Signpost in Big Rocking Horse Zoo

Sign in Australia shows Bonn as capital city

Der australische Wegweiser zu den Hauptstädten - mittendrin auch Bonn.

The Australian signpost to capital cities - including Bonn.

Bonn/Gumeracha. 16,217 kilometres: that’s how far it apparently is from a signpost in Australia to Bonn. The unusual thing about the sign, discovered by the former Bonn resident Harald Stiefvater, is that Bonn is shown as the capital.

It is now more than 28 years since the days when Bonn was the German capital; a state of affairs that has not yet reached many signposts worldwide. This is true of the signpost in the Big Rocking Horse Zoo in Gumeracha, Australia, which former Bonn resident Harald Stiefvater photographed. It is apparently exactly 16,217 kilometres from the signpost to Bonn. The federal city again finds itself in illustrious company between capital cities like Paris, Athens and Peking. The signpost is in the Adelaide Hills, where Hahndorf is also located. This is a village that was founded in 1839 by German emigrants.

“I found it really funny to see Bonn on a signpost so far away,” explains Stiefvater from Adelaide, when questioned by the GA. Even more interesting, according to Stiefvater, is the reason for his Australian trip. “My wife and I are not only on holiday here.” The trip is more a sort of visit to relatives and the result of research.

“My wife’s father emigrated to Australia in 1969 and was untraceable until three or four years ago. We were able to find his sister, who is still in contact with him, only after extensive research,” explains Stiefvater, who lived for 50 years in Bonn. The search finally ended in success. The married couple had a name and address and finally left for Australia at the start of the year. Stiefvater calls the trip a “return visit” as he reports that in the meantime, the father had already been to Vienna twice to see his daughter.

The photo of the signpost has also attracted a lot of interest on Facebook. Stiefvater posted it in the group “You come from Bonn if…” and quickly had the first comments. Only the question of how accurate the information on the sign is remains unanswered. Unlike the piece of wood, Google Maps shows a distance of around 15,760 kilometres.

Be that as it may, the photo shows that Bonn still has its place in the circle of world cities – at least on old signposts.

(Original text: Laszlo Scheuch. Translation: kc)