The town hall brilliantly dominates the three-cornered market place. In 1737, Elector Clemens August laid the foundation stone for this impressive building at the place of an older Gothic building, whose architect was Michel Leveilly, who also constructed the magnificent “Koblenzer Tor”. The town hall’s flight of outdoor stairs with its golden grating had been the scene of historical events for several times already: Gottfried Kinkel wove the black-red-golden flag here in 1848, and Theodor Heuss, the first Federal President, stepped in front of Bonn’s citizens the night he was elected on September 12, 1949.
Today, the Lord Mayoress escorts VIPs into the town hall over the stairs with the golden grating, as her predecessors did in the past. In 1962, Charles de Gaulle, the French President of the State, delivered an address here, and US President John F. Kennedy did so in 1963. The list would become quite long, if all emperors, kings and presidents, as well as all world stars from the sectors of music and sports were to mention here who visited Bonn. For more than 700 years the town hall from the Rococo era and its predecessor building has been the seat of the citizens’ self-government. Since 1971, it has also been the scenery for the open-air cultural programme called “Bonner Sommer”.