Passport to Germany

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The Rheinland

It takes "peeling back the onion," to show you where I lived....
is in the State of Nordrhein-Westfalen
(Northern Rhein-Westfalia).
Coming from the north, the Romantic part of the Rheinland starts near Bonn.
The Rhein River, itself, flows north from the Swiss Alps, through Germany
and out to the North Sea via Holland.

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My old stomping grounds are just below the red asterisk on the 1st map above
and are shown in the lower left corner of the map on the far right above.
I have cut that area to create the map below.

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is an old city on the west bank of the Rhein River, just south of Koeln (Cologne)
It overlooks the Siebengebirge (Seven Mountains),

which are on the east bank of the Rhein.
The Siebengebirge area is one of the oldest nature preserves in Germany.

The 2000 year old city of Bonn on the Rhine
has a cosy Old Town with a pedestrian district.
The jewel of the city is the Münster,
one of the most beautiful Romanesque churches
along the Rhine (11th - 13th century),
with the only well preserved cloister of that time north of the Alps.
In the marketplace, the Old Town Hall is in rococo style. (Further below)

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A Brief History of Bonn

Bonn was founded in the 1st century A.D. as the Roman garrison of Castra Bonnensia.
It was devastated by the Normans in the 9th cent. and later became the
residence (1238–1794) of the Electors of Cologne and the scene of the
Coronations of Frederick the Handsome (1314) and Charles IV (1346) as kings of the Romans.
During the Palatinate Succession War (1689), Bonn was destroyed
by Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg. It was rebuilt, largely in the baroque style.
Bonn was occupied (1794) and later annexed (1798–1814) by France.
In 1815, it passed to Prussia. In 1948–49, delegates from the parts of Germany
occupied by France, Great Britain, and the United States
met in Bonn and drafted a Constitution for the Federal Republic of Germany.
In 1949, Bonn was made West Germany's Capital.

More History of Bonn
Click here

More photos and tourist information about Bonn...
Click here

Four miles south of Bonn, you come into Bad Godesberg,
the entrance to my old stomping grounds,
across from the Siebengebirge... more about that area shortly.

The Siebengebirge (Seven Mountains)
The mountain tops of the Siebengebirge are punctuated by the ruins of the
where, legend says, Siegfried slew the Dragon.

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View from the Drachenfels, overlooking Bonn, all the way to Koeln,
which is 18 miles north of Bonn.

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It is said that the hills pour out the Dragon's Blood to this day...
in the form of the local red wines.

The story of Little Red Riding Hood and other Grimm's fairy tales
and, of course, parts of Wagner's Ring Cycle operas
were also set in the Siebengebirge.

For more about the The Siebengebirge
Click here

Speaking of music...

Beethoven was born in Bonn in 1770
and attracts many visitors to the
Beethoven Haus.

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Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
1820 by Joseph Karl Stieler (left)
Ode to Joy (right)

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Page Kelly and I returned to Bonn together in 1996.
Here we are in front of the Beethoven Haus.

The City of Bonn is also known for its pink City Hall!

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Bonn Rathaus (City Hall)
It really is Pink!

The city was designated the Provisional Capital of West Germany
by Adenauer, after WWII. A sleepy little city on the Rhein
subsequently grew to become the large and dynamic city it is today.
After the collapse of the USSR and Re-Unification of eastern Germany
with the rest of Germany,
the capitol was moved to Berlin.
In the former government's place are now a number of
international organizations
which have come to fill the grand builidings in Bonn.

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For the feeling of actually being in Bonn,
click on the street scene above right!

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Christmas in Bonn

The area around Bonn is also known for the
art movement,
as exemplified by August Macke and the Rhenish Expressionists

To learn a bit about the Expressionist movement...
Click here

Wine Festival - Rhein in Flames...

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