Virtual descent into the underworld Dejan Bileski digitises the tunnel system under the Godesburg

Bad Godesberg · Dejan Bileski digitises the tunnels under the Godesburg for the Bad Godesberg Art and Culture Association. Under the Godesberg landmark there has been a tunnel system for centuries.

 The branched tunnel system is located below the Godesburg.

The branched tunnel system is located below the Godesburg.

Foto: Jürgen Langen

No matter whether Godesburg, Redoute or Kurpark: Bad Godesberg is always worth a visit, especially with regard to historical gems. But it is not only above ground that it has a lot to offer, underground it looks (almost) the same. Because under Godesburg Castle there has been a tunnel system for centuries. Even if most people are not familiar with it.

This "forgotten underworld", as Sabine Köhne-Kayser from the Bad Godesberg Art and Culture Association (KuKuG) describes it, should be preserved for eternity and made accessible to everyone - through 3-D visualisation, according to the association members. Responsible for the project are Dejan Bileski from the Bad Godesberg company BD Media and Jürgen Lange, both of whom are active at KuKuG. One of them is responsible for the technical part, the other for the historical part. And they are providing that free of charge.

"We spent two days making dozens of scans with laser and a special camera," explains Bileski. "Within a short period of time, you are drawn into the spell of the tunnel world. A spooky and dark world beneath the old Godesburg." Anyone can enter it now - virtually. All you need is a browser and Internet. The tunnel system can be viewed and entered in different views, among others in the "Doll House View" - a doll's house view of the system. Using the mouse it can be turned and tilted, perspective changes included. One click - and the viewer zooms into the aisles.

Contemporary witnesses, photos and video recordings wanted

In addition, it is possible to set tags in which texts, images or videos can be stored. To fill these with life, KuKuG is looking for contemporary witnesses, photos and video recordings. Anyone who would like to contribute can contact by e-mail.

Langen has already collected some historical aspects. According to this, the first tunnel probably dates back to the 16th century. In 1583 the Godesberg was destroyed in the Truchsess war. Archbishop Gebhard Truchsess zu Waldenburg had married, converted to the Protestant faith and was deposed by the Pope. Troops around Ernst von Bayern then besieged the castle and partly blew it up before Duke Ferdinand von Bayern conquered it. And exactly for this blasting a short tunnel was dug into the mountain at that time, according to the KuKuG association.

At the end of 1942, prisoners of a Bonn work education camp again dug a tunnel into the Godesberg in order to offer the population protection from air raids. However, according to KuKuG, the construction was never completed until the end of the war, "the excavated material was later used by American army pioneers to build a bridge ramp at the Hodges Pontoon Bridge on the Rhine in Plittersdorf". Tunnels and bunkers were soon forgotten by many. During the Cold War, the bunker was "dug up" again and restored to its former glory. Today, the bunker is more of a monument than a protective structure, according to Langens' information. In the tunnel itself there were various art events.

New perspective on the city

For Köhne-Kayser, it is obvious why it has now been digitised: "We want to offer a new perspective on our city and broaden our horizons. Godesburg, tower and now the tunnel are already virtually available, the mountain is to follow. "With this you can do a complete virtual tour", says Köhne-Kayser. By the way, the project is not the end of the Bad Godesberg 3D visualisation. The Redoute and the Paul Magar exhibition have already been conserved in the past, further gems such as Kurfürstliche Zeile, Stadthalle, Kurfürstenbad, Kur- or Redoutenpark are to follow at the request of KuKuG. "Our goal is to make as many aspects of Bad Godesberg as possible accessible to everyone."

The link to the Bad Godesberg tunnel world:


Godesbergers are internationally active

BD Media has already realised several projects in Bonn and the region. For example, the Paul Magar exhibition in the Haus an der Redoute and Schloss Drachenburg were recorded virtually. The company is also active internationally. For example, the Orient Express, Air Force One and the Mark Twain Haus are to be found on the website too.

Original text: Ayla Jacob
Translation: Mareike Graepel

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