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Bonn: A Brief History

(Information hereunder courtesy of  Historic Highlights of Germany)

Bonn and the Rhein Roman soldiers first bridged the Rhine at Bonn in the year 11 BC. And the name "Bonna" appeared in official records between 13 and 9 BC. Two thousand years have left their mark in Bonn, tracing its development from a Roman camp into the settlement known as "Villa Basilica", and on through the Baroque era's Electoral Palace which today houses the University.

Much of its history, ancient and modern, can be read in Bonn's cityscape. In the north, for instance, traces of the Romans can still be found, and in the south, providing a modern contrast, you find the headquaters of technology companies like the Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile, T-Systems, Deutsche Post and many innovative young software companies. Many research institutions, such as Caesar (The Center for Advances European Studies and Research), and BIT (The Bonn-Aachen International Center for Information Technology) are also located in southern Bonn.

Especially worth seeing are the Basilica in the heart of the city, the venerable Münster in which kings were crowned between 1314-46; the two-storied church of Schwarzrheindorf; and Baroque Poppelsdorf Palace. Rounding out the historic array are magnificent turn-of-the-century villas. Bonn is renowned as the city of music. Ludwig van Beethoven first saw the light of day here in 1770. Paying homage to the great composer are Bonn's international Beethoven Festivals. His birthplace, with museum, is a must attraction. It is one of the characteristic Baroque town houses from the Electoral era.

With the National Art and Exhibition Hall and the new Art Museum, as well as numerous other collections, Bonn boasts a museum scene that is second to none. But the City of Beethoven has even more to offer. Such as the lovely Rhine riverbank promenade leading past the Beethovenhalle (concert hall), the old Customs House and Villa Hammerschmidt – all the way to Bad Godesberg, the diplomatic quarter. From here one has a splendid view of the fabled Siebengebirge with Drachenfels, Drachenburg and Petersberg. Bonn – Your destination on the Rhine.

Edited by the AOSD Conference Committee.  Send comments to: