Favorite thing: I have seen several different productions of Verdi's La traviata in recent years, including a traditional one in Hamburg, a despairing interpretation in Darmstadt and an amateurish but fun version at Weikersheim.
My favorite is still the classic Axel Corti staging at the Frankfurt Opera, in which Violetta dies not in her bed but on the floor of the second class waiting room in the railroad station in Orléans while she is trying to flee from the Nazis.
The Bonn production, which was staged by Andreas Homoki (who is now General Director of the Komische Oper in Berlin), takes place on a shiny black surface crisscrossed by white lines. Violetta is standing there alone at the beginning of the overture, but soon fifteen men climb up onto the shiny black surface from behind and come towards her. They seem threatening at first, and she obviously feels beleaguered by them, but of course they adore her because she is the most famous (and most expensive) courtesan in Paris.
We don't see anything of Paris in this production, but they are all wearing period costumes from the middle of the 19th century. The only change of scene is that while Violetta is singing her big aria Sempre libera at the end of act one, white flowers start "growing" up through the floor, so by the end of the aria we are in a meadow of white flowers in the countryside, and they can go right on with act 2.
After the intermission some women in evening gowns emerge and pick all those flowers, so the shiny black surface is a Parisian dance floor again.
Second photo: The audience coming back in for the second half of La traviata.
- Theater Travel
Rhine River around Ramersdorf
Favorite thing: On our VT meet after visiting the Rest. Rohmuehle we also took a walk along the Rhine river.
In the vicinity we saw an old water tower. On the Rhine there were freight ships passing.
On a warm day you could easily take a seat and watch the world go by. On our meeting it wasn't that warm although it was supposed to be summer!
Favorite thing: Well I do not claim the authenticity of my conclusion but this was my experience. I found Bonn very very crowded, it was infact difficult to move along the roads. It may be that I was there one month before Christmas, but to me it did not look like crowded with tourists. I actually thought it was a very crowded city compared to all other cities that I have been to in Germany.
Favorite thing: Win took us here during the WineRoll and whilst my first impression was of people having had too much to drink, that stopped close to the City Council building and from then on it got calmer and full of nice restaurants and little bars as well as the brewpub we visited (see tip). A mix of intellectuals and immigrants share this area it seems, and therefore it has lots of nice night time food as well as corner shops, but also cafes where you can have brunch all day, the Womens Museum, bicycle shops and such. An interesting place to stroll around and not immediately obvious since it is off the core of the Old town so you have to cross Oxfordstrasse to get here.
Fondest memory: Brunch all morning at Godot I think. Just such a wonderfully lazy morning with good friends :)
- Study Abroad
- Food and Dining
Favorite thing: This is a bastion along the Rhine which was formerly used as the electorate's toll collecting office for passing barges and later a defense post known as Drei-Königs-Bastion. Today it offers spectacular river views down towards the Siebengebirge and is popular with children who can watch life on the river for ages and sit on the Napoleonic cannons (there is also a big playground in the Hofgarten nearby so it is a great corner for kids).
- Family Travel
- Historical Travel
Favorite thing: The post office is located in a beautiful building called "Postamt" on Münsterplatz. There they sell also special stamps, have a cash maschine etc. Currently, stamps for postcards within Europe cost 0.65 Euro.
Favorite thing: The tourist office is well located near the cathedral and has the following opening times:
Mon-Fri 9 am - 6.30 pm, Sat 9 am - 4 pm, Sun and public holidays 10 am - 2 pm
They sell a few souvenirs and have a theatre/concert ticket section. There are lots of free pamphlets.
Address: Windeckstr. 1, near Münsterplatz
phone: (0228) 77 50 00 or 1 94 33
Favorite thing: The opera Cardillac by Paul Hindemith (1895 - 1963) is based on a very spooky story by E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776 - 1822), set in the dark and treacherous streets of Paris in the 17th century.
Several brutal murders have alarmed the populace. The victims all had one thing in common. They were all in possession of beautiful pieces of jewelry created by a master craftsman, the goldsmith Cardillac. It turns out that Cardillac himself was the serial killer, because he couldn't bear to part with the artistic masterpieces he had created.
In the first photo, which is of a picture in a display case outside the Bonn Opera, we can see the urban masses holding identical faces to show that together they are not individuals but potentially a volatile mob. At the end they lynch Cardillac (not that he didn't deserve it), and then leave their identical faces behind, going home to become individuals once again.
Second photo: In the lobby of the opera house there was an interesting photo display showing various productions of Cardillac from the past eight decades. Included were two Frankfurt productions from the seasons 1927/28 and 1952/53. Unfortunately they did not include the most recent Frankfurt production from the 1999/2000 season, which logically enough is the only one of them that I have seen.
Third photo: Cardillac banner across the Poststraße, near the main station.
Fourth photo: Cardillac banner across the Franziskanerstraße, by the City Museum and the University.
- Theater Travel
Bonn Touristic Service Centre
Favorite thing: Well in case you need it, here are the details:
Windeckstraße 1 / near Muensterplatz
+49 (0)2 28 / 77 50-00 and 19433
+49 (0)2 28 / 77 50-77
Mon-Fri 9 a.m. - 6.30 p.m.,
Sat 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. ,
Sun and public holidays 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Mediation of accommodations upon arrival
Guided city tours
"BonnMobil" (mobility centre)
Bonn souvenirs, tickets etc.
- Budget Travel
Favorite thing: 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.
Fondest memory: On my arrival, I lost my way and whenever I asked the address of my hotel, every body explained in detail.....but in German language...and I could'nt understand a single word. At last a young student came and helped me.
Art & History
Favorite thing: Roman soldiers first bridged the Rhine at Bonn in the year 11 BC. And the name "Bonna" appeared in official records between 13 and 9 BC. Two thousand years have left their mark in Bonn, tracing its development from a Roman camp into the settlement known as "Villa Basilica", and on through the Baroque era's Electoral Palace which today houses the University.
Especially worth seeing are the Basilica in the heart of the city, the venerable Münster in which kings were crowned between 1314-46; the two-storied church of Schwarzrheindorf; and Baroque Poppelsdorf Palace. Rounding out the historic array are magnificent turn-of-the-century villas. Bonn is renowned as the city of music. Ludwig van Beethoven first saw the light of day here in 1770. Paying homage to the great composer are Bonn's international Beethoven Festivals. His birthplace, with museum, is a must attraction. It is one of the characteristic Baroque town houses from the Electoral era.
With the National Art and Exhibition Hall and the new Art Museum, as well as numerous other collections, Bonn boasts a museum scene that is second to none. But the City of Beethoven has even more to offer. Such as the lovely Rhine riverbank promenade leading past the Beethovenhalle (concert hall), the old Customs House and Villa Hammerschmidt – all the way to Bad Godesberg, the diplomatic quarter.
Fondest memory: Frends and fun!
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Favorite thing: Ludwig von Beethoven was born in Bonn in 1770. He was brought up by his alcoholic father who forced him into music at an early age. By the age of sixteen, he had already performed at the court of the Elector (now the University of Bonn). He studied under the German composer, Christian Gottlieb Neefe. Beethoven was then sent to Vienna to study under Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. However, Mozart died and instead Beethoven studied under the care of Franz Joseph Hadyn.
In 1798 Beethoven began to lose his hearing and he eventually became deaf. This led to his withdrawl from public appearances. In 1815 Beethoven's brother died and he gained custody of his brother's son, Karl. Much like his own father, Beethoven was not well suited to be a parent. Beethoven died in 1827. He is considered both a genuis and perhaps the greatest composer who ever lived.
The house where Beethoven was born still stands to this day. It has been turned into a museum where his musical instruments and personal memorabilia are displayed.
Fondest memory: A statue of Ludwig von Beethoven stands within the city square -- a monument to this great composer.
BONN is just one hour by train...
Favorite thing: BONN is just one hour by train from Köln. So when I was 'living' in there I decided to visit this beautiful city. It was just one day but I enjoyed walking around the city, drinking in the terraces... just walk and walk and see the city....
visit the huge parks near the...
Favorite thing: visit the huge parks near the Rhine. If you go late night on the weekends you are sure to find a cool party with live Djs on turn tables.
Fondest memory: Nice dinners at classy restaraunts with reasonable prices located beside the Rhine.
The Rathaus (Town Hall)
Favorite thing: See the Rathaus (town hall) in all its glorious pinkness. The governmental buildings that were built for the Bundestag (parliament) are modern (ie, butt-ugly), so for photo ops, the muckamucks of West Germany would come to the Rathaus and stand and look impressive. Kennedy did this when he was in town. It works if the camera is black and white. Throw in colour and, well, it's pink. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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