SIGHTS IN GERMANY

ONLY A SMALL SELECTION

Wer sein Vaterland nicht kennt, hat keinen Maßstab für fremde Länder

Johann Wolfgang von Geothe

BRANDENBURG GATE

SYMBOL OF HISTORY

The Brandenburg Gate is an 18th-century neoclassical monument. Neoclassical architecture is a style derived from the architecture of classical antiquity. It was constructed between 1788 and 1791 by Prussian King Frederick William II. The monument has become Germany's national symbol for its tumultuous history and its reunification. The statue "Quadriga" on top of the gate was taken to Paris by Napoleon after he had occupied the city. It was taken back to Berlin after the German army captured Paris in 1814. John F. Kennedy gave his famous "I am a Berliner" speech in June 1963 at the Brandenburg Gate to express his sympathy for West Germany. Twenty-four years later, also Ronald Reagan addressed West Germans here to express his support for the city. Berlin itself played an important role in German-American history after WW II. Other sights are Checkpoint Charlie and numerous museums.

REICHSTAG BUILDING

SYMBOL OF DEMOCRACY

CCO: CezaryPiwowarski
CCO: CezaryPiwowarski

The Reichstag Building has been the home to Germany's main legislative body, the Bundestag, since April 1999. It became a significant symbol of democracy because of its history. The well-known landmark changed its appearance after it was carefully restored and redesigned by Norman Foster in 1999. The original Reichstag was designed by Paul Wallot and modeled after the Memorial Hall in Philadelphia. The Reichstag Building was completed in 1894, and in 1916  letters for the famous dedication "DEM DEUTSCHEN VOLKE" ("To the German People") were cast from melted-down French cannons that were captured during the Wars of Liberation (1813 - 1815). Although the Nazis were likely responsible for a false flag event, namely the Reichstag's burning in 1933, it is tough to prove. Still, the media-effective destruction marks the end of Germany's first democracy and the rise of National Socialism due to the Notstandsgesetze (emergency laws) which followed. The German Reichstag was heavily damaged during the Second World War, and it remained a ruin until it was provisionally restored in 1964. Today, the Reichstag is an essential body of German democracy and a painful reminder that democracy is not for granted. However, it is a patriotic symbol for all Germans who follow in the footsteps of those who raised the black-red-golden colors for the first time in 1832, when folks of liberty gathered at Hambach Castle.

HAMBACH CASTLE

SYMBOL OF LIBERTY

The Hambach Castle was built in the Middle Ages and became a symbol of democracy and civil liberties in German history. On May 27, 1832, around 25.000 people from Germany, France, and Poland gathered at the castle to hold speeches and listen to political songs. The Hambach Festival became known as the birthplace of German democracy and the German black-red-golden flag, which was raised for the first time at Hambach Castle. It is located at the German wine route, one of the oldest touristic roads in Germany. The castle also offers a main exhibition, teaching history as an experience.

TOWN OF WEIMAR

CULTURAL HERITAGE

CCO: Markv
CCO: Markv

Weimar is a top destination for all those seeking to discover Germany's cultural history at firsthand. The town is associated with famous writers and composers who resided in Weimar, sharing their intellectual world with the city. The picturesque city makes it easy to experience the spirit of Germany's most famous writers, Goethe and Schiller. They spawned a humanistic cultural movement named Weimar Classicism (1775 - 1832), to which also other authors such as Gottfried Herder contributed to.

Bach and Liszt, world-known composers, also made Weimar their home. The city is located in eastern Germany in Thuringia and offers numerous sights dedicated to the memory of Weimar's most famous sons. Not only is Weimar the birthplace of the famous Bauhaus Movement (1919 -1 933), a revolutionary style in art, design, and architecture, but also the name-giver for Germany's first democracy, the Weimar Republic.  The assembly that adopted the new constitution met at Weimar from February to August in 1919 and shaped a state that only lasted from 1919 to 1933 but inspired modern Germany.

BAVARIAN FOREST NATIONAL PARK

PRESERVATION OF NATURE

The Bavarian Forest National Park is one of Germany's 16 national parks and the nation's oldest. It was opened in 1970. Today, the park attracts more than one million visitors each year. The Bavarian Forest is Germany's and Europe's most giant forest and serves as a recreation room for tourists and a nature reserve for almost 20000 animal and plant species. It is considered one of the most important parks worldwide when it comes to wildlife. The park offers an escape from urban life and daily routine. Park rangers (or Schutzgebietsbetreuer) offer guided tours and provide further information.

NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE

A FAIRY-TALE CASTLE

The Neuschwanstein Castle, also called Germany's fairytale castle, is located above the village of Hohenschwangau in the district of "Ostallgäu", nearby the Austrian border. It was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria in honor of his friend Richard Wagner and as a "haven" for Ludwig himself. After the Bavarian king had lost sovereignty in his kingdom, he escaped into his world of myths, legends, and fairytales. Therefore, King Ludwig II of Bavaria is known as the "Märchenkönig" which means in English "Fairy Tale King" due to his obsession with fairy tales and myths. Neuschwanstein Castle is a global symbol of the era of Romanticism and was an inspiration for Walt Disney. Romanticism stands for an artistic, literary, and musical movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century. Neuschwanstein Castle's architectural fashion is also known as "Burgenromantik," which means "castle romanticism".

COLOGNE CATHEDRAL

ARCHITECTURAL MASTERPIECE

The cathedral officially bears the name Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and is a catholic cathedral in Cologne, a vibrant city in North Rhine-Westphalia. Its construction began in 1248 and was intended to be a place of worship for the Holy Roman Emperor. In the early 16th century, construction was stopped due to a lack of money. In 1842 King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, who ruled Prussia from 1840 until his death, ordered the continuation of building work. The original plan of 1248 was carried out without deviation, and the cathedral was finished in 1880. The Cologne Cathedral is a symbol of a Gothic masterpiece. It survived both World Wars. Today, the main factors that are affecting the cathedral are mainly weather influences.

CITY OF TRIER

OLDEST GERMAN TOWN

Trier is located at the Moselle banks, a river flowing through France, Luxembourg, and Germany, joining the Rhine in Koblenz. Trier is known as the oldest city in Germany. It was founded by the Celts in the late 4th century BC and later conquered by the Romans. They named the town Augusta Treverorum which means in Latin, "The city of Augustus among the Treveri. There are many Roman sights to explore in the city, such as ruins of Roman baths or the Porta Nigra, one of the best-preserved Roman city gates north of the Alps. Trier is located in a famous German wine region and a train ride along the Moselle, starting from Koblenz, is a great experience to discover this part of Germany.

ROTHENBURG OB DER TAUBER

PRETTY AWESOME OLD

GERMAN TOWN

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a well-preserved medieval old town located in the heartland of Franconia in the district of Ansbach. The town is also known as Germany's fairy-tale town and is part of the Romantic Road, a "theme route" of 220 miles (350 kilometers) between Würzburg in Lower Franconia and Füssen in southern Germany. Since there are several "Rothenburgs" in Germany, you should plan for the one on the Tauber River. Besides great medieval-style houses and fine German cuisine, there is the Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum and the Christmas Museum.