In this week’s virtual travel series, German diplomat Niels von Redecker shares 10 reasons why he loves his hometown Bonn. From architecture to history to culture and natural beauty, this city on the Rhine is one that everyone should experience at least once!
Sweet childhood memories
Like the smell of licorice on the hockey playgrounds in Dottendorf, a southern part of town, right opposite of the original Haribo factory.
An endless promenade along both sides of the river Rhine – perfect for hour-long runs, skates or bike rides.
“Rhine in flames”
Year by year, this is the biggest event on the Middle Rhine – spectacular bonfires, reflections and echoes!
The Rhine brings warm temperatures earlier than elsewhere. Indulge in the scents of lilacs, forsythia and all kinds of flowering trees, for example in Poppelsdorf and Südstadt.
Live and let live
Bönnsche say “Jeder Jeck is anders” – we are all fools, but we each wear different caps and bells. Bonn is in the epicenter of German Carnival culture. I enjoyed floating through all the pubs as a young man, music, beer and fun for a whole week.
Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn 250 years ago and you can still visit his birthplace. But for me, the house of late Robert Schumann (1810-1856) in Endenich was more important. As a Pänz (“little child”), I stood right in front of it every year, dressed up as a clown or a cowboy, and shouted for Kamelle (“sweets”) in the street carnival.
Diplomatic Class of 2003
When I joined the Foreign Service, the diplomatic academy was still located on the Venusberg, residing on the green hills overlooking Bonn. For me, this meant (after many years spent elsewhere): back to the roots. My first child was born that year, a real Bönnsche Jong.
Culture to the brim
I love the Bonn theaters, opera, museums and the arts – when Bonn was the federal capital (until 1990) and seat of the government (until 1999), it received extra funding for culture. Interestingly, that tradition continues.
History and innovation
Bonn is one of the oldest German cities – founded by the ancient Romans 2,030 years ago. But Bonn is young and ambitious and does not rest on its laurels. It has reinvented itself over and over again – all the economic data have continued to move upwards. It accommodates many UN offices and international enterprises.
Bonn – unlike Cologne – was not heavily destroyed during World War 2. You can find Romanic churches from the 11th century like the Bonner Münster or baroque ensembles. I actually got married in the Schlosskirche (“castle church”), which is part of the University of Bonn. There is also an abundance of streets with rich facades in typical Art Nouveau style.
By Niels von Redecker, German Embassy