Holiday Trip #1 - Bonn

Being in Europe, I find that there is so much more history that dates back so far - much farther than us Americans have. I mean, every time we go to church, we drive by a piece of the original wall that surrounded the city in the Middle Ages... did you hear me? The MIDDLE AGES! Before coming here, I thought that visiting a fort from the Revolutionary War was the coolest thing - sorry, but the Middle Ages castles definitely win for me!

But, today there were no castles to see. But I thought I would give you some overall information about the city I visited!

Bonn was founded between 13 - 9 B.C. by the Romans as they began building roads, bridges, and fortresses. The fort is the largest type of fort from the ancient world. In 1597, Bonn became the seat of Archdiocese of Cologne. And Beethoven was born in this city in the year 1770. The city was also the capital of West Germany from 1949 until 1990.

 First stop of the day was to the informational services building - yes, to get resources for the trip, but also because they had a bathroom open to the public. But once everything was taken care of, I was excited to find all the information I needed.

I was really excited to see the whole city, but there was one set of sites I wanted to see the most. Having just finished a course on the Beethoven sonatas, I was really excited to see all the sites relating to this wonderful composer. First stop was the Beethoven Monument. (I will now quote something from the brochure about this place!)

"The monument was created by a sculptor from Dresden, Ernst Julius Hähnel, and it shows Beethoven looking forward and awaiting musical inspiration. The unveiling of the statue took place on the 22nd of August 1845, the year of Beethoven's 75th birthday. The occasion was marked by a music festival lasting 3 days, the first Beethoven Festival." 

The statue of Beethoven is surrounded by the postal office right behind it, and in front by a baroque palace that was built by Deacon Radermacher. 

 So as I walked through the city, I came to this grandiose building - and I still don't exactly know what it is called. But it looks great! 

From here, I decided to walk to the Beethoven Hall. 
"Opened in September 1959, the new Beethoven Concert Hall, designed by the architect Siegfried Wolske, has seen Bonn become a fixture in the calendar of the world's leading music festivals."

And in front of  the Concert Hall, is the Beethon. 
"In 1986,the Düsseldorf-based sculptor Klaus Kammerichs created 'Beethon,' a visually stunning concrete bust based on the best-known portrait of Beethoven, painted in 1819 by Karl Josef Stieler (the name of the bust is a play on the German word Beton, which means concrete). The sculpture has since become synonymous not only with the Beethoven Hall but also with the city of Bonn itself."
The trick of this sculpture is that it is just concrete blocks molded into different shapes to create the face at a distance. 

 Above you can see the far away look... seems so 3D.
But then here, as I got closer, you can see how the blocks just jut out to create the illusion at a distance. 

So, after taking a break for lunch, I headed over to the Haus der Geschichte museum. It is the history of Germany since 1945 - something that as an American, I don't remember studying at all. Which, as I found at the museum, is a sad thing, because there were so many things that happened that were interesting. 
Because it was a museum, I couldn't take too many good pictures because of the lighting. 
I did get one picture of a dentist's office scene that was set up. 

And there was an exhibit about the influence of America in Deutschland. 

Overall, it was a wonderful day! I had a great time on the train ride there, exploring through the city, and just enjoying Germany! 

Just a few misc pictures from the day! 


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