In remembrance of Beethoven’s 75th birthday, his bronze statue was unveiled at the Münsterplatz in 1845. From the balcony of the “Fürstenbergisches Palais” – which has been the General Post Office since 1877 – Friedrich Wilhelm IV. and Queen Victoria attended the inauguration of the Beethoven statue.
vor der Hauptpost
In August of 1845, Bonn was dominated by a ceremony, which put the city at the Rhine into the focus of the world interest for several days. In remembrance of Beethoven’s 75th birthday, a bronze statue was erected at the Münsterplatz in front of the “Fürstenbergisches Palais” (which is the General Post Office today) and the first Beethoven Festival was celebrated. It was Ernst Hähnel, an employee of Gottfried Sempers in Dresden, who won the competition for the statue advertised in 1840. Hähnel presented an idealised but “similar” Beethoven, for whose face he used the known prototype mask. The figure’s posture characterises the “inspired musician”, who receives a creative thought with raised eyes and intends to write it down in his notebook immediately.
The relieves of the granite pedestal represent the allegories of the genres of Beethoven’s tonal art (from left to right):
The spiritual music played on the organ (Missa Solemnis)
The fantasy riding on a sphinx (Beethoven called the free treatment
of the sonata form “Sonata quasi una fantasia”)
The symphony surrounded by four genius (the genius stand for the four movements of the symphony)
The dramatic music (with two masks – opera “Fidelio”)