The Federal City of Bonn (German pronunciation: [ˈbɔn] ( listen)) is a city on the banks of the Rhine in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with a population of over 300,000. About 24 km (15 mi) south-southeast of Cologne, Bonn is in the southernmost part of the Rhine-Ruhr region, Germany's largest metropolitan area, with over 11 million inhabitants. Because of a political compromise following German reunification, the German state maintains a substantial presence in Bonn, and the city is considered a second, unofficial, capital of the country. Bonn is the secondary seat of the President, the Chancellor, the Bundesrat and the primary seat of six federal government ministries and twenty federal authorities. The unique title of Federal City (German: Bundesstadt) reflects its important political status within Germany. Founded in the 1st century BC as a Roman settlement, Bonn is one of Germany's oldest cities. From 1597 to 1794, Bonn was the capital of the Electorate of Cologne, and residence of the Archbishops and Prince-electors of Cologne. Composer Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn in 1770. From 1949 to 1990, Bonn was the provisional capital of West Germany, and Germany's present constitution, the Basic Law, was declared in the city in 1949. From 1990 to 1999, Bonn served as the seat of government – but no longer capital – of reunited Germany.
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