Alphabetical List of 12 Places in Germany You Can Visit On This Web Site
Plus a side trip from Dresden to Prague, Czech Republic
, a.k.a. Aix-la-Chapelle (Photos)(Slideshow)
, is Germany's easternmost city just across the border from the Netherlands.
Like most German cities it was heavily bombed in WWII and has been completely rebuilt. Notable are the many wide pedestrian
only streets and whimsical fountains. The bakery windows are hard to pass up. In 768 CE the Emporer Charlemagne
chose it to be his capitol. He built the Palatine Chapel which now is part of the Aachen Cathedral.
(Click on the place of interest for a short description and a link to a longer treatment)
is on the Elbe river in what used to be East Germany near the borders of the Czech Republic
and Poland. The city center was totally destroyed by the RAF and US Air Force in a controversial raid near the end of WWII.
We saw absolutely no signs of that. The city center has been rebuilt in the very ornate style that it was before the bombing
and acid rain on the brownstone buildings completed the impression that the city is very old. Just check out the look of the
Semper Opera House, the Zwinger Palace and Kreusekircke on the photo page.
is also, like Cologne, on the Rhine, but farther south. Except for a few buildings in the
city center there seems to have been little attempt to rebuild Frankfurt in its pre-war style. There is a very fine art museum
here, and an especially inviting covered market for produce and meat, mostly of the highly processed variety in the form of wursts
and cured hams. Photos from both dominate our photo page.
Leipzig (Photos)(Slideshow) , like Dresden, is in what was formerly East Germany. Some of the city shows the neglect
it suffered under Communist rule, but it had some wonderful things that we adored: the church where Johann Sebastion
Bach was music director and wrote many works, and the organ he played; St Nicholas Church whose interior is as pretty as
any church anywhere; the school where Wagner and Liebniz studied Latin, and a modern rendition of Auerbach's Celler, the second oldest
restaurant in Leipzig and the one that is described in Goethe's Faust.
in the south of Germany, our last stop before crossing the Alps into Italy. The city has
a very disturbing history dating from before WWII. A center of Aryan idealism and Nazism, and the location of the infamous
Beer Hall Putsch that soon ushered Hitler into power. The Dachau conscentration camp is just north of the city. But it
is easy to forget all that because everything is completely different today. Almost a third of the population are foreign nationals,
and all seem to be friendly, relaxed and enjoying life. There are wonderful art and ethnic culture museums and a huge city hall
with a very intricate glockenspiel clock (photo on the right).
Mainz (Photos)(Slideshow) i
s on the Rhine near Frankfurt. It has a rich and long history, but in our estimation this city
is best known as the place in which Johannes Gutenburg was born and in which he further developed the printing press. Indeed,
here is where he printed the first copies of the Bible, a deed which made the Bible available to ordinary people for the first time.
There is a museum in Mainz devoted to this inventor who changed the world. It has a copy of his printing press which they use
for demonstrations to visitors, including a page from the Bible.
is one of three small, pretty towns in the south of Germany on the so-called Romantic
Road. This one is near the Danube River. The photo of the map at the entrance shows the town's layout inside a circular
wall. A bird's eye view of it appears in the movie "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" near the end
is also a pretty town on the Romantic Road in the south of Germany. We stopped there because
there was a municipal camping area just across the road. We had a delightful evening walking the streets.
the third town on the Romantic Road that we visited. It has two major attractions,
the ancient Marienburg Fortress perched high above the town. The Fortress contains two museums--one for art and one on
municipal history. We got to visit neither. Instead we spent the time we had visiting the Residence Palace,
a huge mansion built for a Prince Bishop with ceilings painted by the Italian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and his son Domenico.
The Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Prague, Czech Republic (Photos)(Slideshow)
which we visited by train from Dresden. We spent only two days there and wish
it could have been at least a week. It is very pretty and contains a number of attractions that deserve more time than
we allowed. It has a long history involving music. Bedrick Smetena lived and composed there. Mozart debuted
the opera Don Giovanni there. Today you can go to concert after concert of various music genres throughout the day. And
there is the Charles Bridge, the Royal Palace overlooking the town, an astronomical clock and cafes with terraces on the Vlatava River,
a.k.a the Moldau that Smetena wrote music about. These only begin to list the treasures that are found in Prague.
is on the Rhine River east of Aachen. It has 36 museums and a huge Cathedral in which there
is a golden reliquary which purports to hold the remains of the three Magi! Like Aachen, Cologne's center was rebuilt with
several pedestrian only streets.
is huge and sprawing containing both what used to be East and West Berlin. It has something
for every taste and interest, especially for anyone interested in the history of modern Europe. You can visit the Brandenburg
Gate, the Reichstag, parts of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Holocaust Monument and the Stasi headquarters.
There is also a wonderful shopping street, the Kurfurstendamm.