travelgrove Travel Guides

Bonn History, Germany

Bonn History – Early Roman Fortifications

Bonn’s history starts with the Romans, who set up a small unit in 11 BC on the ground which is now known as the old town. The Germanic tribes which inhabited the area fought against the Roman armies and the tribe called Ubii later allied with the Roman armies. The Latin name given to the city (Bonna) dates back from this period and it apparently comes from a larger population who used to inhabit the area, the Eburoni. In the first century AD the Roman armies built a large wooden fort in the Northern part of the contemporary city which was later fortified in stone and remained in use until the 5th century AD. It is known as the biggest of its kind in the ancient world and it housed several administrative institutions of the Empire. The structure of the fort remained standing into the Middle Ages and received the name Bonnburg, while the materials have constantly been reused to build city fortifications until the 13t century. Some of the original stones in this city wall have been used in the Sterntor, a contemporary monument lying in the city centre.

Bonn History – The Archdiocese and Ludwig van Beethoven

The year 1597 is of great importance in Bonn history, as it is when it became the seat of the Archdiocese of Cologne and started gaining more and more importance and economical power. This was the period when lots of Baroque buildings were built that can still be admired today and the year 1770 gave the city one of its biggest prides in history, as it is Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth year. The period that followed cast Bonn in the shadows, as it passed from the First French Empire to the Kingdom of Prussia and to the German Empire in 1871, during the unification of Germany.

Bonn History – Modern History

After WWII Bonn was a territory of English occupation and it became the capital of West Germany. Bonn was chosen over Frankfurt to occupy this function in spite of the fact that it was estimated to be much more expensive and lots of nicknames were mockingly given to the city due to its relatively small size. After 1990 the capital moved to Berlin, but the connotations of this city were strongly related to Nazi Germany and there was consequently much debate upon the subject. The final compromise that was reached was to keep some of the ministries in Bonn while moving only the head officials to Berlin, so this way the city maintained some of its former administrative authority.

Ask our travel experts a question about Bonn

Things about Bonn you may be interested in

Be the first who requests a site listing for this page.

Read our members' reviews about Bonn

No reviews have been added yet for this category. Be the first to add a new one.

Read our members' travel tips about Bonn

No travel tips have been added yet for this category. Be the first to add a new one.


the best travel deals provided by TravelZoo...

Bonn City Ratings

  • Ratingunrated
    City Rankunrated
  • History & Culture: not rated
  • Night Life & Entertainment: not rated
  • Family & Fun: not rated
  • Outdoors Activities: not rated
  • Food: not rated
  • Sightseeing: not rated
  • Shopping: not rated
  • Public Transportation: not rated
  • Must visit this place: not rated
   Welcome to Travelgrove  register tell a friend bookmark it