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BONN - OUR CITY

Bonn is located in the heart of Europe, making it easy to travel to several of the most exciting historical and fascinating European locations. Students benefit from the close proximity to important sites within the region of the Rhineland and beyond.

 

Sightseeing SOME DETAILS ABOUT BONN

AIB Students cycling alongside the rhineAn excellent public transportation system helps access locations within the region, throughout Germany and in neighboring countries. No matter if by tram, bus or train, getting to where you want to go is easy. Bonn has an exceptionally efficient and comfortable local transportation system. The system is linked by a regional network that extends into the entire Rhine Ruhr Area, reaching key destinations within 40 minutes. The system is so extensive that many are overwhelmed when they first look at the route plan...

Bonn and the River RhineBonn, situated in the west of Germany close to the borders of Belgium, France and the Netherlands, serves as the main site of all of the AIB's programs. With its proximity to many natural and cultural attractions, Bonn is ideally located for historical, cultural and professional studies.

For nearly a half a century (1949-90) Bonn was the capital of Germany. Since then, Bonn has put on a new face as the host for many national and international NGOs, global players from the private sector such as DHL or T-Mobile, and the United Nations.

Bonn has also attracted an array of international schools, political foundations, institutions in the medical sciences as well as organizations from many other fields. The multitude of conference venues, businesses and international organizations produces a unique setting for students to study a diverse set of subjects.

Students coming to Bonn pursuing the German language and culture studies will enjoy the many cultural highlights in and around Bonn, such as:

  • Bonn's reknown museums for post-war history and art
  • Bonn's proximity to Cologne (25 minutes by train), Germany's forth-largest city with Germany's largest university and a multitude of cultural activities (conerts, art exhibits etc) and sights (e.g. Cologne cathedral, Ludwig museum etc.)
  • Bonn's proximity to important German cities like Frankfurt, Trier, Aachen, Düsseldorf, all of which are within 2 hours by train
  • Bonn's location on the Rhine river, close to natural attractions, such as the Seven Mountain range, the Eifel region and the Upper Middle Rhine valley (Loreley) with its many medieval castles and romantic towns

Studying in Bonn therefore means studying in a friendly, safe, exciting and scenic location that offers you a wide range of options to study the German culture and language and to enjoy the young way of life in Germany.

Sightseeing BEETHOVEN - BONN'S BIGGEST SON STILL SETS THE TONE

Statue of Beethoven in front of the Beethoven House in BonnBeethoven House
Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn to a a family of musicians. The house at Bonngasse No. 20, in which Beethoven was born in December 1770, is still in its original condition in the Bonn innercity...


 

Almost 100 years after Beethoven’s final departure from Bonn to Vienna in 1792, twelve citizens from Bonn agreed to purchase his birthhouse. They formed the Beethoven Birthplace Association, and have owned the Beethoven House ever since. The house has been used as a museum since 1893 and currently boasts the biggest Beethoven collection in the world with more than 1,000 exhibits.

Beethoven Monument on the Münsterplatz in BonnBeethoven Monument and Orchestra Hall
On Beethoven's 75th birthday in August 1845, the Beethoven Monument on Münsterplatz was built in his honour. To celebrate the occasion, a three-day music festival was also held -- the first Beethovenfest Bonn. Additionally, the Beethovenhalle was built to provide an appropriate venue for festival. Unfortunately, due to fire hazards, the timber hall was demolished soon after.

A second hall was built for the composer’s centenary in 1870, when the second Beethovenfest was supposed to take place. However, because of the Franco-Prussian War, the fesitval was postponed until the following year, when it was held in the newly built Beethovenhalle. The Beethoven Ochestra still contributes valuablely to Bonn's culture through its concerts and operas.

Beethovenfest Bonn
Since 1845, the Beethovenfest has become nearly an institution in Bonn.  Here are a few highlights:

  • 1894: for the first time, all nine Beethoven symphonies were performed
  • 1934: Beethovenfests take shape as a publicly-accesible, non-elitist festivals
  • 1974: The festivals shift focus to comparing Beethoven’s works and contemporary music.
  • 1995: The festivals diversify with Beethoven Marathons to raise money

 

Bonner Klangwelle: A laser, light, fire and water showKlangwelle
One of the most fascinating shows of the Beethovenfest – Klangwelle (German for "sound wave") is a laser, light and fire show set to classic, popular, and Karneval music:

 

Daily September 24 – October 3
8:00 - 10:15pm
Münsterplatz
ENTRANCE IS FREE

 

Sightseeing THE HAPPY WORLD OF HARIBO

Haribo Gummy Bears"Kids and grown-ups love it so, the happy world of Haribo."

That is the saying on every bag of candy sold by the well known, world wide company, called Haribo. Haribo was started by a man named Hans Riegel. The name Haribo came from the first two letters in his first name (Ha) , and the first two letters in his last name (ri). The final two letters come from the first two letters of Bonn (bo), because the first production plant was set up in Kessenich, which is a suburb of Bonn, Germany...


Just about a year after he purchased his first production plant, Hans married a woman named Gertrude, and together they got the company up and going. At first, the couple had to distribute new batches of Riegel's newest creation, the Dancing Gummy Bear, by bicycle. Almost two years after Haribo was started, the couple was able to purchase a car. Of course, this made distribution a lot faster, and a lot easier. Towards the end of World War 2, most of the raw materials needed for the factories and plants were being used for the war, and were hard to obtain. This slowed down production, as well as profit, but only for a short time. Not too long after the second World War, Hans Riegel passed away, and left his company to be run by his wife.

Haribo Gummy BearsThe Founders sons also played a huge role towards the success of Haribo. Hans Riegel Junior is said to always have a knack for supplying the right product at the right time. He loves children. He also knew that they are his main customer, and believed that if he did not understand kids then his company would not flourish. The other son, Paul Riegel, is a very good engineer. He designed many production machines for jobs that were at one time done all by hand. The Riegel Family has since grown and now many of them play a part in the company's management worldwide.

Over the years, more and more products were created by Haribo. Of course, the favorite product was the "Dancing Bears" that started the company off in the 1920's, and was eventually turned into the companies main product the "Gold Bear". Liquorice products have been one of the most popular Haribo inventions, since Riegel created them in the 1930's. Gummy candy from Haribo now comes in all kinds of shapes. For example, Coke bottles, rings, frogs, snakes, hamburgers, cherries, sharks, penguins, hippos, lobsters, and the list could go on and on.

Haribo Gummy BearsHaribo doesn't only fill children's stomachs, they also feed wild animals. Every October, both adults and parents bring chestnuts and acorns to trade them in for candy from Haribo. People receive 1 kg of sweets in exchange for either 5 kilograms of acorns, or 10 kilograms of chestnuts. The event happens in Bonn at the headquarters of Haribo, and Haribo feeds animals thoughout the wintertime every year with the chestnuts and acorns.

 

Haribo also has a beneficial foundation for talented youth. The Dr. Hans Riegel Foundation was started in 1987, and has been helping out children since then. The Foundation encourages kids to go and stay in school. It also provides less fortunate students with grants and scholarships. Haribo also gives away prizes to motivate the students. The "Dr. Hans Riegel Professional Prize" is the highest award given to students that are involved in the Foundation.

Fortunately, both AIB locations are no more than 10 km's away from the Haribo factory store. The store sells candy for low prices in bulk, and also has pieces of Haribo memorabilia.

Written By: Lyndon LeUnes

Sightseeing AN EVENING AT PÜTZCHENS MARKT

Students riding a carousel at Pützchens MarktPützchens Markt is held every year on the second weekend of September.

It is hard to believe that an event thats story dates back to 1367 A.D. would still be celebrated by around 1 million people annually. This is definitely still the case here in the Bonn-Beuel-Pützchen area of Germany, which is the location of the famous Pützchens Markt...

 

Pützchens Markt was first celebrated by Pilgrims after the death of the abbess Adelaide. She was the abbess of the neighboring monastery Vilich. Her prayers are believed to have brought and end to a time of a scarceness of water. The story says that after a prayer session the abbess thrusted her crosier into the ground and water began to spray out. A well was put at the spot that provided water and healing powers for the town people, as well as the Pilgrims. Today, many people still believe that the water has a healing power, and on (http://www.puetzchens-markt-webcam.de/) this statement was written: “Scientific investigations resulted in that aluminous water of the "Puetzchen" is able to relieve eye-diseases.” Obviously, the miracle of the Pützchen is one to be celebrated, and that is why the town people in the 14th century started the Pützchens Markt. It first started out as sellers selling their merchandise out of tents set up in the middle of town. As the years went on, the event turned into more of a festival and expanded to many traders, circus performers, and entertainers that brought in many people to experience this event.

AIB Students in the crowd at Pützchens Markt at nightThe 2010 Pützchens Markt is obviously a lot different looking than the way Putzchens Markt looked when it first was created. This year the fairground had around 4.5 kilometers of walkway, and took up a space of around 80,000 square meters. There were around 550 businesses in attendance with their own tents. Businesses included all kinds of German food stores,(bakeries, sweets, butchers, restaurants) Breweries, (Bönnsch, Kölsch, Paulaner, etc) and many other miscellaneous specialty stores. One of the main differences the fair has nowadays that it didnt have when it started, are the rides. There were more than 30 rides and entertainment shows. All of them were very impressive, but two seemed to stick out a little more than others. First, the Doppellooping "Teststrecke" was most likely a main attraction. It is the largest mobile double looping roller coaster in Europe. This was the debut for this ride and many people rode it for the cheap price of €4.50. The other ride that seemed to stand out a little more than others was the Europa Ferris Wheel. It is the tallest in the world of its kind, and is always a main attraction at Pützchens Markt.

People from all over come to experience this great festival in the Rhineland. It was definitely a great way to experience the German culture as an American. I feel lucky that myself, and the students that are currently studying at the AIB got to experience this spectacular event.

written by Lyndon LeUnes

Sightseeing SIEBENGEBIRGE

AIB student taking pictures of the SiebengebirgeThere are many attractive physical features here in Bonn that are hard to miss. For example, the historic Cathedrals, the beautiful city centers of Bonn and its suburbs, historic statues, and the Rhine River. There is one attraction that is easier to spot than all of the others listed...

 

...and that is the Siebengebirge, or The Seven Hills. These Hills supply the people of Bonn, as well as visitors, with a stunning view of nature and history.

The Siebengebirge were formed from volcanic activity, and the tallest point now stands at 1509 feet. The volcanic activity also provided basalt, which was transported to Cologne, and other towns to build very impressive Cathedrals.

Students cycling alongside the DrachenfelsThe main seven hills can be observed from the opposite side of the Rhine River in Bonn. Drachenfels is one of the more popular hills to visit for tourists as well as Rhineland natives. Many people walk up the 1,053 foot hike to the top. Nearly after about half of the way up an art gallery called Nibelungenhalle can be visited. The most popular destination on Drachenfels is the Drachenfels Castle ruins near the top. Another very popular destination that is visited often is the Hotel Petersberg. The extremely nice Hotel is located on top of the fifth tallest hill, named The Petersberg. Many famous politicians have stayed at the Hotel that was once the location of the Allied High Commission for Germany until 1955. The famous politicians include: Bill and Hillary Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II, Mikhail Gorbachev, Yasser Arafat, and many others.

The AIB on Adenauerallee has a great view of the Siebengebirge from the other side of the Rhine. Many programs also travel to the hills on excursions, and hike up to explore some of the popular destinations. The Seven Hills definitely add to the great experience of studying in Bonn, as well as experiencing Germany as a whole.

Downloads BAD GODESBERG

The Godesberg with the castle ruinsJust three minutes south of Bonn by train, Bad Godesberg is home to a few of our students. This has been the resort region of the area since 1792, and even changed its name in 1925 from Godesberg to Bad Godesberg ("Bad" for "spa" in German)...

 

Now the area is a part of Bonn and home to many embassies, international schools and the small "American Town," where many of the Americans working at the UN live with their families.

Bad Godesberg was originally a prayer site of the Germanic tribe Ubii to Wotan, their god of war, death and hunting. Archaeological evidence dates the town's beginnings back to 722 AD. In 1210 AD, the Godesberg fortress was built, which stood for over 300 years. It was destroyed by Bavarian troops in 1583 during the Cologne War after the local Archbishop converted to Protestantism. The tower of the fortress, however, was rebuilt in 1959 to house a hotel and restaurant.

Sites:

  • The castle ruins of the Godesburg
  • Scenic downtown shopping area
  • Kinopolis, a huge movie theater which also offers 3D movies
  • House in the Redoute (Kurfürstenallee 1a), a gallery nestled among classical, Art Deco and Biedemeier styles houses

Venues:

  • Kammerspiele, the largest city-owned stage in Bonn
  • Kleines Theater im Park (Small Theater in the Park)

 

How to get there:
From the Bonn Hbf, trains leave about every 10 minutes (MRB26 or RE5 to Koblenz, RE 30 to Ahrbrueck, RB 48 Bonn Mehlem). Just check the large departures poster for exact times and platforms. Or you can take subway line 63 towards Bad Godesberg.

 

Downloads T-MOBILE

The Godesberg with the castle ruinsIn Bonn, as well as most major cities in Germany, seeing a pink sign with a white letter “T” on it is not very rare. There are over 35 T-Mobile locations in the Bonn/Cologne area that supply cellphones, cellphone coverage plans, and also internet...

 

The company was started in Germany by the Deutsche Bundespost Telekom, which is now called just the Deutsche Telekom. The headquarters are in Bonn, and has a beautiful office near the Rhine River. The Deutsche Telekom is the largest telecommunications company in Europe, and is worth around €65 billion.

The AIB is a big customer of T-Mobile. Upon arriving at the AIB, every student is issued a phone from T-Mobile. The phones are prepaid, so the students can go to one of the many T-Mobile locations and put money on their phones for minutes.

Downloads UNITED NATIONS

The Godesberg with the castle ruins Located just three kilometers south of the city center in Bonn are two of the tallest buildings in the area. One is the Deutsche Post tower, and the other one is the only United Nations office in Germany. Of course, Bonn is very proud to host such a beneficial and powerful organization...

After World War II, many politicians got together and decided that they had to make a more reliable organization than the League of Nations, to prevent more World Wars from occuring. Thus, the United Nations was created in 1945 to replace the League of Nations. Ever since then, the UN has been trying to attain World peace by providing international security, international law, human rights, and improving failing economies.

Having the office in Bonn brings a lot of different cultures and languages to the area. Also, the United Nations office in Bonn has a University. The University is called the United Nations University: Institute for Environment and Human Security. On their website it says, “Its mission is to advance human security through knowledge-based approaches to reducing vulnerability and environmental risks.”(ehs.unu.edu) Therefore, the University is teaching its students ways to help the world prepare for environmental problems before they start.

Downloads BIRKENSTOCK

The Godesberg with the castle ruinsGerman brands have always been very popular in just about every market. Adidas, Bayer, Levi Strauss, and Mercedes Benz are just a couple of the main ones that started in Germany. The area of Bonn is most famous for the invention of the Haribo gummi bears, but there is also another popular company that started just 35km from Bonn, named Birkenstock...

 

 

Birkenstock is a very commonly worn shoe in many countries around the world. America actually has its own distribution center called Birkenstock Distribution USA, Inc. A woman named Margot Fraser from America fell in love with her new pair of Birkenstock sandals while visiting Germany. When she returned to the USA, she decided to open the distribution center. Many other countries around the country have the German company's shoes imported in. Birkenstock has over 100 specialty stores that sell the shoes or sandals, as well as, department stores and other vendors around the world.

In conclusion, Birkenstock has grown to be a huge company since it was started in the little town of Vettelschoss, Germany. This company is worth over $60 million today, and will continue to prosper.

Downloads TELEKOM BASKETS

Jeremy Hunt, Basketball Player for the Telekom BasketsFor those who love to watch live sports, Bonn is a great place to visit. Many great sporting events are held here in this area of the Rhineland. For example, the "Bonn Lion" men's foil fencing world cup tournament, a world equestrian event, and a world championship dance competition. Also, the city has a variety of sports teams that have represented the city very well. Bonn has a cycling called Team T-mobile that has done excellent since it first started.

Another great team that has been a highly respected team in Germany, as well as Europe, is the Telekom Baskets Bonn.

The Baskets were founded in 1992 after the Godesberger TV and the SC Fortuna Bonn merged together to  make one big team. The team has done well in its 18 year old history. It has made it to the German League finals 5 times, and made it to the finals in the German Cup Finals in 2005 and 2009.

Image Source: Telekom Baskets, © Telekom Baskets Bonn / Jörn Wolter