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Issue 35 | February 2016

A N A M B A S S A D O R F O R G R E AT TA S T E

ISLAND DESTINATIONS NATURE EXPERIENCES TOP ARCHITECTS DESIGN, FASHION & CULTURE

T H E M AG A Z I N E P R O M OT I N G G E R M A N Y, S W I T Z E R L A N D & A U ST R I A


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Your Shortcut to Scandinavia Bergen

NORWAY

Oslo Stockholm Bromma

SWEDEN Aalborg

Gothenburg

Aarhus

UNITED KINGDOM

DENMARK Billund

Manchester

London City

GERMANY Brussels

D端sseldorf

BELGIUM

SWITZERLAND

Munich

Z端rich

S n a cks

Me als

Drinks

ba.com

Pap ers

Lounges

Smiles


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Discover Germany | Contents

Contents FEBRUARY 2016

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46

COVER FEATURE 6

66

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Culture & Nature Experiences From enchanted castles, mystic caves and nature parks to golf courses, mountain ranges, great wines or natural products – there is much to experience in Germany.

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Top 3 Island Destinations Whether in summer or in winter, long beaches, salty air and exciting nature draws more and more people to the German islands. We took a closer look at the most beautiful ones.

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Top 2 Finance Advisors How must you invest in the best way? Is there an innovative source of lending? This month’s best financial advisors have the answers.

Hotel of the Month Our winner this month is the Schlosshotel Vereina in Switzerland’s Davos Klosters. Here, one can discover exclusive wellness, an excellent cuisine and beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.

Children’s Universe Searching for cute hammocks, colourful blankets, robust children’s furniture or an off-road buggy? We selected some intriguing brands which are dedicated to create or sell marvellous items for toddlers.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 10

30

32

76

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Carnival in Germany Our writer Nadine Carstens explains the weird and wonderful traditions of carnival in Germany.

Wine & Dine Let us look at some grand hotels and restaurants well worth a visit.

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Culture Beautiful islands, great cultural sights and magnificent nature experiences can be found all over Germany and Austria.

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Business Legal expert Gregor Kleinknecht talks about the challenges of running a family business. Plus, great architects and financial advisors.

Germany – the land of fairy tales Everyone has heard of the Brothers Grimm, but there are many more exciting fairy tales which are connected to existing sights. Our own Jessica Holzhausen has found the best.

Fashion Finds This year, the fashion industry loves pieces that are gorgeous, sustainable and ethical at the same time.

Destination of the Month Beautiful mountain lakes, lush alpine pastures, various hiking trails and traditional festivals are just some of the aspects that make Alpenwelt Karwendel worth a visit.

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Cultural Highlight of the Month One highlight not to miss this year is Lindau’s fascinating exhibit of original Picasso works.

Dedicated to Design Discover Germany found some ingenious items which make waiting for spring worthwhile.

FEATURES

SPECIAL THEMES 18

Photo: Schlosshotel Vereina

Top Architects Our selection of top German and Swiss architects show what a difference great buildings can make.

Enie van de Meiklokjes Quirky outfits, amazing headpieces and unusual hair colours; Enie van de Meiklokjes is a familiar face on TV. She spoke to Discover Germany about social commitment, her love of baking and her favourite recipes.

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Photo: m3 Architekten

Photo: Hotel Staudacherhof

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Culture Calendar Save the date! Discover Germany’s culture calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in February.

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Barbara Geier This month our columnist Barbara Geier explains the do’s and don’ts of Carnival in Germany.

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Dear Reader,

Discover Germany

Sales & Key Account Managers

Issue 35, February 2016

Emma Fabritius Nørregaard

Published 01.02.2016 ISSN 2051-7718

In February, we all probably still have to wrap up warm to handle the cold but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t loads to do in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Why not head to one of the DACH region’s many fun Carnival celebrations? But watch out – there are certain rules to remember. Thankfully our writer Nadine Carstens and our columnist Barbara Geier have dedicated their time to explain to us how exactly these special festivities work.

Laura Hummer Noura Draoui Stefan Cameron Freya Plakolb

Published by Scan Magazine Ltd.

Cover Photo sixx / Marc Rehbeck

Design & Print Liquid Graphic Ltd.

Advertising info@discovergermany.com

Executive Editor Thomas Winther

Discover Germany is published by:

Creative Director Mads E. Petersen

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

Editor Nane Steinhoff Art Director Svetlana Slizova Copy-Editor

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

Isa Hemphrey Contributors

For further information, please visit www.discovergermany.com

Nadine Carstens Jessica Holzhausen Elisabeth Doehne

This month’s cover star Enie van de Meiklokjes shows us two great things that we can do inside our warm homes – baking and redecorating. In our VIP interview, the presenter, known for her crazy outfits, further reveals what her plans for 2016 are and which charitable projects she supports. Also in this issue you’ll find a special focus on island destinations and one on great culture and nature experiences to explore. Whether you opt to visit a castle, explore a cave or hike through a beautiful nature park, we have got you covered. Of course, there is much more to be discovered in this issue from cosy hotels to chic fashion or exceptional restaurants. As this is my first month as editor for Discover Germany, I would like to thank my predecessor Tina Awtani for teaching me the do’s and don’ts of editorship. It has been a pleasure working with you and all the best for the future. Of course another big thank you has to go to Noura, Laura, Stefan and Freya for trusting me to take on this task.

Sonja Irani

And now - enjoy the issue and thanks for reading!

Cornelia Brelowski Silke Henkele Julika Huether Marilena Stracke Emmie Collinge

Nane Steinhoff

Barbara Geier Gregor Kleinknecht Ina Frank

© 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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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Enie van de Meiklokjes

Enie van de Meiklokjes An ambassador for great taste Quirky outfits, amazing headpieces and a predilection for unusual hair colours – German television presenter Enie van de Meiklokjes has been a familiar face on TV screens all over the federal republic for many years. Discover Germany spoke to her about her love of baking and her favourite recipes, about how she picks her beloved fashion pieces and why social commitment is so important to her. NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: SIXX/MARC REHBECK | SIXX/ARNE WEYCHARDT

Born in Potsdam in 1974, Enie van de Meiklokjes first started a career far away from the glitz and glam of television. After finishing school, she became a window dresser; aka a decorator. She tells us:“Starting to work in television was more of a coincidence. My career aspiration was to become a decorator and, fortunately, this also worked out. After my apprenticeship, I worked in that profession but I also had a contract with a model agency. They sent me to a TV casting to Wuppertal one day and, back then, I didn’t think much of it. But after the casting, I was awarded the contract and suddenly was a presenter for the music channel VIVA.” Living her passions on screen Since then, Enie has shown her distinctive talent and her innate, natural comical side in shows like VIVA FAMILY or RTL 2’s BRAVO TV. Since 2001, she has worked as a freelancer for television channels such as ARD, ZDF, Sat.1, RTL or VOX and presented the Bambi Awards amongst others. She

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became a special agent for handicraft tips on the children’s programme PuR from ZDFtivi, led through ARTE’s LOLA – The programme for Women and presented the morning show WECK-UP on SAT.1. Her expertise in decorating can be admired in the VOX programme Wohnen nach Wunsch – Ein Duo für vier Wände! where she helps people to stylishly furnish and decorate their flats and even their whole houses as part of Wohnen nach Wunsch – Das Haus. Today, Enie is part of the quiz show Meister des Alltags on SWR and can be seen baking her favourite recipes in Sweet & Easy – Enie backt. “What I love most is that my work doesn’t solely involve presenting most of the time. I can act out my hobby in front of the camera and I’m able to show my viewers something that I can do well, such as talking with my mouth full,”she laughs. She adds: “Of course I’m really happy when my viewers like my recipes and decoration ideas too.” Enie’s passion for baking developed


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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Enie van de Meiklokjes

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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Enie van de Meiklokjes

early in her childhood: “I already baked back then. This simply was inherent in our family and I never lost sight of it.”Today, her favourite recipes are plentiful: “Most of them are actually savoury baking recipes with bacon and cheese for example. I’m also a big fan of quiches and tartes.” Cherries on the head and hundreds of shoes Enie van de Meiklokjes is known for her crazy and stylish fashion combinations, extravagant accessories and shoes, as well as striking hair colours. Whether a headdress with plus-size cherries, pink hair or stiletto heels with black ankle socks, the presenter is a true fashion icon and shoe fanatic (she is said to own over 150 pairs of heels). She reveals: “Fashion is a really exciting topic but I don’t belong to those people that constantly follow current fashion trends. But, fortunately, fashion is very versatile and thus offers the possibility to find the most suitable style for oneself. I, for example, like to wear dresses because they’re incredibly practical and uncomplicated. In my opinion, the most beautiful dresses originated in the‘40s and‘50s and that’s why I like to get inspired by old movies.You can also find me on vintage or flea markets where I search for suitable treasures.”

presents stage events and joined the ‘ReCreate’campaign which seeks to make German schoolyards more colourful and livelier. “I had a nice childhood and I believe that we all should pass on something. Unfortunately, here in Berlin, more child poverty exists than presumed. That’s why I like to support campaigns near me and really appreciate the work of the DKHW.” The presenter is also dedicated to supporting the WWF in its quest to preserve forests. Other projects that fill Enie’s diverse portfolio are several audio plays, TV synchronisations, smaller roles in television series and films, as well as commercials for IKEA or T-Online. She also writes books about baking or aquariums. In her private life, she is married to a Danish musician, lives in Berlin and loves Copenhagen. “Home is where I feel comfortable, where my favourite people are, where one can eat well and enjoy the sunny sides of life. This isn’t only Berlin for me, but also Copenhagen for some years now.” Having achieved a great deal so far in her life, we

wanted to know what else is on her to-do list. “I’m not so much of a dreamer but rather enjoy the here and now and am curious for what will come. Fortunately, up until now, everything worked out well and I’m a really happy and content person.”She adds: “I still have some recipes in reserve and am happy to show them off at Sweet & Easy – Enie backt in the future.”Those who are interested in finding out about these recipes should switch on to the programme, which airs every Saturday at 13.30 pm on sixx.

With her unique fashion sense and training as a window dresser, one might think that Enie’s flat must look incredible too. And this is not far from the truth. She explains: “Of course my actual profession isn’t neglected in my own four walls. I love to paint and redecorate my walls as the fancy takes me and according to seasons. That’s why my flat is in constant change. At the moment, I already look forward to spring and thus, the colours in my flat get lighter and more pastel and the furniture more puristic for my standards.” “We all should pass on something” Since 2007, Enie has acted as an ambassador for the children’s charity Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk (DKHW), where she supported a campaign for regular, warm meals for children from socially disadvantaged families. She also helps with workshops,

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Discover Germany | Design | Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design... With temperatures around freezing point, spring still seems far away. But do not fret – February is the perfect month to read a good book, to enjoy cosy nights on the couch or to have dinner parties with friends before warm sun rays draw all of us outside our homes again. We found some intriguing design objects which are sure to make waiting for spring worthwhile.

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EDITOR'S PICKS

Did you get enthused about baking by our cover star? Then these cute oven gloves will come in handy. £17. www.geschenkidee.de Inject some colour into your home to drive out the winter spirit. This extravagant pouf, which is decorated with handmade merino wool bubbles, will surely help. P.o.a. www.myk-berlin.com Inspired by the cone of the French pine, the Zappy ash small by SCHNEID will bring a natural feel into your home. But not only that – the lamp’s characteristics ensure a sublime and cosy light quality. £269. www.schneid.org

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With its timeless and classical design, this cult object of the 1950s poses as the perfect oasis to read or relax. Hardoy Butterfly Chair Vintage. £1,132. www.manufakturplus.de Use this stylish grey vase by KAMI DESIGN to embellish your home with crocuses or daffodils so that the smell of spring will arrive early in your home. Available in two sizes. £13 and £11. www.kamidesign.de

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home & interior design at it´s best International experience in creating outstanding living places with German perfectionism and excellence in craftsmanship is our strong distinction. Enabling your ongoing enjoyment and pleasure in living your individual style at your home, composed like a masterpiece symphony especially for your demands and dreams. Fulfillment at highest level with the full spectrum of the leading design collections and true personal service.

international interior design | friedrichstrasse 5 | 91054 erlangen | bavaria – germany | tel +499131.92026.0 | www.doerfler.de congratulations to our leading partner in best practice living style


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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds

Still standing strong on your New Year’s resolutions? Great! While many people stopped smoking, ate healthier or did more sport, others decided to deal more consciously with their shopping habits. The fashion industry has picked up on this which makes it easier for us to find items which are gorgeous, sustainable and ethical at the same time. Let us look at some of the amazing clothes out there that can be bought with a clear conscience. EDITOR’S PICKS | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Isabell de Hillerin stands for clean cuts and textiles which are paired with feminine elegance. The predominantly dark clothes are broken up by accents of blue lavender and engage through the use of different textures. Mulberry knit sweater £263. www.isabelldehillerin.com

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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

Rosa Hirn designs handcrafted jewellery in Ingolstadt and every item is unique and beautiful – like this necklace made of nothing but gold-plated brass, glass and resin. £207. www.rosahirn.de

Why not go for a bag made out of fish skin, which is a byproduct of fishing. This bag by AYASSE is made out of sustainable salmon skin and impresses with a beautiful pattern. £672. www.studio-ayasse.com

This trendy shoe will go with almost everything – and is sustainably produced in Slovakia. Chelsea boot £105. www.hessnatur.com

Berlin-based designer Isabell de Hillerin’s aspiration is to treat clothes with respect. The deliberate use of ‘healthy’, fair materials is as part of her designing strategy as traditional craftsmanship – thus, she generates sustainable quality and individuality. Wool coat £505. www.isabelldehillerin.com

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Discover Germany | Design | Bruderherz

Leather bags with character Founded by two inspired brothers, the company Bruderherz creates unique leather bags for ladies and gents, combining quality with sophisticated designs. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE I PHOTOS: BRUDERHERZ

After realising that there are no unique leather bags, especially for men, founders Sebastian and Thorsten Meyer vowed to fill that gap. The results are impressive. “What distinguishes our creations are the use of top-quality cowhide and our designs. Leather bags are often plain, sometimes even boring, and mostly available in the common shades of brown and black. Inspired by unusual antiques, we pay more attention to detail regarding design, shape and locks,”explains Thorsten Meyer. The products by Bruderherz range from briefcases, travel bags, handbags and rucksacks to wallets and even washbags. Dark purple shades, sophisticated greys, browns and blacks with a classic yet modern touch add class straight away.

Bruderherz uses plant-based substances without chemicals to tan the leather, which is extremely rare in today’s industry. The colouring and appearance of the surface is worked into by hand and only top-grain leather is used. This process makes each bag unique and exudes that particular charm and authenticity. Meyer’s personal favourite is the briefcase Smith, which is exactly the kind of leather case the brothers were looking for before founding Bruderherz: “It is an exceptional bag in terms of design. It is slim yet practical and has room for a laptop and documents. The unusual inner lining, a licensed photo print of 1903’s Oxford tug team, the colour and natural surfaces structure provides the finishing touch.”

Portrait: Bruderherz team Sebastian and Thorsten Meyer

Above: Briefcase Smith

www.bruderherz-shop.de

Feel the fascination, will be the best of your life. www.mayrhofner-bergbahnen.com

Penken. Der Actionberg der

So müssen Berge sein.


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Wearable toughness for men.

Rings with personality for hands with personality. BLASTA – the fusion of the art of jewellery making and the next-generation design of high-end cars. By men, for men. www.blasta.ch


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The merino wool used comes from certified organic livestock in South America where the sheep are shorn according to strict animal welfare guidelines. Furthermore, all ENGEL SPORTS garments are manufactured in Germany in compliance with the strictest criteria for socially responsible labour practices and the entire manufacturing process is certified under the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).

Feel the nature Maximum functionality and optimum comfort characterise the athletics wear collections from ENGEL SPORTS. Manufactured in Germany to the highest ecological criteria and made from fine merino wool and smooth, exquisite silk, the clothes stand for the highest quality.

Whether t-shirts or long-sleeve shirts in stylish colours, tights, unisex tube scarves, hats, shorts or sporty yet chic hooded jackets, ENGEL SPORTS products guarantee the highest wearing comfort and exemplary body temperature and moisture regulation. The individual items are either available in a lighter fabric or a somewhat heavier, warmer one. Due to the tight fit and the exceptional material characteristics, the products snuggle up to the body and adapt to each movement. This does not only delight amateur athletes, but also the German Paralympic Ski Team. Justus Wolf, national ski alpine coach says: “The clothes are nicely warm and tremendously comfortable to wear.”

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: ENGEL GMBH

“ENGEL SPORTS is committed to consequently observing its ecological, as well as social, footprint,”notes Gabriele Kolompar, CEO of the ENGEL GmbH. For over 30 years, ENGEL has been manufacturing underwear from natural fibres out of respect for skin and nature. A high-performance line of athletics wear designed for sports and indoor, as well as outdoor activities made from soft, 100 per cent non-scratch fabric is produced and sold under the name ENGEL SPORTS. This line of apparel utilises a new blend of material made from superfine merino wool fibres and exquisite silk. The combination of merino wool and silk results in maximum breathability and comfortably insulates the wearer against temperature extremes.The inclusion of two per cent of elastane in the athletics wear range reinforces the natural elasticity of the wool fibres, enabling the clothes to retain its

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shape extremely well in movement. Additionally, the natural properties of the woolsilk blend produce an antibacterial effect which reduces the build-up of odour caused by sweat. Last but not least, the wool fibres naturally absorb UV radiation so that the skin is protected.

Whether for skiing, biking, hiking, scuba diving or running, ENGEL SPORTS offers award-winning items which one can wear with a clear conscience. No wonder the products were awarded the federal ‘ecodesign’ award. www.engel-sports.com


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Special Theme

Children’s Universe

A natural sleeping environment for babies When their son was born, Angela and Robin Koszewa from Gelsenkirchen decided to follow a new career path. In order to spend more time with their son, the entrepreneur couple started the brands NONOMO® and Fidella®, which stand for sustainable organic quality and enable a close bond between parent and child. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS I PHOTOS: KOSZEWA & KOSZEWA GBR

Most parents are familiar with this scene: when babies have trouble falling asleep, there are times when nothing seems to help, no matter how their mum and dad try to make them feel comfortable. Making it possible for newborns to sleep significantly better and to make both them and their parents feel more relaxed is Angela and Robin Koszewa’s aim. Under the two brands NONOMO® and Fidella®, the entrepreneur couple from Gelsenkirchen creates baby hammocks, baby wraps and other products for infants and toddlers, which convey a feeling of closeness and security:

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sentiments that are essential to a child’s well-being. “After our son Nolan was born, we realised that our view of what really matters in life had severely changed. We had a feeling that there was not enough time for reasonably balancing family life and work,” Angela Koszewa explains. “Therefore, we had to find a new way to make a living, while actively raising and spending enough time with our son.” She describes this process as“going on an expedition to finding our inner entrepreneur”. According to

her, she and her husband wanted to bethink themselves on offering products that are of practical, but also of emotional use for parents and their children. As a result, the married couple founded NONOMO® in 2010, a company that primarily sells pioneering hammocks for babies.Three years later, Angela and Robin Koszewa placed

Portrait: Angela and Robin Koszewa


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Children’s Universe

ensure that the baby does not slip out. Another advantage is that the hammock’s ergonomic shape evenly distributes the baby’s weight, forming a rounded back. Midwives recommend this method, since it helps to relieve some of the pressure off the coccyx (tailbone) and prevents the baby’s head from flattening. In comparison to typical foam mattresses, the NONOMO® cot mattress is filled with natural sheep’s wool, which not only provides an ideal exchange of moisture and temperature, but is also less prone to absorbing germs. And if parents want to go on vacation or visit friends, they can easily transport the baby hammock thanks to a handy carrier bag that is included. Customers primarily from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as various nursery schools for employees’children and celebrities like football player Philipp Lahm and the American singerAloe Blacc, swear by the NONOMO® hammock.

many, the United States and Canada, to France, Mexico and Australia. On Facebook, Fidella® already has 70,000 fans, whereas NONOMO® counts about 40,000 supporters. Everyone who is interested in the products of NONOMO® and Fidella® can take a look at the companies’ websites or visit baby world fairs, where Angela and Robin Koszewa are regular guests. www.nonomo.de www.fidella.org

FIDELLA®:“Babywearing is our nature”

their second brand Fidella® on the market, which additionally offers baby wraps, slings and carriers. NONOMO®: Like sleeping in mummy’s arms What makes the NONOMO® baby hammock special is that it not just gently rocks back and forth, but also up and down while the newborn lies inside, contentedly falling asleep. In order to make the baby feel comfortable, Angela and Robin Koszewa, as well as their employees, attach great importance to values like quality, sustainability and an emphasis on using organic materials. Therefore, the hammock’s fabric is 100 per cent natural cotton, while the extension bar is made of FSC-certified wood. Additional safety strings prevent the womb-like bed from falling down. An enclosed system as well as snaps at the foot

Thanks to the knowledge we gained through NONOMO®, it was easier for us to also place our second brand Fidella® on the market,” Robin Koszewa says. By the way, the name Fidella is composed of the French word ‘fidéliser’ (in English: ‘to bind someone’) and Ella, the name of the entrepreneurs’ daughter.“Our baby wraps and carriers give parents the chance to create an intimate bond, which is particularly essential for infants and toddlers,” Robin Koszewa explains. If children are alone, they feel insecure and get scared. Crying is often the only way to draw attention to themselves. But when babies are being carried in a wrap, the body contact to their mother or father enables them to settle. At the same time, parents stay flexible: they can go shopping or do housework while being with their baby. According to Angela and Robin Koszewa, all Fidella® baby wraps are very soft, are made of natural fabrics and they stay in form and feel comfortably thin. Since the wraps have an extra width of 80 centimetres, they can be used for newborns as well as for toddlers. By now, Fidella® provides to customers all over the world, from Ger-

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Far left: ‘Save the Whales’ design Left: ‘Elegant Elephants’ design (top) Baby’s changing mat in ‘Sweet Foxes’ design (below) Below: ‘Hipster Friends’ design Bottom: Blanket in ‘Juicy Jungle’ design

tion to details. All materials used are oeko tex® standard 100 certified, and are distinguished by the fact that they give a completely safe and toxin-free pleasure. In addition, all used filling materials are sustainable and can be degraded without chemicals,”explains the entrepreneur.

millemarille Naturally lovely

And caring can also be pretty. In cooperation with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), millemarille’s new fabric design‘Save the Whales’supports the campaign to help improve the situation of endangered marine habitats. This spring, the recently launched design ‘Hipster Friends’highlights hand-drawn, humorous motifs of hipster animals that are printed in black, grey and mustard. This modern style and the up-to-date colours match wonderfully to natural materials and décor, clearly underlining millemarille’s trendsetter status in the baby market.

Fashionable but totally functional. The German label millemarille makes baby gear, essentials and accessories that have a unique sense of style and identity. Their fabrics are cute, cheeky and charming – and all materials are responsibly sourced and produced.

Baby gear does not have to be average looking – it can be colourful, happy, inspiring and practical at the same time!

TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE I PHOTOS: MILLEMARILLE GMBH

www.millemarille.com

What is there not to love about the sweet, thoughtful patterns and beautiful colour schemes? In contrast to generic baby products and clothing – which often lack inspiration or functionality – millemarille designs stylish and environmentally conscious products. Because many of these products work from newborns to toddlers or even to older kids, the items become colourful, trusted accessories in the lives of parents and children. Things to love and keep The Munich-based label, founded and headed by Petra Kammerlander-Jensen, creates happy, mindful and functional baby accessories that are inspired by her personal experience as well as expert advice. Within six years, millemarille has grown from an initial idea to a successful baby gear label that emphasises both style and quality.The innovative products, which can

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be found in online stores or baby boutiques in major cities, can be easily matched and combined with each other. They are also perfect gifts. millemarille has a thoughtful selection of crib mats, bedding sets, blankets and bean bags that are all perfect for a nursery or a growing child’s room. With their tasteful nursing pillows, baby towels, and other accessories, it is easy to add a touch of modern style to children’s needs at home or when travelling. Responsible production and care The founder, a young mother of two, explains the label’s philosophy. Her love of practical design and exceptional quality is reflected in how the products are made:“All millemarille products are manufactured in small European factories with great atten-


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Bonjour la vie!

FIRST-YEAR BABY NE CESSITIES – PRODUCED IN EUROPE WITH L OVE! FIND US IN FRIENDLY STORES ALL OVER GERMANY, AUSTRIA, SWITZERLAND AND BELGIUM

l e p e t i t b e u r r e .com


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Children’s Universe

jundado children’s furniture – grown-up design with kids in mind “Children should be a part of our everyday activities without us having to turn our environment into a multi-coloured playground,” says designer Claudia Hüskes, mother of two and founder of children’s furniture company jundado. TEXT: JULIKA HUETHER I PHOTOS: CLAUDIA HÜSKES I PETER GRÖNE

provide a safe haven for children in any business environment, because it means the adults’conversations will be much more relaxed.” The modular furniture range ‘Archipel’, suitable for small and large play areas at

Going beyond with kids The new YippieYo Crossbuggy for off-road adventures TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: YIPPIEYO AG

The YippieYo Crossbuggy is a completely new, safe and high-quality off-road buggy for two children aged from one to six. It is specially designed for off-road usage away from paved roads.The innovative and light-weight aluminium frame ensures stability and agility even in difficult terrain. Wherever you go – countryside hills, sandy beaches, busy cities or your local park – the Crossbuggy is your ideal companion and buggy of choice. While parents fancy the immensely enhanced mobility compared to regular pushchairs, the

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www.jundado.de

kids also enjoy the“hop-on, hop-off”roadster feeling.The Crossbuggy is easy to take along as well: just fold the backrest and drawbar and dismount the wheels and it will fit in almost any car boot. Impeccable quality, safety certification, and sustainable production Each Crossbuggy is handmade in Switzerland and Germany. All parts are supplied by renowned European companies. Every detail meets or exceeds the latest European norms

© Peter Gröne

© Claudia Hüskes

Hüskes founded jundado with the aim of bringing the worlds of adults and children closer together. The current range of multifunctional children’s furniture created in a sheltered workshop received a Red Dot Award and was nominated for the Kids Innovation Award at the Kind + Jugend trade show. “Being a mother, I see things with different eyes than as just a designer. I ask myself why banks, surgeries and car dealerships often have extremely high-quality interiors – yet the children’s play area, if it exists at all – consists of mass-produced furniture,” says Hüskes.“It is important to

home and in business spaces, fits harmoniously into any environment. It is highly flexible and can be customised to match the respective corporate design. The shielded sitting areas and the intimacy created by the furniture allows children to calmly play with toys, read books and immerse themselves in their games. Following the success of ‘Archipel’ and an award-winning baby furniture range, Hüskes is currently working on a children’s lamp.“In addition, I am discussing extraordinary design ideas with young designers and am hoping to develop some of them in the future,”says Hüskes.

regarding safety, usability and chemical substances for children products. The manufacturing process and components are closer to a high-end mountain bike than to an ordinary pushchair: aluminium free-forming, highquality welding, individual powder coating, and use of disc brakes are just some of its unique features. Notably, the Crossbuggy has passed an extended endurance and safety test and has been granted the renowned German GS-certification (Guaranteed Safety). Design and construction with their superior off-road usability are protected by an EU-patent. Customers can configure and order their individual YippieYo Crossbuggy online. A wide range of colours are available for the frame, the seat cushions and the wheels. www.yippieyo.com


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Portraits: Founders and CEOs Alexander Brand (top) and Konstantin Urban (bottom). Above: Office spaces.

Windeln.de AG A startup success story The German e-commerce business windeln.de is one of Europe’s leading retailers for all products centered around newborns, toddlers, and children. The online baby store features a wide range of essential items and brands for toddlers and mothers: a large selection of diapers, nutrition and baby food, organic products, beauty and care items and much more.

Windeln.de offers a broad selection of 100,000 products and more than 1,000 name brands and retailers (including the international shops pannolini, feedo, bebitus and nakiki.it). Everything ships with a fast, reliable and free of charge service straight to customers’ doorsteps.The spectrum ranges from diapers and baby food to children's furniture, toys, clothes, strollers and child car seats. Another resource for parents is the free membership of Nakiki, a shopping club powered by windeln.de, which offers special sales of top global brands and upcoming labels.

TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: WINDELN.DE AG

Future vision and goals Starting a business begins with a spark, an idea that finds a niche – or creates it. In October 2010, the three entrepreneurs Alexander Brand, Konstantin Urban and Dagmar Mahnel founded windeln.de in Munich. Their inspiration for starting the business was also part of the reason for its success: making their own shopping easier and having more time with their newborns. From their personal experience as young, modern parents, they realised that a one-stop shop for baby products would make their lives much easier and let them compare brands online instead of going into crowded stores. They came up with a business model that

would help young parents to spend more quality time with their babies instead of running around and buying everyday baby essentials like diapers or food. The power of the right idea The team of entrepreneurs found a need – and then found a way to fill it. Since then, their business has rapidly grown from being a start-up to becoming a market leader, meanwhile employing more than 500 people internationally. Today the start-up is present in ten European countries and even in China. More than 750,000 customers made purchases on the website in 2015.

The e-commerce business also provides guidance on parenting issues. In columns and review posts, mothers and fathers write about their experiences, everyday life with small children, parental advice and new baby products. Building on their success and business philosophy, the company wants to expand both its presence in European countries as well as its product spectrum. By relying on fast, reliable and convenient delivery of everyday baby products, windeln.de seeks to continue to gain the trust and loyalty of their customers. www.windeln.de

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Hotel of the Month Switzerland

The jewel of Klosters In Europe’s highest town of Davos Klosters in Switzerland, there is the luxurious Schlosshotel Vereina. Run by SEEHOF SELECTION, it is the perfect place for enjoying wellness, an excellent cuisine as well as a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS I PHOTOS: SCHLOSSHOTEL VEREINA; GIAN GIOVANOLI

As a place for peace and tranquillity, the four-star Schlosshotel Vereina in Switzerland serves as perfect accommodation for those who want to enjoy some luxury, regain energy and forget about their daily hassles. Located at the heart of Davos Klosters, one of the most renowned winter and summer holiday destinations in the world, the elegant, discrete hotel not only offers a spectacular view on the surrounding mountains, but also an environment where everyone has the chance to unwind and relax. “As soon you enter the lightflooded, majestic hotel lobby, you will feel the hotel’s aesthetic grandeur,”says Daniel Braun, CEO of the SEEHOF SELECTION to which SchlosshotelVereina has belonged since winter 2014/2015. With 14 luxurious suites with about 50 to 110 square metres and 11 double rooms with 24 to 29 square metres, the hotel offers great amounts of space. All the rooms fea-

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ture noble furnishings and soft colours. When taking a look out of the window, guests will have a stunning view of the beautiful garden.Vereina’s suits additionally have large balconies: a perfect place to soak up some alpine sun. Guests also enjoy the magnificent Roman spa of 1,000 square metres, where they, for example, receive massages and cosmetic treatments. Taking a herbal bath, swimming in the generously built wellness pool and laying down on heat therapy beds are further wellness activities which make guests feel as if they were back in the Roman times. A small but fine boutique hotel Aside from that, gourmets will certainly appreciate the excellent cuisine of the hotel’s restaurants. As Braun describes:“The multifaceted cuisine of the SchlosshotelVereina indulges its guests’taste buds with healthy,

wholesome culinary delicacies.” To round off the exquisite meals with a Mediterranean touch, guests can try a glass of wine from the international wine list. Alternatively, Braun recommends a visit toVereina’s famous hotel lounge with piano entertainment. Tasty scones and sandwiches, baked goods as well as aromatic teas are some of the high tea’s delicacies, while tobacco enthusiasts have their own exclusive ambiance.“Our guests appreciate all the assets of our small but fine boutique hotel,”Braun says. Therefore, the hotel’s dedicated host team takes care of every guest’s needs. www.hotelvereina.ch


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Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Restaurant Kurfürstenstube & Sporthotel Reisch

150 years of hospitality – welcome to Heidelberg’s historic hotel and restaurant Restaurant Kurfürstenstube in Heidelberg owes its good reputation not only to the outstanding kitchen team around head chef Michael Szofer, but also to the high service quality and the building’s ambience. Situated in the 150-year-old five-star hotel Europäischer Hof, the restaurant is part of Heidelberg’s historic heritage. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: EUROPAEISCHER HOF

Around 150 years ago, in 1865, the citizens of Heidelberg experienced a sensation: after only two years of building, the Hôtel de l’Europe opened its doors to the public. Because of its high standards and comfort, the hotel attracted many visitors from afar – even during times when people still travelled in uncomfortable horse carriages. The restaurant ‘Kurfürstenstube’ is only a year younger than the

already spectacular hotel: it opened its doors in 1866. Until today it is known for its high-class cuisine and service, but what astonishes guests the most are the ceiling’s wooden claddings and the inlaid works – most of them carved when the

restaurant was built 150 years ago. The brass chandeliers and original copperplate engravings picturing Heidelberg’s history heighten the sense of dining in historical surroundings. The food in contrast celebrates a modern approach in cooking. Salzwiesenlamm – lamb bred on the coast’s salt marshes – with plum tomatoes and artichokes or Odenwälder char with basil and buttermilk: high-quality and sustainable ingredients form the centre pieces of head chef Michael Szofer’s creations of traditional French cuisine. Szofer, who was trained in Michelin-star restaurants, became head chef at the Kurfürstenstube in 2013. www.europaeischerhof.com

A traditional hotel with a sporting edge Right in the town centre of Kitzbühel, the family-run four-star Sporthotel Reisch has been attracting winter athletes since 1912. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS I PHOTOS: SPORTHOTEL REISCH

When Franz Reisch opened his Sporthotel in 1912, the time also marked the beginning of alpine skiing in Kitzbühel – nowadays one of Austria’s most famous ski resorts that attracts winter athletes from all over the world. The former mayor Reisch, after hearing about this new sport, decided to introduce it to the Gamsstadt. This way, he managed to significantly enliven tourism in this region. His Sporthotel Reisch in the centre of Kitzbühel was to become the perfect accommodation for everyone who loved to rush down snow-covered hills. Over 100 years later, the hotel is still the essential place to go to for guests who appreciate an obliging service. Whether you prefer to come in winter to go skiing or in summer to go hiking or play

golf, Sporthotel Reisch warm-heartedly welcomes guests at any time of the year. Run by fourth-generation family members, the charming hotel offers a fine mixture of tradition and modern spirit.“Most of our rooms were recently renovated: Now, each one is dedicated to some well-known Kitzbühel legends, such as Toni Sailer, Christian Pravda or Alfons Walde,” says Nina Hipfl-Reisch, Franz Reisch’s great-granddaughter who runs the hotel with her brother Mike Mayr-Reisch. “Additionally, we equipped all rooms with wooden floors and high-quality materials, so that the overall style is modern, but still very cosy.”The hotel’s restaurant Kaiserstuben is another highlight, where guests can enjoy exquisite cuisine and excellent wine. www.sporthotelreisch.at Left top: The family-run Sporthotel Reisch opened in 1912. © Sporthotel Reisch. Photo: Roland Arnold Left: The newly renovated rooms are dedicated to Kitzbühel legends. © Sporthotel Reisch. Photo: Alexander Gliederer

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aQi Hotel

Main image: The aQi Hotel Schladming. Top: Modern and friendly social spaces.

Living pure and smart (13+) This Austrian gem offers a relaxing and rejuvenating experience for all guests; active single travellers, nature lovers and athletic groups. By focusing on the essentials - contemporary, functional furnishing, clear lines in the design and architecture, as well as activities – the hotel is an ideal all-year-round vacation spot. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: AQI HOTEL SCHLADMING GMBH

Have you ever wanted to take a trip that is completely built around your lifestyle and expectations? At a beautiful place that offers individualised leisure activities? Or have you ever wanted to unwind on a casual spa and wellness break? What about seeing the natural sights and engaging in great outdoor activities? If so, pack your bags and head to the beautiful SchladmingDachstein region. Individualised and active vacation The first adult-only hotel (13+) in the Schladming-Dachstein region is offering just that: a pure, smart, nature retreat. The name aQi is borrowed from the Spanish ‘aqui’, which means ‘here’, ‘hereabouts’, ‘now’and stands for the characteristic relationship of the hotel to its natural, pure location. Embracing this business philosophy, the lifestyle hotel wants its guests to focus on the essentials of their lives: qual-

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ity time, pure nature, re-energising and activities.“The value of the holiday lies in the individual freedom of the guests.The quality of the facilities and services on offer at aQi form the basis for creating carefree, individual holiday arrangements with outstanding value for money,”explains the hotel management.

Above: All rooms are tastefully decorated with modern interior design. Below: Experience the charm and flair of the SchladmingDachstein region.

a few steps away from the valley station of the Planai cable cars and lifts, guests can easily embark on skiing or hiking adventures from the hotel. The aQi hotel has its own underground car park and its own private access to the lifts in Planet Planai. The free Wi-Fi and two free internet terminals allow guests to stay connected throughout their stay. A welcoming atmosphere as well as the pampering wellness treatments and a broad selection of culinary delights make up the relaxed and enjoyable ambiance that will leave guests feeling purified, healthy and energised.

Alpine charm and location The hotel is located in the charming town of Schladming, which is among the top five ski resorts in the Alps and is the annual venue for World Cup ski races. Schladming is among the top five ski resorts in the Alps and also hosts the annual Mountain Bike Alpine Tour Trophy and other bike events. The town centre, the public fun and activity swimming pool plus the fitness centre and Congress Schladming are only a threeminute walk away. Nestled at the foot of the Planai World Championship Park, just

www.aqi-hotel.com info@aqi-schladming.com


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RESTAURANT MIRABELL A wide selection of tasty wines and the love for the native cuisine will make every visit to the Restaurant Mirabell a unique experience. The restaurant pampers its guests with Austrian and international delicacies. The inviting ambiance of the restaurant and its romantic Mirabell Terrace offer unforgettable culinary moments. Restaurant Mirabell Auerspergstrasse 4 5020 Salzburg, Austria restaurantmirabell.at facebook.com/sheratonsalzburghotel

RESTAURANT GOLDENER HIRSCH Discover authentic Austrian cuisine at its best. The Gourmet Restaurant Goldener Hirsch offers an ambiance with Salzburg charm and award-winning cuisine as well as a selection of fine local and international wines. Restaurant Goldener Hirsch Getreidegasse 37 5020 Salzburg, Austria goldenerhirsch.com facebook.com/goldenerhirschsalzburg

Wine experiences, Events & Incentives ntives

Enjoy Wine experiences from the treasure chest Rhine Valley and heart of Rhinehessen. Taste the famous Riesling wines in its own region. Exclusive, customised services and packages. Only 30 minutes from Frankfurt Airport.

urs Wine to moon g at full in st ta e Win t picnic gour me & e in W te chocola Wine &

Herrgottsgarten · Berges-Kitzer & Schneider GbR · Augustinerstraße 31 · D-55116 Mainz · www.herrgottsgarten.de


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Top Innovative Company

The history of Florida While many fondly reminisce over traditional ice cream making, the history of Florida Eis is pretty remarkable. Founded in 1927, the intimate ice cream parlour led a fairly uneventful existence until Olaf Höhn took over the company. From that day onwards, the company has continued to evolve, garnering it a “truly unique position”. TEXT: FLORIDA-EIS MANUFAKTUR GMBH I TRANSLATION: EMMIE COLLINGE PHOTOS: FLORIDA-EIS MANUFAKTUR GMBH I IHK, WAGNER

In the 1990s, three further ice cream parlours were opened, paving the way for Florida Eis to become a staple in Berlin. With premium quality a priority, this bolstered the industry’s interest in the brand’s ice cream. The symbiosis between the mechanical engineer Höhn and his pastry chef and business partner, Simone Gürgen, who previously prepared desserts at the Hotel Kempinski Berlin for renowned guests such as Herbert von Karajan, have laid the foundation for today’s success. As Florida Eis grew rapidly, it transpired that a special concept was needed to compete with mass-produced ice cream. Work-

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ing with refrigeration processes demands a great deal of energy, but many overlook just how much can be saved by incorporating modern developments. Such actions have seen Florida Eis become the very first company to create CO2 neutral ice cream. Yet not just focusing on production methods, Höhn was resolute that storage and delivery should be a step above conventional methods too. While photovoltaic technology and a solar thermal system are part of the standard setup, the air conditioning and energy recovery stand out.The refrigerating units are pooled in one system, which produces hot water in

Germany

order to air condition the production premises through an adsorption cooling system. Moreover, shock freezing is carried out with nitrogen, a waste product from the steel industry. While large-scale deep-freeze rooms have heated flooring to prevent frost damage, Höhn has installed the first ever deep-


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Discover Germany | Top Innovative Company | Germany

To relieve city centres of carbon emissions, Florida Eis use Eutectic refrigerated trucks, involving special plates that are charged to ensure they provide reliable chilling throughout the delivery period without a compression system or any extra load to the vehicle. The company’s decision to exclusively use these lorries has been commended, particularly by Dr. Hendricks, the federal minister for the environment. The entire concept has been overwhelmingly successful as it is wholly in tune with consumers’ desire for sustainable products, ideally from small or medium-sized businesses and bearing the claim of 100 per cent handmade. As Florida offers such diversity and individuality, the brand has clearly understood what drives the market today. The company has received a host of awards for their environmental efforts, and they are one of Germany’s 31 climate protection companies acknowledged by the Federal Ministry. Such acclaim naturally sparked immense interest in Florida Eis, explains Höhn, and it led to a new contract with His Royal Highness Luitpold Prinz von Bayern. Under the name König Ludwig II, Florida Eis will launch an additional premium ice cream range.

ronment. As of February, a new 500 millilitre container of Florida Eis will hit the stores with a double-layered lid containing small booklets about the environment. However, Höhn is aware that these are small steps towards spreading sustainability and raising awareness. Florida Eis retails in many of the large grocery chains in Berlin and the newly founded Federal States. The region of Bavaria exclusively stocks the new premium brand König Ludwig Glace Royale. Progress is never far away either, as they are currently fine-tuning distribution for Hannover right up to the North Sea. In 2016 Florida Eis will hit England with dairy ice cream and vegan fruit ice cream. The company have declared their aim to make Florida Eis accessible to all using the slogan: be tasty, be climate-friendly! www.floridaeis.de www.koenigludwigeis.de

Main image: The production site. Portrait: Olaf Hoehn. Photo: IHK, Wagner Left: Production of Florida Eis. Below: Florida ice cream parlour ‘Ellipse‘ in Berlin-Spandau. Bottom: Ice cream parlour in Berlin’s Klosterstraße.

The latest sustainability study by the University of Witten/Herdecke on the subject of fast moving consumer goods further confirms the brand’s direction. Fittingly, the pioneering company is regularly invited to talks with the retail food trade.

freeze rooms without heating. The carbon neutral solution is a permafrost floor, which has excelled alongside its 100 per cent recycled heat insulation consisting of foam glass and crushed rock. During extremely cold days, Florida Eis relies on a pellet-fuelled heating system, yet another renewable raw material. Numbering into their hundreds, the company’s deep freezers in sight of the customer are kitted with an alarm system that – when activated – alerts with the slogan of‘Save the Food’.

Not one to rest on their laurels, Florida Eis are also widely renowned for the vastness of their selection. From vanilla to mint chocolate with homemade chunks of chocolate, from Swiss chocolate right through to pecan with caramelised, Texanstyle pieces of nut, Florida Eis offers a total of 80 different sorts. Choosing Florida Eis is a conscious decision to protect the environment, and the company’s focus on renewable technology has seen it become a popular haunt for not just politicians, but also many young people and students, advocating a cleaner envi-

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Picasso’s passions

Cultural Highlight of the Month Germany

Art exhibit in Lindau A new landmark exhibition in Lindau highlights Pablo Picasso’s enduring impact, showing his works, influences and passions. From 19 March through to 28 August, Bavaria’s historic and southern-most city presents a fascinating exhibit of original Picasso works that span seven decades. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: LINDAU TOURISMUS UND KONGRESS GMBH | SUCCESSION PICASSO | KULTURAMT LINDAU

Pablo Ruiz Picasso was perhaps the most important artistic figure of the 20th century. A Spanish expatriate, prolific painter, sculptor and poet, the‘modernist master’has left an enduring legacy in his wake. In 2016, Picasso would have been 135 years old. Honoring this occasion, as well as the 75th birthday of curator Prof. Roland Doschka, the city of Lindau celebrates this ‘double anniversary’ by organising this special exhibit. Picasso’s family, muses and models This marks the second Picasso exhibit at the Stadtmuseum in Lindau, after a successful and critically acclaimed show in 2011 that presented around 50 hand drawings of the Spanish virtuoso. This time, however, the curator Prof. Doschka has opted to present

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a collection of works that is interesting with regards to its content. The exhibit, titled Picasso’s Passions, presents the major themes of the Spanish painter, graphic artist, sculptor and object artist. Picasso’s family, his muses and models, the circus and the bullfight, the art of the old masters and the sculpture all shaped his creative work. These notions and tensions are also central in the exhibition, which has gathered selected works from European

private collections, museums and art foundations. This juxtaposition of drawings and paintings, as well as sculptures and printed graphics, show Picasso's unequalled virtuosity in dealing with a variety of media, its exceptional versatility and his inventiveness. Acclaimed curator and Picasso expert The art of Pablo Picasso is considered the special passion of Prof. Doschka. His catalogue of the exhibition PABLO PICASSO. Metamorphoses of the Human Form (2000) was translated into several languages and is regarded as an international standard work on Picasso's paper drawings. In addition, Prof. Doschka has curated the Pablo Picasso exhibit in Palermo’s Norman Palace as well as curated presentations on Picasso in Paris, Barcelona and NewYork.This is the sixth exhibition he is bringing to Lindau. Lindau’s Mayor Gerhard Ecker is pleased with the renewed commitment of the curator in Lindau: "We feel very honored that Prof. Doschka has gifted us on his 75th


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Discover Germany | Cultural Highlight of the Month | Germany

birthday with this exhibition highlight and not selected another museum.”

Portrait: Curator Roland Doschka. © Kulturamt Lindau, Christian Flemming

Cultural character and destination In recent years, the Stadtmuseum’s art exhibits have featured acclaimed shows of Picasso, Chagall, Miró, Matisse and Nolde. International visitors flock to these exhibits and also enjoy Lindau’s distinct maritime flair with alpine scenery and lush gardens. The city’s cultural scene boasts a colourful and diverse programme – music, theatre, curated art shows and galleries, cabaret, opera or musical puppet shows – are all part of Lindau’s vibrant and charming cultural scene.

Left from top: Pablo Picasso, The Three Bathers (Les Trois Baigneuses), Juan-les-Pins, 1920. © Succession Picasso, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016

Main image: Stadtmuseum Lindau, gallery spaces. © Kulturamt Lindau, Christian Flemming

Pablo Picasso, Self Portrait,1899. © Succession Picasso VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016 Pablo Picasso, Portrait of a Young Woman (After Cranach), 1958. © Succession Picasso, VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2016 Pablo Picasso, Étude pour arlequin à cheval, 1905. © Succession Picasso, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015 Below: Lindau’s harbour. © Lindau Tourismus und Kongress GmbH, Hari Pulko Summer fun on Lake Constance. © Lindau Tourismus und Kongress GmbH, Hari Pulko Lindau in spring. © Lindau Tourismus und Kongress GmbH, Hari Pulko

Lovers of contemporary art also enjoy the work of many galleries on the island and the mainland.Those looking for antiques or special furniture pieces will find a number of small, charming antique shops in the old town and next to the auction house. The Lindauer mainland offers even more to see and to explore; with spacious and attractive shore areas, historic parks with the Lindenhof Park and the Bavarian Riviera. Maritime and alpine feeling Nestled on Lake Constance at the foot of the Alps, and populated by about 24,500 people, the beautiful town is often described as a gateway to Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Visitors can easily hop onto the passenger ferries that operate from Lindau and serve the Austrian festival city of Bregenz, the German Konstanz and other destinations. In addition to exploring the cultural scene, Lindau’s pedestrian-friendly old town invites visitors to browse the shops or settle in one of the cafes along the Bavarian shores to take in the maritime scenery. Lindau’s architecture showcases the different styles and cultural influences that have shaped the town over time: Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. The dazzling main street, Maximilianstrasse, is particularly inviting with its galleries, cafes, fountains and street art. www.lindau-tourismus.de info@lindau-tourismus.de

Picasso’s Passions exhibition (Picassos Passionen) March 19, 2016 – August 28, 2016 Daily 10 am – 6 pm Stadtmuseum Lindau Marktplatz 6 88131 Lindau im Bodensee

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Destination of the Month Germany

Hiking, swimming and cycling in one of the most beautiful regions in Bavaria Beautiful mountain lakes, lush alpine pastures, various hiking trails and traditional festivals: Alpenwelt Karwendel in Upper Bavaria is always worth a visit, especially in spring and summer when the rest of the snow has melted. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS I PHOTOS: ALPENWELT KARWENDEL

Families will enjoy the spectacular scenery as much as highly active sport fans and nature lovers. The region is considered to be an El Dorado for cyclists, hikers and families, according to Judith Fidler, marketing representative at Alpenwelt Karwendel. In the upcoming months, visitors can certainly expect a wide range of exciting activities.

time of the year, the first cabins located in the lower parts of the region are already open, so that the hiking season can immediately start. At pleasant temperatures and with the first rays of sunlight warming the skin, hikers look forward to walk along the trails, while admiring the beautiful scenery. The unique panorama of the Bavarian Alps

Anyone who sees the region’s idyllic landscapes for the first time will feel enchanted. “In March and April, thousands of crocuses and gentians will allure visitors: a spectacle in violet and white in front of the backdrop of the mountains,”Fidler says. At this

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“The position of this region is truly unique: the Bavarian Alps, which include the Karwendel, the Soiern Mountain Group, the Wetterstein and Ester Mountains, surround the river Isar like a garland,”Fidler explains. “In Alpenwelt Karwendel, it is possible to

go hiking at three levels: from easy walking and hiking trails, where you will never feel out of breath, to moderately challenging sporty tours, to the high alpine climbing tour, which is suited for passionate mountain climbers.”All in all, there are about 700 kilometres (435 miles) of well-maintained hiking trails in this region. Those who would like to take a short cut can use a gondola to Karwendel’s top station or the Kranzberg chairlift instead.The latter transports visitors to the barefoot hiking path for example, which consists of 24 stations. Alternatively, one can choose the route to the summit as well, where hikers get to see the breathtaking panorama of the Bavarian Alps and the high Isar Valley. Those, who want to enjoy stunning landscapes by bike, or are looking for another fitness challenge besides hiking, should try


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Discover Germany | Destination of the Month | Germany

cycling and mountain biking. Whether you prefer a ride at a leisurely pace or some racing fun, Alpenwelt Karwendel is the place to go. The region is also popular with world class cyclists and a popular starting point for the legendary Transalp in Bavaria. “All in all, there are more than 25 bike tours around Mittenwald, Krün and Wallgau,” Fidler says. In spring, children also have the chance to discover the mysterious Leutascher Geisterklamm (Leutasch Ghost Gorge) in Mittenwald. If they are lucky, families might even meet some ghosts, goblins and dwarfs. In fact, many of the area’s best attractions seem to be aimed at families. Therefore, cycling tours, an adventure playground and the barefoot hiking route are added activities.

also applies to the neighbouring community Wallgau, where another festival week will take place in August. “Then, locals are going to arrange their first Wallgau running of the oxen,” Fidler reveals. In September, they will start to bring the cattle down from the mountain pastures: a spectacle that attracts the crowds every year. “With our Gamsbart Olympics in October, we have planned another special event,” Fidler adds. The so-called Gamsbärte consist of a tuft of hair traditionally worn as a decoration on trachten-hats in alpine regions. Until then, visitors can, first of all, enjoy all the other traditions and activities that are possible in spring and summer. www.alpenwelt-karwendel.de

The eyes of heaven With its spring in the Karwendel range of the Alps in Tyrol, the wild river Isar also flows through Mittenwald, Krün and Wallgau. Its valley is known for rare flora and fauna too and fans of Kneippism will have the chance to walk through its dewy grass. The beautiful scenery also offers 12 different mountain lakes and bathing lakes. “Therefore, visitors can combine mountaineering with swimming on vacation,” Fidler says. “Locals call these mountain lakes ‘eyes of heaven’ due to their bluegreen colour.” Even Angela Merkel and Barack Obama enjoyed the beautiful scenery during the G7 summit in Krün last summer.“Anyone who is looking for an active, yet recreational vacation, will feel comfortable here,” Fidler explains. “Instead of big hotel chains you will find guesthouses led by families.” Gamsbart Olympics and a running of the oxen Alpenwelt Karwendel is considered to be very authentic, Fidler states. “Here, people literally live tradition. This year, there are a couple of celebrations coming up, for example in June, there will be a festival week in Krün.” On the occasion of various anniversaries, visitors can experience plenty of Bavarian music and learn about the locals’ traditions. This

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moset monkeys and tropical birds, that can all be watched without barriers. On their way to the tenth floor, visitors can view the home of the hammerhead sharks from the safety of the elevator. Observing the sharks and cow-nosed rays from the big auditorium is a great way to relax a little and get a real feel for these stunning creatures. “Also worth a mention is the AmazonJungle passage. Surrounded by trees, waterfalls and beautiful plants, our guests can truly immerse themselves in the world of the Amazon,”Heinzl adds. The café and event venue, Ocean Sky, with its open-air terrace offers a 360-degree view ofVienna and is a fabulous location to take a break. It can also be booked for events. All in all, the Haus des Meeres promises to be a wonderful experience for everyone. www.haus-des-meeres.at

A piece of the ocean in the heart of Vienna The aqua terra zoo Haus des Meeres is home to over 10,000 animals including sharks, rays and crocodiles, as well as monkeys and various reptiles. With its beautiful reef and tropical house, Haus des Meeres offers an unforgettable experience for the whole family. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE I PHOTOS: HAUS DES MEERES

At first sight, the aqua terra zoo is almost disguised by its distinctive building: an old flak tower from the Second World War. With its impressive height of 50 metres, the tower is an eye-catching structure, which has found a new, much brighter purpose. Here, visitors can explore a lively and colourful world in over 11 floors. Marketing manager Philipp Heinzl enthuses:“One of our highlights is certainly our reef with the sea surge. Countless richly coloured tropical fish hurry around the precious coral reef. Thanks to our half-tunnel created through the use of a bent glass pane, guests can stand right at the centre of the action.”

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The regular feeding times are particularly exciting to watch, especially at the crocodile park Krokipark, which is located in a newly built glass addition. Visitors can get a first glimpse of the crocodiles through a glass pane above them right at the entrance. Quite a unique attraction is possibly the longest ants trail in the world, measuring approximately 70 metres over two floors. A wealth of birds, Sunda Gaviale (a freshwater crocodile) and the sometimes quite naughty cotton-top tamarins also await guests at the Krokipark.

Main image: The Flak tower. Photo: Hans Koeppen From top: Feeding time. Photo: Guenther Hulla

The tropical house promises a wonderful jungle adventure. It is home to cheeky mar-

Hammerhead shark. Photo: Jutta Kirchner Cotton-top tamarin. Photo: Jutta Kirchner


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Discover Germany | Culture | Mozarthaus Vienna

Celebrating the musical genius’ 260th birthday and ten years of Mozarthaus Vienna Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is Vienna’s best-known musical prodigy – a fact that Mozarthaus Vienna, a museum and event space housed in the composer’s only remaining apartment in town, is celebrating with a year-long series of special exhibitions, concerts and shows. TEXT: JULIKA HÜTHER | PHOTOS: GESELLSCHAFT DER MUSIKFREUNDE IN WIEN I MOZARTHAUS VIENNA; DAVID PETERS

Located at Domgasse 5 near St. Stephen’s Cathedral, where Mozart composed a large part of his oeuvre from 1784 to 1787, Mozarthaus Vienna is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Wien Holding founded the extensive Mozart centre in 2006, which has seen more than 1.3 million visitors since, including famous names such as John Kerry, Madonna and Placido Domingo. It houses the composer’s lodgings, a threestory exhibition space focusing on Mozart’s life and work and the splendid Bösendorfer Room, a concert and event space. Highlights during the anniversary cele-

brations will be the new exhibition Mozart in Mozarthaus: Highlights of the Composer’s Everyday Life (An exhibition of the Archive of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien), a symposium on the international reception of Mozart in recent years, and a series of concerts focusing on the works he created while living at Domgasse 5. Rock Me Amadeus: The Story is another special exhibition running from March to May, marking the 30th anniversary of Austrian singer Falco’s eponymous number one hit. Exploring the history, relevance and impact of the song and searching for parallels

in the biographies of Falco alias Johann Hölzel and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, documents and objects, some of which have never been shown publicly before, aim to shed a new light on the man behind the artistic figure Falco. www.mozarthausvienna.at/en

Above: Mozart W.A. portrait, oil on canvas. © Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien (left) Mozarthaus Vienna. © Mozarthaus Vienna; David Peters (right)

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Mirror, mirror on the wall… … Where to find the best fairy tales of them all? In Germany, of course! Everyone has heard of the Brothers Grimm and their fairy tales, but who knows Wilhelm Hauff’s or Ludwig Bechstein’s stories? Or the many local tales about ghosts, devils and witches hunting the innocent in Germany’s deep and dark forests? Many fairy tales are closely connected to existing castles, woods or rock formations – fascinating places to visit and experience a little fright. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN PHOTOS: WIKIMEDIA I STADT KASSEL; SOREMSKI I JULIAN NITZSCHE I GRIMMHEIMAT NORDHESSEN; PAAVO BLAFIELD

Once upon a time there were two German brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm, who had a rather sublime hobby: they collected stories that had been around for

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centuries, passed from generation to generation without ever being written down. In 1812 Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published their first volume of Children’s

and Household Tales, which contained Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, The Frog King and Snow White; we owe all of these incredible and timeless stories to Jacob and Wilhelm. Fairy tales are as numerous and diverse as are their readers, stories for both children and adults. Shortly after publishing their second volume, both brothers reworked their first triumph – some stories were discarded, others reworked, especially those with a more erotic and deemed improper content during that time.


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Discover Germany | Feature | Germany – the land of fairy tales

Beware of dark woods and strange fellows While castles might be rather romantic, other places can be frighteningly spooky. Dark woods, mist-covered streams and swamps gave birth to stories of witches and devils. All over Germany rock formations or buildings inspired devilish stories. In the Palatinate forest a legend tells about the devil who once came to dinner and his table – a rock formation – still stands where he dined. Further south he left another mark: a foot print in the Munich Church of Our Lady is ascribed to him as well – even though the story differs: in one the devil actually helped to build the church, in another he tried to destroy it. But in both he stomped angrily on the ground and in doing so left his footprint.

In September 2015 a new museum opened its doors in Kassel, where the Brothers Grimm lived when collecting and writing their fairy tales. “Fairy tale fans will love this new museum,” the Guardian wrote about ‘Grimmwelt’ (www.grimmwelt.de) and voted it among the best new museums. Grimmwelt, for example, exhibits original manuscripts and letters and, in 2005, UNESCO included Grimms’ private manuscripts on their ‘Memory of the World’ list. Grimmwelt might be the newest, but it is not the only place in Germany where visitors can get in touch with stories they have grown up with. Not far from Kassel lies Sababurg, a castle from the Middle Ages which lies in ruins today.The walls were once overgrown by rose hedges, so it is no wonder that it is known as the castle where Sleeping Beauty once lived and – after pricking her finger with a spindle – was doomed to sleep for a hundred years. Even today many thorny rosebushes grow on the grounds.

A print of another kind can be found at the Rosstrappe in the Harz region: a hoof print left in stone. Here the story tells of the giant Bodo who once – by force – wanted to marry princess Brunhilde. But she fled on a white horse until all of a sudden a yawning abyss was in front of her. But instead of stopping the horse she dared the jump and escaped the giant who fell into a stream below.

comes a sorcerer himself and can finally overpower him.Today, statues remind us of Krabat’s story. While most fairy tales were collected in the 19th century when Germans were seeking their own cultural roots, Germany still has an active fantasy community. Many writers cherish the fairy tale heritage, telling their own magic stories. One of them is the internationally renowned author of children’s novels Cornelia Funke who uses fairy tale motives in her Reckless series. So, when exploring Germany, look out for strange rocks and dark woods, swamps in the night or ghostly figures when the clock strikes midnight: maybe you will become part of another fairy tale.

Main image: The Sababurg. © Wikimedia Opposite bottom, from left: The Grimmwelt museum. © Stadt Kassel. Photo: Soremski (left & middle) Grimm statue in Kassel. © GrimmHeimat NordHessen I Paavo Blåfield (right) Below: Column for the legendary wizard and Sorbian folk hero Krabat in Wittichenau. © Julian Nitzsche

Evil sorcerer or innocent beggar boy? Perhaps dark woods and secluded areas inspired the most gruesome tales, but in the eastern part of Germany lies Lusatia, where the minority of Sorbs are telling their own magic tales. One of them is Krabat, today best known through Otfried Preußler’s book of the same name. In 2008 it was made into a movie featuring Daniel Brühl and young German actor David Kross. Indeed, there is more than one Krabat tale. In an older version, the evil Krabat used black magic to do his bidding: he could for example turn black oat grains into soldiers and fly through the sky in a carriage. By and by the story changed and the evil sorcerer became a good one, helping people or using magic for innocent pranks. In another version – the one Preußler tells – Krabat is a beggar boy who goes into service with a miller, in truth an evil sorcerer. But in reading the master’s book of spells, Krabat be-

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Special Theme

Culture & Nature Experiences Main image: Callenberg Castle at night. Right from top: Callenberg Castle. Rosarium at Callenberg Castle. Chapel at Callenberg Castle.

A castle steeped in history In northern Bavaria, hidden in the rolling, wooded hills north east of Coburg, one can find a neo-Gothic jewel where the walls breathe history. Callenberg Castle was home to the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and their guests during past centuries. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF/ CALLENBERG CASTLE I PHOTOS: CALLENBERG CASTLE

Even QueenVictoria noted the family hideaway in her diary:“A little steep, the way up to Callenberg Castle, but once you have arrived there, you can enjoy a nice cup of tea in a beautiful surrounding.”Nowadays, Castle Callenberg is privately owned by the ducal family and was opened to the public in 1998 after extensive renovations. The 19th century was a golden age for the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. During that era, through diplomacy and shrewd marriage politics, it became one of the most significant European ruling dynasties up to the end of the monarchies in 1918. The ‘Coburgs’were closely related to almost all European princely families and furnished the sovereigns of four royal dynasties: Belgium, Portugal, Great Britain and Bulgaria.

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Today, the architecture and interior of the castle show the ducal home of the 19th century which takes visitors on a historical journey through the fascinating family history – before, during and after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Special highlights at Callenberg Castle are the chapel, bel étage, red parlour and the rose garden. Inside, the ducal art collection presents treasures, such as Winterhalter paintings, porcelain, traditional handicrafts, a selection of weapons from four centuries and precious furniture among which are several pieces of David Roentgen. The latest exhibition is dedicated to the ducal clock collection, showing a selection of valuable chronometers from several centuries. Since 2004, the western wing also houses the German Shooting Museum.

The intimate atmosphere of the castle grounds invites visitors to take a stroll and enjoy the rose garden or the country park. Due to its stylish rooms and romantic environment, embedded in the Callenberg Forest, the castle is also a very popular wedding location. And with Coburg and Bamberg just around the corner, many companies value the accessibility and exceptional setting for their conferences and customer events. www.schloss-callenberg.de

Portrait: Prince Andreas and Prince Hubertus of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.


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Main image: Gut Deinster Mühle’s country and golf hotel. Left: The restaurant and bistro‘s entrance.

Playing golf and enjoying fine dining on historic grounds The country estate Gut Deinster Mühle lies in the middle of 165 acres of geest landscape with green fields, lakes, woodlands and streams. Easy to reach from the old Hanse cities Bremen and Hamburg, Gut Deinster Mühle, with its 800 years of fish-farming tradition, today has become a hotspot for fine dining, relaxing holidays and golf enthusiasts. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: GUT DEINSTER MUEHLE

It is a combination one seldom finds: around hotel and restaurant Gut Deinster Mühle not only lies a well-kept golf course, the country estate also farms its own fish in the surrounding lakes. The restaurant Alte Lohmühle and the smaller bistro Fisch & Meer are famous for their trout specialities. Fish farming has a long tradition at Gut Deinster Mühle: its existence was first recorded in 1235. Today around 6,000 square metres of trout ponds lie on the estate’s grounds. Quality produce, individual service and hospitality are key factors for Gut Deinster

Mühle’s culinary success.The kitchen chefs not only use the locally sourced fish, but also seasonal vegetables like asparagus or beef from organic highland kettle kept in the region. Tradition and new culinary inventions are both parts of the kitchen philosophy. The gastronomy is part of Gut Deinster Mühle’s country and golf hotel with its 20 comfortable rooms. The hotel’s breakfast room and the terrace offer great views towards the Gut Deinster Mühle’s main attraction: the golf school’s driving range.

Offering many new challenges, the golf course ensures fun and a learning experience for all levels – from beginners to advanced and professional level. The Gut Deinster Mühle golf school engages professional trainers to give a hand when beginners make their first golf swings in the putting, chipping and pitching area. They also aid those aspiring to reach a new professional level on one of the two courses – one with 18 holes, the other with four. The golf school is a member of the Professional Golfers Association of Germany, an association guaranteeing the highest training standards. Golfing in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, in the middle of a beautiful geest landscape, for many golfers is an incentive to come here repeatedly and maybe join the Deinster Mühle golf club. With great sense for detail, golf architect David John Krause has integrated the golf course into the natural landscape making use of its lakes, streams, old beech and oak trees. www.allesistgdm.de

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A legendary experience In the National GeoPark Kyffhaeuser in the north of Thuringia, one can find an enchanting natural wonder. The Barbarossa Cave in the mountain range is geologically unique in Europe and beyond and, at the same time, mystically steeped in legend. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: BILDARCHIV BARBAROSSAHOEHLE

The Barbarossa Cave is a geological rarity because it is made of anhydrite rocks which are extremely rare in comparison to limestone caves. In fact, there is only one other anhydrite show cave on the planet.The rare beauty and special character of the Barbarossa Cave stems from the rock’s environment in which it developed. Groundwater flowed through the mountain range’s interior and dissolved the rare, anhydrite rock. Huge, subterranean hollow spaces were the result. The fascinating combination of nature and history is also sure to make a visit an unforgettable experience for visitors of every age as the myth of Barbarossa from the 14th century – the belief in the return of the enchanted Emperor Rotbart (Redbeard) – lives on in the Kyffhaeuser. Visitors can look forward to an 800-metrelong journey full of discovery through the mysterious Barbarossa Cave. In the ‘tan-

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nery‘ for example, one can find large gypsum lobes at the ceiling which result from a fascinating geological process. This phenomenon cannot be visited in any other show cave in the world. Other fascinating spectacles are the crystal clear, blue-green shimmering lakes with their impressive ceiling reflections, as well as the multifacetted colour and texture play of the white and grey rocks. On the one-hour-long guided tour through the subterranean world, one can experience geological history with all senses.“The Barbarossa Cave is also a great destination for families and school classes. Children can join adventure tours appropriate to their age where all senses are stimulated. One can see beatiful details and astonishing optical illusions, one can smell that rocks can really stink and feeling the surfaces is also allowed at times,“ explains Anke Schreyer, the Barbarossa Cave’s manager.

Besides the nature experience, many cultural events are held in the cave. The large ‘ballroom‘ offers a breathtaking ambience for concerts, readings, theatre plays and even romantic weddings. In 2016, the cave will host ‘World of Lights‘ illuminations in March and April, which will turn the cave into spectacular light art, a spooky guided tour for Halloween, the concert Music meets Nature with Felix Reuter in September or a traditional‘Mettenschicht‘, an old German mining custom, which will be accompanied by music and a theatre play in December. www.hoehle.de

Main image: Tannery with globally unique gypsum lobes. From top down: Table and chair from Emperor Barbarossa. Grotto lake. Romantic wedding in the ballroom.


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Wine, wood, feel good The nature park Stromberg-Heuchelberg in Baden-Wuerttemberg is a true insider’s tip. On 33,000 hectares of picturesque wine-forest cultural landscape, one can enjoy vast views, vicinity to pure nature and gentle tranquility. Whether one seeks to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Maulbronn’s monastery or spend the day hiking or biking, Stromberg-Heuchelberg has a great deal to offer. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: NATURPARK STROMBERG-HEUCHELBERG

Located in between the bustling cities of Pforzheim, Stuttgart, Heilbronn and Karlsruhe, one can find the enchanting, rural nature park Stromberg-Heuchelberg, which poses as a beautiful island of tranquility and recreation with its mild climate and Mediterranean charm. The park’s theme ‘wine, wood, feel good‘ perfectly sums up the wine-forest region’s character. Viniculture plays an important cultural, as well as scenic, role here and dominates the south-facing hills. Especially in autumn, when the leaves change their colour, visitors can expect an incredible Indian summer. The viniculture also influences the re-

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gion’s culture substantially as there are several wine festivals, winery visits, guided wine tours, such as the mulled wine hike in January, or regional wine tastings on offer. “The main task of the nature park is to preserve the unique landscape and to make it perceptible for visitors,“ notes Dietmar Gretter, managing director of the nature park Stromberg-Heuchelberg. He adds: “We protect our landscape through usage. Stromberg-Heuchelberg is a cultivated landscape which would quickly change its character without the influence of humans. Thus, we support the environmentally

sound utilisation of the landscape with nature park markets to promote regional produce or numerous other events.“ Pristine forests take up the biggest part of the nature park’s space.This is the reason why rare wildcats, stag beetles, bats, woodpeckers and many other types of animals, as well as plants, such as the gas plant or wild service tree, call Stromberg-Heuchelberg their home. Furthermore, around 40 per cent of the nature park counts towards Europe’s Natura 2000 region and thus belongs to Europe’s special natural heritage. While forests and vineyards play an important role in StrombergHeuchelberg, extensive meadow orchards can also be found.The nature park scenically, geologically and topographically forms an island which protrudes from the surrounding landscape and thus enables beautiful views in all directions. As if the sensual natural beauty and diversity are not enough, the nature park has far more to offer.


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Culture & Nature Experiences

as the hiking path leads along a varying landscape with great views. Those who want to find out more about this specific topic, should head to Eppingen’s city and timber framing museum Alte Uni, which displays an exhibition about the Eppinger Linien. Many visitors also love to cycle through the park’s fascinating nature. A great sight are the historic town centres of the small nature park communes along the way. And why not stop by at Maulbronn’s monastery? The UNESCO World Heritage Site is classified as the best-preserved, medieval monastery north of the Alps. Built in the 12th century by Cistercian monks, not only the monastery, but also the surrounding landscape, are part of the heritage site as the monks substantially fostered vinoculture and farming and contributed to the overall landscape look. They cleared forests and created watering systems and fish ponds. The latter are natural reserves today.

Hiking, cycling, mountainbiking A hiking highlight is the Eppinger-LinienPath, which takes visitors alongside 42 kilometres of enchanting scenery and along the Eppinger Linien – an entrenchment structure which was built by margrave Ludwig Wilhelm of Baden in the baroque period to counteract the marches of the French army under Ludwig XIV. A sculpture project with nine large sculptures and installations by artist Hinrich Zuern picks up this historical topic and symbolically describes the consequences of this war for the region’s general public, the ordinary people outside the pompous baroque palaces. These entrenchment structures count towards the largest archaeological ground monuments in Baden-Wuerttemberg. Therefore, the Eppinger-Linien-Path combines history and art with attractive nature

www.naturpark-stromberg-heuchelberg.de/en www.kloster-maulbronn.de www.tripsdrill.de

Main image: Photo: Rudi Thalhäuser Left from top: Surrounded by forest and its inhabitants, Tripsdrill offers comfortable tree houses for overnight stays in nature. A sculpture by Hinrich Zuern on the Eppinger Linien path. Below: Maulbronn’s monastery is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Maulbronn’s monastery. With their motto ‘pray and work’ the monks were able to obtain a significant economic and political power position.

A highlight for families is the leisure and adventure park Tripsdill, which comprises of an inventively designed amusement park with roller coaster rides, as well as a wildlife park. Its nature resort gives visitors the opportunity to sleep in cute tree houses. Besides the activities and sights mentioned above, the region also offers numerous events, such as wine festivals, guided tours or the Peter and Paul Festival in Bretten, which takes more than 100,000 visitors back to the Middle Ages at the end of June each year. The nature park centre in Zaberfeld, in the middle of the nature park and next to the swimming lake Ehmetsklinge, is the perfect place to learn more about the nature. A permanent exhibition about the region and changing exhibitions teach visitors about the significance of meadow orchards or butterflies, for example. Additionally, nature park guides offer interesting guided tours for different target groups and on different topics. The nature park Stromberg-Heuchelberg shows how exciting natural diversity can be and combines it with fascinating cultural and culinary offers.

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water. According to the Agriculture Organisation of the World Health Organisation (WHO), coconut sugar is even considered to be one of the world’s most sustainable sweeteners. Compared to white sugar, NUSWEET coconut sugar allegedly has various benefits for a natural alimentation as it is 100 per cent unrefined and thus, plant substances and valuable ingredients such as minerals, vitamins and antioxidants are preserved. Coconut sugar contains approximately the same calories as usual sugar, but does not induce food cravings. Medical studies confirm the low glycemic index of coconut sugar. The University Hospital in Sydney has specialised on the topic‘LOW GI’as not only diabetics can optimise their diet through this. A minimal increase of the blood sugar level is an important issue for everyone who seeks to stay fit and slim today.

The Hamburg-based NUSWEET GmbH has distributed biologically high-quality coconut sugar since 2014. Coconut sugar poses as a great substitute for common white sugar and impresses with its exceptional taste, as well as its sustainability, and benefits a natural diet with enjoyment.

Last but not least: the newcomer of the alternative sweeteners does not only persuade with its delicious, sweet taste with nuances that remind one of caramel. An additional advantage is that coconut sugar can be easily used just like usual sugar thanks to its texture. Whether for baking, cooking or in drinks – NUSWEET coconut sugar is suitable for your favourite recipe and also offers sustainable delight without regret.

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTO: NUSWEET GMBH

www.nusweet.de

Mother nature as role model

Despite its name, coconut sugar is not derived from the coconut. The basic material of coconut sugar, the sweet coconut flower nectar, is obtained from the tapped flower of the coconut palm. Within a few hours after the harvest, the sap is processed into NUSWEET coconut sugar by hand under the application of a wooden fire. Within this drying process, the typical granular structure develops. As a result of this gentle measure, valuable ingredients are preserved and NUSWEET coconut sugar becomes the pure, vegan and natural product customers love. No wonder it has the green EU label for certified organic farming.

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The NUSWEET GmbH works closely with a cooperative of around 1,000 small farmers which verifies their organic production by EU certification.The production remains in the hands of farmers and is a major source of income for them. While NUSWEET guarantees the socially responsible production, the coconut sugar is also very sustainable. As coconut trees require little work, the harvest of flower sap is quite easy and, unlike sugarcane, coconut trees have the ability to regenerate depleted soils. They do not require artificial fertilisers and pesticides, the yield per land area is significantly higher and they consume much less

Above: The coconut flower. Photo: Shutterstock.com


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Experiencing the hospitality of traditional wine makers The family-owned vineyard Espenhof is more than a manufacturer of great wines, it also houses a restaurant and a hotel where the Espenschied family has created the ideal surroundings for fine dining and wine tasting. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN

The wine estate Espenhof in Flonheim, near Frankfurt/Main, is a family-led enterprise with origins in the 17th century when an ancestor of today’s owners settled in Flonheim. Today, Heike and Wilfried Espenschied lead a dedicated team of vintners, chefs and gastronomy specialists – among them their children Lena Marie and Nico. Nico Espenschied decided to become a vintner shortly after finishing school – the decision came as a joyful surprise for his parents who had always guessed that Nico would search an academic career. Instead he learned wine making from the bottom up. Visiting Burgundy, California and the Burgenland, Nico developed something as important as knowledge: a gut for good wine and taste, which is crucial in his daily

work. In 2015 he was named one of the best 100 young vintners by the German business magazine Handelsblatt. His wife Laura discovered her passion for winemaking in Perth, Australia, and met Nico when studying oenology. They now both have a little son. Working with a dedicated family team has its benefits: all Espenhof products are

made with heart and soul and in close proximity to nature – something mirrored for example in the wooden furniture in the Espenhof country hotel. The restaurant’s head chef Tobias Datow creates dishes perfectly befitting Espenhof wines: seasonal menus of game or fish originating in regional traditions. www.espenhof.de

From left: Pinot Gris. © Espenhof The young generation: Philipp and Lena Marie Appelmann, Nico and Laura Espenschied (from left to right) © Richard Bord A room in the Espenhof country hotel. © Richard Bord

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Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the Zugspitze – two of Germany’s highlights So, this is what it feels like to have the world at your feet: at a height of exactly 2,962 metres the Zugspitze is Germany’s highest mountain. Boasting three glaciers it is also Germany’s highest elevated skiing area. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE

Regardless of whether you are a ski enthusiast or a romantic, whether you love nature or are a fan of relaxing sunbaths: the Bayerische Zugspitzbahn will help you to make the best of Zugspitze’s enthralling alpine surrounding. Getting there Top floor and back, please! Starting at the Zugspitze station in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the cog railway will get you to the Zugspitzblatt via Grainau and Eibsee. From here, the Gletscherbahn will take you to Zugspitze’s peak. On your way down, the Eibsee-cable car will present you with an unrivalled view of the Eibsee before the cog railway sees you safely back to the station.

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Things to do Zugspitze skiing area welcomes all sorts of visitors. Skiers and boarders, families and beginners as well as experienced carvers or snowboarders are warmly welcomed here. All may equally benefit from 20 kilometres of expertly groomed easy to intermediate slopes. Weather allowing, the breathtaking Riffelriß-slope is opened and will add to a fantastic skiing experience. Yet Germany’s highest ski resort will also charm nonskiers who will find many ways to equally enjoy these beautiful surroundings: from Zugspitze’s top the visitor enjoys a 360degree panoramic view of more than 400 mountain peaks. The Zugspitze exhibition informs about the history of Germany’s

highest elevated ski resort. An igloo village, Germany’s highest elevated church, as well as illustrious restaurants are also there for the visitors to explore. Why not end a fantastic day going downhill on a luge? The Zugspitze region offers a choice of three remarkable luge tracks. The rides are quick, they are fun and, above all, the view is simply stunning! Gastronomic delights Breathtaking views, fresh mountain air, silence, rocks – and a great choice of restaurants. Why not spoil yourself and make the most of a perfect day with a visit to one of the four restaurants where the mountains touch the sky. The Gletscherrestaurant Sonnalpin, Gletschergarten, Gipfelalm and Panorama 2962 are prepared to treat their guests to the best the local Bavarian and international cuisine has to offer. No matter whether you go skiing, boarding or hiking, whether you visit the sights or are lazily en-


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Culture & Nature Experiences

have a nice and relaxing massage or take a dip in the pool? Maybe you are selfprovided or want to eat á la carte? The choice is yours. The hotels and apartments from the‘Hotels in Ihrem Sinne’group will match your needs and will present you with your perfect home away from home during the most precious time of the year – your holidays.

Main image: The peak of the Zugspitze. © Bayerische Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG / Matthias Fend Opposite left: The cable car. © Bayerische Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG / Matthias Fend Sledging on the Zugspitze. © Bayerische Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG / Matthias Fend

Why not enjoy the culinary highlights offered by the charming rustic Bavarian fivestar hotel Reindl’s Partenkirchner Hof (www.reindls.de)? Or book into three-star hotels Almenrausch or Edelweiß - two equally charming typical Bavarian hotels with a friendly and familial atmosphere (www.almenrauschundedelweiss.de).

joying a magical day in the sun in a deck chair: the Zugspitzbahn makes all of Zugspitze’s attractions accessible for you. Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the picturesque Bavarian town lying at Zugspitze’s feet. Here, you will find an ample choice of hotels and apartments ideal to spend a memorable vacation in this famous part of Germany. A hard day’s work deserves a good night’s sleep. There is no better way to finish off a perfect day on the Zugspitze in the crisp winter sun or a hike in the sunny alps than by coming back to a friendly, cosy and above all welcoming home. Where to stay One of the many accommodation options in Garmisch-Partenkirchen are the hotels and apartments from the ‘Hotels in Ihrem Sinne’ group. The hotels or apartments are mainly family run and the name of the group (which loosely translates as‘hotels at your service’) says it all: the needs and wellbeing of their guests is their hosts’ and staff’s major concern. Would you prefer a classy five-star hotel in a lively main street, or a rustic apartment in a quiet backstreet? Want to enjoy a happy evening or night at a vibrant hotel bar with a tasty cocktail or a cool Bavarian beer? Or would you rather

Looking for a hotel that specialises in families? Stay at Leiners Familienhotel (www.leiners.de). Travelling as a couple? Four-star hotel Staudacher Hof (www.staudacherhof.de) will see to every one of your needs. Regardless whether you book into one of these hotels or any other from the extensive list from the‘Hotels in Ihrem Sinne’group, all of them will make your personal dream of a perfect holiday come true. What else is there to do? Equally varied as the hotels’ offers are the leisure activities offered by selected partners of the ‘Hotels in Ihrem Sinne’ group. Outdoor programmes will be tailored to your own specific needs by experts. Offers range from romantic sleigh rides to skiing lessons or rafting adventures. Again, the choice is yours to make! The Zugspitzbahn and the‘Hotels in Ihrem Sinne’ group are looking forward to your visit. What are you waiting for? www.zugspitze.de www.hotelsinihremsinne.de Right from top: Hotel Staudacherhof. © Hotel Staudacherhof Hotel Reindls Partenkirchner Hof. © Reindls Partenkirchner Hof Hotel Leiner. © Hotel Leiner Hotels Almenrausch and Edelweiß. © Hotel Almenrausch und Edelweiß

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Special Theme

Top 3 Island Destinations

Norderney

Tradition-steeped coastal resort en route to become Europe’s top thalasso island Germany’s thalasso island Norderney is one of the seven East Frisian Islands on the North Sea coast and lies amidst the UNESCO World Nature Heritage Site of the Wadden Sea. The island has qualities that no amount of money could pay for. Those who visit feel the pulse of the tides, become part of the element game, feel freedom, humbleness and closeness to the island – and often to oneself again. Those who leave, know that they will return.

Thalasso has a home – bade:haus norderney

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF / STAATSBAD NORDERNEY PHOTOS: SKN DRUCK UND VERLAG I MICHAEL MEHLE I NELE MARTENSEN I NICOLAS CHIBAC

Norderney offers its guests a unique combination of majestic nature, inspiring vastness, of creative concepts for health, fitness and balance, an open and relaxed coexistence, as well as cultural diversity and modern lifestyle. Each person who decides to visit Norderney, which looks back on a glamorous 219-year-old history of imperial coastal resort culture, will surely feel this exceptional ensemble. Even older – as old as the ocean – is thalasso (which means ‘ocean’ in Ancient

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beach. Five shorter trails take visitors through the city, along the esplanade and past various sights. The starting point of these five paths is the bade:haus norderney – the home of thalasso.

Greek). Knowledge on thalasso is almost as old as humans, but thalasso is not merely a science. It describes scents, sounds, the surf, water, salt, minerals, vitamins, sand and mud. It is the ocean’s present to us humans, it is at home on Norderney and is lived everywhere on the island. On the beach, one can feel the healing powers of the ocean. Here, the conditions for open air inhalation and heliotherapy are ideal and that is why five of the island’s ten thalasso hiking paths integrate the

The interplay of water and fire, of dancing lights and shadows; the force of the ocean, diversely staged and ennobled – this is the bade:haus norderney. On the other hand, the calm and elemental world of hundreds of blues, the mystically shimmering green, the golden amber and the solid granite reflect Norderney’s character and its elements. The bade:haus knows how to respectfully use the ocean’s bounties, as well as to share them mindfully. The bade:haus’s thalasso and wellness offer range is based on three tiers. The first tier is the element of seawater in all its diversity


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sprinkling, a samarium, mud and tranquillity, comforting warmth and through an inviting lounge area with an open fire. Additionally, the bade:haus norderney unites comprehensive offers for health, balance, as well as anti-aging under one roof. Individual treatments, such as massages, sea water baths, mud poultices in the floating lounge chair and beauty treatments are complemented with group offers, such as aqua fitness or aqua jogging courses. Opened in 2005, the bade:haus norderney, which is unique in its form in Germany and perhaps in whole Europe, offers pleasure and adventure under one roof. The innovative, natural and, above all, childoriented concept goes well beyond the classical bathing fun in a warm seawater pool.

past years, CRO, Johannes Oerding, der GRAF and Unheilig will make lasting impressions in 2016. Also unique at the North Sea is Norderney’s classical music summer with Warsaw’s Symphony Orchestra and with many symphony concerts in exceptional locations. Additionally, a pure culinary and lifestyle delight is the‘Island Party Norderney’ which is held in the middle of September. Many more events enchant and enrich the vacation on the island. Whether cabaret in the Kurtheater, the International Film Festival, music evenings, Holi Beach, the‘Winterzauber’or much more: there are many good and always new reasons to visit Norderney. www.norderney.de www.badehaus-norderney.de Main image: Norderney from above. © SKN Druck und Verlag Left from top: Norderney’s harbour. © Michael Mehle © Nele Martensen Sunset on Norderney Below: The bade:haus norderney. © Nicolas Chibac

from refreshing to hot, from gently dripping to surging and blustering, as waterfall, rivulet, fog or saline bath with a brine concentration just like in the Dead Sea. The second level celebrates the element of fire through saunas, steam baths, a roof sauna, a washing bath with hot stones, sea water

Whether one seeks to enjoy the majestic nature on one’s own, spend the day relaxing on the beach, go jogging in the dunes, shop, dream or simply stroll through the city centre, Norderney offers irresistible opportunities. Each year the island additionally hosts over 1,200 events. Starting with the traditional first dip into the North Sea on New Year’s Day, a programme with many facets unfolds across the rest of the year. For example, the White Sands Festival on the Pentecost weekend is probably the most famous event on Norderney with its windsurfing World Cup and the beach volleyball tournament. But the Summertime@NORDERNEY, which is an event with a great sport, comedy and music programme held directly at the northern beach, offers entertainment of the highest quality. While Tim Bendzko, Nena, Culcha Candela and Adel Tawil have played summer night concerts while the sun went down in the

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A holiday in the land of magic The national parks of the Lower Saxonian mudflats are part of the world cultural heritage and one of Germany’s most popular holiday spots – deservedly so if you take a closer look particularly at the island of Juist, a forerunner in sustainable tourism and holder of the sustainability award 2015. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE | PHOTOS: KV JUIST I JUERGEN BRUNK

The island of Juist is one of the seven East Frisian islands located in the Lower Saxonian mudflats bordering the North Sea. Juist may not be the largest of these is-

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lands, but with a length of 17 kilometres it is certainly the longest of them, and with a maximal width of 500 metres, a dip into the sea is never far away.

Töwerland. Töwerland is what Juist has been called in an old song from the 16th century; ‘Töwer’ meaning ‘Zauber’ or ‘magic’. It is unclear what exactly induced the writer of this song to refer to Juist as a magic island, yet if you take a stroll along Juist’s long and sandy beaches, visit sites like the ‘Hammersee’, a small fresh water lake which lies hidden behind the dunes or the ‘Salzwiesen’, the salty meadows which change their colour


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according to the time of the year and which are home to a variety of birds and plants, the choice of term seems right. The atmosphere on Juist, be it summer or winter, is just that: magic. Decelerate your life. The island of Juist is car-free, which not only impacts life on the island but also the manner in which it can be reached. Juist is accessible by ferry or by plane only. While a car-free holiday may be unthinkable for some, others choose (and have chosen for years) Juist as their favourite holiday location particularly because of the lack of automobiles, as Thomas Vodde, head of marketing and assistant mayor of Juist, stresses. In addition to the obvious environmental friendliness, Juist’s car-free environment noticeably decelerates the visitor’s life and thereby maximises the recreational effect of a stay on the island: errands are made by foot or on one of the bikes available for rent on the island. Also very popular are the numerous typical horse-drawn carriages. Sitting in one of these carriages the visitor enjoys a fantastic view of Juist’s sand dunes, wildlife, and the North Sea – sights that make everyday worries a thing of the past. Something for everyone. Vodde points out that Juist has a very high percentage of returning visitors, an indicator that visitors actually love the island and everything it has to offer. The recreational possibilities are manifold and match everyone’s taste. Kite-surfing or riding lessons, beach walks, triathlons and island runs are but some examples for the wide-ranging possibilities for those who are aiming at an activity-centred stay on the island. For those who are looking for a more relaxed and laid-back vacation, a carefully selected choice of wellness programmes are available. Superbly relaxing Thalasso treatments, the Meerwasser-Erlebnisbad, a newly refurbished water park with a pool containing pleasantly warm water from the North Sea, as well as various kinds of saunas (one of them offering a breathtaking view over the North Sea and the mudflats), or various kinds of massages are just

some of the incredibly soothing and comforting services available. As Juist is an island for everyone, it also caters for the particular needs of families. Various playgrounds offer a change from the beach and its endless possibilities of building sand castles. Three different kids’ clubs are taking care of the needs of children between the ages of four and 15.The Wiegand Wattwurm-Club, Youngster Club and the Friends Club offer an animation programme that is aimed at the specific needs of the respective age groups, such as beach games, beach parties, dance events or riding and tennis lessons for children. Children and parents who even on their holiday do not want to miss school lessons may register for one of the highly enjoyable and not at all school-like lectures given by the German educational initiative‘Kinderuni’(Childrens’ University) on the topic of sustainability. Yearly changing programmes like the Health Week, Summer of Music or the Festival of Murder Mystery, are all taking place in 2016, completing the remarkable range that Juist offers. Those who think that Juist is only worth a visit during the summer months should think again. After a long walk along the coast or across the island in the sharp winter wind, there is no lovelier feeling than that of sitting in one of Juist’s warm and cosy tea houses and ordering a genuine East Frisian tea or a hot chocolate together with a home-baked cake. Juist is for those who want to unwind, who want to experience nature, the sea and beaches. It is for families as well as couples or singles, the young as well as the old. Juist, in short, is a place for everyone at all times of the year. On Juist, magic is in the air. www.juist.de Main image: Aerial view of Juist. Photo: KV Juist Right from top: A beach of Juist. Photo: KV Juist Horse-drawn carriage on the beach. Photo: KV Juist Children playing in the sand. Photo: KV Juist Juist’s harbour with sea mark at night. Photo: Juergen Brunk Opposite bottom: Dunes on the beach. Photo: Juergen Brunk Beach hotel Kurhaus Juist. Photo: Juergen Brunk Drinking tea. Photo: KV Juist

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On the sunny side of Germany Usedom, the sunniest island in Germany, is always worth a visit. Nestled in the Baltic Sea’s Pomeranian Bay, it is blessed with beautiful landscapes and offers a wide range of activities. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS I PHOTOS: USEDOM TOURISMUS GMBH I NATURHAFEN KRUMMIN I DIRK BLEYER

Forty-two kilometres of sandy beach, 2,000 hours of sunshine each year, beautiful landscapes and a fine spa culture: Usedom, the second biggest Pomeranian island, is one of Germany’s major holiday and recreation resorts. All over the year, tourists love to come here for sunbathing, walking along the coastline feeling the fine-grained sand under their feet, or to go cycling. Since the Baltic Sea Island is just two and a half hours away from Berlin, it is also the weekend destination of choice for many city slickers. “Families with children are some of Usedom’s most frequent visitors,”says Dörthe

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Hausmann, CEO at Usedom Tourism (Usedom Tourismus GmbH).“The reason is that there is a great range of leisure time activities as well as accommodations, which are tailored to families of every constellation.” Some of which also received the seal of quality GUSTAV from the Tourism Association in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania for their family-friendly lodging.“This target group of ours especially enjoys the endless beach: children have fun playing in the sand, building sandcastles. Plus, they can swim cheerfully in the soft waves of the Baltic Sea,” Hausmann says. According to her, Usedom is always worth a visit, at any

time of year. From June to September, the island is enclosed in a particularly beautiful light, while the days become longer and nights are short. But in winter, you have endless beaches and the sea for yourself. Visitors get their money’s worth, Hausmann is convinced.“Young and old, guests of fivestar hotels and people who like camping, as well as sport nuts and tourists seeking recreation will all have a great time here. Everyone will certainly find his or her personal hideaway in different places on the island.” Those, who want to get a feel of the island can also rent a bike and ride along the beautiful promenade. Hiking and doing water sports are two further activities travellers enjoy. Usedom also has a very good public transport connection: you can reach the resort island via car, intercity bus, the German railway or by plane.


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of Ahlbeck, Bansin and Heringsdorf are known for being centres of attraction due to palatial villas and impressive summer residences. Five historic piers stretch out into the Baltic Sea, the oldest one in Ahlbeck dates back to 1882 and is perfect for going for a stroll while enjoying the view. Usedom´s extensive nature park is yet another highlight, being home to more than 280 bird species. Whereas the Baltic Sea tends to appear quite rough on one side of the island, it is much quieter and more peaceful alongside the backwater. Here, the area offers deep blue lakes, mystique forests and wide meadows: a must-see for every nature lover.

Main image: Pier in Ahlbeck at sunrise. © Usedom Tourismus GmbH/Dirk Bleyer Left from top: Natural harbour Krummin. © Naturhafen Krummin Fishing boat in the Baltic Sea. © Usedom Tourismus GmbH/Dirk Bleyer Pine forest at the Achterwasser lagoon. © Usedom Tourismus GmbH/Dirk Bleyer Below: Zempin harbour. © Usedom Tourismus GmbH Lake in the Achterland. © Usedom Tourismus GmbH/Dirk Bleyer Adventurous riverscape (woman with dog). © Usedom Tourismus GmbH ‘Bädervillen‘. © Usedom Tourismus GmbH

Many new projects coming up this year

Usedom and its astonishing history Partly German and partly Polish, Usedom also looks back on a fascinating history. In the 17th century it belonged to Sweden after the Thirty Years’War until it was sold to the Prussian King Frederick William I in 1720. Fishing used to be the main source of income for residents until the imperial seaside resort project changed the island’s faith. Later, in the 19th century, wealthy people from Berlin discovered the recreational appeal of seaside resorts. Even emperors like Friedrich III and Wilhelm II were frequent visitors who appreciated the spa culture and the beauty of the popular summer resort. Since then, Usedom had been destined for tourism: until today visitors come in crowds to enjoy Usedom’s medical and wellness spas. The so-called‘three imperial bath’villages

For the upcoming months, Usedom Tourism has prepared a great deal. As Hausmann explains, there will be a new app available in March, which for example informs the island’s visitors about the different leisure time activities and accommodations. Users also benefit from exclusive gift coupons provided by the Usedom guide booklet. Those who want to know more about the island can additionally read the new issue of the Usedom Magazine published by Usedom Tourism. It is available all over Germany, as well as in Austria and Switzerland. ‘Germany´s island for seaside conventions’ is the new slogan to attract MICE business. The island is offering a wide range of locations and activities at the beaches and in the pure natural surroundings.“We would like to focus on meeting business in the off season, so we help organisers to plan individual events from ten to up to 1,300 participants,” Hausmann states. Event highlights such as the BALTIC LIGHTS, taking place from 19 to 21 February, will provide visitors for the first time with a dog sledge race and bonfire at the beach. www.usedom.de www.balticlights.de

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Health & Beauty

Organic cosmetics for responsible beauty treatments Living the healthy and natural way is the best way to preserve one’s beauty and is a key factor for cosmetic brand Vivian Weiss. With an approach related to traditional Chinese medicine, her products solely consist of natural and largely organic ingredients, rebalancing the body and skin. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: VIVIAN WEISS

Vivian Weiss cherishes the idea of harmony, of inner and outer balance, Ying and Yang like it is practised in traditional Chinese medicine.Vivian Weiss is based in Bavaria, ordering her ingredients from handpicked local manufacturers. With a double effect: knowing her business partners personally guarantees that Vivian Weiss only uses quality products and at the same time supports the regional economy. No matter if she is using the intriguing scent of roses, soothing camomile or nourishing shea butter: all products are made cruelty free and, whenever possible, with organic ingredients according to the principles the German BDIH has set for natural cosmetics. They are free from artificial colouring, components of animal origin, synthetic fragrances and petroleum products like paraffin, mineral oils and perfumes.

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The Vivian Weiss moisturiser for everyday use, for example, consists of jojoba oil and aloe vera – natural ingredients well known for their hydrating effect. The same ingredients are also used for a shower gel and a body lotion. The newest products on the market are a shampoo and an eye cream. To summarise: for Vivian Weiss beauty is not gained using cosmetics based on mineral oils and artificial additives, but in taking care of one’s body with enough sleep, healthy food and beauty products made of natural ingredients. Even during her early childhood,Vivian Weiss loved to explore the flora around her, to detect their secret powers. When eating a watermelon, she always used to cut the skin and put it on her face to moisten her own skin. And when her mother made a cucumber salad, she

snitched two slices and put them on her eyelids until her mother called for dinner. But even though her interest for natural cosmetics has existed since her youth, it was her pregnancy and the birth of her child that inspired her to found her own business. In shops she could not find a quality lotion for her skin, changed due to pregnancy hormones, nor for her child. After thorough research and a long development time, she finally established Vivian Weiss Naturkosmetik. www.vivianweiss.com

Portrait: Vivian Weiss


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IHRE ADRESSE FÜR PLASTISCHE & ÄSTHETISCHE CHIRURGIE IN BERLIN www.bamdad.de

PEYMAN BAMDAD PL ASTISCHE & ÄSTHETISCHE CHIRU RGIE Fünf Morgen / Clayallee No175 / 14195 Berlin-Dahlem / T. 030 845 096 00 / Öffnungszeiten: Montag-Donnerstag 8.00-13.00 / 14.00-18.00 Freitag 8.00-13.00


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Less is more New year, new trends: a great deal is happening within the ever-evolving beauty industry. A Berlin-based plastic surgeon explains all current developments and why his background in reconstructive surgery and microsurgery creates a significant advantage for patients undergoing aesthetic surgery in 2016. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: SINIS

“It’s all about reducing the complications and side effects of aesthetic surgery to a bare minimum,” explains Prof. Dr. med.

Nektarios Sinis in our interview about the current developments in his industry.“The best way to ensure this is to apply the knowledge and expertise gained from reconstructive surgery, in particular from microsurgery.” When it comes to plastic surgery, Dr. Sinis is undoubtedly an expert. Before he decided to focus on aesthetic surgery at his private practice in Berlin, he built up an outstanding reputation as a professional for reconstructive surgery, hand surgery, peripheral nerve surgery, breast surgery and

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microsurgery.“I wanted to help people,”Dr. Sinis says about his motivation to become a plastic surgeon.“For example, by reconstructing a face that’s been badly burnt in a way that would enable my patients to lead a normal life again. Over time, I realised that there was a huge demand for aesthetic surgeries to conceal any signs of aging such as facelifts, breast augmentation or liposuction.” Reconstructing the younger you Because of this demand, Dr. Sinis decided to focus on aesthetic surgery and opened his own private practice in Berlin. His patients here particularly benefit from the physician’s award-winning expertise in reconstructive surgery and microsurgery. “Aesthetic surgery and reconstructive surgery have a lot in common,” he explains. “What the surgeon does is basically re-


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Discover Germany | Health & Beauty | SINIS

construct a younger looking face or younger looking breasts. Thus, I would always recommend my colleagues starting out as a surgeon to first learn everything about reconstructive surgery and then become an aesthetic surgeon.”This approach also ensures more safety for his patients as Dr. Sinis continues:“I offer reconstructive surgery with autologous tissue, which is taken from the fat deposits of other parts of the body such as the stomach or the buttocks. This kind of procedure – often applied to patients who lost one or two breasts due to cancer – is always a lot more gentle than inserting implants.”However, the doctor also still uses breast implants. He says since they have improved so much, they don’t necessarily mean a disadvantage: “It’s just a question of preference.” New trend: The 3-D face Bang on the trend of“reconstructing a natural-looking younger you”is the so-called 3-D facelift – a reconstructive plastic surgery technique that Dr. Sinis has developed himself.“It’s basically about recreating the natural low and high lines of the face just as they were at the time of the patient’s youth,”he illustrates.“The aim is to make a patient look a lot more natural than it would ever be possible with standard facelift procedures. We reach this stage through transplanting autologous fat and shifting autologous tissue.”

are less traumatic and provide our patients with a much more natural-looking appearance.” Helping those in need: Charity treatments Due to his specialised knowledge within the field of reconstructive surgery and microsurgery, Dr. Sinis is often called when other doctors have given up or when people from poorer countries have experienced serious misfortune through to no fault of their own. Examples of this include a cancer patient from Bosnia or Adnan Ali Al-Madani from Yemen, who became the victim of an acid attack after which his face was totally disfigured. Dr. Sinis had all these patients flown in and treated them for free.“By focusing on aesthetic surgery, we keep up a very profitable business,”he describes.“This in turn enables us to offer free treatments to those who need our help, but don’t have the financial means to afford the procedures themselves.” www.sinis-aesthetics.de

Main image & Portrait: Prof. Dr. med. Nektarios Sinis Right: Prof. Dr. Med. Sinis at work Below: The SINIS team in the surgery room

Keeping it“micro” The less is more trend does not mean that there are less operations.“On the contrary: the number of surgeries is constantly on the rise,” says Dr. Sinis.“The difference is that we do not carry out these huge operations anymore. Instead, we do a lot of smaller treatments.”Applying microsurgery techniques, everything is kept as“micro”as possible: side effects and complications, as well as the surgical procedures themselves. This is especially important as the age of Dr. Sinis’patients is dropping as well.“Back in the day, people had their facelifts at 60. Today, more and more patients come in at 40 and have so-called mini, endoscopic or microsurgical facelifts. What all these mini procedures have in common is that they

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Discover Germany | Business | Solicitor Column

Keeping it in the family TEXT & PHOTO: GREGOR KLEINKNECHT

As Britain and Germany continue their voyage on the road to economic recovery, statistics frequently remind us that the unsung heroes of our prosperity are the small and medium-sized enterprises that form the backbone of the economy in both countries. Often these are family-owned businesses. They cover a wide range of activities, from farming businesses to cutting-edge global technology leaders. In the legal jargon they are also known as ‘closely held companies’, which means that the majority of voting shares in the company is concentrated in the hands of a small number of members. Running a family business presents its own challenges in legal and corporate governance terms. Once the company passes on from the original owner/founder into the hands of the next generation, and then on to G3 and G4 (generation three and four), ownership becomes spread over an everwidening circle of people. Naturally, they can have quite diverse and, indeed, sometimes opposing interests and visions of the future.The family must then be managed as carefully as the business itself. Typically, most family businesses do not survive in their original form past G2. Having said this, we have the privilege of working with a very successful closely held pharmaceutical company which is now in the process of transitioning to G3 (with the wider family now approaching something like 100 family members) and is going stronger than ever. Obviously they got a few things right. Of these, the most important was to keep family conflicts out of

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the company by creating a written family ‘constitution’, which governs how family members are consulted, decisions are made and conflicts are resolved within the family. This allows the family to speak with one voice and give clear direction to the company.

research and development and to take the company forward commercially. I am grateful to Stephen Morrall, our head of business services, for his assistance with this article. As you may have guessed, his pet topic is closely held companies.

Under English company law, directors owe general duties to their company, in particular, the duty to promote its success for the benefit of the members as a whole. The company’s directors must take a range of factors into account beyond family interests, such as the likely consequences of any decision in the long term, the interests of the company’s employees, the need to foster the company’s business relationships with suppliers, customers and others, the impact of the company’s operations on the community and the environment, the desirability of the company maintaining a reputation for high standards of business conduct, and the need to act fairly between members of the company. Against this background, it helps if the management of the company can draw on outside talent and any family members who are looking for employment within the company, whether at management or at any other level, must compete on merit. The family’s interests are nevertheless safeguarded through executive and nonexecutive board memberships and through control at shareholder level. Another key to success is a sensible dividend policy, which balances the financial benefits for family members with the need to retain sufficient profits in the company to allow effective

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


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Discover Germany | Business | IMI University Centre

When hospitality asks for more than a smile To think of hospitality as anything less than an exhilarating and opportunity-filled career is outdated. A competitive, constantly evolving global industry, hospitality demands the adoption of savvy academic methods, which have been perfected by Switzerland’s International Management Institute (IMI) in Lucerne.

Main image: The view from IMI International Management Institute’s campus on picturesque Lake Luzern. From top down: Students Issac Lim (BA Hons in International Hotel & Tourism Management), Viktoriia Bilenko (Higher Diploma in International Hotel & Events Management), Vanessa Pramudji (BA Hons in International Hotel Management) and Vlada Bebyshova (BA Hons in International Hotel & Events Management). IMI students relax in one of the newly refurbished student bedrooms on campus. Students from over 50 different nationalities are welcomed at IMI each semester.

TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE I IMAGES: IMI

A forward-thinking hospitality management university started in 1991, IMI educates hoteliers, restaurateurs and specialists in tourism and events. Conceived and maintained as a small-scale yet highachieving establishment with students from more than 50 nations, IMI unites Swiss expertise with a global team of industry experts, access to a vast international network of potential employees and tailored teaching. The university’s approach is unusual, explains Rachel Staal, regional manager for Europe, although students graduate with a British honours degree validated by Manchester Metropolitan or Oxford Brookes University. After an intense six-month period of study, students embark on their first of two six-month paid internships, carried out from Dubai to Dubrovnik, San Moritz to the Seychelles.“Within their first

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week at IMI students have interviews with the career department to ascertain what sort of placements are suitable, perhaps a city hotel, a resort or even a six-star resort hotel.” She laughs: “Many underestimate how much hard work such a hotel demands, but imagine the guests’ expectations.”

Alongside the IMI bachelor and master degrees, IMI grants students a BA (Hons) in International Culinary Arts. Equipping graduates with more than the fine art of patisserie making and the delicacies of wine pairing, IMI incorporates transferrable skills such as running a team, budgeting and compiling appetising seasonal menus.

Much more than silver service, the BA in hotel, tourism or events management involves HR management, marketing, financial planning (“everyone’s least favourite module,” interjects Staal), alongside food, wine and cheese to name but a few. “We have four intakes each year and students have a real choice when it comes to specialising. Events is a growing sector with everything from fashion shows and weddings to music festivals – it’s certainly high-octane work.”

Of all the standout features at IMI – and there are many, ranging from its lakeside location in central Switzerland with skiing in winter and watersports in summer – their career-minded approach is highly rated. Hosting more than 30 career days per year, many of the world’s leading hotel chains recruit on campus for promising interns, secure in the knowledge that IMI students will not only be adept at hotels and events, but also at business. www.imi-luzern.com


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SEB voted best Private Bank in German-speaking Europe Over 100 private banks were tested by Fuchsbriefe publishing house with IQF and risk analysis specialists Quanvest. Their conclusion in 2014 noted, “SEB Private Banking Luxembourg stands out in almost every category: in addition to brilliant advice, the competition cannot keep up in terms of either investment proposals or transparency.” Our international network of private banking offices will look after all aspects of your family 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 or Luxembourg: London Private Banking Team +44 (0) 20 7246 4225 privatebanking@seb.co.uk

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Capital markets finance factory Financial innovation driven by K-Bonds AG

Innovation has many different faces: a new product design, an enhancement of an existing product or a new product which fulfils unsatisfied needs. Frankfurt-based K-Bonds AG has rethought corporate lending with its Capital Markets Finance Factory ‘CMFF’. It is designed to provide lending for established credit-worthy businesses without the involvement of banks. Its innovation comes from developing new sources of lending independent of the traditional banking market. But how does it work? TEXT: K-BONDS AG I PHOTOS: MICHAEL PASTERNACK I DUNCAN MOODY | FARIDEH DIEHL

CMFF is an electronic communication network. Corporate borrowers describe their borrowing requirements. Lenders are provided with quality-approved information such as valuations, financial reports and ratings on the corporate borrowers. Each transaction is separately assessed. Potential lenders review the information and make their decisions based on their own risk appetite. CMFF’s transaction team provides book building and matching assistance in

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the event that a loan is shared amongst several lenders. Documentation is simple. A standardised concise loan agreement is used which focuses on the key requirements of this lending market. What was the need? Firstly, there was the crisis in banking. The paralysis of the banking system after the financial crisis in 2008 meant that it would be decades before banks were again able to

service the financing needs of corporate borrowers effectively. Securitisation of loans had been the way banks offloaded credit risk to other investors. Securitisation had indeed enabled banks to provide large volumes of loans to their customers in the first place. The securitisation market closed because of the Lehman Brothers collapse. Investors no longer believed in banks’ability to assess credit risk. Without the opportunity to transfer loans, liquidity in banks was no longer available. In addition, the need for banks to write-off bad debts, often caused by reckless lending practices, meant that banks no longer had enough capital even for their core businesses. New capital was needed to enable banks to survive, but has been insufficient to allow them to increase lending. The situation was worsened as regulators insisted that banks held higher levels of capital as insurance against


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top 2 Finance Advisors

the supply of money in order to provide life support for their endangered economies. This has made it very difficult for insurance companies and pension funds to find suitable investments for their cash. How could these two problems be turned into a solution? The professionals behind Capital Markets Finance Factory (CMFF) have decades of credit and lending experiSpecial Theme ence which they used to develop a methodology by which good credit risk could be transferred directly to institutional investors. In 2008 they started to develop an electronic communication network. Up to now, nearly 300 million euros of debt have been arranged and placed directly with institutional investors and each year brings an further bank failures of the sort that had led increase in the levels of lending. to economic recession 2008. The end result was a severe credit squeeze. Is CMFF a lending platform?

Top 2 Finance Advisors

This position has eased a little in some countries such as Germany, although recovery has been patchy, with a continuing shortage of lending in the real estate sector. It has, however, shown no improvement, or has actually got worse, in other countries such as Greece where public deficits and sovereign debt together created a perfect storm.The private sector has been forced to respond by cutting costs and reducing dividend payments in order to increase capital.

Probably yes, but its unique features make it clearly distinct from all other platforms in the market. Most lending platforms use ‘crowd lending’. This enables private individuals or small or medium-sized enter-

prises (SMEs) to obtain loans from single or multiple, private and institutional investors via an online brokering platform. On credit platforms such as Funding Circle, OnDeck, Kabbage and Lending Club, businesses can obtain small loans up to a set maximum value. As a rule, requests are analysed by the platform provider via an internal scoring system and are checked against additional minimum requirements such as turnover. Investors can then participate in these loans at an interest rate set by the provider. CMFF is different. Credit decisions are taken solely by the lenders. Individual loans are presented to lenders and can be shared between them if the transaction size is too large for an individual lender. There is not a portfolio approach as loans are arranged and placed one by one. Loan size starts at EUR 3,000,000 for unsecured loans and at EUR 30,000,000 for secured loans; there is upper limit. Corporate borrowers have faced a hostile environment since the financial crisis with lending relationships, which have deteriorated due to the problems of the banks. CMFF provides a solution and an alternative lending source. For more and detailed information, have a look at the following websites. www.k-bonds.com www.cmff.eu

Top left: Building bridges. Photos: Duncan Moody Portraits: Oliver Forder, Executive Director, Investment Banking. Photo: Michael Pasternack (left) Dr. Hans-Guenther Nordhues, Chief Executive Officer. Photo: Farideh Diehl (right)

Secondly, there was the adverse market facing institutional investors. Since 2008, there has been a period of unprecedented low interest rates as central banks including the European Central Bank (ECB) increased

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top 2 Finance Advisors

Should one invest actively or passively? Only one per cent of fund managers consistently beat the market, which is an alarming result for active investment strategies. Are these fund managers skilful? Velat Özdemir, CEO of finance advisory firm Südinvest, has some answers. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: SÜDINVEST

“John Kenneth Galbraith once said ‘there are two kinds of forecasters: those who don’t know, and those who don’t know they don’t know’. Active asset and fund managers try to ‘win against the market’. Thus, they seek to perform better than their benchmarks. However, the evidence predominantly shows that their effort is without avail and that client funds suffer. Active fund managers don’t beat the markets; the markets beat the fund managers. Even according to studies, the returns significantly deviate from the benchmarks in active management,”explainsVelat Özdemir. Additionally, big differences between the fund yield and the customer yield exist because of the fund costs. This can have fatal con-

sequences for investors who plan their future with these concepts. So, what distinguishes Südinvest from other financial institutions? “Our understanding for capital markets is based on scientific facts. According to the efficient market hypothesis, no investor can outperform the market permanently; at best by accident. We don’t try to beat the market but rather provide the market return to our clients. Through this, our clients have significantly more capital. Additionally, we offer complete cost transparency and low fees. Each of our clients can be sure to receive a custom-made solution. All in all, we give our clients more paid life years,” says Velat Özdemir.

Südinvest’s services are trusted by private and business clients, as well as family offices. Their core expertise lies in retirement planning, asset management and inheritance planning. www.südinvest.de support@suedinvest.eu +49 (0) 89 206021 304

Portrait: Velat Özdemir, CEO of finance advisory firm Südinvest


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Special Theme

Providing a network of architecture experts As a network operating all over Germany, ARCHITEKTENstern ties core capabilities of 46 architects and engineers in order to provide customised and sustainable building solutions. Clients benefit from the architects’ regional and national presence. Major projects cover high buildings and the interior decoration of savings banks, institutional buildings and logistics facilities. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS I PHOTOS: ELLWANGER MENZEL ARCHITEKTEN INGENIEURE GMBH

A nationwide presence, passion, flexibility and perfect solutions down to the last detail. These attributes distinguish ARCHITEKTENstern from the usual architectural practices and are the reason for the network’s success. The expert team led by architects and engineers decentralises its potential and expert knowledge by having offices in Berlin, Rotenburg near Hamburg, Hannover, Oldenburg and Reinfeld near Lübeck, whereas other medium-sized, owner-operated architectural practices tend to work within a geographically small radius. As an umbrella brand, ARCHITEKTENstern instead integrates local offices into a national network.

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Benjamin Ellwanger Chabert and Martin Menzel, both chartered architectural engineers, officially started the network in 2014, after working together for 17 years. They were colleagues who were employees of architect Werner Behrens. After taking over his practice, the two of them were thinking of ways to expand, while responding individually and appropriately to their client’s wishes at the same time.“We did not want to keep up an organisational culture in terms of a hierarchic pyramid,” Ellwanger Chabert explains. Instead, they launched ARCHITEKTENstern which works independently of its location and employs town planners, architects as well as interior de-

Top Architects Germany

signers, but also material flow planners, project developers and project managers to name a few examples. “Our architects are very flexible when they have to realise a smaller project. They closely cooperate with their clients and always meet them in person,”Ellwanger Chabert says.“When it comes to bigger projects, we usually put together a team with up to 50 architects.” A network that offers many advantages for clients This network system offers numerous advantages for clients, for example flexibility, motivating employees, and the ability to respond quickly to their wishes, Ellwanger Chabert explains.“If we operated just from a single place of location, it would be much more difficult to combine these advantages.” Plus, having a central administration enables ARCHITEKTENstern to emphasise on the local architectural practices’core capabilities. Some of them even look back at about 50 years of experience.“Hence, it is


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Germany

much easier for our employees to work selfdeterminedly. This way, we also try to facilitate their creativity, this in turn is good for our clients,”Ellwanger Chabert says. Within succession plans, he and Menzel managed to take over local architectural practices. As a result, ARCHITEKTENstern does not depend on any regional economic developments and is therefore able to reach its aims. Realizing a diverse spectrum of projects Today, ARCHITEKTENstern looks back at a wide range of projects which were successfully realised. Clients such as savings banks, institutional and private investors used the advice and services of the architecture experts.“We are currently planning the construction of the new town centre of Wildau near Berlin with about 230 housing units,” Ellwanger Chabert reveals. In the past, ARCHITEKTENstern already worked for industrial establishments as well as logistics companies and designed halls of about 40,000 square metres. The network additionally won numerous architecture competitions for municipal buildings such as schools, daycare facilities for children and gymnasiums. Medium-sized enterprises, hoteliers, but also private citizens are further clients.“We offer a wide range of services, no matter whether our clients want to have a ‘mini-house’ for private use or a complex logistics facility,” Ellwanger Chabert underlines.

Lower Saxony.“Here, we not only create a completely new working environment which perfectly accomplishes the aims of work-life balance. We also create a very sustainable overall project which is about to receive a certification by the German Sustainable Building Council.” Additionally, ARCHITEKTENstern is also involved in various planning processes and construction projects following the recent harbour and urban development plans in Hamburg. Rehabilitating institutional buildings in Rotenburg is another project the group of architects recently finished, whereas designing a medical institute in Hannover is quite a complex project in progress.“In addition, our team is engaged in planning and building temporary accommodations for refugees in house complexes as well as single apartments which

are based on long-term considerations,” Ellwanger Chabert explains. This year, ARCHITEKTENstern seeks to further expand. Therefore, Menzel and Ellwanger Chabert are looking for additional partners especially in Schleswig-Holstein, for example in Kiel. Those who want to find out more, should take a look at the architecture network’s website. www.architektenstern.de

Main image: The central office of Sparkasse LeerWittmund. Top from left: A daycare facility for children. Kursaal Bad Saarow. Houseboats in Schleswig. Below from left: A logistics facility. A gymnasium in Klecken, Lower Saxony. Bottom from left: Buildings in Berlin. A public utility company in Trier-Zewen.

Reaching a milestone According to him, ARCHITEKTENstern will reach a further milestone with its current project, the construction of the central office of Sparkasse LeerWittmund for about 250 employees in the centre of Leer in

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tance of beautiful, but functional rooms that the children feel most comfortable in.” This is also why their customers’honest reactions are more valuable than their award collection, which includes the German Design Award 2015.“After the completion of a school or kindergarten project, the best thing is seeing the children’s bright smiles,” explains Antolovic.“Equally motivating are the looks of passers-by when they spot the barn that was previously in danger of collapsing now shining in new splendour after a thorough renovation.”

Crossing lines and engaging senses The diverse projects of Stuttgart-based multidisciplinary design practice COASToffice range from the conversion of a 17th century barn, to interactive digital brand worlds. In order to find the ideal solution for each client, task and location, the team has established a unique crossover approach.

Engaging all the senses is a concept that COASToffice will continue to emphasise in the new year as the architects currently receive a myriad of requests for conversion and renovations of listed buildings, often in combination with designing new utilisation concepts. “There will also be some new developments within the interactive digital brand and exhibition worlds,”reveals Antolovic.“In this respect, 2016 will be an exciting year.” www.coastoffice.de/en

Main image: Microsoft briefing center. Photo: David Franck Photographie TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: VALENTIN JECK I DAVID FRANCK PHOTOGRAPHIE

According to this, each project is based on a thorough analysis of the historical, cultural and traditional backgrounds as well as nature, society, technologies and brand identities. Thus, the two COASToffice founders and directors, Zlatko Antolovic and Alexander Wendlik, equip any of their projects with enormous depth and complexity. Their success has made waves at home and abroad, as reflected internationally in the IBM Forum in London or the Microsoft Briefing Center in Switzerland. The main focus of the creative minds at COASToffice, is making a positive impact on their home area of Stuttgart.“In everyday life, the contrasting switch between interactive digital spaces and historical halftimbered houses is extremely exciting,” explains Antolovic. “We also enjoy transforming schools and kindergartens into inspiring environments, where learning and exchanging ideas is a fun experience. If you

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consider the fact that today’s children spend the largest portion of their childhood in school, you recognise the impor-

Below from left: COASToffice’s ‘Tbone House’. Photo: Valentin Jeck Conversion of a historical 17th century barn into an art studio and exhibtion space. Photo: David Franck Photographie Bottom from left: A school by COASToffice School by COASToffice. Photo: David Franck Photographie


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Special Theme

Top Architects

Above: ‘Fünf Häuser’ project in Rapperswil, Architekturpreis Beton13. Publisher: BETONSUISSE. Photo: Giuseppe Micciché

Switzerland

Identity-establishing architecture Architectural diversity and interaction between residents are key ideas for Swiss architect Lukas Lenherr, who finds design inspirations in existing building structures, culture and history. In 2013, for example, Lukas Lenherr won a well-known prize (Architekturpreis Beton13) honouring young architects for his ‘Fünf Häuser’ project he built in Rapperswil near Zurich. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: GIUSEPPE MICCICHÉ I MARLON BIÉTRY I LUKAS LENHERR I GEORGIA PAPATHANASIOU

Concrete is the main component used to build‘Fünf Häuser’(Five Houses) but when looking at the façade, every storey seems different. From a grey concrete surface to a façade clad in green shingles, as reference to the colourful exteriors of classic single houses, every part stacked over another is rather individual. With‘Fünf Häuser’, Lukas Lenherr mashed up different kinds of buildings and architectural principles to create a collage honouring the history and identity of the surrounding area.The building – now home to four families – is indeed a combination of five houses piled upon each other: a garden villa, an apartment normally found in multi-storey buildings, a classic family home, a pavilion and a holiday cottage. Instead of simply building a conventional apartment block, Lukas Lenherr searched

for inspiration in the village he intended to build in.“It is a kind of collage. Every kind of house I have included can be found in five minutes walking distance,” he says. “Identity-establishing aspects are very important to me, as is displayed in this project.” The design only follows after taking a very close look on history, existing structures in urban and sub-urban quarters and their identities.

One of the next projects Lukas Lenherr is involved in will be the restructuring of a historical bicycle factory in the Swiss Jura where, in the future, housing, ateliers, retail, culture and high-tech spin-off companies – like a small city – will come to exist side by side. Lukas Lenherr intends to keep and cherish the factory’s historic buildings while adding contemporary architecture and giving them a new life and identity. www.lukaslenherr.ch

Below, clockwise: Competition ‘Les Archives du Future’ in Lausanne, Switzerland. Photo: Marlon Biétry Competition ‘Fruehling Sommer Herbst Winter’ in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Photo: Georgia Papathanasiou First prize for a competition for the Kingdom of Bahrain, ‘Pearl Dive’, Manama. Photo collage: Lukas Lenherr

Before establishing his own office in 2011, Lukas Lenherr studied in Basel, Geneva, Lausanne and Barcelona, primarily in architecture as well as dedicating time to art and interior design courses. While working on his own projects, Lukas Lenherr kept his close connection to university: until 2015 he lectured at the ETH Lausanne, something he still does at an AA Visiting School for the Architectural Association School of Architecture.

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Marazzi+Paul Architecture and urban design Marazzi+Paul’s acclaimed project – the building complex Das Hamerling in Vienna – strikes the balance between urban development and design quality. The formerly public space was transformed into an elegant, revitalised mixed housing project for private flat owners and assisted senior living for retirees.

generational living concepts and stunning lofts. In December 2015, the building complex was completed and now features 48 exclusive condos, 23 impressive rooftop flats and 59 senior living apartments.

TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: MARAZZI + PAUL ARCHITEKTEN AG

Vitalisation of historic building The beautiful Hamerling building in Vienna’s urban Josefstadt fits the narrative of transformation: from historic to modern; utilitarian to luxurious. After two years of

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construction, the former municipal building has been completely remodeled to provide housing spaces that match a plurality of lifestyles: private, luxurious flats, multi-

Marazzi+Paul have designed and realised the project to immense critical acclaim.The new tasteful assisted living and apartment complex signals the company’s approach to


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Switzerland

this uniquely demanding area of architectural design. Situated on 20,000 square metres, Das Hamerling epitomises the multifunctional utilisation of modern, urban spaces as well as the concept of multigenerational living.

the old, and the unexpected come together. This energy can lead to risks, but it is also the chance to create projects that are not ordinary,” says architect Alfred Paul, describing the creative challenges of re-modeling spaces.

Das Hamerling is an environment in which people of all ages can live and age well. Care, service and choice are the pillars of the building, and the spacious apartments are designed and equipped especially for the comfort and safety of senior residents. The multigenerational house provides spacious apartments and lofts for families, couples and singles. Amenities and services include a care and therapy center, on-site medical staff, concierge services, a kindergarten, a parking garage and a restaurant.

Services and work philosophy

Developing, conversion and refurbishing In 2005, Renato Marazzi and Alfred Paul jointly founded the office Marazzi+Paul Architekten AG. Their long-term employees Michael Osswald and Patrick Ryser have been part of the management team of the ever-growing firm since 2012. With two offices in Zurich and Berne, the architecture and design firm develops and realises projects in Switzerland and Europe.

“We always have an open ear for the concerns of our clients. However, we are less interested in the problems – much rather in the hidden architectural and entrepreneurial opportunities. We are convinced that the conscious and attentive orchestration of all project influences result in a coherent form that is itself characterised by a high urban development and design quality,” says Renato Marazzi. Marazzi + Paul Architects develop and implement projects for private and public clients as well as for institutional project developers. Ideally, they like to be involved in projects long before a thought becomes a concrete project, in order to clarify legal issues, analyse utilisation and strategic planning. In later stages, the company analyses

and develops preliminary projects. In the last phase of building and realisation, Marazzi+Paul increasingly assume the role of a general planner (ISO 9001 certification). Future projects and creative challenges Having worked in various segments and successfully mastered many diverse projects, Marazzi+Paul is confident and excited to design and develop and revitalise both public and private spaces and buildings. They design inspiring, caring and practical environments that meet the needs of the people they serve, and enrich the quality of their lives and community. www.marazzi-paul.com info@marazzi-paul.com

Opposite: Project Das Hamerling in Vienna Marazzi+Paul’s projects include: Below from left: Privera Headquarters, Gümligen Apartment complex Biber and Hirsch, Andermatt Bottom from left: Sonnenarena, Langnau im Emmental Mosaik Eilenriede, Hannover

“Every construction project is characterised by very different influences: aesthetic, functional and technical requirements, the ideas of the owner, planner and companies involved, and also social and societal influences. Our goal is to combine all these factors into a coherent whole – to us that defines good architecture and inspires our designs,”explains Renato Marazzi. The fully integrated architectural firm provides the essential elements of development, construction and management in a comprehensive and efficient fashion for its partners and stakeholders. In fact, one of the firm’s focus areas is the development and realisation of spaces optimised for senior residences and peoples’special needs in this phase of their lives. “Conversions and renovations are increasingly gaining importance in the work of our office. In re-building spaces, the new,

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The definitive shape

Main image: New Taichung City Civic Center, Taichung, Taiwan R.O.C., completion 2012

With Weber Hofer Partners architects, structure becomes conceptual Weber Hofer Partners’ strength is the connection of the two key elements of design and construction. In the team leaders’ professions, the two are united: with one being an architect and the other holding a diploma in construction management, they combine the joy of design with a builder’s rationality. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI | PHOTOS: DIETMAR TOLLERIAN + ROGER FREI

Structural elements with Weber Hofer Partners lead to a connection of the inner and the outer. In their own words:“In our design, we are striving for simplicity, looking for the memorable form.” For their Taiwan project, with its realisation spanning over decades due to constant political changes in the country, they have applied their combined forces with much endurance and success. Having won first prize at the Taichung City Civic Center competition in 1995, the project took until 2012 to be completed. Apart from showing

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patience and resilience to circumstances, the office finally managed to add a building complex to the Taichung urban landscape, which is memorable both in form and execution. Applying their concept of embracing the structural language of the building, their love for detail shows both in the execution of the façades and the design of the interior. The heart piece is the event hall with a caving roof, easily spotted from afar, which makes the whole building unique in outlook and memorable indeed. Inside, the curve is beautifully mirrored by the floor design, on the outside the sloping roof set

Right from top: Council Building (part of City Civic Center), Taichung, Taiwan R.O.C., completion 2011 Council Building, Chamber Hall Government Building (part of City Civic Center), Foyer Auditorium

within the square shape of the façade is the key aspect which makes the building a visual landmark. Jürg Weber and Josef Hofer started out working together in a big Zurich-based office before they moved on to open their own in 1988, situated on the grounds of the former Steinfels soap factory. In 1992, the Zurich stock exchange building, for which Weber had won the competition in 1980, was finished. Ever since, the building underwent various conversions, all executed by Weber Hofer Partners. Many more awards have followed, ensuring a steady flow of contracts for the architectural office. Through the decades the office staff has now grown to more than 20 employees. Asked about the nature of their clients, Weber Hofer Partners state that the better


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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top Architects Switzerland

ginning of construction. Phase five of the general plan for the campus-in-progress was drafted in 2007 and the large-scale 195 million Swiss francs project is the biggest yet tackled by the Weber Hofer Partners team. Set in green surroundings, the huge chemistry complex will combine two six-storey buildings, one single-storey unit and two courtyards.The two big laboratory buildings will be connected with each other on each floor through the so-called faculty axis, designed as a meeting area for students, research staff and lecturers, to inspire exchange and communication.The buildings' outline adapts smoothly to the overall structure of the campus layout. Weber Hofer Partners have also engaged a great deal in the design and construction of school buildings. One example is the Oberuster primary school in Uster, Switzerland. Starting with winning the competition in 2003, the process from planning through project and construction management to completion was completely managed inhouse in true Weber Hofer Partners style. The rectangular building is set between two existing school buildings. Accessible by two corresponding entries set opposite to each other, the school features ground and upper floors with a foyer illuminated by a huge

skylight. With the classrooms slid in between the storey ceilings like little single houses, the whole structure becomes a village with a net of connecting paths and squares to encourage and initiate interaction among pupils and teachers. Generous openings in the faรงade, a multi-storey atrium and an inside courtyard on the upper floor provide ample amounts of daylight, entering the building in variation according to the respective time of day. The two Weber Hofer Partners pillars, architecture (Weber) and building management (Hofer), are their secret weapons: a down-to-earth attitude for structure combined with conceptual design ethics have proved a winning combination, for clients and contractors alike. 2016 will bring the beginning of construction for the humongous campus project in Zurich, a day to look forward to for the Weber Hofer Partners team. www.weber-hofer.ch

Below from left: University Zurich-Irchel, faculty of chemistry, completion planned for 2019. Visualisation: Weber Hofer Partner University Zurich-Irchel, faculty axis. Visualisation: totalreal Bottom from left: Oberuster primary school, Uster, Schweiz, completion 2008. Photo: Roger Frei Oberuster primary school, Foyer. Photo: Roger Frei

part of contracts are still being generated by international competitions. Relying on the judgement of a jury of experts, the clients can count on high-quality execution and an open-minded and mutual process. New clients and partners always provide them with new challenges, says team member and architect Nanna Reinhardt, which in turn makes the work process fresh and exciting. Meeting the high standards required by all the project participants with each new project, Weber Hofer Partners like to accompany their clients through the whole process from planning phase through to completion of the building. The biggest project at the time is a new faculty building for the University of Zurich-Irchel, which is to house the entire chemistry faculty of the huge campus.To be completed in 2019, this year marks the be-

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Attention to detail How m3 Architekten create tailor-made homes and corporate interiors in Swiss style A fresh and unbiased stylistic approach, combined with in-house planning and an eye on detail in construction, allows Zurich-based m3 Architekten to find an individual creative language for each and every new project they tackle. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI | PHOTOS: BRUNO HELBLING FOTOGRAFIE, ZURICH I M3 ARCHITEKTEN

m3 Architekten projects draw their lifeblood from committing to a detailed and accurate execution, based on 15 years of experience. The small but effective team around Basil D端by and Simon K端nzler consists of four architects and one building construction draughtsman. Opened in 2001, the Zurich-based office is by now well established in the fields of residential architecture, interior planning and conversions for international corporations. Their contribution to contemporary architecture stems from a holistic approach of

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planning and project management executed under the same roof. Spanning from de-

sign to execution, a project is covered completely as an in-house enterprise, constantly allowing minute adjustments throughout the developing process. Both client and project benefit from this fact immensely. Specialising on both construction and conversions, m3 Architekten also tackles


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tenant-specific improvements for international companies and corporations. This way, m3 Architekten also provides a great deal of experience in interacting with international project teams and their various culture-originated preferences. Another field of expertise is their focus on residential housing and conversions. Take for example their ‘Wohnhaus am Zürichsee’ (Zurich lake residence): a conversion of a residential building, which in effect became a whole new construction, is set right by the expansive Zurich lake, providing a view of almost unreal beauty. The lightweight and simplistic appearance of the bungalow adjusts well to its surroundings and proves as beautiful in design as in function. The overhanging first floor, for example, creates a simple but effective roof for one of the terraces overlooking the lake. The wooden façade with a variety of light brown and beige hues links the building to its surrounding nature and gives it a warm and homey touch as well as a climate shield. White walls and large windows allow natural light flooding into every room of the house. With most rooms overlooking the beautiful lake, there are eating areas both inside and outside and a balcony spans over the entire length of the first floor.

m3 Architekten is creating and constructing buildings that are in equal parts innovative and sustainable.They like to meet the individual needs of their private clients and at the same time honour the responsibility they feel towards society in designing sustainable solutions. Energy efficiency directives are being met conscientiously, with each m3 Architekten building meeting the strict Swiss‘Minergie’requirements. Basil Düby has established the office over a period of 15 years. He started out after a few years travelling, which took him to Leipzig and Bern before returning home to Zurich. By now fully equipped with manifold experience in construction management and execution, he was brimming with creative ideas and eager to open his own office. Meanwhile his wish to engage in the field of design theory was met with a part-time position at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Ever since opening the office in 2001, m3 Architekten has accumulated experience in their field. With a focus on quality in construction and sustainable yet simplistic techniques, m3 Architekten is truly following function with form. The long years of work experience with a focus on modern, yet not modernist,

architecture are paying off in creating highquality buildings and interiors with a straightforward design. Both high-end office spaces for international clients and residential conversions tackled by m3 Architekten show an explicit eye for detail. With a nod to the new objectivity movement, the interiors show grace and personal flavour alike.This seemingly effortless taste in design is a bonus which, together with their technical expertise, will allow the office a swift entry into the world of competition, a goal which Basil Düby has set for himself to be able to apply their accumulated know-how to larger-scale projects in the future. With their responsible attitude, know how in both constructive management and design theory and, last not least, a natural sense for linear yet personalised design, will allow m3 Architekten a smooth access to the competition scene of 2016. www.m3-architekten.ch Portraits: Basil Düby (left), Simon Künzler (right) Main image & top left: Wohnhaus am Zürichsee’ (Zurich lake residence) Above: The Trident house for three families. © m3 Architekten Below: Residential home ‘Forch‘

Apart from one-family housing, m3 Architekten have also constructed innovative solutions concerning larger residential building projects. One of these is the Trident house for three families, which shows a terrific layout reminding one of a threebladed turbine. This innovative shape allows a generous influx of natural light, coming from three sides for each housing unit.

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Carnival, a time when Germans go berserk February is when carnival celebrations reach their peak, especially in the Rhineland where thousands of costumed locals flock to masked balls or gather on the streets to watch parades. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS | PHOTOS: J. RIEGER I FASNACHTS-COMITE BASEL

A centuries-old tradition that has been declared as one of UNESCO’s intangible culture heritages is the ‘Rheinische’ Carnival, held in the west of Germany. Now in February, this jolly time of the year reaches its peak and, six days before the start of Lent, cities like Cologne, Düsseldorf, Bonn, Aachen and Mainz go berserk. In case you have not heard of Carnival (‘Karneval’), Fasching or Fastnacht, as it is being called depending on the region, do not be surprised if crowds of colourfully costumed and partly tipsy revellers cross your way, greeting you with a happy ‘Alaaf!’ or

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‘Helau!’But be careful, it should be pointed out that you should never confuse these two salutations. Carnival revellers usually attach the utmost importance to this difference, due to the fun rivalry between the cities. In Cologne you say ‘Alaaf’, whereas ‘Helau’ is the common carnival greeting in Düsseldorf and Mainz. Depending on the person’s mood, he or she might even give you a peck on each cheek. Especially in Cologne, the epicentre of carnival, people tend to spread these‘Bützchen’. That is why Carnival in the Rhineland is so special and why tourists from all over the

world want to witness this time of year. People celebrate arm in arm, no matter whether they have met before, whether they are of the same generation or have the same social background. So forget about the prejudices of Germans which you may have heard of before. Germans who love Carnival tend to revel boisterously, laughing and dancing on the streets. Women’s Carnival Day: When the crazy days begin The‘Fifth Season’, as the carnival season is also being called, officially begins sharply at 11:11am, on the 11 November. Revellers then take a short break during Christmas time but, after NewYear’s Eve, the celebrations accelerate with hundreds of indoor festivities like costume balls and so-called ‘Sitzungen’: sessions, where local musicians or orators hold carnival jester’s


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Discover Germany | Feature | Carnival in Germany

good and feel puzzled for not understanding a single word, there is no need to worry. Even with an understanding of the local dialect, it is probably impossible to understand the speeches, which are often held in rhymes. The craziest days of all are the last six days before Lent. Due to its Christian roots, this week is determined by the Church calendar and takes place right before Ash Wednesday. Starting with Women’s Carnival Day (‘Weiberfastnacht’) on Thursday (this year, it is on 4 February), women take over city halls. Gentlemen, look out for your tie, if you are wearing one: it is a common rite that women cut off the tie of any man they meet, but make up for it by giving them a kiss or rather a‘Bützchen’. Thursday before Ash Wednesday also marks the beginning of street carnival, so on the following days, there are scores of elaborately costumed processions in the different suburbs.The high point of carnival is the parade on Rose Monday, an official holiday, in the inner city of Cologne. Marching bands, sambas, as well as decorated floats and wagons parade down the streets, throwing bouquets, toys and tonnes of candy to the masses of costumed people watching the spectacle. The floats often have a satirical connotation depicting caricatures of politicians and other public personalities.

entrance of a pub during the carnival season. It embodies all the sins revellers have committed, so burning it serves as a preparation for Lent. Next to the Rhine river cities, there are also other regions in German-speaking countries, where people celebrate Carnival, Fasching or Fasnacht. For example, in the towns of Baden, Swabia and the Black Forest, there are vibrant folklore processions in which participants wear hand-carved wooden masks depicting witches, goblins, devils or jesters. In Switzerland, the Carnival of Basel starts on the Monday after Ash Wednesday and lasts exactly 72 hours. Then, the so-called ‘Fasnächtler’ are completely covered in their costumes and remain incognito. So wherever you decide to celebrate carnival, in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Munich or Basel, it will surely be a thrilling experience.

Main image & left: A carnival parade in Cologne. Photos: J. Rieger, Cologne, Festkomitee Kölner Karneval Below: Basel Fasnacht. Photos: Fasnachts-Comité Basel

Ash Wednesday: When the crazy celebrations end

speeches and mock politicians for example, or hold a mirror up to society. In case you thought your German skills were quite

Finally, on the night before Ash Wednesday, the bizarre celebrations come to an end. But before quiet Ash Wednesday marks the end of the Fifth Season, revellers will perform yet another rite, which, to put it mildly, might seem quite unusual to people from abroad. Carnival groups burn a life-size straw doll, a so-called ‘Nubbel’, which had been placed above the

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Culture Calendar Save the date as there are plenty of great events scheduled for the weeks to come. From music festivals and exciting exhibitions to fantastic sport events and social highlights, Discover Germany’s Culture Calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in February. TEXT: INA FRANK

International Mozart Competition, Salzburg (1 – 11 February) Salzburg is shaped by music like no other place: the various festivals throughout the year make many renowned international artists come to the city. This February, the youth competition, focusing on violin and piano, is back in town for its 12th edition and offers up-and-coming talents a great opportunity to show their skills. www.uni-mozarteum.at/mozartwettbewerb

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Thuner Brocante (5 – 7 February) For more than 20 years now, the trade fair Thuner Brocante has attracted hunter-gatherers and lovers of antiquities. Its organiser spends a great deal of passion to give the fair its particular ambiance – after all, some of the exhibitors have been taking part in it since its very beginning. www.thun-expo.ch/veranstaltungen.html

Vienna Opera Ball (4 February) Have you always dreamed of feeling like Sissi or her emperor? Visiting the opera ball in Vienna could make your dream come true. Celebrities from Austria and abroad gather for dancing the waltz and displaying their beautiful dresses and suits. Referred to as the ball of the artists, the Vienna opera ball has ballet dancers and opera singers who give a peerless flair to the spectacle. www.wiener-staatsoper.at

White Turf, St. Moritz (7, 14 and 21 February) Taking place since 1907, the White Turf combines top-class horse racing, a fine catering service and artistic events. The horse races will be held on the frozen lake of St. Moritz, which gives the whole event a unique atmosphere. Visitors can delve into the tension of having a flutter and win exclusive prizes like a holiday on a remote island. www.whiteturf.ch


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Discover Germany | Culture | Culture Calendar

Shrove Monday procession, Cologne (8 February)

Ambiente Trade Fair, Frankfurt (12 – 16 February)

International Händel Festival, Karlsruhe (12 – 29 February)

Cologne is one of the hotspots of the German carnival. On Shrove Monday, a long parade moves through the streets, cheered on by thousands of the so-called Jecken enthusiastically shouting out the traditional greeting ‘Alaaf’. So if dressing up fancily and celebrating in the streets is your thing, the German carnival is an event not to miss. www.koelnerkarneval.de

At one of the world's most important trade fairs for consumer goods, more than 130,000 visitors from 150 countries meet up to discover new products and to exchange their ideas. The trade fair encompasses the three sectors of 'Dining', 'Giving' and 'Living', focusing on sustainable goods as well. www.ambiente.messefrankfurt.com

In honour of the famous composer Georg Friedrich Händel, the Baden state theatre presents various operas and instrumental pieces from the maestro. For some of his works there are only a few performances, so fans of classical music should surely attend this event. www.staatstheater.karlsruhe.de/programm/haen del-festspiele

Berlinale – International Film Festival Berlin (11 – 21 February) Being one of the most important events of the international film industry, the Berlinale screens more than 400 films. Every genre of film finds its place here and internationally popular films compete for the renowned Golden Bear. Special screenings deal with arthouse cinema or films for the younger generation. www.berlinale.de/en

Opposite: White Turf in St. Moritz. © swiss-image.ch/Andy Mettler Right & below: Vienna Opera Ball. © Wiener Staatsoper/Michael Pöhn

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Morgenstreich, Basel (15 February) The Morgenstreich (morning sweep), the traditional start of the carnival in Basel, is an event for early birds. At four in the morning musicians start their march through the city centre, carrying headlights and lanterns. For refreshment afterwards, people head over to restaurants and enjoy Mehlsuppe (flour soup) or Zwiebel-und Käsewähe (savoury cake with onions and cheese). www.fasnachtscomite.ch/en/carnival/morgenstreich

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Magic Comedy Festival, Baden (18 – 19 February)

Biike Burning, various places throughout North Frisia (21 February)

Are you caught in the winter blues? At the Magic Comedy Festival in the Swiss town of Baden you can find a remedy. Six awardwinning comedians and magicians will put together an evening programme so that you will definitely have your laugh muscles strained. www.kurtheater.ch/56-0Detailansicht.html?id=4809

Biike is Frisian and means 'fire signal'. This public festival evolved during the Middle Ages and is still of great importance. At the beaches, huge fires are sparked off to drive out the winter. Traditionally, after watching the fire, people gather together to eat green cabbage, a famous North German dish. www.nordseetourismus.de/biikebrennennordsee


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Discover Germany | Culture | Culture Calendar Il Ballo di Casanova, Graz (27 February) The Venetian carnival with its extravagant costumes and mysterious masques is famous around the world. However, every year the Austrian city of Graz also hosts an Italianinspired ball, Il Ballo di Casanova, with a dress code including an evening dress with a Venetian eye mask or a Rococo costume. A highlight is the election of the Casanova: where candidates can sing, dance or recite a poem in front of a jury to show their potential. www.ilballodicasanova.at Mozart! The Musical, Vienna (various dates throughout February) This musical offers a modern approach to the biography of the musical genius. Mozart appears as two opponent figures: The 'human', grown-up Wolfgang and the prodigy Amadeus. Whereas Amadeus composes without respite, the character Wolfgang gambles, drinks and tries to break with conventions. www.musicalvienna.at/index.php/de/spielplan

Opposite top: International Mozart Competition. © Christian Schneider Opposite bottom: Shrove Monday procession at Cologne’s carnival. © J. Rieger, Köln/Festkomitee Kölner Karneval Above: The Berlinale. © Ali Ghandtschi/Berlinale 2015 Top right: The Ambiente Trade Fair in Frankfurt. © Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Welzel (image 1& 2) Right & below: The Ambiente Trade Fair in Frankfurt. © Messe Frankfurt Exhibiton GmbH / Valentin (image 3 & 4)

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Discover Germany | Culture | Barbara Geier

Going Carnival crazy TEXT: BARBARA GEIER

Once a year, Germans are going bonkers. Okay, stop right there. Obviously, that’s not right. Because it’s not each and every German losing their marbles. Also, who only goes mad once a year? Impossible! But for the purposes of this special Carnival column, it sounded like a good sentence to start with. Karneval, or Fasching (or a number of other terms, but we’ll get to that later), is one of those German cultural phenomena – if I may call it so – that cannot really be explained. It needs to be experienced in order to really know what it’s about. An English friend of mine arrived in Cologne last year on Rose Monday, the day of the big carnival parade (i.e. complete mayhem with masses of people in silly costumes getting very drunk in silly costumes throwing sweets and singing weird songs), without being aware of this special date or event and upon stepping off the train and into town, he was completely and absolutely flabbergasted:“I thought I’d ended up in a lunatic asylum.”He didn’t quite take to the whole thing and I can’t blame him. Many Germans outside the carnival strongholds, which are mainly in the Rhineland in and around Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mainz and in southern Germany, don’t really get it either. And even if you’ve grown up with it as I have in a region that is part of the German southwestern carnival belt, that doesn’t mean that you’re naturally up for it. I remember as a child that it was all well and good, as it made for some extra holidays and getting into fancy dresses for kinder-

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garten or school. But, as I grew older, it turned out I’m not much one for dressing up in silly costumes and found it all a bit of a drag. When I ended up studying in Mainz as one of the Big Three carnival centres together with Cologne and Düsseldorf, I usually made sure to leave the city during the main days of Fastnacht with its main festivities starting on the last Thursday before Lent and culminating in the big parade with elaborate floats on Rosenmontag (Rose Monday). It’s fun, yes, but sometimes it’s just all a bit much if you’re not into organised fun on a grand scale, if you know what I mean. Now, you might have noticed that I used a different word there, Fastnacht and not Karneval. With Germany being Germany, things are, of course, not straightforward on a linguistic level and there are a number of terms all describing the same thing. Depending on where in Germany you’re from, you either call it Karneval, Fastnacht, Fasnacht, Fasching, Fasnet… do you want me to go on? Whichever one you choose to use, just remember that if you really want to make yourself very popular (not) with someone from Cologne, call it Fasching or Fasnacht or anything else apart from Karneval.They don’t like that at all because it’s Karneval all the way there and nothing else, as I learned when I once had a colleague from Cologne who literally couldn’t stand it when I spoke of Fasching because that’s what it’s called where I come from. In any case, and never mind my fairly unenthusiastic carnivalistic self, I’d recom-

mend anyone who’s curious about experiencing something specifically German to give it a go and make up their own mind. And there’s, after all, nothing to be said about collectively going bonkers once a year. As long as you use the right word for it and don’t upset the locals…

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


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Burgruine Aggstein

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Profile for Scan Client Publishing

Discover Germany, Issue 35, February 2016  

Discover Germany promotes German, Swiss & Austrian Design, Tourism, Food, Culture and Business.

Discover Germany, Issue 35, February 2016  

Discover Germany promotes German, Swiss & Austrian Design, Tourism, Food, Culture and Business.