On Monday Matt, Allen, and I went to the German City of Bonn. This used to be the Capital City of Germany until the Berlin wall came down. Bonn is also known as the city that Ludwig von Beethoven was born in and lived in until he was around 22 years old. He then moved to Vienna to study with Joseph Hayden.
Upon arrival in Bonn we immediately found the statue that commemorates the city’s most famed citizen right in the center of the square that leads you to the house Beethoven was born in.
It was not hard to figure out why Beethoven always seemed to have such a stern look on his face in all of the photos and replications of him. One look at the statue and the residents that were perched on his head to figure out that after awhile I would be a bit annoyed too. I mean think of the constant laundering that would have to take place with those types of inhabitants. J
After following the signs to the Beethoven house and a brief stop for lunch Matt, Allen, and I found the infamous spot where the music began…the house where Beethoven was actually born. He was born up in the attic which is the top most window in the house. It is just a very little room with one little window. Records are not sure the exact date of Beethoven’s birth but he was baptized on December 17, 1770 which means that he was born either December 16th or 17th.
Every room in the house contained items that belonged to Beethoven like his manuscripts, scores, letters written such as the now famous love letter addressed only to ‘My Immortal Beloved’. Other rooms contained instruments that actually belonged to Beethoven such as his viola, an organ, and several pianos made especially for him with his name inscribed in them. Unfortunately we were unable to get photos of most of that stuff because our personal photographer…Matt…was scolded for taking photos after only about three were taken.
After we saw all of the house we took part in an interactive display of Beethoven’s music in the theatre that was built in to the basement. It was a different, if not interesting, modern performance of his music using 3D light effects that were controlled somewhat by the participants (us and 15 others) wearing 3D glasses. The music was great of course and the idea of making the show interactive was nice (as was the coolness of the cellar on a hot European day) but the performance was somewhat perplexing as it really didn’t add anything to the music in my opinion.
After we were done with the Beethoven house we continued our journey through Bonn city center and admired all the wonderful outside cafes that are so European. Here in the summer people love to take their meals outside in the plazas and people watch. It’s a great way to cool down, enjoy a meal, or have a cool refreshing iced coffee (with ice cream…yummy!) or local beer.
Walking through another little plaza in the center of Bonn we came upon a statue of children chasing geese. I don’t know the story behind the statue but can imagine it is probably relating to some sort of children’s story or possibly a story about some thing that happened in Bonn that they wanted memorialized.
As we continued our journey towards the train at the end of the day we came upon one of many churches that you find in Europe with elaborate artwork and sculptures on the outside of the building. Although we didn’t have the opportunity to go in I can only imagine what treasures were inside considering the elaborate gold murals on the outside of the building.
I know we didn’t get to see everything that Bonn has to offer but I know Matt and I will probably take another day trip there to do some shopping. Bonn is known as a great place to do shopping and enjoy a great meal and it is only a half hour train trip from our apartment in Rodenkirchen, Koeln.
Well that’s it for now. Stay tuned for my report on our trip to Frankfurt. We will be going there on Saturday. Until then I send all my love to all of you.