Books for free
I was walking from Bonn University to Poppelsdorfer palace. Most of the way goes trough a very pleasant pedestrian zone. So, I was passing trough it when I saw next to the alley under a tree a cupboard full of books. People were stopping by from time to time and browsing trough them.
Since I found the sight of a cupboard full of books standing in the open air a bit peculiar, I took a picture and asked Win later in the evening what was that. He told me that the cupboard is full of second hand books and that people can browse trough them and take what they like for free.
I kind of liked the idea because I always felt reluctant to throw away old books. It looks like a good way to get rid of your old books and helping someone else save some money at the same time :)
Bonner Pranger / Bonn Pillory
When I was walking around Münsterplatz I saw next to the cathedral just the base of a pillory surrounded by panels showing how the pillar looked like and giving the following explanation:
A symbol of justice from 13th century, 2.7 meters high, made of red sandstone, with a pedestal and a sphere of trachyt.
The condemned were placed on the pillory and exposed to the mockery and the insults of the public.
That got me curious so I tried to find out some more info. What I found out for this pillory was that the "pleasure" of being put on the pillar was free of charge until 15 January 1757, when the Archbishopric of Cologne decided that people can not be tortured for free, they have to pay because the costs of the High Executioner had to be covered...
For that purpose a Tariff for Torture was introduced.
Here is a quote from that document, stating the reasons:
"Even though the Archbishopric of Cologne has previously endowed the high executioner with a permanent yearly income of 80 reichsthaler, 20 albus, 12 malder of grain, and 4 cords of wood, nevertheless it has turned out that during and after performing executions and other matters connected with them, so many unsubstantiated and exaggerated claims for extra expenses have been made that it has become very costly for the chief court of the Elector Archbishop.
Therefore, the Archbishopric is compelled, in order to contain these demands, to set up the following rules in which every single operation has been given its due charge, which is forthwith promulgated."
Bonn, January 15, 1757.
Here is the excerpt relevant to the Bonn Pillory:
For putting in the pillory 0,52 Thalers
For putting in the pillory, and for whipping, including the rope and the rods 1,26 Thalers
For putting in the pillory, branding, and whipping, including coals, rope, and rods, also the branding ointment 2,0 Thalers
The rest of the tariff is even more depressing with its detailed definitions... if you want to get an idea, check the site below.
City central area
The city center or market place is car free area. The main town hall (rathaus) looks glorious in the evening. There are always some tourists around. There are many shops and variety of resturants in this area.
Within sight of the Seven Mountains
Bonn, a sleepy, provincial university town, yes, but boy do they have constructions going on all over! It's a big pain in the neck to get any where by car (inside Bonn town)! Bonn lies 45 miles South of Duesseldorf 17 miles South of Cologne, 108 miles NW of Frankfurt. I personally recommend to get there rather by public system.
"Until 1949, Bonn was a sleepy little university town, basking in its 2,000 years of history. Then suddenly it was shaken out of this quiet life and made capital of the Federal Republic of Germany. But in 1991, after the reunification of Germany, Berlin again became the official capital.
Although Bonn will continue to function as a smaller "second capital," no other cities stand to lose as much, especially in terms of prestige and political influence. Six of the major 15 departments of the German government, including the Defense Ministry, will remain here, although they will also have smaller offices in Berlin.
From the 13th century through the 18th century, Bonn was the capital of the prince-electors of Cologne, who had the right to participate in the election of the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. The city is also proud of its intellectual and musical history -- Beethoven was born there; composer Robert Schumann and his wife, pianist Clara Schumann, lived there; and Karl Marx and Heinrich Heine studied in Bonn's university. Bonn's latest cultural addition is the "Museum Mile," which includes the Bundeskunsthalle (Federal Art and Exhibition Hall) and the Kunstmuseum (Art Museum).
Bonn is also within sight of the Siebenbirge (Seven Mountains), a volcanic mountain range rising up on the eastern bank of the Rhine. The entire range is today a national park. The local wine produced on these slopes is known as Drachenblut (Dragon's Blood) and is better than most German reds."
-Frommer's Travel Guide
"The Bundesrepublik Deutschland has endured longer than any other political entity intended to unify the diverse German tribes and give them a sense of statehood—longer than the Kaiser Reich of 1871 to 1918, the Weimar Republic, Hitler's Third Reich, or even the Communist-run East German Democratic Republic, which made it to age 41 before going out of business in October 1990.
It is the first real and most durable democracy Germany has ever had, and it has given Germans the longest period of peace, rule by law not men, economic prosperity, social justice, and international respect they have ever enjoyed.
The official date of birth is May 23, 1949. That was when the Grundgesetz (Basic Law) postwar Germany's constitution, was promulgated and the Federal Republic, comprising the territory of the American, British, and French occupation zones, was formally founded.
But this "baby" had an extraordinarily long gestation and its capital was as unsuited as anyone could imagine: BONN, a sleepy, provincial university town on the banks of the Rhine, popular in the late 19th century among tycoons as a place to build ornate retirement mansions. It was nicknamed "Pension-opolis" before World War I and counted 130 retired millionaires among its residents. Snide digs about it made the rounds into the 1970s: "Half as big as Chicago's main cemetery but twice as dead," or "The only place on earth where Great Britain has Her Majesty's diplomatic mission in a cornfield."
The Federal Republic's origins were the developing rift over the future status of defeated Nazi Germany between the winners of World War II. In their initial euphoria of victory, America, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union were agreed on preserving one Germany, albeit under military administrations in their respective occupation zones. Former German states would be reestablished with democratic governments. Elections were held in most of them in 1946. But supreme authority was to remain with the Berlin-based four-power Allied Control Council.."
From a great page called "German Life" http://www.germanlife.com/Archives/1999/9906_01.html
Shellze's new Bonn Page
My friend, Hannah attends the university in Bonn. It is a beautiful place to visit. I especially enjoy walking along the Rhine River. Walking is nice, because it is beautiful and it does not cost a cent. Another good thing about traveling to Germany is the EURO. The new European currency. The last time I was in Germany the money was in the process of changing. It was a very interesting experience for me. If you are an American traveling to Bonn, the Euro is very easy to use, because it converts almost the same as the American dollar. Have fun traveling!