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About Cologne-Bonn

Cologne (Koln)
The highlight of this continued journey down the Rhine is the city of Cologne with its mighty Gothic cathedral. The most rewarding and certainly most comfortable way to enter Cologne is by train. Looking out of the window as the train clatters over the Hohenzollernbrücke, you can enjoy one of Europe's most spectacular city panoramas: the Rhine embankment with its colourful façades and pointed gabled roofs above which tower the mighty spires of the Cathedral.

Before 1949, the major claim to fame of the sleepy electoral residence city and university town of Bonn (pop. 298,000) was as the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). But it was then chosen as the provisional seat of the new Federal Government and transformed into a modern capital, with thousands of officials moving into the stately old buildings and new high-rise blocks built to house the various ministries and administrative bodies. When the Berlin Wall collapsed, the authorities were in the process of investing billions in more governmental construction projects, including a new parliamentary chamber. But under the terms of the reunification treaty of 1990, Bonn returned the function of German capital city to Berlin. Heated debates broke out about the future division of responsibilities between Bonn and Berlin. In June 1991 the German Parliament voted for a motion ruling that Berlin should assume its full role as the seat of parliament and government. More than half of the ministries, the Chancellor's office and other departments meanwhile moved to Berlin. But Bonn is growing accustomed to its new title of “Federal City” and is turning its attention increasingly to science and culture.


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