The Lion Column
and the Bonn Coat of Arms

This stone sculpture represents a lion fighting against a smaller animal, presumably a boar, and winning. It is probably a Roman work of art which was touched up, however, in Romansque times. The Latin inscription
means: Monument of old Verona, now to the city of Bonn.
You find it at the Sterntor in the center of Bonn. The original column is kept in the Old Town Hall.
In the Middle Ages the lion was called "leopard", nowadays its colloquial name is "little stone wolf".

The lion column
In the Middle Ages the lion was the symbol of judicial power and it was in the Minster Square. It was also the old judicial symbol of the archbishops and Electors of Cologne. As heraldic animal the lion has kept its importance for the city of Bonn till today.

The old Bonn Coat of Arms (14th cent.)
When this coat of arms was introduced between 1334 and 1345 - in former times it had been used as a seal - the boroughs of Bad Godesberg, Beuel, Bonn and Hardtberg were independent "villages". This symbol was the coat of arms of the "village" of Bonn, which essentially enclosed the centre today. The lion is still the symbol of Bonn as a city with a law-court. The cross in the upper part emerged from the coat of arms of the former ruling Electors of Cologne.
When Bonn became capital in 1949 the communities expanded to such an extend that it developed into a big city. In 1969 it was finally decided that all communities should be united in one city called "Bonn". All districts kept their coats of arms, but on March 4, 1971 the City Council of Bonn decided to introduce a new combined coat of arms:
E ven before the coat of arms was introduced the city fathers quarrelled about its colours. Some suggestions were rejected, because their colours were not compatible with the original coat of arms. For the characteristic features of the old emblem should be preserved. So it is no wonder that the new coat of arms has a strong resemblance to the old one - the one of the "village" of Bonn. The new colour combination is to symbolize the close relation as well as a certain distance to the old city of Bonn.

Das neue Bonner Wappen von 1971

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