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The history of Germany and tourism

The Helmut Kohl era as one of the most dramatic periods in the history of Germany. The Germany's territory, culture, population, economics, government, money, communications and education. Tourism in Germany: by car, by bus, by train, air travel.

Contents

Introduction_ 2

1. Germany: general information_ 3

1.1 The history of Germany_ 3

1.2 Germany land_ 5

1.3 Culture & population_ 7

1.4 Germany’s economics & government 9

1.5 German’s Money & Costs 11

1.6 German’s communications & education_ 12

2. Tourism in Germany_ 14

2.1 Germany by car 14

2.2 Discover Germany by Bus 15

2.3 Air travel 15

2.4 Travel by train_ 16

2.5 Castles & Palaces 17

2.6 Metropolises 18

Conclusion_ 31

Literature 33

Introduction

Germany wears its riches well: elegant big-city charm, picture-postcard small towns, pagan-inspired harvest festivals, a wealth of art and culture and the perennial pleasures of huge tracts of forest, delightful castles and fine wine and beer are all there for the enjoying.

Germany's reunification in 1990 was the beginning of yet another chapter in Germany's complex history. No visitor will remain untouched by this country's past and the way it affects the nation today.

The full country name is Federal Republic of Germany, it’s total area - 357,030 sq km. The major industries in Germany:motor vehicles, engineering, chemicals, iron, steel, coal, electronics, environmental technology, food, clothing.

Germany is popular among the tourists. The German climate is variable so it's best to be prepared for all types of weather throughout the year. That said, the most reliable weather is from May to October. This coincides, naturally enough, with the standard tourist season (except for skiing). The shoulder periods can bring fewer tourists and surprisingly pleasant weather. There is no special rainy season.

1. Germany: general information

1.1 The history of Germany

Germany's hill-and-trough history kicked in early: from the time that everyone's favourite fossils, the Neanderthals, left their jaw-jutting remains in the Neander Valley near Düsseldorf, this joint has been in the thick of it. All of Europe's great empires got their paws into Germany, but none was ever able to count all its inhabitants as faithful subjects. Different pockets of fierce resistance met the Roman legions (50 BC to the 5th century AD), the Frankish conqueror, Charlemagne (up to the early 9th century), and Otto the Great's Holy Roman Empire (from late in the 10th century). By the time the house of Habsburg, ruling from Vienna, took control in the 13th century it was little more than a conglomerate of German-speaking states run by parochial princes.

The Habsburgs muddled on until the devastating Thirty Years War (1618-48), sparked by ongoing religious and nationalist conflicts. Europe had been simmering ever since 1517 when Martin Luther tacked 95 suggestions for improved service to his local church door in Wittenburg. It took a bloody good stoush to settle everyone down and secure the rights of both Protestants and Catholics. Germany lost a third of its population in the process. Local princes assumed complete sovereignty over a patchwork of some 300 states, which made it all too easy for Napoleon to come along in the early 19th century and start adding them to his scrapbook. The French never quite managed to subdue Prussia, which became the centre of German resistance. It was Prussia that led the 1813 war that put an end to Napoleon's German aspirations in a decisive battle at Leipzig. In 1866 Otto von Bismarck, chancellor of Prussia, annexed most of Germany, consolidating his position as biggest wig in Europe with a resounding victory over France in 1871. The Prussian king, Wilhelm I, was instated as Kaiser and a united Germany hit the world stage for the first time.

Wilhelm II dismissed Bismarck in 1890, lingered long enough to lead Germany into WWI, then snuck off to Holland in 1918 when he realised war wasn't going to end in a ticker-tape parade. Germany struggled with civil unrest and a disastrous peace, uniting only in dislike of the reigning Weimar Republic. Then came Adolf Hitler, an Austrian drifter and German army veteran who was able to turn general disaffection into a focussed lunacy. In 1933 his National Socialist German Worker's (or Nazi) Party assumed ultimate authority over Germany. Extravagant military spending and blasé border bending gave way to outright aggression, WWII, and the unrivalled horror of the Holocaust. Even the Germans were surprised by the success of their initial invasions, but by 1943 a litany of heavy losses set the tone for the sluggish march to 1945's unconditional surrender.

Postwar Germany was divided up between the Allies, with Britain, France and the USA consolidating the western portion into the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Soviet zone transmogrifying into the communist German Democratic Republic. This formula for division was repeated in Berlin. West Germany received massive injections of US capital, attracting many workers from the miserable economic conditions in the East until some bright spark had the idea of building a wall around West Berlin and sealing the rest of the border. The Cold War's icy eye focussed on Berlin. Over the next 25 years West Germany became one of the world's most prosperous nations while its communist Siamese sibling suffered. The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe has no more poignant symbol than the opening of the Berlin frontier. That was one of world history's better parties at the Berlin Wall in late 1989.

As a result of the reunification of Germany, the Helmut Kohl era was recorded as one of the most dramatic periods in the country's history. After 16 years, however, it came to an end when a coalition of Social Democrats and Greens took office in 1998. Two years later, an investigation was launched which uncovered that Kohl and his conservative Christian Democratic Union party had operated a slush-fund in defiance of the German constitution.

Today's united Germany has its problems, but the social dislocation which was widely forecast has been minimal. Although the euphoria of reunification has subsided, and there is some resentment and disaffection from both sides, Germany is working towards true unity in typically sedulous fashion. The extreme right wing, although insidious and occasionally violent, is politically weak. Germany has absorbed the majority of refugees from the former Yugoslavia, and these and other immigrants are targets of renewed racist attacks.

1.2 Germany land

The Habsburgs muddled on until the devastating Thirty Years War (1618-48), sparked by ongoing religious and nationalist conflicts. Europe had been simmering ever since 1517 when Martin Luther tacked 95 suggestions for improved service to his local church door in Wittenburg. It took a bloody good stoush to settle everyone down and secure the rights of both Protestants and Catholics. Germany lost a third of its population in the process. Local princes assumed complete sovereignty over a patchwork of some 300 states, which made it all too easy for Napoleon to come along in the early 19th century and start adding them to his scrapbook. The French never quite managed to subdue Prussia, which became the centre of German resistance. It was Prussia that led the 1813 war that put an end to Napoleon's German aspirations in a decisive battle at Leipzig. In 1866 Otto von Bismarck, chancellor of Prussia, annexed most of Germany, consolidating his position as biggest wig in Europe with a resounding victory over France in 1871. The Prussian king, Wilhelm I, was instated as Kaiser and a united Germany hit the world stage for the first time.

Wilhelm II dismissed Bismarck in 1890, lingered long enough to lead Germany into WWI, then snuck off to Holland in 1918 when he realised war wasn't going to end in a ticker-tape parade. Germany struggled with civil unrest and a disastrous peace, uniting only in dislike of the reigning Weimar Republic. Then came Adolf Hitler, an Austrian drifter and German army veteran who was able to turn general disaffection into a focussed lunacy. In 1933 his National Socialist German Worker's (or Nazi) Party assumed ultimate authority over Germany. Extravagant military spending and blasé border bending gave way to outright aggression, WWII, and the unrivalled horror of the Holocaust. Even the Germans were surprised by the success of their initial invasions, but by 1943 a litany of heavy losses set the tone for the sluggish march to 1945's unconditional surrender.

Postwar Germany was divided up between the Allies, with Britain, France and the USA consolidating the western portion into the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Soviet zone transmogrifying into the communist German Democratic Republic. This formula for division was repeated in Berlin. West Germany received massive injections of US capital, attracting many workers from the miserable economic conditions in the East until some bright spark had the idea of building a wall around West Berlin and sealing the rest of the border. The Cold War's icy eye focussed on Berlin. Over the next 25 years West Germany became one of the world's most prosperous nations while its communist Siamese sibling suffered. The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe has no more poignant symbol than the opening of the Berlin frontier. That was one of world history's better parties at the Berlin Wall in late 1989.

As a result of the reunification of Germany, the Helmut Kohl era was recorded as one of the most dramatic periods in the country's history. After 16 years, however, it came to an end when a coalition of Social Democrats and Greens took office in 1998. Two years later, an investigation was launched which uncovered that Kohl and his conservative Christian Democratic Union party had operated a slush-fund in defiance of the German constitution.

Today's united Germany has its problems, but the social dislocation which was widely forecast has been minimal. Although the euphoria of reunification has subsided, and there is some resentment and disaffection from both sides, Germany is working towards true unity in typically sedulous fashion. The extreme right wing, although insidious and occasionally violent, is politically weak. Germany has absorbed the majority of refugees from the former Yugoslavia, and these and other immigrants are targets of renewed racist attacks.

1.3 Culture and population

Unsurprisingly for a country whose land has so often been at history's crux, the moods and preoccupations of Germany's people are reflected in a rich artistic heritage: from the claustrophobic beauty of its cathedrals to classical films from the silent era of cinema, from the most influential philosophers (try Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche and Marx for starters) to some of the world's great physicists (Einstein and Planck), from the cream of classical composers (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Handel and Wagner) to contemporary industrial-grunge music and Krautrock, from the genius of Goethe to the revolutionary theatre of Brecht, Germany has it all. The scope of German art is such that it could be the focus of an entire visit.

Arguably the finest artist Germany has produced, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a poet, dramatist, painter, scientist and philosopher. His greatest work, the drama Faust, is a masterful epic of all that went before him, as the archetypal human strives for meaning. The ghost of Goethe inhabits the soul of Germany. Germany has also been endowed with many exceptional visual artists. The gothic sculpture of Peter Vischer and his sons, the renaissance portraiture of Albrecht Dürer and the baroque architecture of Balthasar Neumann are all magnificent examples in their fields. A steadfast commitment to excellence in artistry persists in more recent forms, with Germany a notable producer of excellent and challenging cinema from Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Werner Herzog, among others.

Germany's artistic diet, rich though it is, has nothing on its food. This is traditionally a meat-and-potatoes kind of country. Though vegetarian and health-conscious restaurants are starting to sprout, it's best to stop counting calories and cholesterol levels while in Germany. The assault begins with a good German breakfast: rolls, jam, cheese, cold meats, hard-boiled egg and coffee or tea. To be fair, many Germans have switched to lighter breakfasts like cornflakes or muesli, but visitors can still be served the traditional cut meat and jam. Lunch is the main meal of the day, but breakfast is so big you'd be forgiven for just picking up a midday bratwurst from the ubiquitous Imbiss (takeaway-food stand). Dinner is allegedly a lighter meal, but this can still mean a plate full of sausages and dumplings. (Light eaters may want to opt for international cuisine from Germany's immigrant communities.) Beer is the national beverage and it's one cultural phenomenon that must be adequately explored. The beer is excellent and relatively cheap. Each region and brewery produces beer with a distinctive taste and body. Impromptu visits to small breweries are better than adding your bulk to the already crowded festivals like Munich's Oktoberfest. In winter, you can experience the glorious haze induced by Glühwein, a hot, spicy mulled wine guaranteed to take the chill away.

Despite their penchant for continual improvement and modernisation, upholding cultural traditions is dear to the German heart. Many hunters still wear green, master chimney sweeps get around in pitch-black suits and top hats, some Bavarian women don the Dirndl (skirt and blouse), while their menfolk occasionally find suitable occasions to wear typical Bavarian Lederhosen (leather shorts), a Loden (short jacket) and felt hat. In everyday life, Germans are fairly formal, although more so in the Protestant-dominated north than the beer-swilling south. In eastern Germany many older people are relatively unused to tourists, so it's best to err towards deference. Except with very close friends, older Germans still use Herr and Frau in daily discussion. The transition from the formal Sie address to the informal du is generally mutually agreed and sealed with a toast and a handshake. You don't have to worry so much with people under about 40; in fact, exaggerated politeness will probably be laughed off as beginner's Deutsch.

The German population is overwhelmingly urban. In 1994 Germany had 39 cities with more than 200,000 residents, and 12 metropolises with more than 500,000 residents. Three of Germany’s federal states are city-states: Berlin, Bremen, and Hamburg. Berlin is the capital and largest city. Germany’s population density is highest in the northwest, especially in North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen), which includes Germany’s old industrial heartland, the Ruhr Valley, and a number of large cities. Population density is lower in the former East Germany and in the more rural states of Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), and Bavaria.

Characteristic of Germany, throughout its history, has been the lack of clearly defined geographic boundaries, particularly on the great lowland of northern Europe; both the area occupied by the German peoples and the boundaries of the German state (at such times as it existed) have fluctuated constantly. The German people appear to have originated on the coastal region of the Baltic Sea and in the Baltic islands in the Bronze and early Iron ages. From about 500 BC they began to move southward, crushing and absorbing the existing Celtic kingdoms; from 58 BC onward they clashed along the line of the Rhine and Danube rivers with the power of Rome. With the fall of the Roman Empire, German peoples, predominantly under Frankish tribal leadership, closely settled a large area west of the Rhine River in what is still German territory; they also penetrated deeply into Belgium and areas that later became France. The Merovingian and Carolingian empires knew no distinction between what are now France and western Germany; it is understandable that Charlemagne is recognized as an important figure in the history of both countries.

1.4 Germany’s economics and government

Germany’s economic development was based on an alliance of industrial business people with the Prussian aristocracy who controlled much of the land. It emphasized the production of coal and steel, machines and machine tools, chemicals, electronic equipment, ships, and, later, motor vehicles. Well-organized business, labor, and farm associations in league with the government produced a distinctive “organized capitalism,” different from the less regulated capitalism of Britain and the United States. This strong economy carried the country into two world wars and, despite Allied bombing from 1942 to 1945, survived largely intact. After World War II ended in 1945, the Western powers saw the need to build up European economies in order to resist the threatened encroachment of the Soviet Union and Communism. To this end, the U.S. government in 1947 initiated the European Recovery Program, commonly called the Marshall Plan, which offered generous investment loans to all European countries that had been devastated by the war. Under the stewardship of economics minister Ludwig Erhard, the Marshall Plan helped launch a 20-year economic expansion in West Germany that raised living standards and industrial production far above prewar levels.

West Germany's economic achievement was impressive; the gross national product (GNP) rose by 8 percent per year from 1951 to 1961, or at a per capita rate double that of Britain or the United States and nearly double that of France. At the same time exports trebled. This period of exceptional growth was undoubtedly an outstanding event in the economic history of both West Germany and Europe. Yet the postwar advance of the West German economy did not follow an unbroken line; there were occasional checks, as, for example, the one following the oil crisis of 1973–74. However, the upward trend was always resumed. At the moment of economic unification on July 1, 1990, the economy was riding high on a cycle of business expansion that had lasted since the early 1980s. West Germany's gross domestic product (GDP) had increased at current prices by more than 70 percent since 1983; it was by far the highest of all the 12 EC countries, constituting one-quarter of the community's total. The country ranked fourth in the world for GDP, following the United States, Japan, and the U.S.S.R., and it was a leader in world trade. All this was achieved while maintaining the customarily low rate of inflation. West Germany was thus well prepared to sustain the economic shocks of unification with the much weaker economy of former East Germany, even though these proved to be considerably more severe than anticipated.

Germany possesses the world's third most technologically powerful economy after the US and Japan, but structural market rigidities - including the substantial non-wage costs of hiring new workers - have made unemployment a long-term, not just a cyclical, problem. Germany's aging population, combined with high unemployment, has pushed social security outlays to a level exceeding contributions from workers. The modernization and integration of the eastern German economy remains a costly long-term problem, with annual transfers from western Germany amounting to roughly $70 billion. Growth picked up to 3% in 2000, largely due to recovering global demand; newly passed business and income tax cuts are expected to keep growth strong in 2001. Corporate restructuring and growing capital markets are transforming the German economy to meet the challenges of European economic integration and globalization in general.

The Basic Law has many affinities with the constitutions in the Anglo-American democracies and its predecessor, the Weimar Constitution (upon which it drew heavily). The parliamentary form of government incorporated many features of the British system, but, since West Germany, unlike Great Britain, was to be a federation, many political structures were drawn from the models of the United States and other federative governments. In reaction to the unitary state of the Nazi era, the Basic Law gave the states considerable autonomy, much of which has been eroded by constitutional amendments, fiscal developments, and a political insistence on uniform living conditions throughout the Federal Republic. In addition to federalism, the Basic Law has two other features similar to the Constitution of the United States: (1) its formal declaration of the principles of human rights and of bases for the government of the people and (2) the strongly independent position of the courts, especially in the right of the Federal Constitutional Court to declare a law unconstitutional and void.

1.5 German’s money and costs

Currency: euro (EUR), formerly Deutschmark (DM)

Budget: US$5-9

Mid-range: US$10-20

Top-end: US$25+

Lodging

Budget: US$20-50

Mid-range: US$50-100

Top-end: US$100

It's easy to spend lots of money in Germany. If you've got some sort of rail pass and restrict yourself to cheap takeaways or prepare your own food, it's possible to get by on less than US$50 a day. Those with more capacious wallets, wishing to eat at mid-range restaurants most days, to travel freely by public transport and to stay in mid-range hotels with fluffy duvets should count on dropping at least US$100 a day.

All the major international brands of plastic - MasterCard, Visa and American Express - are becoming more widely accepted, especially at major hotels, petrol stations and department stores. Don't assume that you'll be able to use your card to pay for meals; inquire first. ATMs are ubiquitous throughout Germany and you should have no problem accessing your credit or debit account back home. Foreign currency, including travellers cheques, can be exchanged at banks and special exchange shops in large towns.

At restaurants, the service charge is always included in bills and tipping isn't compulsory, though it is appreciated. Germans are used to rounding up prices as tips, but rounding up in euros can be too generous. Taxi drivers expect a small tip of around 10%.

1.6 German’s communications and education

Germany has one of the world's most technologically advanced telecommunications systems; as a result of intensive capital expenditures since reunification, the formerly backward system of the eastern part of the country has been modernized and integrated with that of the western part domestic: Germany is served by an extensive system of automatic telephone exchanges connected by modern networks of fiber-optic cable, coaxial cable, microwave radio relay, and a domestic satellite system; cellular telephone service is widely available and includes roaming service to many foreign countries international: satellite earth stations - 14 Intelsat (12 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean), 1 Eutelsat, 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region), 2 Intersputnik (1 Atlantic Ocean region and 1 Indian Ocean region); 7 submarine cable connections; 2 HF radiotelephone communication centers; tropospheric scatter links.

German school attendance in Germany is free and mandatory from age 6 to age 14, after which most children either continue in secondary schools or participate in vocational education until the age of 18. Kindergarten is not part of the public school system, although before unification East Germany had a nearly universal system of childcare facilities. Under the treaty of unification, the East German public education system was required to conform to the model in use in West Germany. Education in Germany is under the jurisdiction of the individual state governments, which results in a great deal of variety. Most states in the former West Germany have a three-track system that begins with four years of Grundschule (primary school), attended by all children between the ages of 6 and 9.

2. Tourism in Germany

All German cities have developed an excellent network of surface and underground transportation. With buses, subways and rapid-transit railways, destinations can be reached quickly and easily at a reasonable price.

2.1 Germany by car

If you are traveling by car, an ultra-modern and efficient freeway network awaits you. Over 700 restaurants, gas stations, motels and kiosks are open day and night to travelers driving across the approximately 11,000 km freeway network of the Federal Republic.

Maximum Speeds:

For cars without trailers traveling outside city limits, a maximum speed of 100 km/hr applies. Within city limits, the speed is 50 km/hr. City limits are clearly marked by signs. On freeways, a speed of 130 km/hr is recommended. Cars with trailers (i.e. campers) may drive at a maximum of 80 km/hr on roads and freeways.

Important rules:

According to the law, seat belts must be worn by all passengers in the car. For children under 4 years of age, child seats are required, and children under 12 years of age must use child seat cushions. Motorcyclists must drive with a helmet. The blood alcohol limit is.05. Before beginning their journey, it is a good idea for tourists to purchase information about traveling by car in Germany from the automobile clubs.

Like arteries, Germany's autobahns link its pulsating economic centres. Day and night you can drive on 11,000 kilometres of open road – with no tolls and often with no official speed limit – unlike anywhere else in the world. But it is better, really, to take your time – and keep to the guideline of 130 kilometres per hour (approx. 80 mph). Enjoy the clean environment; take advantage of the perfect road transport connections and of the individual products and services on offer at the more than 700 filling stations and service areas along the way.

2.2 Discover Germany by Bus

Touring Germany by bus: a comfortable way of travelling. Enjoy your trip in comfortable seats without having to care about the traffic. Conscientious and well trained drivers will do the driving for you. Whether you choose a package tour, a long distance tour on a public service bus or an intercity trip by public transportation: a journey by bus will guarantee comfortable travelling. Enjoy and experience towns and landscapes in a relaxing way. Lean back and enjoy the view of diverse landscapes from large bus windows or visit one of Germany´s famous towns.

Get on and relax - once you are comfortably seated, your well-earned holidays will begin. Besides, you have chosen an environmentally friendly way of travelling.

Internationaler Bustouristik Verband e.V. (RDA), the international federation of bus tour operators, has set up a list of operators offering bus journeys. The list is set up according to the Lands of the Federal Republik of Germany and is available here. Here you will find numerous journeys based on particular themes, sightseeing tours and club tours. It is also possible to set up your own journey in cooperation with the operator. Deutsche Touring GmbH offers attractive journeys on public service buses along Germany´s touristic holiday routes.

Regional and urban public transportation operators and associations offer a rich network of short distance bus trips.

2.3 Air travel

Over 100 international airlines offer flights into Germany. Deutsche Lufthansa offers the most frequent and most versatile flights together with their Star Alliance partners. They have coordinated a global route network and flight plans which connect Germany with 700 destinations worldwide.

International travel

Lufthansa is one of the world's leading airlines and provides connections to Germany from more than 300 airports in 100 countries. Thanks to the Star Alliance, the world's first multilateral airline cooperation, passengers can travel to Germany from more than 800 airports worldwide. Coordinated flight schedules guarantee your comfort and help keep waiting times short. In Germany, Lufthansa flies to 28 airports: Cologne Cathedral is just 40 minutes by air from the Frankfurt Messeturm, and the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin is 65 minutes away. As well as eighteen international airports, Germany also has numerous domestic airports, such as Münster and Augsburg. This means you can travel quickly between any of Germany's larger towns - from Westerland on the North Sea island of Sylt to Munich in the South, and from Cologne in the West to Dresden in the East.

2.4 Travel by train

The railway system enables everyone to travel comfortably to their destination. There are good connections to both distant and local areas. Airports (Berlin Schönefeld, Düsseldorf, Munich and Stuttgart) are also merged into this system. There are 60 different connections to the neighboring European countries that originate daily in Germany. The customs clearance usually takes place on the train once it has left the station. Information regarding the Deutsche Bahn AG can be obtained in all travel agencies as well as by calling the federal German phone number: +49 (0) 18 05-99 66 33. A European bus service completes the railway system. It offers special connections on particularly interesting routes to tourists. Information regarding the bus system is also available in each travel agency.

2.5 Castles & Palaces

Although the walls of Germany´s castles are centuries old, they are nowhere near to being withdrawn from the public gaze. Set high above adjacent towns dating back to the Middle Ages and often in romantic landscapes, they make an extremely dynamic impression as tourist attractions. Sustained by the enormous interest shown in their mostly turbulent histories, colourful festivities and feasts are re-enacted within their ruins, which stunningly and authentically revive and recreate the Middle Ages. You can experience the spectacle of jousting, minerals and real banquets. Country markets with traditional skills and crafts, fancy-dress pursuits and street theatre are popular, and form a link to the myths and legends which every castle accumulates.

Castles and palaces in Germany stage these festivities all year round. In spring you can choose between Spring festivals, May markets, Pentecost markets and historic pastoral dances. Or you can visit a traditional cake and waters festival of the salt workers, enjoy a Kaiserburg (imperial castle) concert in the knights´ hall and then plunge into a mediaeval spectacle with the small traders´ market. After the midsummer night festival you can welcome in the new season at a "Musical summer " in the "Serenadenhof". The long days become even longer with castles illuminated with brilliant fireworks, and blues nights in the palace courtyard, and if your ears are still not ringing after the wine festival, we can recommend the open air concerts in the castle courtyard or serenades at the "gunpowder" tower. However, there are also alternatives in the ruins, e.g. a samba festival, rock in the castle moat, a Dracula piece or real Baroque fireworks. Autumn is varied with harvest festivities, wine festivals, oven festivals, garland festivals and many music and theater festivals. In November and December there is only the one widespread event, and that is the unforgettable Christmas Markets with centuries old traditions.

A single mediaeval banquet is a fantastic time-travel experience to a different world. Fresh bread, for example, is baked in the castle courtyard, and home-made cream cheese and butter is produced. Gourmets expect delicacies like a Burgundy roast, grilled Camembert and excellent wines and new wines. In addition they expect home-made fare, which has been baked and brewed according to old recipes. Minstrels and jugglers, knights, noblemen and women, monks and quacks in original costumes, colorful flags and big colorful coat-of-arms provide the historic atmosphere.

In the evening when the firework display is in progress, the entire castle mound is illuminated like a volcano, and the Catherine-wheels let the Middle Ages culminate with a festive finale.

2.6 Metropolises

Become fascinated by Germany´s big cities pulsating with life. Besides Berlin, the capital, Germany offers many regional metropolises. The unique character of each of these cities bear the imprint of German history and culture. The cosmopolitain flair of these cities make every visitor feel welcome.

However, you cannot only experience most modern architecture and art treasures in Germany´s towns but also different ways of living. Various traditions and mentalities have left an imprint on each town´s cultural life and night life, variety of events, shopping and gastronomy.

Enchanting Towns in Germany

For many centuries, Germany´s small historic towns have been genuine jewels with various facets. Here, you can find a variety of architecture and styles which is worldwide unique and each town itself is a fascinating experience.

Middle Ages and Modern Age - Germany´s small towns derive their dynamics from this contrasting mixture. They are as individual as human visages - each town having its distinct identity.

These towns, however, also attract visitors with the modern and vital facets of Germany: enjoy shopping tours, events, excursions or the culinary delgihts of Germany´s regional specialities.

Berlin, the Capital

In Berlin one can feel the pulsating liveliness. A variety of art- and flea markets, museums, bars, pubs, restaurants, opera houses, concert halls, theatres, vaudevilles and revues is awaiting the visitor.

Hosting the whole world – Berlin is ready. Berlin, Germany's capital, is nowadays more exciting than ever. Evolutions and changes are to be witnessed everywhere in the city.

Museums

Berlin's museums present art works of international appreciation. More than 170 museums invite to see collections of the world culture such as the Pergamonaltar or the bust of Nofretete, painting works from Giotto and Breughel over Caspar David Friedrich and Picasso to contemporary artists. Spectacular new buildings like the Filmmuseum or the Jewish Museum and the reopening of great museums like the Old National Gallery enhance the fascinating range of Berlin's museums.

Jewish Berlin

After the reunification the Jewish community has grown continuously. Several restaurants, theaters and music performances represent Jewish life especially in the area around Oranienburger Straße. The New Synagogue Berlin - Centrum Judaicum and the Jewish Museum Berlin trace the German-Jewish history. Reminding of the destruction of Jewish life during the National Socialism, there are locations such as the House of the Wannsee-Conference, the foundation "Topography of Terrorism" and the planned memorial for the murdered Jewish in Europe.

Palaces and Gardens

In Berlin and Brandenburg a splendid cultural landscape of Palaces and Gardens became established over the course of several centuries of Brandenburg and Prussian monarchy. The harmonic ensembles of architecture and garden art in the cultural landscape enchants the visitors in Berlin and Potsdam. Discover the charm of past times in the beautiful Schloss Charlottenburg with its marvellous baroque garden.

Schloss Charlottenburg, the largest and most beautiful palace in Berlin, is a shining example of baroque architecture.

It was built from 1695–99 as a summer residence for Sophie Charlotte, the consort of Elector Friedrich III., to plans by Johann Arnold Nering and Martin Grünberg, though at first only the central part was actually built. In 1701, after the coronation of the Elector as King Friedrich I. of Prussia, the palace was extended by Eosander von Göthe in the style of the palace at Versailles: the main building was extended and side axes were created around the courtyard. In addition, the Great Orangery was constructed on the western wing, while a domed tower with tambour crowned the main building. Knobelsdorff constructed the eastern wing from 1740–46. From1787–91, Carl Langhans constructed the palace theatre as an extension to the orangery wing.

The palace was badly damaged during the Second World War, and rebuilding work began in the Fifties. The splendor of the Berlin Baroque is particularly apparent in the Great Oak Gallery, a banqueting hall with magnificent carvings which was completed in 1713, and the Porcelain Room, with its valuable collection of Chinese and Japanese porcelain. Other impressive rooms include the banqueting halls designed by Knobelsdorff from 1740–47, the White Room and the Golden Gallery, a rococo room in soft pastel tones with rich golden ornamentation. The former theatre is now the home of the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte (Museum for Pre- and Early History), whose most famous exhibits come from Heinrich Schliemann's excavations at Troy.

The palace park grounds, one of the most idyllic oases in the city, is a favored spot for both tourists and Berliners. The park features a mausoleum constructed by Schinkel in the style of a temple, which contains amongst other the sarcophagi of Queen Luise and Friedrich Wilhelm II., designed by Christian Daniel Rauch. The belvedere, formerly a teahouse and built by Langhans at the same time as the theatre, now displays an exhibition on the history of royal porcelain manufacture. The pavilion constructed by Schinkel in the classical style, formerly a summer house, is the perfect setting for the furniture, pictures and sculptures on display there, conjuring up the life and style of the early 19th century.

A paradisiacal place for lovers is the Peacock Island (Pfaueninsel) and its romantic little manor-house. Pfaueninsel and its palace is without a doubt one of the most lovely excursions in the city. Here, in an undisturbed, idyllic Prussian Arcadia, the visitor can experience one of Berlin's most magical faces.

The romantic palace lies on the idyllic Pfaueninsel, part of the extensive landscape laid out by Peter Joseph Lenné. Until his death, Lenné transformed the area around the Havel Lake between Berlin and Potsdam into a unique ensemble of cultivated nature and architecture. The Pfaueninsel, which can only be reached by ferry, became a work of art consisting of landscaped gardens and park with a rosebush maze, a Biedermeier garden and around 60 peacocks. A stroll around is rewarded with constantly changing views and picture-postcard buildings, such as the old dairy and the cavalier's house redesigned by Schinkel.

Pfaueninsel Palace was constructed from 1794–97 as a love nest for Friedrich Wilhelm III. and his then sweetheart Gräfin Lichtenau. Following the current fashion the architect Johann Gottlieb Brendel created artificial ruins which give the illusion of being a medieval castle. The white wooden cladding and the trompe d'oeil paintings are intended to accentuate this illusion. The palace's interior is furnished in a romantic-exotic style, and is maintained in such a good condition that the taste of the time can be experienced first-hand.

Eat, Drink, Nightlife

Berlin offers a wide range of possibilities to go out. Restaurants, Pubs and clubs of all kind and for every gusto invite you. Many places and streets are perfect night walks because one restaurant is here next to the other.

Night owls with stamina can also give their undivided attention to the interesting range of pubs around Savignyplatz in Charlottenburg. The area consist of a great number of restaurants and bars where everyone can meet the stars of television or Berlin's culture and political scene. Here is the melting pot that combines symbolically the former west and the new centre to a harmonic construction.

Especially the younger crowd is attracted to the Pariser Straße. At this location you will find taverns, bars, American diners, Mexican restaurants and very modern and stylish discos. During the summer life concentrates on the street in form of many chairs and tables that invite us to rest. In the middle of this street the well-maintained Ludwigkirchplatz with its rich areas of green providing a relaxing shadow is located.

The Winterfeldtplatz forms a location for a frequently visited market where plenty of customers, tourists and locals meet each other in one of Schöneberg's numerous taverns and bars. The scene is considered as uncomplicated and various-faced, also due to the presence of Berlin's gay population.

In Goltzstraße the Schönebergers meet in places such as the Café M, Lux or one of the numerous Indian snack bars. Between Schöneberg and Tiergarten the 90º is still an up-to-date party location. But the Latinamerican Clubs El Barrio or the Caracas Bar invite for a visit as well.

For starting your tour through Berlin's nightlife you shouldn't miss the Hackesche Höfe. Here you will find a huge variety of famous restaurants, bars and clubs. Additionally, Mitte offers numerous facets to enjoy its culture in form of theatres, cinemas, art galleries and a varieté.

For night owls there are, for example, options for the following night walks: Along Oranienburger Straße (Mitte) between Oranienburger Tor and Monbijouplatz there is one bar after the other, such as the Zapata (Tacheles), Zosch, Oren, Silberstein or Hackbarth's.

Representatives of Berlin's legendary club scene, such as the Kalkscheune, are also just around the corner. Thus the famous Tresor is not too far away (Potsdamer/Leipziger Platz).

The Heckmannhöfe and further courtyards worth to see with galleries and cafés are on the way to the legendary Hackescher Markt, which is a hive of activity, not only in the Hackesche Höfe (courtyards) in front of the station. Clubs such as the Oxymoron, Delicious Doughnuts, Lime Club, Bergwerk or Delis attract their public from all over the place. The selection of bars and restaurants is just about the limit.

The Prenzlauer Berg definitely also forms one of the most visited areas at night. Russian and Jewish restaurants are enriching the offer of food styles. Around the Kollwitz-Platz one can almost experience a world trip considering the variety of existing restaurants.

Beginning your tour at Wasserturm and Kollwitzplatz the area around Schönhauser Allee and Greifswalder Straße is one single nightwalk. Whether Torpedokäfer or Café Soda in the Kulturbrauerei, (a vast complex, Knaackstraße), Pasternak or Luna-Bar, the number of Cafés and Pubs is a legend.

Clubs such as Duncker, Knaack or Magnet offer live music, nightlocations such as the Dolmenclub, the Icon, H2O Bar, Prater or Coffy invite you to night dances.

At this location the dishes of truly exclusive restaurants are very delicious. After a special dining experience you can stroll for nobly bars enjoying the unique sight. If you are lucky you even might meet a famous star or politician that is appreciating the Gendarmenmarkt just as well.

Gendarmenmarkt is one of the most beautiful squares in Europe – a must for every tourist. Here the Deutscher Dom (German Cathedral), the Französischer Dom (French Cathedral) and the Konzerthaus create a beautiful architectural ensemble.

The square was laid out from 1688 to the plans of J.A. Nering; it was originally known as Linden Markt, then Friedrichstädtischer Markt or Neuer Markt. Because the square was used by a curassier regiment "gens d´arms," from 1736–82, complete with sentry boxes and stables, the name Gendarmenmarkt arose. From 1777, the square was developed according to unified plans drawn up by Georg Christian Unger. It was badly damaged in the Second World War; on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the Prussian Academy of the Sciences (Akademie der Wissenschaften), it was renamed "Platz der Akademie," but its previous name was restored in 1991.

Französischer Dom (French Cathedral)

The French Cathedral was built from 1701–05 to the designs of Cayart, as a church for Berlin's Huguenot community, thus the reason for its name. The narrow side of the rectangular main building has semicircular extension wings. From 1780–85, the imposing tower was added to plans by Gontard and Unger as part of the redesigning of Gendarmenmarkt. The cathedral, which was badly damaged in the war, was rebuilt from 1977.

Deutscher Dom (German Cathedral)

From 1701–08, the German Cathedral – also known as the New Church – was built by Giovanni Simonetti to plans to M. Grünberg. From 1780–85, Carl von Gontard extended the building with the addition of the domed tower, during the redesigning of the Gendarmenmarkt. The cathedral was destroyed in the Second World War and reopened on October 2, 1996 following complete restoration.

Konzerthaus/Schauspielhaus

The Konzerthaus is the new building designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel to replace the Nationaltheater built from 1800–02 by Karl Gotthard Langhans, which was burnt to the ground in 1817. The conception of the Konzerthaus integrates the remains of Langhan's rectangular building and adds a higher, wider, gabled solidium in the center, complete with an ionic columned hall projecting at the front. Following its destruction in the Second World War, the building was initially only made safe, and the systematic restoration of the original design only began in 1979. Since its reopening in 1984 it has served not as a theatre, but as a concert hall.

In the small lanes of the historical Nikolaiviertel (Nikolai quarter) the traditional Berlin returns to life. Mitte's taverns and bars are waking local traditions due to their old-fashioned atmosphere and the typical homemade dishes served. Especially tourists are appreciating this part of Berlin for its direct position beside the Spree River and for its numerous souvenir shops. The pictured Nikolai-church with its roots form the 13th century is one of Berlin's oldest maintained religious buildings.

Gendarmenmarkt is one of the most beautiful squares in Europe – a must for every tourist. Here the Deutscher Dom (German Cathedral), the Französischer Dom (French Cathedral) and the Konzerthaus create a beautiful architectural ensemble.

The square was laid out from 1688 to the plans of J.A. Nering; it was originally known as Linden Markt, then Friedrichstädtischer Markt or Neuer Markt. Because the square was used by a curassier regiment "gens d´arms," from 1736–82, complete with sentry boxes and stables, the name Gendarmenmarkt arose. From 1777, the square was developed according to unified plans drawn up by Georg Christian Unger. It was badly damaged in the Second World War; on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the Prussian Academy of the Sciences (Akademie der Wissenschaften), it was renamed "Platz der Akademie," but its previous name was restored in 1991.

Französischer Dom (French Cathedral)

The French Cathedral was built from 1701–05 to the designs of Cayart, as a church for Berlin's Huguenot community, thus the reason for its name. The narrow side of the rectangular main building has semicircular extension wings. From 1780–85, the imposing tower was added to plans by Gontard and Unger as part of the redesigning of Gendarmenmarkt. The cathedral, which was badly damaged in the war, was rebuilt from 1977.

Deutscher Dom (German Cathedral)

From 1701–08, the German Cathedral – also known as the New Church – was built by Giovanni Simonetti to plans to M. Grünberg. From 1780–85, Carl von Gontard extended the building with the addition of the domed tower, during the redesigning of the Gendarmenmarkt. The cathedral was destroyed in the Second World War and reopened on October 2, 1996 following complete restoration.

Konzerthaus/Schauspielhaus

The Konzerthaus is the new building designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel to replace the Nationaltheater built from 1800–02 by Karl Gotthard Langhans, which was burnt to the ground in 1817. The conception of the Konzerthaus integrates the remains of Langhan's rectangular building and adds a higher, wider, gabled solidium in the center, complete with an ionic columned hall projecting at the front. Following its destruction in the Second World War, the building was initially only made safe, and the systematic restoration of the original design only began in 1979. Since its reopening in 1984 it has served not as a theatre, but as a concert hall.

In the meantime the Simon–Dach–Straße has proved to be 'the' place to be in Friedrichshain. The avant-garde is meeting in bars, taverns and clubs that attract visitors for their different life style.

Between Ostbahnhof and Ostkreuz, you will find something of everything: on the one hand "scene" clubs, such as the well-known Casino (you will find some of the most well-known DJ's there, e.g. Paul van Dyk) or Matrix, on the other hand Die Tagung – a small place on a nostalgia trip that is stuffed full of weird and wonderful memorabilia of bygone East German days.

Kreuzberg with its Oranienstraße is offering a variety of multicultural cuisine styles. Besides restaurants from all over the world such as the Amrit and the Kafka, bars, cafés and taverns like Alibi and Franziskaner attract the young and trendy population. Altes Kaufhaus (former Trash) and Roses, Schnabelbar and SO36 are buzzing with young people until the early hours of the morning. In the Wiener Straße and at Görlitzer Park is plenty of action as well, proved by numerous Cafés and pubs (Morena, Madonna, Wiener Blut and as a new location the Privat Club).

Shopping in Berlin

In Berlin everyone likes to go shopping in his own district. Therefore in nearly every district shopping malls and centers reflect the character of their inhabitants.

Besides the well known shopping boulevards like Kurfürstendamm or Friedrichstraße many more destinations tempt to stroll, shop and linger at the numerous cafés. Every part of the city has its own center which might be worth a visit.

The upper part of Kurfürstendamm and the following Tauentzienstraße form a shopping paradise especially referring to the younger crowd for the existence of famous international labels like H&M, Bennetton and Zara which may be found right next to each other.

Walking from the Adenauerplatz the boulevard is converting into a more exclusive and tranquil zone. Big trademarks just like Jil Sander or Yves Saint Laurent have their fashion shops at that area.

The byroads of Kurfürstendamm form a perfect detour for their rich offer of small shops with extraordinary products. The streets with their splendid architecture of the turn of the century on Uhlandstraße and Ludwig-Kirch-Platz not only invite to quarry in the numerous stylish shops that offer posh design and fashion but tempt to relax at the many picturesque cafés and restaurants just as well.

Friedrichstraße is spreading a flair of the twenties. With its newly decorated buildings, exclusive offices and coffee shops one can experience a breeze of New York life spirit in the heart of Berlin.

Friedrichstraße is the most legendary street in the whole city and combines the tradition of the "Golden Twenties" with the architecture of the New Berlin. In the Twenties, the 3.5 km long street was the location for pleasure palaces, cafés, theatres and variety theatres such as the famous "Wintergarten".

After the division of the city, the Wall also cut through Friedrichstraße, where the famous »Checkpoint Charlie was located at the border of the districts of Kreuzberg and Mitte and thus at the border of East and West Berlin. The train station at Friedrichstraße, which has recently undergone complete renovation, remains rather more tragically in the minds of many East and West Berliners as the border crossing point between the two Germanys. The former customs hall, known as the "Tränenpalast" or "Palace of Tears", now hosts arts and entertainment events. Further north, the Friedrichstadtpalast offers revue theatre of international standing.

On the southern half of Friedrichstraße there are countless new buildings, including the Friedrichstadtpassagen, with boutiques, offices and restaurants featuring the latest in architectural design. Shopping and window-shopping in the French fashion is the attraction of the Galeries Lafayette, located in the Quartier 207: on offer are a range of French specialties, particularly in the delicatessen. The impressive design created by the architect Jean Nouvel boasts a transparent glass façade and an atrium which tapers towards the bottom. The connecting Quartier 206, which is home to the boutiques of countless top designers, boasts an extravagant Art Déco style. Not only visitors but also the employees from the new, chic offices, agencies and media centers all enjoy the urban spirit and New York flair of the new Friedrichstraße.

The centre of Spandau with its charming old-fashioned buildings is tempting to stroll from shop to shop. Neat boutiques with an unique atmosphere are turning a shopping tour in Spandau into a special personal event.

This traditional shopping boulevard consists of a huge number of shops and department stores. All kinds of shops are found right next to each other. Therefore a little shopping stroll can become an exhilarating pleasure.

A visit of the Nikolaiviertel, a middle aged reconstructed district, forms a special experience. Besides many museums well worth seeing and the Nikolai church, numerous small shops of souvenirs, applied arts and antiques can be discovered. You can perfectly walk through the little alleys of the district and find yourself transferred into a different era.

The popular shopping zone in Steglitz that consists of two shopping malls, a shopping forum and the huge Galeria offers a diversified selection of shops. Besides the subsidiaries of the big shopping centers and well known labels one can find numerous smaller boutiques which extend the ample offer. Since one store is situated right beside the next one, Schlossstraße truly invites to stroll from one display window to the other.

Exploring a foreign city – there is no better way for doing this than by foot. You will not only get to know the sights and the (hi-)story but also the lifestyle and the atmosphere as well which characterize many special places. A wide offer of tourist guides would like to help you on your way so that you won't get lost in the 900 km² large Berlin. The selection of guided walks with topical emphasis regards all interests.

Day Trips

Berlin offers a wide range of possibilities and activities for sightseeing: historical buildings and modern architecture, a various theatre and opera scene and open air events just like the Love Parade, boulevards with excellent shopping possibilities and green oasis with silent lakes.

Anyone wanting to see more might take a stop on the journey to Berlin. Brandenburg offers a lot of places which are worth to visit.

In the south of Berlin lies Potsdam, the summer residence of the Prussian kings. The palaces Sanssouci, Neues Palais, Charlottenhof and the spacious parks with the pavilions charm with the feeling of ancient times.

The Potsdam city center with the picturesque Holländisches Viertel (Dutch quarter) and the traditional Russian colony Alexandrowa call up the past.

In the north of Berlin at the idyllic Ruppiner Land the beautiful Schloss Rheinsberg invites you to concerts regularly taking place in romantic settings.

The imposing watergate Niederfinow still impresses every visitor caused by its technique and architecture dating from the 1920s.

The Spreewald may be called unique in Europe as it is a cultivated water landscape with a widespread labyrinth of small rivers that meander. One shouldn't miss a boat trip on the water ways which is a quite fascinating experience in Brandenburg.

Since long Dresden has been called the Florence of the North due to its splendid baroque buildings. The magnificent buildings still remind of the golden times of August the Strong. The Zwinger,one of the most important baroque building of its time offers a wonderful painting collection, the Gemäldegalerie. The Frauenkirche, the largest protestant dome building, was destroyed in World war II and is now under restoration. A visit to the Semperoper promises real pleasure and enjoyment to all music lovers.

A consumption of another kind offers the Radeberger brewery which is more than 100 years old. You are invited to a very interesting guided tour followed by a special beer tasting. The brewery process of one of the leading beers in Germany is presented in a sapid way.

The Radeberger brewery is located near Dresden, about 2 1/2 hours car ride from Berlin.

Conclusion

Germany, Ger. Deutschland, officially Federal Republic of Germany, republic (1995 est. pop. 81,338,000), 137,699 sq mi (356,733 sq km). Located in the center of Europe, it borders the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France on the west; Switzerland and Austria on the south; the Czech Republic and Poland on the east; Denmark on the north; and the Baltic Sea on the northeast. The official capital and largest city is Berlin, but many administrative functions are still carried on in Bonn, the former capital of West Germany.

Germany as a whole can be divided into three major geographic regions: the low-lying N German plain, the central German uplands, and, in the south, the ranges of the Central Alps and other uplands. The climate is temperate although there is considerable variation. Almost two thirds of the country's extensive forests are coniferous; among the broadleafs, beech predominates.

The importance of tourism for the economy and society cannot be questioned. No other single branch of the economy employs so many people, in both the main and the supporting services, as does the tourist industry, because tourism includes many auxilary services: travel, eating, sleeping, relaxation and enjoyment. Whilst it is true that in recent years expenditure by German households has been restrained, recent surveys reveal they would still rather go on holiday than buy a new car. But this has not always benefited the German tourist industry: arrivals and overnights have stagnated, albeit at a very high level, but there are at least more overseas guests coming to Germany.

Tourism is neither a one-way street, nor is it a monoculture: it is a colourful mosaic with a wide range of services on offer. If just one part of the mosaic is missing, then all the others will suffer as a result. Travel agencies, transport, hotel and guest houses, cultural, sporting and health organisations, are the heart of the tourist economy, a heart which needs vessels to maintain its circulation. Transport officials, natural and environmental protection officers, enterprise and communications consultants, the preservation and protection of buildings and monuments, to name but a few, all must work harmoniusly together.

Tourism offers young people a wide range of opportunities in attractive professions, offering progress and encouraging enterprise thinking and independence.The Federal Economics Ministry is highly active in the industry, not just for the industry itself, but also because tourism benefits the economy and workforce as a whole. Travel promotes and forms tolerant attitudes, and mutual understanding. For those who want to develop and expand their business, the attractiveness of a particular area is as important as anything else.

The tourist industry is proud of its contribution to wealth and job creation, promoting the service mentality with the motto, "think global, act global", and it is with good reason that former employees in the tourist industry are so highly regarded in other sectors of the economy as flexible and willing to adapt to different kinds of work.

Literature

1. Rosenbaum R. Explaining Hitler:The Search for the Origins of his Evil/R. Rosenbaum. - London etc.: Papermac, 1998.

2. Лебедев В.Б. Знакомьтесь: Германия! Пособие по страноведению: Учеб. пособие для вузов/ В.Б. Лебедев. - 2-е изд., стер. - М.: Высш. шк., 2006.

3. Тимошина Т.М. Экономическая история зарубежных стран: Учеб. пособие для вузов по экон. специальностям/Т.М. Тимошина; Под ред. М.Н. Чепурина; Моск. гос. ин-т междунар. отношений (ун-т) МИД РФ.- 3-е изд., стер. - М.: Юстицинформ, 2005.

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