Climate in Bonn
There is no special rainy season
Avg. Temp. in Spring: max.: 10 – 19°C ( 50 - 66°F ); min: 1 - 7°C ( 34 – 45°F )
Avg. Temp. in Summer: max.: 21 – 22°C ( 70 - 71F ); min: 11 - 12°C ( 51 - 53°F )
Avg. Temp. in Autumn: max.: 8 – 19°C ( 47 - 66°F); min: 2 - 10°C ( 36 – 50°F )
Avg. Temp. in Winter: max.: 5 – 6°C ( 41 - 43°F); min: 0 - 1°C ( 32 - 34°F )
a place to stand still in
This is, in my mind, a place to stand still in and a place where I always seem to end up in tears! The room in which Beethoven was born. It is a little room at the back of the house.
In the house is the organ console of the old "Minoritenkirche" which Beethoven played as a child. There is also Beethoven's last great piano. This piano was put at his disposal by Conrad Graf who was a piano maker in Vienna. Also in the house are most of the "authentic" portraits of Beethoven.
There is also the "Digital Beethoven Salon" a virtual 3D Beethoven workroom. It was completed in 2004 where you can get interactive access to his works.
The whole museum/ house is just so interesting - you enter it through the museum shop and then throught the garden - where this lovely bust of the master is. The shop has a good selection of quality gifts and books.
Nov 1 - March 31 monday - saturday 10.00 -17.00
sundays and public holidays 11.00 - 17.00
April 1 - October monday -saturday 10,00 - 18.00
sundays and public holidays 11.00 - 18.00
Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik
This is the history museum of Germany. It has lots of photos and other exhibits like cars, train compartments etc on display. The train in the photo is not a train in any station but an exhibit of the train that used to be in the earlier days on display in the ground floor of the museum. The photo shows the new Deutsche Mark post reunification of Germany. It is a big museum and the good thing about it is that it has no fee for entrance. The only thing I did not like was the absense of information in English. Everything is very German. To go to the museum one needs to get down at Heussallee station of U-bahn and just follow the exit directions. One can directly enter the museum from one of the exits without going out of the station.
Former capital in search of new identity
I had past Bonn by train before and knew what the scenery was like, but I could never imagine that the city itself was so pleasant. I know of the "Ständige Vertretung" bar in Berlin where homesick Bonn bureaucrats gather now that they are based in Berlin and whilst I love Berlin, I can now see what they miss. It is not just the majestic Rhine and the silhouettes of the Siebengebirge, but also the compact city centre with its many nice houses and the proximity to lots of wine districts. It is a city which suffers from a bit of an identity crisis now it is no longer the capital, but then again, it was given the responsibility rather hastily and maybe never really asked for it. Besides, it already had a dramatic history of being French in the 18th century, and then Prussian. Now it is established as a bureaucratic city, the UN has recently set up offices here in place of governmental offices (I was once hoping the EU would do it but that would be asking too much of the French and English I'm afraid),
Bonn also has a surprising amount of good shopping, and all shops are at easy walking distance from each other in the old town and, according to Win, cheaper than in nearby Cologne.
Did you also know that Beethoven was born in Bonn? Only living here in his youth really, the city nevertheless profits on his name today with Beethoven associations everywhere, and his statue outside this cheerful old post office.
Bonn is the home of 'Democratic' Architecture, which is distinguished by unobstrusive Bauhaus-inspired modernism and plenty of glass. Transparency evidently lends itself to political honesty. A small town on the Rhine before WWII, it was chosen as the new capital of post-war Germany for this very anonymous unobtrusiveness. The Bauhaus designs of the 1920s happened to have been detested and supressed by the National Socialists, and, as a result, were considered the ideal style for the new country. Mind you, BAuhaus is the exact opposite of the grandiose Neo-Classicism of Hitler, and of Berlin. Bonn is a modernist's cornucopia of the very best of 1950s architectural design. A stroll along the river near the town center is a fine starting point.