Siegburg’s medieval market has opened again this year; the Sting concert in Cologne has been postponed once again; a bomb from World War II was defused at the weekend; cyclists will continue to be able to use Friedrichstraße in Bonn, along with pedestrians.
Siegburg's medieval market opened on Saturday
On Saturday, the traditional medieval market, which has been held in the district town since 1991, was opened to the public. Until Wednesday, 22 December, jugglers, minstrels, traders and craftsmen will take the many visitors back to times long past.
Last year, the market was held under stricter Covid protection conditions with entrance checks. There will be no such restrictions this year. "However, we have a Covid concept in place in the background that we can implement at any time," said organiser Daniel Diekmann, managing director of Mittelalter GmbH, who ceremoniously opened the market on Saturday with Abbess Adelheid, the herald together with his juggler entourage and Mayor Stefan Rosemann.
Some pandemic-related changes will continue to apply this year. "We are leaving the square a little more open in the middle again for visitors," Diekmann said. "In addition, we are sticking to using only one stage and having jugglers and minstrels mingle more with the people instead."
A total of 42 stalls have been set up, including a hemp bakery offering tasty treats and a suckling pig stall.
Mayor Stefan Rosemann was excited. "In 2020, the market was cancelled due to the pandemic and in 2021, I myself was ill with Covid. That's why today is my first time opening the Christmas market, and I was really looking forward to it," said Rosemann. And he had another message. "In times of hardship and worries, it is good for people to come here and spend time together."
The Medieval Market runs in Siegburg from 11 a.m. daily from Saturday, 19 November, to Wednesday, 22 December. On Sundays to Thursdays, market hours end at 8 p.m. with the call of the night watchman; on Fridays and Saturdays, he makes his rounds one hour later at 9 p.m. The only exception to this is today, which is Totensonntag, when the market is only open between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. without any special entertainment.
(Original text: Ingo Eisner)
Sting concerts cancelled
Any Sting fans who were looking forward to the British musician's concert in Cologne next week will once again have to brace themselves for a new date. The concert planned for Wednesday (23 November) in the Lanxess Arena has been cancelled. The organisers made the announcement on Saturday evening. It said that Sting had fallen ill at short notice and had to postpone the upcoming performance on "urgent medical advice".
The Cologne concert had already been postponed several times. The last time it was scheduled to take place was in April, but it was then postponed to the autumn because several crew members had Covid.
In addition to the concert in Cologne on 23 November, performances in Hamburg (20 November), Leipzig (21 November) and Oberhausen (24 November) are also affected.
Fans are asked to keep their tickets. The substitute dates will be in 2023 and will be announced in good time.
(Original text: Michael Wrobel)
World War II bomb successfully defused
At about 8.30 p.m. on Friday evening, officials reported the discovery of a five-ton World War II bomb in the Aegidienberg district of Bad Honnef. The bomb was discovered during excavation work for a new building on Talstraße.
The City of Bad Honnef's Public Order Office, in cooperation with the fire department, evacuated the residents who were at risk in the areas of Aegidienberg South and Hövel North. About 230 households were affected within a radius of 300 metres around the bomb site, according to the control centre of the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis fire brigade.
Emergency services began to drive through the affected areas making loudspeaker announcements at around 9.45 p.m. to prepare for the evacuation. In addition, the information was passed on to the public on the local radio stations of "Radio Bonn/Rhein-Sieg".
The evacuation was completed around 2 a.m. The affected residents were accommodated in the gymnasium of the Theodor-Weinz primary school where they were offered hot and cold drinks.
The emergency services estimated that it would take about an hour to defuse the bomb. And lo and behold: at exactly 2.59 a.m., the fire brigade announced the end of a successful operation. Experts from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Service had succeeded in defusing the five-ton World War II bomb. One by one, the cordons were lifted, and the residents were able to return to their homes.
The city administration thanked the bomb disposal service, the police, the fire brigade and the ambulance service for their excellent cooperation. Holger Heuser, First Alderman of the City of Bad Honnef: "Even more than 75 years after the end of the Second World War, explosive ordnance has lost none of its power to terrify. We can be all the more grateful that the good and professional cooperation of the emergency services ensured that the horror-inducing relic was safely removed."
(Original text: Claudia Sülzen)
Bikes and pedestrians will continue to share Friedrichstraße
At peak times, Friedrichstraße is bustling with pedestrians and cyclists. Whether on foot only or by bike - the question of how the street should be used has been discussed again and again over the years.
Although the situation on the street has been criticised by various people, such as passers-by and local restaurateurs, and judged to be problematic by the police, the city's administration nevertheless decided to leave the street open to cyclists around the clock.
In a statement by the city administration, it says: "Overall, there are both reasons for and against continuing to allow bicycle traffic on Friedrichstraße and Sterntorbrücke. The administration proposes to maintain the current traffic routing." This is because the street offers bicycles an alternative to the busy Oxfordstraße or Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz and is also important for the connection to shops in the city centre - this should be maintained.
A motion by the CDU to close Friedrichstraße to bicycle traffic was rejected by a majority of the Bonn District Council (BV). "Regrettably," said Nicole Bonnie (CDU) afterwards, claiming that the motion was rejected for ideological reasons because cyclists should not be restricted. Rolf Beu (Greens) on the other hand had accused the CDU of being ideologically motivated with their motion. He said that the tradespeople had different opinions on the cycling ban.
The Bonn/Rhein-Sieg General German Bicycle Club (adfc) thinks the current regulation makes sense: "The status quo as we have it is fine," said Gerd Billen, traffic policy spokesperson for the ADFC. Friedrichstraße is particularly important for insecure cyclists, he said. "For families with children, using the environmental lane on Oxfordstraße is not an alternative," Billen said.
According to the city's decision, Friedrichstraße will thus remain a pedestrian zone where bicycles are allowed. Cyclists are allowed to ride there at walking speed, i.e. appropriate to the situation.
(Original text: Felizia Schug and Christine Ludewig)
(Translations: Jean Lennox)