Bonn-Center detonation

Where is the best place to watch?

Geballte Ladung: Sprengstoff wird samt Zünder in eines der 1500 Bohrlöchern eingeführt.

Dynamite and detonators are put into one of the 1500 bore holes for the explosion.

Bonn. It will not be easy to watch Sunday’s detonation of the Bonn-Center up close. Here are some of the places where you will have a good view.

On Saturday experts will still be working on filling up 1500 holes with dynamite. At around 11am on Sunday the 250 kg of explosives will raze the building to the ground. The fire brigade will construct a wall of water 180m long for the detonation. But don’t rely on this too heavily and wear your best clothes, as it will still be extremely dirty. Clouds of dust will engulf nearby spectators. And if you may be thinking of sending up a drone to catch the spectacular event on camera, be warned: this is strictly forbidden inside the safety zone.

There are no places from which the Bonn-Center is visible in its entirety. The lower levels of the building cannot be seen. The barriers at Kessenicher Rheinweg offer a good view of the side of the building. But here the remains of the building loom over several apartment blocks. On Oskar-Walzel-Straße there are two places to watch: firstly, at the train tracks north from the Reuter bridge, and also at the entrance to the bridge, where the road used to lead to the car showroom.

The biggest spaces to watch in the neighbourhood are on Eduard-Otto-Straße and Ahrweg. Also the corner of Graf-Stauffenberg and Lotharstraße offers a good view. The view from Venusberg is however not very good. The Bonn-Center can be seen through the trees from the path under the Uni-Klinik but this area is almost one and a half kilometres away from the Center, as the crow flies. This also means that people watching for further away should not rely on hearing the detonation signal. Sounds travels 333m with a delay of one second. So while listening to the countdown from ten to zero, the Center could already be rubble and ash. Talking of rubble – this will be broken down at the site in the next four months and taken away by truck. Its further use has not yet been decided upon, according to Kim Schlabow from the demolition company AWR-Abbruch. The material could be recycled and used for the foundations of new constructions or for precast concrete parts.

Best places to watch

Corinna Baumeister has had an overwhelming reaction to her invitation to watch the detonation. The financial advisor only wanted to reach out to her customers and invite them to have breakfast on the balcony of her office in Reuterstraße with one of the best views of the Bonn-Center. “But loads of strangers got in touch”, she explained and laughed. Among them families with children and also older people. In the end, she will draw lots to decide on who can come, as she only has space in her office for 30 people.

“The families with children are definitely included”, says Baumeister. She has also invited a couple who met at the Bonn-Center, as well as a man who has his birthday on Sunday. Some people will have to take up their positions in front of her building as there will not be enough space in front of the windows. “I think we will have to ask the council for permission to set up a pavilion” she says, looking at the weather forecast. It is due to rain on Sunday.

Norbert Britz also has spaces on his balcony. He lives in Rosenburg on the hillside of the Venusberg, “from where you have a perfect view”. But his invitation to have breakfast and watch the detonation has only been given to friends and relatives.

The prosecution office in Bonn had to deal with an absurd case relating to the detonation. They received a letter in which an offence was reported against the mayor Ashok Sridharan and Art Invest on suspicion of attempted criminal damage to ‘residence and property of citizens’. The addressee was fictional. Now the prosecution office has brought a charge against an unknown for falsification of a document.

If you would like to watch the detonation from the comfort of your own home, General-Anzeiger has set up a Live-Stream.

(Original text: Richard Bongartz, Lisa Inhoffen, Translation: Caroline Payne)