Bonn

Bonn, the former West German capital, is full of extraordinary 19th century buildings in the approximate German equivalents of Victorian and Art Nouveau styles (Gründerzeit and Jugendstil) plus a bit of 60s-70s modern government architecture at its best. The old houses manage to look stuffy and whimsical at the same time which is quite a feat. There is lots of asymmetry. The main national history museum is there (bottom photos).

The West German parliament met in a room that looked like a bare-bones college or church hall with a bunch of ordinary-lookng people in chairs pulled into in a semicircle. In photos it looks like a PTA meeting and then afterwards they’ll set up the room for bingo.

We missed a tour of the stunning 1963 supermodern chancellor’s house because we didn’t know you need your passport. I’ve always been told passports must be kept in a safe place and not on your person, which I now know can limit spontaneous access to, well, former chancellors’ houses.

 

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