Cities & Culture

Bonn: a new lease of life for Germany's former capital

Bonn: city from above ©DZT (Francesco Carovillano)

Capital of the Federal Republic of Germany until 1990 and now an internationally renowned hub of commerce and culture, the idyllic city of Bonn on the Rhine River is as assured and cosmopolitan as ever.

To this day, Bonn and the 'Bonn Republic' are symbolic of diplomacy, democracy and Germany's rise following World War II. Authentic sites of Germany's political past now open to visitors include Palais Schaumburg, the Chancellor's Bungalow and the former parliament chamber. The city also has many exhibits that rekindle memories and illustrate the historical and political background to events between the post-war period and reunification.

But Bonn is much more than just the former capital of Germany, as it enjoys a widespread reputation as a city of the arts. As the birthplace of Beethoven, Bonn spreads the joy of classical music and honours its world-famous son during the Beethoven Festival with a series of concerts held every September and October. The city lives up to its reputation as one of Germany's finest centres for art with two of Germany's most significant art museums – the Bonn Museum of Modern Art and the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany (better known as the Bundeskunsthalle). The Museum of Modern Art features one of the most extensive collections of German Expressionism, while visitors who stroll across the Marktplatz square, which dates back to the 11th century, can marvel at the Baroque Town Hall as they sample the delicious produce that local farmers sell here daily.

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