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Bonn for beginners: What you should know about Bonn

Bonn for beginners : What you should know about Bonn

Where do you start when you want to get to know a new city? This journey through the alphabet shows what is typically “bönnsch” and is intended to whet your appetite for more. Whether you are new to Bonn or have been here awhile, maybe you will make a new discovery.

Alle-mal-malen-Mann: Jan Loh was a legend of Bonn nightlife. With his unique way of sketching, the white-haired city artist captured groups of pub guests on paper, which earned him a fan page on the internet. He owed his nickname to his reoccurring question: "Shall I draw all of you?” (Alle meaning all and malen meaning to paint or draw). In March of 2018, the Alle-mal-malen-Mann died and in August this year a square in the Old Town of Bonn was named after him. His portrait, spray-painted by "fans", still adorns many walls of houses near pubs today.

Beethoven: The city's most famous son was born on Bonngasse (in the city center) in 1770. The Beethoven House is a good place to take out-of-town visitors. Besides that, as a new Bonn resident, it can't hurt to learn Schiller's "Ode to Joy".

Castra bonnensia: For 400 years the Romans shaped the city. Numerous street names and excavations bear witness to this. The Roman bath under the Collegium Albertinum on the Adenauerallee can be visited.

Dax companies: Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Post have their headquarters in Bonn, which is the same number of Dax companies as in Berlin.

Eiermann, Egon: This architect designed the high-rise building for members of parliament in the government district, also known as "Langer Eugen". Right next to the symbol of the "old Bonn" is a symbol of the "new Bonn": the Post Tower.

Fluss (River): The Rhine is an important economic factor, a favorite subject of romantic poets and a popular leisure destination. To kick off the tourist season at the beginning of May there is "Rhine in Flames", a giant event with fireworks, concerts and a convoy of ships.

Outdoor and indoor swimming pools: There are eight swimming pools altogether in Bonn, making for a decent choice. But the topic of swimming pools in Bonn is a hotly debated issue between residents and politicians.

Gummy bears: Haribo stands for Hans Riegel Bonn. In 1920, the candy store was entered in the commercial register. The history of the company traces back to a backyard laundry room in Kessenich. A few years ago Haribo moved from Bonn to Grafschaft.

Halsbandsittiche (Collared parakeets): If you discover a bright green parrot in your backyard, your eyes are not deceiving you. The exotic creatures are now at home in Bonn, they feel particularly comfortable in old trees lining some avenues and they fly over the city making quite a bit of noise.

Immi: People who have moved to Bonn from somewhere else. There are now more of these than “Ur-Bonner” who have deep roots in Bonn.

Jahrmarkt (Fair): Pützchens Markt is the name of the historic giant hustle and bustle that takes place at the beginning of September (apart from during the corona pandemic). After this fair, many of the carnies move on to Munich for the Oktoberfest, bringing along Ferris Wheel and all.

Kirschblüten (Cherry blossoms): Almost as important as the carnival season in Bonn is the cherry blossom season. Every year in spring, from March to mid-April, beautiful cherry blossoms bloom in the Old Town. The blossoms are particularly impressive towards the end of the season on Heerstrasse and Breite Strasse.

Legends: The patron saints of Bonn are Cassius and Florentius, who are said to have died a martyr's death as Roman soldiers of Christian faith. The holy Adelheid protected the people from misery and drought, using her rod to spring a fountain in Pützchen.

Moby Dick: The whale that swims up the Rhine today is actually a passenger ship. Inaugurated in 1966, the old passenger ship looks like Moby Dick and can be spotted going up and down the river regularly.

Museum Mile: The Museum Mile is the place to go for those looking for art, culture and history. Five different museums are all in a row, and since 1995 there has even been a Museum Mile Festival every year. Visitors of all ages can take part in workshops and other activities.

Nibelungs: The legendary place where Siegfried is said to have defeated the dragon is not far away. There is a restaurant on the Drachenfels in the Siebengebirge (Seven Mountains), which offers visitors a view over the Rhine valley.

Ortsteile (local districts): Bonn is actually a big bunch of villages. In the local districts there are often various clubs and associations offering sports and other activities. The correct answer to the question "Where do you come from?" is therefore not Bonn but Poppelsdorf, Dottendorf, Muffendorf, Buschdorf, Dransdorf, Plittersdorf...

Promis (Celebrities): You can meet stars from German radio and television here. Maybe that's because of the fact that places like the Springmaus Improv Theater and the Pantheon make for a creative environment. Rüdiger Hoffmann, Konrad Beikircher, Bernhard Hoëcker, Bill Mockridge and Anka Zink, for example, are local celebs from Bonn. But you can also meet many politicians and ex-politicians.

Quälend (Tormenting): The biggest disadvantage of the city is the constant headache weather, often hot and humid in summer. At least that is what many newcomers complain about.

Rheinisches Grundgesetz (The Rhenish Constitution): In order to understand Rhinelanders better, one should know some kölsch (Cologne dialect). Article 1: Et es wie et es (it is like it is) meaning ...face the facts!

Sauerbraten: If you adore horses, you should take a close look at the menu. Original Rhenish Sauerbraten is made from horse meat.

Telekom Baskets: Not only the number one in the city in terms of sports, but also in terms of atmosphere. The Hardtberg, where the Telekom Dome is located, is recognized by basketball fans all across Germany as having an outstanding atmosphere. There is even a special game during carnival season in February, where a costume and the party afterwards is compulsory.

UN: After the federal government moved to Berlin, Bonn was not only a federal city but also became a United Nations city. More than 20 organizations with more than 1,000 employees have their headquarters here and the growth trend continues.

Verpoorten: Ei, Ei, Ei (Egg, Egg, Egg) is written in large letters at the traffic circle in the north of Bonn. The yellow egg liqueur is one of the city's popular exports.

WCCB: The World Conference Center Bonn consists in part of the old Bundestag building and is located in the former government quarter of Bonn. Construction began in 2006 but came to a complete standstill a few years later due to the bankruptcy of the then investor. After many years of legal turmoil and controversy, the project was finally completed in 2015 and officially opened as part of a UN climate conference.

X stands for Kiss, Rhenish Bützje: The most precious kiss is given by Bonna, the Bonn carnival princess.

Y: This letter is the first letter on the license plates of the Bundeswehr. The Federal Ministry of Defense has its primary official residence on Bonn's Hardthöhe.

Zesammestonn (Rhine dialect- it means stick together): One of the most important virtues of the Rhinelander is "to stick together". And this much-loved song about cohesion "Echte Fründe stonn zesamme" (Real friends stick together) can also help at the start of the semester.

Orig. text: Bettina Köhl

Translation: ck