Bonn When Beethoven lights up, it’s time for traffic to roll. At the intersection of Oxfordstraße and Kölnstraße, the silhouette of the great composer adorns the green signal at the traffic lights.
With this pilot project, the city wants to give Bonn’s most famous son more presence. Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan said ideas like this offered not only a little surprise, but also a way to advertise amongst Bonn residents and guests for the Beethoven Anniversary celebrations in 2020. Together with Karina Kröber from City Marketing and Ralf Birkner from Beethoven 2020, Lord Mayor Sridharan presented the new signal on Saturday morning. December 17 was chosen as the day for unveiling the Beethoven light because it is the day when little Ludwig was christened in the Remigius Church. At the city archives, there is a document which records the occasion. “The entry with Beethoven’s baptism is one of Bonn’s most important documents,” said Sridharan. At the same time, he took the opportunity to welcome the newly appointed artistic director of the Beethoven Jubilee Society, Christian Lorenz. The Lord Mayor commented, "I consider Beethoven's social utopia and its global impact particularly important. There is hardly any other composer who is able to bridge the gap between different cultures better." City archivist Dr. Norbert Schloßmacher gave some brief insights into the day Beethoven was baptized, December 17 of 1770. Not much was known, not even the actual birth date of Beethoven, but it was likely that his birth occurred the day before the baptism. The godmother was listed in the document as Gertrud Müller (Baums), who was a neighbor of the family. The grandfather, Louis van Beethoven was listed as the godfather. The ceremony took place over the same basin which still stands in the Remigius Church today (on Brüdergasse). The original baptismal church was demolished after a lightning strike in 1806. Orig. text: Thomas Kölsch