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January 16, 2019

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Building a Town Wall


There follows a period in which Bonners have a lot to cope with. King Philip of Swabia sets fire to Bonn in 1198. Archbishop Dietrich I (1208 to 1216) initiates the construction of the Godesburg Castle in 1210. Duke Henry of Brabant attacks the town with fire and sword in 1239. Bonn’s inhabitants are happy when in 1244 Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden (1238 to 1261) allows and orders them to build a wall to fortify the hitherto unprotected settlement. ‘Glowing with zeal’, as a Cologne chronicler reports, the Bonners start digging moats and building walls.

The archbishop, though, was not quite unselfish when he had these fortifications built. For Konrad von Hochstaden, by no means a ruler excelling in gentleness, was at loggerheads with the patriciate of Cologne, the city of his cathedral. Historiographers report that he left Cologne on horseback at dead of night, never to return. From then on, he and his successors hold court at Bonn frequently, and it is here that they now have their coins minted with the inscription "Thou, blessed Verona, shall triumph”. Verona is the other historical name of Bonn. A town archive is mentioned as early as 1284. Two years later, in 1286, Bonn is awarded the privilege to have an elected Council of twelve aldermen, which implies its legal recognition as a town.

Last update: November 22, 2011



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