Beethoven Museum Bonn

Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History

Beethoven-Haus piano
Beethoven-Haus piano

[ source: Wikipedia]

What do you think of when you hear mention of the city of Bonn? If your interest in is politics, you will immediately recall that it was the capital city of West Germany. However, if you are a music lover, your mind will immediately conjure up images and music associated with Ludwig von Beethoven. Bonn (Bonn vacation rentals | Bonn travel guide) was the birthplace of Beethoven, and no classical music aficionado should visit the city without stopping by the Beethoven Museum, housed in the building in which he was born. Beethoven entered the world in the attic of this house, and his family lived on the first floor. Although the Beethoven family lived in other places in Bonn, this is the only structure connected to the great composer that still survives. In 1889, the house was threatened with demolition, but a Beethoven Haus Society was established to rescue it. The society successfully purchased the building to create a memorial to the composer. In 1892, chamber music concerts were hosted here, and one year later, a museum dedicated to Beethoven was opened. Although a bomb struck the house during a 1944 attack on Bonn, the fire was quickly extinguished by fast-thinking museum employees, resulting in little harm.

Today, the museum has much to offer the curious visitor. The Beethoven Museum in Bonn houses the largest collection of Beethoven artifacts in the world. Exhibitions are set up in the main part of the house. A permanent exhibit provides details into the life and work of the composer through over 150 displays. Temporary exhibitions on topics such as the depiction of Beethoven on postage stamps, provide supplemental perspectives on his influence and importance. Guided tours are available of the exhibitions. For children, the Beethoven Museum offers discovery tours on a monthly basis, as well as school tours and workshops.

Besides physical exhibits, since 2004, the Bonn museum has made available digital collections. The collections are accessible through computer workstations, and they include digitized documents, virtual exhibits, and interactive programming for children. In the same neighboring structure, one can find a stage for musical visualization. This "lab" is a forum for the visual interpretation of Beethoven's work through three-dimensional image and sound reproduction.

The museum's Hermann J. Abs Chamber Music Hall provides further incentive for visitors to come to the site. It offers a wide array of musical performances for those who wish to experience music physically, in addition to reading about it. The Beethoven Museum in Bonn also operates the Beethoven Archives and Library, as well as an in-house publishing house for scholarly work by museum staff.

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About this Article

Rachel Hildebrandt

This travel guide has been written by Rachel Hildebrandt.

Starting with her first trip to Germany at the age of 16, Rachel has traveled, worked, and studied in Germany extensively. Although her first encounter with German culture was in Lower Saxony, since that time the focus of her subsequent work as a freelance historian and translator has shifted eastward. Building on her graduate studies in Dresden, Rachel has worked for a variety of German foundations as a historian and translator, and is currently pursuing research pertaining to the Sorbs in Lusatia (eastern Saxony).

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Location, Map, and Driving Directions

Location: Bonngasse 18-26, 53111 Bonn, Germany

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