The city of Bonn in Germany has been many things over the centuries. It was the capital city of West Germany from 1949 to 1990, it is a vibrant city along the Rhine River, and it also is a University town (University of Bonn). All are very impressive to the structure of this city, but the one thing that interested me the most was Bonn’s connection with Ludwig Van Beethoven. This legendary German composer and pianist was born in Bonn, on December 17, 1770.
I have visited Bonn a couple of times during my travels through Germany. I have been fortunate enough to have a friend who lives in the city, that I have known since the 90s. She has shown me around Bonn, and we’ve had delicious meals and ice cream spaghetti, which is my favorite. On my last visit, we joked that we should create a tradition of ice cream spaghetti whenever I come to Bonn, I was that obsessed with it!
Before I go into Beethoven and Bonn, I wanted to talk a little more on the food scene, which is one of my favorite subjects. My friend brought me to a very special tea house and restaurant, Varie Tee, on my most recent visit. This gorgeous establishment offers a wide selection of global gourmet teas that you can sprinkle a bit of rock candy sugar into. The food menu was excellent as well, and with the combination of the wonderful teas, Varie Tee is a very special place to indulge in.
Bonn and Beethoven – The special connection that the city and the composer have are significant throughout Bonn. The city rightfully so, celebrates Beethoven through its art, concerts, walking tours, and museum.
The museum, Beethoven House, is located inside the birth home of Bonn’s famous composer. It is not only a museum, it is also a memorial site, and a cultural institution that serves various purposes. The Beethoven house was founded in 1889 through the Beethoven-Haus association, and studies his life and works.
There are twelve exhibition rooms that illustrate Beethoven’s life, his hearing problems, lifestyle, and relationships. It creates a story of his early years of piano playing and composing, then on to his master compositions.
There are many impressive displays inside the Beethoven House from portraits, string quartet instruments provided by Prince Karl von Lichnowsky, and selected composition editions. Beethoven’s last instrument is displayed, as well as the pianoforte from Conrad Graf.
While I was there I was not aware that photography was not allowed, and was snapping photos until I got to his violin. That was when one of the staff members told me to put my phone down, but I still got a quick picture of the violin!
For museum information – Beethoven-Haus Bonn
Ode to Joy
On my last visit to Bonn, I was enthralled with a temporary exhibition of green and gold Beethovens that filled the city square. Ottmar Hörl’s installation, which was entitled “Ludwig van Beethoven – Ode an die Freude” (Ode to Joy), was just another way this city joyously celebrates its famous composer.
Hörl’ mentioned, “What I’m after is giving people a stimulus for communication, delighting them and inviting them to form a new idea of Beethoven. All those who encounter the installation, become part of the project.” The installation did just that, and my friend and I became part of the project, we became part of the artwork.
The Beethoven statues are for sale and can be purchased through the the artist’s website –Ottmar Hörl
Visiting the beautiful city of Bonn can be a rewarding experience, especially if you appreciate classical music. From the Beethoven Haus, the Beethoven Monument, Beethoven Concert Hall, and even down to the Beethoven t-shirts; this city will definitely give you a fill for your love of this extraordinary composer.
To travel is to live…– Hans Christian Anderson
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