Had I walked any faster and not been paying attention, I would have completed missed the small, insignificant sign that says “Beethoven-Haus”. Following the sign, I turned at the footpath, passed a small but beautiful courtyard leading to a dark yellow structure, and entered through heavy wooden doors.
After paying my entrance fees, I stood in the centre of the sitting room, quietly, basking in the spirits of my favorite classical composer.
A small audio device took me through Beethoven’s childhood and the history of his pianoforte. Wooden floor boards moaned as I step carefully around the house, observing each structure and marveling at each piece of musical relic. The audio guide asked me to go up the stairs and when I stopped, it informed me the room directly in front of me, was where little Ludwig was born on December, 17 on 1770.
It was no secret the city of Bonn take pride in being the birth place of the musical maestro, who is now known as ‘Bonn’s Greatest Son’. A bronze monument, funded by another historical musical figure Franz Liszt, stand in the centre of the city’s Munsterplatz. While my main desire was to visit Beethoven, the rest of Bonn had some fascinating sights luring me to linger just a little longer.
Bonn was the temporary capital of West Germany in 1949 at the end of World War II. Although no longer associated with political dictations and powers, it is still involved in political studies across the globe. The European Commission is located here, and it was no surprise to me that when I checked in at the youth hostel, I was among 90 international students who have traveled to Bonn for a mock EU parliament. Those interested in politics would definitely take interest in Bonn’s former government district, and learn about the political roadmap of Germany in the city’s many museums on the Museum Mile. Especially take note of the Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany). Entry is free, and showcases modern German history through five levels of rampways.
On my last afternoon in Bonn, I hired a bike and cycled along the Rhine for a bit of fresh air. One of those river cruises were going past me as I leaned against a tree for a break. A slight breeze was cooling me off from the ride and I imaged that perhaps Beethoven also once sat here, contemplating life while thinking of materials for his next symphony. He has long left this world, but his spirits certainly still lingers in the atmospheres around his birthplace – Bonn.