These days the garden is home to more than 11,000 species of plants, including many endangered local species.Highlights of its outdoor gardens include numerous species of woody plants in the large arboretum, as well as plants arranged by geographic region. Established in 1992, the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany offers numerous excellent exhibits relating to the country's rich cultural history, as well as its role in the fields of science, technology, and the environment.A highlight is the excellent "Our Blue Planet" exhibit showcasing ecosystems through a series of fascinating dioramas, including the African Savannah, tropical rainforests, and Polar Regions. Bonn Botanic Gardens (Botanischer Garten Bonn), covering some 16 acres and owned and operated by the University of Bonn, can trace its roots back as far as 1340 when constructed as part of a castle gardens.
Built between the 11th and 13th centuries, it's also one of Germany's oldest cathedrals.
Highlights include its 11th century east crypt, its attractive 12th cloister, and the unique crossing tower.
One of southwest Germany's many half-timbered towns, Esslingen secured its position as a major trading center by building two bridges over the Neckar River, making it an obvious crossing point for medieval traders.
More than 200 timber-framed buildings from the 13th to 16th centuries lie in Esslingen's Old Town, lining its scenic canals and surrounding the market square.
Originally used to teach students at art academies across Europe, many of these plaster casts date back as far as 1763.
Other highlights include more than 500 statues, as well as more than 2,000 original sculptures from some of Europe's leading artists. The pattern of the city's life is set by its old and famous university, its former role as the seat of government (transferred to Berlin after reunification), its busy commercial life, and its attractive setting - particularly on the riverside, with its view of the nearby Siebengebirge.Bonn is also famous as the birthplace of Beethoven, a connection marked by a variety of attractions and events, the most notable of which, Beethoven Fest Bonn, runs from mid September to mid October.One of the newest and most interesting is the Arithmeum, a fascinating museum dedicated to mathematics.Based upon a collection of 1,200 antique calculating machines and rare books on the subject dating back many centuries, the museum is also notable for its spectacular steel and glass structure, designed to represent "the transparency of science." Founded in 1947, the Bonn Museum of Modern Art (Kunstmuseum Bonn) hosts numerous temporary and permanent exhibits.Highlights of the museum include reconstructed interiors as well as artifacts and documents passed down by the artist's family, as well as frequent temporary exhibits. Many of Bonn's tourist attractions are close together in the old center, including the Beethoven-Haus, Bonn Minster, Academic Museum of Antiquities, opera house, Hofgarten, and several historic churches.