Bonn – the City


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October 23, 2018

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First Written Sources


Bonn was first mentioned by Roman authors some 2,000 years ago. It was between 13 and 9 BC (a more precise date determination is not possible) that the Roman historiographer Florus puts on record that Commander Drusus, a stepson of Emperor Augustus, has a bridge built between ‘Bonna’ on the left bank of the Rhine and "Gesonia” on the right. Later, in 69 AD, the famous Publius Cornelius Tacitus refers to the fortified camp of a legion, named ‘Castra Bonnensia’, in his account of the succession turmoil following the death of Emperor Nero.

We can safely conclude from archaeological excavations that Bonn was a settlement established by the Ubii between two arms of the Rhine on ground which was relatively safe from the river’s floods. There is evidence , however, of a much earlier human presence in the Bonn area. Traces of settlements have been found in Bad Godesberg’s Marienforst Valley which are up to 70,000 years old: hand tools which are attributed to the Neanderthal type of man. Of outstanding importance has been the find in what is today the borough of Oberkassel of approximately 13.000 year old skeleton parts of a human couple. A dog that was buried together with them is considered one of the oldest proofs of keeping domestic animals. About 6,000 years back, a first fortified settlement is built on the Venusberg hill, not far from today’s "Casselsruhe” Restaurant. Bonn’s name is presumably an age-old legacy of the Celtic language. Its meaning is not known

Last update: November 22, 2011



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