- Hotel Petersberg
Hotel Petersberg has become the Guest House of the
Federal Republic of Germany, termed the "Bundesgästehaus" (the official title being "Gästehaus der Verfassungsorgane der Bundesrepublik Deutschland"). It is located on the Petersberg, a prominent mountain of the Siebengebirgenear Bonn, Germany. With a height of 331 meters, it looks over the towns of Königswinter, on the right bank of the Rhineriver, and Bonn on the opposite side.
There is evidence that humans were already living on the Petersberg in 3500 BC. A ring wall constructed about 1000 BC has been excavated.
In 1189, by order of the Archbishop of Cologne Philipp von Heinsberg,
Cistercianmonks from the abbey of Himmerod took over an abandoned hermitage built by Augustinians. In 1202 the new monastery of Heisterbach was constructed in the Peterstal, the valley below the Petersberg.
The mountain was first known as "Stromberg" (as documented in 1142) and received its current name after a chapel dedicated to
Saint Peterwas erected on its peak in 1764. In 1834 the area was sold to the merchant Joseph Ludwig Mertens. His wife Sibylle Mertens-Schaafhausen built a summer residence on the Petersberg, and became known as the "Rheingräfin" ("countess of the Rhine").
At the end of the 19th century the Nelles brothers from
Colognehad bought the area and started to add buildings. In 1892 they opened up the eponymous hotel that could easily be reached via the newly built "Petersbergbahn", a rack railwaythat continued in intermittent operation until 1958. In 1912 Ferdinand Mülhens' rack and pinion railway, owner of the 4711 company, bought the property. Under the direction of the architect Heinrich Müller-Erkelenz the hotel was converted during the next two years into a spa. Terraces to overlook the Rhine and a new access route were built in the 1930s.
eat of Allied High Commission
World War IIthe Hotel Petersberg became the seat of the Allied High Commissionfor Germany. The Occupation Statutewas issued here on September 21 1949. Several weeks later, November 22 1949, the Petersberg Agreementwas signed between Chancellor Adenauerand the Western Allies. The Allied High Commission resided on the Petersberg until 1955, when West Germany gained its sovereignty.
The Federal Guest House
to develop a representative guest house for its visitors. A five-year reconstruction was completed in 1990 following the plans of Horst Linde. Most heads of states that visited the Federal Republic, while Bonn was its capital, have stayed on the Petersberg. A helicopter pad provides easy access. The fact that the mountain has only one access road facilitates security matters.
After the German government moved to
Berlin, the Petersberg continued in use as an official guest and conference house and has been dubbed the "German Camp David." In December 2001 the Petersberg was the place of the first Bonn Agreement. Also its follow-up conference took place here on December 2 2002.
The Hotel is open to the public and managed by the
Steigenberger Hotel Group. Michael Schumachermarried his wife Corinna on the Petersberg in 1995.
List of conferences on the Petersberg
*1992: Petersberg Tasks, meetings concerning the
European Security and Defence Policy
*1992: Western European Union Council of Ministers: the "Petersberg Declaration" [http://www.weu.int/documents/920619peten.pdf]
*1999: EU summit meeting
*1999, May 6: Conference about the crisis in
*2000: 15th EU conference of foreign ministers
*2001, December: "The Agreement on Provisional Arrangements in Afghanistan Pending the Re-Establishment of Permanent Government Institutions" was signed by representatives of anti-Taliban forces and several other Afghan political parties and groups (the so-called Bonn Agreement)
*2002, December: Follow-up conference to the Bonn Agreement
*2005, November 5: "Partnership with Africa" conference
Distinguished guests on the Petersberg
Neville Chamberlain, British Premier, during the Sudetenland crisis. He was the first official foreign dignitary on the Petersberg
Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, ( Shahof Persia, with his wife Soraya)
* 1960: King
Rama IXof Thailand
* 1965: Queen
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Mohammad Reza Pahlaviwith his wife Farah Diba
Leonid Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union(following his special wish, the Hotel was reopened for several days for his visit. During this time he wrecked a Mercedes-Benz, the Federal Republic's gift to him, on his first drive down the mountain)
;After the German reunification in 1990
Nicephore Soglo(Premier of Benin)
Mikhail Gorbachev, with his wife Raisa
* 1992: Queen
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
* 1993: Emperor
* 1994: U.S. president
Bill Clintonand his wife Hillary
* 1994: Queen
Margrethe II of Denmark
* 1998: King
Hussein of Jordan
* 2004: Mohamed
Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt
*Largely based on [http://de.wikipedia.org/Petersberg_bei_Bonn German Wikipedia article] accessed on
December 12, 2005.
* [http://www.siebengebirge.de/sg/pages/touren_petersberg.php Information about the Petersberg] (German)
* [http://www.gaestehaus-petersberg.de/eng/index.htm Bundesgästehaus Petersberg] (English)
* [http://www.grandhotel-petersberg.steigenberger.de/aw/Hotels/Steigenberger_Grandhotel_Petersberg/~bogg/Englisch/ Information by Steigenberger Hotel Group]
* [http://www.siebengebirge.de/gesch20.htm History of the Petersberg] (German)
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