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Issue 13 | April 2014

PLUS GREAT AUSTRIAN WINE

Collien Ulmen-Fernandes YOU HAVE TO BE OPEN AND ABLE TO ADAPT

SPA & RELAX GUIDE 2014 SWITZERLAND’S FINEST ART & CULTURE


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Discover Germany | Contents

Contents APRIL 2014

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19

Photo: Museum Ballenberg

Photo: Frankfurt Tourist + Congress Board

COVER FEATURE 6

Collien Ulmen-Fernandes Presenter and actress Collien Ulmen-Fernandes has got it all - including a happy family - and she takes her role as a role model for millions of young German girls seriously.

SPECIAL THEMES 19

Frankfurt City Special

REGULARS & COLUMNS 10

Floral patterns suited to the Easter season. Photo: © ÖWM / Dieter Steinbach

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Great Austrian Wine Grüner Veltliner and Riesling are not the only stars to be found amongst Austrian grape celebrities. Read all about Austria’s increasingly popular wines.

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Attraction of the Month Bavaria’s Franz Marc Museum is a true treasure trove of art amidst some spectacular scenery and just a short drive from Munich.

Conferences of the Month 72

Switzerland’s Art Deco Hotel Montana hotel in Lucerne offers unparalleled panoramic views of Lake Lucerne and a mountain panorama plus grandeur, great service and gastronomic highlights.

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Schloss Hernstein in the Austrian Alps with its historical charm and sustainable heritage makes for a rather interesting conference location.

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You'll find Hotel Fischland on the stunning German coastline. Calm and stress-free, it's an ideal location for brains to do their magic.

Business If you think wealth management is only for the mega-rich, think again! Find out more in our business section.

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Restaurant of the Month Restaurant Rôtisserie’s chef de Cuisine Fredi Nussbaum reveals what takes his fancy on the menu, and you'll definitely agree why their terrace is said to be the most beautiful in Zurich.

Switzerland’s Finest Art & Culture Objects from the Middle Ages, contemporary masterpieces and other silent witnesses to centuries of Swiss tradition are well-preserved and ready for discovery in the country’s finest museums.

Vienna’s magnificent Hotel Steigenberger Herrenhof boasts an ideal location, innovative activities and an exciting design mix.

Culture & Lifestyle Emmie Collinge takes a closer look at the Easter bunny and his world.

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Dine & Wine Meet our new wine expert from The WineBarn and read all about vintner’s heaven Rhineland Palatine.

Spa & Relax Guide 2014 New trends reveal a rising demand for healthy hotels, gravity-defying treatments and a passion for ferocious fitness.

Design Spring-like gift ideas with an Easter theme and great design made in Germany.

Our Frankfurt city special reveals all there is to know about the fascinating metropolis on the Main river including an exciting event calendar.

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Fashion

Hotel of the Month 30

Located at the foot of the Wilder Kaiser mountain range and close to posh Kitzbuhl, the Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt attracts the famous, the glamorous and those in search of an unforgettable Austrian holiday.

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Barbara Geier Barbara Geier explains why the perfect Easter egg requires a lot of work.

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Dear Reader,

Discover Germany

Dorina Reichhold

Issue 13, April 2014

Marilena Stracke

Published 21.03.2014 ISSN 2051-7718

Jan Schwab Jaime Schwartz Sales & Key Account Managers

Published by Scan Magazine Ltd.

Emma Fabritius Nørregaard Lena Meyer

Design & Print

Faye Beermann

Liquid Graphic Ltd.

Ariam Bereket Caroline Nindl

Executive Editor

Niels Stratman

Thomas Winther

Advertising

Creative Director

info@discovergermany.com

Mads E. Petersen

Discover Germany is published by:

Editor Tina Awtani

SCAN GROUP Scan Magazine Ltd. 15B Bell Yard Mews Bermondsey Street London SE1 3TY United Kingdom

Art Director Svetlana Slizova Copy-Editor Emmie Collinge Contributors

Phone +44 (0)870 933 0423 info@discovergermany.com

Elisabeth Doehne Linnea Dunne Iris Ellmann

For further information, please visit www.discovergermany.com

Phil Gale

Welcome to the April issue of Discover Germany. For those over forty, you might not immediately recognise our cover star, but actress and presenter Collien Ulmen-Fernandes has evolved into an important role model for young, female Germans by mastering career and family alike.

Barbara Geier Julie Guldbrandsen Meryem Hauer Jessica Holzhausen Julika Hüther Sonja Irani

With the Easter break just around the corner, you will find great design, fashion and features dedicated to our Easter theme. If you are still on the quest for the perfect wine to go with your festive Easter menu, this issue bears the answer. Meet award-winning vintners and read all about GrünerVeltliner, Riesling and a rich variety of wonderful wines. From the scenic Rhine valleys of Germany, to Austria’s prime viticulture hot spots, we have it all covered.Viva vintners, vineyards and vinotheques! Easter is not the only important date coming up. While British kids spoil their mums on 30 March, Germany, Austria and Switzerland celebrate Mother’s Day on 11 May. Exhausted from domestic duties, what could please a mum better than a trip to a spa? It’s pure pamper time in our spa and relax guide, which could serve as your inspiration for a mother’s day surprise. Speaking of surprises, it may not come as any surprise that Switzerland is home to a great heritage and amazing artists. Read about medieval objects, exotic works of art and stunning contemporary masterpieces available for the public eye. The Easter bank holiday is the ideal opportunity to take a trip to a museum and immerse yourself in the fascinating world of art and history. Our city pick of the month is Frankfurt, a captivating city of contrasts with a sophisticated skyline towering above a cosy town steeped in history. Take the Ebbelwei Express or try Handkäs mit Musik for lunch while there. Mouth-watering menus await guests in this month’s pick of exquisite restaurants and if you are considering spending the festive season away from home, take a look at the great hotels featured on the following pages.

Gregor Kleinknecht Anne Krebiehl Cordelia Makartsev

Happy Easter!

Silke Pfersdorf

© All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of Scan Magazine Ltd. This magazine contains advertorials/promotional articles

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Tina Awtani


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daniels + erdwiens industrial design design statements, product innovations, market- and brand strategy, full service. www.daniels-erdwiens.de

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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Collien Ulmen-Fernandes

Collien Ulmen-Fernandes With a career that began all-singing and all-dancing, this actress gained our approval as a presenter and has since established a solid acting career. At 32 years of age, she’s got it all - including a happy family - and she takes her role as a role model for millions of young German girls seriously. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: JOYCE ILG

By the age of 15 the half-Indian, Hamburgborn beauty had already embarked on a career as a professional dancer. After a stint of modelling, singing in a band and starring in a music video with the heartthrob Enrique Iglesias, the energetic teenager still wanted more. She worked tirelessly, taking presenting and acting lessons and gradually conquered the world of film, working with some of the biggest names in the industry, such as producer Bernd Eichinger. There is hardly a channel on German TV where you won’t have seen Ulmen-Fernandes - either presenting or acting. Spanning the genres, from comedy to romance to crime, she reveals that keeping her options open is important to her. “At the moment I am a little torn between acting and presenting. Sometimes I get offered the chance to present, but due to the size of the project my acting capacity would be limited.” She is always keen to take on the next challenge, however, the warm-hearted Collien is repeatedly confronted with the same downside. “It is heartbreaking to get to know the whole cast and after six or eight weeks it is all over again. I struggle with this every time,”she divulges. One hot working mum Despite the honour of numerous industry awards such as Woman of the Year or Grimme nominations, there is one particular title that had quite an impact on her public profile. FHM magazine voted her sexiest women in the world in 2010.“It was quite funny how many people noticed this and how they reacted,” she remembers. “Interview inquiries kept pouring in and

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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Collien Ulmen-Fernandes

even my parents, who usually do not really catch on to everything I do, called me immediately. My dad said the news flashed up on his e-mail homepage. It also made the headlines in their local newspaper. I only wish I’d get the same attention for my film projects, and there are moments when I think I could have done without this title.” Collien assures us that she looks far from sexy while out and about. “I usually run around dressed like a tramp. Recently at the petrol station I pulled out my credit card and handed it over to the lady behind the counter. She looked at it, looked at me and then uttered ‘oh, I wouldn’t have recognised you’. She was genuinely surprised - I think people somehow expect you to run around all day in full make-up and glamorous dresses,”Ulmen-Fernandes says. Eager bachelors had to bury their hopes back in 2011 as Collien secretly married fellow actor Christian Ulmen. In April 2012, a little daughter arrived on the scene for the Berlin-based couple. Apart from causing a distinct lack of sleep, the new baby didn’t really affect Collien’s career. However, being a mum was a whole new experience. “Three weeks after giving birth I went to a casting. I had dress up for it and it felt really awkward to put on something glitzy and high heels. My baby loved it and just wanted to touch the sparkly bits. It was two different worlds, having the baby on my lap while wearing make-up and this glamorous outfit.”But thanks to her experienced hands-on husband, who already has a son from his first marriage and is always up for volunteering on the parental frontline, juggling her kid and her career is so far working out quite well for Collien. Branding, British interiors and a new book Global powerhouses are already aware of the Ulmen-Fernandes phenomenon, which seems to have quite an effect on the German population of females under-forty. Recently she stepped in front of the camera for fast-food chain McDonalds and IT giant Microsoft chose her as the German female

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ambassador for its Windows phone campaign, catapulting her into the same league as international superstars like Gwen Stefani and Jay Z. “It was a massive global campaign. I was overwhelmed and it was great to do. Working with an international team was really exciting,” she remembers. Another film project recently brought her to the south-westerly tip of the UK, and along with the stunning countryside of Cornwall, Collien was blown away by British supermarkets. “They are amazing,” she says enthusiastically. “There are so many products to choose from. In Germany you find three different juices on a shelf, but in England I tried a new one every single day.”And the excitement didn’t end in the supermarket aisles. Despite the Brits’ penchant for “absurdly” carpeted bathrooms and the lack of German hot and cold mixer taps, she fell head over heels for the style of British country homes and admits that she bought lots of interior design magazines over there to get inspiration for her new home in Germany. While new film projects already feature on her schedule, Collien Ulmen-Fernandes is busy cultivating another of her talents. Writing seems to be a bit of a passion for the multicultural super mum, and she is in hot demand to write columns for various magazines. Her latest work includes a regular column about parenting. This has spread far beyong the pages of the magazine, as Random House publishing group’s Kösel division will be launching Collien’s new book Ich bin dann mal Mama [I’ll be off being a mum] in May 2014. It is already tipped to be quite an entertaining read, containing a good portion of humour. Easter will be low key and traditional for the family.“My husband is away working, so I guess it will be a visit to the grandparents. For them it is a big thing and the kids can hunt for Easter eggs in the garden,” Collien Ulmen-Fernandes says happily. Her secret to success?“You have to be open and able to adapt.”


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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Collien Ulmen-Fernandes

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Discover Germany | Design Xxx | Xxxx | Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds With the Easter bunny hopping along, blossom falling and flowers in bloom, floral patterns are so suited to this season and can easily be worn on any occasion. But watch you don’t overdo it: always team a floral print with something simple and let the key piece do the talking. Consider adding a real flower as a hair accessory to complete the look. EDITOR’S PICKS

Spring into action with this casual floral look created by Bogner Fire + Ice. This eye-catching top taps into the spring trend, but keep the rest simple. Jeggings £131, blouse £106. www.bogner.com

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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

In case there’s more rain than shine, this bright yellow jacket by Hamburg-based label Derbe is a safe and stylish option. Did you know that this type of raincoat is dubbed Ostfriesennerz (East Frisian mink)? £105. www.derbe-hamburg.de

Brighten up your days with these super comfy flats. There’ll certainly be a colour to match your personal style. £96. www.madeleine.co.uk

If full colour prints are not your thing, spice up a simple outfit with a statement jewellery piece. Add a bit of glamour with this flower power necklace featuring large, blue ornamental stones. £99.95. www.madeleine.co.uk

“Cold mountain lakes shimmering in all shades of blue, surrounded by flowering green meadows” – this is the inspiration for the Bogner Fire + Ice summer 2014 collection featuring energized pastels dominated by sea grass green, pool blue and creamy pink. All you need for the warm months to come. Bermudas £82, tunic blouse £98. www.bogner.com

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Discover Germany | Design | Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design... ‘April showers bring May flowers’. It’s April! Drizzle spells may be upon us, but it is also the start of spring, the month of sprouting green soil and Easter festivities. Delighting in the new season we have gathered a selection of spring-like gift ideas with an Easter theme.

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TEXT: JULIE GULDBRANDSEN

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It’s time to get out into the garden and prepare for the blossoming season ahead. Water your sprouting spring shoots with this stylish watering can by Blomus. From £86. www.blomus.com Pick daffodils, crocuses, snowdrops and other early spring flowers - the surest sign that warmer days are coming - and display them in these pretty porcelain vases by Rosenthal. They are miniature version of twelve of Rosenthal’s most popular designs. £18.50. www.rosenthal.de

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These Nesting tables designed by German Bauhaus icon and artist Josef Albers are as contemporary today as when they were first designed in 1926. Their yummy pastel colours make them a perfect fit for our Easter themed home. £1,300. www.icdesign.ch ‘Concrete eggshell’ is a classic rethought - made of concrete instead of cardboard. Use it for a decorative display of your prettiest Easter eggs and other ornaments or simply place it in your hallway for keys and other odds and ends. £33. www.korn-produkte.de

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Serve your Easter eggs in these cool new eggcups by Koziol. Stackable and with a practical base for your salt, spoon, eggshell and messy drips. £3. www.koziol-shop.co.uk


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Discover Germany | Design | Wilkens Silbermanufaktur

Wilkens silver manufacture – brilliance, reliability, quality Wilkens cutlery is not defined by its function. It is a quality and an attitude. It is not about fine dining or the perfectly set table. It is about appreciation, passion and the sense for something special. TEXT: JULIKA HÜTHER | PHOTOS: WILKENS

“We are the oldest silver brand in the world, a fact we are very proud of. Silver manufacture Wilkens can count more than 200 years of history. But we do not want to look back. Our history is entrenched in us, so we're looking ahead. Our thoughts and actions concern the current customers and, crucially, future generations. Cutlery and accessories from Wilkens are a continuance. We do not get out of fashion, as we stand above it,” says André Gercken, who manages the manufacturing company as an acting partner together with Frank Kinze. The world passes us by rapidly and is not determined by the succession of state – change – state anymore. Change has long since become a state. Reliable anchors of time have almost vanished. “We want to be

a steady anchor of time. Reliability and loyalty are some of the keystones of our business. It is only logical that the manufacturing is still situated in the city it was founded in - Bremen.” Another keystone of their philosophy is sustainability. Nowadays, the word is overused, a shell almost void of meaning. But sustainability means persisting, lasting, having a continuous effect. All this can be found in this historic manufacturing company, which produces cutlery and accessories for the home with artisanal precision. They will stand the test of time and accompany people through hours of indulgence for many generations to come. Hours and moments that will last, with sentiments, thoughts and conversations that will linger on.

Left: Straßburger Empire, pure elegance in 925 Sterling Silver and alternatively in 180g Royal Silver Plating Middle: Tulipan in 925 Sterling Silver, designed by Heinrich Vogel in 1900. Right, top: Bremen has been home to Wilkens silver manufacture for over 200 years. Right, below: Quality control

Objects that make everyday life rich and remarkable do so not by fulfilling a certain function, but by adding an ideational, everlasting quality. And through the pride of the owner and the individual view on the object itself. It is the reflection of the owner and the meaning he attributes to the object that creates its relevance. A clock is not only a timekeeper, a fountain pen not only a writing utensil – and cutlery is not only an implement for eating. www.wilkens-silber.de

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Discover Germany | Design | Hidden Fortress

with the layers beneath and find 'true' content.” This quest for deep understanding and its end results are evident in the emotional impact of their designs. “We manage to do relevant design work and deliver authentic spaces, which touch visitors at their hearts, and communicate the values that each space is meant to communicate.” To Hidden Fortress, the work of a designer should be marked by those involved. Clients are encouraged to participate in order to experience firsthand the value and empowerment that comes from revealing a design's hidden potential. “This empowerment is central to experience design. If you feel serious about your work as a designer, you don't see yourself as a‘creativity worker bee’ for the industry, whose job is only to make boring products look more beautiful and therefore more consumable. Instead design, as it once was and should be, is the search for authentic desires and needs of the human being.” www.hidden-fortress.com

May the Fortress be with you: unlocking hidden potential in experience design Taking their name from a Japanese cult-film, Hidden Fortress is a Berlin-based experience design team founded on friendship and mutual respect with over a decade worth of experience. TEXT: JAIME SCHWARTZ | PHOTOS: HIDDEN FORTRESS

“We sort of hand picked each other after years of working together and with other people and this results in one of our key strengths, our mixed experiences become more than the sum of their parts.” Their close working relationship opens up the design process to an atypical level of honesty and scrutiny. “The fact that we're long term friends is part of the reason why we are very good. We've developed a culture of discussing stuff, even controversial issues within the team, for the benefit of a project.” Whether it's building brand architecture or premium interiors, the team's interdisciplinary talents offer an edge in both design and

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business, combining expertise in experience design, interior architecture, product and concept design, digital rendering and handson construction with strategic management of branding and design effectiveness. Beginning by probing the underlying and essential components, Hidden Fortress establishes a way to re-connect to the rootsboth in a humanistic and design sense- of a project's and client's authentic needs. “We position ourselves deep within the message, the meaning and the values of a client and his or her project and work from there. We don't take anything as set, and reframe questions in order to get in touch

Top left: Buck and Breck, premium bar in Berlin. Photo: Katja Hiendlmayer Below: Absolut Bartender Art Machine, interactive installation on the BCB 2011. Photos: Katja Hiendlmayer Bottom: Plantage, office interior for an advertising agency in Berlin. Photo: Thomas Meyer


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DISCOVER MODERN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN AS A SUCCESS FACTOR FOR YOUR COMPANY Industrial design is becoming ever more important in people’s purchasing decisions. A brand can only be successful once it has achieved the right blend of aesthetics, functionality, innovation, and cost-effectiveness. With this guiding principle in mind, we develop innovative solutions. Our signature: balanced forms reduced to their essential elements. Clear lines combining aesthetics with functionality. Objects which stand out through their high-quality materials and finish, as well as their physical appeal. Understated yet striking, our design exudes elegance and harmony. Experience the success that modern industrial design can bring!

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Discover Germany | Design | SIA-TAGE

Exhibiting modern Swiss architecture and civil engineering The SIA-Tage, or SIA days, is a unique exhibition of contemporary architecture and civil engineering at various locations across Switzerland. From 9 to 11 May 2014, any interested members of the public can visit a whole host of architecture and civil engineering projects and get in touch with the executive architects and engineers involved. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

The SIA-Tage exhibition offers the public an exceptional chance to comprehend the value of architecture and grasp the ideas behind a building.The SIA is the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects and has around 15,000 members in its interdisciplinary network. The society advocates top quality architecture and aspires to create a sustainable and high quality Swiss habitat. Four professional branches work together to achieve this: architecture, civil engineering, technology and environment. The SIA and its federal sections have staged the exhibition since 2006, allowing public access to Switzerland’s most amazing ar-

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chitecture and the opportunity to speak directly to architects who have recently finished these projects. Since its conception the exhibition project has been very successful, and in 2012 it was staged in all the regions of Switzerland for the first time and attracted around 25,000 visitors to the 330 SIA-experts’ buildings. What started as a week-long exhibition under the better known French name Quinzaine/15n, the exhibition has now been reduced to a long weekend as this has proven to be the most popular time for a visit. Focus on the architecture not the building The exhibition is unlike any other because

the buildings are not shown as models, plans or photography – instead, they are the exhibition space themselves. This includes private residential buildings, public spaces like schools, gymnasiums, or administrative and cultural buildings. This year it is even possible to visit unfinished buildings, as of course many large projects like tunnels or bridges take a long time to complete. Visitors can also get an insight into huge infrastructure buildings and into the planning process for public and urban spaces. One example is the Trutg dil Flem, a nine kilometre mountain trail that gains 1,260 metres in altitude on its route. Bridges give


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Discover Germany | Desing | SIA-TAGE

Left, main image: Scuola dell'infanzia, Stabio, Giraudi Wettstein Architekten ETH BSA SIA, Felix Wettstein. Photo: Alexandre Zveiger Left: Villa Dind, Link architectes SA, J.-P. Dind and S. Link. Photo: Lionel Henriod

year-old history has found its modern counterpart. A diverse programme Many more buildings have found their way into the exhibition programme. SIA have published a brochure with the complete programme, information about opening hours and guided tours, access, addresses, pictures and brief information about the buildings. The brochure will be on display in the buildings that are part of the exhibition during the SIA-Tage, or you can order it from the local SIA-office or download it from the website. www.sia-tage.ch Left: Cite Universitaire de Geneve, Frei Rezakhanlou SA. Photo: Pierre Boss Left, middle: Residential project Am Bruggerberg, Ken Architekten BSA AG Below: Restaurant Schloss Oberhofen am Thunersee, Häberli Architekten AG Bottom: Trutg dil Flem bridge, Conzett Bronzini Gartmenn AG. Photo: Wilfried Dechau

access to the micro landscapes on the trail and function as cross-connection and observation points. Other architectural highlights include the Scuola dell'infanzia a Stabio, a school for children aged three to five in the canton of Ticino near the Italian border, and the Villa Dind situated in La Tour-de-Peilz, canton Vaud. The mansion lies in the centre of a substantial garden with a view towards the forest and the mountains. The concrete cube-shaped building emerges like a rock amongst the vegetation. Ask the architect or building contractor During the course of the exhibition visitors will get the chance to speak directly to those involved in the planning and construction of the actual building they visit. Architects and building contractors can then explain their methods, from the initial

concept through to the finished building, covering every single step needed to create outstanding architecture.The SIA-Tage not only shows the amount of work it takes to finish a building and the challenges architects face, but also gives the public a chance to visit impressive buildings that normally have limited or no public access. Alternatively, other buildings to visit may have been built for public use while the architect’s concept has remained a mystery – until now that is, here is the chance to ask the architect in person what his/her intentions were. Another architectural point of interest is the renovation of the Oberhofen Castle on Lake Thun. Initially built in the Middle Ages, a modern restaurant was added in 2014. The modern structure enters a symbiosis with the old castle, as the glass front opens towards the lake giving an exceptional view. The castle’s 800-

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Discover Germany | Design | Behr Ameublement

Behr Ameublement Form and function Humans are creatures that have historically always interacted with their habitat. From early cave painting right up to modern day interior design, as a race we are aware of our environment and driven not only to make it comfortable and functional, but also aesthetically pleasing.

Top left: Modern contemporary interior style Above: Clean lines, colours and design, your dreams brought to life Bottom: Planned, designed and customised storage

TEXT: PHIL GALE | PHOTOS: BEHR AMEUBLEMENT

Behr Ameublement of Lausanne, Switzerland, have taken this age-old mentality to the next level, offering customised furniture combined with their excellent interior design services. It is the never-ending debate with designers: form or function, what comes first? Isabelle Wirthner, Interior Architect at Behr replies with a chuckle:“Both! No, for us the process is simple: we first take into account the function that each of our clients need and then, once we have thought this through we can make sure it is aesthetically pleasing.” Set up in 1990, Behr Ameublement have been supplying private individuals, professionals and collectives with beautiful high quality interiors ever since, Wirthner continues: “All of our products are the top of the range. When working with our clients we

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start with a telephone conversation to get an idea of their needs, visit the location we are working with, and then customise furniture from our suppliers to fulfil the specific needs of the client. Our two fitters then install it. We take care of everything from a to z.” Customised furniture is not the only service on offer from Behr – with two top interior designers they naturally offer that service too.“We take your ideas and turn them into reality. Working closely with our clients we design interiors that not only function for their use, whether it a house, office or workspace, but at the same time reflect the personality of the individual. Our designs are contemporary classic - so modern, but with a classic edge that will give them a long life,” Wirthner explains. The ability to offer function and form, whether it is indi-

vidual pieces of furniture or a whole interior, is no mean feat, but Behr Ameublement achieve just that. Their experience, expertise and creativity will give you an interior that you will certainly be amazed by, and your experience in the home or the office enhanced. www.behr-ameublement.ch


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Special Theme

Frankfurt City Special

Vibrant metropolis on the Main river

Welcome to Frankfurt Captivating city of contrasts The vibrant metropolis on the Main river is something of a chameleon. For many, it is one of the world’s most important financial centres, for others a vital trade fair destination, and there are some who can think of nothing more appealing than a sunny afternoon on the Frankfurt Museum Embankment, strolling through one of the many parks and enjoying a bit of German Gemütlichkeit in a traditional apple wine tavern. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: FRANKFURT TOURIST+CONGRESS BOARD / HOLGER ULLMANN

Strategically positioned in the heart of Germany, the city could not be better connected to the German Autobahn and train network. Over 55 million passengers pass through Frankfurt airport each year, making it the third largest airport in Europe. Mainhatten, as the city is often referred to thanks to its remarkable skyline, features iconic skyscrapers such as the Deutsche Bank twin towers, the Commerzbank tower, the Mes-

seTurm and the Main Tower with its accessible visitors platform.Top notch exhibition grounds attract more than 2 million people per year. One of the most significant events, the Frankfurt Book Fair, welcomes around 250,000 guests, bringing together countless nationalities and cultures. A cosy city steeped in history Don’t let the sophisticated skyline fool you.

The city of Frankfurt can look back on a history spanning 1,200 years. The magnificent Emperor’s Cathedral was built in 1239, the city hall was founded in 1405 and the Römerberg’s beautiful row of half-timbered houses, which have been painstakingly reconstructed according to the original plans, attract millions of admirers from all over the globe each year. Many of the city centre buildings have been preserved in their original splendour

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Frankfurt City Special

Above, left: The Römerberg featuring beautiful half-timbered houses. Above, middle: The Old Opera

wherever possible or reconstructed in the original fashion, such as the old opera house or the birth place and former home of writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. With approximately 700,000 inhabitants, Frankfurt is a surprisingly cosy city and most of the cultural sightseeing highlights are easily accessible on foot as many of the attractions are in walking distance of each other. A large pedestrian zone lends itself supremely to an afternoon shopping spree and leads straight into one of Frankfurt's finest areas, the so-called Freßgass (food alley), where plenty of restaurants can be found offering gourmet food and al fresco dining. Bordering the prestigious Goethes-

Bembel, pretzel and a glass of Ebbelwei

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trasse with an array of designer stores, this area is perfectly suited to those with a passion for the finer things in life. Shoppers on the hunt for something unique and authentic will love exploring the independent boutiques in Berger Straße and Schweizer Straße. Handkäs and Ebbelwei A passion for food is deeply rooted in local culture.Traditional dishes like Handkäs mit Musik (marinated cheese with onions), Rippchen mit Kraut (ribs with kraut) or the legendary Grüne Sauce (green sauce), a local delicacy consisting of a very special herb mix, are served in the classic apple wine taverns. The green sauce is so popular, it has even spawned its own festival. Insiders always combine a local dish with a Bembel (a grey and blue jug) of home made Ebbelwei (apple wine) – another Hessian national treasure, which also has its own festival. A fun way to discover the best apple wine is to take the Ebbelwei Express tram through the old town centre and the apple wine district of Sachsenhausen. But local delicacies aside, Frankfurt wouldn’t be Frankfurt without offering a diverse menu mirroring the town’s internationalism. Contemporary and first class world food is available in countless vari-

eties and award-winning Michelin starred restaurants are plenty. Parks, gardens and vineyards Leisure facilities in and around Frankfurt are unrivalled. The smallest metropolis of the world, as locals like to call it, is surrounded by a beautiful landscape of vineyards, the Taunus hills and various parks. Locals love to go jogging or hiking, take the kids to the park or enjoy a picnic in the fresh air. People are as passionate about their careers as they are about taking the time to enjoy the stunning recreational areas in the Rhein Main region.The Frankfurt greenbelt includes more than 50 parks, green spots and gardens in and around town, such as the Holzhausenpark, the Grüneburgpark, the Korean Garden, the zoological garden and many more.The Palmengarten, a 140-year-old enclave of botanical treasures, is said to be the largest of its kind in Germany. Riverside beauty and cultural hotspot A riverside cruise is the perfect way to explore the Frankfurt Museum Embankment from the water. Ideal for cycling, skating or just wandering along, the river bank is home to many of Frankfurt’s approximately 60 museums and exhibition centres such as


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Above: Palmengarten. Right, top: Korean Garden, an oasis of calm. Right, above: Liebighaus Museum

the Städel Institute of Art with the Municipal Gallery, the German Film Museum, the Senckenberg Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Modern Art. Often called Museum Row, there is definitely something for everyone. Each year the Museum Embankment Festival is celebrated along the river banks. Alongside culinary treats, live music and entertainment, visitors are offered discounted entry at participating museums. Night owls are welcome to browse the prestigious collections between 7pm and 2am at the city's annual Museum Night. Although museum lovers are confined to one night per year, nightlife is pretty exciting in Frankfurt, with theatres, clubs, bars, beach clubs and even party boats making sure that great entertainment is guaranteed all year round.

family. Locals love the Wäldchestag, a fun fair that literally takes place in the forest. The annual Opera Square Festival is a celebration of culinary delights from all over the world rounded off with some great live musical entertainment. In December the old town sparkles with the Christmas market, as the beautiful timber framed houses provide a festive backdrop. With a multitude of events, it is highly recommended that you check the city’s event calendar before travelling to make sure you do not miss out. After all, Frankfurt is somewhat of a chameleon and it has a habit of positively surprising visitors over and over again. www.frankfurt-tourismus.de

A SMALL SELECTION OF THIS YEAR’S TOP EVENTS: Spring Dippemess Folk Fair, 11.04.-04.05.2014 Museum Night, 10.05.2014 Wäldchestag, 07.06.-10.06.2014 Opera Square Festival, 25.06.-04.07.2014 Main Festival, 01.08.-04.08.2014 Apple Wine Festival, 08.08.-17.08.2014 Museum Embankment Festival, 29.08.-31.08.2014 Frankfurt Book Fair, 08.10.-12.10.2014 Frankfurt Christmas Market, 26.11.–22.12.2014

Bottom, left: Museum Embankment Festival Bottom, right: Wäldchestag

Frankfurt is fun Frankfurters are quite a sociable bunch of people and given the fact that the locals have got used to visitors over the centuries, hospitality is in their blood and one feels immediately welcomed. You can also expect a warm welcome at one of the many outdoor festivals.The annual Museum Embankment Festival in August is Europe’s largest cultural festival, and just like the Dippemess it is well suited for the whole

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Frankfurt City Special

Frankfurt Museum Embankment Photo: Michael Wicander

Frankfurt – Vibrant city of museums Frankfurt is a cosmopolitan city, deeply connected to its cultural and historic heritage. It is also one of Europe’s most celebrated places for modern art and design. The high density of cultural, aesthetic, and scientific institutions and exhibitions cements the city’s diverse museum landscape. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: STADT FRANKFURT AM MAIN Lining both banks of the Main river, the Frankfurt Museum Embankment has a lot for visitors to see and explore: from avantgarde paintings, to modern sculptures, architecture, religious history, film and archeology, to the old masters. Connected by seven bridges, the area is a melting pot of impressive buildings and museums. A 2Day ticket (€18) grants admission to more than 34 museums all year round. On the final weekend in August (29-31

August, 2014), Frankfurt will celebrate its cultural and artistic scene with a unique open-air event along the river with the Museum Embankment Festival. Europe’s largest cultural festival attracts visitors from all over the world, enticed by the multicultural stages, music performances, international gastronomy, art projects and special exhibitions A special festival badge (€7) offers visitors special rates and discounted admission to participating museums. “We want

people to “explore, experience and discover the wide cultural spectrum,” states a spokesperson for the city of Frankfurt. There is free admission to all Frankfurt’s public museums on the last Saturday of every month. A special programme, Satourday offers families and groups the chance to explore ideas and topics in greater detail and guided tours and workshops provide insight. www.museumsufer.de

FEEL THE HEARTBEAT CULTURE AND EVENTS. 2014 is full of cultural highlights: On May 10th, “Nacht der Museen” presents the variety of Frankfurt’s museums in a single night. On August 29 – 31, the “Museumsuferfest“ will form the highpoint of the Frankfurt’s summer open air events.

Enjoy cultural diversity throughout the city.

For all the infos visit www.museumsufer-frankfurt.de


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Frankfurt City Special

Wine, dine and celebrate in one of Frankfurt's historic venues A visit to Depot 1899 in Frankfurt’s lively district of Sachsenhausen is never a wasted journey. Housed in the architectural gem of the city’s former tram depot, and with high quality regional food on the menu, it’s ideal for functions, feasts and fun. TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD | PHOTOS: DEPOT 1899

The building has had its fair share of the history and soul of Frankfurt am Main. Originally a tram depot, the building was converted in 2009 and now houses Depot 1899, a hospitality venue with an authentic Frankfurt-style menu. With a café, restaurant and beer garden, the large interior can seat more than 600 people and there are two large spaces which can be combined for larger gatherings. The grand hall’s high ceilings and stylish decor lend themselves to a hospitable ambiance, and sees guests unwind, relax and chat. While socialising and networking are a priority, Depot 1899 also shows important Bundesliga football matches live on the big screen - naturally never missing a match of

the local Eintracht Frankfurt team. Worked up an appetite during the match? Go ahead and order some of the menu’s high quality regional food with a contemporary twist. Diners are spoilt for choice with local delicacies such as Handkäs, a marinated cheese with vinegar and onions, accompanied by a glass of Ebbelwei, the famous Frankfurt cider. Thanks to its proximity to the Frankfurt trade fair grounds, it’s an obvious choice for meetings, presentations or conferences, and great transport connections ensure easy access to both the city and its airport on the outskirts. www.depot1899.de

REICHSGRAF VON KESSELSTATT SCHLOSSGUT MARIENLAY | 54317 MORSCHEID IM RUWERTAL WWW.KESSELSTATT.COM | WEINGUT @ KESSELSTATT.DE

SCHLOSSGUT MARIENLAY IM RUWERTAL

VDP. GROSSE LAGE ® REICHSGRAF VON KESSELSTATT WEINE

UNSERE LAGEN AN MOSEL, SAAR UND RUWER

DER JOSEPHSHOF IN GRAACH AN DER MOSEL


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Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Iris Ellmann

Iris Ellmann (left) is managing director at The WineBarn, an award-winning merchant of German wine based in beautiful Hampshire. The WineBarn, Clump Farm Barn, Farleigh Lane, Dummer, Hampshire RG25 2AF E-mail: iris@thewinebarn.co.uk www.thewinebarn.co.uk

Introducing The WineBarn I was born and raised in Germany and good German wine is my passion. When I moved to the UK in 1994 I was appalled to discover that good German wine simply wasn’t available. I vowed to change that and have been importing the best wines that Germany has to offer for 14 years now. TEXT: IRIS ELLMANN | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Passionate about wine, I am constantly on the hunt for new producers and exciting new wines and look forward to sharing my discoveries with you through this wine column. On average I spend three months a year in Germany (one week per month) hunting out new producers to add to our portfolio but I am very selective, ensuring that each one produces exceptional wines that work with good food. The style of wine I select is modern, dry and elegant; something with individuality and preferably grape varieties that are indigenous to the region. My recommended wine choice for this month is from Allendorf. The Allendorf Family has lived and worked in the Rheingau for around 700 years, with the first wines produced in 1773. Spread over 60 hectares it is one of the biggest familyowned wineries in the Rheingau. Most exciting is Allendorf’s revival project of the Red Riesling grape, claimed to be the actual origin of any white Riesling. This grape va-

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riety was first mentioned in 1490 near Worms and has similar taste characteristics to that of white Riesling, though a little more complex with rose hip flavours. Over 75 per cent of Allendorf’s wines are clear Rieslings and approximately 10 per cent are Pinot Noirs whose style is dense with lots of character. Being full-bodied they require time to mature and show their full potential, so my advice is to buy them now but with a view to laying them down for a few years. Believe me, it will be worth the wait! The 2012 Winkler Hasensprung Roter (Red) Riesling dry is characterised by a well-defined structure with an elegant acidity which keeps one coming back for more. Exhibiting a strong aroma of green limes, oranges and apricots, it displays elegance and a wealth of finesse on the tongue, accompanied by a rich fruitiness. This wine perfectly complements appetizers, fish and seafood, as well as veal. The ideal drinking temperature is around 9°C.

I look forward to sharing some great wines with you over the coming months. Happy Drinking!

2012 Winkler Hasensprung Roter (Red) Riesling dry. Photo: Hans-Jürgen Heyer


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Discover Germany | Dine & Wine | Schloss Reinhartshausen

Top, left: Eltville and the Mariannenaue Island Right, top: Schlossberg Löwen, Erbacher Schlossberg vineyard Right, middle: Nussbrunnen Right: The sign commemorating the Marcobrunn vineyards

Is it rare to find a top-flight Riesling? Certainly not at Schloss Reinhartshausen. Situated in the notable wine-growing province of Rheingau, Schloss Reinhartshausen is one company not unfamiliar with top-flight wines. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: SCHLOSS REINHARTSHAUSEN

Regularly praised for the quality of their Rieslings, Schloss Reinhartshausen continue to produce not only excellent dry whites, but a range of other superior wines. Their wine emerges from their 15 separate vineyards in a region celebrated for producing the best German Rieslings. With sunny, south facing vineyards, the winery, alongside the 5-star castle-cumhotel Schloss Reinhartshausen Kempinski, covers a luscious 80-hectare area on the slate-rich banks of the river Rhine. The castle first began producing wine in 1337, explains Stefan Lergenmüller, one of the two managing brothers, and the region quickly became synonymous with Riesling production thanks to its distinctive minerals.“The majority of vineyards produce Riesling here, and from these

grapes we can create various types of wine: from light summer wine to sweet specialties.” What distinguishes a wine from Schloss Reinhartshausen? “The wines of the Schloss are classic, sleek and timeless. They are clear, structured, partly elegant and of unmistakable depth.” With centuries’ worth of wine production behind them, it is interesting to observe how wineries keep up with modern technology. Lergenmüller answers matter-offactly: “Tradition does not mean saving the ashes, but keeping the fire burning.” Working by hand remains just as important today as it was back then, Lergenmüller explains that they spend thousands of hours on the vineyards as quality control of the grapes by hand is vital for the company.

Once home to the Dutch crown-princess Marianne of Prussia, the castle was the focal point of the region in the 1800s and its history is tangible. Lergenmüller recommends a trip to the Rhine’s only island, a stunning 4 km island named Mariannenaue, belonging to the castle. With lush vineyards and a historic farm, it is an “indescribable experience.” A combination of a tasting and boat trip is a popular choice, giving visitors a unique chance to explore the vineyards. The wine cellar is something of a pilgrimage for wine lovers, housing more than 6,000 bottles including sweet Rieslings from as far back as 1861. Almost unmatched in their ability to partner different types of food, Schloss Reinharthausen Rieslings, with their charm and delicacy, stand out as beacons of topflight Rieslings. And for red wine lovers, a rather special Pinot Noir is being primed in the barrels of the cellar. www.schloss-reinhartshausen.com

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Discover Germany | Dine & Wine | Rheinland-Pfalz Tourismus

Vineyards as far as the eye can see… With a winning combination of famous wines, lovely landscapes, a lot of culture and culinary delights, the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate is the perfect area to be explored during a sunny holiday. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: RHEINLAND-PFALZ TOURISMUS GMBH

Rhineland-Palatinate is the ideal location for your body and soul to breathe. The lush vegetation and enchanting river valleys of the Rhine and Moselle give the area a poetic vibe. And what could fit better into the scenery of rolling hills than a winery? For wine lovers Rhineland-Palatinate is heaven. This is one of the rare places where you can enjoy an excellent glass of wine from even the smallest roadside snack van. “Six of the thirteen German wine regions can be found in Rhineland-Palatinate, which makes it Germany’s overall number one wine state. More than half of all German wines come from here. Each area of cultivation is as unique as its landscape and people,” says Marija Heller, Project Manager for International Marketing at Rhineland-Palatinate Tourist Board.

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It should come as no surprise that the state’s capital Mainz is the only German Great Wine Capital.The six wine regions of Rhineland-Palatinate are the Ahr Valley, Middle RhineValley, Mosel-SaarValley, Naheland, Rhinehessen and Palatinate.“The AhrValley has a reputation for excellent red wines. They keep winning international awards and have even started to beat wines from France and Spain,” explains Heller. “The regions of Mosel-Saar and Middle Rhine Valley distinguish themselves through their steep landscapes and traditional terraced vineyards. Stunning views and impressive castles complete the experience. This is the home of quality Riesling wines.“ The quality initiative Middle Rhine Riesling Charta (MRC) binds wineries and their partners to uniform quality guidelines.

Seven criteria stand for everything a true Riesling needs to be.The entire Upper Middle Rhine Valley is a UNESCO world heritage site. Naheland’s secret is its rich soil. The mineral-heavy ground enables the production of very delicate wines. “Wines from that region sparkle beautifully in the glass,” Heller adds. But even more sparkling things can be found in Naheland, as gemstones are hidden in the ground and mark the regions around Idar-Oberstein and the German Gemstone Street. Rhinehessen, on the other side, is Germany’s biggest wine region. Picturesque river valleys around the gentle serpentines of the legend-rich Rhine are home to many young winegrowers who passionately merge innovation with tradition.


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The Rheinsteig, Kaub

Bordering the French Alsace, Palatinate is often called the German Tuscany, and for good reason as Heller explains: “It is a wine region with such a mild, Mediterranean climate that almond trees blossom as early as March and lemons, figs and kiwis ripen in great quantities.” The smaller wine villages such as Beilstein and Deidesheim bear their own unique charm and never disappoint. BernkastelKues for example has wonderful medieval half-timbered houses and a variety of 160 Moselle wines on offer. Almost every wine village has its own traditional wine festival, which usually take place in late summer or autumn. The German Wine Queen is selected each year at the German Grape Harvest Festival in Neustadt, but that is just one wine-related highlight amongst many more.“Regardless of whether you prefer a modern vinothek or a traditional winery, it is definitely something guests have to visit,” Heller emphasises. And where there are fantastic wines, fabulous food is usually close by. Rhineland-Palatinate is no exception.Visitors will find many types of restaurants and bistros along their way. From gourmet cui-

sine to traditional dishes, it is all about taking the time to explore and indulge in good food and drink.

What makes Rhineland-Palatinate overall such a great holiday destination is, without a doubt, its versatility.

Not only is Rhineland-Palatinate a beautiful forest-rich country with lush hills, that produces internationally acclaimed wines, it is also packed with historic settings. Fairytale castles seem to pop up around every corner and the Romans left a real mark in this area too.

www.gastlandschaften.de

Top, from left to right: Mehring region Katz Castle, St. Goarshausen Sunset near Leiwen Enjoy the German Gemütlichkeit Below: Wine festival, Deidesheim

Right by the river Moselle lies Trier, Germany’s oldest city. The Romans heavily influenced it, as the impressive ancient city gate Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) instantly proves. A variety of preserved ruins of Roman structures such as Trier’s Imperial Baths, yet another UNESCO world heritage site, can be found in many different locations all over Rhineland-Palatinate and are certainly worth a visit. The beautiful scenic river landscape, a true hallmark of Rhineland-Palatinate, invites visitors to engage in various outdoor activities such as hiking or canoeing. 8,000 kilometres of verified bike paths are ideal for a cycling holiday and the area is also known for welcoming motorcyclists from all over the world.

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Restaurant of the Month Switzerland

Magnificent views and mouth-watering menus

These are the two ingredients that make the exquisite Restaurant Rôtisserie, situated in the first-class establishment Storchen Zürich, so successful. Chef de Cuisine Fredi Nussbaum and Restaurant Manager Gerhard Egger explain more. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: STORCHEN ZÜRICH

“It is our personal and warm approach to guest service,”answers Gerhard Egger without hesitation when asked how his restaurant differs from other first-class dining es-

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tablishments. “We keep files of our guests and try to surprise them every now and then. If we know what they like, we can spoil them better – we call moments like

these Storchen-Plus experiences and every single team member strives to give our guests such moments. For example, if we hear that a guest has to go to the hospital,


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Discover Germany | Restaurant of the Month | Switzerland

restaurant’s chef of 22 years. “In autumn it’s venison and pumpkin. I also get ideas from our suppliers’special products and of course there is the experience of what our guests particularly like to eat.” Light and easily digestible fish is one delicacy of which the guests of the Restaurant Rôtisserie are very fond. “Every Thursday and Friday evening, Fredi Nussbaum presents a selection of whole, market fresh fish on the buffet in our Rôtisserie,” says Egger. “You can choose whatever fish you like, which will then be carefully prepared in our kitchen and filleted directly at your table.” Gerhard Eggers Storchen-favourites are: “Chateau Briand, our signature dish of Zurich-style, small thin slices of meat served in a pan, homemade calf ravioli as well as our very well-known and much appreciated in-house smoked Storchensalmon. And let’s not forget our fine tartar.” Fredi Nussbaum adds: “We are particularly proud of our special house-smoked Scottish salmon and dishes like deer back, carved at the table. This has become a culinary delight that is nowadays hard to find.” More than just good food

Above: Gerhard Egger, restaurant manager

we will send a card with flowers”. For Egger and his team, knowing their guests by name is just as important as creating a special dining experience.“We carve at the table, we fillet whole fishes at the table, we serve Crêpes Suzettes and Chateau Briand directly from the trolley,” he continues. “Every Monday to Friday, the Restaurant Rôtisserie offers an exquisite and reasonably priced Business Lunch, and on Sundays we host one of the best brunches in Zurich.”

While indulging in Nussbaum's newest creations, guests can enjoy spectacular views over the river Limmat and the city of Zurich – yet another characteristic the Restaurant Rôtisserie is famous for.“There is a reason why the Storchen terrace is called‘Zurich’s most beautiful terrace’,”says Egger. “During the summer months, you feel like you’re on holiday here.” Several special events add to the all-encompassing dining experience that is far more than just sitting down for food.“Every February, we

invite our guests to our culinary weeks.This year, our guest chef was Sascha Kemmerer from the Kilian Stuba restaurant in Kleinwalsertal, Austria. In the summertime, we organise a food festival called il TAVOLO. As one of the founders, we have been running this festival together with five other luxury hotels for three years. These two events always provide our cuisine and service team with lots of new inspiration.”Another highlight will be the Sunday brunch with the Swiss Tenors on the 23rd March 2014. Here, you can experience classical music and entertainment in an exciting show led by the two top-class tenors Enrico Orlandi and Andri Calonder. The Swiss Tenors will be supported by pianist Gordon Schultz.The programme is made up of several medleys, which will take you on a fascinating journey through the world of opera, operetta, musicals and films. This summer, for the first time ever, the Storchen team will also give its guests the opportunity to take part in a cocktail class led by Chef de Bar Helma Jouck. So regardless of whether you are planning to join in one of these entertaining events or just feast on first-class culinary delights, you can be sure that a dining experience in the Restaurant Rôtisserie and its unique terrace will be one to remember. “If you would like to enjoy regional and seasonal dishes in a traditional, comfortable setting with a breathtaking panoramic view, the Storchen hotel is the perfect choice!”Gerhard Egger sums it up. www.storchen.ch/en/restaurants-andbars/rotisserie Below: Fredi Nussbaum, head chef

Ever-changing delicacies As well as some all-time favourites, Chef de Cuisine Fredi Nussbaum makes sure that the Restaurant Rôtisserie menu always contains a variety of frequently changing special treats. “In spring, my inspirations are wild garlic and asparagus,” reveals the

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Discover Germany | Hotel of the Month | Austria

Hotel

of the Month Austria Photo: Mark Pain

More than just stunning scenery At the foot of the Wilder Kaiser mountain range, the Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt attracts the famous, the glamorous and those in search of an unforgettable holiday. The hotel’s mantra: treat each and every guest like a king. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: BIO-HOTEL STANGLWIRT

The generous welcome applies to every single person who crosses the threshold of the over 400-year-old hotel. From its earliest incarnation, a typical Alpine Gasthaus in 1609, the Stanglwirt has passed from generation to generation and is now in the capable hands of the 16th generation Balthazar and Magdalena Hauser, whose impeccable running of the hotel has seen it rise to the top of the ranks. In terms of spa-meets-sport hotel, this one ticks all the boxes.

drive from Salzburg, Innsbruck and Munich lies the idyllic Alpine village of Going, a mere stone’s throw from the world-class ski resort of Kitzbuhl. One long-standing staff member enthuses about the early mornings, declaring that the mountains whether bathed in mist, snow or sun - are breath-takingly beautiful. On the day in question, mid-February, a glance out of the window treats you to a snowy landscape glistening in the sun.

Does a more beautiful place exist on earth? The staff are doubtful. Less than an hour’s

Just a week earlier, over 2,000 guests descended on Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt for their

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annual Après-Ski Weisswurst Party. Celebrating one of the world’s biggest Alpine ski The family-run Stanglwirt has a true familial atmosphere


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Discover Germany | Hotel of the Month | Austria

skiing, hiking, climbing and mountain biking are infinite. 14 on-site tennis courts, a driving range, and Austria’s first private Lipizzaner stud combine to literally “provide something for everyone, whatever your taste.”Just a few minutes’ drive away you can find several top class golf courses. Spa treatments, wellness and skiing. Spa treatments, wellness and hiking. Horse-riding? Golf? Tennis? Hunting? With endless combinations, it is win-win both physiologically and psychologically.The endorphins released when partaking in physical exercise are enhanced by the relaxation and restoration undertaken in the hotel’s extensive spa areas. With such sophisticated treatments including Thalasso and Ayurveda, your muscles and your mind will be forever grateful. Thalasso works on improving your blood circulation, while the ancient Ayurveda techniques explore your body’s natural balance and restores full health. Meaning ‘the art of living wisely’, guests benefit greatly from the hotel’s experts. The ideal itinerary for your day

races, the Hahnenkamm which takes place in Kitzbuhl, the hotel opens its doors for an evening of fine food, wine and dancing. Alongside the many retired pro-skiers in attendance was none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger.

After a breakfast fit for kings in one of the hotel’s many on-site eateries, the hotel recommends a jaunt to the wellness centre. Beginning the spa experience in Europe’s largest salt-water pool (210 square metres), your muscles and skin can regain their nutrients. Exercising both body and soul may leave you craving a massage, and the hotel’s carefully selected treatment list will certainly provide just the cure. If you’ve been spending a lot of time in the office recently, then the hotel would suggest the Stanglwirt signature back special to ease your

aching muscles. For couples looking to spend quality time together, the option of the Exotic Feeling package is particularly tempting, using Ligne St. Barth products, body packs, Hamam steam baths and body massages. Evening entertainment reassuringly does not come in the form of stereotypical Apres-Ski. On a far classier note, the hotel welcomes you to its bars and restaurants. With live music on most evening, extensive menus and a la carte options, you can enjoy your evening in the splendid surroundings. Pre-date pampering is definitely recommended, as is a trip to the on-site hairdresser.You are on holiday, after all! As is befitting of a self-proclaimed bio-hotel, organic and environmentally-friendly, locally sourced produce and furnishings are vital. Employing sustainable energy sources wherever possible, the hotel’s heat pump uses its own water in the wellness area, and the green roof of the tennis court doesn’t just look good when you arrive by plane or helicopter – it also works to maintain a constant temperature inside the tennis courts. As the hotel states: “Every generation will find something they take pleasure in here.” Children shriek with glee at the professionally-run Children’s Farm, grandparents hike in the unspoilt terrain and parents can have that much needed TLC, while brushing up on their tennis, horse-riding or golf. All done in luxury, with the magnificent backdrop of the Wilder Kaiser. www.stanglwirt.com

The favoured holiday destination The hotel’s appeal to the rich and famous stems from its modest attitude, discretion and genuine passion for providing great hospitality to everyone. For the past ten years, the hotel has been the training camp home of one of the world’s best boxers, Wladimir Klitschko, which is testament to its wide appeal. Sporting greats discover just what an incredible location the hotel has. With the mountains on the doorstep, opportunities for alpine and cross-country

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Teatime and a warm welcome – Vienna’s winner An ideal location, innovative activities, an exciting design mix and a dedicated team ensure your stay at Vienna’s Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof is an unforgettable experience. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: STEIGENBERGER

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Discover Germany | Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof | Vienna

the fashionable shopping streets of Kohlmarkt and Graben, guests of the historic Herrenhof will experience elegant design, sophisticated home decor, a relaxed atmosphere and warm hospitality at a very high level.” “Due to its ideal location close by all the cultural monuments and landmarks, walking tours are a popular service,” explains Perwanger. “The famous Fiaker carriages are waiting just a 50 metre walk away at the Hofburg. If the weather is nice, an open carriage tour is a must. Opera and theatre tickets are popular too – and our concierge has very useful contacts so it is often possible to get tickets for already sold-out performances. In the summer, you can hire Ebikes from us for a beautiful trip to the Old Danube and its green surroundings. In the winter, there are countless Christmas markets waiting to be explored.” A powerful history “The Herrengasse follows the same line as that of the old Roman Limes,”reveals Perwanger. “During the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the finest palaces were built along this street – people wanted to live as close to the Emperor as possible because that

Main image: Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof, Vienna Top: Front Office Middle: Lobby Above: Bar

With tastefully decorated rooms and suites that perfectly blend tradition and modern design, as well as a 250 sqm SpaWorld and 500 sqm of conference and event space, the Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof suits a variety of guests. “Our hotel is the ideal

starting point for city visitors with high standards as well as for quality-conscious business travellers,” says Elisabeth Perwanger, General Manager of the Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof.“Just a few paces away from lots of famous monuments and

Elisabeth Perwanger, General Manager

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was a sign of noble origins and importance within the Empire. At the beginning of the 19th century, famous writers such as Friedrich Torberg, Franz Werfel, Egon Erwin

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Kisch and Hugo von Hofmannsthal frequented the acclaimed literati Café Herrenhof on Herrengasse 10.” The spirit of refined literature and the aristocratic past still

lives on today.“Throughout the hotel, tradition fuses with design and Zeitgeist,”continues Perwanger.“Behind the listed facade, classicViennese style and ornaments of the


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Discover Germany | Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof | Vienna

former literati coffee house can nowadays indulge in a characteristic British tradition. “We have Tea Masters who are specially trained to provide our guests with expert advice and they are happy to help them choose from our large assortment of teas,” says Perwanger.“We also offer special holiday packages such as Discover Sissi, which immerse our guests in the history of Vienna.” What’s more, this coming summer, guests of this creative hospitality business can look forward to a new summer terrace as well as the hotel’s very own honey produced by two strains of bees located on the roof. Committed to excellence Ensuring that their guests have a truly special stay is top priority for Perwanger and her team.“Each of our employees personally takes care of all the small things that add quality to moments,”she says. Due to this individual approach to guest service, and with the guests feeling very much at ease here, the Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof can be found at the top of positive

Vienna hotel reviews on all the leading booking websites.“We are especially proud of our more recent awards and certificates. Within the strongly growing hotel scene of Vienna, we are eager to distinguish ourselves from competitor hotels with our warm-hearted hospitality and unique design concepts. In addition to the Certificate of Excellence 2013 by TripAdvisor, HolidayCheck awarded the Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof the title TopHotel 2014.” At the same time, the hotel’s employees have won various prizes and awards and have thus shown their commitment to superior guest service. Among the Herrenhof team is Vienna’s youth champion of trainees as well as the winner of the Austria-wide competition Receptionist of the Year. So whether you are coming here to explore history, shops, new business opportunities, Austria’s beautiful countryside or the hotel’s wellness world – the team at the Steigenberger Herrenhof will surely make it a memorable experience. www.herrenhof-wien.steigenberger.at

Main image: Stunning panorama from the Deluxe Suite balcony Bottom, from left to right: Suites Conference boardroom Orangen Bottom, right: 250 sqm Spa World

art nouveau period bond with modern furniture to create a homely atmosphere.” Vienna re-invented This unique mix of old splendor and creative innovation is not only evident in the design and atmosphere of the hotel, but also with regards to its range of novel guest activities. Instead of an afternoon coffee break so typical forVienna, the guests of the

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Indigenous Austrian Whites Austrian wine – that’s like a clarion call for Grüner Veltliner and Blaufränkisch – wonderful varieties suited to Austria’s continental climate. But the Alpine republic boasts more indigenous, little-known varieties that are not cultivated anywhere outside of Austria. Ever heard of Neuburger, Roter Veltliner, Rotgipfler or Zierfandler? TEXT: ANNE KREBIEHL

Behind all those names lurk interesting, highly textured white wine varieties. Some of them are difficult to grow and tricky to work with, yet they bring forth unusual wines that are very different and worth seeking out. In a way, they are the endangered species of the wine world: planted solely in Austria, Neuburger covers a mere 424

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hectares, Roter Veltliner 192 hectares, Rotgipfler 104 hectares and Zierfandler just 84 hectares – compare that to the 28,210 hectares of Pinot Grigio grown around the world and you realise how rare these varieties are. The great news is that consuming them – unlike shark fins or bluefin tuna – will ensure their survival.“RoterVeltliner has

a lot of vegetative growth and thus lots of work in the vineyard is required to ensure ripening. Also, the grape skins are very thin, they tend to burst and are susceptible to rot,” explains Bernhard Ecker, who grows RoterVeltliner on his vineyards in Kirchberg am Wagram. It is for these reasons that these varieties are not more widely grown – viti-


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Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Anne Krebiehl

Main image, left: Vineyard Achleiten. Photo: Domäne Wachau Below: Domäne Wachau Winery. Photo: Helmut Lackinger Vineyard Loibenberg. Photo: Domäne Wachau, Michael Liebert

culture is a risky business as it is, dependent almost entirely on the moods of mother nature, to increase the risk by growing difficult varieties is asking for trouble. Due to its high yield potential it used to be more popular, but in order to make interesting wines, yields need to be restricted. Ecker still thinks it’s worthwhile:“RoterVeltliner has a lot more extract, there is a lot more complexity in the flavour and therefore it’s a wine really made for the table.”Ecker loves to pair his single vineyard“Steinberg” Roter Veltliner with sweet and sour Asian food, as the wine has enough character to stand up to the stronger flavours and the spicy elements of those cuisines. In the Thermenregion, at Johanneshof Reinisch, brothers Christian, Michael and Johannes Reinisch grow Rotgipfler, another intriguing white grape variety. Johannes Reinisch first of all explains how this white

variety has got a name that makes it sound like a red one: “The tips of the new shoots on Rotgipfler are red, hence its name.” The variety is a natural crossing that occurred between Roter Veltliner and Traminer, “this means it has a lot of fruitfulness fromVeltliner and the great aromatic intensity from Traminer,” he says. “It has a medium to full body, both texturally and from its alcoholic strength, we can easily achieve 14% ABV. It’s one of those white wines that goes really well with meat, especially when there is some spice involved.”It thus works well with the Austrian predilection for flavouring meat with hot and sweet paprika, but Reinisch also cites Asian cuisine.

almost plump and always nutty – as if you had the tannins of a red wine combined with the freshness of a white. Erwin Tinhof, who grows exquisite Neuburger in Trausdorf in Burgenland, recommends his Neuburger to go with Wiener Schnitzel and even roast goose and generally with the hearty, downto-earth Austrian cuisine of roast meats and Knödel – the ubiquitous dumplings. In the Wachau, in single, steep vineyards along the river Danube, some Neuburgers are made into age-worthy, potent Smaragdstyle wines (Smaragd designates the top quality of Wachau wines.) They are expressive when young – and go well with Austrian boiled beef like Tafelspitz - but only develop their full potential with a few years of bottle age. Their spicy, ultra-nutty tertiary flavours make them unbeatable with mature hard cheeses. Below: Vineyards Spiegel in Gumpoldskirchen. Photo: Rita Newman Wine cellar. Photo: Johannes Reinisch

Zierfandler – which has absolutely nothing to do with the red variety Zinfandel – is a rarity confined to the Thermenregion. It is aromatic and fragrant. Because there is so little of it, it is often blended with Rotgipfler. The robust flavours of these wines also makes them suitable for pairing with the stronger flavours of well-hung game or venison.Thin grape skins also mean susceptibility to fungal diseases but in the right conditions this means that Zierfandler and Rotgipfler can make fine botrytised wines. Another rounded, and particularly nutty variety is Neuburger – it thrives in the Wachau, in Burgenland and Thermenregion and makes characterful whites – what makes them so memorable is not their rather neutral aromas of subdued and subtle citrus and stone fruit notes – but the wonderful mouth-feel and texture that is rich, rounded,

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Great Austrian Wine

Special Theme

Discover Austrian Wine

Great Austrian Wine

Austrian wine is ready to be discovered - from the vineyards where the grapes ripen under the sun to the cellars of every winemaker. To make the individual wine journeys in Austria's most beautiful wine regions even easier, the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) has created the largest wine tourism platform in the country. Travel tips for every region - from the Weinviertel to Steiermark and along the Danube to the Neusiedler See - can be found at www.winetravelsinaustria.com. TEXT: AUSTRIAN WINE MARKETING BOARD | PHOTOS: © ÖWM / DIETER STEINBACH

Wine travels in Austria are an all-round experience: the romantic landscapes, vineyards and cellar lanes can be enjoyed in combination with fine food and good wine. Austria offers wine travel adventures for guests from home and abroad. Here, the complete range of natural, cultural and special attractions play an important role. The new online tool from the AWMB connects Austria's top wineries and wine databases with the databases of the Austrian National Tourist Board and the most important gas-

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tronomic guides, accommodation possibilities and the numerous sights and attractions in all of the wine regions. “Wine & Travel”offers interesting destination points (such as Winemakers, Wines, Vinotheques, Hotels and Gastronomy) which can be combined into a route. A key component is the "web 2.0" tool, which allows users to be constantly integrated with all of the website functions. Users have the option to save their own profiles and routes,

upload photos and videos to existing routes and destinations, as well as leaving comments and ratings. If users know of attractive and interesting destinations that are not listed in the Wine & Travel database, then these can be proposed and created for many of the categories. The best tips for your Austrian Wine & Travel experience can be found at: www.winetravelsinaustria.com


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Great Austrian Wine

Top, left: Loisium Top, right: The famous Heiligenstein area Bottom, left: Grafenegg castle Bottom, right: Langenlois, Photo: Robert Herbst

Climate of contrasts The Kamptal may not be the largest wine producing region, but it is most certainly an exquisite one. Around 200 vintners specialise in producing prestigious varieties such as Grüner Veltliner Kamptal DAC and Riesling Kamptal DAC. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: REGIONAL WINE COMMITTEE KAMPTAL

Located just an hour’s drive northwest of Vienna in northern Austria lies the Kamptal valley, which runs 20 km along the Kamp river and is home to 4,000 hectares of vineyards. Kamptal wines are famous and many of the award-winning and Parker-praised varieties grace the menus of the finest restaurants from Vienna to New York. Fred Loimer, vintner and chairman of the regional wine committee Kamptal, reveals the secret behind the great grapes: “An almost confusing variety of soils and micro climates is the

prerequisite for such a colourful richness of wine and bouquet types, especially the Kamptal specialties. It is an exciting climate of contrasts, which creates clear, elegant wines and fresh ideas.”Authenticity is key and many of the original Austrian region names are preserved in order to establish a unique identification code for each original flavour in the years to come. Grüner Veltliner and Riesling may be the stars, but local vineyards also produce great burgundy wines, such as Weißburgunder and Chardonnay, the

Zweigelt red, Pinot noir and even a bit of sparkly. The vineyards bring with them an exciting programme for visitors. “A visit to a vintner, attending a wine seminar, Heurigen (typical seasonal wine tavern), wine tasting in theVinotheques, Kellergassen festivals and lots more,” recommends Loimer. A new wine hiking trail, the WEINWEG Langenlois, is ready to be explored and the LOISIUM world of wine and hotel has become a local landmark for the Kamptal. The sophisticated structure was designed by top architect Steven Holl. Once inside, visitors are treated to an interactive exhibition about the history and future of the region’s wine making. The idyllic town of Langenlois, the magnificent Grafenegg castle, the Rosenburg fortress and the Gars ruins on the Kamp hillside are bursting with history and the region offers a packed cultural calendar. “One of the highlights is the music festival at Gragenegg castle directed by Rudolf Buchbinder. The world’s best orchestras such as the Wiener Philharmoniker or the Königliche Concertgebouw-Orchester and top conductors such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Franz Welser Möst perform with world class artists such as pianist Lang Lang live on stage,”Loimer enthuses. www.kamptal.at

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Weingut Bründlmayer A beacon for Austrian wine Good news for all passionate vintners and wine experts: The demand for premium wines is expected to rise by almost 20 per cent in the UK over the coming years. The trend: drink less but better. A closer look at one of Austria’s leading wineries, the Weingut Bründlmayer, reveals just how much dedication is needed to produce the pure aromas and complex flavours we love. TEXT: CORDELIA MAKARTSEV | PHOTOS: BRÜNDLMAYER

Wines from the Bründlmayer estate have cemented their place at the top of national and international competitions.Vintner Willi Bründlmayer, who runs the estate together with his French wife Edwige and son Vincent, has been repeatedly voted one of the

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world’s greatest wine producers and is ranked among the 50 most influential personalities in the wine world.“Almost every wine, from the lightest Grüner Veltliner to the red wines and the sparkling wines, has what it takes to be the best of the vintage in

its category,”states the renowned wine magazine Falstaff about the Bründlmayer wines in its Ultimate Austrian Wines Guide 2013. When asked where his secret lies, Willi Bründlmayer remains modest: ”Besides


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Great Austrian Wine

Main image, left: Biodiversity in the vineyards Right, top: In harmony with nature at the Langenlois mountain Vogelsang Right, below: Bründlmayer Riesling terraces, Zöbinger Heiligenstein Right, bottom: Vincent and Willi Bründlmayer. Photo: Robert Herbst

that extra bit of luck and the willingness for a process of lifelong learning, you need a deep respect for nature’s balance. The vineyards are the vintner’s greatest asset - provided they are managed gently and sustainably.” The vintner’s greatest treasure – sustainably farmed vineyards To maintain the ecological balance, the family exclusively use organic fertilizers and adher to a strict no herbicide policy on the terraces, which are set above the

Danube in Langenlois in the Lower Austrian Kamp Valley. An impressive majority of Bründlmayer’s vineyards such as the Käferberg, Lamm, Steinmassel and Heiligenstein, are classified as ‘Erste Lage’, an acknowledgement which designates firstclass vineyards with distinctive soil characteristics, as well as praising their position on the slope, resulting solar radiation and microclimate, as evidenced over a long period of time. They provide optimal growing conditions for more refined and complex wines every year.

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The vine training method is hugely important to achieve the best possible grapes. In order to double the sunlit and aired foliage surfaces in some vineyards Willi Bründlmayer applies the “lyre system” in which the vine branches are cut and trained so that they extend heavenwards like two sunworshipping arms.

Grüner Veltliner Lamm 2012

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Learning the craft But there is another decisive factor in the production of outstanding vintages: the experience and the knowledge of the vintner. “My father thought that the best way to learn a craft is by doing it with your hands,” explains Willi Bründlmayer. This led to apprenticeships in traditional wineries where the steep hillsides were farmed mainly by

Riesling Zöbinger Heiligenstein Alte Reben 2012

hand, and the opportunity to travel around the important wine-growing areas learning different methods from other regions. By the time Willi Bründlmayer took over the winery from his father in 1980, he was therefore well prepared. Manual production techniques are still a key factor, even today. The grapes are harvested and sorted by

Bründlmayer Brut 2010

Bründlmayer Brut Rosé


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Great Austrian Wine Left, main image: The lyre system maximises the sun exposure. Below: Part of the Bründlmayer team at the grape harvest. Photo: Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek Willi Bründlmayer in the Heurigen. Photo: Christian Huttar

time and effort to further develop the Grüner Veltliner from his traditional sites, and the results are impressive.“The Lamm is a perfect vinificated wine with an unbelievable body and freshness! Willi Bründlmayer produces probably Austria’s best Grüner Veltliner.“ (Olivier Poussier, Best Sommelier in the World 2000).

A matter close to Willi Bründlmayer’s heart is the sparkling wine. Thanks to his French wife’s fondness for champagne, he created Bründlmayer Brut, “probably the best sparkling wine in German speaking countries”, as the British wine critic Stuart Pigott put it.

Another of Bründlmayer’s specialities is Riesling with excellent cellaring potential. Bründlmayer‘s 2010 Zöbinger Heiligenstein Erste Lage Alte Reben Reserve Riesling made into the top ten of the cellar selection list of Wine Enthusiast 2012. But Bründlmayer’s red wines like the Pinot Noir, the Zweigelt and the St. Laurent have also been showered with awards in recent years. But what can we expect from the 2013 vintage, we asked Willi Bründlmayer. “The 2013 vintage will go down in wine history – a difficult child with the potential to become a genius. The first young wines are very drinkable charmeurs – the first sign of a promising excellent vintage.”

Spend an evening at the Heurigen, because God loves to see us happy The saying goes that wine is constant proof that God loves to see us happy. A prime example: sipping a glass of Bründlmayer’s excellent Grüner Veltliner while sitting in the cosy courtyard at the winery’s Heurigenhof on a warm summer’s evening. So don’t forget to drop in when you are in the area. www.bruendlmayer.at www.heurigenhof.at Below: The entrance to the 700-year old Vinotheque. Below, left: Sekt riddling racks in the wine cellar. Bottom, left: Barique barrels and Sekt riddling racks in the wine cellar.

hand to make sure that only the ripest and healthiest grapes enter the vinification process. The efforts and care put into the wine-making process are ultimately rewarded by the high quality and unique character of the wines. When selecting the 25 best new winemakers on the continent, Jancis Robinson wrote in the Financial Times: “Since 1980 this talented winemaker has transformed 125 acres of terraces into a beacon for Austrian wine.” The Austrian Star: Grüner Veltliner While not widely known in the UK, the Grüner Veltliner (nicknamed Gru-Vee), is the centrepiece of Austria’s wine industry. At its best, this white wine is capable of a remarkable range of aromas and flavours and extremely popular because of its versatility with food. Tim Atkin, wine correspondent at the Observer, is sure that a top GrünerVeltliner can stand comparison with world-class Mosel Riesling, Loire Sauvignon Blanc and white Burgundy.To put it to the test, try one of Bründlmayer’s ‘GruVees’. The vintner has invested substantial

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Great Austrian Wine

A history of good taste For centuries, the vineyards around Schloss Gobelsburg have been producing some of the finest wines in Austria. Maintaining a close connection to the remarkable winemaking techniques of the monks, the winery nowadays enjoys international fame. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: SCHLOSS GOBELSBURG

“We are one of the oldest wineries in Austria with our documented history dating back to the year 1171,” replies Michael Moosbrugger, winemaker and CEO of Schloss Gobelsburg, when asked about what makes his vineyards so special. The area around the castle named Schloss Gobelsburg has been used for winemaking by monks ever since the nearby Stift Zwettl, a Cistercian monastery, was founded in 1137. The first document concerning ownership of the castle was signed in 1171 between the Earl of Kuenring and the Stift Zwettl in favour of the Earl. Having changed aristocratic hands many times since then, it eventually fell back into the lap of the

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tion, Father Bertrand introduced the Burgundy vine Pinot Noir to the region, achieving outstanding results in spite the fact that the viticulture and vinification of Pinot Noir is far more complex and difficult than most other grape varieties. Father Bertrand also managed to transform an altar wine into an Austrian classic. Today, the Gobelsburger Messwein is a famous specialty of the winery. It is a light and crisp

monastery. It was 1740 when the final aristocratic owner Baron Ehrenreich von Hohenfeld was forced to enter the monastery due to financial problems caused by renovating the castle. Since then, Schloss Gobelsburg has morphed into one of the major and most distinguished wineries in Austria. However, it was not until after World War II that the winery truly flourished. This was when Father Bertrand Baumann, who also served as an Abbot at Sfift Zwettl, took charge of Schloss Gobelsburg’s renovation and oversaw the re-vitalization of the winery from 1958. As a consequence of Cistercian tradi-

Michael Moosbrugger, winemaker and CEO of Schloss Gobelsburg


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Great Austrian Wine

Main image, left: Schloss Gobelsburg From left to right: Barique cellar Gaisberg vineyard Lamm vineyard Schloss Gobelsburg

selves until 1995, using only organic fertiliser, abstaining from the use of herbicides, and endeavouring to reduce the use of plant protectants. International success

Grüner Veltliner that is produced in strict accordance to ecclesiastical regulations concerning vineyard and cellar techniques, complying with organically sensitive work in the vineyards, no chaptalization or additives. Old traditions live on In 1996, Michael and Eva Moosbrugger took over the management of the winery and estates. Inspired by the special history of Schloss Gobelsburg, Moosbrugger applies winemaking processes from earlier periods, such as the 19th century to re-create exceptional wines like the Grüner Veltliner Tradition in its full former glory. Yet even though tradition is important, the winemaker does not shy away from introducing innovation to his list of fine wines. “For the first time ever, we will introduce a Vintage Sparkling this autumn,”he reveals. “It has matured for over ten years on fine lees and will be available to all our wine lovers from October.” Also in 1996, the Schloss Gobelsburg Winery was accepted as member of the renowned Verein der Österreichischen Traditionsweingüter (As-

The special history, distinguished wines and ecological winegrowing processes have earned Moosbrugger and his team many rewards and recognition far beyond the borders of Austria. In 2013, Schloss Gobelsburg was awarded three different Winery of the Year titles. “But the one I am most proud of is the Champion of Value award from the American Wine & Spirits magazine,” says the winemaker.To sample one of Moosbrugger’s delicious creations, you can take part in events like the Tour deVin during the first weekend in May or the First vineyards presentation in Grafenegg on the first Friday in September. But even if you can’t make it to Austria, there are many opportunities to enjoy Schloss Gobelsburg’s delights. “In addition to our wines being available in countless specialist stores like Harrods, Fortnum & Mason or Hedonism Wines, we have had an exclusive label partnership with Waitrose for the past ten years,”indicates Moosbrugger.

sociation of Austrian Traditional Wineries). This association was the first in Austria to classify vineyard locations in Kamptal and Kremstal. Some of these – usually locations with a long history – produce wines with great potential year after year and stand out from other conventional vineyards. Today, Grüner Veltliner and Riesling are the most important wines at the winery. They are produced on some 35 hectares of historical vineyard sites around the castle. www.gobelsburg.at/en Every site has its particularities with different soil and micro-climatic conditions which results in a great variety of flavours. Schloss Gobelsburg also pays special attention to ecological winegrowing thanks to the monks of the Zwettl Monastery, who had managed Above, from left to right: the winery them- Domäne Gobelsburg Riesling, Grüner Veltliner Tradition 2011, Gobelsburger Messwein Kamptal 2012

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Great Austrian Wine

Weingut Edelbauer

A passion for bio-organic wines Christoph Edelbauer's sustainable approach to wine-growing and his passion for Pinot Noir have made his vineyard known far beyond the reach of his home of Langenlois in the Kamp Valley. TEXT: JULIKA HÜTHER | PHOTOS: CHRISTOPF EDELBAUER

When Christoph Edelbauer took over the vineyard from his father in 2003, he gradually extended it to the 12 hectare business it is today. The internships he did in New Zealand, South Africa, the USA and Germany after graduating from viniculture school prepared him for running and extending the business and provided inspiration for turning it into a sustainable vineyard exclusively producing bio-organic wines. This decision was rooted in Edelbauer's respect for nature and the desire to one day return the vineyard unchanged and as nature intended. “Bio-organic to me is much more than just agriculture,”he says.

“The vineyard has been built 100 per cent in consideration of sustainability.The cellar is exclusively kept at the right temperature via ground air collectors, electricity is harvested through a photovoltaic array on the roof, I use screen printing instead of labels for the bottles and business cards and stationery are made from FSC-certified paper – and the search continues!” The wine is partly inspired by regional tradition, which has seenVeltliner and Riesling grow here for centuries, and by his passion for Pinot Noir. “This grape variety is demanding, but I need challenges,”says Edelbauer. It comes as no surprise that in his first active year, 2013, he struck a deal

Above: Grüner Veltliner Kamptal DAC Reserve Below: Christoph Edelbauer

with an importer in London. “That was a great incentive for all there is to come.” www.weingut-edelbauer.at

Weingut Netzl

to offer: a great respect for family and meticulously produced wines.

Elegant Wines from an Austrian family vineyard

www.netzl.com

A family business at heart, the Netzl vineyard, situated south of the Danube in Northeast Austria, produces wines that teem with depth, character and elegance. TEXT: JULIKA HÜTHER | PHOTOS: WEINGUT NETZL

Originally a mixed farming business, the Netzl family turned their three hectare property into a vineyard in 1990. Today, stretching along the hilly Arbesthaler Hügelland, the vineyard covers 26 hectares and is run by Franz Netzl, wife Christine Netzl and daughter Christina Artner-Netzl. Red wine accounts for three quarters of their produce, and many of these have won awards at wine fairs all over the world. The secret to producing elegant wines, says Christina Artner-Netzl, lies in the unique microclimate that allows the grapes to ripen wonderfully, as well as fresh fruit with lots of finesse. “Each of our wines is satisfying, thanks to its character and complexity, they

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are never just heavy or full-bodied. The regional climate is really beneficial with its warm and dry summers, long autumn days as well as the cool nights. We also try to carve out the originality of the grape type and the storage of all of our wines.” Among a great variety of white, rosé and red wines that include types of Grüner Veltliner, Chardonnay, Zweigelt, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and many more, is the multi-award winning Cuvée AnnaChristina. It boasts the best flavours of spicy Zweigelt, the smooth texture of Merlot and the earthy fruitiness of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Named after the Netzl's daughters, it comprises the best this vineyard has

Below: The Netzl Family Bottom: The multi-award winning Cuvée Anna-Christina Wine cellar and production facilities


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Great Austrian Wine

Above: A view of the vineyard at Eisenberg. Below: “We keep our yields low so that only the perfect fruits are processed for our wines”: Reinhold Krutzler. Below, midle: The Perwolff red wine is the flagship Blaufränkisch of the winery. Bottom: Soil detail, Eisenberg

The globetrotting wines of Reinhold Krutzler

from Cheltenham to New York, Osaka to Zurich. Krutzler makes sure every single one of them is provided with the quality products they expect. www.krutzler.at

Krutzler wines are widely travelled: you can find bottles of his ruby-red Blaufränkisch in renowned restaurants and wine shops across the globe, from Osaka to Zurich. But at the same time, the successful Austrian winemaker takes great pride in his Burgenland roots. TEXT: JAN SCHWAB | PHOTOS: HERBERT LEHMANN

makes for excellent grape quality.“Our wines are very fruity in taste, so we can easily store them for a couple of years before they attain their full maturity,”says Krutzler.

The Blaufränkisch Perwolff is a good example of how Reinhold Krutzler combines tradition with international standing. With national and international awards, the flagship of his assortment has contributed significantly to Austria’s red wine success story since it was first cultivated in 1992. But Perwolff is not a catchy fantasy name. Dating back to the 13th century, this is the ancient name of the village known today as Deutsch-Schützen, the home of the Krutzler winery in Burgenland in the southeast corner of Austria.

The busy winemaker wants his products to be as close to nature as possible, without frills and furbelows: “If the grapes are fully ripe you don’t need any chemical additives,” he points out. “The harvest is exclusively done by hand, and we keep our yields low so that only the perfect fruits are processed for our wines.”

Essential for Krutzler is top quality. Besides his wife, parents and two employees, the most important members of his staff are the local climate and soil. With the start of the veraison in September, day temperatures in Deutsch-Schützen and the nearby village of Eisenberg reach 25 degrees Celsius on average, while the nights are usually chilly, which

Starting as a farm five generations ago, the small family business shifted its focus exclusively to wine-growing back in 1966, thanks to the intuition of Reinhold’s father Hermann. Their red and white wines as well as the Tresterbrand spirit – a Burgenland version of grappa – can now be found in restaurants and shops around the world,

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Great Austrian Wine

No risk, no fun

Main image, left: Ried terraces Sonnleiten Above: Gruner Veltliner Weinviertel DAC, Zeiseneck Bottom, left: Roman Josef Pfaffl

Young and vibrant winemaker Roman Josef Pfaffl is committed to delivering the highest quality possible, but he is equally ready to explore new pathways in order to create that truly unique peppery Pfaffl.

Bottom, right: Vinotheque

TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: PFAFFL

Together with sister Heidemarie Fischer, the Austrian has recently taken over the management of the family business. The two wine experts trust the traditional rituals for the creation of their award-winning wines. “We own several detached locations in our region, spread around an area of 20 km in ten different communities. This results in a range of very different soil and climate characteristics, which in turn allows us to offer a great variety of different types of wine,” explains Fisher. “We are well known for our huge range of Grüner Veltliner wines. From the peppery, fresh and lively Weinviertel DAC to the very powerful, long-lasting Weinviertel DAC Reserve.” But the soil is not the only secret that makes the Pfaffl wine so utterly unique. Leaving

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the berries in the vineyard for another month after they are ripe might be a risky business, but in the end it pays off for Roman Josef Pfaffl. His dry red and white wines, as well as the elegant St. Laurents range, are characterized by a greater finesse and a special taste.

You can taste the difference yourself in many of London’s top restaurants. If you are looking for a particular Pfaffl wine, you can contact Pfaffl’s local importer Astrum Wine Cellars Limited. www.pfaffl.at www.astrumwinecellars.com


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Great Austrian Wine

Manager Markus Faulhammer

Winemaking is an all-consuming passion These days Austria is renowned for its fine dining, luxurious Alpine retreats and viticultural prominence. Yet back in 1816 when Weingut Schützenhof first began producing wine, the world was oblivious to the elegantly balanced wines which the southern Burgenland region would soon produce. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: WEINGUT SCHÜTZENHOF / ANNA STÖCHER

Almost two centuries later, as far as viticulture is concerned, the south-east corner of Austria has evolved into a veritable haven for wine lovers. For a region typically celebrated for its production of Gruner Veltliner, Weingut Schützenhof is particularly notable as it spans the spectrum from the sparkling white Briszante to its speciality: delightful full-bodied reds. Today, alongside spicier wines from the indigenous grapes Blaufränkisch (Senoir is their speciality wine) and Zweigelt, ideal for fans of heavier red wines, the vineyard produces merlot, pinot noir and a distinguished cabernet sauvignon among others. “The quality of grapes that we get from the vineyards is pretty spectacular - then we collect them by hand, go down to the cellar and

press them. The mineral content in the ground ensures that our wines are rich in iron with a distinctive character,” explains manager Markus Faulhammer. Run solely by the Faulhammer family, the multi-varietal winery is acclaimed for its production of some of Austria’s best and most unspoilt wines – with the maximum possible care taken to ensure that the natural aging process can occur undisturbed. Markus has his grandfather to thank for this focus on quality, as he was the first in the region to really focus on high quality, honest and sustainable wine production. The red wines are aged between 12 and 33 months, with some in oak barrels for a longer period of time.

Tastings take place in the award-winning glass structure housing the tasting room and cellar beneath, offering you the opportunity to“decelerate”, says Markus, as the region is known for its wonderfully friendly, unpretentious people –“as grounded as the wine.” The structure, designed in 2005, won the Burgenland Architecture Prize as the glass offers an unprecedented, 360 degree view of the vineyards, is built solely from raw materials and the cellar ensures the wine ages sustainably and smoothly. Markus smiles modestly, admitting that while he is satisfied with his current wine production, you can always produce something new. With the remarkable year-onyear growth of Austrian wines, we can expect to stumble across wines from Schützenhof more and more often, delighting sommeliers and wine-lovers from across the globe. www.schuetzenhof.cc

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Great Austrian Wine

The art of winemaking Since taking over from his parents, Franz Schneider’s Artisan Wines has risen to international success - thanks to his traditional approach and the never-ending introduction of exceptionally flavoured products. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: ARTISAN WINES

It all began with an internship in South Africa that Scheider undertook during his enology studies at theVienna-based BOKU University. In South Africa, relatively small production sites are known as artisan or artisanal. So after graduating in 2009 as the first student to ever receive the then newlyestablished title Master in Quality Viticulture and Marketing, the name Artisan Wines seemed perfect to Schneider since his vineyards covered a small acreage, and much of the work was still done by hand. Today, artisanal production is the company’s commitment to the traditional handcrafted way of working while maintaining the greatest respect for nature. The result of their hard work is a distinguished wine variety. “The fruity wines from our Pure range are always 100 per cent vine variety pure, so we can present our customers with an unaltered wine type

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expression typical for that particular vintage,” explains the winemaker.“Our more powerful wines include the Halbturn range – a perfect blend of Austrian and international vines, well matured thanks to its long storage in oak wood barrels. Our top wine The Artisan is a pure Merlot, which is only produced during the best years.” It didn’t take long for Schneider’s special creations to gain recognition from further afield. “We are particularly proud of the fact that the specialist magazine Falstaff invited us to the red wine gala in December 2013,” he says. “We were also voted among the Top 100 red wine vineyards in Austria and The Artisan 2011 received 93 Falstaff points.” Still bursting with ideas, the artistic winemaker indicates that there is yet more to come in 2014:“Our customers can look forward to the extremely fine Sankt Laurent

from our Pure range, which will be bottled during spring. Another novelty will be the Sauvignon Blanc Reserve, which is 100 per cent fermented in oak wood barrels and stored on fine lees for a very long time. We are also planning a summer party with live music and cask tastings.” www.artisanwines.at

Artisan Franz Schneider


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Discover Germany | Culure & Lifestyle | Easter

Easter specialities. Photos: Steinthaler Kärnten Werbung (left) Gerdl - Kärnten Werbung (top) Steinthaler Kärnten Werbung (above)

A rough guide to Easter -all you need to know

cient customs still reign supreme across Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Eggs, the symbol of life, fertility and growth, have now taken on such significance in this festival, but where does this stem from? Consulting history books, eggs have traditionally been decorated on Easter Sunday since the 12th century, and taken to church together with other food. Eaten in chocolate form since the 17th century, it seems eggs are now fully embedded in tradition. Decorating (and eating) eggs simultaneously keeps children occupied and entertained - rare and precious, undoubtedly an act that parents treasure.

Beginning with Karfreitag (Good Friday), Christians take the opportunity to remem-

Hand-decorated eggs (painted, quilted, dyed or stitched for that matter) win over

Easter conjures up images of colourful eggs, chocolate bunnies and joyous family gatherings, doesn’t it? For a festival that celebrates the rebirth of Christ, Easter’s path to commercial success has been a winding one. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: PRESS PHOTOS

While its Christian roots are largely forgotten to varying extents across the globe, a look back to Easter’s origins has never harmed anyone. Despite the commercialisation of Easter in the USA and UK, traditions and an-

ber Jesus’crucifixion, and Karsamstag (Saturday) follows in peace with pensive reflection. Ostersonntag (Easter Sunday), the most important and celebrated of the Easter period, heralds the hallowed resurrection, its date decided upon by the moon’s cycle. The link to the cycle of the moon reflects how many of the significant dates in the Christian calendar are linked to pagan times. Historically, a pagan ritual to Eostre, the goddess of spring, fell at the same time - immediately after the first full moon of spring.

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Discover Germany | Culure & Lifestyle | Easter Left, top: Easter in Kärnten. Photo: Steinthaler - Kärnten Werbung Left, middle: Palm Sunday, blessing of the palms. Photos: Gerdl - Kärnten Werbung Bottom: Easter market Schloss Schönbrunn. Photos: WienTourismus and Karl Thomas

mass-produced ones in terms of quality and beauty, and a visit to one of the many Easter markets that take place in the German-speaking regions is therefore a must. Over the Easter weekend no visit to any self-respecting town will be complete without a stroll around their specially-themed artisan markets. Expect some stunning artfully-decorated eggs, as well as a plethora of other hand-made delights, giving you everything to tastefully decorate your home, another tradition for this holiday. Supermarkets begin to stock edible Easter eggs as soon as the memories of Christmas begin to fade, allowing children more than ample time to nag, whinge and whine for as many as possible. Switzerland-based Lindt’s Easter bunny, one of the season’s bestsellers, has had a tumultuous ride and 2012 saw it lose its court case concerning supermarket copies. However Lindt’s bunnies with their red bows remain a muchloved Easter treat. With parents and grandparents - occasionally in costume, in the role as today’s Easter bunnies, earlier incarnations have involved foxes in Westphalia, cuckoos in Switzerland, storks in Thuringia and hens in Böhmen.

Thrill-seekers would be wise to go to the Swiss Alps over Easter, where they can expect to see skiers careering down the mountainside in bunny costumes, even more Easter markets and the opportunity for their own end-of-season skiing as Easter falls rather late this year. Blessing those present and warding off evil? This all sounds like a sensible idea. At the Open-Air Museum in Stübing, devoted Easter-goers are warming up ready to participate in the Palmbuschenbinden – the act of binding the palm leaves at sunrise ready for Palm Sunday, the weekend prior to Easter. ‘Schmerzhaften’Friday sees nimble fingers weaving plants and grass to create palm fans, which will then be waved and swayed in church, re-enacting Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem. In the historic smokehouse at Stübing, everyone is welcome to take part in this event, considered one of the most important Easter customs in Austria. What to do? Jump into Easter spirit and stock up on eggs at the markets. Decorating or eating, the choice is yours. What to avoid?

For Germany’s excited kids, the Easter bunny Hanni Hase personally answers each and every letter that reaches him at his official address in Ostereistedt [Easter egg town] – yes, a real place in northern Germany – where you can expect a whole host of raucous, child-friendly Easter-themed activities. The Easter Post Office is headed by retiree Hans-Hermann Dunker, who has been actively replying for many years, but in recent times the number of letters has rocketed and over 40,000 are expected in 2014. Another tradition going back centuries, is a gallop through Brandenburg that still features heavily on today’s calendar.The sound of hooves and horns abound on Easter Sunday as the male Catholics of the region mount their horses – kitted out for the occasion in colourful celebratory gear – to spread the word that Jesus Christ has risen again.

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E-mails and laptops. What to do if it rains? Indoor egg hunts and a long brunch.


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Spa & Relax Guide 2014

Special Theme

Top 5 trends for pamper time With beach season swiftly approaching, it is time to get our minds and bodies in shape for the big beach reveal. Gym, spa and wellness facilities are in abundance and the choice is yours. We have taken a closer look at the latest industry trends and hand-picked some great spa and relaxation hotspots for you to explore.

Spa & Relax Guide 2014 Above: Photo: Hotel Pabst Below: Photo: Das Ahlbeck Hotel Spa Photo: Hotel Allgaeu Sonne Photo: Waldhaus Ohlenbach

TEXT: TINA AWTANI

Renowned Spafinder Wellness 365™ have just published their new Spa & Wellness Trends Forecast report for 2014. Research analysts, editors and industry experts teamed up for the 11th time for their ongoing survey of over 20,000 spa, wellness and beauty providers to discover the most significant global trends that are set to shape the future world of wellness. Top of the list are HEALTHY HOTELS. It may not be new, but it is still tipped off to be a megatrend for the years to come. Runner-up is the WIRED & WELLNESS trend. While it may seem slightly absurd and counterproductive, it picks up on the numerous fitness, health and wellness apps available which allow you to closely monitor your personal progress. Revitalising HOT SPRINGS made it to third place, followed by the trend for SUSPENDING GRAVITY. With the help of floating baths, anti-gravity treadmills, aerial and anti-grav-

ity classes and yoga sessions, body and mind are literally freed of all the excess burdening weight. FEROCIOUS FITNESS is ranked in fifth place and identifies the trend to follow a regime that includes high-intensity interval training in a short time frame. Vital for this trend is that the fun factor plays an important role here. On the following pages we present a selection of very on-trend healthy hotels offering a mind-blowing selection of fitness and wellness programmes and facilities. A gym that has been voted the best in the world, wonderful island retreats surrounded by endless beaches and unique naturopathic treatments to detox and purify the body are just a few of the highlights. The great news is that no restrictions for age groups or genders apply. Pampering only or purpose-driven exercise - whatever makes you feel good is the right thing to do!

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An otherworldly holiday In the fascinating Wadden Sea National Park just off Germany’s North Sea coast lies the small island of Juist. Here, nestled in amongst the dunes, you can find Hotel Pabst, just a stone’s throw from one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. TEXT: SILKE PFERSDORF | TRANSLATION: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: HOTEL PABST

A short while ago Juist was voted by radio listeners as the most beautiful of Germany’s islands. Bewildered, some asked where to find this mystical Juist, while the ones in the know sighed peacefully, savouring their precious memories of holidays on this North Sea island. Today, Juist remains an insider’s tip, but once you’ve been on the "most wonderful sandbank in the world“, as the island’s inhabitants fondly say, you’ll find yourself falling hopelessly in love. And even more so if you’re had the fortune of stumbling across the Four Star Superior Strandhotel Pabst – bringing with it the opportunity to reside at a rather perfect home away from home for a while.

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17 kilometres of the finest sandy beach can only mean fun and frolics, sand castles, long walks, running and Nordic walking. Not to mention the freedom to gaze out over the uninterrupted horizon, listening to the wind as you toy with the sand between your toes. For the guests of Hotel Pabst, the 17km offers luxury and the irrepressible joy of deciding how best to begin the day: with a few lengths in the sun-drenched hotel pool, a leisurely stroll along the wooden footbridge to see the surf, or diving headfirst into the gourmet breakfast of fresh rolls, omelette and other delights? Fortunately no one needs to rush for Hotel Pabst’s pop-

ular breakfast as it runs until midday. "While on holiday," muses Johannes Pabst, "you should never allow yourself to be rushed." Nowhere is this more apt than on


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Spa & Relax Guide 2014

The ferry from Norddeich brings you with ease to the island, and from the harbour it is a ten minutes on foot to the hotel. There are no cars, no exhaust fumes, and no haste – just horses and the almost soothing patter of their hooves.The main attraction here is the island‘s breathtaking nature: the waves and their rhythm; the dunes that embody the many faces of the wind; the chirping of the oystercatchers, and the gurgling of water on the salt marshes. It is this unique landscape that led to the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site awarded in 2009. The sea and its beauty is ubiquituous, and there’s nothing better for your health than a walk along the beach, explains Gesa Bleydorn, Hotel Pabst’s resident wellness advisor. "Tiny, salty drops of water from the spray reach the bronci and have a similar effect on your face as a peeling, doing wonders for your complexion by softening it.“ If that’s not enough sea-sourced wellness, there’s much more in the hotel’s spa. Along with the saunas, Ayurveda, the NeoQi energy cocoon hub, Indian hot stones and Hawaiian Lomi massages, you can experience the ultimate power of the North Sea with seaweed bubble baths, mud packs and Thalasso, the miraculous sea water therapy with sea salts and minerals.Thalasso detoxs, purifies and de-stresses. It eases neurodermititis, rheumatism and back pain, while simulatenously stimulating your spirit.

Juist. Just seven kilometres from the mainland, you automatically go down three gears, your body clock slows down, and your breathing deepens.

at the hotel bar try the exclusive SanddornFizz cocktail, created with sea buckthorn and fruits from indigenous island plants. Naturally, a perfect island day needs a perfect ending. Juist is holiday joy typified, an emotion you’ll experience day after day in Hotel Pabst. Yet Christel and Johannes Pabst do occasionally see down-turned faces on their island paradise. For when it comes to saying good bye, as the guests shake the hands of the hosts for the final time and the children spread out their much-coveted collection of sea shells proudly, few want to leave. Memories of Juist are wonderful – and some of them difficult to shake off: "Juist sand," says Johannes Pabst with a chuckle, "will come back to haunt the guests in their suitcases." For anyone longing for a repeat visit, you’re always welcome to return. Whether it is to admire the flocks of migratory birds in autumn, or the first blossom in spring – or any time in between. As declared in the hotel’s guestbook, the Hotel Pabst is "a paradise of wellbeing, that you’ll never want to leave.“ But, think of this way: if you do leave, you’ll get the joy of returning once again. www.hotelpabst.de

Caring for your inner beauty at the hotel is the responsibility of chef Rüdiger Wanke. Take, for example, his legendary sole, the catch of the day which he brings to the table in the hotel-restaurant Rüdiger´s, and

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A seaside holiday for body and soul The 4-star Das Ahlbeck Hotel & Spa invites you to relax and detox far from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The hotel can be found on the island of Usedom, one of Germany’s sunniest regions with a stunning 45 km stretch of sandy beach. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: DAS AHLBECK HOTEL SPA

Located right by the Baltic Sea, the newly refurbished Das Ahlbeck Hotel & Spa, successfully led by Ahlbeck-born hotel director Petra Bensemann, combines tradition with a modern approach. During high season, Usedom is easily reached via direct flights from a range of locations including Switzerland’s Zurich and Bern. The sophisticated hotel has 18 generously sized double bedrooms and 31 spacious apartments, all fully equipped with modern appliances such as minibar, gas fireplace, balcony and flat-screen TV. With tasteful and elegant interior design, an atmosphere of calm comfort and top-notch service per-

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meates the air. “The spa is the heart of our hotel,” says Bensemann of the huge 1,200 sqm area, which once again received the prestigious German Wellness Association certificate of “Premium Excellence”in 2012. Among other facilities, a Finnish sauna, sanarium, steam baths, a tepidarium and swimming pool await guests. The hotel offers a variety of relaxing massages and beauty treatments using products by Clarins. “Guests can enjoy the duo sand bath, the duo float bed and the light-sound wave tub alone or together,”adds Bensemann. “A true highlight is the soft pack lounger, which is heated up to 37 degrees. After the

peeling and applying of precious essences, the body is lowered into the float bed. Due to the temperature the pores open up and absorb the substances more effectively. We use local products for the mare’s milk cream and the rich hawthorn oil, the ingredients of our organic body pack.” The hotel’s restaurant opens up onto a beautiful terrace. The kitchen’s glass front allows guests the luxury of watching head chef Christian Gottsein work his magic as he merges French cuisine with contemporary ideas using local produce. An on-site hotel bakery delivers a selection of freshly baked goods to tempt guests and visitors alike. Although coffee and cake in the afternoon is a true German tradition, teatime plays a major role in the coastal regions too. Enjoying a cuppa by the fireplace and listening to the Golden Tea Master’s stories is an experience not to be missed. All in all, Das Ahlbeck Hotel & Spa is the perfect place to unwind! www.das-ahlbeck.de


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Spa & Relax Guide 2014

30 years of heartfelt hospitality The scenic 5-star hotel Allgaeu Sonne nestles on a beautiful Bavarian hillside and provides excellent service with a warm attitude.

The hotel offers a great range of different packages focusing on wellness, sports, detox, culture or culinary pleasures.

TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: HOTEL ALLGAEU SONNE

A lush landscape surrounds the hotel Allgaeu Sonne, located near the Austrian border in the sunny Alpine region of the German Allgaeu. It is the kind of scenery that immediately springs to mind as one thinks of Germany, and to emphasise this supreme location, the hotel’s design incorporates many glass fronts, capturing breathtaking views over the Alpine landscape from every angle. Founded in 1984 and led by the Levinger family since 1993, the hotel Allgaeu Sonne impresses its guests with panoramic views, outstanding service and great wellness facilities. “It is the hotel’s 30th anniversary this year,” says Marketing Manager Ria Zinck.“From the 12 to 19 October we will host a variety of festive events to celebrate with our guests.”

And there are many good reasons to celebrate this occasion: 149 sophisticated rooms and suites invite guests to take a break and relax, and the impressive 2,100sqm wellness area includes swimming pools, a Finnish panorama sauna, whirlpool and steam bath amongst other facilities. According to Technogym, it is considered Germany’s best hotel fitness world. “We offer a range of different leisure activities and events as well as a great variety of fitness programmes, luxury spa treatments and medical cosmetics. This area is famous for the unique naturopathic treatment course called the Original Oberstaufener Schrothkur. It is a great way to detox and purify the body, and we offer it with our very own medical supervision.”

The location calls for outdoor activities and the hotel has bikes, Nordic Walking poles and snow shows for rent. Once in the beautiful landscape, guests can also enjoy some unbeatable golfing opportunities. The hotel Allgaeu Sonne does not only provide food for the soul, as guests are also taken on a culinary adventure, back in time to explore regional dishes made from local produce. In tune with nature summarizes the style of cooking, as well as the hotel itself and Zinck adds with a smile: “We are proud that we have acquired so many regular guests, who praise our staff for their warmth and friendliness, something that is very dear to us.” www.allgaeu-sonne.de

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Welcome to the Waldhotel Ohlenbach

Your idyllic hideaway in the woods Far from any urban stress, nestled between meadows and woods in the Rothaargebirge natural park in the Sauerland (North RhineWestphalia), the 4-star luxury spa hotel Waldhaus Ohlenbach offers peaceful, elegant accommodation for nature lovers and outdoor sports enthusiasts. TEXT: CORDELIA MAKARTSEV | PHOTOS: WALDHAUS OHLENBACH

If you’re looking for relaxation, fresh air, great walking routes as well as good food and an excellent wine list, this is for you. On your arrival, Waldhaus Ohlenbach greets you with a warm log fire and a welcome drink, making you immediately feel at home. Many regular guests appreciate the quiet, unobtrusive at-

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mosphere in this family-run hotel. Stefan Schneider, who took over the business from his father, looks back proudly on a long history. Over the years, the family have transformed the small log hut from the sixties, a traditional stop-off for hikers, into today’s modern and elegant hotel with spacious, in-

dividually designed rooms and an extensive wellness area with both an indoor and a 30°C warm outdoor pool. “Our secluded location makes the hotel so special for our guests. We have a very diverse clientele. Grandparents, parents and children


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Spa & Relax Guide 2014

tinuous woodland areas in Germany. Numerous hiking trails are marked and the area also boasts the first ‘Quality hiking region’ designation to be awarded by the German Institute of Hiking – the Bergwanderpark Sauerland. The Waldhaus Ohlenbach is happy to provide you with detailed maps - all you have to do is step outside and get going. Recreational cyclists as well as aspiring athletes will find paradise in Sauerland.The network known as ‘Bike Arena Sauerland’covers a distance of 1,700 kilometres with climbs totaling 34,000 metres. Numerous routes are available here to suit everyone’s strengths. The Waldhaus has well-maintained mountain bikes for rent. For golfers, there is a choice of ambitious courses nearby. Just ten minutes drive away, Waldhaus guests get a green fee discount at the 27-hole course in Schmallenberg or at the 9-hole course in Winterberg. The Waldhaus organizes its own golf tournament, known as the Waldhaus Open-Snyder Cup in August and has several packages including green fees, gala dinners and half board on offer.

ent facials, peelings, massages and baths performed by professional specialists are available. It does not matter if you treat yourself to an ayurvedic massage or a Polynesia SPA ritual, you will feel the effects immediately. Food, glorious food But it is not all about sport and wellness. As the saying goes, the way to the heart is through the stomach – and the Waldhaus Ohlenbach scores well here. “You probably won’t find an ordinary‘schnitzel’or chips on our menu. Our restaurants serve international refined cuisine and we make sure we only use local high quality ingredients,”explains Stefan Schneider. “Our half-board option is very popular because it is really out of the ordinary.”Those who prefer to choose his dinner á la carte can opt for the gourmet restaurant ‘Schneiderstuben’and choose from several 7-course dinners. After a day in the fresh forest air you will certainly have a hunger for scallops with cauliflower, caviar and chives or Sot-Lý-Laisse (chicken filet) with asparagus, poppy and vanilla jus and potato ravioli. www.waldhaus-ohlenbach.de

With winter comes deep snow, so the area is considered one of the most important winter sports regions north of the Alps. Well-prepared slopes from beginners to professional level lure ski fans to Winterberg or Willingen in the Sauerland. Cross-country skiers enter the trail directly from the hotel or ski around the 300-kilometre high-quality network of cross-country skiing trails at the WintersportArena. enjoy the quality time they spend together here. The forest and meadows serve as an adventure playground on the doorstep and children can play safely outside. On the other hand, sporty couples find endless possibilities for outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking or golf and skiing in winter,”explains Stefan Schneider. Hiking, mountain biking, skiing and golf on your doorstep The Sauerland area is famous for its beautiful nature. It is home to one of the largest con-

Soothing warmth in the wellness area Forget about aching muscles, tensions or every-day stress. The hot saunas in the Finnish chalet amidst the greenery with a panoramic view over the mountains provide pure relaxation.ATurkish Hamam awaits the guests in the spa for an oriental bathing experience for body and soul. Natural products made from herbs, oils and earth rich in minerals cater for your wellbeing in the beauty and spa area. Numerous differ-

How to get there Six airports link the Sauerland with the rest of the world, including the two major international hubs Düsseldorf International Airport and Cologne Bonn Airport. The other airports are located in Dortmund, Münster/Osnabrück, Paderborn/Lippstadt and Weeze/Niederrhein.

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Attraction of the Month Germany

Main image: Stooks in the Snow (1911), Franz Marc. Photo: Franz Marc Museum / Franz Marc Stiftung Right, top: Urban-style architecture at the foot of the Alps: the Franz Marc Museum’s new exhibition building. Photo: Tourist Information Kochel a. See, Thomas Kujat Right: Red Bird (1971/72), Georg Baselitz. © Georg Baselitz, 2014, private collection

Leaving a Marc on the landscape There are many reasons for a visit to Bavaria: You can go hiking, admire the castles of King Ludwig II, or treat yourself to a Weißbier. So much for the clichés! Next time you go, why not join the culture vultures on their way to the Franz Marc Museum – a treasure trove of art amidst spectacular scenery. TEXT: JAN SCHWAB

In the Alpine foothills, 40 miles south of Munich, the painter Franz Marc searched for new inspiration. One of the most important figures of the Expressionist movement in Germany, Marc settled near Kochelsee in 1910, and this is where he found much of his inspiration. So for those who want to get to the heart and soul of the artist’s work, the Franz Marc Museum is a must-visit. What makes the museum a special place indeed is its atmosphere.You can delve into the fine arts while at the same time enjoy spectacular views of the lake and mountains. Founded in 1986, the privately funded Franz Marc Museum reopened in 2008 with

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a new building, a cubist work of art in its own right.The contrast between the urbanstyle architecture and the surrounding countryside could hardly be greater – but the concept works very well; since its reopening the museum has welcomed more than 400,000 visitors, Queen Silvia of Sweden being the most famous so far. The museum has made a name for itself as a destination for art enthusiasts and nature lovers alike – not only from Munich and the surrounding area but from all over the world. New insights into Marc’s artistic development are provided by constantly changing displays from the museum’s extensive collection.

Since 2008 Franz Marc’s work has been shown from a broader perspective, with the museum’s protagonist being consciously placed within the context of 20th century art. In doing so, Franz Marc enters into a dialogue with artists such as Paul Klee, Max Beckmann, and Joseph Beuys. A highlight in 2014 will be a special exhibition of previously unseen and rarely displayed animal paintings by Georg Baselitz. www.franz-marc-museum.de

Exhibitions 2014 Franz Marc – Towards Light and Colour 16 February - 18 May 2014 Georg Baselitz. Animal Pieces – Not of this World 6 April - 21 September 2014 Franz Marc – In the Circle of the Avant-Garde 25 May - 5 October 2014 Franz Marc – Beyond Utopia 12 October 2014 - 11 January 2015


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Photo: Museum Ballenberg

One nation, diverse voices and diverse cultures What do the famous typeface Helvetica, the laid-back riffs of Sophie Hunger, the awardwinning novel “The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair”, the stunning architecture of the Peking National Stadium, the satirical sketches by cartoonist Mix & Remix, and the sinister sci-fi creature Alien have in common? They are all Swiss creations.

Special Theme

Switzerland’s Finest Art & Culture

TEXT: SWISSWORLD.ORG | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

With its blend of Romance and Germanic traditions, and diverse cultures brought by those who have lived or travelled here, Switzerland is a fascinating melting pot in the heart of Europe where many different people, languages and religious beliefs coexist. Its creative and cultural output reflects the diversity of this multilingual and cosmopolitan environment. There are a wealth of organisations dedicated to the arts, such as museums, foundations, galleries, festivals and independent bodies,

who nurture homegrown and international creative talent. Switzerland’s media (TV, radio, print and online) cover all facets of Swiss cultural life, and in the four national languages (German, French, Italian and Rhaetoromansch). There is also swissinfo, the 10-language news and information platform of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG/SSR, which helps raise the international profile of Swiss arts and culture.

The illustrated books of Rodolphe Töpffer, “Les Trois Cloches”performed famously by Edith Piaf and written by Jean Villard (aka Gilles), the graphic design of Adrian Frutiger and his fonts which are used around the world, the paintings of Ferdinand Hodler and the watercolours of Paul Klee are all examples of Switzerland’s rich cultural and artistic heritage. Other leading contributors to Switzerland’s diverse creative output include Sophie

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Photo: Museum Franz Gertsch

Taeuber-Arp with the bohemian Cabaret Voltaire and its literary salon, the novelist Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz whose works chronicle an entire era of Swiss history, and Ella Maillart, a renowned travel writer and photographer. Joining these ranks are Pascal Mercier, aka Peter Bieri, the author of the best-selling “Night Train to Lisbon”, the Ticino poet and writer Fabio Pusterla, Johanna Spyri, the creator of “Heidi”, Annemarie Schwarzenbach and, of course,

Max Frisch and Friedrich Dürrenmatt. Switzerland is also the birthplace of sculptors Alberto Giacometti, famed for his thin, elongated figures, and Jean Tinguely, a leading proponent of kinetic art, as well as internationally acclaimed architects Le Corbusier and Mario Botta. Switzerland has also left its mark on the world of industrial design thanks to figures like Karl Elsener, the man behind the iconicVictorinox Swiss

army knife. In the field of performing arts there is the Rudra-Béjart dance school founded by the acclaimed choreographer Maurice Béjart, plays by Daniele Finzi Pasca as well as the Dimitri theatre company and drama school in Verscio (canton of Ticino). Switzerland also has a packed cultural events calendar, including international book fairs (Salon du livre in Geneva, Buch Basel), an international competition for young dancers (Grand Prix de Lausanne),

Photo: Das Gelbe Haus Flims

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Switzerland’s Finest Art & Culture

Photo: Burgdorf Castle Museum

Photo: Vindonissa - Museum Brugg

as well as several science fiction museums (Maison d’Ailleurs, Museum HR Giger) and outsider art collections (Collection de l’Art Brut Lausanne). It also hosts countless film, theatre, comic book and music festivals, the largest of which attract in excess of 200,000 visitors. Contemporary art also occupies a prominent position in Switzerland’s cultural land-

scape, with art lovers from around the world converging on the city of Basel every year for its eponymous international art festival. In 2013 4,000 artists from 39 countries exhibited at Art Basel. Over the last few decades Swiss design, widely hailed for its clean, elegant lines, has enjoyed growing international recognition. The advent of new materials has seen the emergence of innovative and unique products,

such as the iconic FREITAG bags made from recycled lorry tarpaulins. To keep this creative momentum going, Switzerland has several art schools which nurture up-andcoming talent.The works produced in some of these schools already enjoy international acclaim. www.swissworld.org/en/culture

Photo: Museum of Fine Arts Bern

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Experience traditional crafts and culture

Swiss open air museum Ballenberg Centuries of Swiss traditions and well-preserved historic structures unfold in front of visitors’ eyes. Surrounded by breathtaking Alpine scenery, the Swiss historic museum of Ballenberg offers a wonderful variety of old farmhouses from across Switzerland, artisan crafts, animals, events and rustic culinary options.

the plurality of influences that have shaped Switzerland’s diverse history, languages and lifestyles is also represented in the impressive variety of buildings.

TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: MUSEUM BALLENBERG

“Ballenberg is living testimony to Switzerland’s rich cultural heritage. We turn back

Everyone who visits Ballenberg agrees that it is both a historic and an educational place. Set in the charming Bernese Oberland, the museum offers a broad range of attractions and activities from April through to October, and there are many special offers for school classes, groups, and families. As the most vibrant of all open-air museums, locals and visitors from all over the world are intrigued by the dynamics that

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shape the place: history, tradition, crafts, and education. Most important for Ballenberg is a deep respect for Switzerland’s cultural heritage. In 2013, Ballenberg won the Trip Advisor’s Travellers’Choice award. Folk arts and crafts More than 100 original buildings from all regions of the country have been transported to Ballenberg, and now form thirteen building groups.There is no such thing as a typically Swiss farmhouse style since


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Switzerland’s Finest Art & Culture

Love for the land As everything is integrated into its natural setting at Ballenberg, each aspect fulfils a purpose. The philosophy of the museum is an homage to Swiss culture and Ballenberg sticks closely to the remit of representing agricultural architecture and includes livestock. Each home has a plaque detailing the history of the building. The lush farmland and agricultural crops ensure visitors get an authentic feel for the close ties between the people and the land. “Regular special exhibits and numerous publications help visitors to get a better understanding of rural life in the past. We help children and school classes to learn about their country’s cultural and economic heritage. Teachers are briefed and we offer a wide range of courses on Ballenberg-related subjects at our Course Centre,” emphasizes the museum. In the same manner as architecture, handicrafts or customs, domestic and working animals are also an important part of rural culture. More than 250 native farm animals can be found in the museum’s grounds: from bees to cows, turkeys and hens to geese and rabbits. Four-legged animals include goats, sheep, pigs, cattle and oxen, as well as horses and donkeys. the clock as we give visitors a vivid glimpse of what it was like to live and work in the countryside in the olden days,” states the management. There are many ways to experience Ballenberg. In fact, many of the 250,000 visitors each season return to the museum as there is no better place to learn about the past. Traditional crafts are an integral part of the museum. More than sixty artisans show their crafts and trades: baking bread, chocolate making, wood carving, hat making, cheese making, lime burning, bobbin-lace making, cooking, basket weaving, bonemeal grinding, oil pressing, silk ribbon weaving, sawmill, saddlery, hand-knitted lacework, pottery, and weaving among others.

Crafts in a modern world In 2014, the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum has a special focus on traditional crafts in modern Switzerland. What sense do they have today? Which traditional craft trades can still be learned? Workshops and special

exhibitions at Ballenberg are dedicated to inspiring and informing visitors. Other highlights include open air theatre performances in the summer. Planning a visit School and visitor groups have the option to explore the museum on their own with the help of leaflets – or guided programmes are available in many languages. All tours provide in-depth insight and highlight themes in detail – life in the Alps for example, natural healing powers, or wedding, birth and death ceremonies. In the active programmes the guests roll up their sleeves: practising joinery in the workshop, baking bread, mixing herbal teas or taking over the kitchen to cook at the wood-burning stove. The museum caters for families and children of all ages. Highlights of a family visit include the hands-on house, trails, the special children’s exhibition ‘The enchanted forest’, a house with traditional toys and games and the many baby farm animals. There are culinary options for any budget, ranging from a full three-course meal to a quick, tasty snack.Traditional breads, Alpine cheese, sausages and other artisan products are made fresh on site and can be purchased at the Ballenberg stores. Ballenberg is accessible by car or train from Zurich (100km), Bern (75km) and Interlaken (20km). www.ballenberg.ch

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Switzerland’s Finest Art & Culture

Top: Museum Franz Gertsch, exterior

A house of art The symbiosis of precision, talent and creativity – this perfectly describes the art of Franz Gertsch. His most famous paintings and woodcuts are showcased in a unique building designed to mirror his work. TEXT: MERYEM HAUER | PHOTOS: MUSEUM FRANZ GERTSCH

The Museum Franz Gertsch in Burgdorf in the region of Bern, Switzerland, opened its doors in autumn 2002. With a notable range of large paintings like Silvia I, Gräser I-IV from 1992 to 1998 and Vier Jahreszeiten (2007-2011) as well as various woodcuts dating back as far as 1986, the museum is proud to hold the biggest Gertsch collection featuring masterpieces such as the painting Johanna I from 1983/1984 and the remarkable triptychs woodcut Gräser (three-part) printed on handmade paper from the Japanese master Heizaburo Iwano. After a visit to the artist’s studio in 1998, Dr. h.c. Willy Michel, collector and patron, was determined to create a museum in which the paintings and woodcuts would be presented as effectively as possible. The project is privately financed and managed at 98 per cent. Architects Martin Sturm and Hansueli Jörg from Langnau created the stun-

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ning building in close cooperation with the patron Michel and the artist himself. Following the credo reduction of architecture – focus on the art, the architectural structure allows the total affiliation of light, design and the art presented. The sleek building design allows art lovers to focus on the works. Blending architecture and exposed works leads to a total symbiosis, accompanied by meditative silence. The museum offers a total area of approximately 1,000 sqm and half of this is used to show regular exhibitions of works from national and international contemporary artists. Born in 1930, Gertsch, who lives and works in Rüschegg near Bern, made his international breakthrough in 1972 at the documenta 5 in Kassel followed by the production of outstanding pictorial and graphical works. For Gertsch, reality represents the biggest challenge within his works. Images

Above, left: Museum Franz Gertsch, exhibition room 1 Above, middle: Exhibition with paintings from Cornelia Schleime, 2012 Above, right: Franz Gertsch, Marina schminkt Luciano (Marina makes up Luciano), 1975

or slide projections serve as templates and all pictures thus follow their own logic, aiming for absolute coherence of all the elements. Upon finishing the painting Johanna I, he realised that there is no way to outdo the already existing level of detail in illustration. A very significant priority within the lifework of Gertsch is related to his woodcuts.The production underlies a so far unknown precision of completion and in such monumental formats that the artist has led a traditional medium into new dimensions. www.museum-franzgertsch.ch/en

Franz Gertsch. Photo: J Dijohn


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Switzerland’s Finest Art & Culture

Right, top: Vindonissa-Museum Brugg. Right: Marc Aurel

Vindonissa-Museum Brugg

Romans past and present The Vindonissa-Museum, an archaeological gem in the quaint and historic town of Brugg, Switzerland, fascinates more than 12,000 visitors each year. Displaying a unique selection of Roman wooden and leather goods and artefacts, it details the cultural history of the Roman military camp Vindonissa in the neighboring community of Windisch. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: VINDONISSA-MUSEUM BRUGG / BELA ALBERT POLYVAS

As one of the most renowned Roman collections, the spectrum of the VindonissaMuseum extends from well-preserved organic pieces such as window frames, wooden soles for slippers, combs, wooden writing tablets, and styli to ceramics, military gear, lamps, and coins. The exhibit offers a broad insight into 100 years of excavations. All finds, from wood to leather, were salvaged in the area of the single military camp, and are proof of Switzerland’s Roman past. The display of the Roman military camp is enhanced by the elegant museum building, which opened in 1912 and plays with the Roman architectural style.“In the future it will be important for

the Vindonissa-Museum to successfully bridge the gap from Roman history to the present day; from ancient craft objects and former everyday life to now,” states René Hänggi, director of the museum. The museum’s interior is tastefully chosen to resemble the colours and patterns of Roman wall paintings, as found in Pompeii for instance. Combining to form an impressive work of art, the Art Nouveau style of the museum blends decoration, paintings and interior, to create an inspiring and scientific ambiance. Through numerous stories and games that open a small window into the Legion’s

everyday life, visitors can experience the permanent collection more holistically. This summer’s special exhibition, The doctor, we all rely on – Medicine in Roman Times, testifies the immense knowledge of the Roman doctors and their healing methods. The annual Römertag (first Sunday of May), is a festival for all ages featuring many Roman specialists and a wide range of workshops as legionnaires and artisans display their crafts and skills. However, the gladiator fights remain the highlight year after year. www.vindonissa.ch Below: Writing tablet

The Vindonissa-Museum Brugg is open from Tuesday – Friday and Sunday, 1.00 pm – 5 pm.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Switzerland’s Finest Art & Culture

An architectural and cultural pearl in the Swiss countryside The Gelbe Haus (Yellow House) in Flims offers remarkable architecture and serves as a sophisticated platform for cultural dialogue, addressing local as well as international topics in architecture, design and culture. TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD | PHOTOS: DAS GELBE HAUS FLIMS

The first creative surprise offered by the Gelbe Haus in Flims is its colour. It is not yellow, as the name suggests, but gleaming white. Situated in the canton of Graubünden, Eastern Switzerland, the building used to house a grocery store and apartments, but lay empty for decades. After the death of the architect Rudolf Olgiati, the house was passed to the municipality of Flims. The assignment was then given to Olgiati’s sonValerio to rebuild it according to his father’s wishes – including painting the house’s interior and exterior white. Its extraordinary architecture and design is eye-catching within the municipality and has won several awards. In 1999 the registered society Das Gelbe Haus was founded with the intention of promoting art aspiring

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to gain international acclaim in Flims. To strengthen the proposed link between architecture and art, the two architects Carmen Gasser Derungs and Remo Derungs were taken on as curators.There are usually two main exhibitions a year, which are accompanied by several supporting events. The current exhibition überbrücken depicts seven bridges which shape the hiking trail along the stream in Flims. "Today, the Gelbe Haus is a platform for regional and international culture and therefore an important medium in offering a dialogue in the fields of architecture, design and culture," explains Carmen Gasser Derungs. "The exhibition programme that we work on is varied and we are always looking forward to develop new ideas and

Main imgae, top: Über die sieben Brücken by Jürg Conzett. Photo: Benjamin Hofer. Below, from left to right: Der nicht mehr gebrauchte Stall, 2010, Photo: Ralph Feiner Vom Feinsten – Bindenfleisch, Bündnerfleisch. Photo: Benjamin Hofer Diego Giacometti tritt aus dem Schatten, 2007-2008. Photo: Ralph Feiner Das gelbe Haus Flims, architecture Valerio Olgiati. Photo: Christian Kerez

are excited about working together with curators, architects and artists." Recent exhibitions have covered topics as diverse as Bündnerfleisch, which explored the history, tradition and crafting of the famous airdried Graubündner meat and Der nicht mehr gebrauchte Stall, about the past and future identity of Alpine Switzerland, using the stable as a symbol for rural life. One exhibition that Gasser Derungs takes special pride in was called "Giacometti steps out of the shadows", about Diego Giacometti, the brother of famous Swiss sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti. Lots of exciting projects are waiting to be realised in the future, and perhaps one that may see the museum return to its roots. "We would indeed be very interested in staging the Gelbe Haus in yellow again one day," reveals Gasser Derungs. www.dasgelbehausflims.ch


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Switzerland’s Finest Art & Culture

Main image, left: Burgdorf Castle dates back to the 12th century. Right, top: The Castle Museum’s Landschreiberei with coats of arms of the former Berner Schultheissen. Right: The Helvetian Goldmuseum

Capturing 800 years of Swiss history Burgdorf Castle is a cultural treasure trove Located in the Emmental region in the canton of Bern, the 800-year-old Burgdorf castle is known as the best-preserved Zähringen era castle in Switzerland. Three museums, including one of the country’s oldest historical museums, can be found within its enchanting walls. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: BURGDORF CASTLE MUSEUM

Perched atop a sandstone cliff sits Burgdorf Castle, an iconic testament to Swiss heritage offering spectacular views from Jura to the Alps. While taking a stroll through the castle grounds is a wonderful experience in itself, it is the three museums inside that take you on an incredible journey of discovery through centuries of Swiss history. The Burgdorf Castle Museum was founded in 1886 and holds an abundance of historical objects and documents stretching from the middle ages to the 20th century. But with so much history to discover, what shouldn’t be missed? “The knight’s hall and chapel in the former living quarters of the palace! In the chapel you’ll find paintings from the first half of the 14th century showing Jesus entering Jerusalem, Christ in

the Garden of Gethsemane, and Christ in front of Pilatus or Herodes,” recommends Werner Lüthi, member of the board of managers at Burgdorf Castle.

original size, it has evolved into a remarkable collection of objects from Asia, Africa, America and Oceanic cultures. Several special exhibitions appear on the annual calendar of events.“Until mid-August it is all about the world of souvenirs in the Castle Museum. In March the Helvetian Goldmuseum opened the Gold im Land der aufgehenden Sonne [Gold in the land of the rising sun] exhibition, and in midOctober a huge Japanese exhibition featuring 150 years of diplomatic relationships between Japan and Switzerland will take place in the Ethnological Museum,” Lüthi points out. www.kulturschloss.ch

The nearby gold-bearing Emmen River has been a target for treasure hunters for centuries, so dedicating a whole museum to this fascinating precious material was only a matter of course.The Helvetian Gold Museum showcases the material in all its glory; a material which simultaneously enchants our human nature, while acting as the catalyst for war and tragedy.

Below: The Ethnological Museum displays Japanese print art: 21st station Mariko in the snow.

The Ethnological Museum began with a private collection of 500 items, donated by wealthy cheese exporter Heinrich Schiffmann in 1909. Today, now ten times the

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Switzerland’s Finest Art & Culture

Main image: Hodler Collection Right, from left to right: Old Masters Collection Kunstmuseum Bern

Once you start, you just can’t get enough With roots tracing back to 1809, the Museum of Fine Arts Bern is Switzerland’s oldest and largest museum with a permanent collection. Containing Swiss and international artworks from the late Middle Ages up to today’s contemporary masterpieces, the museum provides the art-savvy visitor with superb insight and inspiration. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS BERN

Iconic art on display includes works by Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, Ferdinand Hodler and Meret Oppenheim to name but a few. Only a fraction of the museum’s treasure trove is on public display; carefully preserved in the archives are around 3,000 paintings and almost 50,000 drawings, prints, photographs, videos and films. “The museum not only presents artists in a new light and develops new approaches towards them, it also picks up on social and existential themes,”director Dr Matthias Frehner explains. The ever-changing display of the museum’s stock is enriched by further temporary exhibitions, so there is always something new to be explored - even for the regular visitor. Vital key pieces are constantly added to the

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museum’s prestigious inventory. “I am really proud of our Scully collection which includes three masterpieces from this fascinating artist,” Dr Frehner reveals. 2014 marks an important year for the Museum of Fine Arts Bern as the application for planning permission will officially be given to extend the interior by a further 800 sqm of exhibition space. Visitors are spoilt for choice as there is so much to be admired. Running until 24 August 2014, the Open Sesame exhibition will showcase 140 paintings and objects from the collection of Swiss Winterthur patron of the arts Bruno Stefanini. The exhibition includes the works of magnificent Swiss artists like Johann Heinrich Füssli, Arnold

Böcklin, Angelika Kauffmann, Alexandre Calame and Ferdinand Hodler and it will be the first showing of its kind. “For the first time the Foundation for Art, Culture and History collection will be displayed featuring Swiss art masterpieces, which are absolutely ravishing,” Dr Frehner enthuses. The museum offers visitors a dynamic experience of the visual arts. The director has a passion for the impressionists, and of course: “Hodler,Vallotton, Wölfli, Klee,”he reels off a list and admits that a visit to the museum may be a little addictive: “Once you start, you just can’t get enough!” www.kunstmuseumbern.ch

Dr. Matthias Frehner, Director


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Discover Germany | Business | Swiss Mountain Sports

Swiss Mountain Sports Sharing their love for the mountains Think of the Swiss Alps and you envisage wintertime, carving tracks in the snow and roaring wood fires, but Swiss Mountain Sports have a programme of activities that will keep you coming back all year round. TEXT: PHIL GALE | PHOTOS: SWISS MOUNTAIN SPORTS

“At the heart of it all is our love for the mountains and our desire to give people access to them,” beginsYves Caillet, Director at Swiss Mountain Sports, and it is undeniable that Crans-Montana is certainly a location that many people would want to access. Set up 10 years ago the company provides traditional winter activities as expected, but once the snow has melted they also have a whole host of events to motivate you to access the mountains in the summer. “The mountains are beautiful and can be enjoyed year round,” continues Caillet. With everything from overnight summer camps for kids to mountain biking (easy

discovery trips or training supervised by a former pro), the mountain guides at Swiss Mountain Sports have all seasons covered. As well as activities, Swiss Mountain Sports also offer education. Caillet expands: “It is clear to us that our location allows people to learn with ease. The mountains make you receptive to new things, whilst being away from your normal life means you are relaxed and learn better.”From language camps to team building, Swiss Mountain Sports will see you leave the mountains having had more than just a normal holiday. Education, thrill seeking, powder-carving, view-admiring or just escaping the hum-

drum of life, Swiss Mountain Sports have the know-how to provide you with all this in the beautiful location of Crans-Montana. www.sms04.ch

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Conference of the Month Switzerland

Design and comfort collide The Four Star Art Deco Hotel Montana****s boutique hotel in Lucerne, Switzerland, is situated in an elevated position and offers unparalleled views of Lake Lucerne and the mountain panorama. Guests are not only spoilt by the Alpine scenery and grandeur but also by the hotel’s services and gastronomic highlights. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: ART DECO HOTEL MONTANA

Unique, surprising, memorable. The Art Deco Hotel Montana epitomizes all of these attributes.“The hotel’s unique design and customized services appeal to the senses and stir emotions,”states the hotel management. While the hotel is a tranquil and elegant place to unwind, Lucerne's vibrant and historic city centre is easily accessible, offering a plethora of touristic and cultural activities, Homage to tradition The hotel incorporates romantic and modern, elegant and stylish, innovative and comfortable features. For more than 100 years, the hotel and its grand terrace and lobby have attracted local and international lovers of design, style, and joie de vivre. In fact, the elaborate architecture of Hotel Montana’s Art Deco design is charmingly

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paired with the cultural, creative and culinary perks offered. For the past century it has consistently built on this grand heritage and has repeatedly been named Switzerland’s best Four-Star-City Hotel. Special offers The Art Deco Hotel Montana is the perfect choice for a city break, spa and wellness vacation, honeymoon getaway or conference travel. All guests are individually cared for and receive the utmost professional service. A special experience is the Spa and the City package for girlfriends and groups, or the Gentlemen-Only dinner and cigar tasting. Perhaps the most romantic package available is the hotel’s Time for Emotions, a sensual, culinary and elegant getaway for lovestruck guests.

Since 1996, Fritz Erni has served as Director of the Lucerne jewel and the experienced Swiss hotelier has invigorated the hotel with his charm and passion for service and creative projects. “Art Deco Hotel Montana is a place that inspires our guests. It is filled with culture and delight. It really is a place that transcends energy and relaxation,” states the management.


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Discover Germany | Conference of the Month | Switzerland

monitored through a trustworthy technical partner.There is free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and excellent catering options are available for all events and conferences. www.hotel-montana.ch GETTING THERE: Lucerne is located in central Switzerland and conveniently accessible via car or train from Zurich (50 km), Basel (95km) and Bern (110km).

Feeling pampered Guest will feel right at home in the spacious rooms and generous suites that have all amenities and offer magnificent views of the lake and Alpine panorama. Whether it is bold and modern or elegant and extravagant - these variations are all interpreted in a contemporary fashion in the hotel’s Art Deco style bedrooms. “Many of our guests enjoy this style, precisely because of the purity and simplicity of design,” explains a spokesperson for the hotel. The six penthouse spa suites, built elaborately over two stories, feature a heated whirlpool that treats guests to a magnificent view over the mountains, the lake and the city. The hotel’s spa area features beauty and cosmetic treatments, massages, and a large number of wellness services that help guests to unwind by pampering their body, mind and soul. Relaxation is guaranteed as beauty experts and wellness professionals are on-site help to accommodate all of the guests’ wishes. Gastronomic perks Like its dedication to tasteful interiors, fine dining, drinking and celebrating have always been at the core of the Art Deco Hotel Montana. An exclusive cuisine that has

been awarded 15 Gault Millau points is led by chef Johan Breedijk and boasts fresh produce, regional varieties and the highest standards in terms of service and taste. Throughout the hotel, there are several spots to enjoy a fabulous dinner, lunch, Sunday brunch or sophisticated drinks. The SCALA restaurant with 120 seats and lakeview terrace are, of course, the hotel’s signature dining options.The Louis Bar and Hemingway Rum Lounge offer a wide variety of exquisite whiskies, rums and cocktails. Whisky lovers are amazed by Switzerland’s largest selection of over 130 single malt whiskies with numerous rarities, as well as fantastic cigars.The bar is known for its live music (Tuesday to Saturday) that features renowned artists and legendary Thursday jam sessions. Conferences and events The Art Deco hall invites guests to meet and celebrate. Celebrations and professional conferences, business seminars, banquets, weddings or other social activities can be conveniently planned with the hotel’s event staff. Spacious seminar rooms are available and boardrooms are perfect for meetings, corporate events or workshops. Technical and IT equipment can be arranged and is

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Conference of the Month Austria

Schloss Hernstein Sustainable seminars in a historical ambience Sustainability has a long tradition at Hernstein Castle and regionality and eco-conscious conduct are an essential part of the business philosophy. As one of Austria’s most famous seminar hotels, Hernstein Castle’s congresses and celebrations are enjoyed within its historical and sustainable setting. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: SCHLOSS HERNSTEIN

Located south of Vienna in the Styrian and Lower Austrian Limestone Alps, the castle’s history goes back to the Middle Ages as its predecessors guarded the valley and roamed the streets of Berndorf Village. Refurbished and renovated according to strict historicism, it remains an outstanding example of this architectural epoch. “The whole estate is exciting and appealing to guests with its romantic atmosphere,”says Silke Mayer, staff member at Hernstein Castle, making the seminar hotel an excellent option for events, such as seminars, weddings, photo shoots, the filming of docu-

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mentaries and movies, or product presentations. Experience traditional resin tapping of Austrian pines In 2014 Hernstein Castle has introduced a new, exciting and sustainable programme focusing on the area around Hernstein which is home to the European black pine, also known as Austrian pine. These trees shape the region, and the woodland is treasured by locals and visitors alike. But there is also an important economic factor at play as the tree is used for traditional resin


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Discover Germany | Conference of the Month | Austria

ish the ambience and the calmness that we provide, the beautiful, spacious castle complex as well as our recreation area: swimming pool, sauna, steam bath, infrared cubicle and gym.” Additionally, outdoor activities like raft building, team building obstacle courses or fun cooking challenges can be organised. When booking a stay at the castle you can choose between its historic halls or modern rooms – depending on your intended atmosphere and the planned events and activities. The historic halls have been expertly renovated and equipped with the latest technology. Golden-coated carvings, wooden floors, luxurious historical tapestries and paintings combine to create outstanding spaces for successful events, giving participants new energy and inspiration. The seminar hotel has seven historical and 17 modern conference rooms available.

the hotel guests’culinary wellbeing and ensures that no wishes stay unfulfilled. The breakfast consists of an extensive buffet including fresh fruit, yoghurt, cereal, vegetables, ham and cold meat, variations of cheese, eggs, jam as well as fresh bread and bakery products. For lunch and dinner the kitchen staff prepare 4-course-meals for the buffet, appetising to meat-lovers, fish-aficionados and vegetarians alike. Additionally, there is an à la carte menu to choose from. On warm summer evenings a barbecue is popular on the restaurant’s terrace or by the lakeside. www.schloss-hernstein.at

Romantic castle weddings Alongside business meetings, the hotel also hosts private celebrations – especially weddings. The romantic atmosphere of the lakeside castle surrounded by woodland and mountains attracts many couples. Whether they choose to tie the knot in one of the historic rooms or at the pavilion decorated with flowers by the lakeside, the staff are eager to help with the planning. tapping – with this region being the only one in central Europe to use this technique. The project has recently received funding from an EU LEADER project. As a result, Hernstein Castle has a special treat this year for those interested in the project:“Glück im Pech” – happy in pitch – the deal includes the standard fixed-rates for seminars as well as a tour through the museum documenting resin tapping, an aperitif and a tasting of products made from Austrian pine. Calm surroundings for business and celebrations Hernstein Castle is one of the largest seminar hotels in Austria and is exclusively available for seminar participants, steering clear of tourists.This ensures that a tranquil atmosphere pervades, ideal for learning and working. “Visitors attending a seminar cher-

“I could never tire of organising seminars and festivities,” says Silke Mayer with a broad smile. “Our event manager knows exactly how to deal with any stressed-out pre-wedding nerves and concerns, and he’s even been known to open his private wardrobe if any wedding guests forget something essential.” More proof of the staff’s passion? Take the in-house technician who collected wood from his private garden for a romantic bonfire, or the receptionist who stepped in at the last minute to model for a photo shoot. Culinary highlights A stay at the castle is a culinary celebration as well, as you delight in the fresh regional dishes and international specialities at the buffet. Chef Wolfgang Lagler takes care of

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Conference of the Month Germany

Business thrives in a holiday atmosphere at the beach hotel Fischland The beach hotel Fischland is situated in an area marked by dune landscapes, long white beaches and a wild romantic coastal forest. The calm surroundings make it an ideal retreat. Far removed from our daily lives, it is a place to rediscover one’s own creativity, and with staff who are experts in organising business meetings and conferences, it is the ideal, stress-free location for business. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: STRANDHOTEL FISCHLAND

“The clear, fresh sea air and the hotel’s location in the middle of this beautiful nature always enthrals our visitors,” says hotel manager Isolde Heinz.The hotel Fischland is located in the seaside resort of Dierhagen on the Baltic Sea in one of the most beautiful coastal landscapes Germany has to offer. “This means it is also ideal for business meetings and congresses, because it allows you to work in a healthy climate and there is a relaxing wellness-esque atmosphere without any disturbances.” Additionally the hotel offers group activities and has enough space to balance the close working relationships and the necessary personal distance between participants. That the hotel possesses the necessary technological features, such as projectors, is evident.The eight well-lit conference rooms can be arranged individually and according

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to each event. For guests, the surrounding nature and the calmness have proven to be key reasons for their choice of this hotel. “We are that close to the sea that our visitors can see, smell and hear the waves. Between our hotel and the beach there is not even a road,”explains Isolde Heinz.

new ideas,”says hotel manager Heinz. And this is a key argument to take a work meeting to a place like the beach hotel Fischland where participants can feel valued and enjoy their stay: work becomes easier and more creative when people are content. www.strandhotel-ostsee.de

The beach hotel Fischland offers various sport programmes, including tennis, table tennis and badminton, as well as great dining opportunities and a spa and wellness area. Dining comes in the form of the Michelin-starred Ostseelounge restaurant with its beautiful panoramic sea view. Outdoor experiences complete the recreational programme: cycling tours, boat and sailing trips or coach rides. “A walk on the beach without the crowds that confront you in cities, and a walk through unspoilt nature has solved many a problem and produced

Below: Isolde Heinz, hotel manager


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Discover Germany | Business | Be Corpo Left: All sorts of weird and wonderful team building activities Below: Photomontage of the website by Erwan Le Touche Bottom: Founder Nathalie Autret. Photo: Sarka Pribylova

The key to a happy office Team building, leadership skills, time management. These phrases have undeservedly got a bit of a bad reputation in the past few years. Team building can be boringly executed and cringe-worthy, but not for much longer thanks to one of Switzerland’s latest and most exciting start-ups. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: BE CORPO

Five months ago, the energetic and chirpy Nathalie Autret succeeded in gaining the investment and mentoring for her brainchild. Offering an incredibly varied platform of fun, exciting team building options, Autret’s BeCorpo is one of a kind within Switzerland. Nathalie is adamant that only the very best activities make it onto her website – and she should know, as she checks out each and every supplier before agreeing to offer them. A year ago, after trawling through website upon website offering team building events, Nathalie yawned. Her then-boss had asked her to arrange an excursion for her team. Closing her laptop defiantly, she knew immediately what would work. And work it certainly does: after just five months, Nathalie’s clients already include Swiss watchmaking giants Cartier and everyone’s

favourite Nestlé. “Cartier chose a treasure hunt in Geneva, whilst I sorted out an amazing two-day seminar for Nestlé in Gstaad.” Personally taking over the organisation, she fixed a phenomenal price for an exclusive 5-star hotel and the evening’s entertainment included a horse and cart ride up the mountain to a secluded chalet for a fondue feast.

paragliding!” Her springtime recommendation for companies looking to treat their staff:“The CSI-style treasure hunt is really something special. Collecting clues and analysing DNA is pretty cool.” Geneva, Valais and Vaud, along with Fribourg and Neuchatel, are all within the current scope of BeCorpo but Nathalie is keen to expand the start-up into the whole of Switzerland so that more suppliers can be involved, and more employees can have the opportunity to bond. www.becorpo.ch

Offering options for anywhere between 8 600 people, Nathalie can suggest, offer advice as well as arrange the stage and setting for companies to get out and enjoy themselves. Cooking or cocktail workshops, wine tastings, extreme sports or ball games are among the many enjoyable options. Enthusiastically she explains the benefits:“Doing something cool and fun will make everyone at work happy. Imagine being able to say that your company took you rafting or

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Discover Germany | Business | Campus Nordsee

Campus Nordsee Successful learning in a healthy environment A good, healthy environment is key to educating children according to their needs, especially when health issues like diabetes or allergies are involved. The Campus Nordsee boarding school specialises in looking after children affected by these conditions as well as children with dyslexia. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: CAMPUS NORDSEE

The seaside resort of St. Peter-Ording is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Germany, with twelve kilometres of white sandy beaches, a unique landscape of dunes, pine forests and the fresh sea air combining to lure tourists to go swimming, kite surfing or land sailing. In the middle of this idyll lies the North Sea boarding school St. Peter-Ording, just 100 meters from the dykes. The boarding school therefore has a unique atmosphere. Currently educating 120 young people in a healthy environment, it aims to create a well-rounded balance of education and life skills. Healthy living is a motor for successful learning. Students study at different state schools in the village, beginning with primary school and

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ending, for example, at the local grammar school.The grammar school provides a nine year curriculum, thereby allowing children more time to learn.This is in contrast to the approach taken by many of Germany’s federal states to shorten the school period by establishing a grammar school certificate after eight years at grammar school and four at primary school. The afternoons are spent in small educational groups, allowing children to strengthen the knowledge that they have gained at school. But a good life-learningbalance also means that the students will always have enough time to do sports, relax or engage in music or computer courses. Thanks to the close proximity to the sea, the boarding school is an excellent choice for

children with health issues, particularly illnesses of the respiratory system or allergies. A network of medical professionals and doctors will ensure the health and safety of the children. Children have the opportunity to return home for weekends twice a month. While many pupils come from northern Germany, Bavaria and Berlin also feature as hometowns. The programme for international students is currently being expanded, and international contacts already exist with schools in New Zealand where children from St. Peter-Ording recently stayed as exchange students. Exchange programmes with Mexico and China are also in the pipeline. The school welcomes children from all over the world. www.campus-nordsee.de


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Discover Germany | Business | Solicitor Column

Keep it in the family TEXT & PHOTO: GREGOR KLEINKNECHT

Wealth management is often thought of as the exclusive domain of the super-rich (more subtly referred to as “High Net Worth” or “Ultra High Net Worth” Individuals) who run their own family offices and have vast investment portfolios. But the underlying concepts of safeguarding, managing and developing assets prudently, ensuring financial stability during your lifetime, achieving the efficient and controlled devolution of personal and business wealth from one generation to the next, and minimising capital gains and inheritance tax exposure along the way, should be on many more people’s minds. The breadth of service offerings under the heading “wealth management”can be bewildering but the art and and skill to successful wealth management is simply to bring together trusted investment, legal and tax advisers who can truly work as a seamless team and create bespoke strategic solutions rather than simply sell products. Indeed, wealth management for a sporting or agricultural landed estate requires a rather different approach to that of a successful ecommerce businessman and entrepreneur. It involves detailed knowledge of a family’s circumstances, often built up over generations, and the ability to deal with asset profiles which may range from company participations, over real estate, to fine art and other emotional assets, often spread over multiple locations and jurisdictions. It also requires a long-term approach. Indeed, timely planning is key: the earlier a

situation can be identified, the more opportunity and flexibility there will be for dealing with it effectively and appropriately. A core focus will be on tax efficiency. Estate and succession planning involves determining the destination of assets during your lifetime as much as the effect of wills, trusts and other structures on death. In an international context, this requires a clear understanding of how UK and foreign legal and tax systems interact in the context of an individual’s residence and domicile to be able to find practical and holistic solutions. Another area where specialist know-how is indispensible is, for example, the highly complex rules that apply to the treatment of heritage property: the regime for tax exemptions, surrender in lieu, sale to a heritage body, or creation of a maintenance fund, are some keywords in this context. The prudent selection of trustees and executors can do much to safeguard vulnerable beneficiaries, ensure continuity in the administration of trusts and estates, realise philanthropic objectives and charitable giving, and avoid costly disputes between family members. In short, there are two basic messages: first, take a pro-active approach to wealth management, don’t leave it too late and don’t leave it to chance; secondly, make sure you get the ‘A’ team to look after your interests and your legacy. It will be good to have peace of mind when all is said and done.

Gregor Kleinknecht LLM MCIArb is a German Rechtsanwalt and English solicitor, and a partner at Hunters Solicitors, a leading law firm in Lincoln’s Inn. Hunters Solicitors, 9 New Square, Lincoln’s Inn, London WC2A 3QN, E-mail: gjk@hunters-solicitors.co.uk www.hunters-solicitors.co.uk

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Landschulheim Burg Nordeck boarding school Individual education in a familial environment After surviving 1,200 years of political and social upheaval, Nordeck Castle in Hessen is now at ease as a modern and multicultural boarding school: A place where individual strengths are developed and strong bonds are forged. TEXT: JULIKA HÜTHER | PHOTOS: LANDSCHULHEIM BURG NORDECK

There are approximately 90 students, aged 11 to 17, who live in the castle and surrounding buildings in the school’s parkland. 40 employees - teachers, housemasters and housemistresses, kitchen and maintenance staff are on hand to attend to the students’ needs. The young people are taught and brought up in an environment in which they feel secure so that they can focus on learning, developing new skills and making friends.The small class sizes of

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Discover Germany | Business | Burg Nordeck

given the opportunity to undertake an apprenticeship as a carpenter in the cabinetmaker’s workshop which is also part of the castle.” Despite its limited size, Boarding School Nordeck Castle is an institution which attracts students from all over Germany and further afield, where students gather and learn in a community. Recently, students from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East have studied here together with local and other German students.

far proven that living and studying in the same surroundings enables the students to achieve great success. This aspect characterises the Boarding School Nordeck Castle as a unique institution. www.internat-burg-nordeck.de

Below: Fostering fine arts and music Middle: Acquiring cooking skills Bottom: Nurturing creative talent

Togetherness, respect, team spirit

Main image, left: Live action role playing. Above: Sports are important at Nordeck Castle Winter sports are also part of the activity schedule Bottom, left: 1,200 years of history

between two to ten students ensure that each student can learn according to his/her ability. At Boarding School Nordeck Castle, both secondary and grammar school classes are offered, and many additional qualifications can be gained. These range from the European Computer Driving Licence to the European Language Certificate in English. Beyond that, the school is in the process of qualifying itself for certificates in health promotion. Headmistress Gunhild Klöß-Vedder sums up the characteristics that make the institution stand out against other boarding schools: “Small class sizes, a close connection between the school and boarding school, a continuous exchange between staff, flexibility, and many diverse possibilities for the students’ development. And what’s more, every first year student is

Together with their housemaster or mistress, the boarding school students live in small groups of six to eleven students; it’s relaxed and intimate, resembling a family. This special constellation enables the staff to take care of all their individual needs.The students do a number of chores that benefit the group and the social atmosphere. “Family”outings take place every week and this socialising cements friendships and the familial atmosphere. The daily boarding school schedule is based on a structure which reflects family life too, as all students have their meals together in the dining hall of the castle. The afterschool activities do not only support the development of team spirit among students, but also hone their individual skills and create a healthy balance to the time spent in the classroom. Students can choose from a wide range of activities such as tennis, horse riding, swimming, golf, ball games, Live Action Role Playing, woodwork in the cabinetmaker’s workshop, arts and crafts, music, photography, or by joining local associations and sports clubs. Once a year all the students of the school go on a skiing holiday together. Pedagogically differentiated teaching methods and time in the study hall are part of the schedule too, and special language courses for foreign students are also provided. The school’s philosophy is based on the concept of unity – a concept which has so

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Discover Germany | Business | SEB Interview

Main image, left: SEB London offices are located close to St. Pauls

2013 is certainly a year to remember for the Swedish SEB (Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB) with a 28 per cent growth in operating profit of SEK 18,127m compared to the previous year. One of the main reasons for this positive development is the focus on customer satisfaction as Annika Falkengren, SEB’s President and CEO, explains: “Over the past years we at SEB have strengthened long-term customer relationships, continued to grow in our areas of strength, reduced earnings volatility and improved both cost and capital efficiency. We have a growing and attractive customer base and work to improve customer satisfaction, which is also reflected in the operating result for 2013.” Top private bank in the German speaking countries SEB appears to be on the right track. While other financial institutions are struggling to perform, wealthy clients are flocking to the Scandinavian powerhouse which has been voted best bank in Sweden 2013 by Euromoney. SEB made also it into the top 20 of the world's strongest banks in

Award-winning private wealth management

Done the Swedish way The new year couldn’t have got off to a better start for Swedish SEB. Alongside exceptional profit numbers for 2013, the bank scooped numerous coveted industry awards such as best bank in Sweden and top private bank in the German-speaking countries of Europe. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

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Annika Falkengren, President and CEO


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Right: SEB Luxembourg

Bloomberg’s market magazine. But there is one particular award the bank is extremely proud of: the study entitled Testing Private Banking – the European League of Private Bankers 2014, conducted by the Fuchsbriefe publishing house in collaboration with IQF and risk analysis specialists Quanvest, put more than 100 private banks to the test. Private wealth service providers in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxemburg and Lichtenstein were evaluated for quality of the consultation. As a result SEB's Private Banking in Luxembourg was declared as the top private bank in the German-speaking countries of Europe. Experts in cross-border issues But what is the Swede’s secret to success? To find out, one has to take a closer look at past economic developments. Ulrich Graner, senior private banker at SEB Luxembourg explains:“In Sweden, we already had our own banking and real estate crisis in the early 90s. So Swedish banks learned their lesson long before the current crisis started. This is something that sets us apart not only from German banks, but from almost all other banks. We know that the most important thing is to be there for our clients in times of crisis, when they need us the most. So we weren't hunting for quick profits and when the current crisis hit, we were very cautious, we focused on our core competencies and invested in a strong balance sheet. Our clients really appreciate that we are a safe bank with strong capitalisation and that we always comply with the highest ethical standards.” A strategy that certainly paid off in times where ever more wealthy individuals feel neglected by their financial advisors when it comes to asset management. And SEB is adapting to changing consumer requirements. While years ago only a few expats lived abroad for a limited time period, today’s scenario looks drastically different.The number of highly skilled, German-speaking high calibre employees sent abroad has risen sharply and ever more people choose an international career path.“We focus on clients with international needs - a niche

market neglected by most banks.Take a German private equity professional currently living and working in the UK as an example. He typically owns some property back in Germany, the family home in London and maybe a holiday home in Spain. He plans to stay in the UK for a few more years, before the family returns to Germany.These people often find themselves left alone with their cross-border issues, because both their German and UK banks limit their service offerings to domestic questions.This is what sets us apart from the competition: With SEB Private Banking, these clients find a partner who understands their situation and is able to support them with international products and advice tailored to their needs,”says Graner. Understanding client’s needs – better than he does himself SEB’s private banking cutomers are greeted with multilingual private bankers and a highly skilled team of experts to ensure that clients always get in touch with the

Ulrich Graner, Senior Private Banker

right competence. The service portfolio includes access to specialist advice in international equities, options, bonds and funds, multi-currency investments, flexible multicurrency loans against client’s portfolios and mortgage loans in certain countries, international payment services and a credit card with competitive features attached to personal accounts. On the asset management side, the range of products and services includes equity, fixed income, alternative assets and private equity management. “Banking products are almost the same everywhere, so it is hard to stand out. It is trust which makes the difference when you want to build a long term relationship.Trust is created when you meet expectations – over and over again. So for us it is most important to first make sure that we truly understand our client's needs - better than he does himself. Secondly, it is all about the fast and timely delivery of quality services,” Graner concludes. www.sebgroup.lu

Dr. Jorg Richter (Head of IQF), Rolf Fus (Deputy Head of Private Banking, SEB), Ralf Vielhaber (Chief editor Fuchsbriefe Verlag)

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Scanning your market, endlessly With a knack for lead generation and market research, a team of experienced sales professionals from across Europe, and a sought-after office location in the buzzing city, the brains behind Scan Group could not help but think that a multilingual telemarketing and appointment making business was the natural next step. Behold Scan The Market, the new go-to service provider for all your sales and lead generation needs. TEXT: LINNEA DUNNE | PHOTOS: MONICA TAKVAM

“I think I was a brilliant colleague, but a not-so-brilliant accountant,” laughs coowner and CEO Thomas Winther as he re-

calls one of his early-career jobs at one of the major accounting firms in the city. “Jokes aside, I’ve always loved working with people, and I had this urge to make things happen – and fast.” Having helped set up a London-Danish football club, which, he is quick to interpolate, is still very much alive and kicking, he met now-business partner Mads E. Petersen and presented his elevator pitch about a Scandinavian community magazine. Born out of a love of all things Scandinavian and a strong entrepreneurial drive, Scan

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Magazine quickly became much more than just a community periodical. Today it shares an office and parent company with two other successful magazines, Discover Germany and Discover Benelux, as well as a handful of related events and, finally, multilingual telemarketing, market research and lead generation company Scan The Market. Sensitivity to cultural nuances Winther’s love of a fast-paced environment is as present as ever, and the new venture was as much about natural progression as it was about starting something new, as he ex-


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Discover Germany | Business | Scan the Market

plains: “We’ve already got a competent group of bilingual sales and account managers working for our portfolio of magazines, and they are highly skilled when it comes to being sensitive to the nuances and seasonality of their markets, not to mention their language skills and cultural understanding and awareness of different time zones. Our in-house speciality is to sell and perform back-office functions in all the European languages, so it made sense to expand our service offering to something we love doing and know that we’re very good at.” With more than 15,000 advertising customers throughout Europe to date, Scan Group has in its different capacities worked with some of the biggest brands as well as countless small, local and regional businesses. According to Winther, it is this sensitivity to the differences between the markets and brands that gives his team its strength.

tive campaign for them. What the team working on their campaign will look like depends entirely on their needs; we’ll make sure to have the right numbers and the right languages in place.” The benefits are plentiful: clients can stop worrying about recruitment and training costs, day-to-day management of staff, increased phone bills and additional costs such as holiday pay, national insurance contributions, sick pay and pension contributions. Too good to be true? Not if you look at the existing Scan Group sales teams, made up of well-educated, hard-working young professionals who take pride in what they do. “Our central London office location makes us an attractive employer for multilingual job hunters arriving in the city,” says Winther.“ On top of that, the existing business connections and marketing channels that we’ve built up thanks to our portfolio of magazines are valued not only by new customers – but also by potential members of staff.” Sounds like everyone’s a winner. scangroup.co.uk

Taking this expertise and applying it to the telemarketing and lead generation field makes for an impressive offering. Clients of Scan The Market can expect support not only with campaign planning, endof-day reporting and verified sales appointments, but also with sales and lead generation – all in their customers’native languages. Track-record with clients and employees “Our track-record works as a promise to our clients,” says Winther. “For every new project, our dedicated account director and management team will sit down with the client and get into the nitty-gritty details: we’ll make sure that we thoroughly understand the customer’s product or service, and then we’ll use our experience and expertise to tailor the most effec-

Scan Group is a publishing and events company trading as the following divisions: Scan Magazine Scandinavia Show Scandinavian Christmas Market Discover Germany Discover Benelux Scan The Market Scan The Market was founded in 2013 and offers the following multilingual services: Telemarketing Sales Lead generation Appointment making Market research Campaign planning Reporting services

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Discover Germany | Culture | Max Prosa

Young artist of the month

Max Prosa The enigmatic 24-year-old Max Prosa hails from the affluent Berlin district of Charlottenburg, but has spent the last seven years observing the rapid gentrification of East Berlin’s Neukölln district. Described as “the young Bob Dylan of Berlin”, with lyrics that are fragile confessions of living, loving and losing, this is one German singer-songwriter that we’re finding hard to resist.

and play in different places.” He laughs as he recounts the names of places he’s played in German-speaking regions – “pretty much every town and city,” as he rounds off the list.

TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: SANDRA LUDEWIG

Rangoon, his second album, came out last year, and was inspired by its namesake, the capital city of Burma and its tumultuous, bloody history, which contrasts sharply with the “the unspoilt nature and the peaceful Buddhist population.” Exploring these polar opposites was the catalyst for the album, which caused a similar stir to his debut – and not least because he included on it a German translation of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Defending his choice to sing it, Prosa is resolute:“I sang it my way, not Cohen’s way, or Buckley’s or Cale’s.” Now in his native language on the album, he believes it can change the way German speakers hear this iconic song.

With a critically acclaimed debut album entitled Die Phantasie Wird Siegen released in 2012, Max Prosa quickly garnered rave reviews in his home country and has since played sold out concerts across the German-speaking regions. In Prosa’s eyes it was the successful 80s band Ton Steine Scherben who did wonders for the German language, as their astoundingly popular German rock belied the bad rep that the language had. Prosa laughs, admitting that he rarely listens to German music himself, preferring the British indie bands whose popularity has spread across the globe.

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Asked whether the choice to sing in his native language of German has restricted his career, Max hesitates before disclosing that he has considered singing in English many a time, but is so far yet to make the leap. “Living where I do in Berlin, it’s so multi-cultural that I’m constantly surrounded by English speakers. I spend most of my time speaking English anyway as I have bandmates from Israel and Denmark.” While comfortable chatting in English, he’s reluctant to write lyrics in a foreign tongue. “Lyrics have to be so finely formulated. With German, I know what works, the nuances, every little word. It’d be a challenge in English but of course I’d love to travel

www.maxprosa.de


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Discover Germany | Culture | Barbara Geier

Proper Easter eggs? It’s hard work! So, would you believe it, my local Sainsbury’s started stocking Easter eggs and bunnies as early as mid-February. Well, of course, you would but come on, give us a break, we’ve barely managed to get rid of the Christmas leftovers! Admittedly, I’m as partial to sweet Easter treats as anyone (wrong: more than that), it’s just that the relentless commercialism related to what are essentially very non-commercial occasions is simply too much. TEXT: BARBARA GEIER

For the purposes of this column, I’d like to say “Tss, in Germany, we don’t do this kind of thing, chocolate eggs, bunnies and the like. It’s all about values and serious stuff”. However, I can’t. In fact, the tradition of the Easter bunny bringing the Easter eggs that led to the manifold chocolate manifestations of our furry little friends actually originated in Germany more than 300 years ago in the “Pfalz” region to the left of the Rhine, its French neighbour Alsace and along the Upper Rhine. The first edible Easter bunnies allegedly appeared in the early 1800s, made of pastry and sugar. And somehow it all travelled to the UK and now children here, just like in Germany, hunt for Easter eggs that were left by the Easter bunny in the garden. There’s a difference, though. While in Germany we still trade in proper, hard-boiled eggs that are dyed in various colours, I have the feeling that if it’s not chocolate, it wouldn’t really work here. In Germany, if you go to your local bakery or butcher in the run-up to Easter, it’s not uncommon to be given – proper – Easter eggs as a gift, and you can thus accumulate quite an impressive collection of extra snacks. Provided you like hard-boiled eggs. Another egg-related tradition that I haven’t really seen

practised much on these shores is Eierausblasen. Only thinking of it makes me dizzy because that’s what usually happened when I engaged in this typical kids (and grown-ups) pre-Easter activity of “blowing out”eggs in order to then paint and decorate their empty shells. It’s no easy job to empty the egg of its content using only the power of your lungs. And just in case you’re reading this, thinking it somehow sounds a little wrong, then that’s only because you want it to have a go yourself. Moving on, I was never very good at the whole decorating thing - in line with my general lack of artistic talent - however, I was always very keen on egg hunting and running excitedly round the garden. I can still remember my delight upon discovering a“nest”– little basket – full of eggs, both real and chocolate, and Easter bunnies. Actually, why is it only children who get to do this? Personally, I wouldn’t mind spending some time on Easter Sunday rummaging around in the grass for some goodies. So, if someone wants to send me out along with their children, I promise to leave something for the kids. And if not, well, then I might just get myself a Cadbury Creme Egg and try to forget where I put it …

Barbara Geier is a London-based freelance writer, translator and communications consultant. She is also the face behind ww.germanyiswunderbar.com, a German travel and tourism guide and blog that was set up together with UK travel writer Andrew Eames in 2010.

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Frankfurt am Main The multifaceted metropolis

www.frankfurt-tourismus.de


Discover Germany | Issue 13 | April 2014