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THERE IS JUST ONE TRUE STYLE. MINE.


Contents JULY 2016

6 Photo: © Monic Schmidheiny

COVER FEATURE 6

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50 Photo: © Verwaltung Schloss Bruehl

Tom Wlaschiha We spoke to German actor Tom Wlaschiha, who is famous for playing Jaqen H’ghar in the hit series Game of Thrones, about his international career and much more.

42 Top Culinary Region Potsdam-Mittelmark is a region that has far more to offer than exceptional natural beauty. What many do not know is that it is a true hotspot for many great products and delicacies.

SPECIAL THEMES

44 Restaurant of the Month At the El Gaucho in Vienna’s Design Tower, one can find exceptional steaks, great meals, fine wines and an elegant, stylish interior.

Everything for the Perfect Wedding Wedding season is in full swing and if you are not attending your own wedding, you are probably invited to someone else’s. This special theme introduces some great ideas and event locations for your wedding plans.

25 Made in Germany The label ‘Made in Germany’ stands for highest quality all around the world. Our special theme takes a closer look at some innovative companies and their great products. 33 Cats & Dogs The German pet supplies market is booming and more and more innovative accessories for pets can be found. We selected some great brands with products for you and your beloved pet. 57 Best of Grisons Grisons is the most south-eastern canton of Switzerland and offers a diverse landscape, rich culture and great tourism destinations. 66 Germany’s Business Coaches & Consulting Experts Coaching has become an established and demanded instrument for personal and professional development. Of course, Germany is part of this trend and offers unmatched experts in this field.

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FEATURES

46 City of the Month Our city of the month is Tübingen, a traditional university town in central Baden-Württemberg. Find out what it has to offer. 48 Attraction of the Month If you seek some exceptional art, the Museum Lothar Fischer in Neumarkt is a great place to visit. 50 UNESCO World Heritage Our writer Thomas Schroers takes a closer look at some of Germany’s greatest UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 54 Driving the Limes Road Our writer Stuart Forster has travelled along Germany’s scenic Limes Road and explains us what the 750-kilometre-long route offers tourists and how it enables them to enjoy authentic German culture. 60 Hotel of the Month The three-star Hotel des Alpes in Flims in the heart of Grisons offers exceptional surroundings, a great wellness landscape and warm hospitality.

Photo: © Klaus Bauer, photomotion

87 Festival Summer Young people tend to leave behind warm showers and other comforts in the months of July and August to visit one of the DACH region’s great music festivals. Discover Germany finds out why.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 10 Fashion Finds Our fashion pages prepare you for the wedding season this month. Check out what the DACH region’s designer have to offer. 12 Dedicated to Design This month’s design section boasts everything from an exciting barbeque to fine paper accessories or fashionable shoes. 64 Business Our business section is filled with great legal and financial advisors, architects, business coaches and consultants, as well as innovative companies. Our columnist Gregor Kleinknecht also takes a closer look at the legal aspect of fake online reviews. 90 Culture Calendar Discover Germany’s culture calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in July. 94 Barbara Geier This month, our columnist Barbara Geier talks about the special bond Germans have with their pets.

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 3


Dear Reader,

Discover Germany Issue 40, July 2016 Published 06.2016 ISSN 2051-7718 Published by Scan Magazine Ltd. Print Liquid Graphic Ltd. Executive Editor Thomas Winther Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Nane Steinhoff Copy-Editor Isa Hemphrey Graphic Designer Mercedes Moulia Feature Writer Thomas Schroers

Nadine Carstens Elisabeth Doehne Dorina Reichhold Ina Frank Gregor Kleinknecht Barbara Geier Stuart Forster Cover Photo Monic Schmidheiny Sales & Key Account Managers Emma Fabritius Nørregaard Laura Hummer Noura Draoui Sophie Blecha Freya Plakolb Publisher: SCAN GROUP Scan Magazine Ltd. 15B Bell Yard Mews Bermondsey Street London SE1 3YT United Kingdom Phone: +44 (0)870 933 0423 Fax: +44 (0)870 933 0421 Email: info@discovergermany.com

Contributors Jessica Holzhausen Cornelia Brelowski Monique Amend Marilena Stracke Sonja Irani Julika Huether

For further information please visit www.discovergermany.com

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

4 | Issue 40 | July 2016

Did you know that all of Germany’s federal states have different school holiday times? While Hamburg starts its summer holiday on 21 July this year, Bavarians have to wait until 30 July. But why exactly is this? Well, the federal states can individually decide most of their own holiday dates, but the summer holidays are a different matter: the summer dates for each state are chosen by Germany’s central Conference of State Ministers of Education and the Arts. Thus, the summer breaks, which are around six weeks long in each state, have rotated for decades. The overall goal is to offer the individual states a balance between cheaper and more expensive summer holiday dates, as well as to prevent all states beginning their holidays on the same day. If they would, streets, hotels and sights would be totally overcrowded in Germany’s holiday regions. So the advantages are actually plentiful: the airports aren’t too full, the traffic jams at the Autobahn are bearable and not all employees have to take their holidays at the same time. Furthermore, for the tourism industry, the demand in holiday destinations is well distributed over a broad period of time. Just in time for the big summer holidays, we have found some great things to do. For those who want to swap warm showers and cosy beds with tents and DIXI toilets, have a look at our festival feature to find out which music festivals are especially worth visiting this summer. If you prefer to spend the holiday with your car, then read how our writer Stuart Forster travelled along Germany’s scenic, 750-kilometre-long Limes Road. For those who seek to stay home with their pets while watching the final games of the UEFA Euro 2016, we have put together a great cats and dogs special with innovative and fascinating accessories for pets and their owners. Last but not least, our cover star, German actor Tom Wlaschiha, who is best known for his role as Jaqen H’ghar in Game of Thrones, tells us about his current projects and reveals why no one of the Game of Thrones actors wants to have dinner with the producers. Have a great holiday and thanks for reading,

Nane Steinhoff


cec.tuwien.ac.at

CONTINUING EDUCATION CENTER

Photo: © Vanessa Frank

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Technische Universität Wien Executive Education for Managers & High Potentials

Photo: © Jörg Jäger, Wirtschaftsförderung Tübingen

46 Photo: © Stuart Forster

54 Photo: © rock-am-ring.com

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EXECUTIVE EDUCATION • General Management MBA • Professional MBA Automotive Industry • Professional MBA Entrepreneurship & Innovation • Professional MBA Facility Management • MSc Engineering Management • MSc Renewable Energy in Central & Eastern Europe Study in Vienna, the heart of Europe and most liveable city worldwide. Work with a prestigious international faculty & participants from 49 nations.

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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Tom Wlaschiha

Tom Wlaschiha Germany’s most charming Hollywood export He is a German television, film, stage and voice actor and is one of Germany’s few actors that made it to Hollywood. Especially famous for his roles in the hit series Game of Thrones and Crossing Lines, Tom Wlaschiha talks to Discover Germany about how he managed to become internationally famous and reveals why it never is good to be invited for dinner with the Game of Thrones producers. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: MONIC SCHMIDHEINY

Born in Dohna in the former German Democratic Republic, Tom Wlaschiha quickly knew what he wanted. “At 15 or 16 I already wanted to become an actor. My uncle was a famous opera singer and he was allowed to leave East Germany occasionally in order to perform. Maybe I saw acting a bit as a possibility to see the world,” smiles Tom. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Tom did not think twice and went to school in America for a year. “It was the best year of my life so far and I have incredible memories. It also satisfied my wanderlust – for the time being.” Directly after coming back from the USA, Tom studied drama at the University of Music and Theatre in Leipzig. “My path can be described as a quite classical one as I started out by joining theatre companies in Dresden and Zurich. I then quickly noticed that I wanted to move to Berlin where I got some smaller, German TV roles like Tatort, Alarm fuer Cobra 11 or Ein Fall fuer zwei,” the actor explains. He

adds: “Then I reached a point where I was quite unhappy with the roles I was offered in Germany. The German system is quite rigid and it’s rather difficult for young actors to get a foot in the door.” Thus, Tom decided to look for an agency in London and quickly after, the first international roles came in. The actor was seen in Steven Spielberg’s Munich, in Rush and The Deep amongst others. “And many, many auditions later, Game of Thrones worked out.” Despite playing against some of the biggest Hollywood stars, he tells us that he is not usually too star-struck.“Of course I’m super happy to work with great actors because they have so much experience. I had the privilege to play opposite Donald Sutherland on three seasons of Crossing Lines. He was incredible to work with and to think that he was already successful when I was only born made it all the more special,” Tom laughs and adds: “Years ago on Valkyrie I shook hands with Tom Cruise

but the scene didn’t make it to the final cut. That’s something that happens quite a lot to young actors but nevertheless, it’s the experience that counts.” Luckily, not many more scenes got cut out of his following projects. Otherwise we might have not seen him as Jaqen H’ghar in the second, fifth and sixth season of Game of Thrones. ‘A girl has no name’ Game of Thrones fans will know that this is the quote Tom’s character Jaqen H’ghar is most famous for. “I’ve got used to people coming up to me on the street and talking to me in the third person or saying ‘Valar morghulis’,” the actor smiles. When applying for Game of Thrones with a self-shot video, Tom did not know how popular the HBO series would become. “I didn’t even know Game of Thrones. I only knew that the audition was for an American fantasy series. Of course, I am super thrilled about how it’s turned out. For me, as an actor, it has been amazing to be part of such a big production, to get the chance to work with the best people in their respective fields on so many different locations.” In Game of Thrones, Tom plays Jaqen H’ghar, a long-haired contract killer. “He has secrets which haven’t been fully revealed. This is what makes him quite fascinating Issue 40 | July 2016 | 7


Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Tom Wlaschiha

they’re in for a gruesome death. As the show has caught up with the published books, our fate’s now entirely in the hand of the producers. Only they know what’s going to happen next. However, I heard that it’s always a bad sign when they invite you for dinner,” the actor smiles. “That’s mostly a sign that you won’t last very much longer.” Having lived in London for two years, Tom quickly moved back to his favourite city Berlin where he’s been residing for about 15 years.“Berlin is simply the most relaxed city that I know. You sometimes don’t even feel like you’re in a city at all with all the green spaces. In London, everyone just rushes around the whole time and that got a bit too much for me.”

for viewers, on top of his distinctive way of speaking that makes him stand out. He’s an outright cool character.” Of course, we wanted to know how he liked his long hair while playing Jaqen H’ghar. Tom laughs: “It’s nothing new to me. I had similar hair at 24. But because I had to show up an hour before everyone else for getting my make-up done at the theatre, I decided to cut it off at some point.” So, what are the main success factors behind Game of Thrones? “The scripts are incredibly well written, that’s essential. When you have a great script, you can make a film with virtually unknown actors – as seen on Game of Thrones. None of the 8 | Issue 40 | July 2016

actors were hugely famous at the start, except for Sean Bean perhaps, but he already bit the dust in the first season,” Tom laughs. “That’s proof that you don’t always need to cast famous actors for a project to be successful. The original books by George R.R. Martin are masterpieces. I like to compare them to a modern Shakespeare with all these ambiguous and complex characters that inhabit them. These are stories about humans with all their dreams, imperfections and darker sides. You never know what’s going to happen next – just like in real life.” “Not even the actors know whether their characters survive the next season or if

When Tom does not stand in front of a camera, he also works as a voice actor and has a project alongside the German Ministry of Cooperation to advocate climate change measures and food security in developing countries and emerging markets. “Climate change is quite an abstract term which we constantly hear, but Europeans don’t really feel the effects of it yet and thus easily forget about it. That’s why we have produced a series of short documentaries which address primarily young people. We want to show what climate change really means and what can be done to ease the effects. I’ve always been interested in these kind of topics and it was a great opportunity for me to interview people in various countries and learn how climate change directly affects their lives,” the actor explains. For those who want to see Tom on the screen again, do not despair. He just finished filming Ken Duken’s Berlin Falling. The movie is due to be out at the end of the year and will also air on SKY. “Currently I’m filming an episode of SCHULD, a mini-series for ZDF alongside Iris Berben and Moritz Bleibtreu. After that, I will wait and see what comes my way,” notes Tom. “After all, that’s the cool thing about my job and one of the reasons why I love what I do. You get to work with interesting people and the job is never ever predictable.”


Issue 40 | July 2016 | 9


Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds Wedding season is in full swing. If you are not attending your own wedding, it is most likely that you have been invited to someone else’s this summer. We all know that the number one outfit rule for wedding guests is to never outshine the bride. That is why we handpicked some subtle, yet gorgeous, outfits for wedding guests. EDITOR’S PICKS | PRESS IMAGES

The German fashion label GERRY WEBER stands for exciting, modern and irresistibly feminine clothes. This fabulous dress, combined with the oversized blazer, is perfect for an outside wedding in summer. Dress £92, blazer with shawl collar £99. www.gerryweber.com

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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

A camera for taking snapshots with the bride, tissues just in case or lip gloss - pack all the things that are essential at a wedding in this stylish, metallic clutch. £53. www.goertz.de

Ceremony, drinks reception, wedding meal, speeches, cake cutting – a wedding has a tight schedule. To not miss one thing, embellish your arm with this beautiful watch from JOOP! £152. www.joop.com

When you choose your wedding shoes, choose wisely. You probably will dance quite a bit and stilettos will only get stuck in the garden. Thus, opt for a comfortable pair like these pretty wedges. www.goertz.de

The notion that black cannot be worn to weddings is rather outdated. With this elegant and flattering dress by GERRY WEBER, we say goodbye to the ban on black. The dress is made out of exquisite lace. £107. www.gerryweber.com

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 11


Discover Germany | Design | TAPODTS

From women, for women The Dresden-based shoe label TAPODTS seeks to preserve what has already proved its worth, while invigorating the new and innovative. Here at TAPODTS, girl power meets an entrepreneurial spirit and an extraordinary love for highquality shoes and accessories made in Europe. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | I PHOTOS: TAPODTS, LICHTWERKE DESIGN

“TAPODTS’ women’s shoes are the perfect companions for the entire day. Whether for business, evening or casual leisure looks, our shoes impress with great quality, carefully selected leather and with attention to detail,” notes Cornelia Jahnel, executive director of TAPODTS. Alongside Jeannette Scharf and Britta Biele, Jahnel founded the shoe label in 2015 with the goal to offer women’s shoes and harmonising accessories, such as bags or belts, that are not only fashionable and made out of sustainable material, but that also feel great. “We offer shoes and accessories in the premium segment. Thereby, the models range from classical to extravagant, from pumps to boots and comprise of exceptional colours or leather combinations,” says Jahnel. She adds:“We want to fulfil our customers’ demand for fine shoes with that certain something at affordable prices.” 12 | Issue 40 | July 2016

All of their shoes are equipped with exclusive European leather, a 100 per cent chromium-free, tanned leather interior made mostly out of kid leather and a threemillimetre-strong, comfortable memory latex inner sole. While the kid leather has a high absorbing capacity and dries quickly compared to other leathers, the chromiumfree leather protects the environment and does not pose as a health risk as chromium is said to be carcinogenic. As TAPODTS’ shoes are entirely Made in Europe, the shoe lasts are manufactured in Portugal alongside a young Italian designer, Portuguese modeller and German product management team. Customers especially appreciate that the small, family-friendly and authentic TAPODTS team is at eye level with mothers, businesswomen and friends who meet daily life challenges. “Our customers value our team’s long-term experience,

the personal contact we offer and that we combine professionality with love for designing and selling,” smiles Jahnel. The future goal of TAPODTS is to healthily grow nationally and internationally. That is why the shoe label will be present at Milan’s theMICAM international footwear exhibition for the first time this year. “Furthermore, we work with a young Italian designer on a new collection at the moment – guaranteed to be stylish and great for your health,” concludes Jahnel. www.tapodts.com

Main image: The TAPODTS team: Britta Biele, Cornelia Jahnel and Jeannette Scharf (from left to right). From top right: Sandals. Photo: Lichtwerke Design Chelsea boots. Photo: Lichtwerke Design Bottom: Business backpack LODINE, shoes and belt in ray leather optics.


Discover Germany | Design | Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design… Summer is here and the barbecue season has started. What could be better than hosting and enjoying a tasty barbecue party for family and friends? The following picks will not only help every pit master to create delicious food, but their special designs will also make a lasting impression on your guests.

BY: MONIQUE AMEND

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2 1. With this elegant ‘Social Grill’ everybody can be in charge during the barbecue. Nobody has to stand and grill alone anymore while the others enjoy the food. £87. www.radbag.de 2. The BBQ plate ‘Just T-Bon’ adapted the design of a paper plate, but is made out of valuable porcelain. Thanks to the cool imprint, the steak tastes even better. £12. www.design3000.de 3. Made out of braided wood, the Salma lantern will be an eye-catcher on every garden table. The included glass candleholder is also useable for pillar candles. £22. www.country-garden.de 4. Flipping burgers, coating steaks with some extra marinade or opening the wine bottle – this portable and compact barbecue tool is a must-have for every barbeque enthusiast with its five different functions. £20. www.monsterzeug.de 5. This barbecue basket will make every veggie lover’s heart leap for joy. It guarantees tasty and crunchy vegetables that get their finishing touch on the hot grid. £18. www.design3000.de

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Olympian design: Feuerring barbecuing has become a recipe for winners Feuerring means ‘ring of fire’ and the concept is as simple as it is effective. The trademark steel bowl invented by sculptor Andreas Reichlin allows for healthy barbecuing, shaped into award-winning design. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI | PHOTO: GÜNTER STANDL

Gourmet chef Chris Züger, a long-time fan of the approach and co-creator of the Feuerring recipe books, will lead the ‘House of Switzerland’ kitchen at the Olympic Games in Rio this year. Züger and his team will take the Feuerring 14 | Issue 40 | July 2016

with them, to guarantee fun and healthy barbecuing to become part of the athletes’ catering concept. Fire and steel are the two elements incorporated in Feuerring bowls. Resembling

the shape of a fireplace, the barbecuing steel bowl allows gentle, indirect grilling on its broad rim, from steak to fish to a tasty vegan dish. Even a five-course dinner is not a problem. Feuerring’s youngest creation and object of beauty, the ‘tulip’, has just won the 2016 Red Dot Design Award ‘best of the best’. With 41 experts from all around the world, chosen according to strict rules, the Red Dot Award: Product Design guarantees


Discover Germany | Design | Feuerring

a very high judging competence: Only independent freelancing designers, design professors and specialised journalists are appointed to the jury. For designer and sculptor Andreas Reichlin, perfection is the product of material and design: “The journey to a perfect shape, allied with a passion for the strength of steel with its intrinsic weightlessness and all-pervading serenity, never ceases to fascinate me.” 4 July 2016 marks the culmination of the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2016. During the glamorous awards ceremony, the ‘Red Dot: Best of the Best’ laureates will accept their trophies in front of around 1,200 guests. All award-winning products will be presented in the special exhibition Design on Stage for a month before becoming part of the permanent exhibition. Each of the barbecue bowls are unique and the innovative design was perfected by sculptor Andreas Reichlin in 2009 after a trial and research phase of four years. The design has often been copied, but never to the point of perfection that the original brand guarantees. The quality of the Feuerring can not only be seen but also be heard; touched with a piece of wood,

the Feuerring‘s interior becomes a singing bowl. The warm sound reveals the original. Andreas Reichlin’s initial goal was to find a way of combining the nature-bound atmosphere of a barbecue with gentle cooking, allowing much more variation than the conventional approach. The indirect Feuerring way avoids putting the food right above the fire, by placing it on the heated rim instead; a technique which in turn allows the fire to unfold its very own aesthetics. The open flames in the bowl’s centre remind one of an open fire pit – with the benefit of creating a slow cooking grill at the same time. The food is placed on the broad rim, a technique that, as simple as it may appear, allows a much more sensitive process with control of the various cooking stages. The indirect approach keeps both flavour and vitamins. With the temperature scale reaching from 300 degrees Celsius on the inner part of the rim for quick browning, to 150 degrees Celsius on the outer edge for gentle roasting, a delicate range of gourmet food can be created within a comparatively short time span. The high-grade Feuerring aesthetics turn a barbecuing terrace into a welcoming space where friends and family can gather

and sit “around the fire” to enjoy good food and company during long summer evenings. Feuerring bowls are basically indestructible and can be passed on for generations. Sustainable, practical and beautiful, they mirror a philosophy of mindfulness and attention to detail. Hosts and guests can start and end the evening together because, with using a Feuerring grill, the long wait for the ideal fire bed is a thing of the past. Eating together with friends enriches the culinary experience and with a Feuerring grill, even those averse to the idea of barbecuing can be easily convinced to join. Watching the fire together, enjoying company and excellent food no doubt always makes for a special evening for everyone. Max Heinzer, Olympian fencer for Switzerland and passionate angler, has met up with gourmet chef Chris Züger upfront, to go fishing and try out their own winner’s recipe. The Zugersee provides the perfect atmospheric scenery for the enterprise and Chris Züger’s Feuerring brown trout recipes are rich with vital vitamins through adding grilled avocado, papaya, ginger spinach with quinoa and other delicacies. Conquering the world through healthy eating: a winning recipe! www.feuerring.ch

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 15


Discover Germany | Design | Top Office Design

Think tank.

Top Office Design

Cupboard system. Partitioning system.

Innovative design and functionality combined for space-saving office solutions Goldbach Kirchner room concepts is not only specialised in series production of interiors like offices and student accommodations, but more so in developing, building and installing glass doors and partitioning systems. Based in the RhineMain area, only six kilometres away from the EU’s geographical centre, Goldbach Kirchner’s products are all made in Germany. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: GOLDBACH KIRCHNER

German craftsmanship and innovative potential are two of the company’s main characteristics. Since the beginning in 1922, the still owner-led company has always put great emphasis on new, clever room solutions. Today, as a specialist for glass partitioning systems, Goldbach Kirchner invests in innovations addressing the shortcomings of conventional systems. Many customers prefer glass sliding doors, especially in small spaces, because they use the room most effectively while letting more light in than regular doors. Here, the biggest shortcoming until recently has been the acoustic insulation. Often enough, people even say that sliding doors and acoustic 16 | Issue 40 | July 2016

insulation exclude each other, because so far sliding doors could not be equipped with the appropriate door seal. This has changed with a clever solution Goldbach Kirchner has developed: a sliding door that closes over a magnetic mechanism and so gains an insulation of 37 decibels when closed – the ten or 12-millimetre-thick laminated safety glass door works mechanically and does not need electricity or an additional locking mechanism. Another problem that often exists in office spaces, explicitly with room-in-room solutions, is the lack of sockets. When sitting in a meeting that might last for hours, people will want to charge their mobile

phones or plug in their laptops and tablets. So what is needed is a socket that is not visible when unused, but easily accessible. Goldbach Kirchner has hidden these in the base of glass walls. They can be accessed by simply opening a hatch. Electrifying the floor areas – where often cable funnels have to be drilled – becomes obsolete, which is ideal when an office is situated in a historic building with building restrictions. Next to normal plugs, USB chargers or telephone sockets can be installed. This is not the only innovation when it comes to making the charging of electric devices easier: Goldbach Kirchner also designs and fabricates office furniture and interior designs. The company has recently integrated Qi-Pads into desks, which allows wireless charging of mobile phones. This has earned Goldbach Kirchner a nomination for the German Design Award 2017. www.goldbachkirchner.de


Where form and function go hand in hand. Pavilions designed by Frei Otto in 1988. Freedom of movement: with the IN office chair featuring TrimensionÂŽ technology. Designed by Wiege in 2015. wilkhahn.com


Fine papers made in Italy fabricated for a worldwide market No matter if you are speaking of the business sector or private use: choosing the right paper for letters or brochures is always a statement telling about the intention of the sender transporting an image. Founded in Italy, Fedrigoni is a multi-national paper manufacturer with a focus on high-quality fine papers and branches among others in Germany and Austria. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: FEDRIGONI

“What we can see today is that people are starting to write letters again,” says Yvonne Galas, responsible for marketing of Fedrigoni’s German branch. Love letters for example. And often not only the words are chosen to impress a loved one, but also the paper. The look and haptic are impor18 | Issue 40 | July 2016

tant since, like words, they express that the writer holds the recipient in high esteem. For people who enjoy writing with pen on paper, Fedrigoni has a wide range of products on offer – from stationary to calendar books “with really pretty design”,

says Galas. “Our fine papers simply stand out from other mass-produced papers.” This also includes special papers people can order for crafts projects like paper with a mother of pearl effect in various colours or surface embossing, papers in different colours from warm to cold, from dark to neutral or natural cotton-based papers. Fedrigoni paper sheets and other paperbased products can be bought directly via the licensed online-shop www.paperproducts.de. Of course, this includes seasonal designs for Christmas or Easter, for birthdays or christenings. But there are


Discover Germany | Design | Fedrigoni

also special themed collections where all products – from paper sheets to envelopes or notebooks – are designed according to a special theme. Savile Row for example takes its inspiration from the famous London tailors, features wide pinstripes and comes in two colours: a light crème tone and a dark anthracite. Honouring tradition while embracing modern standards The Italian Fedrigoni family has been fabricating fine papers since 1717. After more than a century fabricating paper, Giuseppe Antonio Fedrigoni opened a paper factory in Verona in 1888, where the company still has its headquarters today. The German subsidiary has existed since 1987, the Fedrigoni Austria GmbH with headquarters in Vienna was founded in 2010. Today the company is Europe’s biggest manufacturer of design papers with subsidiaries in Germany, Austria, France, Spain, the Benelux, the UK and Asia. The paper manufacturer employs 2,000 people worldwide, among them 50 in Germany and Austria alone. Even though today it is a multi-national business, the tradition still plays an important role. But the company also looks into the future: Fedrigoni is one of the first paper manufacturers that has made the protection of the environment a key aspect in the company’s strategy and invests in

inventing new environmental friendly papers. Raw materials and production processes are also measured according to their sustainability. Fedrigoni Italy has been FSC certified since 2006, the German daughter company followed in 2007, and has an assortment of more than 3,000 FSC-certified papers. This guarantees that all wood-based products come from sustainably farmed woods. Since its founding, Fedrigoni has focused on rather special fine papers not only for private use, but especially for business. Today the company has showrooms in Munich, Düsseldorf, Berlin, Hamburg, Nuremberg, Vienna or Prague. Here clients will get all the advice they need to choose the right paper for their company and purpose of use. Custom products and on-site consultation Often enough, choosing the right paper is already a statement, part of the brand design and many designers put great emphasis not only on developing a logo or choosing the right colour scheme but also on the paper used to print brochures, business cards or letters. Haptic and look can determine how a company is perceived. Think of a glossy and sleek paper in comparison to the roughness of mould-made paper and the difference becomes quite obvious. Someone working

with metal and steel for example would possibly prefer a different paper to someone producing quite feminine beauty products. “I like to compare this with a new chair,” says Yvonne Galas, “when a designer has already designed the structure but still needs the right fabric for the upholstering.” With over 3,000 papers to choose from, the selection is not easy. This is why designers often take customers to one of the showrooms where they can not only touch and see the paper, but where experienced staff will help to sort through the vast amount of possibilities. Fedrigoni consultants also come directly to customers to give advice about custom-made products. Customers in the luxury segment, for example, often have their own wrapping paper designed and fabricated including embossing or additional security features, giving them an extra layer of security against piracy and fraud. In short: “When it comes to paper there is nearly nothing Fedrigoni can’t do,” says Yvonne Galas. www.paper-products.de www.fedrigoni.de Main image: Showroom Hamburg. From top left: Imaginative colours. Paper Products, greeting card box. Paper products, notebooks. © Werbefotografie Paper Products, greeting card box. Fedrigoni Ispira. Fedrigoni headquarters in Oberhaching.

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 19


Special Theme

Everything for the Perfect Wedding

Doris Wallner – wedding planner

Main image: © Klaus Bauer, photomotion Top right: Wedding planner Doris Wallner at work. © Klaus Bauer, photomotion Above right: Exclusive alpine picnic. © Klaus Bauer, photomotion

‘If it should affect the heart, it must come from the heart’ That is what Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said. The creative, passionate and professional wedding planner Doris Wallner offers the customised planning and production of dream weddings and special events. She specialises in the creation and coordination of exclusive, romantic, and exceptional weddings in Austria’s beautiful Salzburg-Pinzgau region.

over the years. In her work, she cooperates closely with the finest, most reliable partners, hotels and top-quality venues, restaurants, caterers, photographers and beauty specialists.

TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE

With a flawless sense of style, exclusivity and attention to every detail, Doris Wallner and her team assist her clients with all of the prearrangements, organisation as well as during and after the event. Her objective is to help couples implement their visions, dreams and ideas to make their wedding day a personal, meaningful and lasting memory.

If you are just engaged, you are probably completely overwhelmed. That is understandable, but it is always good to start planning early – and to look for professional support. Whether you want a modern wedding in a loft, a romantic wedding staged in a castle, an outdoor wedding, a mountain wedding or a lakeside setting for your special day, this Austrian expert wedding planner will realise all your creative ideas and dreams. “The advantages of hiring a wedding planner – for either the entire planning 20 | Issue 40 | July 2016

and production process, or for parts of the wedding – are numerous. I support clients to fully prepare their wedding so that they can look forward and enjoy the beauty of the moment while I take care of all details and vendors. A wedding planner saves stress, nerves and therefore a lot of time and money,” describes Doris Wallner. Planning your dream wedding For over two decades, Doris Wallner has been planning successful weddings (with regional, national and international clients), gaining an outstanding reputation

Charming and carefree “Knowledge, compassion, unique knowhow and the love and sensitivity for my ‘profession’ characterise my work philosophy and the services I provide for wedding couples or corporate clients. I


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Everything for the Perfect Wedding

try to make the impossible thing possible. Whether I operate with a large or small budget, and whether I’m planning a traditional or modern event, to me the chemistry and emotions of a celebration are the most important part,”describes the business professional. More than 23 years ago, Doris Wallner planned her first wedding and soon decided that she was going to make her hobby into a full-time business. Today she serves as the director of Austria’s wedding planner society. “To me, what could be better than to see couples’ bright eyes which radiate love, happiness, full satisfaction and gratitude - in addition to some lucky little tears? I know I have chosen the right career and that my profession is a professional calling in every way.” Services and consulting Today, the wedding planner offers seamless design and logistical planning,

enlisting a team of event professionals and trusted vendors to ensure your event runs flawlessly. Her planning services include: wedding proposals, engagement parties, get-together parties and recital dinners, after wedding parties, civil weddings, church weddings, partnering events, anniversary celebration (silver and golden wedding), renewal of marriage vows and of course the white wedding in the traditional sense. Beautiful, diverse setting The best part is that weddings in the Pinzgau, a region in the Salzburg province, can be just about anything: diverse and unique, romantic and stylish, beautiful mountain scenery and atmospheric festivals, majestic mountains, glistering lakes and scenic towns like SaalfeldenLeogang, Zell am See and SaalbachHinterglemm, Maria Alm (and others) are within reach. Couples, families and their guests will be truly amazed by the variety

of options that can be explored all year round. “My advantage is that my region is so versatile, which allows my work to meet all the client’s requirements for a wonderful wedding day – celebrations at the lake, in the mountain, in castles or traditional settings, hideaways and great romantic places and little chapels,” explains the wedding planner.“This means you can certainly celebrate your wedding in different places; a two to three-day weekend celebration is very popular. Nearby cities and great transport links make it so easy to celebrate in Austria.” www.meinehochzeitsplanerin.at info@MeineHochzeitsplanerin.at Below from right: Romantic ceremony. © Klaus Bauer, photomotion Exclusive ceremony on the lake. © Klaus Bauer, photomotion Ceremony at mountain chapel. © Johannes Felsch Design Surprise trip in helicopter. © Johannes Felsch Design Doris Wallner. © Klaus Bauer, photomotion

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 21


Flower arrangement.

Celebrating a perfect wedding in one of Europe’s most romantic cities Vienna is known for many things: classical music, the palaces built by Habsburg monarchs, the Stephansdom, the Prater, the famous coffeehouses or the Vienna Ringstraße, one of the most beautiful boulevards in the world. So it is no wonder that people choose the city as a romantic wedding destination. But where to celebrate? The Park Hyatt Vienna with its international service offers everything a couple needs for an unforgettable wedding at a special location. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: PARK HYATT VIENNA

Park Hyatt Vienna, a luxury hotel with 143 rooms including 35 suites, is an elegant building, historic but with modern touches, and has a classic style with airy 22 | Issue 40 | July 2016

and light-flooded rooms. The hotel lies in what is called the ‘Goldenes Quartier’ (golden quarter) a premium shopping destination with high-class brands in the

centre of Vienna with its famous historic places and tourist destinations, protected by the UNESCO as a world heritage site. “The location of the hotel is perfect, because guests will find everything they might need close to the hotel. A restaurant to celebrate the evening before the wedding or hairdresser and makeup artists for the wedding guests,” says Barbara Vopelka, director of sales at Park Hyatt Vienna. The bride on the other hand might instead prefer to use the hotel’s spa, wellness and beauty facilities for the


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Everything for the Perfect Wedding

preparation – or to relax together with her guests after a long weekend. The splendour of the 19th century combined with modern flair It is possible to hold a civil marriage ceremony here – something that is allowed only in very few venues in Vienna. The ambience might be quite right: built about 100 years ago the hotel once was a bank building and until today shows all the splendour of its time. The Grand Salon for example, with its coffered ceiling, wooden wall claddings and golden accents is as breath-taking as one might imagine when looking for a refined venue. Many of the smaller rooms are what formerly were the offices of banking directors and have large windows with a view towards the ‘Am Hof’ square. The Private Dining Room or the Royal Penthouse Suite are both smaller venues with a more modern design. “All our reception and meeting rooms are full of light and decorated in modern colours,” says Vopelka. The Private Dining Room for up to 12 guests is very sleek, with dark wallpapers and modern silver chandeliers.

The Royal Penthouse Suite on the other hand has something rather special on offer: at the top of the building the huge windows allow a view over the city’s roofs while the vaulted ceiling and the light colours used for decorations and furniture give the room quite an airy feel. Apart from the indoor space, the suite also features a roof terrace. Local partners and special Viennese flair From the chosen menu, to the style of decoration, from the wedding cake to the music: the staff at Park Hyatt Vienna have extensive experience in organising weddings and work closely together with partners who will ensure that everything is done according to a couple’s wishes. “We, for example, work together with a very good wedding photographer who will accompany the couple all day.” From the bride finally slipping into her dress and getting hair and make-up done, to the flamboyant party in the evening. If a couple decides for a Christian wedding in a church or likes to marry at another location – the city hall or the castle – bride and groom can take a traditional Viennese carriage back to the hotel.

To make it easier for the couple – especially if they do not live locally – Park Hyatt Vienna offers different wedding packages from classic to deluxe that cost between 165 and 270 euros per person. “With one of our packages the couple can be sure that in the end they do not have to pay more than they have planned or expected.” The packages include – according to which one the couple chooses – sparkling wine or champagne and little snacks for the reception, a festive menu or buffet, corresponding wines, soft drinks, tea and coffee, room rental for the Grand Salon with sound systems, music and decorations and, of course, the all-important wedding cake. “We have a fantastic pastry chef who makes gorgeous wedding cakes and knows the newest international trends,” says Barbara Vopelka. And because every couple has a very specific idea how their wedding cake should look or taste like, a good pastry chef is flexible and open for new ideas. In the end, to make the day even more special, all packages include a night in the hotel’s wedding suite – with late check-out the next day. www.parkhyattvienna.com

Wedding buffet.

Boardroom.

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 23


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Everything for the Perfect Wedding

Top left: Flying dove. Photo: fotolia/ackley road Above: A wedding couple letting the doves fly. Photo: Cristina FLOREA by christine photography Left: Doves in a cage. Photo: Claire MORGAN

A centuries-old tradition to make your special day perfect White doves have been representing hope, faith and peace throughout history and in different cultures and religions. The ritual of letting them fly on a special day expresses peoples’ thoughts and wishes. With Ingrid and Hans Hausknecht and their Friedenstauben (German for ‘peace doves’), one can revive the tradition. TEXT: INA FRANK

Ingrid Hausknecht explains her motivation to carry out the ritual with a quote by the author Marie von EbnerEschenbach: “‘You can only have peace if you give it!’ The most important peace is the one that begins in our hearts. With an individual ritual – how we do it – one can experience this feeling. The white dove serves as a metaphor. It is a symbol of peace worldwide. For us, it is a privilege to pass on the message of the inner peace to people through the dove ceremony.” Carrier pigeons fly together in schools. Therefore, at least 12 of them take part in each ceremony. They can find their 24 | Issue 40 | July 2016

way home all by themselves. With Hans Hausknecht having an experience of more than 30 years as a pigeon breeder, one can be sure that the doves are kept in a species-appropriate environment. The dove ceremony can be booked for different occasions, like baptisms, funerals, birthdays or jubilees, each time conveying a specific meaning. At baptisms, for instance, doves are a symbol for the Holy Ghost. However, they play a particularly important role at weddings. “The white dove is an ambassador of luck; it should reinforce the lover’s bond.

In Greek mythology, it is said that the goddess of love, Aphrodite, put doves in front of her carriage. Therefore, doves are a symbol of luck for the lovers,” Ingrid Hausknecht explains. The wedding couple can choose whether the doves fly from a basket or from their own hands. A poem, an anecdote about the couple or an explanation of the dove’s meaning can be part of the ritual, too. Ingrid and Hans Hausknecht accompany ceremonies in Vienna, Lower Austria and the Burgenland. With them and their Friedenstauben, you can spread the message of love, luck and inner peace at your own very special moment. © by Ingrid Hausknecht Ingrid und Hans Hausknecht office@friedenstauben.at www.friedenstauben.at +43 (0)650 66 898 66


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Made in Germany

Special Theme

Made in Germany

Made in Germany

This sentence is more like a stamp, a seal for something intangible, which everybody understands. Made in Germany. Three words, 13 letters, that converge to a singular meaning. But where does this significance come from? TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

In fact, the slogan ‘Made in Germany’ was not even coined in Germany. Its origins are in 19th century Great Britain. Throughout Europe the industrialisation had kick started exports from one country to the next. Suddenly a myriad of products were shipped across borders, but naturally not all of these products were of the same quality. In order to identify the higher value products, Britain legislated that the place of origin had to be stated. In Germany this sparked the manufacturer’s ambitions and after a while the rest of the world caught onto this additional effort, realising that German goods were better than any other.

To this day, ‘Made in Germany’ is viewed as a seal of quality. However, the rules have changed more and more. In our current globalised economy and in the time of comprehensive outsourcing the requirements for using the term have blurred. Especially huge companies, that are famous for German workmanship, seldom produce their whole product in the country, as in order to get the seal only the assembly process needs to take place in Germany.

Nevertheless, the feeling which is connected to the words still withstands. This is due to the various organisations that aim to preserve the original meaning and to the general trend of local production, which is carried out by the many smaller businesses and highly specialised manufacturers that chose to produce at home. For them, ‘Made in Germany’ is an economic and sustainable backbone of unique value. Some of those companies are displayed right here in the pictures on this page and on the following pages we will introduce you to a number of further ones. Main image: Fuerstenberg Omnia. © Fuerstenberg GmbH Top from right: Zentis native fruits. © Zentis Gmbh & Co. KG Rimowa electronic tag. © Rimowa GmbH Bottom: Finished soap by Klar Seifen. © Christiane Bach Soap production by Klar Seifen. © Christiane Bach

The triumph of ‘Made in Germany’ did not stop there. After the Second World War, the slogan became synonymous with the German economic wonder. Simultaneously, globalisation grew international business relations and with that the three words received worldwide fame. Issue 40 | July 2016 | 25


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Made in Germany

From top left: Engels Kerzen’s Spring/Summer collection 2016. MATTEO column for Finca candles. The exclusive scented candle ‘Leonith’, MIRA, ODAS. Engels’ organic candles. Thomas Engels, executive director of Engels Kerzen GmbH.

Tradition and creativity for the highest quality One heritage. One brand. Made in Germany. The Kempen-based candle manufactory Engels Kerzen stands for contemporary, award-winning candle art and ranks among the industry’s trendsetters. For customers worldwide, Engels Kerzens’ candles stand for the highest quality in every detail. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: ENGELS KERZEN GMBH

“We are proud of over 80 years of company history and look forward to an exciting future,” says Thomas Engels, who manages the candle manufactory in the third generation. The successful company started off with producing traditional church candles and added three additional pillars to its portfolio over time: lifestyle, premium and scent. Engels notes: “We see ourselves as co-founders of what makes a great candle today: an indispensable accessory for special ambiances in living spaces.” The company’s innovative product portfolio includes traditional christening candles, gift candles, modern lifestyle, premium and scented candles, sensual wellness candles, as well as high-quality candle accessories, such as lanterns, bowls or steles. What is special about Engels Kerzen is that 100 per 26 | Issue 40 | July 2016

cent of the products are manufactured in the company’s headquarters in Kempen. Here, beautiful colours, new designs and exceptional finishes are designed day by day while the company puts special emphasis on quality-assured material selection and assessment of all ingredients to protect health and the environment. To foster the latter even further, Engels Kerzen has combined exclusive, modern candle design with plant-based, sustainable ingredients for their most recent portfolio addition. These organic products stand for sustainable light pleasure without hazardous toxins, while using plant-based fuels such as sunflower or rapeseed oil, as well as sustainable packaging. “We have always been a forerunner in developing innovative candle designs and colour trends, but we create more than beautiful

accessories. In our manufactory, in which we still produce many things by hand, we have tested plant-based fuels for a long time and have managed to develop various organic products,” explains Engels. New ‘nature lights’ with refill systems in elegant porcelain jars are as part of this special range as pretty ‘country lights’ in preserving jars with organic stearin, vegan scented candles or luxurious aroma candles. This exceptional love for candles, creativity and high quality is sure to beautify many more living spaces with luxurious aromas and exclusive accessories in the future. www.engels-kerzen.de


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Made in Germany

Beautifully handcrafted: shaving culture in its purest form The shaving accessories of the traditional brand MÜHLE are greatly appreciated all over the world. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

A precise wet shave requires diligence, a steady hand – and, of course, the right accessories. That is where MÜHLE’s expertly manufactured design series comes into play. The handmade premium products of the family-run manufactory celebrate shaving art on the highest level – also in its first national brand store in Berlin.

tion company which combines craftsmanship with industrial precision. Besides the high manufacturing quality, the in-house development of innovative materials has secured MÜHLE’s position as one of the internationally leading providers of wet shaving accessories.

From niche brand to trendsetter

In the new showroom and store in Berlin’s Hackesche Höfe, connoisseurs not only find lovingly staged collection highlights, but also a barber shop where men can get affectionate treatment. At the washstand in the centre, visitors can test a variety of care products, shaving soaps and creams.

Celebrating its 70th anniversary last year, MÜHLE has convinced with a highquality, internationally available, full product range for wet shaving since 1945. Particularly caring: the wet shaving series MÜHLE SKIN CARE with shaving soaps, creams and after shave lotions. Elegant accessories, such as jars, bowls, soap boxes, mirrors and travel sets, but also the MÜHLE ORGANIC natural cosmetics series, successfully round off the product portfolio ‘Made in Germany’.

Here, precision is tangible

From top left: Photo: Studio Likeness Photo: Studio Likeness Photo: Mirko Stelzner MÜHLE ORGANIC. Photo: Jo Zarth

Here, store manager Stephanie Wagner also informs about the shaving brush’s hair qualities which include silvertip badger hair or the specifically developed synthetic Silvertip Fibre® for example. Fine materials, such as carbon, Chinese lacquer, precious wood or fine resin, cater for the right grip. Even the store interior reflects the brand’s affectionate, handmade theme: historical tools and utensils remind one of the traditional origins, while leather and oak wood set distinctive highlights. All in all, a holistically successful entity of manual workmanship, design, quality and durability which men like to trust for their morning rituals. www.muehle-shaving.com

Over the years, the family business has evolved into an outright modern producIssue 40 | July 2016 | 27


Peter Steger.

German vodka with Russian soul The Berlin-based company Sash & Fritz creates exceptional vodka which combines Russian traditions with German perfection and precision. Standing for a new generation of premium, high-quality vodka, only the best, carefully handpicked ingredients find their way into the exceptional drink. It not only tastes great, but also comprises of an elegant, exclusive design. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: SASH & FRITZ

The face behind Sash & Fritz is the wellknown sommelier and wine merchant Peter Steger. After a 30-year-long career, he discovered his passion for vodka and the idea to create an exclusive, German vodka brand emerged. Today, the name Sash & Fritz symbolises this successful German-Russian connection and, at the same time, stands for the close friendship of the Czar of Russia ‘Sash’ Alexander I. Pawlowitsch Romanow and the King of Prussia ‘Fritz’ Friedrich Wilhelm III from the 18th century. So what exactly makes Sash & Fritz’s vodka so special? Steger says: “We have optimised every step in the manufacturing 28 | Issue 40 | July 2016

process to ensure the highest quality vodka. Thus, only the best ingredients are used, such as 100 per cent German wheat and clear spring water from the Ore Mountains for our carefully thought out manufacturing process. I searched for the perfect water for a long time because, as a sommelier, I know that water isn’t just water. Our water therefore is pure and soft so that it perfectly supports the wheat taste in our vodka.” Sash & Fritz vodka is distilled in a small, tradition-steeped distillery in North Germany which looks back on over 100 years of experience. “To guarantee the vodka’s uncompromising high quality,

I fiddled about for over a year with my experienced master distiller because there are two more factors which need to be considered for the production of perfect vodka aromas: the distillation process and filtration. Sash & Fritz is carefully distilled five times and also filtered five times. Only like this, our aromatic German, awardwinning premium vodka comes about,” explains Steger. The taste can be described as anything but neutral. The vodka comprises of wheat and yellow fruit aromas, such as grapefruit, pear and quince. A subtle, slightly noticeable sweetness rounds off the taste experience. After all, it is a manufactory vodka of the highest quality without any unnecessary additives. It seems no wonder that Sash & Fritz has already received numerous awards from some of the most important spirit competitions worldwide. www.sashundfritz.de


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Made in Germany

A delicacy with history

Main photo: Organic Almonds Mumbai, Organic Cashews with black sesame, and Hamburger Gold Almonds. From top left: At the Handmade in Germany exhibition in Macao, China, visitors were very interested in the Hamburger Gold Almonds. Natural, organic nuts with organic cane sugar are also available in handy cornets. Bottom: The fresh almonds are roasted with a little sugar according to an old family recipe.

Based on an old family recipe, Hamburger Gold Almonds tossed in 22-carat gold leaf are a unique taste experience.

agencies also have the chance to order the luxury delicacy for events.

TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS | PHOTOS: HAMBURGER GOLDMANDELN

As a participant of the exhibition Handmade in Germany, the Hamburger Gold Almonds company was also present at the last stop in Macao, China. “We received a lot of positive feedback in China, because there is a high demand for organic products such as ours,”Tom Veldkamp states.“Now, we are looking forward to opening an online shop especially for China.” In Switzerland and Austria, Hamburger Gold Almonds will soon be available as well.

In the beginning of the 20th century, ‘Mother Veldkamp’ and her Dom Café Veldkamp used to be well known in Hamburg and beyond its borders. Her common name was Anna Wilhelmine Catharina Veldkamp, but visitors preferred to call her ‘Mother Veldkamp’ because of her sense for charity. During the winter fair, for example, she used to close the Dom Café to her usual guests in order to invite the Hamburg orphans for a day.

Based on an old family recipe handed down from one generation to the next, Tom Veldkamp and his team continue the business in tradition by offering crunchy Hamburger Gold Almonds roasted with as less organic sugar as possible.“We roast our delicacy in small amounts and only by hand,” Tom Veldkamp says. “This way, it is easier to check on the exact degree of heat.” The company only uses Spanish organic almonds, as well as organic cane sugar.

Today, her portrait adorns the glass of Hamburger Gold Almonds created by her descendent Tom Veldkamp. “In memory of Mother Veldkamp, we toss the almonds in 22-carat gold leaf,” he explains. “Thus, our delicacy from the Hamburg Fair becomes a special and healthy luxury delight.” By using the precious ingredient, Mother Veldkamp is being remembered again, since she was known for always wearing a gold-embroidered Dutch hood.

Next to the Gold Almonds and the Organic Cashew with black sesame, an additional flavour has recently been added to the Hamburger Gold Almonds line: the organic almonds from Mumbai. “When opening the glass, you will immediately enjoy the warm scent of precious spices, such as organic ginger and organic cardamom,”Tom Veldkamp says.

More than 100 years ago, the Veldkamp family started to sell home-made candy.

www.goldmandeln.de

Those who would like to taste some of the crunchy specialty should have a look at delis or cafés including small purchase departments. Hotels and advertising Issue 40 | July 2016 | 29


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Made in Germany

From the field into the glass In the picturesque, volcanic surroundings of the Eifel, four friends have come together to pursue their dream of a self-determined life. That is why a rather special treasure grows in this fertile, volcanic soil. Here at the Weilerhof, Sandra Wimmeler, Denis Lönnendonker, Rebecca Mertes and Tobias Schwoll produce exciting and unique spirits by hand that are based on potatoes instead of the commonly used grain. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: WINDSPIEL

“We are a manufacture and also farmers– that is what makes us special. We grow our own potatoes which we then use for handmade gin and vodka,” smiles Wimmeler, manager of Windspiel Manufaktur. When one enters the Weilerhof, one gets greeted by Sandra, Denis, Tobias and Rebecca in nice dresses and with bow ties or suspenders. It can be seen that the Weilerhof team clearly live their passion for great taste. Alongside the two distillers Holger Borchers and Dr. Franz Eckert, Windspiel produces the raw alcohol traditionally by hand through a specially developed procedure which makes the alcohol finely mild. “This round flavour perfectly carries the gin’s botanicals. The outcome is our Premium Dry Gin with a fine, subtle flavour. Our Barrell Aged Potato Vodka has subtle, mild potato aromas and is 30 | Issue 40 | July 2016

suitable as an ‘on the rocks’ treat – a classic gentle(wo)man drink which ages in ash barrels for sweet caramel nuances,” explains Denis Lönnendonker, authorised signatory and head of sales. Both products are bottled by hand and equipped with special handmade nature corks made out of Portuguese wood. “You can even use them as elegant key rings after consumption,” adds Wimmeler. Of course, even the paper labels get attached to the bottles by hand.“After all, quality is the most important thing for us. No bottle leaves our house before we held it in our hands,” says Lönnendonker. It seems no wonder that Windspiel’s products have attracted much international praise, such as gold at the World Spirits Award, three medals at the International Wine & Spirits Competition, as well as a Red Dot Design Award.

Main image: Windspiel team: Denis, Rebecca and Sandra (from left to right). From top right: Windspiel potatoes. The Weilerhof. Barrel Aged Potato Vodka. Premium Dry Gin.

“Our ultimate goal is to create that special moment of enjoyment for when you come back home after a stressful day,” smiles Wimmeler. Thus, Windspiel is more than a spirits manufactory as the team also creates a Windspiel Tonic Water made out of natural mineral water from the Eifel, Handmade gin truffles in white and dark chocolate and marzipan gin pralines. www.windspiel-manufaktur.com


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Made in Germany

An independent design-thinking watch brand The watch manufactory Defakto offers high-quality ‘Made in Germany’ watches for purists, while it aims to find the perfect symbiosis between form and function. TEXT: DEFAKTO WATCHES; TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: DEFAKTO WATCHES

as three-pointer watches which all impress with Defakto’s typical reduced design. Additionally, all models comprise of interesting, timely aspects: thus, the Defakto Kinetik visually highlights resulting geometric constellations through the interaction of its skeletonised clock hands. Another example that should be mentioned is the one-hand watch Defakto Mono: its differently scaled indexation fosters intuition and serenity.

Margarete Steiff GmbH | Richard-Steiff-Straße 4 | 89537 Giengen/Brenz

Established in 2009 by the 32-year-old designer Raphael Ickler, the watch manufactory Defakto stands for puristically designed, high-quality watches made in Germany. The high manufacturing quality can be traced back to the family’s longestablished experience with producing watches for four generations. Since 1924, clock cases have been produced in the tradition-steeped jewellery and watch town of Pforzheim in the Ickler GmbH. The minimalist design of the watches makes for great readability and thus creates a successful interplay between form and function. Depending on the category, the watches are driven by Swiss-made Automatic and Quartz movements. The exceptional collection comprises intuitive one-hand watches, clear two-point, as well

As a member of the ‘Deutscher Werkbund’ (German Association of Craftsmen), the initiator of the Bauhaus movement, Defakto is fully committed to classical trade and timeless design. The Defakto Akkord Modular, which recently was awarded the German Design Award, emphasises this aspiration. www.defakto-uhren.de

From left: Defakto’s Akkord Modular has won the German Design Award. The Defakto Kinetik visually emphasises the interaction of transiting watch hands. Deaccelerating one hand watch Defakto Mono.

Giant sized and cuddly

“For children only the best is good enough” www.steiff.com


Discover Germany | Design | Made in Germany

A pearl of German craftsmanship In Berlin, in the Manufaktur of fine leather goods company Munk Bogballe, experienced craftsmen combine the best of traditional, German quality craftsmanship with the distinctive classical elegance of Danish design to create products of the finest quality. AN INTERVIEW WITH DAVID MUNK-BOGBALLE, THE COMPANY’S FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR | PHOTOS: MUNK BOGBALLE

For those who have not heard of Munk Bogballe yet, could you tell us what you do? Munk Bogballe is a small, family-run luxury company based in Berlin that handmakes fine business accessories of worldclass ox leather from South Germany. When you say business accessories, what do you mean? Our signature product is our business bag but we are gradually adding to that so now we also do cases for telephones, iPads and credit cards. Why not travel bags, wallets, keyrings and so on? We are obesessed with quality, design, detail and usability and since it takes a good while to perfect the balance and translate it into the right expression, we take it one step at the time. Or rather, one product at the time. We have been practicing for a while on a number of new products, though, and they will be coming out this autumn.

Can you tell us what we can look forward to? Well, the first new things we will introduce are a women’s purse and a tote bag. With more to follow? Certainly. But we will not rush into enlarging our collection. So customers who need, say, a briefcase or a travel bag now and like your design and approach will have to wait? Or shop elsewhere? Luckily, they do not! We have a bespoke service where we tailor-make pieces. So should someone wish for a product that is not on our website yet all they have to do is to contact us. Then we will develop a design and make their dream item in our workshop. You explicitly mention that you source your leather from South Germany. Why is that important? It is a question of quality and sustainability, really. We want the best and the best leather comes from there. The supply chain is very transparent and we can see how healthy cows, environmentally friendly tanning done by tanners with decades of experience enable the production of fantastically soft and durable leather. And what about the cost? Surely, it must be more expensive to buy German leather and to produce in Berlin than to produce in Turkey or Bangladesh. It would be wrong to say that we do not care about cost. Any company must. However, to us what matters most is quality and heritage. I always say that you get where you source from. What do you mean? In Berlin luxury leather craftsmanship has a history of more than a hundred years and

32 | Issue 40 | July 2016

our bag makers are extremely passionate and proud of their work and of being part of a company that is seeking to reinvigorate and safeguard the craftsmanship tradition. We don’t cut corners like many of the big luxury brands that have already moved their production out of Europe and made compromises on the leather they use. Who are your customers? People who appreciate quality and design. They come from many sectors. Banking, architecture, entrepreneurship, consulting, marketing, journalism. Or politics, like Joachim Gauck and Obama. Final question: What is your goal? It is easy to change the world but very hard to improve it. We want to inspire people to do the latter. When you feel and smell the soft leather in your hand on your way to work or simply look at your bag and take in its beauty, it means something. It makes you happy. Our hope is that that happiness can help inspire our customers to achieve their goals and thus make the world better. Not just different. www.munkbogballe.com


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Cats & Dogs

Special Theme

Cats & Dogs

A booming industry The loving relationship between pets and owners pays off for many German companies: according to statistics from the IVH (Industrieverband Heimtierbedarf e.V.), the German pet supplies market has gained an increase in turnover of more than two per cent in 2015. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

This turnover increase means that the German pet supplies market has achieved an overall turnover of 4.11 billion euros in specialist shops and food retailing. Additionally, the online market earned 450 million euros in the same year.

small animals can be found in six per cent. Thus, in the past year, around 30 million dogs, cats, birds and small mammals have kept Germans company and, all in all, 43 per cent of all German households have at least one pet.

The study by IVH further reveals that the cat is clearly Germany’s favourite pet. Around 12.9 million cats lived in 22 per cent of households in Germany in 2015. The second place is occupied by dogs as approximately 7.9 million dogs live in 16 per cent of households and 5.1 million

In the area of commodities and accessories, the market’s total turnover was 953 million euros in 2015. In comparison to the previous year, the category of dog accessories recorded the largest growth (2.4 per cent) and the turnover with cat accessories also increased significantly (2.2 per cent).

These immense numbers obviously mean that there is a large demand for pet chow and accessories such as dog beds, toys, feeding bowls, collars, cat pillows, special bags for taking dogs for walks and even jewellery. A big trend that can be seen is that the accessories tend to get more and more fashionable and are not only great for pets but also make a beautiful addition to the owners’ homes. Discover Germany handpicked some great brands and pet item suppliers for this special theme so that you can get an idea of what great accessories are out there for you and your beloved pet.

Main image: © Kristina Dortmann Top left: © LUXUSPFOTE (IPS GMBH) Middle left: © Katharina Lehner Bottom left: © Foya

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 33


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Cats & Dogs

Main image: © Vanessa Frank From top right: Contanze (left) and Vanessa (right). © Jürgen Löhlein © Vanessa Frank © Ralf Repp © Kristina Dortmann © Vanessa Frank

The favourite place for you and your pet German start-up company Darling Little Place creates exclusive interior design cushions, which are perfectly suited for both pets and people. Here, the two founders Vanessa and Constanze Frank explain how this innovative idea came about.

cushion itself as well as, in a wider sense, your home which can become the family’s favourite place thanks to our stylish cushions on the couch, floor or bed.”

TEXT: SONJA IRANI

Not only for pets

“We have big Irish Wolfhounds and for many years we’ve been looking for the perfect dog pillows,” remembers Vanessa Frank. “But we never found a satisfactory solution that would seamlessly and stylishly integrate into our home without looking like a plain and ugly dog bed. The pillows we tried also regularly fell apart after a short amount of time.” 34 | Issue 40 | July 2016

Thus, Vanessa and Constanze Frank decided to take matters into their own hands. With their combined background in architecture, design and leadership, they founded their company and started to design a completely new kind of pet pillow for cats and dogs. “Darling Little Place refers to a person’s or pet’s favourite spot,” explains Frank. “This term describes the

Darling Little Place’s so-called duo cushion is made up of two attachable inner cushions: a quilt against pressure marks and a so-called shake cushion for an extra boost of comfort. The quilt can be removed and used as a play blanket for children or as a protective couch cover. In your car, this quilt also works as pet’s travel bed. With an additional cover also available from the online shop, customers


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Cats & Dogs

can even create two flatter cushions – a practical option to take a lighter travel pillow on holidays or change the covers quickly if they have to go into the wash. The cushions come in small, medium, large and extra-large plus special sizes on request. “Thus, you don’t necessarily need a dog or a cat,” says Frank. “The big cushions also make for great poufs to sit on. The small design pillows look pretty on your couch. But the best thing about this is that you can wash the cushion thoroughly in any standard washing machine – no matter how thick the layers inside your cushion are.”

limited editions only and continuously come up with new designs in seven colour combinations and our Stripes, Statement or Solid patterns. This way we hope that everyone finds something that perfectly matches their interior style.” Encouragement for future endeavours The greatest motivation for the two cushion designers is the overwhelming positive customer feedback. Vanessa Frank rejoices: “We are always happy when our customers send us pictures or statements such as ‘wherever the cushion is, Mailo is there’. One happy customer even created

a certificate, which attested the perfect energy that was released by our cushions.” With so much encouragement, Vanessa and Constanze Frank particularly enjoy their current tour of exhibiting at pet shows, interior design or garden trade fairs. For now, Darling Little Place is still a young start-up in the growing phase. However, more products, an English website and an expansion to deliver around the world are certainly on the agenda. www.darlinglittleplace.com

Quality first “Our priority was not to make any compromises – neither in terms of the quality nor the design or practical functionality,” the cushion designer Constanze Frank remembers about the beginnings of their business endeavour. “That’s why all our unique products are hand-made in Germany – the covers in a workshop that employs people with handicaps and the inner layers in a small, traditional quilt manufactory.” Furthermore, the covers of the cushions are made of durable upholstery, which makes them very robust and results in a longer lifespan. For the love of the environment, pets – and a stylish design Just as important as the quality is the sustainability and design aspect of the cushions. “All our materials are carefully sourced according to very strict criteria such as a successfully completed pollutant test,” explains the start-up founder. “For the filling, we decided to use polyester made from recycled PET bottles with OEKO-TEX certification.” In addition, the young entrepreneurs also make sure to give something back to the animals that were not so lucky to get a great owner.“We will donate part of our earnings to animals in need,” says Frank. The customers of Constanze and Vanessa Frank can also be sure to receive a cushion that seamlessly and stylishly fits into every home. “All our cushions are characterised by simple elegance and timeless beauty,” says Constanze Frank. “We produce Issue 40 | July 2016 | 35


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Cats & Dogs

Natural pet food made with love Escapure pet food, with its supreme ingredients and natural nutrients, has all the nourishment your pets need and nothing they do not. It is the natural – and the Bavarian – way to feed your cats or dogs. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE I PHOTOS: ESCAPURE

Healthy nutrition is as important for animals as it is for us humans. When foods are overly processed much of their nutritional value is lost and is usually replaced with manmade nutrients as well as unhealthy fillers to bulk the product out.

by the nature that surrounds us and by our love for animals. In 2010, we built on our desire to develop honest food for dogs made from pure meat,” explains a spokesperson for the company. “It was hard work but it has also been a rewarding journey.”

That is why Escapure has put their Bavarian soul into the production of high-quality pet food products. The wellbeing and health of your dog or cat are central to their business philosophy – and all of their products are made with love. This means that only supremely sourced ingredients, the best cuts of meat and no additives or grain products are used in the manufacturing process.

Today, the Bavarian company led by the Hibler family offers premium, quality, well-sourced food that is good for your animals. Escapure provides adequate nourishment – both as a treat as well as complete meals for dogs and cats. All products are manufactured and packaged by hand. Only the finest ingredients and high-quality meats make up the wet and dry food that Escapure offers. A distinct wooden aroma characterises their fresh treats and chews.

Philosophy and unique products Based in the beautiful Chiemgau, the company’s headquarters are located within reach of high mountains, green meadows, lush fields and clear lakes.“We are inspired 36 | Issue 40 | July 2016

Quality and success “As a family-owned and operated manufacturer, we have full control over the

quality of our ingredients and manufacturing procedures. We offer a colourful variety of products that help owners take care of their pets,” states the company’s owner Mr. Hibler. For example, the ‘Laiberl’ is a little treat for the dog’s palate; the ‘Nockerl’ can be used as a piece of motivation; the popular ‘Hupflerbox’ to reward your dog while out and about, and the little ‘Hupferl’ for cats. All Escapure products are available at specialty pet stores as well as through their online store. www.escapure.de From top left: Family Hibler with Nelly. Escapure owner Hans Nibler with Nelly. Family Hible enjoying nature with Nelly. Wet food for dogs: naturally sourced sausage, 400 grams. Cat dry food, lamb.


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Cats & Dogs

An exclusive ambiance for dogs and cats The German brand LUXUSPFOTE offers exceptional pet products for individualists, explorers and aficionados. TEXT: LUXUSPFOTE, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: LUXUSPFOTE (IPS GMBH)

Who welcomes you at the door in the happiest and most tempestuous way, that attentively accompanies you during the day, that exuberantly plays with you, happily welcomes your friends, protects the family, always trusts you and does not even shy away from your side during storm and rain? Of course we mean our dogs; the loyal friends, great companions and family protectors, as well as our cats – temperamental, playful and with their very own, individual character traits. Both of these two fur noses are so precious in our lives and our domestic culture that the exclusive brand LUXUSPFOTE guarantees ideal resting and sleeping comfort, beautifully decorates their feeding areas and puts special emphasis on decorating

home accessories with attention to detail and a sense for good design with their matchless, handmade models made in Germany. At LUXUSPFOTE, luxury means diligence and sustainability in the choice of high-quality and precious materials and expresses itself as an elegant expression of unique design and handcrafted, customisable models. Comprehensive functions, trendy colours, striking model colours and a large range of sizes reflect the exclusive brand’s main focus for the beloved four-legged friend. All in all, LUXUSPFOTE awakens the desire for living and wellbeing.

www.luxus-pfote.com/de

Innovation meets tradition For more than 40 years, Wahl GmbH has been producing electric animal hair clippers that make fur shearing at home a convenient experience for both dog and master. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS I PHOTOS: WAHL GMBH

Founded as the Wahl Clipper Corporation in the United States, the first German subsidiary with local production was established in 1946 as the Kuno Moser GmbH. Initially focused on human hair, the company’s animal branch has been steadily growing. Nowadays, clippers for fur shearing are distributed through two brands. On the one hand there is the Wahl Professional Animal brand, which includes an assortment of tethered and rechargeable clippers for professional use in grooming salons and veterinary clinics. Additionally, MOSER AnimalLine is concentrating on an assortment for highquality private use. Both the tethered and rechargeable clippers that are included in the AnimalLine are produced in Germany

in the Black Forest and exported to more than 60 other countries. The latest clipper, that offers private users especially many advantages is the MOSER Max50. Following the popular Max45 it is not only lighter, but also more quiet and energy saving. Hence the Max50, which features an ergonomic handle, is perfectly able to

manage a full shearing of large dogs, felted hair and cat hair. Transforming your home into a private dog parlour, the MOSER AnimalLine further contains a number of additional items. There are optional blade sets. There are various grooming tools, including brushes, nail clippers and scissors. There even is a hair dryer. In other words, there is everything you need to satisfy all your animal friend’s wishes. www.wahlgmbh.de www.moser-animalline.de

The Max50.

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 37


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Cats & Dogs

Exclusive dog furniture by WOOD&WANJA With his brand Oxnschwanz-Bavaria, Wanja Ruoff, Berlin-based designer and founder of the label WOOD&WANJA, has redefined your dog’s favourite spot. Elegant and sophisticated in their design, these pieces of furniture are sure to improve the living ambience for both dog and master.

Oxnschwanz-Bavaria unique and dog lovers envious of their four-legged friends. www.oxnschwanz-bavaria.de www.woodnwanja.com

TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS I PHOTOS: KATHARINA LEHNER

Oxnschwanz-Bavaria was created out of necessity. The initial idea for the one-ofa-kind dog furniture crossed designer Wanja Ruoff’s mind when he wanted to build a wooden basket for his own dog Bali. At first quite rough, over the years the concept was developed into a design that now features a perfect balance of aesthetics and functionality. “The key is in the simplicity,” says Ruoff, who founded WOOD&WANJA in 2010. “For me, good design primarily signifies to progressively omit distractions and focus on the essence of the design, as less is more.” In practise this means that

the Oxnschwanz-Bavaria comes in three sizes (40, 60 and 80 centimetre diametre) and is suitable for all dog or cat sizes. Each model of the OxnschwanzBavaria is handmade. 111 work steps are needed to complete the 11 significant features of it. In terms of the design, customers are invited to choose from selected wood and fabric to individualise their animals’ new premium retreat. Regarding the furniture’s purist wooden feel, Ruoff puts a clear emphasis on natural beauty and in that way carves out the material’s special character. It is this dedication to detail that makes the

Functional dog-walking bags for trendy humans “The initial idea developed out of our own requirements. We both own dogs and felt the need for a suitable solution for all the utensils humans and dogs need while on the go,” says Julia Kothes who, together with Sabine Kirschner, founded the brand WILD HAZEL in 2012. TEXT: JULIKA HUETHER

The current range includes four dogwalking bags in different sizes and for different purposes - from meeting friends for a coffee to dog training, long countryside walks or travels. The bags, holding everything from keys and mobile phones to leads, dog toys and training equipment, are designed by Kothes and Kirschner in cooperation with designers with equal attention paid to their style, quality and functionality. The bags come in four elegant colours and are “stylish, charming and show our passion for detail,” says Kothes. “That is why they are also popular with people who do not own dogs, as they are ideal all-rounders for any occasion.” 38 | Issue 40 | July 2016

But the bags are also robust, weather resistant and offer many useful features such as organisers, which separate soiled dog utensils from personal articles. A specially designed strap wraps around the hips and keeps the bag in place at all times. It prevents the bag from shifting or

swinging while on the go and allows users to bend down to pick up dog toys and balls while the bag stays where it belongs. Matching WILD HAZEL accessories such as feeding and poo pouches are also available to help make the next dog walk more relaxed than ever. www.wild-hazel.de Main image: Large Hazel Bag, colour brown. © Michael Pettigrew, fotolia.com Middle: Hazel Bag, colour mud. © WILD HAZEL


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Cats & Dogs

One moment in time German jewellery company FOYA have made it their mission to immortalise cherished memories through their jewellery, featuring paw prints and footprints. Each unique handmade piece of jewellery captures a moment in time, forever. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE I PHOTOS: FOYA

On a walk by the North Sea, Katja and Stefan Boscheinen watched their twoyear-old son and wondered how they could capture his footprints in the sand, which started their journey of becoming jewellery designers. Of course, this concept of using footprints in jewellery was not new, but the Boscheinens did not agree with existing methods of taking the prints, the quality produced, or the designs. “We did not like that the footprints were taken with ink on paper. Most details were lost and the outlines were anything but sharp,” Katja Boscheinen explains. “Over the course of two years we developed our own way to take the prints using step-in foam and then transferring that onto silver.” The prototype was made from the paw prints of their family cat, Puffy, and in 2011 they finally opened their online shop, which has been growing ever since. Today, they are able to use a range of different materials including gold and stainless steel.

As many pet owners have discovered, FOYA does not use any chemicals or ink, making the process of taking the prints entirely stress-free for animals. The remarkable detail, which includes capturing the claws, makes the pieces unmistakably individual.

Main image: Every item is unique with an individual print. Top right: Simply take the prints at home. Above: Silver ring featuring paw prints of two dogs. Below right: Leather bracelet with pearl in red gold. Bottom right: The original ‘Baxter-bracelet’.

found FOYA, the jewellery with Baxter’s paw print amazed them. Sadly, Baxter passed away shortly after and a memorial bracelet was designed, which still is one of the Boscheinens’ personal favourites. “We have become close friends with Baxter’s owners and are so happy to see how much meaning the bracelet has. It is not just jewellery. It represents a deep connection,” Boscheinen says and she is absolutely right. www.foya.de

Boscheinen adds: “We are very happy to welcome so many pet owners as our customers because we understand that pets are family members. We live in a region with many horses and we are recently making more and more jewellery with imprints of horseshoes.” As animal lovers themselves, the Boscheinens are committed vegetarians and treat animals with great respect. Many of their customers have become friends over the years. The owners of Baxter the dog had tried to take Baxter’s paw prints themselves using salt dough, which did not work as Baxter preferred to eat the dough. When they Issue 40 | July 2016 | 39


Hotel Bodenmaiser Hof.

Hotel Bodenmaiser Hof Where holidays are an exceptional experience At the family-run four-star superior Hotel Bodenmaiser Hof in the Bavarian Forest, luxury gets an entirely new meaning. Here, tradition meets exceptional design and guests can look forward to a superb cuisine, beautiful natural surroundings, an extraordinary, award-winning wellness landscape and a casual, homely and personal ambiance. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: HOTEL BODENMAISER HOF

Situated in the centre of Bodenmais in Bavaria, the wellness and active holiday Hotel Bodenmaiser Hof has exceptional natural surroundings to offer which can be explored all the year round. Located at the foot of the ‘Großer Arber‘, numerous hiking trails can be reached in walking distance and the national park with its many attractions is easily accessible for free with the forest railway. The Bavarian Forest, with its picturesque villages and charming customs, also caters for skiing 40 | Issue 40 | July 2016

and mountain biking. Additionally, guests at the Hotel Bodenmaiser Hof can enjoy a diverse fitness and health programme. Get fit at the ‘sky fitness room’ while enjoying panoramic views, or join one of the hotel’s sport guides on their guided hiking tours, pilates courses or skiing trips. Ultimate indoor and outdoor relaxation After an eventful day in the wilderness, the hotel caters for ultimate relaxation with its exclusive spa landscape. With great

Top Luxury Hotel Germany

attention to detail, an exclusive wellness offering with an exceptional wellness and aqua garden has been created here. “We have over eight different saunas, numerous quiet zones, as well as wellness oases with waterbeds. Our water worlds with four pools cater for year-round bathing pleasure,” smiles Sandra GeigerPauli, Hotel Bodenmaiser Hof’s manager. After a sauna infusion in the Finnish sauna, the steam sauna, the rose quartz, organic sauna or in the event sauna, which hosts shows and music, the new, cold diving lake cools down the sauna enthusiasts. Or why not head to the indoor pool with bubble loungers or the heated outdoor pool instead? The feng shui nature swimming pond with a crystal energy pavilion is also very popular. After enjoying a swim,


Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Top Luxury Hotel Germany

unique quiet zones round off the hotel’s offer. The ‘Zirber´l-Moos’ relaxation room with panoramic views, the private ‘chillout pavilions’, the outdoor sun lounge or the wellness and aqua garden with a magnificent sea of flowers are only a few examples. It seems no wonder that the Hotel Bodenmaiser Hof received the ‘Wellness-Aphrodite’ award in December 2015, which honours the best wellness hotels in the German-speaking area. A warm ambiance

Waterfall.

As the Hotel Bodenmaiser Hof is family run, guests can expect a warm, sincere ambiance and personal dealings. Apart from fulfilling every guest’s wish, family Geiger and Geiger-Pauli are sure to welcome everyone personally, while seeking to make their stay as comfortable as possible. When one enters the hotel for the first time, guests are usually quite impressed with its exceptional design which can be described as ‘stylishly Bavarian’ – a modern, yet cosy design for the guests’ well-being. Lovingly decorated rooms and suites, some of them comprising of their own saunas or Jacuzzis on the roof terrace, reflect the hotel’s aspiration of being a first-class luxury hotel that is also casual and informal at the same time. Of course, a great, creative cuisine can be found at the hotel too. The chef de cuisine spoils his guests with Mediterranean dishes and traditional delicacies that are interpreted in a modern way. Seasonal, regional and sustainable products are

used to create light and fine dishes. Thus, for example, the meat comes from the local butcher’s shop and the vegetables and fruits are delivered from regional suppliers. Whether a guest wants a fivecourse menu in the classically cosy winter garden restaurant, an excellent á la carte dish in the elegant ‘Rundai-Wirt’ or a tasty cake from the in-house bakery, which gets served on the sundeck, their wishes are catered for during the entire day. A tip for a digestif: enjoy a fine brandy from the hotel’s own distillery. Last but not least, the Bodenmaiser Hof has many special packages to offer. How about the ‘Rundum-Verwöhnpension’? This provides guests with delicious treats from morning to night which includes the extensive breakfast buffet with homemade marmalades, fresh juices and local butcher delicacies, freshly made dishes at lunch, a cake buffet in the afternoon, a five-course menu in the evening or small treats for in-between amongst others. If you have children, a great children’s programme with indoor and outdoor play areas, professional care and entertainment caters for fun for the children and rest for adults. Many more exciting offers can be found on the hotel’s website. “I hope we can welcome you soon at our hotel. In this symbiosis of tradition and modernity, we will try everything so that your vacation becomes an exceptional experience,” concludes Sandra Geiger-Pauli. www.bodenmaiser-hof.de

Outdoor pool.

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 41


Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Top Culinary Region Germany

Top Culinary Region Germany

Potsdam-Mittelmark Living like a god in the Mark Brandenburg Potsdam-Mittelmark is one of Brandenburg’s most interesting regions. While its northern part impresses with an exceptional water abundance, the southern part is coined by the High Fläming’s castle-covered hills. Enchanting forests, lively creeks and flat lowlands with vast meadows round off the picture. As creative and extravagantly beautiful as the nature is here, the locals who work in the regional food industry are just as inspirational as well as productive. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

It is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Potsdam-Mittelmark; but the region is perfect for gourmets. Here, the picturesque surroundings create the foundation for concentrated inspiration so that locals have developed a variety of unexpected products from the

natural resources that grow here despite the region’s sparse soil quality. With this big portion of inventiveness, one can look forward to impressive and innovative products. Thus, Discover Germany thought it would be a great opportunity to take you on a small culinary trip and handpicked a

small number of the region’s many great entrepreneurs. A personal touch Conscious enjoyment and appreciating where high-quality products come from becomes more important. Thanks to Berlin’s top chefs, this is a place where the motto ‘class, not mass’ is at the core of its doings is increasingly put in the limelight – Potsdam-Mittelmark. Here, above all, region, quality and manual work are important. Steffie Marquardt, PotsdamMittelmark’s business development representative, says: “What I value most, however, are the faces and stories behind the products. In Potsdam-Mittelmark, most companies are family businesses which have existed for many generations. This highly productive combination of youthful curiosity and experience brings about creativity and innovativeness.” Due to the many forests and its water abundance, the region offers fish, game, asparagus, vegetables and fruits. A rarity From left: Susanne Engels from Forellenhof Rottstock with sturgeon. © Marek Schovannek Michael Schultz from Schultz’ens Siedlerhof in Glindow. © Julian Staehle Cheese farm Hennig. © Family Hennig Prussian mustard‘ from ‘SenfElfen Feinkost’. © Susanne Posth, Senf-Elfen Feinkost

42 | Issue 40 | July 2016


Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Top Culinary Region Germany

stands for wild and tangible) reveals, the highly creative ingredient combinations make this shop something unique. Potsdam-Mittelmark’s surprises

All three above: © Andrea Metzler, Pressestelle Landkreis PM

that can only be found here are the ‘Teltower Rübchen’; a delicate white turnip. Another delicacy is sea buckthorn which is small, orange, somehow sexy but also very bitter. In Petzow, Christine Berger and daughter Dorothee were able to refine its taste so that sea buckthorn becomes extraordinarily tasty. They even brought a sea buckthorn jewellery collection to life which is the ultimate declaration of love for this food. Whether award-winning juices, fruit spreads, cosmetics or vegan gummy bears, the duo shows the berry’s versatility. International joint ventures For whisky enthusiasts, the Schultz’ens Siedlerhof in Glindow is a place to visit. What started off with Renate and Günter Schultz growing vegetables, fruits and producing innovative fruit wines turned into a family business dedicated to finest fruit brandies, gins and whiskies under their son Michael. The fact that the family stores its whiskies in Bordeaux, sherry and port wine barrels from small French family wineries shows that international com-

panies are also convinced of the whisky’s quality. When one thinks about PotsdamMittelmark one does not really think about wine, but winegrowing happened as early as around 800 years ago here when the Cistercians brought the wine to Werder – a treasure for all wine connoisseurs today. Today, award-winning red and white wines, sophisticated proseccos and sparkling wines are produced from vintner Dr. Manfred Lindicke and his family. For those who want to have a taste and enjoy a panoramic view: head to the Wachtelberg’s Weintine. “Those who say that God only lives in France, haven’t visited this place yet,” laughs Marquardt. But do not leave Werder yet – as there are more delicacies to find. Using regional ingredients, Senf-Elfen Feinkost produces highly creative chutneys, pestos, mustards, salts, fruit spreads and much more. This product range does not seem too unusual at first glance but, as the name ‘Senf-Elfen Feinkost’ (‘Elfe’ means ferry in German and stands for soft and delicate, while mustard

Töplitz is a picturesque, green island and thus a cradle for excellent cheese. When you plan on visiting Töplitz, make sure you stop by at the cheese farm of family Hennig. Here, various handmade, award-winning cheeses are produced. What should not be left out when talking about PotsdamMittelmark’s culinary offerings is fish. Did you know that one of caviar’s homes lies in the Fläming region? At the Forellenhof Rottstock, Susanne and Matthias Engels breed premium quality trout, salmon trout, chars and sturgeons, produce tasty smoked fish creations, offer fish smoking seminars and sell caviar. The Forellenhof even closely cooperates with the British caviar producer Attilus. “A small, regional company with an international partner – for me, this is an expression for Forellenhof’s quality and esteem,” smiles Marquardt. If you drive through Potsdam-Mittelmark, you might also see something unexpected – pumpkins. The world’s largest berry is a delicacy with a huge taste diversity. When Thomas Syring did an internship in the Steiermark in 2002, this diversity made him fall in love with the pumpkin so that he took it back to Zauchwitz in PotsdamMittelmark. Today, his delicatessen store shows how diverse pumpkins really are. All of these examples show that PotsdamMittelmark is a magical region which inspires a variety of culinary wizards. Why not explore what this enchanting region has to offer for your tastebuds? www.potsdam-mittelmark.de www.sandokan.de www.syring-feinkost.de www.glina-whisky.de www.weinbau-lindicke.de www.senf-elfen.de www.hofkaeserei-hennig.de www.forellenhof-rottstock.de From left: Christine Berger, the sea buckthorn specialist. © Christine Berger GmbH & Co. KG in Petzow Dr. Manfred Lindicke and his daughter Katharina. © Anke Kassin, Weinbau Dr. Lindicke, Michael Horchler Pumpkin delicacies made in Potsdam-Mittelmark. © Thomas Syring

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 43


Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Restaurant of the Month Austria

Restaurant of the Month Austria

‘The best steaks from Vienna to Buenos Aires‘ Fancy gratinated scallops with chorizo-chilli butter as a starter, followed by a tasty rib-eye steak with leaf spinach, chilli and pine nuts on the side? At the El Gaucho in Vienna’s centrally located Design Tower, one can not only find great meals and steaks but also fine wines and an elegant, stylish interior. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: WERNER KRUG

When one enters the El Gaucho in Vienna’s Design Tower, which is only ten minutes away from the city’s hotspots, one accesses a world of good taste. Here, modernity meets a rustic ambiance and exceptional design elements are combined with cosiness for that special ‘gaucho feeling’. Quality and creativity stand at the core of the restaurant’s doings. Thus, only high-quality, fresh and seasonal ingredients are served. A place for foodies, families and friends, the steak restaurant serves the most mouth-watering steak variations, sides, specials and desserts. Steak enthusiasts will find everything their heart desires at the El Gaucho – not only because of the exceptional grills which are produced in-house and“are strict business secrets”, smiles Nina Wanz, marketing representative at El Gaucho. 44 | Issue 40 | July 2016

Solely high-quality Argentinian organic beef from controlled farms or regional, Austrian and Bavarian dry-aged beef is used from local farmers and has matured for 32 days. How about an Argentinian ribeye steak? This finely marbled meat creates a tender, juicy and exceptionally flavourful taste. For the more hungry customers, the restaurant offers four different cuts for steaks over 300 grams: the classical cut, the churrasco cut with an exceptional marinade, the corona cut or the double eye cut for an even juicier taste experience. “Sides that are especially popular are the typically Argentinian humitas (sweetcorn pockets) or the chimichurri - an Argentinian steak marinade,” adds Wanz. Furthermore, the restaurant interestingly combines typical Argentinian dishes with

an international cuisine so that other creative dishes such as tasty lobster pasta are also on offer. A great variety of national and international wines rounds off the experience. Last but not least, one can enjoy the Late Night Steak special until 11pm which includes a 200-gram rump steak, a sauce and a side dish for 17 euros. Another great offer is the Afterwork Steak special where a 200-gram rump steak, a side and a house beer, a non-alcoholic beverage or a white-wine spritzer are on offer for 20 euros. If you do not happen to be in Vienna, do not despair. El Gaucho can also be found in Munich, Graz and Baden. www.elgaucho.at/wien From left: El Gaucho’s interior. El Gaucho’s location: the Design Tower. Steaks on the barbecue. Double eye cut for extra taste. Steak skewer.


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Discover Germany | Culture | City of the Month Germany

City of the Month Germany

University town Tübingen

Top left: Beautiful Neckar. © Jörg Jäger, Wirtschaftsförderung Tübingen Top right: A Tübingen tradition: a boat ride on the Stocherkahn. © Jens Klatt, Wirtschaftsförderung Tübingen From bottom left: Summer concerts at cloyster Bebenhausen, Barock Ensemble Inégal Prag. © VOJTECHVLK.COM Summer theatre. © Lutz Schelhorn Tübingen market square. © Jörg Jäger, Wirtschaftsförderung Tübingen

Young – responsible – innovative living Tübingen is a small, traditional university town that has a distinctive quality – and culture – of living. The town is characterised by both its historical charm as well as its youthful, conscious and sustainable way of life. The summer and fall months offer many ways to experience the culture, nature and flair of this vital, bustling town. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE

Small steps, narrow alleys, large parks and pointed gables make up the townscape of old Tübingen. Narrow cobblestone alleys wind between countless timber-framed houses dating back to the 15th and 16th century. The streets are lined with numerous outdoor cafés, wine taverns and student bars as well as unusual small shops. “We pride ourselves embracing a unique 46 | Issue 40 | July 2016

quality of life marked by individuality, intellectual curiosity, conscious living, and respect for history and nature,” explains Ms. Feiler, a spokesperson for the city. The Swabian university city with over 86,000 inhabitants and 28,000 students combines the flair of a lovingly renovated city centre dating back to the Middle

Ages with the colourful, bustling and vital consciousness of a young and cosmopolitan student city. It is, in fact, the state’s youngest city. Single travellers, families and groups can explore and experience the unique culture that the town’s residents, merchants and students cherish and uphold. Historical, cultural and vital charm Located 40 kilometres south of Stuttgart between the Schönbuch Forest and the Swabian Hills – on a ridge between the Neckar and Ammer rivers in the state of Baden-Württemberg – the old university town is easily reached for a day or weekend trip. The climate is often said to resemble a


Discover Germany | Culture | City of the Month Germany

Mediterranean atmosphere, especially in the summer months. Tübingen combines the flair of a medieval city centre with the youthful vitality of a student town. The River Neckar runs right through the town centre, and taking a boat trip in a famous ‘Stocherkahn’ – the boat exclusive to Tübingen that is propelled by a long wooden pole — offers a scenic view of the picturesque Neckar waterfront with the famous Hölderlin Tower. During the summer (MaySeptember), guests can take ‘Stocherkahn’ tours daily at 1pm and Saturdays at 5pm, as well as after-work events on Thursday and Friday at 6:30pm. Exhibitions at Tübingen’s famous art galleries and museums, as well as theatres, cinemas and festivals emphasise the diversity of Tübingen’s cultural aspects. The weekly farmer’s market is held Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the historic market square, and on Saturdays in front of the Jakobus church. Bag glossy fruits and vegetables, ovenfresh bread and local honey and herbs at this regional gem.

The pedestrian-friendly old town invites visitors to browse the shops or settle in one of the cafés along the way. The ‘Gassentreffen’-Tour is an individualised way to get to talk and visit local shopkeepers, merchants and artisan craftsmen that are well represented in the town. It is part of the ‘Tübinger Melange’, a three-day visitor package. Visitors can get a sense of how engaged, responsible and connected Tübingen’s residents and business owners are with their environments – historical, political and cultural. “As a town, Tübingen shows how to connect growth and high quality of life with the awareness for nature and climate protection,” states Tübingen’s mayor Boris Palmer. Centre of knowledge and research For hundreds of years, Tübingen has also been a town of science. The Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, dating back to 1477, is one of Germany’s oldest and best schools, attracting students to its internationally renowned programmes in medicine, the natural sciences and

the humanities. Facilities such as the University Medical Centre, the Max Planck Institutes and other establishments offer an excellent research and learning environment. Dates for summer 2016 Among the cultural highlights for this summer are Tübingen’s summer theatre on the Neckarinsel (Shakespeare’s As You Like It), Tübingen’s Summer University (July through August, 10:30am), the City Triathlon, the Umbrian-Provençal Market, the Jazz and Classic Festival (hosted by one of the world’s best jazz clubs) and many summer concerts in the historic cloyster Bebenhausen. The best way to explore the town is through a guided tour. The Tübingen Tourism Bureau helps guests, groups and companies through providing tourist information, accommodation, tours and event tickets. www.tuebingen-info.de www.tuebingen-info.de/stocherkahnfahrten/ oeffentlichekahnfahrten.html#c1732 www.tuebinger-melange.de

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 47


Discover Germany | Culture | Attraction of the Month Germany

Attraction of the Month Germany

From top left: Current exhibition Stefan Rohrer, LotharFischer-Award 2015 (until 30 October 2016). Photo: Marcus Rebmann Lothar Fischer, Jeux des cartes (Card Games), 1966, clay painted, 50 x 40 x 10 cm, Donation STAEDTLER-Foundation. Photo: Andreas Pauly Museum Lothar Fischer, Neumarkt i.d.OPf. Photo: Berschneider + Berschneider, Architects Lothar Fischer, Enigma-Variations for Meßberghof Hamburg, 1996. Photo: Joachim Lindner

Sculptural beauty in Bavaria Lothar Fischer is regarded as one of the most important post-war German sculptors. Come along and explore his heritage and that of other important artists through fascinating exhibitions shown in the artist’s former hometown of Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz (i.d.OPf.). TEXT: SONJA IRANI

Born in 1933, Fischer predominately created sculptures, but also ink brush drawings or watercolours that often referred to abstracted human figures, horses and equestrians. From 1975 to 1997, he also made an impact as a professor at the University of Arts, Berlin. As he and his wife did not have any children, the artist set up the Lothar & Christel Fischer Foundation in 2002. Furthermore, he chose Neumarkt i.d.OPf., the town where he spent his childhood and youth, to preserve his own artistic heritage and promote sculptures in general – a form of art which is often neglected by other museums. 48 | Issue 40 | July 2016

In cooperation with the city, the Museum Lothar Fischer opened on 19 June 2004, just four days after the sculptor had passed away. “However, Lothar Fischer was able to significantly influence almost all aspects of his own museum,” explains Dr. Pia Dornacher, who is responsible for exhibition coordination and information. “That’s really rare, almost as if you step into the artist’s own home.” Three temporary exhibitions per year make the museum a very vibrant one. “Representing three different generations of artists, there is one exhibition on early twentieth-century modernism, one focus-

ing on sculpture and painting after 1945 and one about young, contemporary art,” says Dr. Dornacher. Furthermore, the museum offers a broad range of activities for visitors, including guided tours in English. “This summer, we will also launch a new audio guide in English and German,” she adds. If Dr. Pia Dornacher had to choose one aspect that makes her particularly proud it is the visitor numbers, which have consistently risen since the museum first opened its doors 12 years ago.“If you come to Neumarkt i.d.OPf and you’re interested in cars, I would also recommend a visit to the Museum for historical Maybach vehicles. And for friends of classical music, it’s definitely worth to check out the town’s famous classical concert programme provided by the Neumarkter Konzertfreunde.” www.museum-lothar-fischer.de


Discover Germany | Culture | Top Attraction Austria

Admont Abbey: more than a monastery The Benedictine monastery Admont is a top attraction with its beautiful park and abbey grounds and its outstanding museums and library. TEXT: MONIQUE AMEND | PHOTOS: STIFT ADMONT

Admont Abbey is the oldest monastery in Styria and also holds the world’s biggest abbey library. Besides being a source for knowledge that has been handed down through centuries, the library is a masterpiece of the baroque period itself with its extraordinary architecture, frescoes, sculptures, manuscripts and printed works. Completed in 1776, the library holds 70,000 volumes while the abbey in total owns nearly 200,000 books. Among them are very valuable manuscripts, with some even dating back to the 8th century AD and the so-called ‘incunabula’ – books that were printed before 1500. Guided tours through the library are offered daily and this year it additionally hosts the special exhibition LOVE TO BITS. The origin for this was the pest control

in the library in 2014, so it deals with its scientific aspect to the artistic point of view in a humorous way. Furthermore, some of the biggest private museums in Austria are also located in the Abbey Admont. The Museum of Contemporary Art, the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts are just as fascinating as the abbey church with Austria’s first neo-Gothic sacral building. “Visitors enjoy the hospitality of Admont Abbey and our various sights

Museum.

and programmes for all age groups,” says Silvia Mitter, tourism manager. “Since its foundation in 1074, it has played an important role in the area’s economy and education as well as pastoring.” www.stiftadmont.at/en

Top Attraction Austria

Library.

Admont Abbey.


Discover Germany | Culture | UNESCO World Heritage

Germany’s world heritage What do we leave behind? This a very personal question. One that each and every one of us asks. Heritage is part of our life and in one way or another we devote much time to building a heritage for the future. As a country, Germany is doing the same. Fostered by UNESCO, there are numerous world heritages located in between the North Sea and the Alps that the country is preserving for future generations. How and why? Let us find out. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

No doubt, this story has to start with the organisation that supports the preservation of buildings and sites all over the world the most, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Originally founded amidst the Second World War, UNESCO is concerned with promoting what its name stands for. Naturally, certain edifices are part of a cultural identity and in that regard 50 | Issue 40 | July 2016

also part of learning about a particular culture. Henceforth, the title UNESCO world heritage is aimed at highlighting this educational and cultural significance and protecting it from whatever harm may come. First introduced in 1972, the Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage has been ratified by 190 states. All of those states were and are able

UNESCO World Heritage

to propose sites for the title, and in 1978 a first list of world heritages that met the requirements was published. The initial list comprised 13 sites from all over the world and among those was also a first German world heritage, namely the cathedral of Aachen. Since June 2014, this list amounts to 1,007 monuments in 161 countries. How to become a world heritage As mentioned before, the process of receiving the title ‘world heritage’ begins by suggesting a specific location or monument to the World Heritage Committee. Once a year, the committee comes together and reviews the received proposals. Furthermore, the committee also looks at sites, that already hold the title to discuss its respective condition.


Discover Germany | Culture | UNESCO World Heritage

In order for a proposal to be accepted, specific criteria must be met. Generally, the committee needs to assert the site an outstanding historical, scientific and cultural importance. More specifically, criteria like singularity, authenticity and integrity are combined with at least one of ten UNESCO criteria to make the final decision. Those UNESCO criteria are very exact and are aimed at further classifying the sites in relation to other proposals. World heritages in Germany In total, 61 locations in Germany have the status of an UNESCO world heritage. Almost every year since the beginning, a new site or even multiple locations have been awarded. Of course, over time various cathedrals have made the list, but there are also numerous castles and further cultural sites, which do not fit into such a predominant category. Even whole cities, such as the Hanseatic City of Luebeck and historic city districts have received the honours. One particularly interesting string of recipients highlights ancient German history from the times of the Roman Empire. Just by heading out to the ancient Roman UNESCO world heritages, which will take you from Trier, one of the oldest German cities, to all over the country, one is able to follow the frontiers of the ancient landscape by visiting the 550-kilometrelong Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes. Featuring plenty of Roman forts, travelling

along its lines will transport you back in time and allow for a tangible historic experience. You can discover extensive background information on the Limes Road with our special feature on the forthcoming pages. Appreciation and preservation In the end, dealing with UNESCO world heritages is not only concerned with our own heritage. Through its continual efforts, the organisation is also raising our attention towards our common past. Visiting the sites and looking into their unique value helps us appreciate both history and our place in it and in that way lends inspiration and perspective for our present. This is why the UNESCO world heritage title will always be important. Preserving and promoting the sites, both in Germany and all over the world, is a valuable contribution to cultural and historical learning. In fact, it contributes to all aspects that the UNESCO embodies. Losing them would mean losing part of our identity as people, which is something we cannot risk. www.unesco-welterbe.de Main photo: Grand staircase in Bruehl castle. © Verwaltung Schloss Bruehl Bottom left: Fort at the Upper German-Raetian Limes. © Verein Deutsche Limes Strasse From top right: Zeche Zollverein in Essen. © Entwicklungsgesellschaft Zollverein Holstentor in Luebeck. © Luebeck und Travemuende Tourist Service Historic centre of Regensburg from above. © Stadt Regensburg Aachen Cathedral. © Guy van Grinsven

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 51


North Hesse’s gemstone:

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, situated in the German city of Kassel, is the result of 300 years of creative landscaping. The luscious landscape spans from the imposing Hercules Monument, to the 250-metre-long water cascades, to Wilhelmshöhe Palace itself with further water features and an inspiring landscape ranging from Baroque design to English landscaping influences. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI I PHOTOS: ARNO HENSMANNS, COPYRIGHT: MHK

The entire expanse, including the water catchment area, measures 560 hectares (5.6 square kilometres). Regarded as one of the largest in Europe, the park forms Germany’s 38th World Heritage site. The UNESCO committee decided to inscribe the Bergpark’s Hercules Monument and water displays on the list of the world’s cultural and natural heritage in June 2013, acknowledging the property as a unique cultural landscape. The selection was made on the base of the Bergpark’s water features posing “an outstanding example of the art of monumental water engineering practised in the era of European Absolutism”. 52 | Issue 40 | July 2016

Furthermore, the Hercules statue stands as the finest monumental sculpture of Early Modern times, both technically and artistically. The committee concluded that nowhere else in the world has there ever been a hillside park layout quite like the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, of comparable size and featuring “water architecture” as accomplished. Until 1866, the castle and grounds served the noblemen and electorates of HessenKassel and then as the Prussian King’s and German Kaiser’s summer residence. The Wilhelmshöhe Palace today houses

From top left: Wilhelmshöhe Palace with the Grand Fountain. Hercules Statue. Wilhelmshöhe Bergpark, Jussow Temple. Wilhelmshöhe Bergpark, Aqueduct. Wilhelmshöhe Bergpark, Isle of Roses. Wilhelmshöhe Bergpark, Pagoda.

an Old Masters Picture Gallery regarded as one of the most important of its kind, an antiques collection taking the visitor to the ancient Mediterranean region and a unique display of more than 60,000 historical prints and drawings. The latter contains delicate objects which can be explored after making an appointment. The internationally admired water features, with their multiple cascades and fountains, provide a one-of-a-kind visual experience, no doubt presenting the most sublime of Kassel’s touristic attractions. The 18th century’s baroque layout, reaching from the Hercules Statue downwards, was later complemented by a design orienting itself on the English landscaping tradition. Visitors can follow the sights starting at the Hercules Plateau, wandering by the baroque cascades into the park itself, towards a scenery of thundering waterfalls and Romantic water


Discover Germany | Culture | UNESCO World Heritage

features including a 50-metre-high geyser. Currently, the tender tuff stone of the baroque constructions is subject to careful and considerate restoration work while the water displays are in full operation. The Wilhelmshöhe Palace was built from 1786 onwards, starting with the south wing and the Weissenstein Wing, followed by the Chapel Wing and finally the Corps de Logis. During the 19th century, the whole complex was united by connecting buildings to eventually form the palace’s layout as seen today. The Hercules Monument is the pride of the Kassel citizens. The massive identitylending structure with the eight-metrehigh statue on top can be seen from any point in the city. The adjacent cascades present the starting point of the baroque water features leading downhill into the park. The fragile statics of the monument had to be fixed multiple times, with the last successful restoration taking place over a span of two years, from 2006 to 2008. Since then, the massive octagon and the pyramid have also been under

reconstruction, with a special focus on the comprehensive restoration of the strongly affected tuff masonry. The Lion’s Castle, built around 1800, is another special attraction on the grounds of Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe. The picturesque setting works as an imposing eye catcher within the park’s large expanses, presenting the ideal image of a medieval knight’s castle. Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is open to visitors all year round and free of charge. There are guided tours for those wishing to visit specific features such as the Hercules Monument or the water displays, conducted by guides from Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel, Kassel Marketing. Specialist tours offer a look behind the scenes of the Bergpark and its water features, providing visitors with detailed information about the technology and historical peculiarities of the World Heritage property. Next year marks the 300th anniversary of the Hercules statue. The most prominent

landmark of North Hesse will be honoured with a range of festivities, starting with a special exhibition in spring, organised by the Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel institution. The exhibit will focus on the historical context of the monument within the cultural landscape of Wilhelmshöhe Park and will present a selection of contemporary artists’ works connected to the theme. A grand party for visitors of all ages is planned for 4 June 2017 in the Bergpark itself. If you are planning on a visit, apart from enthusiasm you should bring solid shoes to fully enjoy the sites, especially the footpaths along the multiple cascades and water displays. However, some of the sites can also be reached by bus. The water features can be admired from May to the beginning of October. While visiting North Hesse, Wilhelmshöhe Bergpark provides a unique experience you should not miss out on. www.weltkultur-kassel.de www.museum-kassel.de www.kassel-marketing.de

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 53


On the trail of Roman history – the German Limes Road The long days of summer are ideal for exploring the landscapes and historic sites on the German Limes Road. The scenic driving route was established 20 years ago, running more than 700 kilometres between Bad Hönningen, by the bank of the River Rhine, and Regensburg on the Danube. TEXT & PHOTOS: STUART FORSTER

The picturesque tourist attraction is named after the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes, once an imposing 550-kilometre barrier demarcating the edge of Roman authority in central Europe. A network of towers, earthworks and forts ran through German lands linked by a wall, in the west, and a palisade, in the eastern sector. The term ‘Limes’ means ‘frontier’ in Latin, the Roman Empire’s common language. Letters scratched into bark by the styluses 54 | Issue 40 | July 2016

of auxiliary troops serving in the forts along its route described the posting as being on the Limes Germanicus - the German frontier. In 2005, the historic border was added by UNESCO to the ‘Frontiers of the Roman Empire’ World Heritage Site that already featured Hadrian’s Wall in northern England. Germanic tribes were treated with respect and caution by Roman forces after

Main image: Pohl’s interpretation centre. From top left: Saalburg. A fort, hidden in woodland at Holzhausen. Food at Saalburg. Remnants of an arch in Rainau-Dalkingen. Detail from the Jupiter Column at Saalburg. The Jupiter Column at Saalburg. Providing an insight into life during Roman times at Saalburg.

winning a bloody victory at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD. The Romans suffered at least 15,000 casualties in a defeat that became known as the Varian Disaster, after the name of the Roman leader, and is regarded by historians as the biggest military defeat ever suffered by the army of the Roman Empire. The consolidation of the Germanic frontier began in 85 AD. Soldiers cleared a strip of trees from woodland in the Taunus Mountains, today a region known for its spa resorts, and built towers from which they could observe the frontier. Over time, fortifications along the frontier were improved and expanded. In its heyday, during the late second century,


Discover Germany | Culture Feature | UNESCO World Heritage

the Limes Germanicus featured a series of forts and fortlets, plus more than 1,000 watch towers. Driving the German Limes Road gives visitors opportunities to visit faithfully reconstructed watchtowers at a number of locations, including Idstein and Mahdholz. At Pohl, in the RhinelandPalatinate, a tower was recently rebuilt overlooking a fortlet that provides insights into the everyday life of troops stationed on the frontier. At the interpretation centre visitors can try on armour, enter barrack rooms and taste Roman style food in the café. Apicius, a gourmet who lived 1,600 years ago, collated recipes that allows modern cooks to recreate dishes ranging from lightly spiced sausages to an early take on goulash. Archaeologists excavating along the Limes Germanicus have unearthed fragments suggesting that the wall was whitewashed. In an age when Europe north of the Alps had few stone structures, a gleaming wall would have represented a symbol of authority with significant psychological impact. Research also shows its gates allowed soldiers and civilians to pass, allowing taxes to be levied and sorties to be made into barbarian lands. Even during the height of the Roman era the frontier was deliberately porous.

military campaign of 213 AD. Yet, 50 years later, Roman authority in the region was waning and the once powerful empire was disintegrating; the Limes Germanicus was abandoned soon afterwards. The stone-built wall, which once reached three metres high, became a source of precut stone for people building homes and churches during the Middle Ages. This explains why the best-preserved forts, such as the one hidden in woodland at Holzhausen, are located well away from human settlements. Over time, the forest re-established itself and the purpose of the wall was forgotten. Its outline can still be seen as a ridge cutting through woodland. The contours of earthworks are clearly visible in places. The mysterious remnants were described as ‘the Devil’s Wall’ by the God-fearing farmers of the Middle Ages. The Justinus Felsen in Aartal, a 30-minute walk into woodland, is the site of the inscription regarded as the oldest graffiti north of the Alps. The name Justinus is etched into the face of a vast rock, which

archaeologists think could be the name of an auxiliary posted to frontier duty. Between 1897 and 1907 the fort at Saalburg, near Bad-Homburg, was reconstructed on the site of the original thanks to patronage by the German Emperor Wilhelm II. Modern archaeologists would disapprove of such a destructive practise. Nonetheless, the site has evolved into one of the most-visited locations along the German Limes Road. Volunteers and re-enactment groups meet at Saalburg on summer weekends to provide insights into life during Roman times, including demonstrations of weaponry and musical instruments. The German Limes Road sweeps through forests, farmland and more than 80 towns in four states. The route is as much an insight into small town Germany in the modern age as it is about the history of the Roman Empire. Clearly signposted, drivers have the freedom to follow as much or as little of it as they wish.

Remnants of a triumphal arch stand protected from the elements inside an angular, contemporary glass building at Rainau-Dalkingen. The arch commemorates Emperor Caracalla’s successful

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 55


www.schuermer.com Weingut SchĂźrmer - Kirchplatz 8 - 91472 Ipsheim Telefon 09846/97 78 89


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best of Grisons

Special Theme

Best of Grisons

Main image: View from peak Mundaun on Surselva. © Graubuenden Ferien/ Andrea Badrutt Top right: Crestasee/ Lake Cresta. © Graubuenden Ferien Above right: Alpine hut. © Sedrun Disentis Tourismus Bottom right: Wellness. © Sedrun Disentis Tourismus

Grisons Discover rich culture and beautiful nature From the quiet mountain villages of Bergell to the extravagant hotels in St. Moritz, everyone will find their favourite spot in the Swiss Alps to leave all their cares behind. TEXT: MONIQUE AMEND

Grisons is the most south-eastern canton of Switzerland and located completely in the Alps. Nevertheless, it offers a diverse landscape and furthermore, a rich culture. There are three different languages that are spoken by the 196,000 residents of the area: German, Italian and Romansh. The latter can only be found in Grisons and represents the uniqueness and the strong efforts in upholding old and local traditions by its people. Discover Grisons and its picturesque nature that offers many outdoor activities all year long, especially for adventure seekers. People who are looking for relaxation and indulgence during their break from the hectic and stressful work life will enjoy the area with its numerous spas and wellness oases. Castles and rocks, forests and pastures, around 615 lakes and

picture-perfect villages and cities create a wonderful interplay between pristine wilderness and top-notch modern tourism infrastructure. Since it is situated in the Alps, Switzerland’s eastern-most holiday region can almost guarantee perfect snow conditions to go skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and taking a ride on a horse-drawn sleigh. In the summer, the mountains offer adventurous biking or hiking trails with breath-taking and impressive views and tranquillity. Experience pristine nature, Romansh villages and a vivid mixture of cultures in Switzerland’s biggest natural park ‘Parc Ela’.

you can enjoy a nice city flair, various sports and delicious local cuisine. Maienfeld is the centre of what is called Heidiland – named after the Heidi books featuring a little girl’s adventures in her home, the Swiss Alps. Tourists get the chance to travel in her footsteps and experience the preserved traditions by visiting the Heidi House, the Milking Hut or the Trail of Legends around Flumserberg. Grisons stands for a pictureperfect and idyllic vacation that invites you for some relaxation as well as adventurous outdoor activities with its various regions and unique landscape. www.graubuenden.ch/en

The canton’s capital and biggest city is Chur, which even counts as the oldest city in the whole country of Switzerland. There, Issue 40 | July 2016 | 57


Main photo: Chur. From top left: The Bernina Express. Giacometti family collection in the Graubünden Museum of Fine Arts. Photo: Andrea Badrutt, Chur Extension of the Graubünden Museum of Fine Arts. Guided city tour. Photo: Andrea Badrutt, Chur

Chur – the oldest city of Switzerland Offering a magnificent mountain setting and a vibrant cultural scene, Chur is a must for every tourist who wants to visit Switzerland. Located in the middle of the Swiss Alps, the capital of Graubünden links the north with the south of Europe. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS | PHOTOS: CHUR TOURISM

Chur might only have around 34,500 inhabitants, but it offers a richer and more thriving cultural scene than many bigger cities. As the oldest city in Switzerland, the capital of the canton Graubünden, otherwise known as Grisons, looks back at 5,000 years of civilisation history. Numerous archaeological sites, ranging from prehistoric through Roman to medieval, are evidence of Chur’s long past. On various guided city tours, visitors can learn more about major historic sites, such as the 800-year-old cathedral St. Mariä Himmelfahrt or the striking church St. Martin in the centre of the picturesque traffic-free old town. Afterwards, one might take a break in the Giger café, which is an homage to one of Chur’s most famous inhabitants H.R. Giger, the surrealist painter who co-created the design work in the film Alien. 58 | Issue 40 | July 2016

One of this year’s highlights is the reopening of the Graubünden Museum of Fine Arts. After it was closed for two years, it now has an extension complementing the historical Villa Planta. Michael Christ from Chur Tourism describes the new building as an “architectural jewel, presenting unique collections by artists who lived in Graubünden. Thanks to the new spaces, the museum can present masterpieces from Angelika Kauffmann, the Giacometti family and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner in a new light”. A place of transit Although it is located in the middle of the Swiss Alps, visitors can reach Chur easily by public transport and by road.“Chur is a vivid urban small city which links the north and the south of Europe,” Christ explains. On the well-known Bernina Express and

Glacier Express trains, passengers have the chance to enjoy Graubünden’s splendid Alpine landscape. From up among the sparkling glaciers and down to a land of palms, the Bernina Express offers a change of scene like no other. Between Thusis and Tirano, it also drives through the Albula/ Bernina landscapes which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008. The Glacier Express on the other hand runs from St. Moritz to Zermatt and offers an eight-hour journey presenting some of the most beautiful mountain scenery of Switzerland. www.churtourismus.ch


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best of Grisons

Nature’s most beautiful side At an impressive altitude of around 1,800 metres above sea level, the romantic Grisons holiday resort of Arosa is located. Here, one is surrounded by a picturesque mountain scenery, breath-taking green meadows, burbling streams and crystal-clear tarns. With its imposing mountain peaks and breath-taking nature, it seems no wonder that more and more visitors head to the alpine park of Arosa to hike, ski or relax. TEXT: AROSA, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF

In summer and winter alike, the beautiful region of Arosa with its manifold leisure time activities attracts many guests. Amidst tall, proud and mystical mountains, hiking enthusiasts can enjoy over 380 kilometres of hiking and mountain walking trails, up on 3,000-metre-high peaks, which lead through picturesque forests and colourful flower meadows, passing numerous natural treasures along the way. When one needs a little break, benches with inscriptions from regulars invite for gazing at the seemingly infinite mountain horizon. The Urdenbahn cable car (built in 2014) comfortably takes walkers and mountain bikers through a route with stunning views, from the Arosa Hörnli to the Lenzerheide Urdenfürggli. The Weisshornbahn, a two-stage cable car, further links Arosa’s Weisshorn mountain with the resort and the striking ‘Hörnli’ rock can be easily reached with the Hörnli-Express. Visitors

who book an overnight stay receive Arosa’s all-inclusive card, which entitles guests to a wide variety of free activities, such as access to the rope park, entrance to the local history museum, the lido, the driving range, pedalo rentals at Lake Obersee and even includes free usage of the aerial tramways. Of course, after an action-packed day in this breath-taking scenery, one wants to relax. Situated right in the centre of Arosa, opposite the train station and in front of the Weisshornbahn’s valley station and Lake Obersee, one can find the four-star Posthotel Holiday Villa. The hotel’s façade invites visitors with a smiling sun – a small hint of what one can expect here: stunning sunrises over the mountains and panoramic views.

Main image: Posthotel Holiday Villa’s façade. © OK / Posthotel From top left: Room in the Posthotel Holiday Villa. © OK / Posthotel The Urdenbahn. © Arosa Tourism/Nina Mattli Bottom right: Rope park. © Arosa Tourism/Nina Mattli

SPA, which includes a steam bath, sauna, two Jacuzzis and relaxing water beds. The spacious rooms are equipped with a mini bar, Sat-TV, free Wi-Fi and a feel-home ambiance. A traditional cuisine, cooked by chef Freddy, who has hosted various celebrities in his career, as well as a wellselected wine list in the hotel’s ‘Pöstli’ restaurant round off the Posthotel Holiday Villa experience. So, why not explore Arosa and the relaxing lifestyle of the Posthotel Holiday Villa? Discover Germany readers get a 30 per cent discount when they book through the hotel’s website (online booking) and enter the promo code ‘summerinarosa’ (valid between 1 July and 16 October). www.posthotel-arosa.ch www.arosa.ch

The Posthotel Holiday Villa Arosa further offers its guests a typical Swiss restaurant and an 80-square-metre-large Feng Shui Issue 40 | July 2016 | 59


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best of Grisons

Hotel of the Month

Paradise in the Alps Unrivalled views and unforgettable impressions, that is what the village Flims, situated a half hour’s drive from the city of Chur in the Grison alps, is known for. Located in the heart of the region is the Hotel des Alpes. TEXT: HOTEL DES ALPES, TRANSLATION: THOMAS SCHROERS

The region, known as the ‘white arena’ in winter, transforms itself into a paradise for mountain and outdoor enthusiasts in the summer. Hikers, as well as trail runners or Nordic walkers, can make perfect use of the endless paths. Climbers will discover exciting, challenging routes in the more than 3,000-metre-high mountains. Furthermore, cyclists are offered plenty of opportunities; racing cyclists and mountain bikers like the region for its diverse routes; downhillers and free riders adore its trails. The ‘Never End’ and the ‘Runca’ downhill trails are particularly known all over Europe. Cross-country and touring riders can ride for many hundred kilometres on signposted routes over mountains, through forests and down in the Rhine Valley and the idyllic Caumasee makes for perfect relaxation. Although the modern three-star hotel does not look like it, it is one of the traditional 60 | Issue 40 | July 2016

buildings of the city. The first Hotel des Alpes was built in the same spot in 1912. The current building was constructed in 1971 and has been renovated throughout the years – lastly in 2015. Today, visitors are met by individually designed standard and superior apartments. All rooms feature a balcony and many of them look at the impressive mountain scenery of the Flimser Stein. With its own swimming pool and sauna, the hotel has its own wellness area. Naturally, visitors can use it without any cost. The hotel’s own restaurant, il forno, offers market-fresh Italian, Mediterranean and seasonal cuisine on a daily basis. One particular highlight is their pizza, which comes right out of the wood-lighted oven (il forno). The dishes are complemented by a diverse array of wine, including the special house wine Mandurino Primitivo

Main image: Hotel. © Hotel des Alpes Top left: Restaurant. © Dolores Rupa Left: Room. © Hotel des Alpes Below right: Bathroom. © Hotel des Alpes Bottom right: Swimming pool. © Dolores Rupa

di Manduria, which is certified with the Bioknospe. In the summertime, the hotel offers a multitude of activities for cyclists. Mountain bikers and racing cyclists for example can place their precious vehicles in the secured bicycle cellar and further profit from various special offers. www.hoteldesalpes.ch


Exterior view.

Junior Suite.

Afternoon tea.

Picnic.

Grand Resort of the Month

A Swiss castle in the mountains For more than one hundred years, the venerable hotel Suvretta House has ensured privacy and refined hospitality. TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD I PHOTOS: DANIEL MARTINEK

The place looks like it is taken straight out of a fairy tale book. An imposing castle, set amidst the Grison Alps in breathtakingly unspoilt nature. Guests immediately get a sense of the hotel’s history and long tradition of providing hospitality by entering Suvretta House. Opened in 1912, the hotel is still family-owned, by now in the fourth generation. Hotel managers Peter Egli and his wife Esther emphasise the values of family and tradition by actively seeking their guests to become a part of it. They regularly arrange picnics in a quaint spot next to the Cascada de Bernina waterfalls, to which the hotel’s guests are invited.“It is one of our customs to welcome our guests to these jolly occasions every Wednesday in the summer time,” explains Peter Egli. From its early days, Suvretta House has embraced a typically British flair which is

still celebrated today by serving traditional English afternoon tea. One of the hotel’s highlights is enjoying a hot cup of tea with some sweet and savoury treats, listening to soft piano music and enjoying the extraordinary view out the grand windows in the hotel foyer. Situated in one of the most stunning areas of Swiss canton of Grisons, Suvretta House is yet only two kilometres away from vibrant St. Moritz, one of the most famous resort towns in the world. The hotel is very much part of the cultural scene in the St. Moritz area, regularly hosting various events. This summer season, the Swiss artists Gottfried Honegger and Alberto Giacometti are being celebrated.

engaging in the artist’s life and works. In addition, the Suvretta Art Week from 28 August until 4 September offers paint and drawing classes led by the internationally renowned artist Nicki Heenan. Just like Suvretta House stays in the family, so do many of its visitors. More than two thirds of the guests are regulars and it is also not unusual for several generations of one family to become regular guests in the hotel; in true accordance to Suvretta House’s values of family and tradition. www.suvrettahouse.ch Grand Restaurant.

Guests are being offered two different visitor packages, including a two or threenight stay and a tailored programme Issue 40 | July 2016 | 61


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best of Grisons

Hotel Berninahaus – The place for a varied and historic getaway At the Hotel Berninahaus, located right in the middle of the Swiss Engadin region, both relaxed and sporty holidaymakers can enjoy a cosy family atmosphere. TEXT: INA FRANK | PHOTOS: GASTHAUS & HOTEL BERNINAHAUS

The Bernina houses were built in 1515 and guests can still sense this historic ambiance, as the buildings distinguish themselves by the old beds, living rooms and thick walls. Also, photos of past decades are displayed in the house. The impressive natural scenery around the hotel can be discovered in many ways. Walking along the well-developed net of

hiking paths, one can get from 2,000 up to 3,000 metres and marvel at the many glaciers. The Hotel Berninahaus is also a good starting point for high alpine mountain bike tours and hotel guests can also use the mountain railway for free. “In the region around our hotel, one has the choice between strolling and simply enjoying the summer or high alpine

Take a break – Swiss style Looking for a real Swiss experience, complete with hiking in the mountains, a tasty traditional meal and a course in yodelling? Look no further than Walserhuus Sertig – a typically Swiss, family-owned guesthouse at the foot of the Mittaghorn, Plattenflue and Hoch Ducan mountains. TEXT: SONJA IRANI I PHOTOS: WALSERHUUS SERTIG

“The mountain landscape of Graubünden offers something for everyone all year round,” says hotel and restaurant manager Joos Biäsch-Conrad. “In the winter, many of our guests choose our hotel as their starting point for ski tours or take the free bus to the nearby skiing slopes. In the summertime, there are many hiking trails and a beautiful waterfall just a 15-minute walk away.” If you like to experience the region the way the locals have for centuries, take a horse-drawn carriage to nearby Davos, the highest town in Europe. To immerse yourself fully into the Swiss way of living, Walserhuus Sertig offers a range of classes in which you can learn hair braiding techniques, how to 62 | Issue 40 | July 2016

play the accordion or even how to yodel. Families with kids have fun exploring the hotel’s playground, zoo and doll house while business people relax with a dip into the pool on their terrace. Finally, a typical Swiss experience would not be one without the food. “In our rustic restaurant, we offer seasonal specialties from the region,” says Biäsch. “On four weekends during September and October, we serve our popular game buffet. Plus, every Sunday in summer, guests can enjoy our special farmer’s breakfast, which is already included in the room rate.” www.walserhuus.ch

sports, like climbing,” Elisabeth and Xavier Christen, the innkeepers, say. After an exciting day outside, one can recharge the batteries by enjoying traditional local dishes made of buckwheat, savoy cabbage or game. Business travellers are welcome at Hotel Berninahaus too. Next to the modern conference room a varied social programme is offered, like visiting a cheese dairy or taking a ride in a horsedrawn carriage. www.berninahaus.ch


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Best of Grisons

A paradise for every horse enthusiast At the riding stable and saloon San Jon, run by Men Juon and Brigitte Prohaska, there are about 70 horses of different breeds living on wide meadows. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS | PHOTOS: REITSTALL UND SALOON SAN JON

Cowboys, western fans and nature lovers need not travel to Canada in order to experience splendid landscapes on the back of a horse. Located in Scuol, a municipality in the Swiss canton Graubünden, it is the ideal place for trail riding right in the middle of a beautiful alpine landscape: “Most of our horses are well-tempered, sure-footed Freiberger that are perfect for the conditions of the alpine landscape when going on a trekking tour of several days,” Prohaska says. “We promise to find a suitable horse for every guest.” 35 years ago, Juon took over his parents’ farm with the intention to become a cattle breeder. But when his father bought a horse upon retirement, he changed his plans. After discovering his love for horses, he first rented six Freiberger to find out

whether running a riding stable might work out in the long run. As it turned out, there was a great interest for trail rides in this region, so Juon successfully extended his riding stable. Today, there are numerous nature lovers and horse enthusiasts visiting regularly who not only enjoy beautiful landscapes and being close to the animals, but also the warm welcome they get from Juon and Prohaska. Young families have the

chance to get in touch with pygmy goats and piglets of the children’s zoo as well. “Visitors, who have never ridden a horse before, can gain first experiences with the Freiberger, while skilled horsemen go on long trekking tours,” Prohaska explains. During school holidays, she and Juon also additionally invite children and teenagers to come to youth camps. www.sanjon.ch

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Discover Germany | Business | Top Legal & Finance Advisor Germany

Top Legal & Finance Advisor Germany

Acting globally by reaching out locally:

Auren consultants help fulfil investors’ dreams in Germany Providing a tight knit network of experts for transaction services, Auren connects international investors with German medium-sized companies. Its advisers apply their skills from assessment to business transaction, with multifold expertise under their belt and an open ear for the individual client.

Lothar Schulz, “the various sectors and business concepts are common ground for our advisers. Being entrepreneurs themselves, they understand our clients’ needs.”

TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

Auren is the go-to address for international investors who would like to establish a foothold in Europe. Having been active in the field of strategic business advice for decades, Auren consultants understand the specifics of German business transactions. Familiar 64 | Issue 40 | July 2016

with Germany’s legal landscape, they help making the process transparent for interested investors worldwide. “We know the characteristics of mid-sized German enterprises through decades of consulting experience,” says partner

Connected with the international Auren net of competency, spanning from Europe to Latin America, Auren provides the bridge between international corporate law and national German legal conditions. That way Auren helps transactions to go swiftly and smoothly from beginning to end, fitting the required bits to the


Discover Germany | Business | Top Legal & Finance Advisor Germany

Main, Stuttgart, Munich and Leipzig as well as Waldshut-Tiengen on the Swiss and Garmisch-Partenkirchen on the Austrian border.

puzzle, piece by piece. Be it a smart global investor or the small business enterprise within the country, Auren advisers stand by their customers, listening closely to the task at hand. ‘Customer proximity is what sets us apart’ is the company’s motto. Transactions present a challenge to all parties involved, from the sellers’concern to transfer their lifework into the right hands, to the buyer, often entering negotiations with little or limited information. Here, Auren helps paving the path.

The business is also partnering with the Antea network, an international association of independent firms which provide auditing, consulting as well as tax and legal advice in 60 countries worldwide. With 50 successful business transactions under their tutelage, Auren Germany has established a well-working concept: auditors, lawyers and consultants know the detailed groundwork by heart and have been working together on projects for years. Gathering a vast range of experts under its roof and connecting them has proved a most helpful concept for sellers and investors alike. An experienced M&Aconsultant coordinates each process and ensures a smooth procedure. With Auren’s transaction service, the client experiences support from the starting initiative up to post-merger integration. In other words, Auren provides all services from initiation to sealing the deal. With all their global activity, Auren’s concept of treating the individual “as who they are” is their secret weapon. The aforementioned proximity to the client is implemented in their structure, by reaching out locally and acting globally. This is the key to success, both for the provider and the client. Buying and selling companies has never been made more transparent and easy, with experts of all

necessary trades pulling together on one string to guarantee a smooth transaction. Germany’s current plans for smart manufacturing, the so-called ‘industry 4.0’ principles, combine production methods with state-of-the-art information and communication technology. With largescale IT and infrastructure investments and a new energy landscape, Germany is at present the“promised land”for investors from all over the world. It is known as one of the strongest export-oriented economies and, in turn, foreign investments are substantially contributing to the strength of the German economy. With regards to all of these boosting factors, international investors are well-advised to seek the support of consultants “on the ground”. Here, Auren comes into play. From deal structuring via complex project management, from international finance and accounting, legal and tax advice up to the purchase agreement, Auren provides service all the way. By individually fitting tasks and regulations, Auren makes sure you step out on the other side having reached the exact goal you had in mind. www.auren.de Main image: © everything possible/Shutterstock.com From top left: Porsche Museum, Stuttgart. © MR.INTERIOR/ Shutterstock.com © Auren © everything possible/Shutterstock.com Lothar Schulz, Partner, Auren Stuttgart, Transaction Services. © Auren Thilo Krohn, Partner, Auren Stuttgart, International Advisory. © Auren

Auren International is present in nine countries with more than 1,600 employees – in Germany approximately 240. From auditor to lawyer to tax consultant, Auren advisers bring in decades of business expertise. With a turnover of $ 105.4 million in 2015, the Auren business model is constantly expanding and gaining more and more international ground. Started in Spain in the late ‘90s, Auren International expanded quickly to Latin American countries (Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile). Auren Germany became the first non-Spanish-speaking European partner in 2007, with strongholds in Frankfurt am Issue 40 | July 2016 | 65


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Germany’s Business Coaches & Consulting Experts

Special Theme

Germany’s Business Coaches & Consulting Experts

Experts helping experts

Main image: © flickr.com, Samuel Mann From top right: © tec_estromberg © flickr.com, y Rilee Yandt © flickr.com, Daria I epicantus

Coaching has become an established and demanded instrument for personal and professional development. Of course, Germany is part of this trend and offers unmatched experts in this field.

coaching has become an inherent part in staff development and it shows how high the demand currently is.

TEXT: MONIQUE AMEND

The history of business coaching and consulting in Germany goes back to the 1920s when the first consultants became engaged in the business. The years before and during the war meant a setback for the establishment, but consultants played an important role during the

Coaches and consultants support their clients in achieving a specific goal and help them to bring out the best of themselves and their business. According to a study, there are around 8,000 professional 66 | Issue 40 | July 2016

coaches in Germany, so the country is ranked third worldwide in the existing market of this kind of service, following the US and the United Kingdom. For almost all bigger firms and companies


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Germany’s Business Coaches & Consulting Experts

reconstruction and Germany’s economic growth in the subsequent years. But it was not until the ‘60s and ‘70s that the demand grew explosively. Corporate strategy, sales and marketing became more important and the economy restructured itself and became more service-oriented. The tasks modified into more sophisticated and global ones and in the recent years the competition on the coaching market has become tougher and tougher. In 2014, the Federal Association of German Business Consultants conducted a study on the German consulting market in 2014/15. According to this study, the highest consultation demand existed in the manufacturing industry with 34 per cent, but also financial service providers are clients of the consulting market with 24 per cent. Active coaches and consultants have often been part of the managing business themselves as former CEOs and team leaders. They profit from their own experiences and expertise and can easily adapt to their client’s situation. But this is not a must to provide professional coaching and consulting. There are also some quite successful examples of coaches that have never had any managing position during their own career. Their advantage is an objective and unjudging point of view, which concentrates fully on the abstract implementation of new strategies and improvements. The coaches’ personalities are as different as their target group and their coaching concepts and programmes. Self-management, analysing potential, developing a leadership personality, crisis management, motivation or the implementation of new business strategies are just a few of their possible offers. But no matter with whom or how they are working, they all have the passion for coaching and see it as a profession to help their clients in finding new strategies and optimising their work process. www.dbvc.de www.bdu.de

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 67


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Germany’s Business Coaches & Consulting Experts

DBVC

Tailoring corporate culture By forming her own consulting firm, Dr. Anke Nienkerke-Springer first embraced her desire for change and independence two decades ago. Since then, through long-standing previous experience, as well as an inherent trust in her own abilities, she has successfully navigated both, an ever-changing marketplace and her own place within it.

imaginative storytelling.“When conversing we needed to closely pay attention to each other and compassionately understand our communication from his point of view. This indispensable willingness to listen and understand shaped all of our lives.”

TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS I PHOTOS: MICHAEL WIEGMANN

“What is my focus? Where do I direct my attention?” When coached by Dr. Nienkerke-Springer, professionals from multinational corporations and mediumsized businesses can expect to be confronted with questions like these. For her, such reflections are an essential part of today’s fast-paced business world. Asked about her own answers, Dr. NienkerkeSpringer reveals a clear compass. “My values lend me orientation. Independence, appreciation, resilience and joy at work. I 68 | Issue 40 | July 2016

continuously try to find out whether I’m growing towards these values or whether we’re growing apart.” Looking back at her career as a management consultant, Dr. Nienkerke-Springer can already detect roots of her profession in her childhood. Her grandfather played a very important role in her discovery of the power of communication. Despite losing his ability to hear at the age of ten, he would transport her to other worlds by his

The experience sparked a fundamental and ongoing interest in human interaction. During her studies of educational sciences, psychology and speech science, this interest was matched by exploring the works of the pioneers of the system theory. The combination of the intuitive and the analytical merged into a way of thinking, which Dr. Nienkerke-Springer has sustained in both her ten-year management experience in the psychotherapeutic sector and her current work with clients. “In approaching a case, we focus on the solution


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Germany’s Business Coaches & Consulting Experts

and not on the problem. We look at existing resources and we consider strengths for future-oriented developments.” Focusing on people One of Dr. Nienkerke-Springer’s main professional passions is coaching. “Top management people are always in the centre. They’re in a constant, often stressful, interplay between their professional and private spaces and the needs of their organisation.” In her coaching, NienkerkeSpringer puts a clear focus on the human being. It is her desire to foster a situation where a person can understand his or her strengths and consequently evolve them towards the favoured goal. In that regard, humanity and appreciation are the real forces of productivity and innovation, that grow the people and the organisation in the long term. In order to achieve this, she has designed the Executive Personal Brand Strategy (EPBS), a concept that helps professionals to discover their individual brand with a precise strategy. “Defining your personal brand enables a clear basis for a successful and sustainable career, as it facilitates your good reputation. By no means are we talking about self-staging. EPBS serves the systematic development of an Executive

Brand and thereby a clear positioning.” Especially when changes happen, EPBS is aimed at making that transition as effective as possible. Customised change processes Indeed, successful coaching also enables changes in the first place. For Dr. Nienkerke-Springer, her two specialist fields constantly interact. Change too is about the people and individuals who are involved in it. Thus, an individual solution is needed. “Every transition from here to there is different. Therefore, our change architecture is always purpose-driven and adapted to the current situation.”Still there are parts of the procedure which stay the same. Information is gathered, hypotheses are prepared, interventions are set. After that a tailored master plan is created by taking into account both strategy and structure of the organisation at hand. One of the most important aspects when approaching a change process is the mindset of the involved parties. “It’s a hugely emotional process and it’s good to have resistance, because this means we have energy that can be used to support the change. The worst situation is one where people have become cynical and aren’t even participating anymore.”

As a consultant Dr. Nienkerke-Springer provides the framework for a successful change. Her rich treasure trove of experience enables her to view a problem from all angles and enable new impulses and insights into different ways of working. Whether big or small, a perfect change process must be dressed in a tailored suit. Long-term relationships When asked about her two decades in the business, Dr. Nienkerke-Springer laughs. “I didn’t really notice. Come to think of it, I suppose that one can maintain a long career by being truthful with oneself.” Another great joy for her are long-term client relationships. “It’s incredible to see the measurable and tangible marks that you can leave in people’s lives. There is immense worth in a relationship with a client, that goes on even in periods where you don’t do any billed business.”No doubt, in a fast-paced, constantly developing economic and cultural environment, where change is inevitable and constantly around the corner, developing those types of sustainable relationships seems like the perfect way to go. www.nienkerke-springer.de

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 69


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Germany’s Business Coaches & Consulting Experts

Emotions are key to gaining authenticity and therefore business success Many working in the managing sector at one point in their career turn to professional coaches to seek advice – either for improving a company’s structure, workflows and processes, or to develop their personal potential. The Düsseldorf-based Institut Psychodynamische Organisationsentwicklung + Personalmanagement Düsseldorf e.V., (POP), has set itself the goal to bring together psychoanalysis and coaching. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: FLORIAN HEINZEN-ZIOB

“Our psychodynamic concept addresses leaders, managers and business owners, who do not want a quick answer to a simple question, but those who are looking for sustainable change,” says 70 | Issue 40 | July 2016

Prof Dr. Eva-Maria Lewkowicz who has lectured at POP since 2008 and has a wide experience as a business and executive coach. “Our coaching approach confronts people with aspects of themselves that

do not necessarily fit into the company’s official mission statements: fear, envy, shame, grief or depression, aggressions or libidinous entanglements. But even if we deny it, all emotions have reasons to exist and determine how people act. Only if denied, do they cause harm and damage.” Psychodynamic coaching can bring people into contact with themselves and unravel these entanglements. “But this is only one part of what managers can learn,” says Eva-Maria Lewkowicz. “Understanding my innermost motives and drives brings forth a more precise and empathetic


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Germany’s Business Coaches & Consulting Experts

The process and the outcome are more important than sticking to certain coaching plans. “Our concept is more relationshiporiented and less on specific methods,” says Dr. Beate West-Leuer, managing director of POP, coach and university lecturer. “Because of this, the process may be planned in advance, yet the result is not predictable. That is what makes our work so exciting: if conventional concepts about the own self are shattered, there is always something new to discover.” This can be quite unsettling, like rafting or kayaking in unknown waters. “It is fun, but also a challenge,” West-Leuer describes her coaching approach.

smoothly,” says West-Leuer. What follows next is based on West-Leuer’s expertise. “I look at myself and how I perceive this story and how I react. Am I interested or bored? Do I feel great, because he or she is such a charismatic leader? Is this the client’s true concern or does he simply try to fulfil what others expect? My reactions, feelings and fantasies are important, because the way I see a client may be similar to how his colleagues or employees see him,” she explains. “They would not tell him, but we do so in a kind and respectful way.”Clients who decide to opt for a psychodynamic coaching, expect that the coach does not fall for their hidden agendas or whitewashings. Even after a very short session, what is mirrored back to the client might be an eye-opener.

The impact of psychoanalysis and group analysis on the self can hardly be explained, it has to be experienced. How this comes to pass is subject to scientific research, more specific: it is the work of neurobiologists and attachment researchers at the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, who cooperate with POP. “I often ask clients to tell me about certain scenes in their daily work life, examples where the client has the feeling it did not run

“Often enough, after the first or second module, clients tell us that they can see the change in themselves,” says Beate West-Leuer. And, of course, how they act in a business environment. A manager who knows about his own potential pitfalls is less easily provoked by others. Nobody is perfect and mistakes will still happen – but accepting this makes dealing with them and the resulting emotions far easier. Autonomy is gained,

understanding of others: subordinates or colleagues.”

distress turned into eustress, and not only the client but also his staff and the whole company may profit. Eva-Maria Lewkowicz and Beate WestLeuer, together with an interdisciplinary team of psychoanalysts, social scientists, attachment researchers, economists, managers, consultants and POP, have published a book about their concept entitled Führung und Gefühl, i.e. leadership and emotions. The book works with authentic case studies and showcases risks and chances of emotions for management. “It might sound a bit old school, but we have written the book out of dedication for our clients,”says West-Leuer.“We intended it to be for managers even though we knew that they mostly do not have the time to read books. But we thought: maybe other consultants will read it instead and thus in the end it reaches the intended audience.” CV Beate West-Leuer, DPhil, senior coach, DBVC, psychodynamic consultant: www.west-leuer.de CV Eva-Maria Lewkowicz, Dr rer. pol., professor for business economics, coach: www.lewconsult.de www.pop-psa.de

Beate West-Leuer and Eva-Maria Lewkowicz prepare the next seminar at the POP.

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 71


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Germany’s Business Coaches & Consulting Experts

Becoming a coach: A fulfilling profession that needs maturity, attitude and the right training There are many different reasons why people decide to become business coaches – and as many ways into the job. Even more important is finding the right training. Even though some people might be sceptical about what the job title entails, it is indeed a profession that comes with great responsibility. Brigitte Wolter, founder of brandinvest Corporate Coaching, has long-term experience not only as coach but also as trainer for those who want to become one. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN

When someone decides to become a coach the hardest part is not to find a training course, but to find the right one. In Germany alone there are about 30,000 coaches, consultants and trainers and one can find so many details about coaching that it easily becomes an information overload. This is why it is important to 72 | Issue 40 | July 2016

work with a well-experienced and highly qualified person like Brigitte Wolter. Large companies often look very closely at the people they are working with. They mostly prefer coaches that have completed training approved by coaching associations, like the International

Coach Federation (ICF) or its German counterpart the Deutsche Bundesverband Coaching e.V. (DBVC), and have a longterm experience not only as business coach but also in leading management positions. That is something prospective coaches should bear in mind when looking for the right trainer. Brigitte Wolter, for example, is certified as a senior coach by the German coaching association DBVC. A meaningful but challenging occupation At the beginning of their career, many aspiring coaches do not really know what to expect and what the job entails. “Whoever decides to become a coach


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Germany’s Business Coaches & Consulting Experts

not only wants to work independently but often hopes to find a meaningful and fulfilling occupation that also allows them to develop themselves,” says Wolter, describing what she encounters when working with aspiring coaches. Others, like those already working as consultants, want to gain additional qualifications and gain a new clientele. Indeed, helping others to understand themselves and their personality better is a strong meaningful experience with great potential for happiness for both the coach and the client. Brigitte Wolter still remembers how she started out as coach: “In my early 40s, the idea matured to use my experience and knowledge as manager in an independent profession. And coaching seemed to be ideal.” Over the years she had experienced the ups and downs of management and finally the wish for autonomy and flexibility

had gained the upper hand. Being a coach is something that involves the whole personality, it needs both knowledge and attitude. “It was not easy to grow into my new role as a self-employed coach and step out of the role as manager I had become so used to,” says Wolter. It took nearly two years, but working with clients showed her that she was on the right path. How hard, but also how exhilarating, the first steps can be is something Brigitte Wolter now shares with those she is now training to become coaches.

personal maturity, even though maturity in this case is not imperatively a question of age,” says Brigitte Wolter. Of course there are personal traits that are important such as empathy, reflective faculty and excellent communication skills. Ideally, a prospective coach also has psychological competences and has for example worked as psychological counsellor, alternative practitioner, psychologist or in psychotherapy. Experience in working with groups and understanding underlying dynamics are also advantageous.

While working as a coach might have great appeal, competition is very high. “I always tell novices that under certain circumstances they might have to bridge a long period financially, sometimes years, to establish themselves on the market,” says the well-established coach Brigitte Wolter. On the other hand, qualified coaches can use their competences in other fields as well to refine their professional portfolio. What those training with Brigitte Wolter learn will make them valuable employees in human resource management and with increasing interest in leading management positions.

Becoming a coach is not something people can do in a day or a week. A professional training consists of at least 150 hours of training at the coaching location and additional time for coursework and meeting with colleagues. When training with Brigitte Wolter, the courses – often with a very practical approach or working on case studies – will be spread over ten weekend modules. In total, the training takes a year, a necessary time period considering that becoming a coach also means reflecting on oneself and developing a coaching personality.

Personal attributes are as important as professional experience Which requirements do people have to fulfil to become a successful coach? “Prospective coaches should have experience in life, work and leadership and

www.brandinvest.com

Main photo: The Hofgut Georgenthal in Hohenstein where Brigitte Wolter coaches and holds coaching training courses. Photo: Brigitte Wolter From top left: Brigitte Wolter. Photo: Peter Wolf Photo: Brigitte Wolter Seminar room. Photo: Brigitte Wolter

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 73


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Germany’s Business Coaches & Consulting Experts

A reliable partner in stormy times As an experienced coach and management consulter, Olaf Hinz helps clients to meet new challenges by visibly enhancing their impact on the organisation for which they work. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS | PHOTOS: OLAF HINZ

“Leadership is like controlling a ship on the high seas,” says Olaf Hinz. According to the coach and management consulter, there are normally standing rules and responsibilities in professional agencies, as well as a certain course. But when a project gets out of control or something unforeseen occurs, your ship hits stormy seas. In this case, even the best captains have to rely on an experienced sailor. With more than 15 years of experience as coach, Hinz helps out when your ship heads towards unknown territories. Using the motto ‘Hinz – wirkt!’, he promises to make a positive difference within the companies or organisations that ask for his support. “It is decision makers and managers who have an impact in their organisations. They contact me, if they want to enhance their impact visibly; either because they have large and important targets to meet, or because 74 | Issue 40 | July 2016

they understand this as their personal responsibility,” Hinz explains. Before he became a management consulter and coach, Hinz used to be both a project manager and an executive manager.“Back then I realised that both of these parts can learn from each other,” states Hinz, who is based in Hamburg. As a result, the idea to offer professional mentoring in guiding and managing new projects, as well as guiding teams was born. Since then, Hinz gave numerous inspiring speeches and consultations, whether at face-to-face meetings with a single client, or by moderating workshops, and offering guidance for leadership teams. In 2017, Hinz will publish his fourth book Segeln auf Sicht – Führungshandbuch für ungewisse Zeiten. Here, he advocates to stand up for what you believe in and to actually represent essential values

and principles instead of using old management methods when facing growing changes or ambiguous situations. “When a storm comes up, organisations need to have a real leader who embodies attitudes, and not a manager without any ethics who just wants to make a deal,”Hinz says. Visualising ideas is another aspect he recommends in his latest book, as well as acting rather quickly and incompletely than acting completely but too late. ‘Sprint decisions’ instead of the extravagance of a planning process is yet another strategy Hinz suggests to his clients because, according to him, it is necessary to take responsibility in order to succeed. www.hinz-wirkt.de


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Germany’s Business Coaches & Consulting Experts

Main photo: meta I five. Top left: 360° Feedback Workshop. Bottom from left: Learning Organisation. meta I fun. meta I five support team.

Thinking in five dimensions For meta I five there is a clear connection between human performance and organisational success. In order to foster both, the company is following a systemic approach as it is advising organisations regarding processes and tools for strategic and operational human resources and organisational development. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS I PHOTOS: SASCHA SCHUERMANN

As one of the largest systemic consultancies in the DACH region to date, meta I five combines expertise in the fields of psychology and IT to offer excellent solutions to its clients. During the last decade, the consultancy has continuously grown, while always reflecting the corner posts from which the company name has been derived from. On the one hand, meta resembles the perspective from which the consultants operate, when reflecting on the client’s current situation and the objectives which dictate a new vision. Five, on the other hand, relates to the

five disciplines of organisational learning by Peter Senge, that serve as guideline to meta I five’s concepts. Naturally focused on the client’s human capital, meta I five enables valuable insights into an organisation’s psyche. The services range from support in the design and implementation of human resources development concepts, over the introduction of HR strategies, to individual development measures such as coaching and training. As a technical backbone to implementing global survey projects,

meta I five provides the in-house developed online platform meta I tools. Its flexible architecture allows both the realisation of individual survey projects as well as the use of state of the art survey modules such as meta I 360, meta I survey and meta I performance®. As a company, meta I five matches the flexibility of its solutions by establishing partnerships with clients from all branches, ranging from family-run businesses (e.g. Gebrueder Heinemann) over multinational corporations (e.g. BASF SE) to public sector companies (e.g. Bezirk Oberbayern). To do so, meta I five emphasises its core values, partnership, reflection and commitment, and approaches every case with a focus on excellence and a respect for traditions. www.meta-five.com

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 75


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Germany’s Business Coaches & Consulting Experts

Connect and act - leading in turbulent times The pressure in modern work environments is high. Growth targets, deadlines, company politics, stakeholder demands - all happening alongside high volatility and complexity. Naturally, expectations towards managers are increasing as well. How tough does one need to be to stay in the game? Will only the narcissistic despot come out on top? TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS I PHOTO: KASSNER FOTOGRAFIE

For consultant and business coach Susanne Kaßner the answer is “no”. In today’s world, managers need to deal with ambivalences: stimulating innovation and managing the daily business, withstanding insecurities and embodying stability, facilitating continuous change and staying true to oneself. As essential resources, Kaßner highlights a human connection between top management and employees and a candid sparring partner for reflection. “Two weeks ago a team of managing directors told me they had learned to speak more with their employees not about them.” Seeing those kind of eyeopening experiences moves her, as they

pave the way for tangible differences in organisational life. Kaßner, a psychologist and change management expert, has been advising executives and teams during challenging transformations for more than 20 years. The combination of psychology and business acumen gives her the necessary understanding of the many issues a leader may face. “Requirements are as diverse as people and I know by now what works. A pre-set procedure is not helpful - it is experience, flexibility and a keen sense of people and situations that counts.” Based in Augsburg, Kaßner is passionate to develop and coach executives and

their teams from medium to large corporations in Austria, Germany and Switzerland in times of change. Some of her tips are also published on her website’s monthly management impulses. “Today’s environment needs executives, who think ahead and encourage actions of others, who create relationship quality with customers and employees and take personal responsibility despite doubtful facts.” In short, people who connect and act. www.connectandact.de

Susanne Kaßner.

In support of a healthy performance There are many things holding us back. More than ever, a stressful daily routine, self-doubt in professional and personal circumstances and inner and outer conflicts prevent us from reaching our full potential. Consultant Katrin Kiggen has identified these blockades and in her work with clients she aims to establish a sustainable, health-conscious performance. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS I PHOTO: KIGGEN BERATUNG

For Kiggen, becoming a coach and consultant was a long, but linear, road. In fact, there is an unconscious central thread to her career. After studying business administration, she began working in the marketing sector and quickly grew into being a marketing manager. This leading position offered her the possibility to see and feel the experience of both herself and her co-workers first hand. Naturally she also gained extensive practical knowledge as to the operational way of supporting her employees, as well as herself. In order to improve those abilities further, she completed two individual coaching trainings. Realising that the 76 | Issue 40 | July 2016

profession of a coach would allow her to work more immediately with people and also to influence people’s lives in significant ways, Kiggen decided to take courage and make the transition. “It just felt right, despite the fact, that I didn’t have any clients at the time.” Nowadays, change and transitioning processes are at the core of her work. “A transition phase brings about many ambivalent thoughts and feelings. It’s important to clarify those emotions.” As an external observer and listener, Kiggen facilitates situations where people are able to recognise their own potential and act accordingly.

The value of sustainability is particularly important to her. Henceforth, one of her special areas of expertise has become psychodynamic health coaching. Reflected in the coaching is Kiggen’s focus on the human being as an organisational driving force. In that, her coaching will improve employee health and make the intertwining between people’s well-being and organisational development smoother. www.kiggenundpartner.de

Katrin Kiggen.


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Germany’s Business Coaches & Consulting Experts

The right fit

BDU

The difference between highly successful and less successful companies is frequently linked to the extent to which their employees identify with the corporate goals. With more than 25 years of experience in Executive-Search, Germanybased management and personnel consulting firm Dr. Heimeier & Partner knows exactly how to serve this need. TEXT: SONJA IRANI

“A great CV makes up less than half of what’s needed for a long and successful new employment history,” explains Dr. Reiner Mark, managing partner at Dr. Heimeier & Partner. “It’s a lot more important that the candidate shares the same fundamental values and beliefs, is a so-called cultural fit and owns the potentials that will benefit the new company in the long run.” Thus, the consultancy always ensures the “right overall fit” of a candidate. The candidates, who often come from safe top management positions, also have to be convinced that the next step is right for them. “When we conduct the personal interview, which is the core element of our candidate assessment, we always position ourselves as their career adviser,” reveals Dr. Mark, whose consultancy is also capable of finding highly specialised

executives abroad thanks to being a partner of the worldwide connected IMD International Search Group. “This approach ensures that the candidates have a tangible motif for changing their employer and stay committed to the new company for a long time.” In addition to making sure that the candidates are 100 per cent committed, the top level consulting firm also issues a guarantee to stay at their client’s side, however long it takes: “To us, a successful placement doesn’t stop with the signature of the preferred candidate, but continues far beyond this point with the effective integration of the new employee into the company.” Particularly family-owned, medium-sized companies appreciate this method of recruiting highly specialised employees.

“There have been many examples of retiring company directors who gave us the task of finding the right successor – a huge honour and enormous responsibility at the same time,” remembers Dr. Mark. “But thanks to our first-class cooperation, commitment and guarantee, we always managed to earn our clients’ trust.” www.heimeier.de

From top left: Dr. Reiner Mark and Christina Langen, who both manage the Düsseldorf office. Photo: Laura Hanns Managing partners (from left to right): Dr. Matthias Mohr (Stuttgart), Christina Langen (Düsseldorf), Achim Donner (Stuttgart), Katrin Windmüller (Stuttgart), Karsten Brand (Stuttgart), Astrid Habeder-Preuß (Frankfurt) and Dr. Reiner Mark (Düsseldorf). Photo: Christian Vierl The new office in the ‘AIRVIEW‘ at Düsseldorf’s airport (Airport City). Photo: Dr. Reiner Mark Dr. Reiner Mark, managing partner at Dr. Heimeier & Partner. Photo: Laura Hanns

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 77


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Germany’s Business Coaches & Consulting Experts

Main image: Roland Pietsch, Robin Desens, Uwe Harnischfeger, André Köhler and Dr. Thorsten Liebehenschel (from left to right).

One of the best

German marketing and strategy specialists with 20 years of experience and focus on growth For 20 years now the Frankfurt-based consultancy HPP Consulting focuses on businesses aiming to grow and discover new market possibilities. With origins in the automotive sector, the consultants over the years have widened their international portfolio and put a second focus on the telecommunication sector – next to numerous projects in other technology and service industries. HPP was recently voted among the best consultants when it comes to marketing, brand and pricing as well as sales, CRM and after-sales. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: HPP CONSULTING

2016 is an important year for HPP Consulting; in September they are celebrating their 20th anniversary as an owner-managed consultancy with about 78 | Issue 40 | July 2016

60 employees today. The company has its origin in the automotive industry, more precisely with the German car manufacturer Daimler Benz. While

HPP was founded as business segment ‘marketing consulting’ of the Daimler daughter debis Marketing Services GmbH in 1990, it became an independent business when in 1996 Uwe Harnischfeger together with Roland Pietsch took over in a management buy-out and restructured it as HPP Harnischfeger, Pietsch & Partner Strategie- und Marketingberatung GmbH. Since 2003, the ownership structure was consecutively widened so that, including the founders in 2016, five partners – all trained in the company – own HPP as partners and shareholders.


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Germany’s Business Coaches & Consulting Experts

Partner André Köhler, which means they not only know what should be done, but also how this can be achieved and how the transformation is done. HPP does everything that can be put under the term ‘growth’: from strategic planning for new markets, or new products to discover new business segments that promise success and developing marketing strategies and campaigns. This especially concerns sales. HPP Consulting is based at the international banking centre Frankfurt and works globally for large and medium-sized companies searching to expand to foreign markets. Companies already working on the global market might particularly need the support of consultants when it comes to implementing new standards or concepts for markets in Japan, China, the US or South America. Taking for example the automotive sector: here HPP not only trains distributers and car dealers regarding a new after-sales retail format but accompanies them from the first cut of the spade to the opening of their business. Fourth best consultancy ‘marketing, brand and pricing’ While HPP has emancipated itself from its former parent company Daimler, the automotive industry still plays an important role. Here lies one of HPP’s main consulting competences. But soon enough a second branch had followed: the telecommunication sector characterised not only by fast growth, but also constantly improving technology and as a consequence of constant new challenges for those operating in the sector. “We have always chosen a path of qualitative growth,” says Uwe Harnischfeger, founder and managing partner. Putting emphasis on quality means also focusing on training and educating consultants in-house, passing on certain values and work attitudes and ensuring the highest level of quality. “We put great emphasis on client and employee satisfaction,” says managing partner and HR responsible Roland Pietsch. The idea is quite simple but at the same time the basis for a successful quality consulting: Working

on projects should also be enjoyable – for consultants and project partners alike, thus creating better and long-lasting results for everyone included. A combination of knowledge and actually tackling the issue “We do not jump from one project to another,” says HPP partner Dr. Thorsten Liebehenschel. Continuity is a key aspect, not only working together with companies on a long-term basis, but mostly taking on projects with a medium project term of up to a year. Many large consultancies come to work with project teams for an average of three months. When they are leaving and the true work starts, often enough HPP is called in to accompany preparation and implementation of programmes. Mostly, those are projects at middle-management level where, next to strategic planning and concepts, the actual work is in focus: “We call our approach a combination of ‘know how’ and ‘do how’,” says HPP

The German business magazine brand eins, in their 2016 panel, just recently rated HPP Consulting among the best German consultancies when it comes to marketing, brand and pricing. In this field, HPP Consulting instantly gained fourth place. For the last three years they have also been rated in the top list concerning sales, CRM and after-sales. The list is based on a survey among experts – partner and project coordinators of various consultancies – and clients who rated consultancies like HPP in an online poll. Therefore, the rating is quite significant: it not only takes into account the reputation in the consulting industry but also client satisfaction. The high and over average client satisfaction is something the managing team at HPP is proud of – and aims to improve even further. www.hpp-consulting.de

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 79


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Germany’s Business Coaches & Consulting Experts

Main photo: Holger Schlichting, CEO PRAXISFELD GmbH. Top: Design Thinking bridge. Above right: Design Thinking customer needs. Above left: Design Thinking pillars.

Design thinking

- Joint strategies for future and innovation German consulting firm PRAXISFELD GmbH has brought about profitable progress for 25 years. But the business world is rapidly changing and this requires radical measures for continuous innovation. Here, one of PRAXISFELD’s senior consultants explains how thinking with your hands makes your organisation fit for the future. TEXT: SONJA IRANI I PHOTOS: HOLGER SCHLICHTING

“The business world of today has become extremely complex and fast paced,” says Martin Scholz, senior consultant at PRAXISFELD GmbH. “The quickly expanding digitalisation, for example, has a huge influence on our day-to-day work life.” According to Scholz, many business leaders thus experience difficulties when trying to find the right growth strategy for their business. In order to make complex issues of today’s dynamic world tangible and actively change them, PRAXISFLED implements the method of so-called Design Thinking – an innovation process and mindset characterised by extraordinary customer 80 | Issue 40 | July 2016

orientation, creativity, rapid prototyping and joint collaborations. “In our Design Thinking projects we are thinking with our hands. We visualise a lot and prefer to prototype and test ideas by using physical material such as LEGO or paper versus having lengthy discussions. This works excellent for products, but also for services, business models and processes,” reveals Scholz. “It is of utmost importance to think from your customer’s point of view if you want to stay successful and competitive in the long run,” explains Scholz. “With Design Thinking prototypes you can continuously and jointly test with your customers all along the development process. Thus you

don’t lose track and create both a feasible and desired solution.” When the consultants at PRAXISFELD apply this method to their clients’ individual cases, they create a setting which is characterised by flexible rooms, interdisciplinary teams, no respect regarding strong convictions and a rigid process with time boxing. “It’s quite an unusual, but effective, method to identify the root of the problem,” says Scholz. “We bring our clients and their customers closer together, we take the time to thoroughly analyse what a business or its customers need and we build cross-functional or cross-cultural teams in order to overcome supposed knowledge.” According to Scholz, this method is initially unconventional for their clients but creates a great deal of energy, excitement and productivity in the end. www.praxisfeld.com


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Germany’s Business Coaches & Consulting Experts

Independent customer relations consulting In Customer Relationship Management (CRM), making a decision with regard to strategy and software is never simple. Therefore, the Käsehage & Lauterhahn CRM consultancy GmbH has stayed independent and is thus able to provide unique, allembracing guidance in the matter.

the consultants is an added benefit itself that results in improved effectivity and flexibility levels and a sustainable sales growth at decreasing costs.

TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

www.kl-crm.de

Ingo Käsehage and Frank Lauterhahn have been working in the CRM sector for around 20 years. As employees at a CRM software company, the two gained extensive experience in IT aspects and classic customer relations topics like strategy, sales and marketing automation and customer loyalty activities. “We really enjoy CRM. This leads to a great engagement to provide sustainable projects,” says Käsehage, who explains his and Lauterhahn’s basis for their own entrepreneurial effort. As an independent consultancy with no ties to any software developer, but an all-around market overview, Käsehage and Lauterhahn receive many enquiries particularly for the topic of CRM software selection. With the Käsehage & Lauterhahn

GmbH, clients are able to make an informed decision as the consultancy’s own rating system will reduce the uncertainty level involved in the different possibilities. Yet Käsehage and Lauterhahn, who work in industries ranging from banking over automotive to retail companies and many others, do not stop there. Once a management decision has been made, the consultants support their customers in the implementation project. In that role, it is their objective to protect the interests of the client and to make sure that all aspects are implemented as planned.“The important core requirements need to be realised in accordance to the essential business processes,” declares Käsehage. For the customer, this close monitoring by

Above: Customer Relationship Management (CRM). © Jihad Afghan Algifari Left: Benefits of successful Customer Relationship Management (CRM). © Andriy Lipkan

Air – is not just nothing The breathtaking temporary exhibition in Technorama Winterthur

Media partners

www.technorama.ch


Discover Germany | Special Theme | Germany’s Business Coaches & Consulting Experts

Big Dutchman logistics centre. KiK.

Claas.

Krüger.

Consulting, planning and realisation in one hand: The right partner for developing logistics The worst-case scenario for logistics companies: a new logistics centre is finished but cannot be used because it does not meet safety or fire regulations or high automated logistics systems do not run reliably yet. When working with a specialist like P+L Hoffbauer & Co, those mistakes can be excluded from the beginning and additionally the planning process will be less stressful for the entrepreneur. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: P+L HOFFBAUER & CO

The company P+L Hoffbauer & Co, with headquarters in Düsseldorf, is an ownerled company and specialist for intra logistics solutions and complete supply chains. Since 1993, managing directors Dietmar Hoffbauer and Andreas Nowak and their team have worked for large companies – with a revenue of at least 15 million euros – in industry, commerce and the service sector, for example for large fashion brands, the automotive industry or the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. The business rests on three cornerstones: logistics consulting, planning and realisation. These are also the three steps of a project. Before it can start, a phase of consultation is needed to evaluate what a client wants and needs, this dictates the 82 | Issue 40 | July 2016

guidelines for a project. The most effective and economic solutions are always better than simply installing some fancy IT tool. After determining what systems are needed for running the business, further planning will start. This means working with architects and budgeting the costs for building and operating or planning how many employees will be needed.

experienced people. At the beginning this often seems rather expensive, but the costs following a mistake will be enormous,” says Dietmar Hoffbauer. The logistics sector has become rather complicated with many different parties involved in establishing a new logistics centre. Often enough the costs are so high that the entrepreneur takes investors on board. And when everybody involves a lawyer, everything will become even more complicated. Not many businessmen and women have the time and energy to go through this alone, so relying on experts like the P+L Hoffbauer & Co team can be a relief. www.pl-hoffbauer.de

Building regulations have to be considered from the very beginning. The Airport Berlin-Brandenburg, which has still not opened and the costs are exploding, is a famous example of what happens if fire and safety regulations are not professionally taken into account in planning and realisation. “Professional project management needs the right and

WMF, Goodman.


Discover Germany | Business | Top Innovative Company Germany

Digital technologies open up new possibilities for dentists

Top Innovative Company Germany

Digitalisation changes almost every life and work area - odontology as well. Ulrich Michel, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the market leader of dental products Dentsply Sirona explains the advantages of a digital dental surgery. TEXT & PHOTOS: DENTSPLY SIRONA

There is much talk about digitalisation in dental surgeries -– is it a new trend? The trend began around 20 to 30 years ago and was significantly shaped by our introduction of CEREC, a system for the computer-aided manufacturing of dental restorations, including crowns and bridges. The trend has intensified increasingly. As the leading industry innovator, we’re developing the digital technologies in such a way that they interact with one another and thereby increase the safety and efficiency of treatments.

plan an implantation very precisely. Or one can, on the basis of images from an intraoral camera, construct a crown on the computer and build it right in one’s own practice.

What are the benefits for the patient? Digital technologies provide dental prosthesis in one visit. Thanks to digital impressions with the hand-held video camera, the times of the Pharyngeal reflex are gone. This technology only needs one anaesthesia, no plaster impression and no temporary. Instead of two to three two-hour dentist visits, the patient is fully How do you mean? aided after only one. Patient information Today, with the combination of 3D X-ray FAsmus_Ad1-2_Discover_#01__ 19.05.15 21:14 Seiteis1 digitally supported by monitors at the and CAD/CAM systems, one can virtually

Ulrich Michel, Executive Vice President of Dentsply Sirona.

Implant planning with combination of CAD/CAM and 3D X-ray.

treatment centre where X-ray images can be reviewed and videos can be shown. Doubt can be decreased in that way. www.dentsplysirona.com

Specialist for excellent presentations

Keynote Coach Der Regisseur unter den Top-Trainern! Frank Asmus ist Regisseur, „Best-of-Trainer“ 2014 und Top Executive Coach für strategische Präsentationen. Seine Kunden sind Konzernvorstände, Geschäftsführer und Unternehmer. Frank Asmus lehrt als Kommunikationsexperte u.a. an der Technischen Universität Berlin.

frankasmus.com +49.30.44 04 27 76 · office@frankasmus.com

Referenzen: Apple Inc., Airbus S.A.S., Allianz SE, Audi AG, Axa Konzern AG, BASF SE, Bayer AG, BMW Group, Robert Bosch GmbH, Continental AG, Deutsche Telekom AG, Henkel AG, HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt AG, Kühne + Nagel AG, Liganova GmbH, L'Oréal Deutschland GmbH, Merck KGaA, Novartis AG, Pfizer Deutschland GmbH, Roche Diagnostics, SAP AG, Shopware AG, Siemens AG, Software AG, Swarovski KG, Volkswagen AG, u.v.a.


Top Architect Austria

Main image: Places for People, Prototype, Biennale Architettura 2016. Photo: Paul Kranzler Top right: CJ_5, five-metre street front. Photo: Hertha Hurnaus Below right: CJ_5, five-metre kitchen and stairs. Photo: Hertha Hurnaus

Sense and sensitivity:

Caramel architects tackle urban densification with an open mind Caramel architects’ motto ‘each project is a new challenge’ stands for inventive quality. From modern housing to the educational sector, from art projects to innovative social design, everyone and anyone asking for an innovative yet functional design language will be pleased with the inspired answers that Caramel architects provide. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

Private housing solutions are a special field of interest for Caramel architects, to much national and international acclaim. Whether a bungalow or apartment house, Caramel architects offer unusual and inventive floor plans for each, as well as a streamlined, yet unique, style. Their designs are easy on the eye and always feature surprising functional details. 84 | Issue 40 | July 2016

A heart for design is visible throughout their projects and Caramel architects’ lecture series, courses, and art projects are providing a spark of innovation for everyday architectural life. They inspire through both design solutions and technical improvement. Just recently, their innovative ‘EVA’ software was launched in collaboration with SWAP architects. This new digi-

tal tool speeds up the layout process by offering multiple solutions at once, of which the architect can choose from. Caramel architects are Günter Katherl, Martin Haller and Ulrich Aspetsberger. The trio launched their own office in 2001 and ever since they have been highly successful in combining a joyful, constructive approach with a professional attitude. This year, they were chosen to be one of three Austrian representatives at the Biennale Architettura di Venezia - the most important architectural exhibition worldwide. The decision was based on their constructive problem-solving attitude towards urban densification, lately


Discover Germany | Business | Top Architect Austria

shown with their award-winning House CJ_5 in Vienna. The abbreviation CJ_5 stands for‘CookingJokey-5m’. It is named after the kitchen unit which, same as the whole house, is only five metres in width. The CJ_5 floor plan thus had to be constructed on a plot measuring 5x35 metres. By integrating the aspect of density constructively into the building’s design itself, Caramel architects have created a family home which shows functional creativity in every nook and corner. Vast wall surfaces provide for a sense of space. The construction is one of Caramel architects’ creative solutions for a rapidly growing city with rising prices and less and less space to build and live on. Thus, it is a positive and constructive answer to an open question that nowadays urban society is bound to tackle. The CJ_5 house did not only pave the way to the 2016 Biennale in Venice, it has also won both ‘best house 2015’ and an AIT award for innovative architecture. For the Architecture Biennale in Venice, Caramel’s task was to design the ‘refugee camp’, using a vacant office building in Vienna. Safeguarding privacy, as in marking a place where someone can rest undisturbed by external influences was, for Caramel, the first and most important subject of their “intervention”.

Rather than posing a limitation, the time limit became a constructive part of their thought process. Starting with a minimal design repertoire, Caramel first developed elements for dividing up the space and then creating some privacy in the former open-plan offices. This simple formal language was extended to the design of the communal areas. A central criterion of Caramel architects’ design is that all elements can be rapidly dismounted and easily reassembled in a different location. Another challenging task in the field of private housing was recently tackled with ‘House_E’, a family home in the Linz area. Situated on the periphery of the city, the plot is subject to local building regulations that limit each storey to 200 square metres of floor space. Since an additional storey was not desired for the living area, the whole building was instead built six metres above street level. This simple but effective “trick” allows for a better view of the city even from the ground floor, as well as a barrier-free access to the garden. Merging the inside with the exterior, this family house for five has it all – and the space appears far more expansive and allowing than the initial regulations suggested.

ples are the ‘Wi-Fi Campus Dornbirn’, the ‘Science Park Linz’, the Krems federal school centre and, last but not least, the ‘World of Sports’ headquarters in Germany. With a multitude of worldwide architecture prominence taking part in this international competition, Caramel have received the commission as general planner. They impressed with a revolutionary and highly flexible spatial concept for the office building layout for 1,600 employees; like a flexible racking system, the different functions of the building are grouped around a threedimensional ‘indoor garden’. Caramel form a creative hub of architectural idealism, paired with a good sense for space and modern living. www.caramel.at

Caramel architects also cover larger projects through participating in international competitions. Successful exam-

Main image: House E, Linz. Photo: Martin Pröll Top left: CJ_5, fore and aft. © Caramel Middle left: World of Sports, highly flexible spatial concept. © Caramel architects Bottom left: World of Sports, façade study. Photo: Caramel architects Above: Places for People, Austrian Pavilion, Biennale Architettura 2016. Photo: Matthias Cremer

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 85


Discover Germany | Business | Solicitor Column

Too good to be true TEXT & PHOTO: GREGOR KLEINKNECHT

• Businesses writing or commissioning fake positive reviews about themselves; • Businesses or individuals writing or commissioning fake negative reviews (typically, to harm other competing businesses); and • Review sites cherry-picking positive reviews or suppressing negative reviews that they collect and/or display (sometimes as part of their moderation processes), without making it clear to readers that they are presenting only selected views.

Have you ever wondered about an online review for some form of goods or services that just sounded too good to be true – and probably was? Online reviews and endorsements can have a big impact on consumer (i.e., your and my) buying decisions and it is therefore little surprise that retailers and service providers want to appear in the best possible light online. Unfortunately, some of them can get a little carried away in the pursuit of that aim. The UK Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has been shining a light in recent months on a number of problem areas (as had the Office of Fair Trading before it), including: 86 | Issue 40 | July 2016

Unsurprisingly, these practices will normally breach the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and be unlawful. A different but related issue is that of paid for endorsements, advertising or sponsored content in blogs, vlogs and other online and social media publications which are not clearly identified or identifiable as such and are not sufficiently distinguished from editorial content. Again, equally unsurprising, if businesses fail clearly to identify and label for the benefit of the consumer where they paid bloggers or other online publishers to feature or promote a particular product as part of editorial content, such practices are unlawful and can lead to enforcement action. Last year, the CMA published a detailed report on online reviews and endorsements and followed this up a few weeks ago with an open letter to marketing departments, marketing agencies and their clients, in which it clarifies legal requirements and explains best practices. In addition to the CMA, Trading Standards Services also have powers to take civil and/or criminal action against cheats. Often such enforcement action is triggered by consumer complaints.

There is also an extra layer of socalled ‘soft law’, such as the various advertising codes promulgated and enforced by the Advertising Standards Agency for everything from TV and radio advertisements to non-broadcast media, and self-regulatory codes of conduct for certain industry sectors. And finally, many online platforms also take direct action themselves to detect fraudulent activity and shut it down: Facebook, for example, has rules in place as part of its terms and conditions of use to combat fake ‘likes’, i.e., ‘likes’ created by fake accounts or people without real intent. Facebook has a strong incentive for doing so: businesses and people who use its platform want real connections and authentic results. If a platform loses credibility and trust amongst its users and subscribers, both it and its advertisers will end up doing less business in the long run. Online reviews and endorsements are a feature of online life; where they are used, this must be done honestly and openly so that they remain meaningful and useful. Common sense, really, and good to know that you can do something about those who do not play by the rules.

Gregor Kleinknecht LM 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


Discover Germany | Feature | Festival Summer

Main image: Hurricane Festival. Š hurricane.de, Christoph Eisenmenger Right: Hurricane Festival. Š hurricane.de, Pablo Heimplatz

A touch of Woodstock Whitsun is the unofficial kick-off for a special season in Germany, Austria and Switzerland: the festival season. Thousands of people, mostly young, dig into the camping lifestyle and leave running water and an unlimited power supply behind to enjoy their favourite music and get a bit of that Woodstock feeling. TEXT: MONIQUE AMEND

Open-air festivals have their origin in the United States and have attracted more and more fans since their first steps in the early 1960s. Among the pioneers are the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island and the Monterey Pop Festival in California, which have set the path for artists like Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, who were barely known at this time. The famous Woodstock Festival made these music gatherings a worldwide phenomenon and

helped to motivate European promoters to establish festivals in Europe as well. Starting from Great Britain, the success of open-air festivals quickly spread over the rest of the continent. The beginnings in Germany were not promising at all as the organisers found it hard to keep the balance between a good range of music artists and financial profitability. Yet after some start-up

difficulties, numerous open-air festivals could establish themselves in the 1970s and the industry has continued to grow. One festival guide online lists over 400 festivals in Germany for 2016 and this collection does not even guarantee completeness. Over the years, some have developed to become the most demanded nationwide and enjoy international popularity. The following are the highlights no real festival junkie would like to miss. Rock am Ring & Rock im Park These twin festivals are the most famous and popular ones in Germany and offer a great variety of music genres from rock, metal and indie to pop artists and bands. They both take place on the same weekend Issue 40 | July 2016 | 87


Discover Germany | Feature | Festival Summer

Above: Rock am Ring. © rock-am-ring.com Below: Hurricane Festival. © hurricane.de, Pablo Heimplatz Bottom right: Rock am Ring. © rock-am-ring.com Rock am Ring. © rock-am-ring.com Hurricane Festival. © hurricane.de, Melchior Hurricane Festival. © hurricane.de, Malte Schmidt

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Discover Germany | Feature | Festival Summer

in June, but Rock am Ring is located in Germany’s west, in Mending, and Rock im Park in the south in Nuremberg. The list of performers is almost identical and the headliners are international stars like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Korn and the Foo Fighters, but German top artists are of course well represented too. Consequently, the tickets are usually sold out within days and the price of almost 200 euros for the weekend ticket will not hold the fans back. The festivals can look back on a history of over 30 years and attracted more than 160,000 visitors together in 2015. They already expect to break this record based on the tickets sold this year. Hurricane & Southside Festival Another pair of festival sisters stretch from north to south – the Hurricane and the Southside festival. The Hurricane festival takes place in Scheessel, a city located between the two big federal city states of Hamburg and Bremen. Its sister, the Southside festival, offers a weekend full of

music in the small village of Neuhausen ob der Eck in the state of BadenWuerttemberg. Established in the late 1990s, they offer a great mixture of rock, pop, electro and hip-hop performances. Apart from well-known singers and bands, newcomers in the music business also get the chance to rock the stage and show their talent to a big audience. Around 50,000 music lovers will celebrate the festival this year in the end of June. Open Air Frauenfeld & Electric Love Switzerland is probably the place to be for all hip-hop lovers with the famous Open Air Frauenfeld. American stars like Kanye West, Macklemore and Wiz Khalifa perform as well as popular German and Swiss artists in front of 150,000 people. This enormous number of visitors makes it the biggest hip-hop festival all over Europe. The very young, but nevertheless successful, open-air Electric Love festival attracts over 100,000 people to Austria and will take place in Salzburg for the

third time in July. Although both of these festivals do not have a very long history, they are in no way inferior to the events in Germany. Wacken Open Air Probably the most bizarre festival of all in Germany is the Wacken Open Air. Every year over 80,000 metal and hard rock fans make a pilgrimage to the small village in Schleswig-Holstein, in the very north of the country. The 1,800 citizens of Wacken are clearly outnumbered for several days, but they have arranged themselves with the world’s biggest metal festival being held practically in their front yard. They have even found a way to benefit from the festival lovers that run around their surrounding fields and meadows, by offering drinks and food or letting their bathrooms for a certain amount of time. Because of this specially developed symbiosis, the village of Wacken and the open-air have earned some fame and will again be part of the news this year in August.

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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 July. TEXT: MONIQUE AMEND

Jazz Festival, Vienna (28 June – 11 July) During the Jazz Festival in Vienna, national and international stars perform in various locations all over the city. Impressive settings like the Vienna state opera house are the stages for Burt Bacharach, Jamie Cullum and many more. www.viennajazz.org 90 | Issue 40 | July 2016

Tollwood Summer Festival, Munich (29 June – 24 July) Culture lovers and music fans will enjoy the Tollwood Summer Festival in Munich’s Olympic Park. There will be numerous concerts or theatre and performance groups and the festival also invites you to stroll over the ‘Market of Ideas’ to


Discover Germany | Culture | Culture Calendar find some hand-made art pieces and souvenirs. www.tollwood.de/sommerfestival-2016 Zueri Faescht, Zurich (1 – 3 July) The ‘Zueri Faescht’ (Zurich Festival) attracts thousands of people to Switzerland’s biggest city. The various fun rides and food stands offer a great deal of excitement for all age groups. A special highlight is the musical fireworks display on Friday and Saturday evening. www.zuerifaescht.ch E-Bike Festival, Brixental (1 – 3 July) The E-Bike Festival gives you the opportunity to test your own skills and to learn everything you ever wanted to know about these special bikes. Join one of the offered tours to explore the beautiful landscape of the Brixental. The highlight will be the ‘E-Bike Night Tour’ with a bonfire under the star-spattered sky. www.ebikefestival.at Marksmen’s Festival Hannover (1 – 10 July) Fun is guaranteed at the world’s biggest marksmen’s festival in Hannover held annually. After enjoying the numerous amusement rides and testing your own marksmen qualities,

the beer tents offer tasty treats and beer as a refreshment. www.hannover.de/en/Tourism-events/Festivalsand-festivities/Marksmen’s-Fair-Hannover-2016 Historical Craftsman Market, Huttwil (2 – 3 July) The town of Huttwil is the ideal setting for the Historical Craftsmen Market and takes visitors back in time to the Middle Ages for one weekend. Along with presentations and demonstrations of traditional craftsmanship there will be various entertaining medieval shows. www.spycher-handwerk.ch Healing Herbs Days, Briez (2 – 3 July) If you are interested in natural medicine and therapies, the outdoor museum Ballenberg is the place to be. Learn about the healing powers of many herbs and explore the rest of the museum’s

Main image: Marksmen’s Festival in Hannover. © HMTG / Martin Kirchner Bottom left: The ‘Zueri Faescht’ in Zurich. © Franz Sommer, Adliswil Top right: Meena Cryle is one of the great artists performing at this year’s Jazz Festival in Vienna. © J. Wahl Bottom right: Warnemuender Week. © Pepe Hartmann

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Discover Germany | Culture | Culture Calendar

special attractions like the garden of spices or the house of historic pharmacy. www.ballenberg.ch/en Warnemuender Week (2 – 10 July) At the beach of Warnemuende you will be able to watch a sailing competition or other kinds of sports in and on the water. Music concerts and activities along the boardwalk round off the programme. www.warnemuender-woche.de Cherry Festival, Witzenhausen (8 – 10 July) The ‘Kesperkirmes’ in Witzenhausen is Germany’s greatest cherry festival. If you have a hidden talent for cherry stone spitting and can mark the ten-metre limit, take part in the German championship of this unusual, but fun, sport. For a more lady-like entertainment, watch the coronation of the next cherry queen. www.kesperkirmes.de YOU exhibition, Berlin (8 - 10 July) The YOU exhibition in Berlin combines education and entertainment. It shows the newest trends in music, sport and lifestyle and is host to the Berlin street dance championship and the XXL TuberDay with several YouTube stars. www.you.de/DieYOU Appenzell Pleasure Hike, Trogen (9 July) Every year the Appenzell Pleasure Hike takes place in a different community of the area and celebrates its tenth anniversary this year - a great mix of good food, entertainment, hiking and good company for everybody. www.appenzellerland.ch 92 | Issue 40 | July 2016

Nibelungen Festival, Worms (15 – 31 July) The Nibelungen saga - a major heroic epic in Northern cultures – has fascinated its audience since the Middle Ages. Serving for the greater part as the original setting to the Nibelungen song, the city of Worms resurrects the drama around Siegfried and Kriemhild in front of the impressive scenery of the local cathedral. www.nibelungenfestspiele.de Apricot Feast, Krems (15 – 16 July) From ice cream to dumplings – Krems shows the varieties of delicious food that can be made out of apricots. The highlight will be the first cut into the 30-metre-long apricot cake. Music and folk dancing groups will entertain the visitors during the feasting. www.alles-marille.at

Zillertal ‘Fensterln’ championship, Tux (16 July) At the traditional ‘Fensterln’ championship, every boy and man over 16 can test his strength. The only requirement: wearing leather pants! The tournament includes balancing over the stem of a tree, piling up beer crates and climbing nine metres up to the third level of a house to gain the kiss of a Dirndl-sweetheart as a reward. www.tux.at/events/details/event/-42b7268a63. html From top left: The Nibelungen Festival in Worms 2015. © Marion Buehrle Event pool at the YOU exhibition. © Messe Berlin Marksmen’s Festival in Hannover. © Isabell Massel E-Bike tour in the Brixental. © e:bikefestival Kitzbüheler Alpen Brixental Tollwood Summer Festival in Munich 2014. © Bernd Wackerbauer Stage for the Nibelungen saga in Worms. © Bernward Bertram


Discover Germany | Culture | Culture Calendar

Issue 40 | July 2016 | 93


Discover Germany | Culture | Barbara Geier

‘Our nation’s love for pets knows no bounds’ TEXT & PHOTO: BARBARA GEIER

I love dogs. How about you? I adore cats too, and have grown up with pets in my life. Would I buy my dog something for Christmas, like a Swarovski crystalstudded dog collar or a dog hoodie? Not likely. Lots of Germans would, however, because our nation’s love for pets knows no bounds. We want to spoil them and show them how much they’re loved. Obviously, that means not just the best food and best care but also Christmas pressies. A survey a couple of years back showed that eight out of ten pet owners planned on getting their loved ones something for Christmas. To British readers all this should sound very familiar because this is definitely something we have in common; namely the way our two nations treat pets like human beings. Which also means that pets have become a major economic factor: according to a study by Göttingen University, sales for all kinds of pet-related products and services amount to about nine billion euros in Germany per year. This is a lot of money – not just for food, including specific organic options or even special meals for pregnant hamsters, but also for things such as dog hairdressers, dog yoga, and then there’s, of course, all the money 94 | Issue 40 | July 2016

people spend at the vet. People are now also prepared to invest in operations for their pets that used to be reserved for humans only. As much as I can relate to people really, really loving their pets – I mean, come on, nothing beats a dog looking at you in that certain way – I find the increasing tendency to humanise your pets a bit worrying. The beautiful thing about animals, after all, is that they’re animals, and not humans! And while many Germans and Brits find it absolutely normal to project human needs and characteristics on pets and treat them accordingly then, there are other nations who have very different views. I remember a Spanish friend of mine once saying, you treat your pets better than your children, with a look of complete incomprehension on her face. That was years back so I better not give her the latest figures and developments from the German pet front. And definitely not tell her about the CANIS RESORT, the world’s first luxury hotel for dogs near Munich where an overnight stay for your dog is to be had for 80 euros. As long as your loved one is compatible with other dogs. In case of incompatibility, it’s 120 euros. Hallelujah.

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

Discover Germany, Issue 40, July 2016  

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

Discover Germany, Issue 40, July 2016  

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