Anyone walking through the busy pedestrian zone at the heart of the inner city of Bonn will find themselves constantly amazed: impressive building monuments and landmarks such as the former main post office or the Sternentor gate decoratively sprinkle the squares between the banks of the river Rhine and the main train station. Passers-by will find small cafés and unique stores selling specialities from around the world in these alleys. Buskers are playing their instruments along the path, and artists are putting sights on canvas. A glance at the city map shows that three architectural masterpieces that have seen centuries pass in this metropolis can be found just a few metres apart from each other.
The electoral palace, the Bonner Münster, and the old city hall
Travellers can spot the electoral palace, once the home of the Cologne Electors and the main building of the Friedrich-Wilhelms-University since 1818, from the waterside promenade already. When taking a round tour of the premises, the visitors’ first impression will be dominated by the opulent design of the baroque building. Their second glance will be drawn by the palace garden, a green oasis of peace that lets them catch their breath in the middle of the city. Even strangers to Bonn will feel right at home at an inspiring chat with students on the meadow here.
The Bonner Münster, one of the city’s most important landmarks, is only a five minutes’ walk away. The old City Hall at the Bonner Platz completes the architectural triad. It was built in Rococo style in 1780. “The city’s front parlour” is a true eye-catcher with its gilded outside staircase. Even John F. Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth II. have used it for representative events before. A colourful daily market is spread out in front of this jewel, offering an opportunity to buy nearly anything from fresh fruits to regional treats. Culinary adventures await in many tents and food trucks.
Of rocks, slopes, and cherry blossom avenues
Bonn is more than just a metropolis worth seeing. It also is known as a city with a history that spans two millennia and the gate to the Central Rhine Valley: Many poets, painters, and musicians have been inspired by the beauty of the landscape with its rocks, forested slopes, and vineyard terraces. The term of “Rhine Romanticism” originates here.
Every spring, a wealth of flowers decorates the old town, as the Heerstraße and the Breitestraße both shine in shades of pink in March and April, drawing both looks and camera lenses. Blossoming Japanese cherry trees on either side of the paths give us these memorable moments. A great many different plants with blossoms of a multitude of different colours grow and thrive in the “Stadtfrüchtchen” urban gardening project, providing an alternative resting spot nearby.
A hiking path leading to important places connected to the artist
Ludwig van Beethoven, one of the most famous musicians of the last centuries was born in Bonngasse no. 20 in 1770. Growing up in a family of musicians, he studied at the university of Bonn from 1789 onwards. The Beethoven house and the Beethoven monument are still reminiscent of the genius who wrote musical history with his compositions. The artist’s fans can follow his life and work in the building’s museum, which owns the world’s largest Beethoven collection. Anyone who prefers more action can follow the musician on the Beethoven hiking trail, opened in 2019 and connecting 22 important places referring to him.
A street connecting five museums in the direct surrounding
Anyone who would like to learn more about culture in Bonn can choose between five museums clustered closely together, each providing a focus of its own. Any visitor will find something to match their interests, no matter if they prefer exhibitions on science, technology, art, natural sciences, or history.
History fans can relive important events in the Federal Republic of Germany since 1918 in the House of History. The building is located in Bonn’s former government quarter, where, among other things, the former office of the Federal Chancellery (Palais Schaumburg), as well as the official seat and residence of the Federal President (Villa Hammerschmidt) were located. This used to be the centre of political power in Germany while Bonn was the Federal capital from 1949 to 1990.