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GERMANY Portrait of a fascinating country


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Allow the brisk winds along the North Sea coast to clear your head; straddle the two worlds of land and sea on the Halligen islands; saunter through timehonoured Hanseatic cities like Hamburg and Lübeck, soak up the spirit of the “Bud-

denbrooks” and marvel at the cool elegance of Hanseatic style; or, as you sit beneath the fruit trees of the Altes Land region, cherish the wonderful illusion that there are indeed still paradises on Earth. All of this can only be done here – in northern Germany.

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An entire warehouse district built on oak piles, which has been heritage-listed since 1991, the Speicherstadt in the heart of Hamburg was established in the late 19th century.

The district’s construction became necessary when Hamburg joined the German Customs Union. But merchants continued to enjoy the duty-free overseas trading, which took place in the Speicherstadt.




You’ll be hard pressed to find a more peculiar geological formation anywhere in Germany than the East Frisian Islands. They are dotted in the North Sea at a dis-


On the side open to the sea, the islands feature sandy beaches, on the mainland side they boast the natural habitat of the Wadden Sea: Juist; Borkum with lighthouse and promenade; and Wangerooge (clockwise).

tance of 3 to 10 km (2 to 6 miles) from the mainland as if along an imaginary fishing line, exactly where the Wadden Sea finishes and the open ocean begins. For

centuries they have been exposed to the vagaries of Nature, are constantly changed by the currents and frequently battered by storm floods, yet they stubbornly defy all

opposition. Some of these islands are inhabited by people who fervently love their co-existence with the fickle ocean and the melancholy of long, stormy nights.

Reclusive, yet with both feet in the centre of life, the East Frisian Islands like Wangerooge (pictured), Borkum, Norderney, Baltrum, Langeoog and Spiekeroog have a rough charm about them.




Animals are not interested in world politics. Which is why none of the cranes, sea eagles, bitterns, goldeneyes, grasshoppers, dragonflies or ground beetles would have cared that for 28 years Germany’s internal border ran right through their natural habitat by Lake Schaal (Schaalsee). They lived happily in their aquatic “death strip”, and even benefited


From “death strip” to a biosphere reserve full of reed warblers and cranes – such is the happy ending to the story of Lake Schaalsee, in the far west of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

from their exposed location during the Cold War because the Iron Curtain meant people largely left their habitat alone. The result is a preserved paradise landscape around the 24-sq km (9-sq miles) lake on the border of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein, its present serenity belying its violent beginnings. Mighty glaciers with ice masses up to

2,000 m (6,500 ft) thick carved hills and valleys out of the earth, boring a gigantic hole more than 70 m (230 ft) deep into the ground, which eventually became Lake Schaal. Glacier water also collected in the smaller hollows, forming so-called kettles. These compact bodies of water are poetically known as “the eyes of Mecklenburg”.


Since reunification, Wismar has once again been proudly bearing the title of Hanseatic City in its name – and rightly so, for it owes its fame and wealth to the Hanseatic League.

Anyone visiting the proud cities on the Baltic Sea coast today will notice a recurring contradiction: the unique discrepancy between dazzling magnificence and relative insignificance. These cities are, in fact, much too small for all their mighty churches, grand homes, sprawling marketplaces and palatial office buildings. Wismar is the perfect ex-

ample of such a place; a treasure chest of gabled brick structures and stunning religious sites like St Nicholas’ Church (Nikolaikirche, left), but which also moves at a very leisurely pace. History provides the key to explaining these contradictions in the form of a single institution: the Hanseatic League, which saw Wismar and many other northern cities

turn into prosperous centres of trade very early on, showcasing their wealth through impressive buildings. Wismar joined the Hanseatic League in 1259 and instantly became one of its most important cities, before the passing of the centuries sent it into a slumber, from which it still does not seem to have fully woken.



Spoilt for choice: should you watch a play at Volksbühne, at Theater des Westens or at the Maxim Gorki Theater (small pictures), or listen to a concert at Philharmonie (bottom) or at Theater am Schiffbauerdamm (large picture)?

What would Berlin be without its theatres, operas and concert halls? Unimaginable! And much poorer! Berlin has always been a city of stages, the only place in Germany which affords itself not just one but three opera houses of worldwide renown, which is the home of one of the best symphony orchestras in the world, and which boasts a theatrical scene that, at best, has to

contend with competition from Paris, London and New York. Theatre and opera history has been written in Berlin more than once; the greatest directors, singers, conductors and actors all worked there and many still appear today in the city on the Spree. A line can be drawn from Max Reinhardt via Tilla Durieux to Peter Stein. Bertolt Brecht had his own stage in Berlin;

for decades, the Schaubühne was considered the best German-language playhouse anywhere; the opening nights at the Volksbühne are always spectacular events. And if that is still not enough, you won’t be disappointed. Berlin is just as famous for its established playhouses as for its alternative theatres, which do not shy away from any controversy.

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When he had a corduroy road laid to his hunting lodge in the Grunewald in 1542, Prince Elector Joachim II certainly could not have imagined that one day, this track would become one of the most famous streets in Berlin. However, there was still a long way to go until then. The street’s career did not really get launched until Prince Bismarck decided to de-

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Ku’damm (literally: cows’ corduroy road) is how the flippant Berliners call their boulevard, Kurfürstendamm, with the Memorial Church at one end. It is, however, an affectionate rather than a derisive abbreviation.

velop Kurfürstendamm as a magnificent boulevard. On 5 May 1886, the avenue was officially opened and quickly became western Berlin’s main artery. Even after the division of Germany, Kurfürstendamm did not lose its splendour. Today, however, it has to share its fame once more with its elegant sisters in the east.


The largest contiguous forest in Germany is the Palatinate Forest, which covers an area of 1,600 sq km (618 sq miles). And hidden in between the trees are rock formations such as the Teufelstisch (Devil’s Table).

King Richard the Lionheart probably did not have very fond memories of the Palatine Forest, for the English monarch was imprisoned there. On his return from the Third Crusade he was captured by a fellow crusader whose banner he had allegedly dishonoured, and was handed over to Emperor Henry VI in 1193. The ruler had him taken to Trifels Castle in the

Palatinate Forest, and Richard was only able to leave there after paying, quite literally, a king’s ransom. Legend has it, however, that his faithful friend, the minstrel Blondel, went from castle to castle on his search for the king, always singing a song and waiting for the reply. In Trifels finally, his quest came to an end, for Richard himself responded to the trou-

badour’s song, also chanting for his part. Subsequently, Blondel is said to have forcefully freed his monarch, yet there is no historic proof of this. The castle ruins that you come across atop many a hill in the Palatinate Forest tell other stories from times long past, for example the Wegelnburg (left), a ruined castle once belonging to the Hohenstaufens.



Spectacular sights are not overly common in the Saarland. But there are always exceptions to the rule – such as the Saar Loop near Mettlach where the river makes a virtual U-turn.

The Saarland region has a curious location. It lies hidden right on the western edge of Germany, yet for centuries was the focal interest of no less than two ma-


jor powers. Its rich coal deposits made it a bone of contention between Germany and France, constantly triggering wars. Yet the Saarlanders are considered ex-

tremely peace-loving, self-sufficient people, who essentially want nothing more than to lead quiet, happy lives. The coal has now been completely mined out, the

age-old German-French animosity is history, and thanks to the Treaty of Luxembourg in 1956 peace has been restored to the Saarland.


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Germans have always yearned for the South. And Goethe spoke for all of them when he pined for the land where the lemon trees bloom. But one need not travel far to feel this southern sense of ease. Anyone who has ever sat in the glorious sunshine at a Bavarian beer garden or wandered through the vineyards

of the Kaiserstuhl hills, anyone who has ever been electrified by the extravagance of Upper Swabia’s baroque churches or felt the Mediterranean vibe on the shores of Lake Constance, will know that the beauty of the south starts this side of the Alps.

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Knight Eppelein von Gailingen was a nasty piece of work. He was poor and consumed with envy of the wealthy merchants of Nuremberg, begrudging them their happiness. This prompted him to start attacking travelling traders in the open fields towards the end of the 14th century, and soon all of Franconia was living in fear of the savage robber baron. He did not enjoy


his dubious reputation for long, however, for he was found out, sentenced to death, and taken to Nuremberg Castle for execution. At that point, something outrageous happened. With one giant leap on his horse, Eppelein von Gailingen jumped over the castle moat and was able to escape. He was denounced again a few years later though, and this time broken

With one of Europe’s most famous castles and one of Germany’s most picturesque old towns, Nuremberg is greatly centred around its past. It oozes history.

on the wheel, with every limb of his body shattered. His legendary jump, however, is still remembered in Nuremberg to this day. And those who stroll through the stunningly preserved old town, past the halftimbered houses dating back to the robber baron’s time, will almost feel as if Eppelein could re-emerge on his horse at any time and jump over the moat again.

Earning money had always taken top priority in the old merchant city of Nuremberg. But the Almighty was not forgotten, with imposing palaces like St Sebaldus built for Him.





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Mirau, p. 371 G/Andreas Strauss, p. 372 G/F Pritz, p. 373 Look/Thomas

Andreas Vitting, p. 126 M/Michael Krabs, p. 126 L/Martin Kirchner, p. 127

189 Look/age fotostock, p. 189 Look/Brigitte Merz, p. 189 M/Manfred Bail,

ner, p. 260 Look/age fotostock, p. 261 Look/Brigitte Merz, p. 261 Look/

calosi, p. 312 A/Sabena Jane Blackbird, p. 312 Look/Heinz Wohner, p. 312

Stankiewicz, p. 373 C/Jochen Schlenker, p. 373 Look/Thomas Stankie-

H. & D. Zielske, p. 127 H. & D. Zielske, p. 127 H. & D. Zielske, p. 128/129

p. 189 M/Karl F. Schöfmann, p. 190 H. & D. Zielske, p. 191 H. & D. Zielske,

Heinz Wohner, p. 262 G/Werner Dieterich, p. 262 M/Daniel Schoenen, p.

C/Martin Siepmann, p. 312 C/Ingo Arndt, p. 313 M/Martin Moxter, p. 313


M/Catharina Lux, p. 130 M/Lothar Steiner, p. 130 H. & D. Zielske, p. 131 M/

p. 192 G/Stephan Rudolph, p. 192 M/Jeff O‘Brien, p. 192 H. & D. Zielske,

262 M/Silwen Randebrock, p. 263 M/Michael Weber, p. 263 M/Markus

M/Udo Siebig, p. 314 G/Panoramic Images, p. 314 Look/Thomas Stankie-

Lothar Steiner, p. 131 M/Lothar Steiner, p. 132 Look/Ulf Böttcher, p. 133

p. 193 Look/Brigitte Merz, p. 193 Look/Heinz Wohner, p. 194 H. & D. Ziels-

Keller, p. 263 H. & D. Zielske, p. 263 M/Michael Weber, p. 263 Look/Sabine

wicz, p. 315 Look/age fotostock, p. 316 H. & D. Zielske, p. 317 M/Ernst

M/Thomas Robbin, p. 133 M/Karl F. Schöfmann, p. 133 Look/Ulf Böttcher,

ke, p. 194 H. & D. Zielske, p. 194 H. & D. Zielske, p. 195 L/Hardy Mueller,

Lubenow, p. 264 M/Markus Lange, p. 265 Look/Ingolf Pompe, p. 265 M/

Wrba, p. 317 L/Tobias Gerber, p. 317 G/Danita Delimont, p. 317 C/Martin

p. 133 M/Alamy, p. 133 H. & D. Zielske, p. 133 Look/Ulf Böttcher, p. 134 C/

p. 195 Look/Florian Werner, p. 196 C/Top Photo Corporation, p. 197 C/Top

Daniel Schoenen, p. 265 Look/age fotostock, p. 265 Look/Heinz Wohner,

Siepmann, p. 317 L/Tobias Gerber, p. 318 M/P. Widmann, p. 318 Look/

Philip Gould, p. 135 H. & D. Zielske, p. 136 Look/Ulf Böttcher, p. 136 Look/

Photo Corporation, p. 198 Look/Brigitte Merz, p. 199 L/Gerhard Westrich,

p. 265 Look/Ralf Greiner, p. 265 Look/Heinz Wohner, p. 266 M/Andreas

Heinz Wohner, p. 319 L/Toma Babovic, p. 319 H. & D. Zielske, p. 319 M/

Konrad Wothe, p. 137 Look/Hauke Dressler, p. 138/139 C/Jon Hicks, p.

p. 200 M/Alamy, p. 200 M/Alamy, p. 200 M/Alamy, p. 200 M/Alamy, p. 200

Vitting, p. 266 G/Panoramic Images, p. 267 Look/Brigitte Merz, p. 267

Westend61, p. 320 M/United Archives, p. 320 A/Martin Moxter, p. 321 H. &

140 G/Siegfried Layda, p. 140 C/Murat Taner, p. 141 C/Gerd Ludwig, p.

M/Alamy, p. 200 Look/Holger Leue, p. 200 M/Alamy, p. 201 M/Alamy, p.

Look/Brigitte Merz, p. 267 Look/Brigitte Merz, p. 267 Look/Daniel Schoe-

D. Zielske, p. 321 Look/Heinz Wohner, p. 321 H. & D. Zielske, p. 322 C/

142/143 G/fhm, p. 144 C/Wilfried Krecichwost, p. 145 M/Alamy, p. 145 L/

201 A/blickwinkel, p. 201 A/blickwinkel, p. 201 A/blickwinkel, p. 201 G/Joe

nen, p. 268 A/Vladimir Khirman, p. 269 L/Dorothea Schmid, p. 269 L/Doro-

Christina Krutz, p. 322 G/Frank Rothe, p. 322 C/Fotofeeling, p. 323 M/Da-

Jan-Peter Boening, p. 145 L/Adenis, p. 145 C/Fabrizio Bensch, p. 146 C/

Petersburger, p. 202 Look/Heinz Wohner, p. 202 Look/Heinz Wohner, p.

thea Schmid, p. 269 L/Dorothea Schmid, p. 269 L/Dorothea Schmid, p.

vid & Micha Sheldon, p. 323 G/Norbert Rosing, p. 323 G/Konrad Wothe, p.

Jon Hicks, p. 146 Look/Torsten Andreas Hoffmann, p. 147 L/FritzEngel, p.

202 H. & D. Zielske, p. 202 Look/Heinz Wohner, p. 202 Look/Heinz Woh-

270 Look/Ingolf Pompe, p. 271 Look/age fotostock, p. 271 H. & D. Zielske,

323 Look/age fotostock, p. 323 C/Francesc Muntada, p. 324 C/Grand Tour

147 Look/Joris van Velzen, p. 147 L/Hans - Christian Plambeck, p. 148 C/

ner, p. 202 Look/Heinz Wohner, p. 203 H. & D. Zielske, p. 204 L/Andreas

p. 271 H. & D. Zielske, p. 271 H. & D. Zielske, p. 271 Look/Ingolf Pompe, p.

Collection, p. 325 M/Martin Siepmann, p. 325 M/Martin Siepmann, p. 325

Bettmann, p. 148 C/Bettmann, p. 148 C/Hulton - Deutsch Collection, p.

Meichsner, p. 204 L/Heiko Meyer, p. 204 L/Andreas Meichsner, p. 204 L/

271 Look/Ingolf Pompe, p. 272 H. & D. Zielske, p. 273 H. & D. Zielske, p.

M/Martin Siepmann, p. 326 Look/Quadriga Images, p. 326 M/Egon

148 L/Hans-Christian Plambeck, p. 148 L/Amin Akhtar, p. 149 G/Sean Gal-

Stefan Thomas Kroeger, p. 205 L/Clemens Emmler, p. 206 H. & D. Zielske,

274 Look/Guenther Bayerl, p. 274 Look/Guenther Bayerl, p. 274 Look/

Bömsch, p. 327 M/Egon Bömsch, p. 328 M/Martin Siepmann, p. 328 M/

Text: Jakob Strobel y Serra English Translation: Sylvia Goulding and Emily Plank

All rights reserved. Reproduction, scanning, saving to data systems, electronic or photomechanical reproduction or similar reproduction are prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner. All facts have been researched with care and good

faith. The writer, editor and publisher cannot however be held responsible for the absolute correctness and completeness of the information herein. The publisher is always open to suggestions and improvements.

M Mauritius Cover: Look/Heinz Wohner (Hohenzollern Castle) P. 2/3 H. & D. Zielske, P. 4 G/Ulf Boettcher, p. 5 Look/Olaf Jainz, p. 6 Look/ Brigitte Merz, p. 7 H. & D. Zielske, p. 8 H. & D. Zielske, p. 9 H. & D. Zielske, p. 10 H. & D. Zielske, p. 11 G/Piotr Jaczewski, p. 12/13 C/Peter Adams, p. 14/15 G/Michael Utech, p. 16/17 C/Harald Nachtmann, p. 18 M/Martin Siepmann, p. 19 G/Frank Rothe, p. 20 H. & D. Zielske, p. 21 H. & D. Zielske, p. 22/23 A/Premium Stock Photography GmbH, p. 24 G/Falk Herrmann, p. 24 Look/Ulf Boettcher, p. 25 C/Bas van den Boogaard, p. 26 C/Sven Hagolani, p. 27 Look/Konrad Wothe, p. 27 Look/Heinz Wohner, p. 27 G/Jorg Greuel, p. 27 G/Sabine Lubenow, p. 27 Look/Sabine Lubenow, p. 27 Look/ Heinz Wohner, p. 28 Look/Heinz Wohner, p. 28 M/Ingo Boelter, p. 28 G/ Heinz Wohner, p. 29 M/Norbert Rosing, p. 29 G/Sabine Lubenow, p. 29 M/ Sabine Lubenow, p. 29 M/Ingo Boelter, p. 29 M/Sabine Lubenow, p. 30 G/ Manuel Gutjahr, p. 30 Look/Heinz Wohner, p. 30 Look/Sabine Lubenow, p. 30 Look/Ulf Boettcher, p. 30 Look/Sabine Lubenow, p. 30 Look/Heinz Wohner, p. 31 Look/Thomas Grundner, p. 32 M/Wolfgang Diederich, p. 33 M/Peter Schickert, p. 33 Look/Heinz Wohner, p. 34 H. & D. Zielske, p. 34 H. & D. Zielske, p. 34 H. & D. Zielske, p. 34 H. & D. Zielske, p. 35 H. & D. Zielske, p. 35 H. & D. Zielske, p. 36 M/Peter Lehner, p. 36 M/Peter Lehner, p. 37 M/Peter Lehner, p. 38 Look/Heinz Wohner, p. 39 H. & D. Zielske, p. 39 H. & D. Zielske, p. 39 Look/Konrad Wothe, p. 39 H. & D. Zielske, p. 39 M/Torsten Krüger, p. 39 H. & D. Zielske, p. 40 Look/Arnt Haug, p. 40 Look/ Heinz Wohner, p. 41 M/Thomas Ebelt, p. 41 M/Justus de Cuveland, p. 42 M/White Star, p. 43 H. & D. Zielske, p. 44 A/blickwinkel, p. 45 M/Thomas Robbin, p. 45 L/Hans Madej, p. 45 M/Christian Ohde, p. 45 Look/Engel & Gielen, p. 45 H. & D. Zielske, p. 45 M/Christian Ohde, p. 46 L/Joerg Modrow, p. 47 L/Gerald Hänel, p. 47 L/Dagmar Schwelle, p. 47 C/Jon Hicks, p. 47 L/Modrow, p. 47 M/Alamy, p. 47 L/Achim Multhaupt, p. 48/49 L/Ralf Brunner, p. 50 H. & D. Zielske, p. 51 M/Christian Ohde, p. 51 Look/Engel & Gielen, p. 51 M/Alamy, p. 51 L/Samuel Zuder, p. 51 L/Joerg Modrow, p. 51 M/Ingo Boelter, p. 52/53 C/Michele Falzone, p. 54 C/Carsten Leuzinger, p. 54 M/Axel Schmies, p. 55 H. & D. Zielske, p. 55 G/Jerome Esch, p. 56 H. & D. Zielske, p. 57 H. & D. Zielske, p. 58 Look/age fotostock, p. 58 M/J.W.Alker, p. 59 M/Kurt Amthor, p. 59 H. & D. Zielske, p. 60 Look/Olaf Jainz, p. 60 Look/Olaf Jainz, p. 61 Look/Olaf Jainz, p. 62 M/Justus de Cuveland, p. 63 Look/age fotostock, p. 63 Look/Sabine Lubenow, p. 64 Look/Heinz Wohner, p. 64 M/Steffen Beuthan, p. 65 M/United Archives, p. 66 Look/Sabine Lubenow, p. 66 M/Christian Bäck, p. 66 M/Christian Bäck, p. 66 Look/Ulf Böttcher, p. 67 M/Christian Bäck, p. 68 Look/Ulf Böttcher, p. 69 M/Thomas Frey, p. 70 H. & D. Zielske, p. 70 H. & D. Zielske, p. 71 A/Kuttig - Travel, p. 71 G/Juergen Sack, p. 72 M/Chris Seba, p. 72 Look/Torsten Andreas Hoffmann, p. 72 Look/Torsten Andreas Hoffmann, p. 73 H. & D. Zielske, p. 74

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