"Opera in Bonn" Top 5 Page for this destination Bonn by Nemorino

Bonn Travel Guide: 267 reviews and 872 photos

Beethoven sculpture and concert hall

The composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1857) was born in Bonn and lived here for the first twenty-two years of his life, until he moved to Vienna.

This Beethoven sculpture by Klaus Kammerichs is on the lawn in front of the Beethovenhalle, a large concert hall that was built in 1959. The sculpture is called Beethon, and the fascinating thing about it is that when you look at it from any other angle it just looks like a jumble of irregularly shaped concrete slabs, but when you look at it from straight on, from either direction, those slabs resolve themselves into a vivid portrait of the composer.

Here at the opera house in Bonn I have seen several fine performances over the past thirteen years, including Salome, by Richard Strauss (1864-1949), in a weird staging by the British film director Ken Russell.

On my most recent visit I saw the two operas advertised in the photo: Cardillac by Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) and La traviata by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901). I have described both of these operas in the General Tips on this page.

Bonn is located on the Rhine River 37 kilometers south of Cologne.

At last count Bonn had about 314,000 inhabitants, which is not quite half the population of Frankfurt am Main.

When West Germany was established as a separate state in 1949, there was considerable controversy about where the provisional capital should be, since the traditional capital Berlin was located off to the east, behind the new border. It finally came down to a choice between Bonn and Frankfurt am Main, and on May 10, 1949, the Parliamentary Council voted 33 to 29 in favor of Bonn.

After reunification Berlin was declared the nominal capital in 1990, but Bonn remained the administrative capital until 1999, when the seat of government was moved back to Berlin. To this day, however, there are still numerous federal agencies and ministries or parts of ministries in Bonn, and also a number of United Nations agencies and other international organizations.

  • Last visit to Bonn: Jun 2012
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (24)

Comments (40)

  • wabat's Profile Photo
    Apr 18, 2016 at 6:30 AM

    Don, bed calls so i'll have to return for you thungs to dimsection in Bonn.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2015 at 4:38 AM

    Bonn has quite a few "different" museums to what you find elsewhere!

  • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo
    Feb 18, 2015 at 11:05 AM

    I've been to Cologne but haven't to Bonn yet. Thanks for vistual tour!

  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo
    Oct 22, 2014 at 4:42 AM

    Great tips on Bonn. I would be very interested in visiting Beethoven's home/museum.

    • Nemorino's Profile Photo
      Oct 22, 2014 at 4:58 AM

      Thanks, John. Bonn is not a huge city but it has a lot to offer, not only because of the Beethoven connection but also because it was the seat of the West German government for four decades.

  • Redang's Profile Photo
    Nov 15, 2013 at 12:59 AM

    In two weeks!

    • Nemorino's Profile Photo
      Nov 15, 2013 at 1:12 AM

      Have a great visit to Bonn, and thanks for your ratings on my Bonn tips.

    • Redang's Profile Photo
      Nov 15, 2013 at 1:34 AM

      Cologne, Koblenz and Düsseldorf included

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Aug 2, 2013 at 4:24 AM

    Thanks for all the wonderful tips, I am getting to know more and more about Germany through your tips.

  • traveldave's Profile Photo
    Oct 14, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    I never knew Beethoven was from Bonn. Looks like an interesting city to visit, and nice that you were able to attend a VT meeting there.

    • Nemorino's Profile Photo
      Oct 14, 2012 at 1:33 PM

      Hi David, thanks for your visit to my Bonn page. Yes, that was a really good little VT meeting.

  • Redang's Profile Photo
    Jun 26, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    Nice VT meeting in Bonn!

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Jun 25, 2012 at 2:59 AM

    Hi Don, Looks like you had a very pleasant VT meet!

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Jun 23, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Don, lovely little update about the latest VT Meeting in Bonn. A pity I missed it, but unfortunately Bonn is way to far for me on work days.


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