Non-German speakers face problems while communicating in Germany. The situation gets worst if you've lost your way and no body seems to understand you. In such case try to talk with youngsters as the young boys & girls (students) speak very good enlish, and contrary to their elders they feel no hesitation in doing so.
Bonn at Christmas
Bonn is a magical place at Christmas. The shopping streets in the city centre are pedestrianised, all lead into the central Market Square and each is decorated with the most beautiful Christmas lights. The Old Town Hall in the square becomes an advent calendar, with a new number lit in a window each day. There is also a magnficent Christmas tree in the square. The shop windows are a delight and as in all German towns, there is a jolly Christmas market.
I have visited a number of towns at Christmas and Bonn is my favourite.
Many a mass demonstration used to be held on this large meadow in the center of Bonn, for instance against the American war in Vietnam in the 1960s and 70s. But now that Bonn is no longer the capital, the big demonstrations tend to be held in Berlin. Calm and quiet have returned to Bonn, and the Hofgarten is used mainly by university students for sunbathing and pick-up soccer games.
As the name implies, this Hofgarten was originally laid out as the Court Gardens at the Palace of a local ruler, Clemens August I. (1700-1761), who was a Kurfuerst (Elector) and also the Archbishop of Cologne.
One of the reasons Bonn was chosen as the site of a new university in 1818 was that the palace was empty at that time and was an ideal place to hold lectures and seminars.
Bonn... der Bundesstadt ("the Federal City")
Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located about 20 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999. Starting in 1998, many national government institutions were moved from Bonn to Berlin. Both houses of the German national parliament, the Bundestag as well as the Bundesrat, were moved along with the Chancellery and the residence of German head of state, the Bundespräsident.
Bonn remains a centre of politics and administration, however. Roughly half of all government jobs were retained as many government departments remained in Bonn and numerous sub-ministerial level government agencies relocated to the former capital from Berlin and other parts of Germany. In recognition of this, the former capital now holds the title of Federal City ("Bundesstadt").
Bonn has developed into a hub of international cooperation in particular in the area of environment and sustainable development. In addition to a number of other international organizations and institutions, such as, for instance, the IUCN Environmental Law Center (IUCN ELC) the City currently hosts 16 United Nations institutions. Among these are two of the so-called Rio Conventions, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The number of UN agencies in Bonn, most of which are based at the newly established United Nations Campus in the city's former parliamentary quarter on the banks of the Rhine, continues to grow.
Bonn is the seat of some of Germany's largest corporate players, chiefly in the areas of telecommunications and logistics. Simultaneously, Bonn is establishing itself as an important national and international centre of meetings, conventions and conferences, many of which are directly related to the work of the United Nations. A new conference centre capable of hosting thousands of participants is currently under construction in the immediate vicinity of the UN Campus.
From 1597 to 1794, it was the residence of the Archbishops and Prince-electors of Cologne, and is the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven (born 1770).
Fumbler8's Bonn Page
I stayed with a friend in Bonn, Germany for just under a week at the end of June. We ate bratwurst, drank Grolsch beer and watched U.S. Armed Forces television!! We did the one thing I had my heart set on during my trip to Germany....hit a Birkenstock factory!!