replaced the public sector.

[ source: Bonn ]

Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located about 20 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999.

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