The birthplace of Beethoven – Bonn

Bonn in Germany – the city where Beethoven was born

Bonn, Germany is one of the political and economic centers of the country. There are few tourists here, but the interesting sights are not less than in Cologne, Nuremberg, Munich or Dusseldorf.

View of Bonn

Overview

Bonn is a city in western Germany, near Cologne. Its population is 318,809 people (it is the 19th most populous city in Germany). The city spreads over an area of 141.06 km².

From 1949 to 1990, Bonn was the capital of Germany, but after the unification of the country gave up its status to Berlin. Nevertheless, to this day, Bonn remains an important political and economic center of the country. It often hosts international diplomatic meetings and summits.

Cherry trees in Bonn.

The city was founded in the 11th century BC and flourished in the 1700s: At that time Bonn had its own university, the royal residence was rebuilt in Baroque style, and it was in this century that famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn.

Attractions

Bonn, Germany has many interesting sights that will take at least two days to visit.

National Museum of Contemporary History of the Federal Republic of Germany

The National Museum of Modern History of the Federal Republic of Germany is a strictly historical museum about postwar life in the divided country. Interestingly, it is one of the most visited and popular museums in the city. More than 800,000 people come here every year.

The exhibition presented in the museum is made under the motto “Making sense of history”. Germans believe that history should not be embellished or forgotten, because it can happen again. That is why a lot of attention in the museum is paid to the history of the emergence of fascism and Nazism. In addition, there are rooms devoted to the Cold War, the period of “détente” and photos of the city of Bonn in Germany in different historical periods.

A tank at the National Museum of Contemporary History of the Federal Republic of Germany

However, the main theme of the museum is the contrast between life in Germany and the GDR. The exhibition creators say it was important for them to show the difficult postwar period in which their parents grew up and lived.

In the museum you can see the car of the first Chancellor of Germany, the passport of the first guest worker, interesting documents from the Nuremberg Trials (trials of Nazi leaders after the Second World War) and military equipment.

The museum occupies the first place in the list of the most interesting sights in Bonn. Another plus is that the museum is free.

  • Address: Willie Brandt Allee 14, 53113 Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
  • Opening times: 10.00 – 18.00.

Freizeitpark Rheinaue

Park Freizeitpark Rheinaue covers an area of 160 hectares and is a popular recreation area in Bonn. The improvement of the attraction was completed in 1979. The main attractions are:

  • The Bismarck Tower rises at the northern end of the park;
  • Hermann Holzinger’s art installation “Spoons in the Woods” can be seen at the southern end;
  • a totem pole donated to Germany by Canadian artist Tony Hunt, located between the Japanese garden and the postal tower;
  • a comma-shaped monument to Ludwig Van Beethoven is located at the west end of the park;
  • the blind fountain is located in the Jet Garden;
  • playgrounds can be found in the southern part of the park;
  • a basketball court is located on the left bank of the Rhine;
  • a dog walking area is located at the east end of the park.
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The main areas of the park are:

  1. Japanese garden. Contrary to its name, not only Asian but also European plants are planted here. Characterized by a large number of flowering plants and unusual varieties of trees.
  2. Jet Garden. Perhaps this is one of the most unusual gardens, because people who can not see can enjoy it. Florists specially selected plants that have a strong aroma and very bright color. In addition, near each flower and tree installed plates Braille with a description of the plant.

Tourists say that Freietsaipark is one of the best places to relax in Bonn. Here you can not only walk and ride a bike, but also have a picnic. Locals love to come here to admire the birds, of which there are many, and to take a break from the bustling streets of Bonn.

Botanical Garden

The botanical garden and arboretum is managed by the University of Bonn. Originally (in the 13th century) the park in the Baroque style was owned by the Archbishop of Cologne, but after the construction of the University of Bonn in 1818, was transferred to the college.

The first director of the higher educational institution of the city changed the garden greatly: in it began to plant plants, interesting primarily in terms of science, rather than appearance. Unfortunately, during World War II, the garden was completely destroyed, and it was restored only in 1979.

Today the park has about 8,000 plant species, ranging from endangered native Rhineland flowers (such as Lady’s Slipper orchids) to protected species such as the Sophora toromiro from Easter Island. The attraction can be divided into several areas:

Botanical Gardens pavilion

  1. Arboretum. Here you can see about 700 species of plants, among which there are very rare ones.
  2. The systematic section (often called the evolutionary section). In this part of the garden you can see 1200 species of plants and trace how they have changed over the centuries.
  3. Geographic section. Here are collections of plants based on where they grow.
  4. Biotopes Section. In this area of the park you can see photos and models of plants that have completely disappeared from the face of the Earth.
  5. Winter Garden. Here are tropical plants brought to Bonn from Africa, South America and Australia.
  6. House of Palms. In this part of the park you can see tropical trees (such as bananas and bamboo).
  7. Succulents. This is the smallest, but one of the most interesting collections. Succulents for the Botanical Garden were brought from Asia and Africa.
  8. Victoria House is the aquatic part of the park. In this “house” you can see different species of lilies, lilies, and swans.
  9. The Orchid House is entirely dedicated to the different varieties of orchids brought from Central and South America.

Allocate at least 4 hours for a walk through the garden. It is better to come to the park in late spring or summer.

  • Address: Poppeldorfer Allee, 53115 Bonn, Germany.
  • Opening hours: 10.00 – 20.00
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Beethoven`s house

Beethoven is the most famous person ever born and lived in Bonn. His two-story house, which now houses the museum, is located on Bonngasse.

On the first floor of the Beethoven House Museum is the living room, where the composer loved to relax. Here you can get information about Beethoven’s family and see his personal belongings.

The second floor is much more interesting – it is dedicated to the composer’s works. The exhibition features unique musical instruments that belonged not only to Beethoven, but also to Mozart and Salieri. And yet, the main exhibit is considered to be Beethoven’s grand piano. Tourists also note the huge ear of the trumpet, which the composer used as a remedy for his growing deafness. It is also interesting to look at the masks of Beethoven – posthumous, and made 10 years before his death.

Grand piano in Beethoven's house

Near the museum, there is another attraction – a small chamber hall, which even today gathers lovers of classical music.

  • Address: Bonngasse 20, 53111 Bonn, Germany.
  • Opening time: 10.00 – 17.00
  • Cost: 2 euro.
  • Official website: www.beethoven.de

Beethoven Statue

In honor of Ludwig van Beethoven, who is a true symbol of Bonn, on the main square of the city there is a statue (as a landmark – the building of the Main Post Office).

Interestingly, established in 1845, the monument is the first one dedicated to the famous composer. The pedestal depicts different kinds of music (in the form of allegories) and the score of the 9th Symphony and the Solemn Mass is also engraved.

Where to find: Münsterplatz, Bonn.

Christmas Fair

The Christmas Fair is held annually on the main square of the city of Bonn in Germany. Several dozen stalls are set up where you can:

  • taste traditional German food and drink (fried sausages, strudel, gingerbread, grog, mead);
  • buy souvenirs (magnets, paintings, statuettes and postcards);
  • buy knitwear (scarves, hats, mittens and socks);
  • Christmas tree toys.

Tourists note that the fair in Bonn is less than in other German cities: there is not a lot of decorations and merry-go-rounds, swings and other entertainment for children. But you can take some of the most beautiful pictures of Bonn (Germany) during the Christmas holidays.

Location: Munsterplatz, Bonn, Germany.

Cathedral

The cathedral on Munsterplatz is one of the architectural symbols of the city. Among Christians the place where the temple is located is considered sacred because once there was a Roman shrine where two Roman legionaries were buried.

Bonn attraction combines elements of Baroque, romanticism and Gothic. The cathedral has a lot of ancient exhibits, including: statues of Angel and Demon (13th century), an ancient altar (11th century) and a fresco depicting the Three Magi.

The cathedral has a dungeon, where the tomb of the martyrs is located. It is possible to get into the cellar only once a year – on the day of commemoration of Saints (October 10). The rest of the church is regularly guided tours and concerts are held.

  • Address: Gangolfstr. 14 | Gangolfstraße 14, 53111 Bonn, Germany.
  • Opening hours: 7.00 a.m. – 19.00 p.m.

Market Square, Old Town Hall

The market square is the heart of old Bonn. This is what you should see first in Bonn. According to an old German tradition, all the distinguished guests who ever came to the city were sure to visit the Market Square first. These people include John Kennedy, Elizabeth II, Charles de Gaulle and Mikhail Gorbachev.

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On weekdays there is a farmer’s market where you can buy fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers. On the square there are many old buildings.

Among them is the Old Town Hall, built in the 18th century. This landmark in Bonn, Germany was built in the Baroque style and thanks to the abundance of gold that glitters in the sun, it can be seen from afar. Unfortunately, you can’t get inside, but you can take some beautiful pictures on the grand staircase.

Address: Marktplatz, Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

Where to stay

Hotel in Bonn

In the German city of Bonn there are about 100 options for accommodation, the bulk of which are hotels 3 *. Reservations must be made in advance (usually no later than 2 months).

The average cost of a room for two in a 3 * hotel in the high season is 80-100 euros. Usually this price includes a good breakfast (continental or European), free parking, Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, kitchenette in the room and all necessary appliances. Most rooms have facilities for disabled guests.

Remember that the city of Bonn has a subway, so it is not necessary to rent accommodation in the very center – you can save money by staying at a hotel farther from the center.

Nutrition

Schnellclops

Schnellclops .

There are dozens of cafes and restaurants in Bonn, and tourists are sure not to go hungry. Many travelers advise not to go to expensive establishments, but to try street food.

The average price of dinner for two at a restaurant in the center is 47-50 euros. This price includes 2 main dishes and 2 drinks. Sample menu:

Dish/drink Price (euro)
Hamburger at McDonald’s 3.5
Schnellclops 4.5
Schtruli 4.0
Mecklenburg potato roll 4.5
German Sauerkraut 4.5
Poppy Cake 3.5
Brezel 3.5
Cappuccino 2.60
Lemonade 2.0

Interesting Facts

Cherry Tunnel

  1. Walking up to Beethoven’s house, you can see that on the pavement there are medallions with the names and photos of famous German composers, scientists and writers.
  2. Be sure to stop by one of Bonn’s breweries – the locals believe that it is in their city that makes the tastiest beer.
  3. Bonn, Germany has two cherry alleys. One is located on Breite Straße, the other on Heerstraße. Cherry trees brought from Japan blossom for only a few days, so people from neighboring cities come to see such beauty.
  4. If you look under your feet, standing on the Market Square, you can see that the paving stones here are book stubs, on which are written the names of German writers and the titles of their works. The memorial is laid to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the events that took place in Nazi Germany (books were burned).
  5. The Bonn Cathedral can be considered the most modern in the world. It was here that they first installed an electronic terminal for collecting donations.

Bonn, Germany is a cozy German city in which people still honor traditions and do everything possible to avoid repeating mistakes of the past.

Video: walk in Bonn.

Author: Maria Protasenya

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Loved the city of Bonn, its attractions. Cathedral on Münsterplatz, Beethoven House, Market Square, Botanical Gardens and Arboretum which is run by the University of Bonn, Freitzaypark, and to the Christmas Fair on the main square in Bonn,you can make the most beautiful photo. I learned a lot of interesting and useful. Bonn was a great place to visit, an amazing experience.

Biography of Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven in an 1820 portrait by Karl Stieler.

December 16, 2015 is the 245th anniversary of the birth of German composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven.

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn on December 16, 1770 into a family with Flemish roots. The composer’s paternal grandfather was born in Flanders, served as a singer in Ghent and Leuven, and in 1733 he moved to Bonn, where he became court musician at the Elector-Chancellor’s Chapel of Cologne. His only son Johann, like his father, served in the chapel as a vocalist (tenor) and moonlighted, giving violin and clavier lessons.

In 1767 he married Maria-Magdaline Keverich, daughter of the court chef in Koblenz (the seat of the Archbishop of Trier). Ludwig, the future composer, was the eldest of their three sons.

His musical talent showed itself early. Beethoven’s first music teacher was his father, and he also studied with the musicians of the chapel.

On March 26, 1778 his father organized his son’s first public performance.

From 1781 the young talent’s lessons were supervised by composer and organist Christian Gottlob Nefet. Soon Beethoven became concertmaster of the court theater and assistant organist at the chapel.

In 1782 Beethoven wrote his first work, Variations for clavier on a theme of a march by the composer Ernst Dresler.

In 1787 Beethoven visited Vienna and took some lessons from composer Wolfgang Mozart. But he soon learned that his mother was seriously ill and returned to Bonn. After his mother’s death, Ludwig was left as the family’s sole breadwinner.

The young man’s giftedness attracted the attention of some enlightened Bonn families, and his brilliant piano improvisations ensured his free entrance to all musical gatherings. The von Breuning family did especially much for him, taking over the musician’s guardianship.

In 1789 Beethoven was a free student at the philosophy department of the University of Bonn.

In 1792 the composer moved to Vienna, where he lived almost continuously for the rest of his life. His initial goal in moving was to improve in composition under composer Joseph Haydn, but these studies did not last long. Beethoven quickly gained fame and recognition, first as Vienna’s best pianist and improviser, and later as a composer.

At the height of his creative powers, Beethoven showed tremendous capacity for work. In 1801-1812 he wrote such outstanding works as the Sonata in C minor (“Moonlight”, 1801), the Second Symphony (1802), the “Kreutzer Sonata” (1803), the “Heroic” (Third) Symphony, the sonatas “Aurora” and “Appassionata” (1804), the opera “Fidelio” (1805) and the Fourth Symphony (1806).

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In 1808 Beethoven completed one of his most popular symphonic works, the Fifth Symphony and simultaneously the Pastoral (Sixth) Symphony, in 1810 the music for Johann Goethe’s tragedy Egmont, and in 1812 the Seventh and Eighth Symphonies.

From the age of 27, Beethoven suffered from progressive deafness. This illness, so serious for the musician, restricted his contacts with people and impeded his pianistic performances, which eventually had to be stopped. From 1819 he had to switch completely to communicating with interlocutors by means of a slate or paper and pencil.

In his later works Beethoven frequently turned to fugue form. The last five piano sonatas (No 28-32) and the last five quartets (Nos 12-16) are remarkable for their particularly complex and refined musical language, demanding the greatest skill from the performers.

Beethoven’s later work was controversial for a long time. Of his contemporaries, only a few were able to understand and appreciate his last works. One such person was his Russian admirer Prince Nikolai Golitsyn, on whose commission the Quartets Nos. 12, 13 and 15 were written and to whom they are dedicated. He is also the subject of the overture Le Consecration de l’Homme (1822).

In 1823 Beethoven completed the Solemn Mass, which he considered his greatest work. This mass, intended more for concert than cult performance, was one of the milestone phenomena in the German oratorio tradition.

With Golitsyn’s assistance, the Solemn Mass was first performed on April 7, 1824 in St Petersburg.

In May 1824 Beethoven performed his final concert in Vienna, where, in addition to parts from the mass, he also performed his final Ninth Symphony with a closing chorus to the words of Friedrich Schiller’s Ode to Joy. Throughout the entire work there is a consistent message of overcoming suffering and the triumph of light.

The composer composed nine symphonies, eleven overtures, five concerti for piano and orchestra, a violin concerto, two masses and one opera. Beethoven’s chamber music includes 32 piano sonatas (not including the six juvenile sonatas written in Bonn) and 10 sonatas for violin and piano, 16 string quartets, seven piano trios, and many other ensembles – string trios, a septet for mixed players. His vocal legacy consists of songs, over 70 choruses, and canons.

On March 26, 1827, Ludwig van Beethoven died in Vienna from pneumonia, complicated by jaundice and dropsy.

The composer is buried in Vienna’s Central Cemetery.

The Beethoven tradition was embraced and continued by composers Hector Berlioz, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, Anton Bruckner, Gustav Mahler, Sergei Prokofiev, and Dmitri Shostakovich. Composers of the Neuven school – Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Anton Webern – also honored Beethoven as their teacher.

Since 1889 there has been a museum in Bonn in the house where the composer was born.

In Vienna, there are three museum houses devoted to Ludwig van Beethoven, and two monuments.

There is also a Beethoven Museum at Brunswick Castle in Hungary. At one time the composer was a friend of the Brunswick family, often coming to Hungary and staying at their house. He was alternately in love with two of his students from the Brunswick family, Juliette and Therese, but neither infatuation ended in marriage.

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