Ludwig van Beethoven was born 249 years ago in Bonn, a city in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. To celebrate his 250th in 2020, a year-long programme has been planned which will feature special shows, exhibitions and other exciting activities throughout the country.
There’s even a social media hashtag and a logo: #BTHVN and BTHVN2020, respectively.
Of course, most of the top events will be held in Bonn, where the BTHVN committee regularly convenes to discuss plans. Beethoven House, a museum displaying precious memorabilia from the famous composer’s collection, has recently been closed to make way for renovation and restoration works.
The house is also largely believed to be Beethoven’s birth home, but there is no actual historical evidence of that.
Still, it would be fun to pay a visit to Bonn once the celebrations begin on Dec 16 this year (it ends on Dec 17, 2020). Some of the programmes include numerous shows like the Opening Concert, New Year’s Day Concert, Reflections, Beethoven’s Diabelli-Variations and a simultaneous concert in Bonn (Beethoven Orchester Bonn) and Vienna (Vienna Symphony Orchestra). There’s also a “picnic festival”, a jazz fest, some music competitions, symposiums and many more activities already lined up.
But if you’re not a fan of Beethoven or classical music, don’t worry as there are many other things to check out in Bonn, too. Like the university, for example.
The University of Bonn is a beautiful building that pretty much makes up a big part of the town centre. Walk across the field away from the waterfront, and onto a street where you will see a Haribo store.
Haribo, the maker of those delicious gummy candy, was created in Bonn in the 1920s by a man named Hans Riegel. The name of the company is an acronym made up of “Hans Riegel, Bonn”.
One of the oldest churches in Germany, the Bonn Minster, is also in the city. You can visit the place, but not when there is a service taking place.
Bonn is about 80km away from Dusseldorf, or one hour’s drive away. If you don’t plan to drive, you can also take the train from Dusseldorf.