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Bonn is one of Germany's oldest cities, founded in the 1st century BC as a Roman settlement. From 1597 to 1794, Bonn was the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and residence of the Archbishops and Prince-electors of Cologne. From 1949 to 1990, the city was the provisional capital of West Germany, and the present constitution of the country, the Basic Law, was declared in the city in 1949. From 1990 to 1999, Bonn served as the seat of government, but no longer capital of reunited Germany.
Bonn is a city on the banks of the Rhine Rhine in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with a population of over 300,000 inhabitants. About 24 km south-southeast of Cologne, Bonn is in the southernmost part of the Rhine-Ruhr region, Germany's largest metropolitan area, with over 11 million citizens. The urban district of Bonn is divided into 4 administrative municipal districts: Bonn, Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Bonn-Beuel and Bonn-Hardtberg.
In Bonn are situated the head offices of Deutsche Telekom, its subsidiary T-Mobile, Deutsche Post, Haribo, German Academic Exchange service and SolarWorld.
Beethoven's birthplace is Bonn. The great composer's home is located in Bonngasse near the market place. Next to the market place is the Old City Hall, built in 1737 in Rococo style, under the rule of Clemens August of Bavaria. It is used for receptions of guests of the city, and as an office for the mayor. Nearby is the Kurfurstliches Schloss, built as a residence for the prince-elector and now the main building of the University of Bonn.