The Hotel Rheinland near the Kennedy Bridge has added some more rooms with an embassy theme. The USA, Soviet Union, England and France have all taken up residence.
The Hotel Rheinland near the Kennedy Bridge wants to offer its guests something that can only be found in Bonn. Michael Schlößer, who runs the hotel and the hotel director Johannes Jungwirth came up with a unique concept: Why not bring the embassies back to the former German capital?
The "Embassy of the USA" is designed in the style of the 60’s with photographs from when Presidents Kennedy and Nixon visited Bonn. There are also photos showing aerial views of the embassy building and an old television from that era with a modern TV installed inside. All of these details serve to transport guests back to the time of the Cold War.
Bourbon and crystal glasses included
"And of course we could not forget a bottle of bourbon with stylish crystal glasses, as we know it from American films," explains Jungwirth. If you open the desk drawer, Tricia Nixon graces the cover of an original issue of "Life" magazine from 1971.
It quickly becomes clear - nothing was left to chance. Following nights of research and with an eye to detail, Jungwirth has succeeded in collecting furniture, accessories, unique pieces and historical documents from the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s. They bring a revival of the Bonn Republic.
Vodka Gorbachev and Mitterand’s France
Apart from the red telephones, which were used as hotlines during the Cold War, the rooms of the USA and the Soviet Union have little in common. In the latter, the works of Lenin and a bottle of Vodka Gorbachev are on the desk. Besides the photos of Moscow's Red Square and the Brotherly Kiss, Jungwirth's favorite picture can also be seen: Willy Brandt and Leonid Brezhnev with hairstyles blowing in the wind in May of 1973 at Cologne/Bonn Airport.
Following the two themed rooms "USA" and "Soviet Union", this spring the "French Embassy" also moved into the fifth floor of the Hotel Rheinland. "We are now in the 80’s, Mitterand is French President at this time", Jungwirth explains the inspiration for this room. In these four rooms, it isn’t only about a walk through the embassies of the four victorious powers, but it’s also a journey through time - from the USA of the 1960’s to the Thatcher years and on to France in the 1980’s. The hotel management has succeeded in touching on clichés and images from those time periods without making the rooms look kitschy.
The aim is to be historically correct
The project was realized with the cooperation of the Bonn City Archive, with the aim of being historically correct and bringing the rich history of Bonn to the guests. In every room there is an embassy folder in which one can find out about the historical background. "At the end of the day, it is still a hotel, not a museum or a playground," says Jungwirth.
(Original text: Hanna Fath / Translation: ck)