Discover Germany | Issue 19 | October 2014

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Issue 19 | October 2014




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Andy Warhol Roy Lichtenstein Jasper Johns Richard Hamilton Robert Indiana Claes Oldenburg Robert Rauschenberg David Hockney James Rosenquist Richard Lindner Tom Wesselmann



Sweet Dreams Baby.

David & Paul / Michael Pichler

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Discover Germany | Contents

Contents OCTOBER 2014





Leipzig Christmas market. Photo: Leipzig Tourismus und Marketing GmbH


Ursula Karven She is a big supporter of power yoga and a fine actress. In our star interview Ursula Karven explains why turning 50 is well worth celebrating.

Finest Art & Culture Great museums with stunning exhibitions including masterpieces by Manet, Cézanne and van Gogh as well as some of Switzerland’s greatest treasures.






Ready for a glass of mulled wine and Christmas carols? Read what makes German Christmas markets so very enchanting.





Restaurant of the Month


Culture & Lifestyle The Christmas season begins and we have plenty of great ideas where to go, what to do and how to find the perfect present.


Culture Calendar Discover Germany’s Culture Calendar is your perfect guide to this winter’s upcoming highlights.

Hotel of the Month Located in the mountains of the Bavarian Allgäu, the green Biohotel Mattlihüs is famous for ecologically friendly accommodation, organic cuisine, relaxing spa treatments and enhancing seminars on life-skills.

Destination Resort of the Month The LOISIUM wine&spa resorts in Austria’s finest wine regions offer wine samplings and wine-related treatments in addition to great hospitality.

Wine & Dine Wine expert Iris Ellmann talks about Germany’s VDP Grosse Gewaechse or Grand Cru. And in our Top 3 German Luxury Hotel Selection we present some truly unique guest houses for the discerning taste.

Business Our legal expert Gregor Kleinknecht gives us some insight into the world of picture rights. Plus great conference facilities and how a meeting with a coach can boost your career.


At Hamburg’s Landhaus Dill guests are greeted by host Volkmar Preis himself and he highly recommends the Christmas goose this winter.

Enjoy a Sparkling Wintertime in Germany

Top 5 Magical Christmas Markets


Mindfulness, yoga and wellbeing inspired items to make your home more peaceful.

It is getting cold outside, so we found a few hotspots to keep you warm and cosy this winter. 56


Subtle, elegant, casual - a different shade of grey is our October motto.

Excellent Austrian Universities For those considering higher education in Austria, our selection of extraordinary universities will certainly offer a lot of inspiration.




Christmas Gift Ideas from Switzerland This is a must-read section for those on the quest for the perfect Christmas gift.


Barbara Geier Our columnist Barbara Geier explains why there is more to Anglo-German relations than war and football. Issue 19 | October 2014 | 3

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Dear Reader,

Discover Germany

Sales & Key Account Managers

Issue 19, October 2014

Emma Fabritius Nørregaard

Published 24.09.2014 ISSN 2051-7718

Laura Hummer Antonietta Cutarelli Noura Draoui Jennifer Martins

Published by Scan Magazine Ltd.


What do Michelle Pfeiffer and Sharon Stone have in common with our cover star? All of them lived the Hollywood dream, left their forties behind and all of them look absolutely stunning. Fifty and fabulous, German actress Ursula Karven is a keen believer in the benefits of power yoga. It may not be her only beauty secret, but certainly one that works. With great passion she explains why there is plenty to celebrate when turning half a century.

Design & Print Liquid Graphic Ltd. Executive Editor Thomas Winther

Discover Germany is published by: SCAN GROUP Scan Magazine Ltd. 15B Bell Yard Mews Bermondsey Street London SE1 3TY United Kingdom

Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Tina Awtani Art Director

Phone +44 (0)870 933 0423

Svetlana Slizova Copy-Editor

For further information, please visit

Mark Rogers Contributors

In this month’s issue we have a lot to get excited about, from delicate fine art to striking luxury hotels to career-boosting university options the choice is all yours. While the leaves are falling off the trees, the last quarter of the year 2014 has begun and it is time to put on an extra layer. It won’t be long until chocolate Santas will greet us from the supermarket shelves and Christmas decoration twinkles throughout the city centres. It is never too early to plan ahead for Christmas, so we got a big chunk of Santa’s world covered in this issue. From the most beautiful Christmas markets to the cutest gift ideas there is definitely something for everyone. By the time you finish this magazine, the attraction of enchanting Christmas markets will be no longer a mystery and you will find great inspiration for how to make the most of the sparkling wintertime to come. Sit back, relax and start browsing. Enjoy the magazine!

Emmie Collinge Elisabeth Doehne Iris Ellmann Emily Engels Jessica Holzhausen Julika Huether Gregor Kleinknecht Jessica Pommer Leonie Puscher Dorina Reichhold Irina Simmen Marilena Stracke Isabel Wagner

© 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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Discover real Private Banking At SEB Private Banking, we acknowledge that everyone has a unique set of challenges. It’s why we do not offer ready-made solutions, concentrating instead on developing meaningful, long-lasting financial relationships and making the effort to really understand you and your requirements. Our international network of private banking offices will look after all aspects of your family business finances, from daily transactions to long term investments. Its services cover everything from tailored financial management, through to helping you to optimise the legal and tax structures within which your assets are held. As one of the world’s strongest banks and with more than 150 years of experience in private banking, we have just what it takes to ensure your future prosperity. To find out what SEB can do for your personal wealth, contact us in London: Christian A. Hvamstad +44 (0) 20 7246 4307

Sweden • Norway • Denmark • Finland • Luxembourg • Switzerland • United Kingdom • Singapore • Estonia • Latvia • Lithuania

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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Ursula Karven

Ursula Karven 50 and fabulous German actress and power yoga expert Ursula Karven turns 50 and is not afraid to celebrate big style. With untamed optimism she embraces life to the full and happily enters a new stage. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

The timing for our interview couldn’t have been worse. Ursula Karven experienced a major water pipe burst in her home just as the final preparations for her big birthday bash were well under way.“I am sleeping on the couch, my place is a mess and handymen are working in every corner,” she reports. Interviews are always a bit of a gamble and I shuddered for a fraction of a second, before she light-heartedly chats away as if nothing has happened.“I see it positively, it excuses me from all my duties. The water damage is uncomfortable, but it allows me to relax, because I have been forced to outsource everything.”So just like that, many guests from all over the world were subject to a slight change of plan. At this point I am pretty sure that the famous words“keep calm and carry on”must have been invented by Ms Karven. “I love new challenges and I grow with them” Karven was born and raised in Germany. She studied at the Lee Strasberg Institute in Los Angeles before she landed her first movie role in 1984. Since then she has made it to the top of the German acting elite and pretty much covers all genres, including family saga The Guldenburgs and

Germany’s prime time crime series Tatort. She speaks four languages and is a talented mezzo soprano. Off set, the slimly built beauty is a well-acclaimed power yoga expert, a business woman and a published author. Together with friends she founded bellybutton 17 years ago, now a flourishing kids and maternity clothing label. But she makes one thing very clear:“My job is being an actress. This is my passion and this is what drives me. I love new challenges and I grow with them. Actors are always on a mission to find themselves, they just love to learn to be challenged.” For her latest movie she learned horse-riding and despite having played many roles in her life, there is still one on the wishlist. “I would love to play a musician, who is completely wrapped up in her music. I wouldn’t mind learning a new instrument for it,”the blueeyed multitalent admits. As a young actress, she lived the dream in Hollywood. Married to Californian producer and actor James Veres she had three children and was rubbing shoulders with the stars. But when destiny changed its pass, Karven found yoga. “Yoga has helped me tremendously to cope with things in my life, to stand up again and be able to

have a smile on my face,“ she says.“Back then the whole power yoga movement had just started. Everyone from Madonna to Gwyneth Paltrow was carrying yoga mats through LA.” Today Karven is a firm believer in the benefits of power yoga.“It is a holistic movement concept that strengthens from the inside. It is a very dynamic form of yoga that is based on the classic yoga ingredients, but has been adjusted to today’s busy lifestyle. We need to detox, sweat and build muscles, especially with an ever increasing life-expectancy,”she recommends. When it comes to skincare Karven also prefers the natural solution. She serves as a brand ambassador for the organic cosmetic label Logona. “Logona is perfect for me, I knew the brand from my time in Los Angeles and always had an eye on it. Latest scientific research is merged with all-natural ingredients, so we are the perfect match. For me this is a very honest approach to cosmetics.” “Something between a princess and a ranger” It is hard to pigeonhole Karven. She seems to find something positive in everything, an eternal optimist whose glass of water is always half full. Asked how she would de-

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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Ursula Karven

scribe herself she says: “Something between a princess and a ranger. On the one hand side, I set myself very high standards. I was born like that, with a strong sense of perfectionism. On the other side, I have the ability to absolutely lose myself in nature. When I am out in the woods I really feel my inner self. It is a blend of high aspiration and complete modesty,” she explains. With Veres she lived in California and on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, but the marriage didn’t last and as she puts it, “he has always had issues with the German weather.” Karven is now happily residing in Berlin with her two boys. “Berlin offers anonymity. Berliners are very easy-going with each other and they make no fuss. I like it a lot.Young people can live a good life here and eat well on a small budget. I love this multicoloured melting-pot with its incredible cultural variety. Berlin is a sexy town where no one is judged by the cover. I can go to the baker in my pyjamas and no one cares,“ she muses. Her older son is 20; he has finished school and follows in his mother’s footsteps.“I really tried hard to make him choose something else, but he wants to be an actor,“ she says, pointing out that he has just finished his first movie.“And you know what? I am so proud of him,”she winks. Her younger son is 11 and Karven is a passionate handson mum. But one day she will eventually become an empty nester and she already has plans for that.“One of my goals is to help make a difference in girls’education in another country. I want to engage in a charitable organsisation that focuses on female education, because education is the greatest good. It is so very important.” Life is good and just before her birthday, Swedish beau and long-term boyfriend Mats Wahlström proposed to her in the most romantic way. While touring the island of Majorca on a motorbike the entrepreneur secretly placed the ring in her helmet before he popped the question. Karven did not see this coming, but she said yes 8 | Issue 19 | October 2014

just like she says yes to 50.“I celebrate my life and everyone who is part of it. I just want to say thank you to all those who travelled with me throughout the many years.” According to her everything happens for a reason and she concludes: “I always try to make the most of my situation and get the message.There is always a message.”

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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Ursula Karven

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Fashion Finds Different shades of grey are a hot fashion topic this autumn. With the occasional bit of sunshine and diminishing patches of blue sky, grey is the perfect blend between summer whites and winter blacks. Grey suits blondes, brunettes and redheads alike and can be worn on formal as well as casual occasions. The trick is to mix luxurious fabrics and add tiny splashes of colour to achieve a contemporary look. BY TINA AWTANI

Pure and ultra modern style, that is Basler in a nutshell. Founded in Berlin in 1936 the German label has conquered the hearts of style-conscious women, regardless of age, clothing size or nationality. Leather jacket £639 , blouse £96, leather trousers £480.

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The Y VON W RUNWAYEDIT leather bag by George, Gina & Lucy comes in various colours such as mud grey or light blue. It is large enough to hold a 13” laptop, so ideal as an office bag. £185.

Wide Marlene-style trousers are very flattering in grey and offer endless combination possibilities. Team with brogues and a classic white shirt for a defined office look or dress down by wearing with a flamboyant top and matching kitten heels. £160.

Designed in Hamburg and made to perfection are the shoes from Binné. The label is famous for its unique collection of Brogues and Chelsea boots. We love the new Gray’s model, simply because it is grey with a contemporary twist. £319.

Another great look featuring grey in its best light from the Basler AW14/15 runway. Be aware that fur continues to be a major trend in the forthcoming months. Jacket £183, fur gilet £599, blouse £136, trousers £120.

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Discover Germany | Design | Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design... This month’s picks are dedicated to relaxation, mindfulness and how to create a peaceful ambience in your home. Turn your living room into an oasis of calm or make your personal yoga corner a little more cosy with these beautiful and practical design objects we discovered new in stores.




The round meditation cushion is another beautiful creation by Althütte (Baden-Württemberg) based Naturehome. Sustainability is vital for the high quality manufacturer with a sharp eye for design. £31. For over 80 years the Kerzenmanufaktur Engels has been producing ever more beautiful candles from dinner candles to outdoor lanterns. The oriental scented Aladin range adds a bit of One Thousand and One Nights to your living room. From £32.


Designed by Joachim Nees, this latest and very comfortable masterpiece by luxury furniture maker Rolf Benz easily transforms into a high-back seat, a recliner, a daybed or a bed. Besides, the NOVA has just been awarded the Interior Innovation Award 2014. P.o.a.


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A spiritual piece of wall art can make a big change to a blank wall. These stones are the perfect backdrop for meditation and mindfulness. £63. Hand-made in Germany of 100% organic cotton is this luxurious yoga mat. It is just what one needs to strike the perfect yoga pose such as the easy Down Dog or the more advance Eight-Angle pose. £95.


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Finest Art & Culture

Special Theme

Finest Art & Culture

Fancy some fine art and culture? With over 6,200 museums and exhibition halls in Germany and another a 1,000 plus in Switzerland, there is plenty to explore for the art aficionado. Well over 110 million visitors stroll along the showcased masterpieces each year to admire elements of artistic expression. TEXT: TINA AWTANI

German artists like Gerhard Richter, Georg Baselitz or Andreas Gursky achieve recordbreaking prices at international auctions for their creations. The same accounts for masterpieces made by Swiss-bred artists including Albert Anker, Max Bill, Alberto Giacometti, Ferdinand Hodler, Paul Klee, Meret Oppenheim and Jean Tinguely. The Swiss are proud of their heritage, and national treasures are displayed between Zurich and Grenoble. The offers a great overview of ongoing and upcoming art exhibitions in Switzerland.

A great thing to know about is the trinational Museums-PASS-Musées, available at and really handy for those with a passion for the fine arts. It is valid in Germany, France and Switzerland, where over 300 museums and exhibition halls have teamed up to make art a little more accessible. A Museums-PASSMusées is valid for one year, prices start at 75 Euros for a full year of free entry to all participating museums and the holder of a membership card is entitled to bring along up to 5 children under 18 for free. In the summer the Museums-PASS-Musées cel-

ebrated its 15th birthday and with Christmas in mind it also makes a very nice gift. If you feel intrigued, then please take a close look at the following pages, where we present to you a variety of fine museums. With an array of wonderful exhibitions scheduled for the upcoming months, these should definitely be bookmarked for further investigation and exploration. A trip to the museum is inspiring, entertaining and informative – for adults and children alike. And to quote Pablo Picasso:“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” Top left: Alfred Sisley (1839-1899), Eine Straße in Marly, 1876. Kunsthalle Mannheim © Cem Yücetas Top right: Tibet collection. Museum Rietberg. © Willi Kracher, Zurich Above right: Rococo Church in Ittingen Museum. © Ittingen Museum

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Attraction of the Month Germany

Manet, Cézanne and van Gogh are visiting Mannheim, Germany's "City of the squares" The Kunsthalle Mannheim's autumn exhibition highlights the significance of French Impressionism for art history and its own significance for international art exhibitions. TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD | PHOTOS: KUNSTHALLE MANNHEIM

An international meeting of world-famous artists is taking place this autumn in the German city of Mannheim. From the end of September 2014 until mid-January 2015 the city's art gallery, Kunsthalle Mannheim, will host the exhibition ”Manet, Cézanne, van Gogh – aus aller Welt zu Gast”, proudly welcoming celebrated paintings and artists from renowned art galleries from Europe and the United States. Situated in South Western Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg, the city of Mannheim is an important transport hub located between Frankfurt am Main to the north and Stuttgart to the south-east. Its unique street layout, in a grid pattern, has

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led to Mannheim getting the nickname “City of the squares”. Famous for being one of Germany`s most important industrial bases, developing innovative technology, Mannheim is also home to an extensive collection of significant modern and contemporary art. Housing one of the most prestigious bourgeois art collections in Germany, the Kunsthalle Mannheim has put its mark on the city's cultural life for more than 100 years. The Jugendstil building of the Kunsthalle Mannheim was constructed in 1907, as part of the 300-year anniversary celebrations of the foundation of the city and became an established museum for modern and con-

temporary art just two years later. More than 2,000 paintings by prestigious artists including Édouard Manet and Francis Bacon, are complemented by an impressive collection of sculptures, including internationally renowned works by sculptors such as Wilhelm Lehmbruck and Henry Moore. The autumn exhibition is curated by Dr Marie-Amélie zu Salm-Salm who specialises in French 19th century painting and who has previously curated various exhibitions in Germany and France. A carefully chosen selection of late 19th century works from France, from the Kunsthalle's own collection, is brought face to face with paintings of similar relevance from a range of international art galleries. Works such as the London version of Cézanne`s The Card Players are invited to create a dialogue with the selection from

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Far left: Édouard Manet (1832-1883), The Execution of Emperor Maximilian, 1868/69. © Cem Yücetas Middle: Claude Monet (1840-1926), La Rue de la Bavolle à Honfleur, 1864, © Cem Yücetas Left: Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890), Vase mit Astern und anderen Blumen, 1886. © Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag Above: Paul Cézanne (1839–1906). Le fumeur accoudé, © Cem Yücetas Below: Art Nouveau building of the Kunsthalle Mannheim © Brigida Gonzalez / Kunsthalle Mannheim

the Kunsthalle's collection, enabling the visitor to examine and compare the use of styles, motifs and innovative techniques used by the respective artists. ”I understand the exhibition as a school of seeing,” defines Dr zu Salm-Salm. ”The complex constellations and surprising lines of sight, that are being made possible in this exhibition, open up the possibility of seeing every work as new, or differently when mirrored through another work.”The exhibition is comprised of six chapters, the first one introducing some of the predecessors of Impressionism, specifically Delacroix, Corot and Courbet. The central piece is the confrontation of Manet's Dead Matador from the National Gallery in Washington with another of Manet's works, The Execution of Emperor Maximilian. The further chapters show works of Monet, Pissarro, Renoir and Sisley and conclude with paintings from van Gogh and Cézanne. Examining the respective paintings closely offers a lot of detailed insight into techniques. ”Comparing a street scene and a water view by the Impressionist Alfred Sis-

ley shows how the artist worked the water surface and the cobble stones with a similar moving brushstroke,” illustrates Dr zu Salm-Salm. At the end of the exhibition the visitor's experience is contrasted by works representing abstract art of the 20th and 21st century. ”I wanted to surprise,”explains Dr zu Salm-Salm of her conceptual twist, ”the central works of Piet Modrian, Ellsworth Kelly, Josef Albers and Joseph Marioni are showing possible consequences of (post-)Impressionism and at the same time the French paintings are shown in a new light.” Therefore, the abstract works are the consequent result of the developments the visitor has just experienced. The idea behind it is to highlight the influence Impressionism has had on the way abstract artists see and use shapes and colours in their works. The overall concept of the exhibition is to enable visitors to walk from room to room through an artistic revolution.

Lorenz, director of the Kunsthalle, wants to continue sending out innovative signals to the art world. One project planned for the future is an exhibition about the South African artist William Kentridge. ”He is one of the best contemporary artists.” explains Dr Lorenz. ”Political, poetical, and precise, existentially and emotionally relating to the human and his imperfect conditions. Everything that the 100-year old history of our art institution represents.”

Hosting an exhibition including world-famous works, from internationally renowned museums, highlights the Kunsthalle Mannheim's international significance as an art gallery. For the future, Dr Ulrike

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Masterpieces from around the world The Rietberg Museum in Zurich is the only art museum for non-European cultures in Switzerland and boasts an internationally renowned collection of works from Asia, Africa, America and Oceania.

search with important art institutions worldwide such as the British Museum and the V&A.


The jewel of the museum

Since 1952, when the Museum Rietberg of the City of Zurich opened its doors to the public, it developed into one of Europe’s leading exhibition places. “Last year, over 86,000 people visited our world-famous collection.The museum designs special exhibitions which are internationally acclaimed and which are passed on to the world’s most prestigious museums such as the Metropolitain Museum of Art in New York or the Musée du quai Branly in Paris,” says Christine Ginsberg, PR and communication manager at the museum Rietberg. The museum maintains a lively exchange concerning loan objects and scientific re-

The core of the collection came from Baron Eduard von der Heydt, the founding donor of the Museum Rietberg. A knowledgeable and discerning buyer, he knew the best art dealers of the 1920s and 1930s. Today, with its presentation of works of art, the Rietberg museum seeks to not only consciously highlight the fascinating variety of artistic forms of expression, but also to arouse an interest in and understanding of foreign cultures, beliefs and religions.“One of our central exhibits and, due to its beauty, the emblem of the Museum Rietberg, is the South-Indian bronze figure Shiva Nataraja, dating from the Chola dynasty 1000 AD,” explains Christine Ginsberg. The Hindu Meiyintang Dancers

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Finest Art & Culture Left: Wesendonck Villa Below: Japan collection. Shiva Nataraja. Tibet collection. © Willi Kracher, Zurich

Internationally acclaimed special exhibitions The Museum Rietberg has chalked up successes with its specially designed exhibitions. An absolute highlight was the masterpieces from the old kingdom of Cambodia, the art of the Khmer, in 2007. Fascinating stone sculptures from old Hindu temples such as Angkor Wat attracted more than 70,000 visitors. The majority of loan objects came from museums in Cambodia and were shown in Europe for the first time.

out of glass as well. This largely subterranean building more than doubles the museum's exhibition space. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the excellent café in the former winter garden of the villa Wesendonck. A hearty breakfast, salads or delicious soups will bring you back onto your feet after the excursion to the galleries.The Rieterpark is located near Zürich S-Bahn station Enge, and can also be reached by tram line 7 and bus line 72.

“There was also a big interest in our comparative culture exhibitions like the ones with the focus on the Art of Love or Mystic,” adds Christine Ginsberg. The next exhibition in this series will explore how people from different times and regions – from Babylon via Mesoamerica to China, from the Egyptian Early Dynastic periods to the 21st Century – imagined the emergence and the structure of the Cosmos. The exhibition “KOSMOS Rätsel der Menschheit” [Cosmos – mystery of humankind] will be presented from 11 December 2014 until 31 May 2015. Architectural gem in stunning surroundings god Shiva is presented as the king of the dance. Shiva's dance, however, is not an artistic form of entertainment, but an act of cosmic creation and destruction. Among other treasures, the museum shows more than 600 objects from the world-famous Meiyintang Collection of Chinese ceramics. The collection includes eggshellthin cups from the Neolithic period, colour-glazed horses, as well as exquisite bowls with transparent glaze from the Song period.There, visitors can admire the “Three Dancers”, who seem to swing their arms gently in time with the music, one of the most extraordinary examples of tomb pottery of the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 221 AD). Information on the respective cultural backgrounds is provided by a multi-lingual audio guide and a short introductory brochure.

It is not only the museum’s collection and exhibitions which are well worth a visit. The Rietberg Museum is situated in Zurich’s most beautiful park, the 17-acre Rieterpark, one of the last intact landscape parks of the 19th century. The museum consists of several buildings with a rich historic past: the Wesendonck Villa, the Remise, the Rieter Park-Villa, and the Schönberg Villa. Here, Richard Wagner composed the “Wesendonck Lieder” and part of his opera“Tristan und Isolde”. In 2007, a new building designed by Alfred Grazioli and Adolf Krischanitz was opened. The architecturally spectacular "Emerald", as the new museum is called, consists of a glass pavilion and fits perfectly into the existing ensemble of villas in the beautiful Rieterpark. It is the first building worldwide whose supporting structure is made

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Finest Art & Culture Left: View of the monks' cells, in which the Carthusian monks lived and meditated from 1461 to 1848. © Thurgau Art Museum & Ittingen Museum Below: Rococo Church in Ittingen Museum. © Ittingen Museum Bottom: “A Silenced Library” by Joseph Kosuth occupies the entire floor of a former wine cellar. © Thurgau Art Museum

History, Art and Meditation Ittingen Museum and Thurgau Art Museum The Swiss Canton of Thurgau attracts many visitors to two museums that combine contemporary art and local history in what can only be described as truly stunning surroundings.

Art and Art Brut. One particular focus lies on artistic outsiders who work on the edges of society and challenge the traditional art view.


In the picturesque Swiss Canton of Thurgau, in close proximity to Lake Constance and right next to the idyllic river Thur, lies the Ittingen Charterhouse, a former Carthusian monastery of outstanding beauty that hosts two different museums which complement each other in a fascinating way: the Ittingen Museum and the Thurgau Art Museum. The Ittingen Museum focuses on the history of the monastery, which was founded in the 12th century and taken over in 1461 by the order of the Carthusians, who established it as a flourishing monastery where they lived their religious lives in silence and isolation. Christa Fritschi, the Museum’s Head of Marketing and Administration highlights that: “The austere monks’ cells, a richly decorated refectory and a sumptuous Rococo church still seem to echo the silence of the monks’work and prayers.”Thanks to the authenticity of the

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premises it is not difficult to imagine the monks moving cautiously through the corridors of this glorious building. If this history-charged museum wasn’t enough to explore, there is also the Thurgau Art Museum.The combination of the building’s venerable walls, its art collection and the fact that some of the exhibition rooms are located in the old cellars creates an extraordinary effect. “In the historic buildings of the former monastery, the works of renowned artists such as Joseph Kosuth, Jenny Holzer or Roman Signer develop a particularly intense aura,” Fritschi explains. Their works are presented alongside local artists and works of Naïve

The Ittingen Charterhouse is highly recommended to anyone interested in art and history. One of the highlights is the wonderful garden where the charterhouse’s own produce is grown, following the monks’ age-old traditions. In addition, it hosts Switzerland’s biggest historic rose garden and a labyrinth constructed of thyme plants, in which the visitor can relax and reach a state of contemplation, just in case the monastery’s tranquil atmosphere has not created a sufficiently deep peacefulness already. As Fritschi puts it: “Ittingen Charterhouse is a power place where authentic spirituality and monastic life continue to hold sway.”

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Finest Art & Culture

Thun-Panorama An art-historical treasure In today’s digitized world people often don’t have time to capture one special moment for themselves. The Thun-Panorama gives everyone the opportunity to experience, in such an impressive way, a certain moment can endure forever. Even after 200 years it captures the imagination of young and old visitors day after day. TEXT: IRINA SIMMEN | PHOTOS: KUNSTMUSEUM THUN

If you just hear about the size of this wonderful work of art, you’ll be astonished. At 38 metres in width and 7.5 metres in height, the Thun-Panorama covers an area of not less than 285 square metres. Marquard Wocher, a swiss artist (1760-1830), sketched the view overlooking the town centre of Thun and the backdrop of the Bernese Alps in 1808. A year later he started turning the draft into the colourful and romantic panorama. Finishing the project which can be marvelled at today, took the artist five years. Thun is a beautiful city in the midwestern part of Switzerland and famously served as the motif for the world’s oldest surviving panorama. “For Thun as well as for Switzerland in general the panorama is of great significance: it is an art-historical treasure with international radiance,”the director of Kun-

stmuseum Thun (art museum Thun) Helen Hirsch says.The fact that Marquard Wocher created the huge painting by himself makes the work – beside its old age – even more outstanding. Hirsch calls Thun-Panorama an “important contemporary witness”, referring to its nostalgic touch, which in the context of the art scene, can be regarded as a counterpoint to our stressful and busy environment.

Above: Marquard Wocher, Panorama von Thun, 1909–1914. © Gottfried Keller-Stiftung (Photo: Christian Helmle) & Outside (Photo: Hans Mischler) Below: Helen Hirsch, Director of Kunstmuseum Thun. Photo: Patric Spahni

quires occasional maintenance. “The last restoration was completed fifty years ago and this year the time has come to restore Thun-Panorama again to its former glory,” explains Hirsch. At the beginning of September the Kunstmuseum Thun reopened the rotonda with a grand event. Brought back to its former glory the Thun-Panorama makes you feel infinity just for one short moment.

The work’s history is long and there have been a few stops along the way before it reached the Kunstmuseum in Thun in 1961. Here the Thun-Panorama acquired its own new rotunda, where it is now permanently exhibited. Due to the painting’s great importance not only for the Kunstmuseum Thun, but also art lovers worldwide, the masterpiece re-

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Restaurant of the Month Germany

Christmas goose and a lot of gemütlichkeit Hamburg’s Landhaus Dill is famous for its monthly changing food and wine menus. Guests are treated to a mouthwatering choice of freshly prepared seasonal dishes in a very cosy, friendly and relaxed atmosphere. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: LANDHAUS DILL

Situated along the prestigious Elbchaussee along the Elbe river, Landhaus Dill comes across as surprisingly casual. Large flower bouquets are scattered across three beautifully decorated rooms.The main restaurant room, a smaller room featuring an original stucco ceiling and large crystal chandeliers, as well as a more intimate room with cherrywood wall panels, are the epitome of German gemütlichkeit. Austrian host Volkmar Preis personally meets and greets his guests. “Our guests feel at ease from the moment they enter. They enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, the good food and the fine wine,” Preis says and the warm-hearted restaurateur reveals: “I truly enjoy meeting so many interesting characters.You get so much in return when you approach people in a positive way.“ Together with chef de cuisine Uli Lärm and

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his team, Preis pays great attention to detail when it comes to creating exciting and delicious new menus each month. Guests may choose from a three-course or a fourcourse menu, the so-called Schlemmermenü, which is literally a feast for the tastebuds. Wine lovers are also offered a new treat each month, when six wines from a certain region are embedded in a special menu featuring perfectly matching culinary creations. In November it is all about French wines, while Preis and his team dedicated December to grapes of Spanish origin. With Christmas approaching, Landhaus Dill offers a very special treat for those passionate about poultry. 11 November marks St. Martin’s Day and the beginning of the roast Christmas goose season. Indulging in a Martinsgans or Weihnachtsgans is a

long standing tradition, especially in the North of Germany, and a dedicated menu features a yummy Austrian interpretation of the traditional roast goose. Nice and tender on the inside, while crispy on the outside the roast goose never fails to satisfy even the most discerning food aficionado. Should you plan a special private or corporate event, Landhaus Dill provides tailormade solutions according to size and occasion. And of course children are also most welcome.

Host Volkmar Preis

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Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | The WineBarn Column


This month I want to share with you the excitement that is Germany’s VDP Grosse Gewaechse or Grand Cru. The vintage 2013 white wines and vintage 2012 red wines were released on September 1, 2014. These are the ultra-premium dry wines from the very best vineyard sites made by some of the best producers in Germany. At this important annual occasion, a number of presentations by the VDP – the association of German elite winemakers – take place in Germany, providing a first opportunity to taste the new Grand Cru wines. This year there were 502 wines selected from 164 wine estates, which compares well with 509 wines from 158 estates in 2013.The first tasting took place in Wiesbaden, Germany on 25 September. A number of our producers enjoy Grand Cru status and we have a wonderful selection of some of the very best wines available. It is impossible to do them all justice, so I have chosen just three to highlight in my column this month. From the Pfalz region I have chosen a dry Riesling from the Dr Von Bassermann-Jordan estate. The Pfalz is Germany’s second largest wine-growing region with nearly 58,000 acres of vines and some 323 individual vineyard sites and nearly one in four vines in the Pfalz is Riesling. The family Basserman-Jordan estate was established in

1718 when the Jordan family began producing fine quality wines. Their 42 hectares is dedicated primarily to the Riesling grape and is divided into 20 individual sites. 2013 Kalkofen Riesling Grand Cru dry. We have just 60 bottles of this divine Riesling available at £33.70 a bottle. My second Grand Cru comes from Baden, a region that I like to think of as wine universe! The region’s slim strip of vines stretches some 400km from the upper Rhine plain to the border with Switzerland. It is Germany’s warmest and sunniest region. The family-run Bercher estate has 42 acres of vines and is the second largest vineyard in the Kaiserstuhl. Tradition and family commitment to environmentally friendly cultivation are at the heart of this winery.

Vintner Werner Naekel has established an excellent reputation for his extraordinary reds. He prolonged the pre-fermentation maceration to improve the tannic structure in the wine and was one of the first vintners to introduce French barriques. 2012 PFARRWINGERT Spaetburgunder/Pinot Noir Grand Cru. Again we have just 60 bottles of this fabulous red available at £52.80 a bottle. I hope you are tempted to try some of these Grand Cru’s – I know you won’t be disappointed and I look forward to sharing some more great wines with you next month. Happy Drinking! Iris

2013 Burkheimer Feuerberg Spaetburgunder/Pinot Noir Grand Cru. We have just 60 bottles of this outstanding Pinot available at £41.99 a bottle. My final choice comes from Ahr, a red wine paradise to the south of Cologne. The steep slate vinyards of the Ahr are among the most northerly in Germany and around 86% of its vines are red. The climate here heats up the barren slate soils during the day and they gently release their warmth at night resulting in some spectacular wines.

Iris Ellmann (above) 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:

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Austria’s answer to Champagne Whether there’s a particular reason to celebrate or you’re just appreciating life’s beauty, Sekt is the drink of choice in Austria – and never more so than when the Sekt in question possesses the delectable combination of tradition and quality. Inside every sip of Schlumberger is a portion of Austria’s history. TEXT & PHOTOS: SCHLUMBERGER WEIN- UND SEKTKELLEREI | TRANSLATION: EMMIE COLLINGE

A glass of Sekt goes hand in hand with tickets to the opera, to a ball, or to evenings with friends. A staple part of the Austrian culture – be it inVienna, Salzburg or Bregenz, drinking Sekt is a tradition, and it’s one which Schlumberger, the Austrian producer of premium Sekt, continues to cultivate. For more than 170 years Vienna’s Sekt Cellars have been producing the beverage

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according to the méthode traditionnelle, or as it is better known, the Champagne Method. However, the end product may not bear the name ‘Champagne’ as this is reserved solely for sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region. The founder of this history-rich Austrian company, Robert Schlumberger, attended the foremost school for this method. After

Robert Schlumberger

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Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Schlumberger

which has been on the Vienna Stock Market since 1986.

studying in France’s oldest Champagne Cellar, he returned to set up the Viennabased Schlumberger in 1842. Even today, the company still produces Sekt according to the traditional process for Champagne. The sparkling wine matures for 15 to 18 months, before the bottles – just as in the Champagne region itself – are turned between 24 and 32 times. This laborious production method guarantees a distinctive taste and the highest level of quality. The grapes used in the production are all of Austrian origin. “Alongside the quality of our products, their origin is also a matter of importance. As an established company with strong ties to our heritage and roots, we at Schlumberger insist upon 100% Austrian grapes and raw materials,” says Eduard Kranebitter, the chairman of Schlumberger AG, a company

Whoever believes that tradition equals stagnation couldn’t be more wrong in the case of this producer of premium Sekt, where the triedand-tested meets the visionary to create Sekt of an extraordinary nature: “We aspire to consistently connect tradition and innovation in new ways,”explains Kranebitter, and this becomes apparent when considering their ever-growing range of products: alongside the classic sparkling Brut, Rosé and Chardonnay, the company regularly offers new Cuvées, including the Schlumberger fashion line with Rosé Secco, White Secco and Gold. Furthermore, Schlumberger is an exemplary brand ambassador for Austria abroad as it is exported to more than 30 different countries. In five year’s time, every second bottle of Schlumberger will be enjoyed outside of Austria’s borders. 2014 heralds a special anniversary for Schlumberger, as 12 September 2014 marks 200 years since the birth of Robert Alwin Schlumberger in the city of Stuttgart. In honour of his life’s work and the legacy he has left, an exclusive Prestige-Cuvée has been created, composed of Austria’s best Chardonnay and Weissburgunder grapes and matured in the Méthode Traditionelle under strict control in the bottle. As far as the taste is concerned, this specialty has been designed to reflect Robert Alwin Schlumberger’s original Cuvée.

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A life-changing get-away at Biohotel Mattlihüs Spanning three generations, the Geißler family has transformed the Mattlihüs in the mountains of the Bavarian Allgäu from a tearoom to a four star green hotel. In turn, it is transforming the lives of its guests by offering ecologically friendly accommodation, organic cuisine, relaxing spa treatments and seminars on life-skills. TEXT: JULIKA HUETHER | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Situated in the village of Oberjoch within luscious mountain pastures, the Mattlihüs used to offer refreshments for tourists especially during the winter. Skiing enthusiasts would take a break at the tearoom next to the ski and chair lifts.“When the lifts were moved to a different location, the only option was to transform the Mattlihüs into a hotel,”says the current owner Alexander Geißler, who now runs the hotel together with his wife Melita. “Owing to an entrepreneurial crisis, I decided to make use of my skills as a qualified feng shui consultant and created a new, sustainable model project,”he says.

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of the Month Germany

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Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Hotel of the Month Germany

a long-term basis.“What makes the Mattlihüs special,”says Geißler,“is the unique combination of ecologically friendly architectural aspects such as the use of sustainable, natural materials, which reduce electric smog and interfering geopathic fields and a healthy, organic diet in an extraordinary setting in the Allgäu Alps. In addition, the surrounding nature offers a wide range of leisure activities such as skiing, hiking, climbing and cycling. Last but not least our spa offers health-promoting wellness treatments, which are specifically tailored to our guests.” Green as a mountain pasture The Mattlihüs offers different rooms and suites, such as the Holz100 double room, which features a panoramic balcony, all mod cons and most importantly an ecologically friendly build. The room is made of solid wood cut at a specially calculated phase of the moon, is ecologically safe, non-toxic, hypoallergenic, blocked from earth radiation and has very low electromagnetic pollution. Moreover, all rooms are designed to enable guests to enjoy a deep, relaxing sleep. Features like beds made out of stone pine wood, which lowers the heart rate by approximately 3,000 beats per night, hard foam mattresses with silver threads, shielded electronic wiring and triple glazing help protect guests from unnatural interferences and promote a carefree sleep. In the restaurant, guests can enjoy Allgäu specialities from sustainable organic farming, healthy ingredients from local producers and herbs from the hotel's very own garden.

lang, a game of tennis at the local tennis courts as well as numerous hiking and cycling opportunities mean there is something for everyone. Guests of the Mattlihüs can also take part in combined hiking and yoga sessions in the mountains. Those who come to the Mattlihüs to relax are welcome do so in the extensive health and beauty area of the hotel. Fresh water jacuzzis, a sauna, a steam bath, a surprise shower, an open air terrace and a relexation room with a beautiful view over the mountains make for a setting like no other. A large number of treatment packages including massages, facials, reflexology, baths and special packs cater to the individual's needs. Sound journeys, burn-out prophylaxis and lectures, workshops and individual counselling on medical issues and healthy living ensure that guests do not only relax and eat healthily during their stay, but that they learn ways of changing their daily routines back at home, too.“The qualities that guarantee healthy living such as high-quality, wholesome nutrition, rejuvenating surroundings and a harmonic place to sleep are very important in our hectic times,”says Geißler.“Thanks to them, we can recharge our batteries and avoid a lack of vital energy. We try to instil these skills in our guests during their stay so that, once they are back at home, they can relax in a sustainable way.”

Relaxing body and mind

The success of Geißler's project lies in his holistic approach. Not only did he create an ecologically friendly hotel. He also created a get-away for people who want more from a holiday than just to be guests. At the Mattlihüs, customers can relax while contemplating their daily routines at home and learning how to improve their way of life on

For those who enjoy active holidays, the Allgäu and the immediate surroundings of the Mattlihüs offer a myriad of leisure activities at 1,200 metres above sea level. A visit to Lake Constance or Neuschwanstein castle, night skiing at the Oberjoch and Unterjoch skiing region, a cable car ride with the Hornbahn Hindelang with natural toboggan runs, ice-skating on natural ice rinks, the open air pool Naturbad Hinde-

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Wine & Dine

Top 3 Luxury Hotels Germany

Excelsior Hotel Ernst Cologne’s only Grand Hotel rolls out the red carpet Just steps away from the famous Cologne Cathedral, you find hospitality at its best in the 5-star Excelsior Hotel Ernst. Being the only member of the “Leading Hotels of the World” in town the personalized service here is as legendary as the dining experience in its Michelin starred Restaurant “taku”. TEXT: CORDELIA MAKARTSEV | PHOTOS: EXCELSIOR HOTEL ERNST

Family-owned since 1863, the Excelsior Hotel Ernst looks back on a long history as Cologne’s most luxurious hotel. The exposed position, in the heart of the city op-

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posite Cologne Cathedral, a world heritage landmark that took some 600 years to build, is appreciated by business and leisure travelers alike. Cologne’s Main Station, the

city’s best shopping, the opera, philharmonic and many famous museums are also within walking distance. In the evening, guests find a wide range of the traditional breweries, trendy bars and inviting coffee shops close to the hotel. But it is not only the perfect location that explains the hotel’s long success story.“Your Individuality is our Excellence” is the motto at the heart of the daily business at the

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Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Top 3 Luxury Hotels Germany

Excelsior Hotel Ernst. The staff is eager to respond to every personal wish to make the stay as pleasant as possible.“With 190 staff responsible for ‘only’ 142 rooms we are always able to provide the highest service standard in all areas”, explains Henning Matthiesen, the hotel’s Managing Director. Families are made to feel particularly welcome. On arrival a sweet surprise waits in the room for the kids: like the grown-ups they get their own bathrobe and slippers, and Ernst, the stuffed bunny, watches over their dreams. Realizing the importance of combining past and future, the hotel’s interiors are traditional but innovative. Just recently, the hotel opened the new Grand Deluxe Rooms. “The rooms radiate even more warmth and comfort,” Managing Director Henning Matthiesen praises the new design.Top interior designers created the highest quality of living with great attention to detail. The simple elegance in harmonic and vibrant colors such as burgundy red, matt orange and royal dark blue conveys a sense of home and luxury. Cologne’s culinary destination Nr. 1 With the Michelin-starred restaurant “taku” and the fine dining restaurant “Hanse Stube” the Excelsior Hotel Ernst has become a culinary destination in Cologne. Thanks to the elegant setting and innovative cuisine, they are both popular spots for special-occasion meals. “taku”is Japanese and stands for “house of hospitality”.The place transmits a soothing sense of calmness with its bright, minimalistic style and East Asian touches like the small glass-covered river filled with koi carp. Chef Mirko Gaul is now regarded as one of the most pioneering masters of modern cuisine and also as one of the leading chefs of his generation when it comes to creativity. He invites his guests to a culinary journey with specialities from Japanese, Chinese, aromatic Thai andVietnamese cuisine.There is even a vegan option on the menu. Real connoisseurs choose the 6course Peking Duck menu that offers a to-

tally new interpretation of that traditional dish from Bejing. The“Hanse Stube”, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, serves contemporary French cuisine at its best with a regional twist. With its friendly and elegant atmosphere the “Hanse Stube” draws guests and locals alike and is famous in Germany for the many awards it has won over the years. EXCELICIOUS 2014 – the Red Carpet Night at the Grand Hotel Don’t miss Cologne’s most exciting New Year’s Eve Party! The Excelsior Hotel Ernst organizes a walking dinner with delicacies at different culinary stations spread throughout the entire hotel. Whether you discover Asian fingerfood and Sushi from “taku”or indulge in the sumptuous dessert buffet, you can be sure to burn enough calories by dancing the night away to the numerous live acts and show bands. And, last but not least, greet the NewYear with a glass of champagne while admiring the breathtaking fireworks around the Cathedral. There are, however, many small events to look forward to when staying at the Excelsior Hotel Ernst. British guests will be very pleased to hear that they do not have to miss out on their daily afternoon tea. The Hotel Ernst offers a very exclusive variation: The Afternoon Tea inspired by Pierre Hermé, the famous French confectioner. His world famous Macarons are served along with a selection of sweet and savoury Afternoon Tea Classics.The Hotel’s Tea Master Gold will be pleased to advise you concerning the selection of your favorite tea. With its exceptional service, extraordinary location and exquisite cuisine the Hotel Ernst is also the ideal base for high-profile conferences or board meetings. 12 different function rooms offer natural daylight, stateof-the-art communication and presentation technology as well as air conditioning. A personal conference butler makes sure the meeting runs smoothly.

Left: taku

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Fairy-tale accommodation and fantastic wines On the banks of the famous river Rhine and yet almost hidden in-between lush vineyards, Hotel Kronenschlösschen is a true insider tip. The enchanting elegance of the historic building and the excellently stocked wine cellar make this a wonderful holiday destination. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Hotel Kronenschlösschen instantly entices with its remarkable building and idyllic private park. Its view of the legendary Rhine, which meanders gently through the green valley, invites long walks, taking time off and regaining energy. Built in 1884, the beautiful mansion was the setting for an important chapter of German post-war history. It was here in 1947, in the hotel's tower suite, that Germany’s first chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, discussed the new German constitution with Theodor Heuss and Carlo Schmidt.

boutique hotel.” The tasteful interior design changes in each of the eighteen rooms and suites. Stucco ceilings and four-poster beds meet modern features such as marbled jacuzzi's and plasma TV’s. Thanks to Ullrich, the hotel merges history and comfort to perfection.

Responsible for today’s success is hotel owner Hans B. Ullrich. He explains his priority is to preserve its historic character: “The hotel was in a very bad condition back in 1990 and it would have been easier to demolish it. It took two years to completely renovate it but it was worth it. The result is a wonderful little country hotel, a so-called

A well-known highlight is the exceptional variety of wines. The 2,600-strong wine list has been recognised as the Best German Wine List by prestigious Gault-Millau while the Metternich Guide awarded the hotel as Best Riesling Wine List of Germany. From blind tastings to world rarities, this is heaven for wine lovers. “Our cellars store

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Culinary delights can be enjoyed in the gourmet restaurant (which received a Michelin star) or at the rustic bistro. “If weather permits, guests can also dine on our exclusive terrace,”Ullrich adds.

around 50,000 bottles, including the rare 1811 Château d´Yquem,” Ullrich expands. Every spring the hotel becomes the pulsing heart of the Rheingau Gourmet & Wine Festival. During two weeks around 50 events take place and some of the best International chefs and vintners share their secrets. “All together there are around 50 Michelin stars present during the festival,” says Ullrich. Certainly reason enough to pay the Kronenschlösschen a visit and enjoy a glass, or two.

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Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Top 3 Luxury Hotels Germany

Grandhotel Hessischer Hof Frankfurt’s only privately run Grandhotel stands proudly beside the Frankfurt Messe, the newly-built conference centre Kap Europe and the Skyline Plaza shopping centre in the heart of the city. TEXT: HESSISCHER HOF | TRANSLATION: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Under the Hessian house foundation, the long-established Grandhotel first opened in 1952. Its noble influence remains strikingly visible in the exclusive five star superior hotel’s architecture and interior, with works by Zuber and Dufour found amongst the antique wall tapestries adorning the walls of the Empire Salon, the Atrium and the Spiegelsalon. While the ceiling of the Restaurant Sèvres is a stunning replica of the antique hall of the Schloß Fasanerie, guests are also treated to a glimpse of the collection of royal porcelain, which stands alongside an impressive collection of 1,500 pieces of art from many of Hesse’s castles. United, these features lend the hotel its remarkably distinctive character, defined by its fusion of tradition with modernity. For decades, the luxury hotel has held an irrefutable appeal for international visitors and renowned artists from all cultural fields. Home to 121 exclusively decorated rooms and suites, each incorporating the latest technology, the hotel also boasts ten stylish

conference rooms. May 2014 heralded the inauguration of its new fitness area, the FINEST Medical, Fitness, Health. Once on the treadmill, fitness fanatics are blessed with a spectacular view over Taunus, the Europaviertel district and the iconic Messe tower. After a workout, relaxing in the sauna and steam room is rather appealing, too. Yet, the hotel’s pride and joy is located on the floor above – namely, the brand new 180 sqm Presidential Suite, embodying luxury with two bedrooms, a lounge, boardroom and kitchenette as well as a private rooftop terrace overlooking the sophisticated city. With Murano chandeliers, gold leaf furniture, antiques, a rain shower, free standing bathtub, Carrara marble and its own sauna, this suite leaves nothing to be desired.

gelée, cherries and walnut brioche mesmerises guests. Offering not only champagne breakfasts, business lunches and a dinner menu, the restaurant regularly hosts wine tastings, literary evenings and other events of a timeless yet contemporary nature. Capturing the essence of both yesterday and today with its symbiosis of tradition and modernity, the Restaurant Sèvres has indisputably become one of the city’s best addresses.The Grandhotel Hessischer Hof is also a really famous address for cocktails: Jimmy’s Bar is one of the best in Germany and stands for high class bar culture.

Head-chef Marco Wenninger lovingly prepares the finest meals for the hotel’s own Restaurant Sèvres, and his presence doubles as a guarantee for the finest of fine dining. His foie gras with Pedro Ximénez

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Discover Germany | Business | Solicitor Column

The Monkey Business of Copyright TEXT & PHOTO: GREGOR KLEINKNECHT

Who says that the law is a dry subject? Every once in a while, the amusing and the unforeseen, which does not neatly fit into pre-conceived legal concepts, can send the legal profession into a bit of a spin and create challenging legal issues. I am thinking here of the now famous and really quite funny selfie taken by a crested black macaque in Indonesia back in 2011, which recently went viral and not only gained world-wide exposure but also raised a heated copyright debate.The enterprising female macaque at the centre of the controversy nicked British nature photographer David Slater's camera and made off into the jungle before starting to experiment with the camera and taking numerous more or less blurry photographs of herself and her mates before refining her technique sufficiently to have the break through that every aspiring artist is waiting for and making it big. In fact, our grinning macaque can look back on a long and illustrious line of animal artmakers large and small, whose output ranged from the abstract to the surprisingly figurative, and which include celebrities such as Congo the chimpanzee, whose art was reputedly collected by Picasso, and three of whose works were sold by Bonhams in 2005 at auction for £14,400 including premium. One can only feel for Mr Slater, who owns the equipment used, and no doubt put a great deal of effort, time, money and inconvenience into making the journey into the Indonesian rainforest and setting up the camera to take photographs of the

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macaques before nature intervened only for him to find the fruit of his labour included in the Wikimedia Commons library, a repository of copyright free images, and to be deprived (at least for the time being) of substantial income from the royalties which would normally arise from the publication of the photograph. Wikimedia argues that Mr Slater is not the author of the photograph as it was taken by the macaque who pushed the shutter button. As authors of copyright works must be human beings according to US copyright law, Wikimedia believes that the photograph is not protected by copyright and instead belongs in the public domain where it should be accessible free of charge. English copyright law, which normally vests copyright ownership in the author of a work, meaning the ”person who creates it”, would also point to the prima facie conclusion that the macaque does not own the copyright. Under English law, there is plenty of scope for argument, however, over whether in the circumstances Mr Slater could be deemed the (human) creator of the photograph, whether his contribution in setting up and adjusting the camera was otherwise significant enough for him to be considered at least the joint creator of the work, or whether it really rightfully belongs in the public domain. Who knows whether the macaque altered the settings of the camera to her own liking while playing around with it? The one thing we do know from looking at the photos is that our artist appears thoroughly to have enjoyed herself. Mr Slater will probably banish ideas of copyright infringement proceedings in the end, given the evidential and legal uncer-

tainties, but let's hope that the episode has done enough to put his name in the headlines and to provide the career boost which he so richly deserves.

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:

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With a deep sea diver’s license and a high seas patent: Ahoi Atlantik from NOMOS Glashßtte

Find out more about this and other models at and

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Discover Germany | Business | Sirius Facilities

Left: Lobby of Business Park in Bremen Above: Office building in Bonn Open space in Bonn

First Choice for business spaces Strategic business success and commercial growth are heavily dependent on professional working spaces. Sirius Facilities, Germany’s leader in commercial premises, offers spaces for small- and medium-sized enterprises that allow clients to prosper. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: SIRIUS FACILITIES

Are you looking for flexible and innovative business space to help your business grow in Germany? Do you need to find a convenient location for a company conference, training seminars, or corporate or client meeting? How about leasing a modern and inspiring workstation? If so, look no further. From conventional offices, conference centres, single workstations, virtual rooms, artist and band rooms, self-storage or warehouses, Sirius Facilities is the best choice for all business spaces.

spread out over Germany and centred in major commercial regions, more than 3,500 tenants are currently leasing or using Sirius Facilities’ spaces.“We offer tenants, particularly those of small-scale and start-ups, all of the advantages that a large business park has: good facilities and consistent Germany-wide service standards, as well as uniform labeled spaces with recognition value,”states the CEO Andrew Coombs.

Office spaces and premium meeting rooms

Sirius Facilities operates commercial spaces in 30 business parks, and 20 conference centres. Currently, 160 employees are dedicated to delivering the best service and customer support.

The company was founded in 2005 and the first business park in Berlin (Gartenfeld) opened its doors in 2006. Geographically

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National service provider with regional focus

And, although the company boasts a national service web, Sirius has a regional mind-set. Knowing the specifics of the market and the economic environment of each location, they use this knowledge to create a better experience for their clients, especially small and medium-sized companies. Co-working and smart office spaces Most Sirius Business Parks offer superb, high quality, flexible office spaces and meeting rooms, or virtual office services (including call answering and mail forwarding). These spaces allow companies to grow and ideas to materialize. From single entrepreneurs using an OfficePod, to start-ups with a small budget using coworking spaces, to small and mediumsized firms operating their own office. The idea is that once their company’s network and team grows, any of them can conveniently move into a standard office (sizes XS to XXL) and mix-and-match their business services.

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Top: Conference room in Munich

Top: Smartspace in Cologne

Top: Smartspace Workbox in Berlin, Gartenfeld

Above: On-site bistro in Berlin

Right: Smartspace office in Bremen

Above: Business Park Berlin, Gartenfeld

Bottom: Lounge conference center

Bottom: Lounge in First Choice

Leasing rates are either fixed per month or service-specific. The so-called‘smart space’ options already include services such as coffee/tea flat rate, cleaning, exclusive lounge and furniture. Other advantages are the parking spaces, bistro and cafeteria use, high-speed Internet and telephone, and 24/7 access to the units.

ample, spaces around the Frankfurt and Berlin regions are characterized by many facilities that are ideal for individual and small businesses.

Persistent quality and expansion “Every company is different and therefore requires different premises and other services with individual conditions. We see ourselves as service providers and will make sure that our clients thrive in our business areas with tailor-made services at a good price,”explains the management.

First Choice Business Center From 15sqm to several 100sqm, and to the premium spaces, Sirius Facilities can accommodate any business needs. The First Choice Business Center stands out through its top location and inclusive business services, ranging from concierge to postal services to exclusive benefits such as hotel, boarding apartments, restaurants, and rental car reservations. Meeting rooms are equipped with the latest presentation technique, designer furniture, and amenities.

Services for commercial and private clients In addition to office spaces, both commercial and individual clients can also lease storage units, warehouses and conference centres. On-site security teams make sure the client’s storage facility is 100% secure all of the time.The modern spaces and services are ideal for new and growing businesses looking to make their mark in Germany. International clients can profit from an office presence in one of Germany’s most vibrant cities or regions.

Building on their philosophy, their business has prospered in recent years. As the German commercial property market continues to be in high demand, Sirius Facilities wants to continue to grow and expand, especially targeting small and medium sizes companies.

Modernizing business parks While many of the traditional spaces are set in beautiful old buildings, the company also renovates and revitalizes idle business parks.Through this modernization process, Sirius Facilities creates valuable, attractive commercial spaces for their clients. For ex-

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Discover Germany | Business | Kerstin Cieslik

Sustainable success through Life Work Balance A woman who found her vocation in Business Coaching invented a unique strategy. The professional and private philosophy of Kerstin Cieslik is: Only success which covers the entire personality can be sustainable success and only who is lifebalanced in all areas of life can thereby lead and motivate people. TEXT: MERYEM HAUER | PHOTO: KERSTIN CIESLIK

After obtaining a degree in Business Studies at the Universities at Mannheim and at Cambridge, Kerstin Cieslik completed professional training as a Business Coach at the Coach University Colorado, USA. She worked as an executive in a global enterprise for several years and therefore knows about the challenges of dynamic working environments.

In the year 2010 Cieslik was hired by SAT 1, a German private television broadcaster. There she provided practical advice to viewers by using the Life Pillar Coaching method within the daily morning show. Now the nationally and internationally active Business Coach lives near Frankfurt in Germany and is the founder of the Life Work Balance Institute.

The successful entrepreneur, who has just been nominated for the Hessischer Mittelstandspreis 2014, created the Life Pillar Coaching method which was then further developed to the Life Work Balance approach. The idea behind that philosophy is that there are three main life pillars which can influence each other in different ways: work, family and health.

The aim of Life Work Balance is to achieve sustainable success through personal development by using individual coaching strategies – no classical behaviour training. And to reach an ideal success-balance leading to an authentic leadership style for executives with the result of a measurable and lasting performance increase. It is all built on an individual, praxis-oriented

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coaching approach with a strong focus on the Coachee’s personality. As an independent entrepreneur she specialises in coaching senior executives, managers and directors within the branches of media, politics and economy. To summarise, executives can only be successful and efficient in a long-term way if they know their personal motivation and achievement. Knowledge about their own personality has a decisive influence on lasting efficiency and a functional collaboration between executive and employee. In conclusion, the Life Work Balance approach can be summarised by a quote of Kerstin Cieslik: “Sustainable success is likely if career, relationship and health receive the same attention and the best executives are those who know themselves best.”

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Special Theme

Excellent Austrian Universities

University of Vienna, main building

Studying in Austria Where a high quality of life meets academic excellence The opportunities for further education in Austria are abundant and 364,000 students take advantage of these annually. Approximately 341,000 students study at Austria's 22 state-run universities and 21 technical universities, the two main educational establishments. The public expenditure for these two types of institutions is around 3.78 billion Euros, equivalent to 1.21% of GDP. TEXT: FEDERAL MINISTRY OF SCIENCE, RESEARCH AND ECONOMICS | TRANSLATION: EMMIE COLLINGE PHOTOS: UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA

International students also consider Austria a desirable location in which to study, attracted by its high quality of life and excellent academic record. With 15% of its students coming from abroad, Austria has the sixth highest number of foreign students within the OECD. With a few exceptions, Austria does not charge any student fees and there are no specific entrance requirements for the majority of students at public universities, aside from such university entrance qualifications as the Matura (the high school leaving certificate), the Berufsreifepruefung (the vocational certificate) or the Studienberechtigungspruefung, which enables students without a high school leaving certifi-

cate to attend a university course. However, certain degree programmes do have an admission procedure. The individual decides where and what to study. With 92,000 students, Vienna is not only the country’s largest but also its oldest university, founded in 1365. On a much smaller scale,Austria’s Universities of the Arts are considered amongst the world’s finest, with celebrated alumni such as Zaha Hadid, Michael Haneke and Peter Simonischek. Compared to other European countries, the promotion of further education within Austria is substantial, and the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economics invests approximately 182 million Euros an-

nually in order to aid socially vulnerable people or assist students with travel to university. Austria is also notably active in international research and mobility programmes. As part of the EU’s exchange programme, 72,000 students have undertaken semesters abroad and 100,000 should have taken this leap by 2018. In recent years Austrian universities have greatly boosted their quality and their attitudes to internationalism. As a study destination, Austria’s comparatively good career prospects for graduates and the country’s high quality of life render it a very attraction proposition.

Reinhold Mitterlehner, Federal Minister of Science, Research and Economy. Photo: Hans Ringhofer

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Teach, research and heal The Medical University of Innsbruck offers excellence in all fields of medicine The Medical University of Innsbruck (MUI) is not only the predominant medical institution of the Austrian federal state Tyrol and the surrounding Alpine areas but also a university renowned internationally for its research. TEXT: JESSICA POMMER | PHOTOS: MEDICAL UNIVERSITY OF INNSBRUCK

Founded originally in 1669 by Emperor Leopold I as one of the first of four faculties of the University of Innsbruck and as the first medical academic institution of the Alpine region, the medicine faculty developed into a flagship of the university. In 2002 it undertook the important step of becoming independent and since then has

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borne the title of a university in its own right. About 3,000 students study here and 1,800 employees come here for work. Research focuses on the fields of oncology, neuroscience, infection biology, immunology and organ and tissue replacement, as well as genetics, epigenetics and genomics.

Top right: CCB Centre Top far right: Anatomy

Below: Rector Helga Fritsch, head of the Medical University of Innsbruck. Bottom right: The Anatomical Museum

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Excellent Austrian Universities

During its long history the medical faculty first gained prominence with the inauguration instead of the Chair of Surgery in the year 1733, the first in Austria. Also, the department of Medicinal Chemistry made history: three chairholders, Fritz Pregl in 1923, Adolf Windaus in 1928 and Hans Fischer in 1930, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Nowadays research success is achieved both on the theoretical and the practical level. A recent success story accomplished by MUI scientists is the diagnosis of one of the roots of the rare disease Sjögren-Larsson syndrome, an autosomal, recessive, neurocutaneous disease. Furthermore, the genetic causes of many other rare diseases such as the Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome, the microvillus inclusion disease or Kohlschütter-Tönz syndrome were clarified in Innsbruck. Scientists at the Medical University of Innsbruck are supported by the Research Service Centre, which helps them in promoting and carrying out their research projects. The Research Service Centre also helps the scientists to acquire the most appropriate means for funding research, which is highly competitive. Application-oriented research is endorsed by the Centre for Academic Spin-offs Tyrol (CAST) and by the CEMIT project management centre (Centre of Excellence in Medicine and IT). Support of the Medical University of Innsbruck by the Science Fund (FWF), the National Bank and the European Union bears testimony to the significance of the research unit. There also exist numerous international partnerships. “We aim to expand our science campus and promote scientific exchange between other leading universities in Europe,” says the head of the Medical University of Innsbruck, Rector Helga Fritsch.

ture like state-of-the-art laboratories provides an inspiring learning atmosphere. Students can gain their degree either in human medicine, dentistry or – exclusively in Austria - molecular medicine.They also can deepen their medical knowledge by choosing one of the various PhD programmes. The third main field to which the Innsbruck Medical University is dedicated is healing. The close relationship between the university and its surroundings is demonstrated by the fact that the Medical University´s Clinics are located at the federal hospital of Tyrol. Approximately 90,000 inpatients are treated per year.“At the moment we are in the process of restructuring our inner medicine unit. A new cancer centre, drop-in clinic rooms and research rooms are being built,”announces Rector Helga Fritsch. A facility which is of interest to the public is the Anatomical Museum Innsbruck. Here the visitor faces the more eerie facets of research. Historical objects of research, skeletons and skulls, are on display. When the anatomical chair commenced operations

in 1689 the use of dead bodies for anatomical lessons was publicly ostracized due to religious considerations. The only legal way to get bodies was to acquire those of executed people from an executioner. As formaldehyde, the fluid to preserve soft parts was yet to be discovered, the scientists only kept the skeletons. One interesting skeleton on exhibition, with his 225 cm of height, is that of the giant Nikolaus Haidl, who was the bodyguard of Archduke Sigismund the Münzreiche and died in 1491. In 1943 half of the collection was destroyed in a bombing raid of the Second World War, so the following generations can appreciate that the other half of the collection has survived. And a little known fact is, that the fairly famous Hauslabjoch mummy, ”Ötzi”, was first examined here. The museum is open on Thursday from 3.30 to 6 pm or by prior appointment. (click on Clinical and Functional Anatomy, then follow Museum)

The second domain in which the Medical University of Innsbruck maintains excellence is study and teaching. Students who come to Innsbruck are spoiled ripe not only by the campus but also by the attractive location. Surrounded by the Alps, Innsbruck is stunning both in summer and winter.The compactly built campus ensures a close research community. Outstanding infrastruc-

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Karl Landsteiner University in Krems Training the health specialists of tomorrow Growing populations, longer life expectancies and escalating costs of health are just some of the problems which need to be tackled by future generations. Based on an integrative approach, Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences in the Austrian town Krems is educating a new generation of highly qualified doctors and health specialists, creating access to modern professions in the health sciences. TEXT: CORDELIA MAKARTSEV | PHOTOS: KARL LANDSTEINER UNIVERSITY

Opened in 2013, the Karl Landsteiner University is one of the youngest and most modern institutions in the field of higher education. The founders of the University established a new definition of the health sciences. To prepare the young experts for their future role the University has brought together four disciplines that have a decisive impact on health policy – health science, human medicine, psychotherapy and counselling, and neurorehabilitation – under the banner of health sciences. It is an ambitious vision of future higher educa-

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tion:“Based on an integrative approach, we aim to combine all public-health relevant key areas with human medicine. We want to become the leading provider for interdisciplinary higher education for innovative professions in the field of Health Sciences,” says Univ.-Prof. Dr. Rudolf Mallinger, Rector and CEO at the Karl Landsteiner University. Integrative, interdisciplinary studies with an international outreach The Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences is the first Austrian university to offer a comprehensive medical education which satisfies the objectives of the Bologna process. The 6-semester Health Sciences Bachelor programme is followed by a 6semester Master in Human Medicine. Biomedical engineering and health economics are key focus areas at Karl Landsteiner Uni-

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Excellent Austrian Universities

To ensure the students will excel in the international arena and scientific community, the Health Sciences bachelor programme is read in English. All other courses are held in German. Applicants whose mother tongue is not German have to prove their language skills. The Human Medicine master programme builds on the Health Sciences bachelor degree. Besides offering the scientific training required to enter the medical profession, the programme is geared towards providing the skills needed by independent practitioners. On completing their degree, graduates receive the academic title of doctor of medicine (

Main image: New building to be completed in 2016 and offering capacity 570 students. Bottom left: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Rudolf Mallinger, Rector and CEO at the Karl Landsteiner University.

versity. Both of these subjects are integral to the state-of-the-art curriculum and essential components of their degree programmes and research initiatives. Univ.Prof. Dr. Mallinger explains the benefits for the students: “The Bologna-compliant structure allows the connection to different scientific areas, other international degree programmes and new professional perspectives. Students who do not want to progress from the Bachelor degree to the Master programme in Human Medicine, have the possibility to switch to related studies like Public Health or Biomedical Engineering or they enter professional life. The special knowledge they gain in the bachelor programme paves the way for further qualifications in biomedical engineering, in the pharmaceutical industry or in areas such as medical documentation.”

The part-time Psychotherapy and Counselling Sciences bachelor programme has been designed to provide high-quality, theory-driven and research-based education with the aim of satisfying the rising demand for counsellors and psychotherapists. Thanks to their theoretical knowledge and practical clinical expertise, graduates are ideally placed to complete professional training in psychotherapy, and to attend courses leading to professional counselling qualifications that allow them to work at psychosocial facilities, or in the public or private sector.

bilities for studying. The students manage their learning progress themselves through intensive, individual support and the opportunity to self-evaluate their progress.” This is especially important for foreign students as they get the support they need in all matters regarding their study and life at the University. The training is flexible and praxis-oriented. The network of university hospitals in St. Pölten, Krems and Tulln provides students of the Karl Landsteiner University with a quality-assured, research-led education, and allows them to experience clinical research with a strong international reputation. Although, Krems is a relatively small town approximately 43 miles west ofVienna, it is a cultural and educational centre in Lower Austria. The Karl Landsteiner University together with the Danube University Krems, IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems, Austrian Film Gallery and Contemporary Archive are all located on the campus, which provides an ideal study and research environment for around 7,600 students. Excellent sport facilities, cafes, clubs and a wonderful historic old town guarantee unforgettable university years.

The 6-semester part-time Neurorehabilitation Sciences master programme is designed to help professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational and speech therapists develop their research capabilities. As neurological conditions become increasingly widespread, the focus of research needs to shift towards the development of effective new neurorehabilitative treatments and therapies. As a result, the demand for highly qualified researchers with suitable clinical training is set to rise in the next few years. Excellent supervision and individual support in small groups The Karl Landsteiner University is a private institution which is advantageous for the students, according to Univ.-Prof. Dr. Mallinger: “We provide a state-of-the art learning environment with optimal possi-

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Viennese Universität für Bodenkultur Wien researches how to make life more sustainable The Universität für Bodenkultur, BOKU for short, is a university for life sciences and natural resource management situated in Vienna. In research and education BOKU focuses on how to conserve and protect natural resources for generations to come. In connecting natural sciences, engineering and economics the university has an interdisciplinary approach. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: BOKU

“In the fields of agriculture and forest science, food science, biotechnology in all its facets, environment – especially water, soil and atmosphere – renewable resources and wood technology as well as spatial planning BOKU is the number one address in Central Europe,” says vice chancellor Martin Hubert Gerzabek. Researching sustainability and how to protect natural resources will become more and more important in the decades to come when natural resources will become scarcer and the impacts of climate change will be felt globally.“Society and the economy are changing globally as well as locally. Developing towards a sustainable economy – the change from an economy based on fossil fuels towards a bio economy – is inevitable.”

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BOKU’s competences in research and teaching are essential to make this conversion possible.Teaching state of the art content and educating about current issues using modern didactic methods is as important as the practical relevance these courses have. Students are enabled to understand complex interdisciplinary relationships and therefore can better face the demands of the future. “Students at BOKU are mostly full of curiosity, live in close touch with nature and are very committed,”says Gerzabek. Whoever wants to study at the Universität für Bodenkultur should have certain attributes: “Besides having a good school education, students should be persistent and be interested in natural sciences and technology

as well as in social sciences and economics. Being interested in interdisciplinary issues is important.” The BOKU has an international focus as well. Today about 20 per cent of their students come from foreign countries and 11 of the total 26 master courses are held in English. Above that the university offers internationally oriented PhD programmes. Studying at one of the partner universities all over the world is part of the BOKU curriculum. In a national ranking BOKU gained second place with Austrian students when it comes to the question how satisfied they are with their studies. Internationally the university has a good standing: In the Green University Ranking for example BOKU obtained 27th place.

Dr. nat. techn. Dr. h. c. mult. Martin Hubert Gerzabek

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Excellent Austrian Universities

Continuing Education Center International, innovative education in Engineering and Business Studies Qualified professionals from technical and scientific backgrounds are always in demand. What sets graduates from the Continuing Education Center (CEC) at the Vienna University of Technology apart from their peers is their in-depth knowledge of markets and businesses, acquired through a wide range of postgraduate programmes and seminars. TEXT: JULIKA HUETHER | PHOTOS: CONTINUING EDUCATION CENTER, VIENNA, UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

Further education has a long tradition at the Vienna University of Technology.This year, it celebrates 25 years of real estate studies, a field in which it has always played a pioneering role. With numerous postgraduate programmes and seminars in engineering and business studies, the CEC provides its students with high-quality courses that have been accredited and continuously re-accredited by prestigious institutions. A prime example is the Professional MBA Automotive Industry, a practical oriented programme offering access to international experts from the automotive and component supply industry, excursions to major automotive and supplier production sites, fireside chats with opinion leaders and cross-border cooperation between two major universities.

The MSc Renewable Energy in Central and Eastern Europe is another popular Englishlanguage programme and deals with future issues of alternative energy production, in particular with technical innovations, the management of sustainable energy systems and the respective European and national laws and directives. The MEng International Construction Project Management programme combines theoretical knowledge, economic knowledge and project management tools with an international orientation, including workshops in London and Istanbul. O. Univ. Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.Adalbert Prechtl, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs at theVienna University of Technology and Director of the

CEC, says: “The cooperation with the faculties of the Vienna University of Technology ensures that the CEC's programmes are always up-to-date with current research findings in the respective fields.The combination of technical and scientific primary education and in-depth business or other relevant studies significantly enhances our graduates’ chances on the international job market.” The unique combination of current, advanced knowledge in engineering and business studies is additionally supported by an innovative learning environment.The CEC was the first further education institution in Europe to provide its students with iPads, which enable them to access their learning materials from all over the world. This is especially important due to the international orientation of the CEC. Many of its programmes are exclusively taught in English, a fact mirrored by the make-up of its student body, which comprises 74 nationalities. At the CEC, they receive an international, innovative continuing education that is both current and O. Univ. Prof. Dipl.- Ing. Dr. Adalbert forward-looking. Prechtl, Vice Rector for Academic

fairs at the Vienna University of Technology and Director of the CEC. © Vienna University of Technology Photo: J. Zinner

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Destination Resort of the Month Austria

Spa relaxation,design and wine The LOISIUM wine&spa resorts offer unique relaxation treatments The LOISIUM wine&spa resorts offer a unique experience. Guests can choose between two resorts lying in stunning Austrian wine regions where wine samplings and wine-related treatments await them.

wine trail. Both regions are prominent wine cultivation areas and stand out as stunning backdrops for natural beauty.


Both resorts combine tradition and modernity in one place.The tradition of wine cultivation is reflected in the 900-year-old history of the Langenlois resort´s vaults. On the other hand visitors to both resorts experience unusual modern design and stateof-the art facilities.

Autumn is the time of harvest. Also, wine grapes are now ready to be picked. Not only wine merchants long for the season of grape harvest to produce new wine but also beauty chemists.The use of wine extracts in beauty treatment has experienced a new revival in recent years but is based on a millennia-old tradition. The exceptional idea to combine the culinary tasting of wine and the use of its healthy components in wellness therapy has been realized in the LOISIUM wine & spa resorts. There are two resorts: the LOISIUM Wine & Spa Resort Langenlois,

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which is situated above the valleys of the river Kamp in Lower Austria and the LOISIUM Wine & Spa Resort South Styria, romantically nestled along the South Styrian

The wine cultivation area in Langenlois is famous for its white wines like the Riesling or Green Veltliner. Located 50km northwest of Vienna, the pioneering LOISIUM wine & spa resort in Langenlois makes wine palpable in various forms. Whether in its four star hotel, the internationally awarded Wine Spa or the Weinerlebniswelt, the wine cellar maze, visitors to the LOI-

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Discover Germany | Destination Resort of the Month | LOISIUM Main image & below: LOISIUM Wine & Spa Resort Langenlois

views of the surrounding grapevines. Having an outer façade of larch wood, the resort alludes to the rustic character of the region, South Styria. Inside the design hotel the 105 light-flooded rooms, of which 20 are suites, act as a canvas for the romantic outer landscape. Interior design highlights like glass bathtubs in each room or pieces of art from international artists in the hotel complement the prevailing feeling of comfort.

wines during a sampling hosted by viniculturalists. “The LOISIUM concept works so well that we want to take the idea abroad: we are planning to open a LOISIUM Wine & Spa Resort in Alsace in France in the near future. Also, there are further projects in Europe planned,”announces Ms Kraus-Winkler.

The centrepiece of both resorts is the LOISIUM Wine Spa. Comprising 1,400sqm the LOISIUM Wine & Spa Resort South Styria offers extensive space to relax and experience the unique wine extract treatments. Only organic beauty treatments are used. There exist partnerships with vegan beauty product merchants AVEDA, COMFORT ZONE and VINOBLE, the latter using grapes from the region. A bath in wine essences and anti-aging grape seed oil in a wine barrel tub contrast with more conventional relaxation methods like the Finnish sauna. Also the Wine Spa in Langenlois with 1,000sqm of space makes it hard to decide which treatment should be selected first: 12 treatment rooms, relaxation lounges with a view on the wine yards, the Spa Bar, the saunas or the heated outdoor pool offer myriad ways to calm down.“We adapt our packages to the season. For example in winter, a Hot Fusion Stone Massage combined with a winter hike through the vineyards is offered,”explains Susanne Kraus-Winkler, managing partner of the LOISIUM resorts.

SIUM can´t miss the merits of wine. Amidst the wine grapes the visitor meets in outstanding modern architecture, which of course also relates to wine. The New York architect Steven Holl built a resort which with its glassy ground floor and quirky elements, like corkscrew-shaped lamps, is itself an artwork and has garnered the award “Member of Design Hotels”TM. Lying on a hill next to a castle, the LOISIUM Wine & Spa Resort South Styria automatically enables the guest to enjoy great

Below: LOISIUM Wine & Spa Resort South Styria

A stay in one of the two LOISIUM wine & spa resorts would not be complete without also satisfying the gourmet belly. In the LOISIUM Wine & Spa Resort South Styria there are two restaurants to choose from. The chef makes sure to use mainly local ingredients. Creative cooking is also on the agenda in the LOISIUM Langenlois. The LOISIUM wine & spa resorts not only attract leisurely holiday makers but also business people striving for a classy setting. After a stressful day, business guests might be prone to delve into the subterranean wine vaults and explore the local

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Special Theme

Enjoy a Sparkling Wintertime Germany

Pine, pistes and peace Combining to form Germany's largest linked ski resort, Bavaria's Kaiser-Reich Oberaudorf and its surrounding valleys and mountains boast an incomparable mix of traditional Bavarian charm, festive fun and exciting skiing, with resorts, ski runs, toboggan slopes and cross-country skiing tracks to suit all abilities, not just the experts. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: KAISER-REICH INFORMATION OBERAUDORF

Off the slopes, Oberaudorf possesses the traditional charm commonly associated with Bavaria in abundance, making it a real joy to discover the region at your leisure. Oberaudorf is an untroubled village with hospitable natives and landlords who pamper the guests all around. There are plenty of reasons to settle here for a winter break – especially when you consider the valuefor-money of this southern tip of Germany.

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The pick of plenty Counting Hocheck, Sudelfeld, Zahmer Kaiser (Tirol), Spitzingsee-Tegernsee, Wallberg and Brauneck-Wegscheid as its home turf, Oberaudorf's selection box of ski delights make it a hit with families, powderseekers, adrenaline junkies and hardy snow-shoe hikers alike. Voted Germany's Best Ski Resort in 2011, the popular Hocheck in Oberaudorf still, however, remains something of an insider's tip outside

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Enjoy a Sparkling Wintertime in Germany

local specialities at one of the welcoming mountain taverns. While many ski resorts morph into raucous après-ski hangouts, or – at the other end of the spectrum – possess an unearthly quietness in the evenings, one of the major perks of Oberaudorf is its opportunities for nighttime skiing. With one of Germany's longest floodlit Alpine descents – and the toboggan run too – illuminated to the public on Tuesdays,Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the fun does not have to end once the sun goes down. In fact, with half of the resorts in the region boasting floodlit facilities on top of their regular pistes and toboggan runs, the popular 'White Weeks' from 10.01.2015 to 17.01.2015 and from 28.02.2015 to 27.03.2015 which, with a minimum stay of seven days, gives you a 50% discount on your ski pass ‘Alpen Plus Holiday-Card’. That’s an obvious hit with holiday makers. For more information on these, head to: Avoid excess baggage fees Boasting more than a dozen ski schools, rental shops, depots and service stations within the wider area, access to top quality equipment couldn't be easier. After paying a visit to one of the professionals and kit-

ting yourself out, newbies to the winter sport can learn the basics at one of the ski schools. Whatever discipline you fancy, proficient staff will show you the ropes, equipping you with the skills required to tackle descents. After a few hours, you'll be mounting and dismounting the ski lifts with ease before speeding off down the pistes with barely more than a tremble of nerves at the top. The cross-country ski tracks, primed to perfection by Oberaudorf's team of dedicated track preparers, stretch for kilometre after kilometre, looping through the lower levels of the valley, careering through pine forests and caressing lake edges. Beginners may prefer one of the shorter classic routes of 1.5km, where their first introduction to cross-country skiing will leave them feeling exhilarated. Once you've mastered the basics, the region's range of routes of varying distances and difficulties will keep you busy for the entirety of your stay. Festive delights Traditions abound in the run-up to Christmas as each Advent weekend plays host to authentic Alpine traditions. The region's Christkindl markets distinguish themselves with their unique Bavarian charm, setting the bar higher than ever for Germany's regular markets. Gluehwein and Punsch are

of Germany – despite the addition of the high-tech four-seater cable car, the Hocheck Express, which has greatly boosted access to the plenitude of runs. With little risk of avalanches, the familyfriendly ski station also has a range of t-bar lifts, practice grounds, a very popular snowboard fun park and a 3km toboggan run. With all of these great facilities within easy reach of each other, families can wave goodbye to their competent teenagers, whose appetite for off-piste antics and black runs will easily be sated, leave the youngest ones (the four to six-year-old children) in the capable hands of the ski school staff, and reunite after a day on the slopes to swap stories over a warm drink and great

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Enjoy a Sparkling Wintertime in Germany

the tipples of choice, giving each imbiber a true taste of Germany, while roasted chestnuts and tasty gingery Lebkuchen fill the stomachs of the thousands of visitors. With more than 50 lovingly hand-crafted Nativity scenes on display in the region's cultural centres, each more decorative and intricate than the last, visitors to the Bavarian Alps can get a closer look at this centuries-old handicraft. In a similar vein, Perchten, celebrated in Oberaudorf on 5 December and in the Tirolean regions at the end of December and in January, involves a city-wide procession in true pre-Christian Alpine tradition. Perchten are disguised demonic figures, who dispel winter and evil spirits.

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Considered rather special, the Perchten festivities are a sight to be seen. After an extra thrill? Tobogganing is one of the area's main attractions – and rightly so as the region lays claim to Germany's best rated school. Far more intricate than just basic sledging, tobogganing sees squealing adults and children alike clamber aboard a structure that propels them downhill, reaching rather high speeds – although braking is most certainly advised! A real sport in itself, the basics of tobogganing are best learned from an expert. That's why a course at the learning centre (the 'Rodelschule') in Hocheck, the number one school of its sort in Germany, is advisable to master the art of cor-

nering and braking. The descent in Bruennstein is not only Germany's longest toboggan run, descending 700m in height over its 5km run, but it is also one of the most picturesque – providing you are going slowly enough to soak up the view. However, this 5km route is considered rather challenging so beginners are best going to Hocheck first. Alternatively, there are opportunities for this activity in Oberaudorf itself, and Kiefersfelden too. For those looking for yet more adventure, winter canyoning has really taken off in this region and is attracting hordes of visitors solely for this adrenaline-crazed excitement. Different from regular canyoning, participants enter the canyon, reaching

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Enjoy a Sparkling Wintertime in Germany

travaganza performed by the ski school staff. Partygoers are welcome to dance the night away in Oberaudorf, Hirschalm, Wenger Stadl and Berggasthof Hocheck. A few kilometres away in Tirol, Kuftstein's city centre is transformed into a true preNYE paradise with live music and performers. Not just popular for its picturesque white landscape, Alpine architecture and pine trees, Oberaudorf is a veritable ski paradise that has undergone extensive modernisation over the past decade, bringing it firmly to the fore of Germany's winter scene. With snow security a given during

the winter months, a distinct lack of overcrowding, well groomed pistes and a vast variety of comfortable lodgings to suit all pockets, the lure of this region continues to grow – and deservedly so.

Getting there: Oberaudorf is located 80km from Munich and is easily reached via the A93. The Deutsche Bahn train service offers discounted travel and there are plenty of free parking places in the region.

a height of 70m, before traversing it on wires and rope bridges, clambering over snow and ice-covered boulders. Breathtaking and wild, the opportunity to do winter canyoning really is one that should not be missed on a visit to the region. For a gentler pace of life, horse and cart rides and snowshoe hikes are very popular before nipping into a cosy open-fire restaurant for a warming drink. When New Year’s Eve isn't enough Famed across Germany for its Vorsilvester festivities, the popular pre-New Year’s Eve parties take place in Oberaudorf, as the evening kicks off with illuminated skiing and sledging, fireworks and a ski trick ex-

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Fall and winter serenity in the Alps Alm & Wellnesshotel Alpenhof****superior This Bavarian gem offers a relaxing and rejuvenating experience for all guests; single travellers, families, and romantic couples. The classic wellness amenities and the professional staff make everybody feel at home away from home.

Family-run business and open to the world


Have you ever wanted to swim in a heated outdoor pool while taking in crisp, cool mountain air? Or have you ever wanted to unwind on a casual spa-and wellness break? What about seeing the sights and engaging in great outdoor activities? If so, pack your bags and head to the beautiful Berchtesgadener Land. A year-round holiday destination The Alpenhof is nestled at 700m high be-

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manager of Alm- & Wellnesshotel Alpenhof ****superior.

tween Berchtesgaden and the Königssee, in a secluded area with stunning views of the Berchtesgaden mountains, while Austria’s Salzburg airport is only 30km away. The hotel grounds are spanning six hectares of mature woodland and pastures that allow guests to really take in the alpine scenery. “Our definition of ‘luxury’ is the unique natural setting, our hospitality and the superb facilities that characterize our hotel,” says Stefan Zapletal, the owner and

A welcoming atmosphere and the many wellness treatments make up the relaxed and enjoyable ambiance. The hotel management states: “According to our guests and the feedback we receive, our friendly staff is responsible for the high comfort factor. Our employees, but also the quiet natural location, the compact size of the hotel, and the services offered are always praised.” The family-run hotel has expanded greatly over the past years. Today, it offers 52 spa-

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Enjoy a Sparkling Wintertime in Germany

the centre of attention.Therefore, the entire wellness and beauty programme is tailored to each individual guest,”explains the Mr. Zapletal. Enjoy your stay – see the sights! In addition to pure relaxation and pleasant idleness at the hotel grounds, all guests can embark on sightseeing trips, mountain hikes, or alpine skiing and cross-country skiing in the winter. Naturally, Berchtesgaden is best known for its sights like the Königssee, Mount Watzmann, the Eagle's Nest and the Salt Mines. Other touristic attractions include the Alpine National Park in Berchtesgsaden, the Jennerbahn cable car with appealing ski/hiking areas, the Berchtesgaden castle, several golf courses, and its proximity to Salzburg (25km), the ‘City of Mozart’. “Berchtesgaden is a year round holiday destination. In the summer and fall months, hundreds of kilometres of trails for all skill levels, and mountain climbing draw many visitors. In the winter, there are small but good skiing slopes, cross country skiing, toboggan runs, cleared winter hiking trails and much more,”says Mr. Zapletal. Restaurant and dining

cious rooms, and a total of 104 guest beds (double and single rooms, as well as family rooms are available).

The comforting hospitality also applies to the hotel’s restaurant, bar, and the extensive dining options. For instance, the hotel’s large and delicious breakfast buffet is the perfect start to a peaceful or fun-packed vacation day. In the casual atmosphere, guests can enjoy healthy meals, traditional Bavarian favourites or imaginative, fresh culinary creations.

The hotel’s bar boasts a wide variety of whiskeys, wines and cocktails. Lastly, the the cosy lounge with its fireplace or the spacious patio are both fabulous opportunities to reflect on the day and to feel at ease. Winter specials Don’t miss out on this fall-winter season’s great vacation deals. Alpenhof hotel guests can either enjoy seven nights in a comfortable double room (inclusive board) and a number of Dr. Spiller wellness treatments or they can stay for seven days and only pay for six (12 October – 2 November 2014, 521 December 2014 and 6 January – 8 March 2015).

Wellness & spa oasis The beautiful facilities and the comprehensive treatments put guests in a feel-goodmood. Obviously, the large indoor swimming pool, the sauna, and the all year round heated outdoor pool (30°C) are among the spa highlights at Alpenhof. In addition, the “Wellness-Alm” treatments feature classic massages, alpine massages, spa-massage, Ayurveda, speciality baths, cosmetics, peelings and individualized wellness packages. “Our motto is that we put the person and their individual needs at

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A Caribbean resort in the Black Forest Located in the South of Germany and just a stone’s throw away from the Swiss and French borders, the BADEPARADIES SCHWARZWALD offers great water fun and entertainment as well as an abundance of relaxation and wellness facilities for all age groups in a lavish tropical setting.

Schwarzwald as a holiday destination, he reveals another great advantage: “There is no need to step on a plane to get here and to enjoy this unique atmosphere.”


All areas are embedded in beautiful Black Forest countryside and outdoor facilities are plentiful. Culinary needs are catered for at the restaurant and bars, and visitors are recommended to reserve a whole day to make the most of their visit. The Badeparadies Schwarzwald is open daily until late and a string of great events are scheduled over the year.

Hundreds of palm trees and countless real orchids line the crystal clear waters, while an all year round temperature of 36 degrees allows real beach feeling even on the coldest of winter days. An exciting water fun park, a blissful palm oasis and a luxurious sauna landscape are all combined under one roof. A roof which – thanks to its state-of-the-art architecture – can be opened on sunny summer days. The Galaxy Schwarzwald area hosts 20 attractions, including exciting water slides for tiny water lovers or the extreme level version for adrenaline junkies. The largest stainless steel halfpipe in the world, a wave pool and a 25m sports pool are just a few of the highlights in one of Europe’s largest and most modern indoor water fun parks. For those who prefer a calm and relaxing

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ambience, the Palm Oasis is open for guests over 16 years of age. Float along in the warm water, enjoy the abundance of water massage facilities or sip a cocktail at the pool bar. Heated loungers, mood lighted whirlpools and much more is what to expect in the Palm Oasis. Those in favour of naturism will feel at ease in the modern Wellness Oasis adult sauna complex, featuring four differently themed sweat rooms including a panoramic sauna and a birch and waterfall sauna. “Our guests appreciate the high quality interior and the impeccable hygiene at our premises. Staff are very friendly and each team member is passionate to deliver first class service in a warm-hearted manner,”general manager Jochen Brugger explains and, while referring to the Badeparadies

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Enjoy a Sparkling Wintertime in Germany

Main image: Bernau in the Black Forest. Photo: Michael Arndt

Enjoy winter in the Black Forest Magical snowscapes, skiing and toboggaing, luxurious spa programmes, museums – and the 2015 sled dog world championships. In wintertime, the quintessential Black Forest locations Todtmoos and Bernau have something for every taste.

Above from left: Ski areas Spitzenberg and Köpfle in the Bernauer Hochtal. Photo: Tourist Info Bernau im Schwarzwald Bernauer Hochtal, sled dog race on the World Championships trail. Photos: Erich Spiegelhalter

even have their fun in the snow for free with the all-inclusive guest card. Romantic winter landscapes


“Five – four – three – two – go!”The mushers’ cries echo loudly over the Schwarzenbach stream. A breath of Alaska floats over both high valleys, where almost 2,000 sled dogs, howling like wolves, await the start. In February, more than 300 mushers from around the world will compete for the title of world champion.“The sled dog races are a spectacle that annually attracts about 200 participants from around the globe, and countless visitors,” explains Werner Baur, director of Tourist Information Bernau. Since 1975, both places have become a Mecca of sled dog racing. After a highly successful sled dog world championships in 2003, visitors in February 2015 will once again have the chance to witness this spectacle in the area.“The per-

fect harmony between man and animal that one witnesses during the races impresses me every year,”enthuses Baur. The sled dog world championships will take part from 20 to 22 February 2015 in Bernau and from 27 February to 1 March 2015 in Todtmoos. Down the hills, through the country Ready for the off? Dressed warmly? As soon as the slopes in the Todtmoos and Bernau valleys are covered with the first layers of powdery snow, it’s time for skiing or tobogganing. Cross-country skiers have plenty to be excited about: in Todtmoos there are 25km worth of trails, and in the mountain valley of Bernau there are 50km, in all different levels of difficulty.Visitors can

Moving step by step through glistening whiteness with only the crunch of snow to be heard, winter hikers appreciate the picturesque landscape. Those who prefer to lean back and relax can go for an idyllic horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snowy forests. With its hiking trails, stunning landscapes, culinary delicacies and many cultural activities, the Black Forest is worth a visit any time of year. But Baur especially recommends the winter time.“The sled dog world championship can be perfectly combined with the wide-ranging activities the region has to offer, ensuring an unforgettable holiday in the Black Forest.”

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Escape the crowds - and enjoy the slopes Given its relatively unheard of nature, Neureichenau’s opportunities for skiing, snowshoeing, dogsledding, igloo visiting, snowman-building, mountain hiking and cosy après-ski delights are yours for the taking. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: TOURISTINFO NEUREICHENAU

Pinched between the Czech Republic to the east and Austria to the south, this German region in the wilds of the Bavarian forest is spread over an area of 46sqkm. Its altitude lies between 610m above sea level and stretches up to its historically significant rocky-peaked mountain, the stunning Dreisessel at 1,312m, whose iconic three peaks – not too dissimilar to three armchairs – were once the battleground for a tug-of-war between Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. Escape the crowds Touristinfo Neureichenau’s Katrin Hable sums up Neureichenau’s allure perfectly as

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the chance to escape the mass tourism of overcrowded and overpriced ski resorts, while “still enjoying all the perks that you’d expect from a great winter holiday.”Given the high altitude of the region, snow is a definite – meaning that a great deal of time is spent outdoors, making the most of the glistening white landscape. An adventurous way to see this corner of Germany Living life to the full takes on a new meaning when you’ve got the freedom of skis buckled onto your feet. As a lover of the popular lung-busting activity of ‘langlaufen’

[cross-country skiing], Katrin can’t praise the local routes enough: “We’ve got approximately 55km of tracks in the local area, suitable for any level – and many of these tracks link up to ones across the border too, which gives us several hundred kilometres at our disposal.”The easiest route for families and beginners, she explains, leads you along a completely flat disused railway, making it the ideal introduction to the gentle, yet adrenaline-fuelled sport. The keen skier is quick to point out though that there are more challenging circuits for those looking for a proper workout and chance to explore the area. “For downhill skiers,” Katrin continues, “there are two huge resorts within a really short distance too, either Germany’s Mitterdorf [] or Austria’s Hochficht [], both of

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Enjoy a Sparkling Wintertime in Germany

Numerous family-friendly ski schools round off Neureichenau’s ski-tastic nature, explains Katrin and many families take advantage of these courses and classes.“There are lots of easy runs and lifts, where the courses are held,” she says with a goodnatured smile. Yet the region doesn’t have to be explored with two planks on your feet, says Katrin laughing.“A walk or a snow-shoe hike up to the Dreisessel is really popular. It’s great as the road takes you to 500m below the summit and from there you can walk to the rocky peak, which was once the border point, and along the ridge to the current spot, which is now 3km to the east.”After treating yourself to the view, which on a clear day offers you an unparalleled three-country panorama, Katrin recommends a satisfying snack at the Berggasthof Dreisessel, whose guided walks are very popular too. Winter days filled with warmth

which boast a very decent number of ski runs.You shouldn’t forget our‘house mountain’ though, the Dreisessel with its breathtaking 1.5km descent and t-bar lift to get you up there.”

As a certified Kinderland Ort, the state of Bavaria has testified to Neureichenau’s abundance of fun activities, and since 2012 the region has also been declared a haven for adventure seekers, as it earned the title of Bayerwald-Expeditions-Ort. Katrin elucidates: “These two accolades guarantee that families, thrill-seekers and nature lovers will all find the holiday excitement that they’re craving.”The region not only offers a great range of parks, play areas and the like, but the excitement extends (weather dependant) to include husky dogs, beach volleyball, horse riding, snowball battles and treehouses. Not surprisingly, the Huskyhof Dreisessel is one of the region’s most popular winter

hotspots.“Taking the huskies out on a sledride is great fun and the‘hof’will teach you all you need to know to control the dogs – and the sledge too!”For those who prefer a gentler pace, Katrin recommends strapping a dog to a lead around your waist and heading into the woods in snowshoes for a hardy hike. After all this fresh air, a good German beer is needed and there are few better places than the beer-brewing hotel Gut Riedelsbach, with its on-site beer museum. Under the guidance of the ‘biersomelier’-cumlandlord, visitors can taste some of Bavaria’s best produce alongside their delectable Haxen cuisine []. Combining Germany’s best assets – hospitality, child-friendliness, beer and outdoor living – Neureichenau is creeping slowly up the list of go-to destinations in Europe. With such a strong emphasis on fun family time, the region is a great bet for a winter break – just be careful on those skis!

Main image: View from Hochkamm, Dreisessel Left, from top: At Hochkamm in Winter Cross-country ski routes of 1.5km to 15km allow for both beginners and the more experienced to discover the area

Katrin’s top tip: the Christmas Market at Huskyhof Dreisessel “This is the annual highlight for me. This one is really exciting with dog-sledding, open fires, a real igloo, fairy-tale tent, a Finnish stall with Gulasch soup, snow-shoe testing and more.”

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Enjoy a Sparkling Wintertime in Germany

Main image: Pano Westernberg Bottom left: Idyllic FoĚˆrchen lake Bottom middle: Rauhnachtsmarkt Christmas market

Winter fun in the Chiemgau Alps The Bavarian village Ruhpolding invites families and winter sport enthusiasts to enjoy a memorable holiday in the snowy Alps. TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD | PHOTOS: RUHPOLDING TOURISMUS GMBH

Speeding down a snow-covered hill, under a blue sky and surrounded by the backdrop of the breathtakingly beautiful Bavarian Alps. The village of Ruhpolding offers all its visitors this experience, whether it is children who are standing on skis for the first time or skilled ski enthusiasts who want to enjoy an active holiday in a stunning location. Spending time in Ruhpolding offers active holidays that still guarantee relaxation and fun for the whole family.

hosting the Biathlon World Championships several times, the last of which was in 2012. Despite the fame, Ruhpolding remains a quiet, picturesque village that invites its guests to find peace in the silence and in the dazzling views of the beautiful mountain range.The locals are very proud of their heritage and visitors will surely get treated to seeing more than one person wearing traditional lederhosen or dirndl, guaranteeing a typical Bavarian experience.

Situated in south eastern Bavaria, in the Chiemgau region, Ruhpolding is easily accessible by car, being only a short 45 minute drive away from the Austrian city of Salzburg and just under an hour and a half from Munich. The village is internationally known for

The Ruhpolding valley is protected from wind and fog and so, with the peaceful surroundings, it is ideal for children or beginners to try out their first steps on skis or snowboards. At the ski arena,Westernberg, a snow cannon ensures the best skiing conditions

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from the beginning of December up until March. Children can join a skikindergarten where professional ski instructors will teach them their first skills. In addition, the arena’s facilities include a ski lift especially designed for children to use. More experienced skiers and snowboarders can take the free bus to Seegatterl, where cable cars will take visitors up to the ski area Winklmoosalm/Steinplatte. It is one of the five most snow-guaranteed areas in Europe and offers endless winter sport fun with more than 50 km of ski slope. Another adventure for guests in Ruhpolding is skiing at night. Participants can ski under the breath-taking star-covered alpine skies, which is made possible by floodlights along the ski slope. A memorable experience for visitors to take home.

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Left: Dresdner Striezelmarkt (read more on page 54) Below: Christmas in Hamburg (read more on page 64)


contrast the number of people visiting Christmas markets has risen drastically from 50 to 85 million. So what is it that Theme draws people to the Christmas markets?

Top 5 Magical Christmas Markets

Christmas markets are on the rise

Almost every town in Germany has its own Christmas market, if not plenty. Some markets are small and cosy , others are huge and spectacular while many markets follow different themes. But all have one thing in common: People come together, enjoy a glass of mulled wine with friends and family against the backdrop of countless little fairylights, the smell of fir trees and roasted almonds, and immerse themselves in the spirit of Christmas. Childrens’ eyes are sparkling with excitement when they discover the richly decorated stalls filled with sweets or hand made craft items. White powdery snow scrunches under the feet and people hum along to the gentle sound of Christmas carols, while others enjoy the romantic scenery looking forward to a kiss under the Mistle tree. A visit to the Christmas market helps leave a busy day behind and wind down and relax in a festive spirit. Popping down after work with colleagues or relaxing after a long day of Christmas shopping while eating a freshly prepared Bratwurst is an experience not to be missed. On the following pages we present to you some of the finest Christmas markets in the country. So pop over to see for yourself what makes the Christmas markets so appealing for all age groups.

Christmas markets play an important role in German culture. Deeply rooted in tradition, the markets date back to the 14th century and enchant young and old visitors alike year after year with their magical ambience. TEXT: TINA AWTANI

While normal fairs get fewer every year, Christmas markets are growing in popularity. A study completed by the ift GmbH fĂźr den Deutschen Schaustellerbund e.V. about the significance of funfairs in Ger-

many disclosed that the total number of fairs went down from 12,000 to 9,000 between the years 2000 and 2012. The total number of visitors diminished from 170 million to 148 million in that time period. In

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Deck the halls in Dresden – a vibrant city steeped in history Nestled on the banks of the Elbe river, the capital city of the Free State of Saxony is without doubt one of the most beautiful towns of Europe as the rococo and baroque eras have clearly left their marks on the city’s architecture. For the Christmas season the city shifts up a gear and shines in full glory as the 580th Dresdner Striezelmarkt will be proudly opened. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: LANDESHAUPTSTADT DRESDEN/SYLVIO DITTRICH

The history of Dresden dates back 800 years and what started as a Slavic fishing village became home of choice for Electors and Kings for centuries. Today Dresden is located close to the Czech border and visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to pick sightseeing spots. Landmark buildings are plenty, the Zwinger is one of Germany’s most famous baroque buildings, the castles Moritzburg and Pillnitz are prime examples of baroque architecture, the world famous Frauenkirche [Church of our Lady] features one of Europe’s highest domes and the

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iconic Semperoper are just a tiny selection of grand sights worth exploring. “The capital of Christmas” Although the city was completely destroyed in 1945, today Dresden shines more beautiful than ever as the whole town has been carefully restored with painstaking attention to detail. With Christmas on the doorstep, seasonal decoration graces the city and millions of twinkling lights serve as the perfect backdrop for a stroll along the Christmas markets, where the aroma of

roasted almonds, freshly grilled Bratwurst or mulled wine fill the air.“Dresden is the capital of Christmas. Apart from the Dresdner Striezelmarkt, a whole Christmas mile creates a thrill of anticipation.The sparkling string of lights consists of eleven differently themed markets and stretches from the central station to the Prager Straße to the Altmarkt and leads from the Frauenkirche to the Neumarkt to the other side of the Elbe river,”explains Sigrid Förster, head of communal markets, City Department of Economic Affairs, Dresden. The Altmarkt square sets the stage for Germany’s oldest Christmas market, the socalled Striezelmarkt, which dates back to 1434. The word striezel refers to a long plaited bun type of pastry and today’s version is called stollen, resembling a fruit cake with icing sugar. Absolutely unique in style

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top 5 Magical Christmas Markets

and taste the stollen has become a trademark of Dresden. About 130 bakeries and pastry shops in and around Dresden are entitled to produce the original Dresden Christstollen® according to traditional recipes. On 6 December the Dresdner Stollenfest gets on the way, paying homage to the fine pastry. Be prepared to watch a 4 ton heavy sample being pulled through town. But a visit to the Striezelmarkt includes more than a bit of yummy fruit cake. Another highlight is the almost 15m high and world’s largest original Christmas pyramid from the Ore mountains region. On 13 December the Dresdner Pyramidenfest will celebrate these artisan masterpieces underlined by folky Christmas carols. And there is more to explore as the largest walk-on schwibbogen is ready to be stepped on. A schwibbogen is a decorative candleholder and, just like the Christmas pyramid, finds its origin in the wood carving skills of the Ore mountains’inhabitants. More than mulled wine and stollen Over 1,000 artists are part of more than 160 shows and performances, which take place over the Christmas season in and around Dresden. The Semperoper programme for example is packed with Christmas specials including The Nutcracker ballet, Mozart’s Magic Flute and the old children’s favourite Hansel and Gretel fairy tale. But not only the stages are drawing attention this winter; the magnificent churches of Dresden are also a prime destination for those wishing to be immersed in the Christmas feeling. Choirs are busy giving Advent and Christmas concerts and both great Dresden orchestras, the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden and the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra occasionally perform in the Frauenkirche. The Kreuzkirche or the Katholische Hofkirche are just a few examples of where to head for an acoustic delight.

Main image: Christmas market in Dresden Photo: Torsten Hufsky /

dners celebrate with live music and big fireworks at midnight. Asked about what she likes most about “her”city at Christmas, Förster reveals:“The beauty and the variety Dresden has to offer, especially during the Advent season. According to personal preference you can be fully immersed into either a romantic, rustic, traditional, artisan, surprising, international, tranquil or even action-packed Christmas atmosphere.”

Save the date The Dresdner Striezelmarkt is open daily from 27 November – 24 December 2014, 10am-9pm (opening day from 4pm; closing day until 2pm). 29 Nov 2014: Dresdner Pflaumentoffelfest 30 Nov 2014: Dresdner Pfefferkuchenfest 06 Dec 2014: Dresdner Stollenfest 07 Dec 2014: Celebrating 580 years Striezelmarkt 12 Dec 2014: Sternstunden (late night market until 11pm) 13 Dec 2014: Dresdner Pyramidenfest 14 Dec 2014: Dresdner Schwibbogenfest 19 Dec 2014: Christmas greetings from Florenz 20 Dec 2014: Dresdner Christmas tree decorating 21 Dec 2014: Day of the Kreuzkirche

As the year draws to an end, the people of Dresden step outside to welcome the New Year under the stars on the Theaterplatz. Against the backdrop of Semperoper, cathedral and Zwinger up to 20,000 Dres-

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Heavenly pleasure The Markt der Engel in Cologne Atmospheric, glittering and shiny, tenderly decorated, a home to angels and mythical creatures – that is how the Cologne Markt der Engel can be described in a few words. However, this does not do justice to this unique experience in the heart of Cologne’s city centre not far from the cathedral and the river Rhine. The Markt der Engel is the number one Christmas destination in Cologne. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: © CPV COLOGNE

Situated at the Neumarkt in the heart of the city, Cologne’s Markt der Engel – German for Market of Angels – is an attraction for tourists and locals alike. Angels are present everywhere on the market – not as statutes or figures, but living ones.The reading hour with an angel is the highlight for children but even adults can hardly avert their eyes when one of the angels rides across the market high on horseback. Dressed in a red-golden angel’s costume it spreads its angel dust – fine gold glitter – and sends good wishes to the spectators.

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The market is not only a luminous spectacle because of the angels: now and then mythical creatures roam the grounds in illuminated costumes. “Our absolute highlight is the starry sky made of 750 stars,” says Hans Flock from the market’s organisation team. It spans the market and lets the nightly sky shine. A Christmas market that combines modern design and old traditions The Markt der Engel is modern as well as traditional. All stalls are designed fashionably and painted in mellow Christmassy

colours. Despite their modern design, the stall’s high light gables are decorated traditionally with light garlands, figures and fir sprigs. Broad alleys between the stalls leave enough space for strolling.“It was our intention to leave enough space especially with regard to families with children and prams but also elderly people with wheelchairs and walking aids.” This is not the case for many other Christmas markets where narrow lanes can easily lead to an uncomfortable visit. At the centre of the Markt der Engel one can easily forget that one is in the middle of a pulsating and vibrant city.The arrangement of the stalls creates the illusion of a festive, decorated village – situated right in the heart of a fir forest. Around 800 fir trees – some of them illuminated – perfect the illusion and also add to the unmistakable Christmas scent, which hangs in the air

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over the market. Fresh cut wood, warm fir resin, ginger bread, pastries and much more. Sweet Christmas delicacy in the shape of Cologne’s landmark One stall on the Markt der Engel houses the traditional Cologne bakers and pastry makers Café Riese. Here fresh and handmade Baumkuchen is baked on the spot. Lovers of sweets and cakes will also find a speciality not sold anywhere else: The Cologne Dom Waffel. This Brussel’s style waffle is shaped like Cologne’s number one landmark, the Cologne Cathedral, and even has the two signature towers. Visitors can enjoy Baumkuchen and waffles directly at the market accompanied by coffee, hot chocolate or tea. But the sweet delights can also be bought wrapped to enjoy later or as a present for friends and family. “Waffles and Baumkuchen – you should definitely try them. Absolutely delicious!” Cologne’s Nativity trail A characteristic of yuletide in Cologne is the Cologne Nativity trail with its three mangers. The first one is a traditional wooden manger with wooden figures



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showing Nativity. The second manger is the so called Hännesche Krippe. Again, traditional figures display the Holy Family, the three Magi, animals and shepherds. This manger’s special highlight is the Knollendorfer puppet selection – a loan from Cologne’s Hänneschen theatre. Every year the manger displays different figures from this well-known puppet theatre.

jor tourist attractions, stops here. This makes the Markt der Engel an ideal starting point to explore a fascinating city. Or it makes it the perfect place to relax after a long day spent visiting Cologne.

The Nativity trail’s third manger is by far smaller and is exhibited in a glass display. Every year this miniature manger shows a scene with new figures and is part of the project“Christmas at our twin towns”. The figures always come from the region or city which has been chosen in the respective year. After figures from the Basque country and Catalonia, this year’s twin city is Turin in Italy. Good public transport The Markt der Engel is in the heart of Cologne’s city centre and not far away from the main shopping streets such as Schildergasse, Hohe Straße and Breite Straße. It also has excellent public transport connections. In addition the Kölner Bimmelbahn, a tram on rubber wheels connecting all ma-

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Winterzauber in Ingolstadt A city between tradition and modernity As soon as the days become shorter and cooler, we are coming closer to the end of the year and this means: Ingolstadt’s Winterzauber is coming. The perfect time for a pleasant evening stroll combined with a warming drink and a Christmas choir singing in the background. TEXT: MERYEM HAUER | PHOTOS: INGOLSTADT TOURISMUS

Baked apples, burned almonds, glazed fruits and sugar roasted nuts smell seductively between the almost fifty festively decorated wooden huts. The Christkindlmarkt in Ingolstadt is one of the oldest Christmas Markets in Germany and the biggest individual element of Ingolstadt’s Winterzauber which takes place from November to January every year.

Christkindlmarkt was born. Since that day, from the end of November to 23 December each year, the Christmas Market enchants the city of Ingolstadt. Different performances by local choirs and ensembles of horn players combined with regional delicacies and home-made mulled wine in front of a historic backdrop evoke a festive feeling for everyone.

The town chronicle of Ingolstadt proves that Duke Albrecht V ordered the organisation of an annual market every St. Nicholas Day. Thus the Ingolstadt

But there is much more for visitors to explore behind the event Winterzauber. Besides the Christmas Market, it offers special attractions such as the Ingolstädter Krip-

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penweg, an ice and curling rink at the Paradeplatz, a cosy Winter Lounge, as well as an enchanting Christmas hut. The Nativity trail leads around churches and museums and reveals all manner of different nativity scenes from a variety of periods and in different styles. It is called the most beautiful crib walk in Bavaria. Only during the Advent and Christmas season, visitors have the op-

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top 5 Magical Christmas Markets

liquors or the famous German Bratwurst. Besides the calorific enjoyments there are lots of self-made Christmas decorations, presents as well as souvenirs. The warmly decorated Winter Lounge within the arcades of the old city hall provides a cosy break on inviting wooden benches and chairs which are covered in cuddly soft fur blankets. Visitors are welcome to relax in front of the chimney, warm up a bit and enjoy one of the home-made specialities, like self-made punch with cinnamon-tequila, mulled wine and a delicious range of cakes. To complete this unforgettable winter experience it is possible to take the Christmas Walk where people from Ingolstadt exhibit their own Christmas stories, written down to share with everyone. First mentioned in the year 806 by the Emperor Charlemagne, Ingolstadt owes its rapid growth to its welllocated destination on the Danube.

tion to select whether to explore the Krippenweg on their own or to join one of the two-hour tours which are called ‘Kumm geh ma Kripperl schaun’. This all is completed with a cup of mulled wine at the beautiful, decorated Christmas Market. When visiting the Winterzauber in Ingolstadt, an absolute must-see is the ice and curling rink at the Paradeplatz with an impressive size of 500sqm. Next to the ice rink, one wooden Christmas hut follows the other and each one of them entices the visitor with culinary delicacies like chestnuts, doughnuts, sweet delights, classy

There is much to do in Ingolstadt for all the lovers of art and culture. Throughout the whole year events and festivals are taking place and offer a highly spirited cabaret scene, the Christmas market, numerous folk festivals, summer concerts, jazz festivals as well as a chamber orchestra, to mention only some of spectacular highlights every year. It is the combination of international modernity and Bavarian history which makes a visit to Ingolstadt an incomparable experience. The city which is well-known for its automotive industry provides a unique mixture of peasantry and bourgeoisie, of technique and creativity. It seems to be a typical short-trip destination with an outstanding museum landscape and impressive sights.

The New Castle which is now the Bavarian Army Museum was formerly used as an arsenal in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, there are some richly decorated cannons in the castle courtyard, reflecting the scale of the arsenal at that time. The city, strategically located between the Danube and the trade routes which crossed it, was the location for the first Bavarian University. As the intellectual and cultural centre of Bavaria, Ingolstadt attracted many scientists from various disciplines. The Bavarian National Exhibition 2015 will be dedicated to Napoleon. Between April and October the New Castle Ingolstadt will be marked by the historical significance of the French commander and emperor. Another well-known building is the German Medical History Museum which is located within the Baroque building of the Anatomical Institute. It is a historical monument of the former Bavarian University and also the legendary setting for Mary Shelly’s ‘Frankenstein’. The area also disposes a botanical garden which offers a wide range of medical plants with a scent and touch garden, especially for visually impaired people.

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Ho ho ho in Hamburg The Christmas market capital of Northern Germany There is no place like Hamburg, the vibrant metropolis on the Elbe river, where Christmas unveils an unparalleled variety of facets waiting to be explored by children and adults alike. Enchanting Christmas markets, late night shopping and cultural events not to be missed are just the top of the iceberg.

Variety is key

gingerbread. A short 1,000m stroll from the central station to the magnificent town hall means ambling along five different markets. In total 16 distinct markets grace the streets in the weeks before Christmas, every single one being unique in its own special way.Themes reach from traditional to maritime to contemporary and even sultry, while delicious treats, artisan craftwork, Christmas carols and a lot of sociability guarantee the full Christmas feeling.

December is the time of the year when Hamburg sparkles in its best light. The festive season is celebrated with numerous Christmas markets and the air is filled with the smell of fir trees, roasted almonds and

The Historic Christmas Market on the Rathausmarkt in front of the town hall was designed by renowned Circus Roncalli director Bernhard Paul. Authentic and indi-


The city of Hamburg is blessed with water: in the centre, the shallow waves on the Alster lake peacefully twinkle in the winter sun, while the harbour-fronting side of downtown runs along the Elbe river. Hamburg has always been an important international port and the city’s history dates back to the 9th century. Today Hamburg is defined by flamboyant and exciting cultural

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diversity and visitors from all over the world are warmly welcome.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top 5 Magical Christmas Markets

Main image: Photo: Christian Spahrbier Below: Photos: Roberto Hegeler

Those in favour of a contemporary setting will love the HafenCity Christmas market, where the huge cruise ships from all around the world drop anchors in full Christmas glory. State-of-the-art architecture is what makes this part of town so striking. But no worries, an ice ring, an illuminated advent calendar and a nostalgic carousel add some classic Christmas magic. Hamburg wouldn’t be Hamburg without the adult entertainment district of St. Pauli, so Germany’s only adult Christmas market is located right here. Santa Pauli, as it is lovingly named, holds a few indecent surprises. Be prepared to be wowed by the variety of Hamburg’s Christmas markets.

Hamburg’s Christmas facets are plenty and there is certainly something for every taste and age group so put a visit to the northern capital of Christmas markets on the top of your wish list and make sure to check out great offers online before you travel.

The Christmas markets are open from mid-November until the beginning of January. For more information and detailed opening hours please refer to the website above or scan the QR-Code.

Shopping, culture and culinary delights

vidually themed little alleys attract around three million visitors each year, who gather to enjoy a glass of the market’s own mulled wine or watch Santa flying over the stall’s roofs. A 20m high Christmas tree with 14,000 lights proudly towers above the M ö n c k e b e rg b r u n n e n right in the city centre. Under the tree a life size manger is on display and a giant traditional Ferris wheel stands ready to be boarded to explore Hamburg at Christmas from high above the air. A tiny bit further to the west lies the White Magic on Jungfernstieg market. Against the picturesque backdrop of the Alster lake, where fairy-tale ships cruise along, not only children feel intrigued by the magic of Christmas. Maritime is the motto on the Fleetinsel Christmas market, which is surrounded by little canals and a top tip for tasting a typical Bratwurst, roasted almonds or other mouthwatering delicacies that make a cold winter day a little bit warmer.

Every Saturday in advent the Hamburg Christmas parade attracts young and old spectators alike. Full of fun, the joyful procession gets on the way through the city centre. With the same enthusiasm Christmas shoppers flock through town on the hunt for the perfect present. Countless stores, gorgeous shopping arcades and traffic free pedestrian zones compete in the quest for the most beautiful window display and finding the right gift becomes easy as pie.

Below: Photo: Christian Spahrbier Bottom: Photo: Christian Bruch

On the cultural spectrum, Hamburg’s stages are getting in Christmas mood too. The Hamburgische Staatsoper has ballet classics such as Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker or Johann Sebastian Bach's Christmas Oratorio on the programme. Other highlights include the annual Salut NewYear’s Eve Concert on 31 December in the Laeiszhalle, conducted by SimoneYoung and of course the city’s beautiful churches are all offering the traditional Christmas services. In addition to all the culinary delights available at the Christmas market stalls, 69 of the city’s restaurants have teamed up for the All Hamburg in the Christmas Spirit campaign and, as the traditional roast goose season starts on St. Martin's Day on 11 November, all these restaurants offer mouth-watering special Christmas menus.

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The best time of the year – in the heart of Bavaria

A charming small town in Bavaria, traditional Christmas carols and a sweet smell are filling the frosty air – Altötting hosts one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany. TEXT: LEONIE PUSCHER | PHOTOS: ALTÖTTING

If you want to experience the full joy of a traditional German festivity, you might as well do it right. Altötting is known for its magical winter nights: from 28 November until 21 December, the town will be transformed into a winter wonderland.

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In front of the famous Marienheiligtum, a variety of stalls will offer seasonal products such as authentic handcrafted goods as well as a whole spectrum of culinary specialities. Typical Bavarian foods, traditional German mulled wine and the smell of oranges and

cinnamon make it impossible not to get in a festive mood. The big Christmas Concert marks the highlight of every year’s Christmas market. On 14 December the Tölzer Knabenchor choir, the Ensemble Classique and singer Eva Deborah Keller will light up your Christmas spark at 4pm in the Basilica of St Anne. Further musical performances are also deeply rooted in the local culture. The Altöttinger Christmas carol singing has been going on

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top 5 Magical Christmas Markets

be set up and carefully crafted wooden cribs are put on public display. The impressive town crib, made of locally carved figures dressed in traditional costumes, will be exhibited in the historic town hall.

mous pilgrimage town shines in its brightest light during the festive season.

A special treat for visitors is the Altรถttinger Krippenspaziergang.This guided tour takes those willing to know more about the local tradition along 35 individual shop windows, where a variety of mangers is on display. Local guides will guide you through the amazing stories behind the wooden artworks. The Altรถttinger Christmas market truly has a lot to offer and steeped into history the fa-

for over 50 years now. Popular musicians from the Bavarian highlands and nearby Austrian Salzburg will gather to celebrate the best time of the year in the beautifully theme-decorated Basilica of St Anne. In addition to enchanting musical events, the comfoting foods and the traditional handcrafted goods, Altรถtting also prides itself with 400 years of Christmas mangers tradition. Across the churches of the pilgrimage-town, several nativity scenes will

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Christmas time in Saxony – traditional art from the Ore Mountains, candle light and Stollen Only a few weeks to go and it is Christmas season again – but there is one place in the world where Christmas traditions are held high throughout the year and not only during the season: Saxony in Germany is the number one Christmas destination. Factories producing Christmas decorations are open throughout the year; many familyrun workshops invite tourists for a visit. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN

The traditional handcraft from the Ore Mountains – the Erzgebirge, as it is called in German – is famous all over the world for carving little figurines from wood or cutting beautiful candle arches – so called Schwibbögen. Pyramids containing several stories show the nativity or scenes from traditional village life. Some are painted in vibrant colours, others stick to the natural wood.

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Nutcrackers and incense smokers are the region’s wooden ambassadors. Local art and Christmas traditions often enough are a result of the Ore Mountain’s long mining history. Further east in Upper Lusatia stars made from vibrant paper play an important role – they were first used in Herrenhut more than 160 years ago and until today are handmade in local workshops.

Throughout the year tourists can visit open workshops, museums, factories and exhibitions and experience Saxony’s Christmas traditions. In December Saxony upholds its reputation as Christmas region in hosting Germany’s oldest Christmas market: The Striezelmarkt in Dresden. Dresden is not only famous for being the residential town of the former Electors of Saxony but also for a baked speciality: the Original Dresdner Christstollen. This bakery product is celebrated during the second week in advent with the Stollen feast when the people of Dresden pay homage to the tradition-rich Christmas pastry. For this, every year bakers bake a gigantic Stollen weighing several tons. Af-

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Christmas Time in Saxony

The university town of Leipzig houses the second important Christmas market in Saxony. The big tree on the market place then shimmers in warm light; below, children are staring at the wooden figures telling about the nativity of Christ. It smells of candyfloss, cinnamon and bakery. Wooden huts stand in long rows in front of Leipzig’s old town hall and tourists from all over Europe flock into Leipzig’s city centre that turns into one big Christmas wonderland – especially in the evening hours. The place in front of the old Mercantile Exchange a few metres away from the market place is dedicated to a historical market where women in dresses from the middle ages serve mulled wine, and fresh bread filled with cheese and bacon is roasting in an oven. Merchants sell pottery or baskets.

Main image: Watching the Striezelmarkt in Dresden from above. Photo: Sylvio Dittrich Right: The famous Stollen, a Christmas delight from Saxony. Photo: Sylvio Dittrich Below left: Leipzig Christmas market. Photo: Leipzig Tourismus und Marketing GmbH Bottom right: Christmas market in Annaberg Buchholz, a city in the Ore Mountains. Photo: Dieter Knoblauch

ter a procession through the town a chosen baker cuts the Stollen in a big and popular celebration. This tradition goes back to the year 1730, when August der Starke, Elector of Saxony and king of Poland, celebrated a feast with about 20,000 guests. As a highlight the master baker Zacharias from Dresden presented a Stollen weighing 1.8 tons – 100 people had worked on it for about a week. The Stollen had to be baked for six hours before it was presented to the king – like today in a procession. While then the Stollen was reserved for the king’s guests, today pieces of the gigantic Stollen are sold to the public during the Striezelmarkt.

The Christmas market is not only famous with tourists but locals as well. An alcoholic drink that is rather popular during that time of the year and is sold at various points is the red wine punch. Sugar canes are soaked in rum and burned over a pot of hot red wine – it is a rather strong beverage but warms the body when it is getting cold in winter.

Smaller versions from local manufacturers can be bought from one of the 200 wooden stalls surrounding the old Chemnitz guildhall: the stalls offer everything from Christmas delicacies like ginger bread to tree decorations carved from wood, from little figurines holding candles to traditional incense smokers or nutcrackers – little men wearing uniforms reminiscent of the old miners’garb. christmas-special

Sachsen’s Christmas markets Dresden: 27 November - 24 December 14 Leipzig: 25 November - 23 December 14 Chemnitz: 28 November - 23 December 14 There are several other stunning Christmas markets in the smaller cities and castles of Saxony as well. To find out more and learn about typical Erzgebirge art please refer to the website.

For someone interested in the old Ore Mountain traditions, Chemnitz is one of the right places to go as well. At every corner of the market visitors are greeted with oversized, traditional handcraft leaving spectators in awe: a twelve metre high, fivestoried Christmas pyramid, a five metre high Schwibbogen, a likewise oversized musical box and further traditional figures like nutcrackers, miners and angels represent the regional crafts.

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The Spirit of Christmas Think Swiss chocolate and delicate Raclette cheese, mulled wine and glistening snow on rooftops. Switzerland’s cultural capital Basel offers exactly that. It is host to the largest Swiss Christmas market against the backdrop of lovingly decorated half-timbered houses.

are magnificently decorated and are evidence that Basel takes great pride in being the most eminent Christmas city in Switzerland.


“Basel’s elaborate Christmas lighting is well known far beyond the country’s borders. On the last Thursday in November, this year on the 27th, the Christmas lighting is switched on and celebrated with a big musical ceremony,”Hoefler says.

In the heart of Basel, from the Barfuesserplatz to the historic cathedral at the Muensterplatz, spreads Switzerland’s biggest Christmas market.The atmosphere is magical, the market is beautifully lit and scents of seasonal delights sweeten the air. Merchants offer mostly local goods in over 190 rustic wooden huts and festive music fills the streets. The Swiss know how to do Christmas properly. Marketing representative at the BaselTourism Office, Isabelle Hoefler says:“If you are looking for a gift idea, you will certainly find some

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inspiration at the market. The spectrum ranges from hand-made candles and decoration to precious leather items, crafted toys or authentic woodcraft.There are also plenty of culinary treats to choose from such as the freshly baked waffles, a tasty cup of mulled wine, roasted almonds, traditional Raclette or our popular grilled sausage.” Christmas as far as the eye can see The festive atmosphere is not limited to the market. Around one hundred illuminated pine trees turn the entire city into a gigantic fairy-tale setting. Houses and alleys

Many of Basel’s museums and cultural hotspots contribute to the overall festive vibe by showing special Christmas exhibitions. The churches become platforms for Christmas concerts and Theatre Basel opens a door of its literary and musical advent calendar every day. Hoefler also recommends the Christmas Tattoo at the St. Jakobshalle, the Christmas vaudeville

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Discover Germany | Culture & Lifestyle | The Spirit of Christmas in Basel

There is no better way to indulge in the sweet temptation than at a chocolate factory. The guided tour at well-established Beschle Chocolatier, a 4th generation family business, gives visitors an insight into the art of making supreme chocolate. Afterwards visitors can get creative and make their own kind of chocolate, with a little help of chocolatier Pascal Beschle. The chocolate workshop is one of the many Christmas-related packages, which can be booked through the Basel Tourism Office. More to discover

Main image & image far left: Christmas Market at the Muensterplatz. Left: The christmas pyramid at the christmas market Barfuesserplatz. The christmas tree in front of the town hall is decorated with 750 christmas baubles and measures 14 metres. Christmas lighting at the Freie Strasse. Right: A festive illumination of Mittlere Brücke.

After stocking up on chocolate and Christmas tree baubles, there is much more to explore. Basel’s extensive museum landscape exhibits fine art from antiquity to the present. Over 40 different museums across 37 square metres assemble a fantastic spectrum of important art works and are a platform for established art as well as groundbreaking contemporary pieces. “Fine art plays a major role outside the museums as well, “ Hoefler adds. “Wherever you go in Basel, art fills the public places. Richard Serra’s Intersection, Tinguely’s Fassnachtsbrunnen and Bettina Eichin’s Helvetia are only but a few of the many artworks you will find whilst strolling around.”

Basel is frequently called a Mecca for architects because the city is filled with sophisticated buildings such as the famous Novartis Campus. Hoefler explains that the city is also known for its music:“Basel is a real stronghold for classical music due to its symphony orchestra, the chamber orchestra and the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis at the Academy of Music. But many venues hold concerts for Jazz, rock and pop fans too.” Food lovers are equally well cared for. With its special location at the so-called elbow of the Rhine, on the borders of France and Germany, Basel offers a widespread range of restaurants. From five-star cuisine to charming little bistros, guests can benefit from the International vibe that is reflected on the menus of the tri-border city. Whether you love Christmas or have a little Christmas Grinch in you, Basel’s great cultural and culinary variety will ensure an exciting holiday either way. It is time to pack your suitcase. The Christmas market runs from 27 November to 23 December 2014.

Palazzo Clombino and the Christmas Park at the St. Claraspital. Whether visitors have a look at the Christmas programme and plan their stay in advance or choose to discover Christmas in Basel spontaneously, there is the right event for every taste. Learn from the experts It should come as no surprise that one of Basel’s locals, Johann Wanner, is a famous manufacturer of hand-made Christmas decorations, who has also decorated the Vatican’s Christmas tree on St. Peter’s Square in Rome. Back in Basel, Wanner’s 5,000 square feet Christmas House displays a great range of lovingly crafted traditional as well as modern decoration and is open to visitors all year round. Aside from the decoration what would this particular season be without chocolate?

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Discover Germany | Culture & Lifestyle | Hubrig

How wooden figurines warm hearts and homes Creating adorable figurines, traditional candle arches and other seasonal decorations from indigenous woods, Hubrig Volkskunst GmbH has brought childhood memories to homes all over the world since 1969. TEXT JULIKA HUETHER | PHOTOS: HUBRIG VOLKSKUNST

The German Erz Mountains are internationally known for the traditional handicrafts produced in the former mining communities. For Thomas Hubrig, the story began when his father, a shoemaker from the town of Zschorlau, inspired him to do woodwork. Soon after, they converted a sewing machine to a fretsaw and created their first candle arch. Today, Hubrig has 43 employees and employs additional support workers during the run-up to Christmas. One of many companies in the region to produce decorative objects from wood, Hubrig is so popular that collectors from all over the world cannot wait for the winter and Christmas

collection to be published and enquire about details as early as the previous spring. There are many reasons why Hubrig products are so popular. One is the high quality of the locally sourced wood and the

production process. The colourful, intricate details found on every figurine are painted by hand, using specially developed nontoxic water-based colours. These filigree details are another reason why Hubrig products are as popular as ever. They are a mark of authenticity that collectors adore and immediately trace back to Hubrig. But most of all, Hubrig figurines are loved because they bring back childhood memories, are reminiscent of bygone times and traditions, and fill homes and hearts around the world with warmth and a sense of comfort.


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Discover Germany | Culture & Lifestyle | Tourismus Salzburg


tentheater, which lightens up children’s eyes.

Small town, great culture Salzburg is a small town with great appeal. The UNESCO heritage sight with its baroque architecture invites visitors to explore the homes of Mozart and the Sound of Music's Trapp family and enjoy a multitude of cultural events in the largely pedestrianised old town. TEXT: JULIKA HUETHER | PHOTOS: TOURISMUS SALZBURG

Salzburg's picturesque centre allows tourists to experience history intensively and adds a cosy feel to an international attraction. Hotels are located nearby sights such as Hohensalzburg Castle, Mozart's birthplace and Mirabell Palace. Tiny alleyways with old handicraft businesses, the magnificent prince-archbishops' buildings and traditional coffee houses can be visited on a stroll through town.The Salzburg Card offers free entry to museums, reductions for events and free use of public transport. It is available online, in Salzburg’s hotels and in one of the city’s three Tourist Info Points. The newly opened Museum DomQuartier Salzburg, a centre of excellence for baroque

history, closed to the public for 200 years, can now be explored. An exhibition of baroque art in Europe including masterpieces from Rembrandt and Rotmayr is running until June 2015. Salzburg celebrates the 50th anniversary of “The Sound of Music”in 2015. Every year, 300,000 fans visit Salzburg, the shooting locations and the Trapp family's home, nowadays a hotel. The City of Mozart provided the perfect setting for the world famous Hollywood movie. With special tourist products and services, the guest dives into Maria’s world and enjoys Salzburg’s incomparable backdrop. Not to be missed is the Salzburger Marionet-

Salzburg's Christkindlmarkt, the biggest in town, is the best place to get into the advent mood. Dating back to 1491, it has preserved its local charm despite seeing an estimated one million visitors per year. The winter festival with an acrobatics show, live music at the art nouveau Spiegeltent and the Volksgarten adds to the magical wintertime feeling. At the Mozart Week 2015 from 22 January to 1 Febuary, the cantata“Davide penitente” will be brought to life by horse choreographer Bartabas, creating a poetic, artistic synthesis with horses, humans, music, movement, light and costumes. Other highlights include Franz Schubert's opera “Alfonso und Estrella”, his chamber music, songs and piano pieces, and Elliot Carter's pieces “Epigrams”and“Instances”, performed by renowned musicians and ensembles. Salzburg may be a small town, but its bristling cultural calendar and impressive heritage mean it has something to offer for everyone.

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Special Theme

Christmas Gifts Ideas Switzerland

To give – or what to give With barely more than two months until Christmas, it is time to think of who will find what under the tree. Discover Germany has identified a few great and truly unique gift ideas from Switzerland that will definitely leave a good impression. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: WWW.CHANGEMAKER.CH

Each year we face the same challenge to find the best present for the right person. From little teacher’s gifts at the end of term to self-made cookies for the lovely neighbour to something practical or very personal for our loved ones: Sharing is caring. Of course Christmas should not be perceived as a materialistic give-and-take. But a simple “let’s not exchange presents this year” usually doesn’t work either, because there is always one person who doesn’t stick to the rule. The“best things in life are free” is also a safe bet: there is nothing wrong with a home-made dinner or a voucher for a day out in the woods. Technically speaking and from a scientific point of view the four different models of sharing are reciprocal altruism, tolerated

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scrounging, costly signaling, and kin selection. This may sound a little complicated, but helps tremendously when making a choice and assessing the annual Christmas spending budget. Once the target is identified, the motivation is clear and the budget is set, it is time to crack on and make a good choice.

We gave it some thought and picked a few truly amazing gift ideas from Switzerland. From wooden sustainable toys to really cool socks and 3-D portraits there is something for everyone. All of the products featured are available at Changemaker, “the shop for stylish and useful objects for everyday life, living and wellbeing. And for a fair, green world.” At ethics meet aesthetics. All suppliers have been vetted carefully for quality and every manufacturer is categorised and clearly labelled as organic, fair & social, recycling, Swissmade, hand-made, eco-friendly and/or energy-efficient. Multiple categories apply and chosing a gift becomes as easy as pie, a good conscience included.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Christmas Gifts Ideas

Toys by Atelier Fischer With a little dash of magic Swiss family business Atelier Fischer has mastered the art of toy making. Designed with a passion for toys, the beautifully crafted wooden games and books are the kind of childhood items your kids will want to keep forever. And with these sustainable toys, they actually can. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTOS: ATELIER FISCHER

Founded in 1975 Atelier Fischer has established itself firmly in the toy industry. The lovingly crafted wooden toys stand out with their lifelong quality, and wealth of imagination merged with Swiss tradition. “To print four-coloured images onto wood and producing outstanding quality has always fascinated us. It was the source of motivation for founding our company,”current owner and manager Martin Fischer remembers.“All those years our philosophy has remained the same. Our goal is to craft quality, beautiful and durable products, with a love for detail regarding design.” Far away from mass-produced toys, which are so common these days and often lacking in character and creativity, Atelier Fischer crafts everything by hand at their workshop in Schwarzenburg, near Bern.

Maybe their secret lies in the peace and beauty of their surrounding alpine region combined with the gift of thinking like a child again whilst imagining new products. With their timeless approach, each of the toys follows a distinctive concept to stimulate a child’s creativity and are handed down from generation to generation.“One of the most popular product series is our animal cube puzzle in various sizes and with many designs,” Fischer reveals. “Another favourite is the tile-based games such as the Swiss-Memo.” Atelier Fischer also crafts wooden picture books, piggy banks, music boxes and Swiss souvenirs amongst other items. Atelier Fischer takes sustainability seriously. “It is important to us, that our materials are produced ethically and sustainably. All our

wood is FSC certified and with the awarded label Swiss Wood, we go even further,”says Fischer. “We are proud to produce everything in our workshop, and to keep the term Toys made in Switzerland alive. We are happy to cooperate with the regional sheltered workshops to give employment to the disabled.” The toys can be purchased at selected retailers and the Atelier Fischer team is happy to help find a local one. The toys are also available on, a sophisticated online shop, which focuses on ethically produced designer items. Toys made by Atelier Fischer are not only great gifts for Christmas, but bring joy for a lifetime.

Martin & Claudia Fischer

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Unique 3D portrait figures

A perfect gift idea As a photographer Ulrike Kiese has consistently pushed the limits of portrait photography, taking it into another dimension. Inspired by a television broadcast on the topic, she discovered that it was possible to scan people’s faces and make tangible portraits of them using a 3D printer. Shortly thereafter, she realised her dream of bringing this concept to Switzerland. TEXT & PHOTOS: POCKETSIZEME | TRANSLATION: EMMIE COLLINGE

Today’s 3D figures have come a long way since their conception, explains Ulrike Kiese, the mastermind behind the idea, who has worked determinedly the last few years to create the perfect 3D reproduction of a person. “I’ve learned a lot,” she says with a smile.“Perfection is only possible by learning, trying out everything, testing all the pathways, and developing your own methods – it needs all of the above, combined with an unlimited amount of time!” Working with 3D printers, the current pinnacle of the technological scene, requires the perfect blend of know-how, high-tech

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equipment and craftsmanship – a code it seems that Kiese has cracked. With her company PocketSize Me, she’s the most sought-after producer of high-end 3D figures in Switzerland. “The idea of seeing yourself three-dimensionally is absolutely fascinating,”she says with a broad smile. “And this fascination spans across generations and social classes. Once you’ve realised that it is actually possible to see yourself as a sculpture, then you’ll never be able to forget the idea,” she laughs, “and from this very fascination,

you’ll see just how easy it is to cross the gap from the initial idea of scanning your body to seeing the 3D figure for real.” “By creating a 3D figure of yourself, you’re shaping history, creating a piece of heritage,” elucidates Kiese. Company directors often approach Kiese to obtain sculptures of their employees, as do newly-weds, pregnant couples, bachelors and bachelorettes, bankers, explorers, politicians, boards of directors, private firms, males and females – they’ve all got the bug. Often, they’re creating the sculptures as a gift to themselves or their nearest and dearest.Yet PocketSize Me isn’t confined to private customers – their figures are entered into competitions, presented at trade fairs and model shows.“The sculptures are purveyors of love with their faithfulness to detail and complete uniqueness. Immortal and yet so contemporary, they’re a piece of history that you can own,”she says. But just how do customers react when they first see themselves in 3D form? “The reactions we see are just as individual and varied as the figures themselves – anything from moved, to touched, to excited. They obsess over all the tiny creases in their

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clothes, analysing themselves from all angles and holding themselves in their own hands. In essence, meeting themselves all over again.” With regards to feedback, Kiese takes immense pleasure in seeing her clients’ happiness – and they’re more than happy in return to show her the figures at home in their new environment. “Every project can perhaps be considered a little unusual,” admits Kiese, “we all have our own quirkiness. Of course, every scan, every setting and every figure is designed to meet the exact wishes of the client. Whether it’s someone who envisages themselves in five different scenarios – from the entrepreneur during the day, to their naked self at night. In this way, they’ll have an honest impression of themselves and the opportunity, of course, to scan themselves again in a few years.”



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tion and duos. It’s also particularly suitable as a scanner for small children and animals. Quite remarkably, Kiese explains that the time between scanning and printing is little more than a few hours, but the entire process could be described as “a digital sculpture”, so the average process does take between 14 and 30 days until completion of the art work. She warns that the PocketSize Me are not immune to the pre-Christmas rush either, and unfortunately any requests after the end of November will have to wait

until after Christmas for delivery. However, she suggests purchasing one of their PocketSize Me vouchers, which gives the receivers time to plan their visit at their leisure to Zurich or Aargau. Up to and including 30 October 2014, anyone who wishes to undertake a body-scan is entitled to a 10% discount and will certainly get their sculpture before Santa Claus descends the chimney – or at least, she promises, before 23 December 2014.

The technology for body scans is equally as varied – whether it’s the hand scanner that places the body directly in the scene or the enormous photogrammetry scanner in the studio in Zurich, Switzerland, it is the customer’s particular desires that define this. The Zurich studio has the capabilities for dynamic poses, for athletes, dancers in mo-

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Christmas Gifts Ideas Left: Blaustrumpf Below: Geschäftsherrensocken

Socks in the Christmas stocking

tion.Yet I also had to witness counterfeits of my products. Thus it is essential for small labels to strengthen and protect their individuality,” summarizes Inés Bader.

The Swiss textile designer Inés Bader creates individually patterned socks and scarves

Below: Tartaruga scarf Middle: Luna silk shawl


In her Basel-based atelier Inés Bader has made her passion for the stitch come true. She creates woven and knitted fabric for individually patterned stockings and scarves. Inés Bader calls herself a “colour-addicted thread acrobat”. She sells her high-quality products to boutique shops in Basel and the rest of Switzerland which resell them to their customers. This makes it possible for her to fully concentrate on the creative task of creating tissue patterns. Inés Bader holds up the local tradition of textile manufacturing. “In order to get my products duplicated I have to search gradually within a bigger radius. This is a symptom of the disappearance of textile manufacture in Switzerland,”she says. Inés Bader has pursued her business for 20 years. Before that she worked as a textile design employee for Swiss companies. She used her spare to create unique long-lasting gifts for friends, and soon the idea to produce textile accessories on a professional level was born. Ms Bader turned her passion into profession.The first sock mod-

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els were the Geschäftsherrensocken [businessmen socks]. Inés Bader felt the need to spice up the conservative business outfit and created black stockings with multicoloured toe parts. The socks are often bought by women as a present for men. But of course women can also wear them too. The Sonntagssocken [Sunday socks] are designed with vivacious colours and patterns. The Blaustrumpf [blue sock] is another model, a knee-sock. Its name alludes to various historical figures. In the 19th century, emancipated women were called “Blaustrumpf”, a term which was first used in 1750s London. Inés Bader first gained reputation by the invention of the scarf Tartaruga, a three-dimensional knitwear scarf. She also develops woven silk scarves. Nowadays Inés Bader´s inventions enjoy cult status throughout Switzerland. Especially before Christmas there is a high demand for her products.“I am happy to contribute something to the individuality of design which tends to get homogenised in mass produc-

Inés Bader

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Discover Germany | Culture | Calendar

Culture Calendar

Above: Cannstatter Volksfest, Stuttgart. Photo: Wulf Wager Above left: Photo: Thomas Niedermueller

Save the date as there are plenty of great events scheduled for the weeks to come. From music festivals and exciting exhibitions to various social highlights, Discover Germany’s Culture Calendar is your perfect guide to this autumns’s upcoming must-visits. Oktoberfest, Munich (20 September – 5 October 2014)

Cannstatter Volksfest, Stuttgart (26 September – 12 October 2014)

Pop Goes Art exhibition, Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2 October 2014 – 11 January 2015)

The 181st Munich Beer Festival takes place on the famous Wies’n. The ladies wear Dirndl, the guys wear Lederhosen. Steins filled with beer, giant pretzels and lots of Oompa attract millions of visitors from all over the world.

One of Europe’s largest and most popular fun fairs for almost 200 years at the Wasen. Enjoy a special atmosphere in and around great festival tents, a fantastic flea market and many spectacular attractions.

Peter and Irene Ludwig brought Pop Art to Germany. The Museum Ludwig houses the largest collection of this kind of art outside of the US.

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Long Night of the Museums, Vienna (4 October 2014)

EXPO REAL, Munich (6-8 October 2014)

Stroll through Vienna’s museums and explore the city’s cultural highlights under the stars. 130 museums including the Haus der Musik are open until 1 am in the morning.

The 17th International Trade Fair for Property and Investment is renowned as Europe’s second largest industry event for all institutional real estate market participants.

David Garrett Classic Revolution – Tour 2014 (Crossover), various locations (4 October – 1 November 2014)

Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt (8-12 October 2014)

See the “devil’s violinist” live on stage while he tours Germany and Austria. The record-breaking German pop and crossover artist is tipped to be the hottest show act this season.

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The world’s largest book and media fair attracts over a quarter of a million bookworms each year and features 7,300 exhibitors from over 100 countries.

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Discover Germany | Culture | Calendar

Festival of Lights 2014, Leipzig (9 October 2014) Celebrating 25 years of the Peaceful Revolution. Around 150,000 visitors from all over Germany and abroad are expected to partake. Econstra, Freiburg (22-23 October 2014) Europe’s first trade show for civil engineering, architecture and building maintenance. Designers’ Open, Leipzig (24-26 October 2014) Discover the latest trends in product, fashion and industrial design as well as in architecture at the Design Festival Leipzig. Berlin Jazz Festival (30 October – 2 November 2014) Jazzfest is one of the world's premier jazz festivals and a highlight on the Berlin musical calendar, with a range of concerts taking place all over town and in a variety of different settings, from casual jazz clubs to big professional arenas.

Above: Frankfurt Book Fair, Photo Peter Hirth Left: EXPO REAL, Munich. © Messe Muenchen GmbH. Photo: Axel Schelbert Right top: Designers' Open, Leipzig. Photo: Matthias Ritzmann Right middle: JazzFest Berlin, Benny Golson. © Oliver Rossberg Right bottom: Festival of lights, Leipzig. Photo: punctum / Schmidt

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Discover Germany | Culture | Barbara Geier

“There’s more to Anglo-German relations than war and football.” I recently received an invitation for the opening of an exhibition at the German Historical Institute London, Germans in Britain. Since I’m one of them, I immediately felt engaged and my curiosity was piqued. TEXT: BARBARA GEIER

The invitation blurb said that the exhibition explores the rich and fascinating history of German migrants to Britain; it spoke about the Germans in Britain who across the centuries have been loved or hated, admired or demonised, and how British sports, science, banks, businesses, music, monarchs, art and design have all been shaped by their German connections: “It’s a fascinating story, peppered with both familiar and unfamiliar names.” Sounded great, I was in. And I’d like to stress, not just because Joanna Lumley opened the exhibition together with the director of the British Museum. Although and admittedly, a bit of celebrity “peppering” helped to pique one’s curiosity even more. No, what I find rather fascinating is that there seems to be a bit of a German wave currently running through this country and should you be so inclined, you could easily give your cultural calendar this autumn a very German twist indeed: Apart from the Germans in Britain exhibition, the British Museum and the BBC are together staging something that The Independent called a “major cultural project”: Germany – Memories of a Nation consists of an exhibition at the British Museum described as a “600-year history in objects”, accompanied by a 30-part series on BBC Radio 4, which started broadcasting on 29 September and include a reading by Benedict Cumberbatch from Kafka’s Metamor-

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phosis and a full dramatization of Brecht’s Mother Courage. If visual art is more your thing, Anselm Kiefer is the subject of a major retrospective at the Royal Academy of Art with a large exhibition opening, running until the end of the year. He’s not the only German artist featured prominently in the UK this year: Gerhard Richter and Georg Baselitz have already had exhibitions and Sigmar Polke is still to come to the Tate Modern in October. Now, I’m not an historian who could probably explain why exactly at this moment in time Germany all of a sudden seems to be en vogue in the UK. Having lived here for quite a while now I can only say, it feels a bit like the peaking point of a movement that has been going on for some time. And it’s rather nice to see. Plus, it adds to my own education about Germans in Britain since, coming back to the beginning, I had no clue who a certain Johann Heinrich Schröder was, whose image is featured on the invitation. I know now that he’s the guy who founded Schroders (makes sense, doesn’t it), one of the UK’s largest investment banks. Let me rephrase that: He was, of course, not “the guy who” but a member of the very honourable Hanseatic Schröder dynasty of Hamburg who settled in London where he branched out his family’s business into the new lucrative business of trade finance. Well, my image will certainly never be on

any kind of invitations for any future exhibitions about Germans who left their mark on the UK. However, glad to be here at this moment in time when our host’s interest in us seems to have been reawakened. Or, as La Lumley is quoted:“There’s more to Anglo-German relations than war and football.” See you at the exhibition then! And if not at this one, then surely another …

Barbara Geier is a London-based freelance writer, translator and communications consultant. She is also the face behind, 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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