Discover Germany, Issue 49, April 2017

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Issue 49 | April 2017







F O T O G R A F I E : S Y LV A N M Ü L L E R


Discover Germany  |  Contents

Contents APRIL 2017

28 Photo: © Marco Sensche

34 Photo: © DZT


COVER FEATURE 28 Judith Holofernes Best known as the lead singer of the German pop rock band Wir Sind Helden, Judith Holofernes recently released her second solo album. Thus, Discover Germany speaks to her about life without the band, her new project and much more.

From 24 to 28 April, the HANNOVER MESSE opens its gates to around 6,500 companies from 70 countries. As the world’s leading trade fair is the birthplace and driver of Industrie 4.0, it is a magnet for political and business leaders from all over the world.



16 Designing 2017

34 Germany’s Wine Queens

For this theme, we have handpicked some of this year’s best design items to embellish your home or your office.

Once a year, Germany crowns a Wine Queen in a tradition that dates back to the 1930s. Our writer Wibke Carter finds out more about this interesting custom.

24 Design of Switzerland Ever wondered what typical Swiss design usually entails? Find out more in our special theme on this topic.

42 Star Interview: Ole Eisfeld Ole Eisfeld started out as a theatre actor and nowadays is very present in film and television. In our interview, he talks about his life and career.

36 Austria’s Organic Experts More and more people turn to organic products and the industry is turning in favour of organic cosmetics or foodstuff. Find out what Austria has to offer in this field.


52 Film Review: Toni Erdmann This month, Sonja Irani reviews the German movie Toni Erdmann. Find out what she thought.

66 Hannover City Special Ever been to Hannover? Maybe it is time. Especially known for hosting the CeBIT or the HANNOVER MESSE trade fair, it has much more to offer: great shopping opportunities, many museums, an enchanting city centre and several parks and green spaces.

The Polaroid Protector Florian Kaps is many things in one: Austrian, entrepreneur, founder of the Impossible Project and relentless fighter for analogue treasures in a digital world. He talks to Discover Germany about how he managed to save Polaroid and more.

56 Discovering Germany 2017 Tourist numbers soar in Germany but that does not come as a huge surprise as Germany really has a great deal to offer. Find out exactly what in our special theme.

Photo: © Marco Christian Krenn



Hotel of the Month, Germany Numerous wellness offers, high-quality conferences, a charming ambiance and exceptional service – the Hotel Gut Ising in Chieming is a top-class hotel.


Dedicated to Design This month’s design section boasts the latest spring fashion trends, great designs to enchant your next coffee break, high-quality jewellery and much more.

33 Wine & Dine Find out which tasty item is our product of the month in this section. 44 Culture If you are looking for an interesting museum or maybe some other inspiration for your next day trip, be sure to read our culture tips. 53 Travel Great boutiques and camp retreats and more can be found in this month’s travel section. 76 Business Filled with innovative businesses, startups and a special focus on this month’s HANNOVER MESSE, our business section also boasts our columnist Gregor Kleinknecht talking about the property ladder. 94 Culture Calendar Discover Germany’s culture calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in April. 98 Barbara Geier Column This month, our columnist Barbara Geier talks about what Easter is all about in Germany this year. Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  3

Dear Reader,

Discover Germany Issue 49, April 2017 Published 04.2017 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 Contributors Barbara Geier Cornelia Brelowski Elisabeth Doehne Emmie Collinge Gregor Kleinknecht Ina Frank

Jessica Holzhausen Marilena Stracke Silke Henkele Sonja Irani Toyah Marondel Wibke Carter Cover Photo © Marco Sensche Sales & Key Account Managers Emma Fabritius Nørregaard Laura Hummer Noura Draoui Sophie Blecha Freya Plakolb Marcel Schuppert 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:

If you happen to be in Germany around Easter, watch out for local customs and traditions as Germans love to celebrate Easter to the fullest. For instance, Germans tend to paint and decorate eggs of all sizes, before hanging them onto their Easter trees. Or, if you happen to come across a backyard, you will most likely find a variety of colourful chocolate eggs left behind from the Easter bunny that children are supposed to find. Another lovely custom is the Easter bonfire on Easter Sunday where friends and families gather together to gaze at blazing fires across the country. If you would rather go to Austria, be sure to stop by Vienna’s Supersense store – a project by entrepreneur Florian Kaps who may be better known as the saviour of Polaroid. We talked to this analogue enthusiast about his crazy quest to save Polaroid, his newest project and much more. Furthermore, none other than Judith Holofernes is on our cover this month. The former front singer of the successful German band Wir sind Helden just released her second solo album. Thus, we talked to her about her solo career and life without the band. Other topics covered in this month’s issue are Germany’s wine queens, the HANNOVER MESSE, organic products from Austria, enchanting architects, exceptional hotels, further travel tips and much, much more. Sit back, relax and thanks for reading.

For further information please visit

© 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.

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With the long Easter weekend just around the corner, we look forward to some days off! And what better way to celebrate the small holiday than with a quick getaway? To get you inspired, have a read of our top travel tips for 2017 and find out where you should head to on your next trip to Germany.

Nane Steinhoff, Editor



LHOTE & , S O INF KAGES PAC S UNTER T T I C K E o rd i a b a l l . at www.

co n c


Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds Spring is finally here and, just as the first sunrays draw us outside and into the city’s beer gardens, the newfound warm temperature calls for a wardrobe change away from thick coats and dark jumpers. Thus, let’s take a look at the season’s most exciting trends. It looks like we have to stock up on bold colours and crazy prints this spring. EDITOR’S PICKS  I  PRESS IMAGES

Founded in 1973, Marc Cain has been a premium brand for ladies’ fashion ever since and primarily produces in Germany today. This season, the brand puts its focus on exciting patterns and bold colours. Jacket £235, blouse top £209, pants £209, handbag £199.

These sunglasses by Marc O’Polo are sure to embellish every outfit and will protect your eyes from this year’s first sunrays. £121.

For the colder evenings that you might want to spend outside, add this crystal embellished, organic scarf by Cashmere Rebel London to your outfit. It is also 100 per cent cashmere. £149.

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The Germany-based brand Marc Cain stands for high-quality  craftsmanship and innovative designs – which can also be seen in this exclusive outfit. Bow-neck blouse with cherries £169, shorts (show-piece) price upon request, brooch £25, pumps £239, clutch £175.

Spice up every outfit with this shirt by Bogner. While being airy and soft, the shirt’s bird print also perfectly suits spring in general. £430.

Due to their crazy print and the comfy sole, these shoes by Görtz will immediately make you feel like you are in high summer. £PoA.

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design… We take your coffee break seriously. There are few things more enticing than the smell of a hot coffee, the delicious aromas, maybe with some milk or just plain and black. However you drink your coffee, we want to make sure that you do it in style. Therefore, we have put together five exciting designs for our favourite pause of the day. BY: THOMAS SCHROERS


1. It is no coincidence that coffee and comfort start with the same letter. To make you feel comfortable you should try Villeroy & Boch’s exquisite Artesano collection for hot beverages. Designed in curved ceramic and glass shapes, the collection includes various drinking cups, a warmer and more. 2. Grind your beans with this wonderful coffee grinder by Ad Hoc Design. The grinder is dominated by steel and acryl but experts know that the inner values count. The coffee grinder MRS. BEAN comes with the high-  performance, ceramic grinder CeraCut, which is the company’s own innovation. Furthermore, an easy turning mechanism enables four different degrees of grinding. £42. 3. Finding the right coffee cup can be challenging, but we found a solution. Here is a glass cup from Blomus, fittingly named Nero. It is a simple, streamlined design and available in different sizes. Fitting nicely in one’s hand, the cups have a good weight and the doublewalled design is able to keep your coffee warm. From £13. 4. The perfect coffee moment is influenced by its surroundings and this beautiful table by artprodeko on DaWanda will make for the perfect setting. Stylisti-  cally, one can call the table simple vintage with black and golden colourings and, optionally, dark brown or naturally lacquered legs can be chosen. £170.



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5. One coffee to go, please. But put it in this stylish, heated drinking cup. With an eye-catching red design and retro attributes, this is the perfect cup for the extra-  ordinary aficionado. Whether you are in the park, out in the city or in your car, this cup will never let you down. £30.


HAEUTE . com

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  YippieYo

The easiest way to ignite a passion for the outdoors In a world of cheap labour and disposable products, it is refreshing to see a creation that unites adults and children in adoration. Unlike a conventional children’s buggy, the Swiss-made YippieYo Crossbuggy is designed for off-road exploration, taking design cues from mountain bikes to create a long-lasting tool for unbridled family fun. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE  I  PHOTOS: YIPPIEYO

After seeing the limitations for families with young children in the outdoors, the extremely durable Crossbuggy steps in as the ultimate solution for all-terrain hikes, commutes and school runs. Tanja Ripperger, founder and CEO of YippieYo, gestures at the distinctive-looking, singleaxle buggy: “Not only is it built around a hand-welded, high-end aluminium frame, it relies on superior disc brakes rather than the more typical plastic drum brakes.” YippieYo also made the gutsy decision to manufacture in Switzerland and assemble each custom-built Crossbuggy in Germanyat a non-profit organisation. For Ripperger, the benefits are multi-fold: “We’re able to achieve impeccable quality, as well as guarantee the durability and robustness of each product.”

by Ripperger’s uncle in the 1960s, today’s model borrows the same pulling instead of pushing approach, which adds to its all-terrain credentials and retains the agile, lightweight single-axle design. One crucial difference today is the brand’s stringent adherence to safety requirements, seeing it meet Germany’s strict GS (Guaranteed Safety) certificate.“This has always been a priority, which is why we sought out a world-leading test lab in Germany, allowing us to rapidly respond and integrate safety aspects into the design, and continually test the products – particularly for safety, but also for potentially harmful substances. We also prioritise a minimal carbon footprint by sourcing all of our components from reputable manufacturers within the EU,” continues Ripperger.

While the original Crossbuggy hailed from a somewhat less safety-conscious design

With lead times of just three days in the EU, each custom-built Crossbuggy will

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last a family for years, seeing its ‘hop-on, hop-off’ approach fit children from the ages of one to six. The brand have already built up a strong reputation in central Europe, cementing partnerships with reputable family-friendly hotels in key holiday resorts like San Moritz and the Bavarian Alps, where interested families can ‘field test’ the Crossbuggy at their leisure. For this dynamic brand, sustainability is not just a buzzword; it is a core value. While YippieYo have not deliberately tried to be of the moment, they are doing a very good job with their enthusiasm, forward-thinking sustainable approach and grin-inducing product for the whole family.

Manufactured in Switzerland.

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  R. Bubeck & Sohn GmbH

The future of tradition Natural dog food and biscuits from Bubeck Bubeck has been feeding dogs since 1893. Today, R. Bubeck & Sohn is probably the world’s oldest existing family-owned bakery for pet food. Today, just like in the past, natural ingredients from primarily regional producers are processed here in Gemmingen (Baden-Wuerttemberg). TEXT & PHOTOS: R. BUBECK & SOHN GMBH, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF

“What motivates us is our passion for the healthy diet of our loyal companions, our dogs,” smiles Kai Nagel, managing director.“Bringing the CRAFT-idea into the 21st century is more important than ever to us.” Manually crafted at the highest level and baked with plenty of time and love in the stone oven – this makes the products so exceptional. In times of increasing food intolerances, Bubeck is the right choice as the company keeps the ingredient list small. In order to turn a good raw material into something healthy, one needs time and skilled craftsmanship. Both are cherished

at Bubeck and from this, their distinctive, traditional products emerge. Back to the beginnings – back to naturalness. “We bake with conviction, for the benefit of the animal… and because we can!” adds Nagel. Instead of an industrial product, pet food is a cultural asset for

Bubeck. Since 1893, Bubeck has stood for naturalness, tradition and the art of baking – often duplicated but never achieved. In Bubeck’s online shop, one can buy the entire product portfolio that freshly comes out of the baking room. This includes treats and baked food for small and large quadrupeds, as well as hearty canned meat for dogs and cats. Feeding means trusting. Get inspired from the variety of products and partake in Bubeck’s passion.

Genießt das

LEBEN Wi r k ü m m e r n u n s u m Eu r e Er n ä h r u n g !

EST. 1893

Travel in Style • Finest Italian leather • Luxury bags and accessories • Exquisite design in trendy colors • Traditionally manufactured • Passion for details • Unique styles suiting the women of today

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Joy’s Italian Fashion

One of Joy’s Italian Fashion’s customers in Pinko.

One of Joy’s Italian Fashion’s customers in Just Cavalli.

Joyce Hübner in Pinko.

International high fashion in Zurich Yves Saint Laurent, the famous French fashion designer, once said that fashion is not to make women more beautiful, but also to reassure them. Joy’s Italian Fashion boutique in Zurich certainly knows how to dress women so that they feel both beautiful and sure of themselves. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: JOYSIFASHION

Joyce Hübner, owner and name patron of Joy’s Italian Fashion boutique, had already managed a couple of fashion boutiques in Germany before she came to Zurich. She had to look for a long time before she found the perfect spot for her own fashion boutique. “I have a lot of experience in managing fashion boutiques. I love fashion and I have always loved the contact with my customers, so I was really happy when I found this beautiful shop location here in Seefeld close to the lake where I can finally follow my passion for fashion and people once again,” Hübner enthuses about her shop that opened in March 2016.

Herself a mother of two children, Hübner is very conscientious when it comes to the labels she sells. “Basically, I order what I myself would love to wear,”she says.“But I only order collections from brands, which do not produce in countries that support child labour or exploit their workers.” Consequently, international brands like Just Cavalli, Rinascimento, Kate Moss, Nikkie, Miss Miss or Steffen Schraut who fulfil these conditions can be found at Joy’s Italian Fashion boutique. In 2017, this highly interesting fashion mix is going to be supplemented by high-quality shoes by Dutch fashion label Nikkie, as well as stylish accessories and bags by the Italian labels Catalano and Carbotti.

Joy’s Italian Fashion’s prime target are women from the age of 25 who do not shy away from wearing the unconventional.

“On a personal level, it is very important for me and my team that my customers always feel well advised. We want our

customers to feel that they can trust our advice and hence like to come back to us. We want them to look and feel good in the clothes they buy from Joy’s Italian Fashion,” Hübner underlines her approach. In that, Joy’s Italian Fashion really follows Yves Saint Laurent’s maxim: her fashion and advice makes women feel sure of themselves.

Shop Joysifashion.

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  13

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Red Saphir

Handmade lava jewellery by Red Saphir Red Saphir`s lava jewellery is not only beautiful, it is also a statement of willpower and energy. The trendy lava rock pieces re-energise and are the perfect companion for high achievers or anyone who wants to become one. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: RED SAPHIR

Lava has always been a fascinating material. It reminds us of our origins and that we are part of a bigger picture. Passion, flowing energy and ambition are associated with lava and these qualities also drive Red Saphir founder Sabine Pröbstl. After changing careers, and her mother passing away, Pröbstl had to reinvent herself from scratch. In 2014, after searching for a new perfume in Monaco but not finding the right match, Pröbstl created her own fragrance. It became so popular amongst her peers that she decided to open her own label: Red Saphir. The brand’s name represents uniqueness and quality, as Pröbstl explains: “A sapphire itself is rare. Red sapphires do 14  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

not exist in nature. The combination of German and English language in the label’s name is supposed to represent this further.” Red Saphir aims to enhance its customers´ individuality. As a multi-talented creative, Pröbstl soon discovered her love for jewellery made from lava rocks and incorporated it in her business. “When my mother died of cancer, I needed to start afresh and find myself again,” Pröbstl remembers. “During that time, I often took the wrong turn. The lava collection stands for a new beginning and is supposed to give strength to its wearer. My jewellery’s aim is to inspire people to face new adventures and accompany them during new chapters of their lives.”

Red Saphir`s current bestseller is the Lava Red Crystal bracelet, which combines real lava rocks with precious red crystal pearls by Swarovski. Every piece is handmade in Austria and is therefore unique. Pröbstl adds: “I love uniqueness. I adore it. I live it. Every piece of my collection is produced with one of my core values in mind.” The lava bracelets are also available with subtle yet trendy silver or golden skulls and dark Swarovski pearls, making them perfect statement pieces for fashionconscious men and women alike. Customers can find various pieces of jewellery, including a matching lava rock necklace, in the online shop. Maybe it is time to embark on your own mission and Red Saphir jewellery is a great way to mark the start of a wonderful journey.

red CRYSTAL Das LAVA RED Crystal Armband ist unsere neueste Kreation für die Lady von Welt. Gefertigt aus echtem LAVA Gestein setzen rubinrote Perlen von Swarovski® die passenden Akzente. Das LAVA RED Crystal Collier ist die perfekte Ergänzung dazu.

Photo: © Fräch-Design und Kunst


Embellishing Germany’s indoor spaces If you are searching for new products and innovations to embellish your home or your office in line with this year’s trends, just take a look at the following pages. We have handpicked some of the best items of 2017.

Photo: © aeris

16  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Designing 2017

Different clocks on wallpaper ‘Heidi‘. Photo: © Tapeten und Uhren

So, what can we look forward to in 2017? Well, the German brand AR DECO produces luxury home textiles with silk and fake fur – all made in Germany. Their items are sure to be special eyecatchers in every home. If you’re looking for a new stylish clock or a new wallpaper, be sure to read Tapeten und Uhren’s article on the following pages. They focus on selling unique designer clocks and a variety of interesting wallpapers. Another company that we showcase in this special theme is aeris. The company has revolutionised standing and sitting in the workplace for quite a while now. Here, they present their newest, innovative products. Or how about interesting home textiles for your living room? fräch offers exactly that! Whether you search for a new rug, cushion, a room divider or more, be sure to read their article. More innovative wall partitioning or closet systems can be bought at Germany’s raumplus GmbH.

Wall-table clock ‘FLIP NO CASE‘. Manufacturer: Karlsson

Silk plaid ‘No. 5’. Photo: © AR DECO

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  17

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Designing 2017

Silk plaid ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

Designer Anja Reichenbach with silk-fur plaid ‘Imperial‘.

Silk plaid ‘No. 5’.

Cashmere-silk plaid ‘Affentheater‘.

Soft to touch and with a unique style: luxury home textiles in silk and fake fur AR DECO is a small manufactory based in Saxony, Germany that, since 2014, has fabricated unique home textiles, combining silk made in Plauen and high-quality fake fur. The product range includes elegant plaids, cushions and silk bed linens, all made in Germany. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: AR DECO

The name AR DECO is not only the combination of designer Anja Reichenbach’s name – A for Anja and R for Reichenbach – but also plays with the famous design era of Art Deco. “I am inspired by many styles, stories and people. But I frequently use very feminine pink silk combined with black fake fur. Contrasts like that are very sexy,” says designer and founder Anja Reichenbach. Every piece she designs is unique, elegant and sometimes even a bit eccentric. Because no design is like the other, her textiles attract people from different age groups and with a preference for rather different styles. What they all have in common is certain glamour. “We address customers who value uniqueness.” 18  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

Anja Reichenbach has no favourite products per se. “Every product is my favourite from the point where I have the first idea until I have finally finished it. They all tell a tale,” says the designer. The ‘Alice in Wonderland’ plaid is a girl’s true dream, coloured in a very pale pink and lined with fake rabbit fur. Or, to give a room a bit of Hollywood glamour, plaid ‘No. 5’ is a combination of two famous forms and figures, a portrait of Marilyn Monroe on the black outline of a Chanel No. 5 flacon. All is fixed on a really bright pink silk plaid that is lined with an alligator skin-like pattern. “I have put a bit of my soul and heart into every piece – and, of course, a lot of love.”

All products are made in a very small manufactory near Chemnitz because cutting and sewing the exclusive materials needs great craftsmanship. “Every piece of silk bed-linen, every plaid and every cushion is made by hand,” says Anja Reichenbach. Saxony once has been the centre of eastern Germany’s textile industry. “So, we have a great potential of very experienced seamstresses here, and I am really happy I can rely on them.” AR DECO in many ways revives older traditions while making forward-thinking home textiles.

Plaid ‘Eternity‘.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Designing 2017

‘Ringtailed Lemur‘ wall decor. Manufacturer: IXXI

Wall-table clock ‘FLIP NO CASE‘. Manufacturer: Karlsson

Creating special spaces with unique designer clocks and matching wallpapers “What we do is design walls,” says Anne Opitz who, together with her partner Aimo Eckert, has founded the online shop Tapeten und Uhren – which means ‘wallpapers and clocks’ – and a boutique in Dresden. Looking internationally, they bring together design classics and new, unique design ideas. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN

When Anne Opitz and Aimo Eckert started their shop ten years ago, they were new to the business: Aimo Eckert is a glassblower and specialist for building picture frames – so he already had something to do with design. Anne Opitz, on the other hand, had worked as a music dealer. Coming from different professions allowed them to have “a new and fresh perspective”, she says. Exploring and finding the right designs for matching clocks and wallpapers is an ever-new adventure. 20  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

“I think we inspire each other. We are not only working together but are also a couple in our private lives and have a daughter,” says owner Anne Opitz about her partner. “That makes us an invincible team.”Inspiration often comes in everyday life: “We always keep our eyes open because life always shows us a lot of beautiful things, may it be when watching a British crime series or strolling through a foreign city.”But apart from that, they say they find many of their products at trade fairs.

Working in such a changing market that is influenced by trends from all over the world, it is of course not easy to pick a favourite. “We have a lot of products we really love – every now and then a new one… at the moment we are really keen on flipclocks.”The retro clocks have a very sleek design – often black and white – and the time is shown by flipping the numbers, just as the name suggests. “After many years, there are finally some great models on the market again. They offer a completely different way to show the time,” says Opitz. One model Tapeten und Uhren has currently on offer is the design clock FLIP NO CASE by the Dutch clockmaker Karlsson, a flipclock in gold and white that can either be fixed on the wall or used as table clock. What makes it so special is the

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Designing 2017

fact that it comes without casing and the splitflap display is held in place by a shimmery golden frame, making the clock a real eye catcher in modern or retro-styled rooms.

bination of wallpaper and clocks. Because not all wallpapers and surfaces can be displayed correctly on a computer screen, the wallpaper range in the shop is actually even larger than on the online shop.

That is how Aimo Eckert and Anne Opitz first started out: selling special clocks for special rooms. More than ten years ago, Aimo Eckert had the idea to open an online shop for clocks. All of them were displays on unique backgrounds especially chosen for the photoshoot. Over time, more and more people asked where they could buy the wallpaper these clocks were displayed on. So, in the end, Tapeten und Uhren started to sell wallpapers as well. “The combination now is a very unique and very successful business model.”

When it comes to wallpaper, Swedish and English designs are among Anne Opitz’ favourites. “Both are very different.”Take, for example, the FAMILJ series from the Swedish manufacturer Sandberg: as the name suggests, the series contains designs for the whole family. No matter how old, no matter if mother, father, sister, brother or living together as a group of family-like friends, the wallpapers offer the feeling of being at home and connected. The designs in total vary from showing geometric forms to flower designs, from colourful dots to the wallpaper KASPER for children. What unite them are the muted colours. All of them are eco-friendly, non-woven wallpapers

While all products can be ordered online, when customers visit their shop in Dresden both owners help to find the perfect com-

‘HOVER‘ wallpaper. Manufacturer: ARTE

‘RIVERIE‘ wallpaper. Manufacturer: LITTLE GREEN

and can thus be fixed to the wall quite easily – and can be cleaned with a wet cloth when stained. “We put a special emphasis on sustainable products,” says Opitz. “We have a wide range of wallpapers from sustainable forestry that are made without plasticisers, PVC and solvents.” In total, Tapeten und Uhren has 13,000 wallpapers and 800 clocks on offer “All our products are selected for their high quality. You can’t find them at every corner,” says Anne Opitz. For those who are renting and are not allowed to put up some wallpaper, they now have ixxi on offer, a decoration system from the Netherlands containing of squares that are fixed to the wall like pictures. Motifs include Star Wars and famous art works.

‘Hagalund‘ wallpaper. Manufacturer: Sandberg

Scion’s ‘VECTOR‘ wallpaper and Umbra’s ‘RIBBON‘ clock. Manufacturer: Scion and Umbra

Anne Opitz and Aimo Eckert. Photo: Tapeten und Uhren

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  21

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Designing 2017

oyo and swopper LIVING.

Ergonomic office chairs with style and motion aeris LIVING is a contemporary seating series suitable for home offices and professional work environments. The Munich-based company aeris GmbH has devoted itself to revolutionising sitting and standing at the workplace with a simple philosophy: allowing more movement for a healthier work atmosphere. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: AERIS

“Our LIVING series shows that it is possible to decide for an office chair that is top when it comes to functionality, ergonomics and at the same time is trendy, with an individual style,” says Susanna Kindler, COO / executive vice president of aeris GmbH. Both swopper and oyo LIVING combine state-of-the-art design with healthy sitting. Trendy felt upholstering in fashionable colours give the overall design the fine-tuning. swopper and oyo LIVING both encourage movement when sitting at the desk.“Everyone knows that our sedentary lifestyle, mostly happening at the workplace, is not healthy. Fatigue, tensions and even serious health issues are often the result. And that is where our products set in.”oyo, for example, invites to assume all sorts of different sitting positions.

step, from material science to production. “All aeris products are made with 100 per cent dedication and conviction,” explains Susanna Kindler.“At a first glance, customers will recognise that what looks like aeris also keeps what aeris promises as a brand: functional, technical and aesthetic quality.”

What makes aeris products so special is that the company is involved in every

At the same time, the layout of office spaces is changing as well, acknowledging that

22  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

employees’ productivity is linked to the design of office environments, the need for communication, motion and joint working areas. The possibility to give workspaces an individual touch is something many employees appreciate. In both areas – home and office – there are more requirements an office chair has to fulfil, tells Kindler: “The chair should enable healthy sitting and working, should enhance the well-being and allow the expression of individuality. And that is something the aeris products swopper and oyo LIVING definitely fulfil.”

Working at home plays an important role in today’s life. “Frequently, we are not speaking of the classic home office but a space integrated into the living room, kitchen or guest bedroom. That has to do with digitalisation that allows working from everywhere but also with shortages of living space in the cities,” adds Susanna Kindler. Especially when integrating workspaces into living areas, people do not want to have boring office chairs standing around.

Susanna Kindler, COO / executive vice president of aeris GmbH

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Designing 2017

All-natural and handmade treasures Earth-friendly, all natural, no chemicals – but bold in colour and designs. Fräch, the Hamburg-based studio for art, furniture and design, handcrafts custom carpets, cushions, chairs, and products marked by their purity, natural or colourful tones and classic materials.

Design screen (paravent) ‘Grüne Hecke’.


Natural wool – as the primary raw material used – balances the consistent and unshakable demand for a stylish, durable, high-quality flooring choice with the increasing eco-sensitivity and sustainability. Felt design products are soft to touch, heat and cold insulation, insulate noises in the living and working space, antistatic, abrasion-resistant and washable. In fact, wool has a positive effect on acoustics as well as humidity in rooms, making it perfectly suitable for modern spaces that are built with glass and concrete. The hands of artist Anja Matzke-Schubert, owner of the design studio, craft everything with immense care and thoughtfulness. She has produced natural textiles for professional practices,

offices, hotels, musical and public spaces, and private homes. Aesthetically, the designs cover a spectrum of styles and forms: from objects with linear, straightforward form and a puristic clarity to irregular, organic forms, or careful embroidery and motifs, from natural tones to and bright colours. Because all products are handmade and individually tailored to customers’ tastes and functional needs, they become objects that embody purpose, clarity and timeless design. At the same time, they complement the sustainable approach to living and working in meaningful spaces that are in sync with the environment. www.frä

Acoustic elements.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design of Switzerland

Photo: © Daniele Kaehr & Maya Wipf


Switzerland’s innovative thinkers Ever wondered what typical Swiss design usually entails? Find out more on the following pages where we present some of the country’s most innovative designers and their enchanting products.

Photo: ©

24  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

Photo: © Lifetime Kidsrooms

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design of Switzerland

Exquisite nurseries styled in Switzerland Parents, without a doubt, only want the best for their children. So, when it comes to the design of stylish and safe nurseries and children’s rooms, Kids Design Zürich should be your first point of contact. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: LIFETIME KIDSROOMS

Disappointed by the lack of availability of children’s furniture in Switzerland, Karin Grossenbacher founded Kids Design more than 15 years ago. “We were the first to offer a comprehensive choice of various designer furniture brands aimed at the particular needs of children,” reminisces Grossenbacher, member of management and project planner, about the first steps of Kids Design which, apart from furniture, also stocks stylish children’s clothes. Aimed at customers who take conscious decisions about the interior of their home, Kids Design has initiated an unusual service:“Me and my business partner Doina Jung from ‘Style your home’ have initiated our kids project and design office to help our customers to find the perfect

interior design for their child’s nursery,” explains Grossenbacher. Kids Design creates a concept for the interior design of rooms ranging from nurseries to teenagers’, and sometimes even adults’ rooms, which the customer is invited to examine and discuss in Kids Design’s design office in Rüschlikon. If the customer decides for Kids Design’s services, the team will take care of the planning, delivery and installation of furniture, as well as the supervision of the execution of the project. A carefree way to find a perfect nursery without any hassle - you and your child will love it.

Good luck on a key ring, design on the wrist Key rings can be quite boring to look at and easily get lost in a handbag. So why not add some colour or shape, some unique design? In 2000, the Swiss company KeeeART has fabricated the first silver designer key cap, called keeetop. Pushed over a key, it turns a bunch of keys into an individual piece of jewellery. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: KEEEART

“Especially for key caps, symbols are very popular because they communicate something: A guardian angel, a cloverleaf, a heart or an infinite knot – all have a meaning,” says founder and creator Julia Schwöbel. “We are carrying our key rings with us all day and when adding a symbolic keeetop and a charm, a bunch of keys becomes a talisman.”When starting out, Schwöbel created various prototypes until she was happy with the result: a keeetop that actually fits on almost every key with a round top. The keeetops became a large success in Switzerland. The overall look has stayed nearly the same: a silver bottom and blackened contours to bring out the symbols.

“Some designs are so sought after that we are including them in our collection over and over again,” says Julia Schwöbel – for

example the keeetops Flower Power and Ladybug. Meanwhile, the company has widened its product portfolio and included charms and jewellery, all made from 925 silver, stainless steel, leather, resin, enamel and gemstones. For the jewellery, KeeeART uses forms and symbols relating to the keeetops.

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  25

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design of Switzerland

Swiss perfumes inspired by the mountains Brigitte Witschi has been fascinated by scents her entire life. Now she creates her own special perfumes in her atelier in the Swiss capital of Bern. TEXT: INA FRANK

“Already as a child, I had an affinity for scents,” says Brigitte Witschi. “I experienced the world around me through my nose: freshly cut grass, dry wood, the young sheep on a farm and much more.” Besides, one of her neighbours worked as a perfumer. Witschi remembers: “When she developed new creations, she always had her windows wide open and I could smell from far away which mixture she was creating.” Witschi was allowed to help her with bottling, binding meshes and sticking the labels. The fascination for scents has accompanied her for her entire life. Her different lines of perfumes will surely suit every taste. The line ‘Bergduft’ is available with edelweiss, blue gentian and Carline thistle. Soon, it will be extended by a handmade soap. The ‘Bern

Collection’, to which belongs the extraordinary ‘Aarewasser’, will soon include a second perfume dedicated to the heraldic animal of Bern, the bear Finn. The exclusive line ‘Parfums d’Atelier’ can only be purchased in Witschi’s own atelier. “For this product range, there will be two new creations. One will be the summer scent ‘sundust’,” Witschi reveals. Above all, Witschi offers perfume workshops. Participants learn a great deal about perfumes and can create their very own fragrance. Witschi’s city tour ‘Bern following your nose’ is something very special: one can experience the Swiss capital in a different way and afterwards create a fragrance as a souvenir.

Brigitte Witschi. Photo: © Rachel Morgan Liechti

The ‘Aarewasser’. Photo: ©

Photo: ©

Bespoke couture made in Switzerland Some events are just too important to spoil with carelessly chosen garments. So make sure you are always dressed to impress - preferably in high-quality clothes that fit you like a glove. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: DANIELE KAEHR & MAYA WIPF

Karin Bischoff and Kathrin Baumberger immediately liked each other when they first met at the fashion project SENTIS. Out of this initial mutual sympathy, Die Manufaktur originated in 2009, a workshop that produces exclusive, hand-stitched couture. “Karin and myself, we are both tailoring enthusiasts. We and our team are all about unforgettable designs, comfortable cuts and the manufacture of exquisite, wearable but at the same time distinctive fashion,” says Baumberger, explaining Die Manufaktur’s couture’s appeal. Customers in search for that particular something will be pleased to hear about Die Manufaktur: “We are one of the few couture tailor shops in Switzerland offering bespoke, hand-stitched couture for all 26  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

occasions. So, regardless whether you are looking for a memorable wedding gown or a dress for a grand entrance on the red carpet, for bespoke suits and shirts for businessmen and women, or for corporate fashion concepts, Die Manufaktur should be your first point of contact,” Baumberger elaborates.

Has this peaked your interest? Then make sure to visit Die Manufaktur on their premises in St. Gallen on 8 April 2017. On this day, you will have the chance to take an exclusive sneak peek at Die Manufaktur’s upcoming spring 2017 collection.

Even the smallest details are exquisitely stitched by hand.

Owners of Die Manufaktur: Kathrin Baumberger (right) and Karin Bischoff (left).

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Design of Switzerland

Fashion shoes for the digital world The Zurich-based dovia GmbH is running a self-titled online shop and is constantly aiming for innovation in the Swiss digital market for shoes and accessories. Clearly focused on young, fashion-conscious women, the offerings include a diverse array of shoes from the company’s own brand DOVIA and complementary accessories. Since its launch in 2014, dovia, as an E-Commerce start-up, has made quite an impression on Swiss customers. With a passion for quality and service, the company has established a shop that is highly frequented. Accompanied by social media pages including a Facebook page with around 22,000 fans, dovia is attracting a growing crowd of fashion lovers. Primarily, dovia is selling products by its own brand DOVIA. In finding the latest collections, dovia’s product management team is analysing current trends and subsequently translating their findings into collection choices. One key to the shop’s success is its willingness to surprise its audience. Often the collection includes extravagant, colourful items that one cannot find anywhere else.

Next to the product quality, dovia is putting a great emphasis on its service developments. As a dynamic and innovative company, it was the first Swiss online shoe seller with a Same Day Delivery option. Next to the delivery service, the

Sandals from the brand DOVIA. Photo: © dovia GmbH


online shop helps customers by using a live chat tool. As a further development, dovia will soon launch a new online shop called DOVIALUX for high-quality fashion jewellery.

The former Miss Switzerland Kerstin Cook advertising for dovia. Photo: © Sven Walliser

Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Judith Holofernes

Judith Holofernes

Causing chaos Judith Holofernes is best known as the lead singer of the German pop rock band Wir Sind Helden, but in recent years she has primarily concentrated on her solo career. The multiple Echo and EinsLive Krone award winner is famous for her poetic and virtuoso lyrics and is thus among Germany’s most successful artists. With her second solo album release last month, Discover Germany spoke to her about life without the band, her new project and much more.

album with the title Ich bin das Chaos (I am the chaos) came out. Judith says: “I perceive this album as gloomy-colourful, somehow bright, joyful, but also very melancholic in parts. It is primarily about joy and suffering and our touching failed attempts in both directions.”


Everyone probably remembers Wir Sind Helden’s Denkmal or Nur ein Wort – songs that half of Germany had stuck in their heads in the early 2000s. Everyone most likely also remembers Judith Holofernes - Wir Sind Helden’s bubbly, outspoken lead singer. It was a shock for many fans that the band decided to go on an indefinite hiatus on 4 April 2012. The primary reasons for this were the distance between the band members’ home cities, their individual family lives, the “signs of wear and tear”and the feeling of an increasingly impossible undertaking. However, it seems that Judith Holofernes was not able to stop making music for long. ‘Music simply ousted everything else’ “It was really hard [to quit Wir Sind Helden] but now I’m really happy that I went solo even though that wasn’t planned at all. I imagined a much more contemplative and tranquil life for myself but the music simply spread its elbows and ousted everything else,” Judith laughs and adds: “But as a solo artist, I am able to work less and in a more self-determined way – this suits having a family way better.” Her family includes her husband and former band colleague Pola Roy, as well 28  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

as their two children. Together, they currently live in Berlin’s Kreuzberg – the place where Judith also grew up. She smiles: “I love Kreuzberg! I was born here but moved to Freiburg in the Breisgau at the age of six. That wasn’t easy for me at the start but, in the end, I fought against going back to Berlin for a long time. When I reluctantly did so in my early twenties, it was a kind of homecoming though.” Looking back at Judith’s past and childhood, it seems no wonder that she decided to become a musician. For example, at the young age of 14, she started to busk in the streets of Freiburg. She explains: “As a child, I always answered ‘I will become nothing’ when someone asked me about career aspirations – maybe because I knew that it isn’t directly about this. However, from the age of 14, I was entirely sure that I wanted to be a singer and songwriter. I saw the Ramones on TV and from that point on, there was no turning back.” Going solo After the successful run with Wir Sind Helden, it was time for Judith’s first solo album Ein leichtes Schwert (A light sword) in 2014. Last month, her second, long-awaited

When listening to Ich bin das Chaos, influences from Breeders, Cramps, Nick Cave, the early Bowie, Marvin Gaye or Cyndi Lauper become obvious. Great melody curves, fascinating choirs, strings and wind players with synthetic flutes, as well as absurd, groovy lyrics – the album is something in between very entertaining and very sad. Judith explains: “I think my sound is somehow related to the sound of Wir Sind Helden – most likely to the first and last Helden-record… maybe my solo sound is a bit more organic, with less synth and a bit further away from pop?” The idea of chaos and our dealings with it is a clear thread throughout all of the new album’s 11 songs. Judith explains: “I almost see the album as a small musical in which all protagonists in the songs inhabit the same world and quarrel with it in different ways. All are somehow in love with the chaos but also fear it. I liked this tension.“ The surprising collaboration with the Faroese songwriter Teitur formed the album’s distinctive sound and Pola Roy, Holfernes’ husband, produced the album. Judith says: “Working with Pola and Teitur was really free, fun and playful. The

Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Judith Holofernes

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  29

Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Judith Holofernes

hardest part is always the last few weeks when everything is almost done and only the song order needs to be determined and the songs need to be mixed. But that’s the part where I almost turn crazy every time. I think, in the end, I listened to the entire album around 40 times.” When asked about her personal favourite song, she smiles: “Well, I have favourite moments. The crazy synth-flute solos in Charlotte Atlas or the hippie-clarinet in the outro of Oder an die Freude. Oh, and of course the ‘Heyheys’ in Ich bin das Chaos.” On tour Judith and Teitur. Photo: © Trondur Dalsgard

Holofernes-fans can look forward to 2017 as Judith is on tour in spring, alongside six band members, including Teitur.“We started right after the album release as I prefer to play concerts than going on a big interview series. In the summer, there will also be some festivals lined up and then… we will see! Maybe I’ll also play some concerts all by myself. The readings that I did for my published book of poems were so much fun that I have had this idea in my head ever since to go on some shows by myself,” Judith notes. After having achieved so much already, we wanted to know what other dreams and wishes Judith might have for the future. She laughs: “Many! I want to meet more great artists and write with them. Some of the English songs that Teitur and me wrote might go on tour with other artists – that’s also really exciting. Furthermore, I was always quite sad that I wasn’t able to travel to great countries with the Goethe Institute due to the births of my children. All my friends did it and I was always quite down that I couldn’t. Slowly, I should be able to do this now. I would love to go to Southeast Asia or South America or South Europe. Preferably in winter.”

UPCOMING TOUR DATES: - 22 April: Stade, Hanse Song Festival - 24 April: Hannover, Pavillon - 25 April: Dresden, Scheune - 27 April: Bremen, Lagerhaus - 28 April: Stuttgart, Im Wizemann - 29 April: Freiburg, Jazzhaus

30  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Judith Holofernes

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  31

Discover Germany  |  Interview  |  BrickVest

Dr. Thomas Schneider. Photo: © BrickVest

Potsdamer square. Photo: © Berlin Partner, Wuestenhagen

Real estate investment for everyone Located in Berlin, BrickVest is an online real estate investment platform. In our interview, chief investment officer and founder Dr. Thomas Schneider talks about his company, his decision to move it to Berlin and Brexit implications. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

Let’s start by introducing BrickVest. Take me through your company’s origins and core ideas. Schneider: Actually, one can describe us in one sentence. BrickVest is an online real estate investment platform. Looking back, I can recall numerous conversations, which might have sparked ideas for BrickVest. I’ve been in real estate investment all my life, but when I was asked if I myself ever invested, the answer was no. For a guy like you or me it’s just impossible to get access to the real estate investment market under the same terms and conditions as the institutional investors. With BrickVest, we’re taking the opportunities of the internet and changing this situation. When people become members on our site, they receive an all-round carefree package and can take part in deals to which they normally wouldn’t have access. Those are institutional-class real investment deals, which we made available to our members and consequently, they can take part with an investment of only 1,000 euros. 32  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

You started BrickVest in 2015. How has the development been? Schneider: Our growth has been quite good. Currently we’ve got 3,500 active users, which doesn’t sound a lot, but the number is increasing by 10 to 15 per cent a month, which is great. We’ve started with only four people and now employ 15. So, we’re still growing organically. You’ve got to consider that investing has a lot to do with trust and establishing the necessary level of trust takes time. Last year, after the Brexit vote, you moved to Berlin. What does the city offer you? Schneider: We employ 15 people from eleven nationalities and we need this international talent pool. Like New York, Berlin represents the world at large. For us it’s the perfect economic environment for recruiting talent from all over the world and for our growth in the coming years. Plus, there is the social component. Our international employees feel comfortable in the city and the rent for them and for us as a business are considerably lower.

What were your initial thoughts after the Brexit decision? Schneider: Like everybody else, we were very surprised. You know, the perceived risk in investing in a start-up is already high and something like the Brexit further heightens it. We immediately began our move, to show our investors that we care and are quickly adopting to the new situation and challenges that might come with it. The partial move took us only three to four weeks. We’re very happy with how smooth things went. Our back office and IT department is now here in Berlin and we are perfectly set up for whatever direction the UK Brexit negotiations will head to. Berlin’s Oberbaum Bridge. Photo: © Berlin Partner, Wuestenhagen

Government quarter in Berlin. Photo: © Berlin Partner, Scholvien

Discover Germany  |  Wine & Dine  |  Product of the Month

Adam Mikusch.

Interior of the shop.

‘Berliner Senfsauce’.


Life is too short to do the wrong things Smell, taste, sense. Experiencing authentic Berlin has always been the key driver of Adam Mikusch, creator of the original flavour ‘Berliner Senfsauce’. Celebrating the variety of unique taste experiences was the starting point to create his outstanding products and for his concept store EAT BERLIN. Whether one prefers salads or grilled meat, Haus der feinen Kost offers products to add the special touch.

“One can now easily find delicious products from Berlin manufacturers without having to search one food market after the other,”Mikusch tells.


“It is about smelling, tasting and experiencing authentic Berlin.” The shop even inspired him to develop new products, like the SUPERIOR GOLD DRESSING and the CURRYWURST MAKER with 24-carat gold. One can taste many of the innovative delicacies directly in the shop. “Above all, EAT BERLIN’s products are the perfect individual and special souvenirs from Berlin,” Mikusch sums it up.

“As a child, I mainly loved two things: eating and painting,” Adam Mikusch remembers. At first, he went in the direction of painting and studied communication design. After having worked in the design branch for a few years, Mikusch realised that he is only happy when he can create delicious meals for others. The idea for Haus der feinen Kost was born. Following the two mottos ‘Life is too short to do the wrong things’ and ‘There are simply no good ready-made dressings’, he founded his company in 2010 in Wedding, a district of Berlin. “At first, I worked in a four-square-metre room and sold my dressings on a weekly market,” Mikusch recalls. He had by then developed the three flavours ‘wild field herbs’, ‘mustard blossom’ and ‘wild balsamico’. Following the public’s increasing interest for the local Haus der feinen Kost’s products, the company enlarged and moved

to Lichtenberg. Renowned sales partners include the Berlin department store KaDeWe, Lafayette and the supermarket chains REWE, EDEKA and Kaufland. Everything is handcrafted and contains only the best ingredients. Driven by passion and burning to invent a whole new flavour, he finally developed the Berlin mustard sauce, the sauce for everything – already a Berlin original. This concept proved to be successful: in 2012, Adam Mikusch was awarded with the start-up prize by the bank KfW. ‘Small manufacture, big taste’, one could call it.

Special souvenirs from Berlin

‘EAT BERLIN – The very best of Berlin’s delicacy manufactures’ According to this motto, in 2014, Mikusch opened his own shop, centrally located in the Hackesche, Hof 7. EAT BERLIN now brings more than 50 food start-ups and ‘indulgence moles’ together in one place.

Berliner Manufaktur Dressings.

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  33

Discover Germany  |  Wine & Dine  |  Germany’s Wine Queens

The German Wine Queen – rule, and pour generously Germany may not have its own royal family, but once a year it crowns a Wine Queen in a tradition that dates back to the 1930s. For many years, wine queens were seen as the epitome of the beautiful, traditional German girl in a dirndl; but times have changed. TEXT: WIBKE CARTER  |  PHOTOS: DEUTSCHES WEININSTITUT

”I need a drink”, were the first words the new German Wine Queen, Lena Endesfelder, spoke into the microphone immediately after her coronation, to the amusement of the audience. However, there is not a great deal of time for her to enjoy a glass or two. Until September 2017, when her successor is crowned, the reigning German Wine Queen acts, supported by two wine princesses, as an ambassador for Germany´s wines at over 200 engagements domestically and abroad in countries as far as Canada or Japan. 34  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

Crowning a wine queen started in the 1930s, when wine consumption was low in Germany with only three litres per capita and wine festivals, though popular up and down the country, lacked a certain sparkle. Thus, a group of men from the Palatine wine region, led by publisher Daniel Meininger, came up with the idea of having a queen; what would be considered a PR stunt today. In 1931, the first five contestants entered the competition, held during the annual fair in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, and Ruth Bachrodt, vot-

Main image: Oestrich-Winkel Schloss Vollrads - winegrowing district Rheingau. Photo: © DZT From top left: Coronation of Lena Endesfelder. Rheingau wine region – Eberbach Abbey, wine barrels. Rüdesheim Drosselgasse. Photo: © Rüdesheim Tourist AG Former German Wine Queen Janina Huhn (2014 - 2015). Group picture: German Wine Queen candidates 2016.

ed the prettiest girl, was elected. Ironically, the first wine queen came from Pirmasens where, in fact, no wine is produced. Over the following years, subsequent wine queens were crowned until in 1949 with the involvement of the German Wine Institute (Deutsches Weininstitut). The competition became institutionalised and Elisabeth Kuhn was officially nominated as the German Wine Queen. Early on, the selection process resembled that of a beauty pageant with wine queens embodying the traditional image of the pretty and virtuous maiden in traditional costume. As the Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote in 1950, they were “true daughters of the vineyards, they were of powerful build, healthy and wholesome”. Their assessment included dancing the waltz, giving

Discover Germany  |  Wine & Dine  |  Germany’s Wine Queens

a speech, and participants also had to be single and come from a family of wine growers. In the 1980s, the public image of the Wine Queen began to fundamentally change from a role for young women vintners or those who were linked to the wine trade, to being a career springboard into other areas like marketing, gastronomy, or even politics. From 1981, German Wine Queens were no longer required to wear a traditional dirndl dress, though they still carry a crown to this day. In 1999, the rules about family vintner connections were relaxed so that candidates now have to have “clear and strong ties with German wines”, demonstrated by “appropriate wine-related training and / or a family relationship with the local wine production and / or the qualification as an area wine queen”.

The German Wine Queen gets elected every year by a large panel of experts and only the regional queens from the 13 wine-growing areas can stand as candidates. Selection is no longer so much based on good looks and dancing skills, but a wealth of knowledge instead. In addition to expertise in oenology and winemaking technology, proficiency in foreign languages and a knowledge of the export business are required as well. After a preliminary selection, six candidates go through to the final round, a televised event watched by more than a million viewers. Eventually, the candidate who best represents and explains German wine with competence, skill, and humour is given the title. Monika Reule, managing director of the German Wine Institute, emphasises: “We take the office of the German wine queen and princesses seriously. As ambassadors

of German wine, they are sent around the world for all kinds of events, and they must be capable of making a perfect appearance on the international stage.” Although the Wine Queen competition is decades old, it nevertheless goes with the times. Last year, a Syrian refugee was chosen to be the Wine Queen of the Mosel region, one of Germany’s top wine-making regions. Ninorta Bahno, the first asylum seeker to receive such an accolade, is not the only non-traditional pick in recent history. In Kesten, a small town of 350 people, it was a male law student who came away with the crown, after local women failed to step up as wine queen. Sven Finke modelled himself after the Greek god of wine and all things mischief, Bacchus, complete with laurel wreath, wine goblet, and tunic.

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  35

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austria’s Organic Experts

Photo: ©, Suzie’s Farm

S P E C I A L T H E M E : A U S T R I A’ S O R G A N I C E X P E R T S

A focus on supreme quality It is omnipresent that, in our world, natural products become more and more popular, as well as vital. Whether these are organic cosmetics or innovative foodstuffs, Austria is a forerunner in producing organic products – as can also be seen from the following pages.

Photo: ©, Lubomir Walder

36  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

Photo: ©, Christina B Castro

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austria’s Organic Experts

The fine art of organic beauty Since 2007, the family-run business GÍÍLINEA-BÍO has been on the forefront of organic, bio cosmetics. In recent years, the company’s customers grew with the overall trend regarding a more natural lifestyle. Now, after having expanded from Austria to Germany, Bulgaria and Brazil, GÍÍLINEA-BÍO has taken the next step by creating an online shop for the UK and releasing a whole range of new products. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTOS: GÍÍLINEA-BÍO

Founder Franz Leibetseder, who was raised in a chemist’s family around herbs and tea, always had a great affection for their natural power. Once he had grown up, he worked for a cosmetics company, but quickly realised that industrial manufacturing did not fit his ideas of natural skin care. A trip to Brazil further cemented this belief and inspired him to make the protection of nature his life’s work. GÍÍLINEA-BÍO was founded on this belief and started out with a concept of regional production, selling to organic stores and pharmacies. Producing products for skin and hair care, GÍÍLINEA-BÍO only uses natural ingredients that are traded fairly. There is a passion for aloe

vera and the long-standing tradition of it as a medical plant. GÍÍLINEA-BÍO uses aloe vera in its purest, highly concentrated form, ensuring that all essential elements of the plant stay in the products. Next to expanding to the UK, there is also a new product line called GÍÍLINEABÍO Essential Elements. Included in the line is Essential Eye Complex, an antiageing eye care, Gentle Cleansing Foam, which is an organic, vegan face wash, an aloe vera based anti-ageing skin elixir and a 24-hour advanced moisturiser. These products and more are available at the following website.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austria’s Organic Experts

Organic passion made in Austria There are no excuses nowadays to not lead a healthy, environmentally conscious lifestyle, as the means to follow an organic and nourishing and above all environmentally and people-friendly diet are easily available. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: LEMBERONA HANDELS GMBH

Lemberona is a people-conscious Viennabased company that has specialised in organic and Fair Trade food; the company’s offer comprises local farmers’ organic and as well as Fair Trade organic food products grown by non-local small farmers. “We choose our products carefully and by following our own very strict standards. In setting these, we pay tribute to one of the cornerstones of our philosophy, namely the responsibility we feel for humanity and for our planet in general and for our suppliers and customers in particular,“ says Elmira Bertagnoli, the director of Lemberona, explaining the company’s concept.

which translates as ‘live sustainably with the best resources’. “Our company’s name not only gives voice to the guiding principle of our company and our brands ‘Perlen von Samarkand’ (Pearls of Samarkand) and ’Bio-Leben’ (Organic Living) but also mirrors the knowledge and awareness me and my family have gathered over a considerable amount of time,” Bertagnoli further explicates. Family Bertagnoli, who are the initiators of Lemberona and its concept, is deeply rooted within Austrian agriculture and for many generations has operated a number of mills in the Lower Austrian area.

A family tradition becomes Lemberona’s mission

Perlen von Samarkand and Bio-Leben — Lemberona’s Fair Trade organic brands

The company’s name says it all: Lemberona is a fantasy word devised from the first letters of Lemberona’s guiding principle ‘Lebe mit besten Rohstoffen nachhaltig’, 38  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

“People working at Lemberona are very much aware of the concerns of small farmers who have specialised in organic

farming methods. This makes us particularly sensitive towards their needs and living conditions,“ Bertagnoli underlines Lemberona’s provider-conscious concept. Consequently, Lemberona has initiated partnerships with small farmers from all over the world and under the label ’Perlen von Samarkand’ sells fairly traded high-quality organic products grown in countries as varied as Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Mexico, India, and many more. Yet, fairly traded products are but one side of Lemberona’s medal. “While we are very sensitive towards our producers’ needs and the necessity to pay fair prices, we also want to support our local Austrian farmers. ‘Bio-Leben’ is our brand that sells organic food, which is 100 per cent Austrian-grown, processed and packed. By selling our Austrian farmers’ produce, we not only promote the farmers’ subsistence, we also make our customers aware of the diversity of the local Austrian food spectrum,” Bertagnoli explains. The fact that Lemberona acts in a peopleconscious way has the positive side-effects that they only offer high-quality food to

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austria’s Organic Experts

their customers. “The products we sell comprise of only the best ingredients. They grow in a natural climate and in healthy soil. The fact that each of our products is traceable to its origins, certainly adds to the credibility of our mission and that of our labels,” says Bertagnoli.

voltaik facilities,” says Bertagnoli, further explaining Lemberona’s environmentally conscious concept and thus underlines Lemberona’s unconditioned support of a life lived in harmony with nature and the respectful use of human as well as material resources.

Sustainable energy

What is new in 2017?

While Lemberona takes care to sell only high-quality, fairly traded and organic food, the manner of production is equally environmentally conscious.“We at Lemberona do not want to restrict ourselves to making a difference in the production of high-quality food; we also want to contribute to a positive environmental balance. A considerable percentage of the electricity we use for the processing of our food is therefore provided by our own photo-

So far exclusively available at Austrian wholesalers and on the internet, this spring will mark an important milestone for Lemberona with the opening of their first store. As of April 2017, Lemberona’s products will be available in Vienna’s Vorgartenstraße. “The decision to open our own store has been an important step for us - a step, I am sure, our customers will support and welcome with all their heart,” enthuses Bertagnoli about these new de-

velopments. The opening of the shop will also entail the expansion of services as customers will be able to enjoy the services of nutrition consultations directly on-site. With an impressive choice of food ranging from organic dried fruit and vegetables to cereals, oils, nuts, and many more, Lemberona’s customers are certainly spoilt for choice. Consequently, readers who are not resident in Austria will be pleased to learn that Lemberona’s organic products, besides being available online, are also dispatched to the EU, the UK and the USA. This service makes living and eating consciously and healthily a veritable piece of (organic) cake - a cake you are certain to love.

Main image: Produced by Lemberona with 100 per cent of Austrian resources in the fifth generation. Below: Almond purée, coconut oil, coconut purée and black tahini without additives.

Fair Trade farmer in Uzbekistan.

Solar plant in Uzbekistan.

CEO Elmira Bertagnoli.

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  39

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austria’s Organic Experts Layering set for dry and mature skin with rose and pomegranate.

Beauty Oil with lily for radiant skin.

Organic superfood cosmetics

– your skin’s new best friend A decade ago, superfoods were almost unknown to the public. Nowadays, for many beauty product consumers, the green trend is part of a modern lifestyle. TEXT: TOYAH MARONDEL  I  PHOTOS: PURE SKIN FOOD

The term ‘superfood’ stands for nutrient powerhouses, which are packed with large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals. Pure Skin Food, a start-up located in Austria, offers 100 per cent organic, vegan and cruelty-free superfood cosmetics that do not contain any synthetic additives like preservatives, emulgators, perfume, nor alcohol or palm oil. The organic cosmetics from Pure Skin Food are crafted purely out of exquisite plant oils, essences and powders. According to founder Lisa Dobler, after a long and fruitless search for all-plant cosmetics without synthetic and or natural-identical additives, she began to realise her vision of wholly organic cosmetics.“My skin used to be sensitive and dry. However, I discovered facial oil which began to make me feel really enthusiastic,”she explains.“Therefore, I founded Pure Skin Food with my colleague Dr. Nicole Doyle.” 40  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

At Pure Skin Food, moringa, chia, argan oil, aronia, spirulina and many other remarkable plants combine in cosmetic vials and work together for a radiant complexion. “Our cosmetic is designed for all the people who have the same, high demands as we do, and we are not willing to compromise at the expense of the environment or our own health,”Lisa Dobler revealed.

Skin care products based on the cosmetic benefits of superfoods are the latest trend in natural cosmetics. Pure Skin Food has developed a series of beauty masks which harness the active ingredients and high nutrient content of these special plant powders. The Superfood Masks are available from 19.90 euros. So if you have cleaned up your diet and banned harsh cleaning products from your arsenal, you are on the path to natural bliss. However, there is just one left to tackle: 100 per cent organic skin care from Pure Skin Food!

The skin care systems for various skin types are the centerpiece of the Pure Skin Food selection. In contrast to conventional creams, Pure Skin Food employs a two-stage care, consisting of a toning moisturiser and a facial oil. Depending on the individual needs of the skin, both products are combined to form a daily beauty routine of true freshness. The skin is cleaned down to the pores according to the oil cleansing method, then extensively nourished and nurtured while the skin barrier is regenerated.

Lisa Dobler.

pichler. architekt[en] is an architectural practice that produces innovative, high-quality buildings through the synthesis of research and sustainable design. The integration of teaching at the technical university in Vienna and continually research into the design process encourages innovation and improves the quality of the work we produce. We integrate new technologies- now increasingly critical given the importance of sustainability- the emergence of new materials and the prevalence of new digital tools in our design and fabrication. We believe that the most sustainable way to build is through well-made buildings that are beautiful, function well, and are easy to maintain. Our buildings have a natural beauty, longevity and value.

pichler. architekt[en]

address: 1220. langobardenstrasse 35. 1a | tel: 0043.664.4113849 mail: | web:

Discover Germany  |  Star Interview  |  Ole Eisfeld

Ole Eisfeld

The working actor Ole Eisfeld is what you would call a working actor. He started out as a theatre actor and nowadays is very present in film and television. He is one of those guys that pop up all the time, you immediately recognise and are drawn to. In our interview, he talks about his life and career. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTO: BJÖRN KOMMERELL

How did you get to be an actor? Was it always your dream or were there other possible professions? Eisfeld: My father is a doctor. One of the good ones, who takes time for personal conversations with his patients, instead of prescribing something right away. When I was young, I dreamed of taking over his practice one day. However, through an intense theatre course during high school and a general passion for going to the theatre, the desire to become an actor grew stronger. At the time, I used to see everything at the Thalia Theater and the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg. One day, I realised that I wouldn’t have been able to cope with the daily sorrow of the patients. Now, as an actor, I have the possibility to examine other human beings with empathy, but without being confronted by the immediate pain. Which role or character of yours do you remember best? Eisfeld: In the theatre, my highlight clearly was Romeo. I played him for a number of years in Chemnitz. It was just a wonderful collaboration with the director Matthias Brenner, who has gone on to be the intendant of the theatre in Halle and is known as a film actor as well. There are numerous happy experiences in the world of film and television. I value the recurring work with director Philipp Leinemann. Together we already did Die Informantin, Der 42  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

letzte Genosse and Tempel and we will continue in the future. Actually, the shooting of the Inga Lindström film Liebesreigen in Samlund was also a pleasure. I had a great partner with Anja Knauer, and with director Ulli Baumann we had an absolute master on our side. You were in Los Angeles in 2014. What did you do there? Eisfeld: It was pure curiosity that drove me there. “What actually is Hollywood?”, was the theme of my first longer L.A. trip. I had an unforgettable time there. For two months, I took a course at the renowned acting studio of Ivana Chubbuck. I also found a manager and went to various castings. Besides, I got to know the special attitude of the city and just had a good time. Throwing frisbees at the beach in February and driving along the Pacific Coast Highway is just awesome. And I made friendships, which mean a lot to me still. What is the beauty of doing theatre? Where is the difference to acting for television? Eisfeld: To work on a piece with an ensemble for weeks and play the production, sometimes for years, again and again is obviously unique to the theatre. Five, six, at times eight weeks of preparations. That can be exhausting, but also absolutely exhilarating. The cliché that you must over-

play in the theatre to reach the last row, is only half true nowadays. But what is true is that for the theatre you need a different basic strength and power. Currently, I enjoy the immediate, small and pronounced style of acting in front of the camera a lot. But that’s not to say that I won’t be returning to the theatre some time. You were born in Hamburg, live in Berlin and have an American mother. What does home mean to you? Eisfeld: Here is why I love the German language. We have two terms for the English word ‘home’. Hamburg is my ‘Heimat’, the place where I was born, Berlin is my ‘Zuhause’, where I live. When I walk around the harbour in Hamburg, or visit my parents or old friends, it’s always connected to a feeling of home. I grew up there, I know the people, how they are and talk. Also, I’m a member of the HSV (Hamburg Football club), for better or worse. Nevertheless, I don’t want to move away from Berlin. I love big cities. The cultural and culinary diversity in Berlin is unique in the country. But I’m the last person to pit places against each other. For a time, I lived a couple of years in Munich and still like the city a lot. To sit in a beer garden during summer is most beautiful in Bavaria. Last year we shot in Cologne, that mentality was also thrilling. I’ve also fallen for Los Angles and London but, for a second residence, I’m missing the needed pocket change. Are there any particular dreams you have for the future? Eisfeld: It may sound corny but, especially nowadays, I dream a lot of a more peaceful and just world.

Discover Germany  |  Star Interview  |  Ole Eisfeld

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  43

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  voestalpine Stahlwelt Michael Kirchsteiger, MD voestalpine Stahlwelt.

80 full chrome steel balls.


‘Forming an experience stemming from innovation’ The voestalpine Stahlwelt brandland offers an interactive and fascinating in-depth look into the world of steel. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: VOESTALPINE STAHLWELT

Be it cutlery, cars or architecture, steel is present in our lives in so many ways and facets that for most people it has become commonplace. Ever since the beginning of the industrial age, steel brings mankind forward via train tracks, steel bridges and even through space rockets. Steel connects continents and people through all ways of travel and the possibilities and fields of application are still endless. However, few of us know in detail how steel is actually produced and processed so that it can equip us with all the indispensable items we like to use on a daily basis. At voestalpine in Linz, visitors both young and old can jump into the world of steel production enjoying a stunning architectural construction, enhanced by light and 44  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

sound installations. The exhibition concept offers a unique approach, making science and knowledge transfer an allencompassing and joyful experience. The glimmering steel and glass structure, created by Linz-based Schremmer-Jell architects, is set right next to the voestalpine industrial plant itself and adds an impressive landmark to the urban development context of the city of Linz in Upper Austria. Its periscope-like shape symbolises the open and outward policy of the globally active corporation, offering a full view of the factory premises and the plant itself. A gigantic steel rotunda, modelled after a steel plant crucible, ‘hangs’ inside of the construction and constitutes the central

part of the exhibition. Large chrome steel balls with a diameter of up to 2.5 metres are marking the enchanting visual highlight of the exhibition. Integrated throughout the parcours, some of them are broached and even accessible, offering fascinating information on the world of steel making and processing. Connected to the ‘crucible’ is the ‘tower’, with more impressive exhibits and interactive stations where you can even produce your own steel mixture. Just like in a real plant, footbridges take the visitor further up level by level. The ‘journey’ is accompanied by spherical sounds inspired by the steel production process, as well as breathtaking light effects from the 700-square-metre-large LED area lining the inner wall of the crucible. Your ‘expedition’ will take you through the areas of steel making and processing, steel products and steel successes, with the top level providing information and

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  voestalpine Stahlwelt

new viewpoints on the voestalpine corporation itself. The voestalpine goes Texas special exhibition takes visitors straight into one of the most fascinating industrial projects worldwide at present, the new HBI plant at Corpus Christi, Texas. As of 2017, voestalpine Texas LLC, a company in the Steel Division of the voestalpine Group, is using natural gas to produce two million tonnes of premium ‘Hot Briquetted Iron’, or sponge iron (HBI) per year, with an ensured full capacity utilisation for the next four years. The special exhibition explores the nature and importance of sponge iron and why it is of such vital interest for both Europe and North America. With the environmental impact being of central concern with voestalpine, Wolfgang Eder, chairman of the management board of voestalpine AG, states: “With adequate

availability, ‘green’ hydrogen could also replace natural gas as a reducing gas in Texas in the near future, effectively leading to an emission-free production of HBI.” A special highlight of the special exhibition is a virtual 360-degree flight across the Corpus Christi plant. With the help of virtual reality glasses, the visitor gets a unique and exclusive insight, for example the view from the 137-metre-high reduction tower.

factory tour of the voestalpine industrial plant in Linz.

Flying high creates an appetite and visitors can proceed to reward themselves with a snack at the Panorama Café situated at the top level of voestalpine Stahlwelt at any given time.

On Sundays and after normal opening hours, an exclusive guided tour through the museum and/or the industrial plant can be combined with the comfort of a relaxing meal at the Panorama Café. Individually shaped and cut to measure, such a combination of an informative and social experience makes for a unique company treat.

After having gained knowledge on steel production and usage at the voestalpine Stahlwelt, more fascinating insights await the interested visitor with a rewarding

With its special offers and great events, voestalpine Stahlwelt aims at reaching out to all guest segments with an interest in experiencing the world of steel production. Students and groups form a major part of the visiting crowd, however voestalpine Stahlwelt also offers special arrangements for exclusive business events.

Contemporary history museum (voestalpine Stahlwelt).

Panorama terrace.

voestalpine Stahlwelt.

View of the industrial plant.

Special exhibition voestalpine goes Texas – one big step ahead.

voestalpine Stahlwelt building.

voestalpine Stahlwelt, chrome ball area.

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  45

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Kunstmuseum St. Gallen

Ferdinand Gehr’s Eros (1937).

Interior of the Kunstmuseum.

Kunstmuseum St. Gallen:

Artistic treasures from past and present With a diverse collection from various eras, the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen has garnered international attention. Focusing on contemporary and modern art, the museum also stages temporary exhibitions. This year, for the first time, it is making its collection available to the public and, until the end of August, it will display Arp Gehr Matisse, a show examining three exceptional artistic voices of the 20th century. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  |  PHOTOS: SEBASTIAN STADLER

Modelled after the Alte Pinakothek in Munich and its neoclassical style, the Kunstmuseum was designed by architect Johann Christoph Kunkler. The public opening took place on 8 October 1877 and, in the following hundred years, the Kunstmuseum accumulated an impressive collection. Valuable graphic reproductions by Dürer, Rembrandt and Callot, artistic heights of Dutch paintings and German paintings from romanticism to impressionism are all included in the collection. After closing due to deterioration in 1970, the museum was extensively restored and finally reopened in 1987. The Kunstmuseum is currently making use of additional new space in its building and has expanded the rotating displays of its own collection. This permanent show, offers insights into invaluable pieces from 46  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

the Middle Ages to the present. Highlighted new entries include the old masters: Heinrich Iselin’s late gothic sculptures, Dutch landscapes and still life paintings from the 17th century and Italian Baroque artist Federico Barocci. Furthermore, the new show explores French and German paintings in the 19th century by exhibiting a number of outstanding works from Gustave Courbet to Carl Spitzweg and from Max Liebermann to Camille Pissarro and Claude Monet’s world famous Le Palazzo Contarini (1908). The second new exhibition, named Arp Gehr Matisse, connects Swiss painter Ferdinand Gehr with the international avant-garde, represented by Hans Arp and Henri Matisse. Gehr was one of the exceptional artists of the 20th century and the formal and content-related parallels

between him and his two colleagues are astonishing. In Gehr’s and Arp’s work, one can find the ability to integrate humans in the circular flow of nature and in religious contexts. Henri Matisse and Gehr further share a similar affinity for radiant colours and immense reduction. Lastly, the three artists are allied in the great significance they placed on printed works - an emphasis that will be showcased at the Kunstmuseum as it will show such magnificent pieces by all of them.

Claude Monet’s Le Palazzo Contarini (1908).

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Collegium Musicum Basel

An orchestra with passion for friends of great music Founded in 1951, the Collegium Musicum Basel plays an important role for the diverse music scene in the Swiss city. The orchestra distinguishes itself by its independence and the wide repertoire. TEXT: INA FRANK  |  PHOTOS: JEAN JACQUES SCHAFFNER

The name Collegium Musicum dates back more than 300 years – a small orchestra with the same name was founded in 1708. Today’s Collegium Musicum also started as a small chamber orchestra, but soon reached the size of a symphony orchestra with about 60 professional musicians. Their concerts also include guest performances abroad. When asked about the role of the Collegium Musicum in Basel’s cultural scene, Hanne Sieber of the orchestra refers to the great variety of classical music in the city: “The Sinfonieorchester Basel, the Kammerorchester Basel, the Sinfonietta or the baroque orchestra La Cetra have an outstanding international reputation. The Collegium Musicum, however, is not

state subsidised and therefore dependant on sponsors and patrons. We have loyal, regular concert visitors, who kind of have a personal relationship to the orchestra and its conductor.” The musical focuses are the classicism, romanticism and pieces of the early 20th century, but also modern com-

posers. “In my opinion, it is this mix of the personal style and of the programme, that make up the orchestra’s charm,”says Sieber. Until this summer, fans of classical music can still look forward to two concerts. On 5 May, the orchestra will present the viola-tango-rock concert by Benjamin Yusupov, starring the award-winning violist Lech Antonio Uszynski. The concert season is closed on 16 June with arias by Mozart and Mahler’s Symphony N°4.

The conductor Kevin Griffiths.

Restaurant Villa Sunneschy – House of pleasure Restaurant Villa Sunneschy is situated directly on lake Zurich in Stäfa. It is not only an international restaurant but also an event location for weddings, family gatherings, corporate events and seminars. Next time you visit Switzerland – We hope to see you!

Restaurant Villa Sunneschy Seestrasse 156, 8712 Stäfa Tel: +41 44 927 30 90 E-Mail: Website:

Group photo of the orchestra.

Florian Kaps. Photo: © Eva Mühlbacher

The Polaroid protector Florian Kaps is many things in one: Austrian, entrepreneur, founder of the Impossible Project, a relentless fighter for analogue treasures in a digital world and the ultimate saviour of Polaroid film. He talks to Discover Germany about his immense love for analogue photography, his newest venture in Vienna and much more. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

With his tied-back, blonde ponytail, 46-year-old Florian Kaps, who was born in Vienna, looks like a creative man; and he indeed is. But he is also a graduate biologist. So, how did his fascination of analogue photography come about as a biologist? “It’s all grounded upon my fascination for our senses with a huge interest in sight. In biology, I graduated on the eyes of a spider. At my first ‘real’ job at the Lomographic Society, I was working with night vision devices. There I fell in love 48  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

with analogue photography as a magic medium to capture your favourite visual moments for eternity,” Kaps smiles. When Polaroid announced the end of its business operations and thus the end of instant film in 2008, it was a shock for analogue photography enthusiasts all over the world – and, of course, also for Kaps. Instant photography seemed to move even further towards its final death sentence. But Kaps did not want to accept this sta-

tus quo scenario and instead brought the Impossible Project to life. Making the impossible possible Kaps’ Impossible Project rose to international fame due to their somewhat crazy determination to save Polaroid. They stepped in to buy the last remaining factory, only days before it was supposed to close down. Kaps explains: “We honestly did not even think about it for one minute. We had just built and discovered an exponentially growing customer group of new generation instant photographers so we had to fight for this very last chance to keep this medium alive! Even if I honestly did not have any or much idea of how to restart the production of analogue instant film, we started the Impossible Project to preserve the last production plant of

Discover Germany  |  Culture Feature  |  The Polaroid Protector

Polaroid film in Enschede in the Netherlands. This plant houses the ultimate selection of super specialised crucial production machines. We literally saved it from demolition the very last second in 2008.” Because Polaroid’s machines were already dismantled, the supply chain had already been destroyed and there were no specific formulas to follow, saving Polaroid seemed impossible to many. Even the Polaroid company thought that Kaps’ idea was somewhat crazy. Kaps smiles: “Being a Polaroid dealer for several years, I had good contacts with the Polaroid management. Nevertheless, they were somehow surprised that I reacted so strongly to their announcement to close the last factory. ‘Come on,’ they said, ‘even you have to be aware of the fact that the future is digital. Come join us to build this future together. Photo: © Marco Christian Krenn

We have brilliant products like new digital cameras and the ZINK technology’.” He adds: “They were not at all interested in this crazy Austrian guy fighting for an outdated factory and turned me down several times - all I could get was an invitation to the Enschede factory’s closing event where, after all, I met Andre Bosman who had all important insights into the factory and helped me to build a powerful task force to fight for the future of analogue instant.” Fighting relentlessly for analogue treasures What followed were months of persistence, tough negotiations with Polaroid and probably the hardest analogue fight that has ever existed. No wonder, this period also significantly coined the company’s name. Kaps explains:“Polaroid did not

stop to repeat over and over again that our vision to keep this factory alive is nothing but impossible. ‘Well,’ I said, ‘I can understand that and if you feel better, we can even name the whole thing the Impossible Project, but please do not take away the very last chance from us to at least try it.’ Only a few hours after this meeting, I found a quote by Edwin Land, the inventor of Polaroid. He once said: ‘Don’t undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible’.” This was exactly what the project planned to do and thus, the name ‘Impossible Project’ was born. “Big challenges blocked our way on a daily basis from the very start, even as we finally succeeded to secure the factory after six hard months of fighting with the Polaroid management. Trouble basically just started and still continues today; the list of chal-

Supersense store. Photo: © Gebhard Sengmüller

Photo: © Marco Christian Krenn

Photo: © Marco Christian Krenn

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  49

Discover Germany  |  Culture Feature  |  The Polaroid Protector

Photo: © Marco Christian Krenn

Photo: © Marco Christian Krenn

lenges for the Impossible Project is long. That said, it was never an option to give up because we had this incredible support of all of these instant photographers from all over the world. In the hardest moments, I always look at their images and suddenly feel that we have to go on and that what we are fighting for is of incredible importance,” Kaps adds. With a high degree of persistence and a massive amount of help from chemists, engineers and photographers alike, the Impossible Project managed to reinvent instant film from scratch. Today, it is the only company in the world to produce original format instant film in both colour and black and white.

thusiasts. Here, visitors can play with analogue treasures, relax, sit down for a drink and snack with friends or simply indulge in the store’s exceptional ambiance. Kaps explains: “Our dream at Supersense is to touch all senses. To achieve that, we work off our beloved analogue tools and technologies - analogue instant photography, vinyl records, letterpress, a wonderful coffee machine and a smell laboratory. They offer one real experience from the beginning to end: from creating to discovering and using them, they offer one magic, holistic, multi-sensory and intimate experience.” He adds: “I’ve always dreamed

A true all-rounder Saving Polaroid is not where it ends for instant photography enthusiast Kaps. When Fuji announced that it would discontinue its last peel-apart instant film, Kaps decided to also try and save this format. At the moment, the fight is still going on but it looks rather promising that the only remaining packfilm can also be saved – not least due to a massive amount of international, as well as famous supporters of the cause. Furthermore, after deciding to leave the Impossible Project, Kaps opened the Supersense store in Vienna’s second district in 2014 – a true El Dorado for analogue en50  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

Supersense store. Photo: © Gebhard Sengmüller

of a place where all those other legendary and iconic analogue tools and techniques which seemed to be obsolete in this digital world for much too long - come together and are celebrated with all our passion and expertise in a very special magic location of no other kind. Supersense is our ongoing, ever-involving experiment to create such a place with all our experience and analogue heart and soul.” After travelling all over the world, we want to know why he chose Vienna as Supersense’s location. “I really have to admit that I’m very happy to somehow

Discover Germany  |  Culture Feature  |  The Polaroid Protector

re-discover ‘my’ city. Somehow, Vienna had become the world`s most analogue city and when I discovered this crazy Venetian palace in the heart of this city I knew right away that this place simply had to be converted into the most analogue Wunderkammer of all time,” he smiles. Digital vs. analogue Funnily enough, it seems that the younger generation that grew up with digitalisation is now the main group to be interested in analogue photography – and not only bearded hipsters can be seen enjoying it. In today’s digital world, where more and more analogue things get pushed aside by their digital counterparts, what is the reason for this? Kaps explains: “The real fascination and essential importance for me lies in the real, haptic feature of the medium - in a digital world where we’re most and foremost touching the screens of our mobile devices and images are just virtually floating in cyberspace, each and every time I truly enjoy the haptic experience of analogue instant photography.”

Photo: © Marco Christian Krenn

Supersense store. Photo: © Gebhard Sengmüller

“Only a real image that resembles a value that you have to fight for will be able to preserve your most precious moments for the future. Preserving this medium to me means giving people a wider choice of creative possibilities and honouring one of the most fascinating inventions in the history of photography,” he concludes. Florian Kaps in front of Supersense. Photo: © Marco Christian Krenn

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  51

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Film Review

Film review: Toni Erdmann Everyone is talking about the German comedy surprise of the year, which was a big hit in Cannes and even received an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film. So, what is all the fuss about? Well, Toni Erdmann is certainly different from any other German comedy. Plus, it holds a couple of surprises… TEXT: SONJA IRANI  I  PHOTOS: KOMPLIZEN FILM

The Story: A critical analysis of a complicated father-daughter relationship

The Location: Bucharest, Romania – but it could be anywhere

Toni Erdmann opens in Aachen, Germany, where Winfried Conradi (Austrian star Peter Simonischek) is a divorced music teacher with a very odd sense of humour and a passion for childish pranks.

Romania is one of the poorest countries in Europe. Yet the characters in the film always hang out in luxurious hotels, fancy clubs or neat office buildings.

When his beloved dog Willie dies, Winfried decides to reconnect with his daughter Ines (Sandra Hüller) and spontaneously flies to Bucharest, Romania, where Ines is busy climbing the career ladder as a high-flying management consultant. Winfried soon realises that Ines is not happy and thus tries to cheer her up. However, their opposing views of life also cause tension, which eventually leads to a big row and Winfried leaving again. But Winfried would not be Winfried if he did not return as his hilarious alter ego: quirky CEO life coach Toni Erdmann. 52  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

In this respect, Toni Erdmann reminded me of German drama Age of Cannibals (2014), which follows three business consultants travelling to impoverished and corrupt countries to close shady deals. They never leave their fancy hotels, yet face their own problems and equally harsh realities indoors. I think that both films are trying to emphasise the well-known cliché that more money and a higher social standing do not usually lead to more happiness. The final verdict: Weird on the surface, wonderful on the inside I must admit that for the first part of the film, I was not sure what all the fuss is

about. There are certainly funnier German comedies. But half-way through this long film of two hours and 35 minutes, I started to realise what the message might be. Ultimately, Winfried’s pranks seem to pay off: Ines loosens up and she realises that her own happiness may actually be more important than that of her clients. If you just see the weird surface of this film, it is just as superficial as the corporate business world. But take a closer look and you will realise that Toni Erdmann is a welldone portrayal about happiness, love and the meaning of life. *** 3 out of 5 stars An English subtitled version of Toni Erdmann is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sonja Irani is a Marketing Translator, Travel Journalist and ex London expat now living back in Germany. Her second home is the cinema. If you don't find her there, she is probably travelling the world in order to trace her favourite film settings. On her blog she shares her best tips for film-inspired travel on a budget.

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Le Rosey Camps Camps for the youngest campers take place in the Swiss Alps.

Afternoon sports at the nautical centre in Lake Geneva.

A great summer with Le Rosey spirit Time away from home exceptionally spent; Le Rosey Camps take place in three locations: the Swiss Alps, the shores of Lake Geneva and even aboard a 102-foot catamaran in the Mediterranean. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: LE ROSEY CAMPS

Le Rosey Camps started 40 years ago and today it offers five programmes in summer and one in winter. Each programme has its own focus, but they all have two things in common: an incredible mix of exciting activities and a truly international bilingual environment. These camps are a perfect mix of education and unforgettable holidays. “Our summer camps are a unique experience. Programmes are aimed at internationally minded parents who want their children to learn a language, to become more independent, to develop new skills, to make the world a village,”enthuses Felipe Laurent, director of admissions at Le Rosey Camps. While Laurent underlines the internationality of the camp’s community, one of the major aims of Le Rosey Camps is to enhance each student’s talents and interests through academic courses, sports and arts, outdoor excursions and the right en-

vironment in which to blossom.“What we promise is that each camper will discover something new, will become passionate about something new. Students will experience in just a couple of weeks the best of Le Rosey spirit,“ claims Laurent underlining the benefits of Le Rosey Camps. An average of four students per teacher is ideal to get the most out of their experience – a typical Le Rosey experience, which is made exceptional by options like sailing, water-skiing, hiking, horseback riding in Le Rosey’s private stables, football training with the Real Madrid Foundation, singing, practising music and drama in the incredible Rosey Concert Hall, and so many others. Experiences like these, of course, make a difference: “Many of our returning students mention the friendships that they make during the camp, the fun atmos-

phere and the beautiful campus. They liked the feeling of independence being away from home for a short period; they enjoyed choosing their own personalised programmes with their favourite activities.” Student experiences, says Laurent, that will certainly make their summer a hard one to forget.

Five camps, three locations 8-16 years old Enrolment available online

The main campus with state-ofthe-art Rosey Concert Hall.

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  53

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Hotel of the Month, Germany


Hotel Gut Ising.

Ising is home Unparalleled, charming, vital. Situated on an enchanting, slightly elevated position directly at Lake Chiemsee, the four-star superior hotel Gut Ising attracts a variety of people. Here, an informal, relaxed ambiance is combined with great wellness and leisure offerings, top-class comfort and much more.

or not.” Looking for a romantic wedding suite, a spacious suite for a family holiday on Lake Chiemsee or comfortable rooms for conferences and training events? Hotel Gut Ising is sure to cater for everything.


“What makes us stand out is the familial, relaxed atmosphere that is combined with our long tradition and many leisure offerings. This brings together people with different hobbies and interests and thus, makes Gut Ising so diverse,” Konstantin Magalow, hotel Gut Ising’s owner, smiles. Bavarian cosiness When visitors enter the premises of hotel Gut Ising, the first thing that comes to 54  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

mind is ‘Bavarian cosiness’. While the estate features 170 hectares of grounds, eight different manor houses with 105 rooms, as well as differently furnished suites and junior suites, the ambiance still remains informal. Magalow explains: “The hotel conveys a luxurious, tasteful ambiance without being too strenuous. This is combined with Bavarian cosiness and lifestyle and therefore everyone can feel comfortable here – whether one wants to be seen

After enjoying a relaxing night in one of the comfortable rooms and suites, visitors can look forward to four great restaurants that serve award-winning cuisine. Foodies will love gourmet restaurant Usinga’s high-end alp cuisine, which is based on regional products. Fans of the Bavarian cuisine will be happy in the traditional restaurant Goldener Pflug and fans of Mediterranean dishes should head to Ristorante Il Cavallo for handmade pasta, fresh stone-oven pizza, Italian fish and meat

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Hotel of the Month, Germany

specialities or selected Italian antipasti and desserts. Fans of delicacies from the barbecue, tapas and crepes will find their best bet in the relaxed St. Georgsklause restaurant. “All four restaurants are situated in great locations. In summer, gardens and terraces invite for extensive relaxation with incredible views of the alps or Lake Chiemsee,” Magalow adds.

peaceful countryside between Chiemgau and Berchtesgadener Land, the hotel is an ideal base for exciting excursions and for exploring the surrounding nature. Furthermore, a large choice of sports is offered. Whether one seeks to do a bit of horse riding, play polo, golf or tennis, or go sailing, hiking, jogging or swimming, the hotel gets athletes’ hearts racing.

Relaxation for body and soul

Due to the large sports portfolio, Gut Ising also hosts annual top-class tournaments. Therefore, in 2017, hotel guests can look forward to the ‘BUNTE Chiemsee Cup’ from 11 to 13 August – a medium goal polo tournament that is sponsored by the BUNTE magazine. Another highlight is the tenth Chiemsee Horse Festival that will run from 31 August to 10 September. It is an international horse jumping competition and national dressage horse show that annually attracts over 20,000 visitors. Here, points for the world ranking get awarded to over 400 riders.

Those who opt for a wellness break are also right at Gut Ising. Here, numerous modern wellness facilities cater for everyone’s individual wishes. On 2,500 square metres, an indoor pool with whirlpool and poolside bar, an outdoor pool with sundeck, a relaxation room, three saunas (Finnish and herbal sauna, steam room), a fitness room, seven treatment rooms, as well as one treatment room for couples and two 100-square-metre-large spa suites provide for ultimate relaxation. Different treatments and soothing massages round off the hotel’s wellness offering. However, not only the wellness area provides wellbeing. As the hotel is nestled in Treatment room.

Perfect conference location

ideal prerequisites for a successful event or conference. 13 professional conference rooms that accommodate up to 320 people, excellent facilities and acoustics, as well as the estate’s tranquillity that enables full concentration, make Gut Ising the perfect conference location. Magalow explains: “The vastness and calm of the 170-hectare-large estate guarantees an inspiring working atmosphere and the many locations, such as the lake house or the horse museum, offer room for unforgettable meetings and team building exercises.” All in all, with such gourmet food offerings, the large wellness area, comfortable rooms, the many possibilities to spend a great holiday, as well as the exceptional surroundings of Lake Chiemsee and the Alps, it seems no wonder that Gut Ising counts towards Germany’s favourite hotels. “Here, no one will be bored. Horseriding, golfing, swimming, hiking, sailing, relaxing, reading, eating or simply doing nothing – all this is possible at Gut Ising,” concludes Konstantin Magalow.

Only 110 kilometres from Munich and 50 kilometres from Salzburg, Gut Ising offers

A room at Gut Ising.

Food from the hotel’s Usinga restaurant. Photo: © Catalin Cucu

Indoor pool.

Lake Chiemsee and surrounding mountains.

Enjoy spa and wellness at Gut Ising.

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  55

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Discovering Germany

Island of Sylt: wicker beach chair on the island. Photo: © Koenig, Jens / Tourismus-Agentur Schleswig-Holstein GmbH (TASH)


The country that has it all Tourist numbers in Germany have soared. This does not come as a huge surprise as the country was also voted the ‘best country’ in a global poll by U.S. News & World Report in partnership with BAV Consulting and Wharton in 2016. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Summit cross in the Berchtesgadener Land UNESCO biosphere region. Photo: © Brechbühl, Anita / Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus e.V.

56  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Discovering Germany

Berlin: Brandenburg Gate at night. Photo: © Trinkhaus, Nico / Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus e.V.

Furthermore, in January this year, the Federal Statistics Office (Destatis) reported 24.4 million overnight stays in Germany. That amounts to a four per cent increase compared to January 2016. And this number did not even include Airbnb stays or other form of lodging – only bookings in accommodation with at least ten beds and tourist campsites were included in the statistics. Additionally, according to Destatis, the number of foreigners travelling to Germany rose by five per cent to 79.7 million from 2014 to 2015 and, additionally, Germans themselves love to stay in their own country for their annual holidays as 356.7 million of the overnight bookings were actually made by people from the Alps to the Baltic Sea. This refers to a two per cent increase over 2014.

touched nature of the Black Forest or the beautiful coastline of the Baltic Sea, Germany has it all. North Sea islands, skiing areas, enchanting mountains, a vast array of history or sights like Neuschwanstein Castle are just a few examples of why the country is very popular for travellers from all over the world. Find out what else should be explored in Germany on the following pages.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Schwangau. Photo: © Merten, Hans Peter / Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus e.V.

Westerhever lighthouse with salt meadow. Photo: © Panorama-Fotografie Vernunft, Olaf / Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus e.V.

These numbers do not come as a huge surprise as Germany really has a great deal to offer. From cool cities like Berlin to the unIssue 49  |  April 2017  |  57

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Discovering Germany

Photo: Alpenwelt Karwendel

A perfect holiday in the Bavarian Alps The splendidness of mountains never fails to impress. Raise your hand if you enjoy to ski down perfectly groomed ski tracks in winter or love to explore lush green meadows and dive into a clear and refreshing mountain lake on a hot summer’s day. For those who have now raised their hands, the Alpenwelt Karwendel is the perfect place to be. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  |  PHOTOS: ALPENWELT KARWENDEL, WOLFGANG EHN

The Alpenwelt Karwendel region in the Bavarian Alps is stunning, as those who have already been there will be quick to confirm. “The scenery of the Alpenwelt Karwendel is unique and offers so many possibilities to enjoy our alpine outdoors - regardless whether our guests are young or old and are looking for an active or a somewhat quieter, less challenging holiday. Our region offers the most for everybody’s taste,” Katharina Sörgel, head of marketing of the Alpenwelt Karwendel region, enthuses about the varied possibilities to spend a memorable holiday in the Alpenwelt Karwendel. “There is something for everyone to enjoy and discover,” says Sörgel, praising Alpenwelt Karwendel’s numerous leisure 58  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

time facilities. “Particularly families will love to hear that they are very welcomed here. Our hiking tracks can easily be used by beginners and the advanced alike, and tours with mountain bikes or bicycles, beautiful mountain lakes, or multi-day hiking or cabin tours will not fail to capture even the most sceptical of our visitors.” Culture enthusiasts visiting the Alpenwelt Karwendel this summer will be particularly pleased to hear that 2017 holds something very special in store for them. Taking place only once every five years, the Bozner Markt will be held this August in the historic centre of Mittenwald. This very particular market with its historic stalls and shows will propel the visitor right back into the olden days of the 15th centu-

ry and underline the significance of trade for this Alpine region. John Ruskin, the famous English writer and artist once said that“mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery”. Here, at the Alpenwelt Karwendel, it is easy to believe that nothing more stunning and awe-inspiring exists but the impressive mountain panorama of the age-old Alps - they are yours to discover!

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Discovering Germany

Evening serenade in the gardens. Photo: © Daniel Peter

Christiane Karg. Photo: © Gisela Schenker

The emperor’s hall in the Residence. Photo: © Oliver Lang

Mozartfest Würzburg

An event par excellence Every year in early summer (2 June to 2 July in 2017), the prince-bishop baroque town of Würzburg sets the scene for the renowned Mozartfest for four weeks. This year’s festival slogan is ‘Mozart 36 – Was ist Reife?’, meaning ‘What is maturity?’ TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Germany’s oldest Mozart festival cultivates Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s oeuvre, while creating a platform for contemporary dealings with his music. The Mozartfest in the 21st century seeks to confront great music of the past and explore it in a new way to make it newly understandable and tangible. With over 60 concerts and events, the festival programme invites visitors to experience classical music through top-class performers from symphonies, chamber, vocal or world music. The Mozartfest’s special appeal is in the diversity of its venues: the magnificent emperor’s hall of the Würzburg Residence (UNESCO world heritage), the impressive Kilian cathedral, the famous ‘Käppele’ church by the baroque architect Balthasar Neumann but also the innovative chic of an old printing machine hall – all surrounded by picturesque vineyards and the Franconian art of living. ‘Mozart 36 – Was ist Reife?’ is the motto of this year’s Mozartfest Würzburg. In only

36 years, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who went down in history as child prodigy and musical genius, created an oeuvre of ultimate mastery and maturity. Thus, this year, the Mozartfest seeks to question the term ‘maturity’, while presenting different aspects of it in concerts and events, as well as in the three-day-long MozartLabor. It asks, how do age and maturity interact? What does talent have to do with maturity? Does artistic maturity require human maturity? Specifically, for Würzburg, artists have developed multifaceted programmes that incorporate Mozart’s first and last works. Composers like Purcell, Mendelssohn and Schubert are further integrated as they also embody the phenomenon of early maturity and perfection.

sented in five concerts and who will give talks on his and Mozart’s works. Debuts will join re-encounters with artists: conductors René Jacobs and Sakari Oramo, Dominik Wollenweber, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra’s English horn soloist, as well as harpist Xavier de Maistre and violinist Isabelle Faust will give their debut concerts at the Mozartfest. All artistes étoiles of past years will also return: for the first time in Germany, Jörg Widmann will present a new work and, also for the first time, violinist Renaud Capuçon, pianist Kit Armstrong and Christiane Karg will perform together. Mozartfest 2017: ‘Was ist Reife?‘

The soprano Christiane Karg is the season’s ‘artiste étoile’. With her, vocal music will be at the heart of this Mozartfest. 2017’s composer portrait is dedicated to Wolfgang Rihm, whose works will be preIssue 49  |  April 2017  |  59

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Discovering Germany

Bad Hindelang, Oberjoch mountain pass.

Allgäu and Upper Bavaria

A panorama tour packed with highlights With the Bavarian Alps as an enchanting backdrop, this one-of-a-kind tour through the south of the state connects Lake Constance with the Eastern Lake Königssee. In order to experience the full plate of cultural and natural highlights, there are two ways to go about the tour. One is by taking the famous German Alpine Road, a winding road of 450 kilometres. The other, aimed at bicycle lovers, is the 418-kilometre-long Lake Constance – Lake Königssee bike path, through the Alpine Foreland. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTOS: GERMAN ALPINE ROAD/DEUTSCHE ALPENSTRASSE

Early writings about the German Alpine Road originate from an 1879 account of Bavarian King Maximilian II travelling a similar route, like so many people do today. After the initial idea for a fully built road sparked interest in the 1920s, actual construction began in 1932. Finally, in 1960, the road was completed. Since then, the route offers tourists from Germany 60  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

and all over the world an opportunity to experience the fun of driving in a stunning Bavarian scenery. The route of the Alpine Road When starting in Lindau, travellers are in for many treats. Take, for example, one of the early milestones, the section between Bad Hindelang and Oberjoch, also

called Oberjoch mountain pass. Here we have with 106 curves and 300 metres in altitudes, the most winding road in all of Germany, which was already an important connection over the alps in the Middle Ages. Routing extremes like these can be found all over the Alpine Road, as it follows a constant up and down in altitudes. While King Maximilian II might have worried about where to go next, modern travellers can make use of the routes GPS data and a gapless signposting to find their inevitable next stops. Staggering environments and cultural highlights Along the Alpine Road, many sights are worth stopping for. Framed by green meadows, the route leads from Pfronten

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Discovering Germany

with Germany’s highest situated castle ruin Falkenstein to Füssen with the famous castle Neuschwanstein. Authentically, Oberammergau presents itself with its Lüftlmalerei and Passionstheater. In Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a trip to the Zugspitze, entices with a panoramic view from Germany’s highest mountain. While the historic old town of Bad Tölz invites for a stroll, Lakes Tegernsee and Schliersee offer various culinary delights. With fresh fish from the lakes, local cheese and the Slyrs Whiskey, there is a great deal to taste. Driving enjoyment is guaranteed on the Sudelfeldstraße and at the Oberaudorf Experience Mountain Hocheck, one can relish in a wonderful view. In the end, after visiting the traditional Reit im Winkl and being impressed by the panorama of the Lake Königssee, one will be ready for relaxing hours in the thermal bath in Bad Reichenhall. Naturally, all along the route, there is the opportunity to get a culinary taste of Ba-

varian culture. What could be better than a good old Bavarian snack time, in the fairy tale shadows of castles and history? Cycling to the Lake Königssee Making your way to the Bavarian snack time by cycling can be quite the challenge. It is a challenge that can be quantified in 3,917 metres in altitude, in 418 kilometres, but also in the intangible form of a oncein-a-lifetime experience. The Lake Constance – Lake Königssee Bicycle path offers the sportive version of discovering the grandeur of the Bavarian alpine foreland. There is always room for unimaginable panoramic views and the cycling itself is a joy of its own, as the cyclists follow surfaced field roads on which their wheels can really roll, without distraction from cars or other traffic participants. The experience on the route, of course, is very detailed. Cycling, one notices a little stream like the Leiblach. One observes all the farms, situated between forests

Herrenchiemsee Castle.

and fields and the small villages that are a prominent part of the route. The bicycle path is an in-depth natural and cultural adventure. It is filled with tradition and one should take time to really live in it. Of course, when the riding gets too exhausting, there is always an opportunity to cool off in one of the many lakes. Planning your trip Be it on the German Alpine Road or the Lake Constance to Lake Königssee Bicycle path, planning is the key to having a great journey. The differences are obvious. Taking a car or motorcycle, you can enjoy the Alpine Road in around four to seven days. Accommodation is available everywhere along the roads and hosts are prepared for all travellers. Cyclists will need to plan some more time and keep in mind the challenges of the route. Online, dedicated websites provide detailed information on both ways of travelling, on the highlights along the routes and give valuable tips to making your holiday unforgettable. More Info at: Bayerische Fernwege e.V. Tel. +49 (0) 8025 9244 952

Castle in Füssen.

Rupertus Spa in Bad Reichenhall.

A break in Füssen.

Lake Chiemsee.

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  61

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Discovering Germany

Come to Oranienburg

Left: Palace in Oranienburg by the river Havel. Photo: © Finish Werbeagentur. Right: ‘Picnic in white’: a special atmosphere in the historical palace gardens. Photo: © Andreas Herz Bottom: Fireworks at the Oranienburg Palace Gardens during the Schlossparknacht. Photo: © Andreas Herz

The historic town of Oranienburg on the outskirts of Berlin attracts two million tourists a year and not only impresses with grand designs, but also with great diversity.

is the international memorial and museum Sachsenhausen, which explores a dark chapter of Oranienburg’s history.


Packed with culture, history, nature and a good deal of fun, Oranienburg is certainly the right destination for everyone, both young and old.

The beautiful town is home to around 45,000 people. Oranienburg’s heart is without a doubt its stunning Baroque Palace, built in 1652 by the Dutch Princess Louise Henriette. Located right by the scenic river Havel, it is a must-see for every visitor. The museum that it houses today invites us to dive deeply into the era of kings and queens. Additionally, many visitors will come to Oranienburg on 5 July 2017 to attend the ‘picnic in white’ in the historical palace gardens where everyone will eat together in an exuberant atmosphere with artists and music. On 12 August 2017, the gorgeous palace gardens will come to life during the night and will turn into an illuminated backdrop 62  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

for grand festivities. Live music, artistic shows, cabaret and entertainment for kids turn this night into an unforgettable adventure, which ends with a breath-taking fireworks display. The regional market on the last weekend in September is another unmissable event as well as the Lichternacht (night of the lights) in October, where Oranienburg becomes an ocean of light and shops remain open until ten o’clock at night. Situated in an area filled with lakes and forests, nature lovers can explore Oranienburg by bike or even by boat. For families, the Germendorf Wildlife, Adventure and Dinosaur Park and the TURM ErlebnisCity waterpark are certainly worth a visit. Another highlight

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Discovering Germany


Left: The Felix-Nussbaum-Haus. Photo: © Uwe Lewandowski Right: View of the town hall square with the city hall of the Westphalian peace. Photo: © Swetlana But Bottom right: Weekly market in front of the St. Peter cathedral. Photo: © Swetlana But

The city of peace amidst a nature park The message is in the name: the negotiations and the completion of the Westphalian peace from 1648 are the city history’s exceptional events. This tradition has continued to this day.

and tables in the entire city centre invite you to the relaxing outdoors.


As the only German city that lies in the middle of a nature park, Osnabrück can be found amidst the UNESCO Geopark TERRA.vita. Due to its location and its natural features, the Piesberg hill forms the nature park’s heart as ‘Osnabrück’s local mountain’. Due to quarry activities, a sort of geological picture book came to life here that tells of 300 million years of geological history. Either on foot or on bike, one can explore the terra trails that lead through the nature park and directly into the Osnabrück Land. A cultural highlight here is the museum park Kalkriese that saw the Varus Battle in 9 AD.

Every October around 1,200 fourth graders ride across the city hall’s steps on selfmade hobbyhorses and thus, recollect the announcement of the Westphalian peace. Furthermore, on the historic benches of the former envoys in the ‘Friedenssaal’ (hall of peace), guided city tours and the popular night watchmen tours start. No wonder the European Commission has awarded the European Heritage Label to Osnabrück’s and Münster’s city halls in 2015 as ‘sites of the Westphalian peace’. This label is awarded to places that have played a significant role in Europe’s history. Everything within walking distance From 1412 onwards, Osnabrück has been a leading member of the Hanse. Today, the former trade routes through the city centre have transformed into lively shopping miles and the city’s flair is coined by the combination of modern buildings such as the Felix-Nussbaum-Haus, a museum building by architect Daniel Libeskind’s, and the enchanting old town alleys.

Not only the painter Felix Nussbaum was born in Osnabrück, but also the famous author Erich Maria Remarque. He is honoured with a permanent exhibition about his life in the Friedenszentrum on the market square. Besides the diocesan museum next to the St. Peter cathedral, the many stone houses – amongst them is one of Germany’s oldest ones from the Middle Ages - are worth a visit too. There is more to discover: the Heger Tor quarter with its many small boutiques, quaint pubs, wine and coffee roasting houses, the large shopping streets with famous brands, as well as owner-managed shops, such as the fashion house L + T and independent stores away from the pedestrian zone.

The UNESCO Geopark TERRA.vita

Gourmets are pampered with exceptional cuisine and friendly hospitality in the many restaurants and cafés, such as the three-star restaurant la vie, the Rampendahl house brewery or the chocolatier Leysieffer. With the first spring sun, chairs Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  63

Perfekte Kurzurlaube erleben und schenken. Auf finden Sie die besten Kurzurlaube für zwei Personen! Vom romantischen Wochenende zu zweit, über das entspannende Wellnessweekend bis hin zum beruhigenden Wochenende in der Natur oder dem Shopping-Ausflug – wir haben Ihr Traumwochenende!

Schweiz, Berner Oberland

Schweiz, Bodensee

Schweiz, Luzern-Vierwaldstättersee

Romantikhotel in Grindelwald

Romantik im Wellnesshotel

Mineralbad Rigi Kaltbad

Traumhafte Stunden im privaten Rosenblütenbad zu zweit im Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof in Grindelwald in der Schweiz.

Im ****Superior Wellnesshotel Golf Panorama in Lipperswil inkl. Candle-Light Dinner.

Entspannen Sie sich im neuen Mineralbad & Spa und geniessen Sie das einmalige Bergpanorama im Hotel Rigi Kaltbad.

Packagepreis: CHF 570.– für 2 Personen

Packagepreis: CHF 445.– für 2 Personen

Packagepreis: ab CHF 320.– für 2 Personen

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Mehr Infos & Buchen:

Schweiz, Berner Oberland

Schweiz, Berner Oberland

Private Day Spa am Thunersee

Loveroom in Gstaad

2 Stunden in einer der drei Private Spa-Suite und Tageseintritt in den 2000 m² Fitness- und Wellnessbereich im Deltapark Vitalresort.

Romantisch-sinnlich dekorierte Suite mit verführerischen Extras & 1.5 Std. im stylischen Private Spa im Hotel Arc-en-ciel!

Schweiz, Graubünden Schweiz, Berner Oberland

Thermalquelle in Vals Juwel am Thunersee

Erleben Siesich dieund einzigartige Therme Vals. Gönnen Sie Ihrem Partner eine romantische Auszeit im „Belle Epoque“ Hotel Belvédère Übernachtung und Kulinarik geniessen Sie im Berner Oberland. im 3-Sterne Hotel Alpina, sieben Gehminuten von derabTherme Valsfürentfernt. Packagepreis: CHF 435.– 2 Personen

Packagepreis: CHF 350.– für 2 Personen

Packagepreis: ab CHF 624.– für 2 Personen

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Schweiz, Graubünden

Österreich, Vorarlberg

Österreich, Vorarlberg

Einzigartige Bergoase in Arosa

Eleganz im Kleinwalsertal

Ladet eure Liebe auf

Erleben Sie das einzigartigste Wellness Hotel der Schweiz – das *****Superior Tschuggen Grand Hotel in Arosa.

Herzlichkeit & Stil finden Sie im *****Hotel Travel Charme Ifen. Das einzigartige Wellness Hotel in Österreich befindet sich im Kleinwalsertal.

Romantik Wochenende zu zweit im ****Superior GAMS Geniesser- & Kuschelhotel in Bezau. Die Nummer 1 für ihre Zeit zu zweit!

Packagepreis: ab CHF 535.– für 2 Personen

Packagepreis: ab EUR 295.– für 2 Personen

Packagepreis: EUR 450.– für 2 Personen

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Deutschland, Baden-Württemberg

Schweiz, Berner Oberland

Deutschland, Baden-Württemberg

Wellness-Auszeit für Verliebte

Private SPA in Grindelwald

Designhotel am Bodensee

Verbringen Sie einen romantischen Aufenthalt im 4-Sterne Superior Vital-Hotel Meiser inkl. Candle-Light Dinner und Kaiserbad zu zweit.

Romantisch dekoriertes Zimmer, Fondue Chinoise am Abend und zwei Stunden Zweisamkeit im neuen Private SPA mit Partnerbadewanne.

Das Designhotel Bora HotSpaResort ist der ideale Ausgangspunkt und bietet ein einzigartiges japanisches Onsenbad & eine grosse Saunawelt.

Packagepreis: EUR 448.– für 2 Personen

Packagepreis: ab CHF 700.– für 2 Personen

Packagepreis: ab EUR 255.– für 2 Personen

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Österreich, Wien

Österreich, Tirol

Zweisamkeit im Zentrum Wiens

Wellness am Achensee

Erleben Sie romantische Stunden im Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof, direkt im Zentrum Wiens.

im 3-Sterne Hotel Alpina, sieben Gehminuten von derEUR Therme entfernt. Packagepreis: 265.– Vals für 2 Personen

Erleben Sie Natur, Berge, See im Travel Charme Fürstenhaus Am Achensee mit kulinarischen Highlights und dem Puria Premium Spa Bereich.

Packagepreis: EUR 359.– für 2 Personen

Packagepreis: ab EUR 368.– für 2 Personen

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Österreich, Salzburg Bundesland

Deutschland, Baden-Württemberg

Deutschland, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Alpine Wellness am See

Outletcity Metzingen

Englischer Countrystyle auf Usedom

Der Ritzenhof ist ein exklusives ****Superior Designhotel, dass für einen unvergesslichen Genussurlaub im Salzburgerland steht.

Shop till you drop – über 90 High-End Marken am Fusse der wunderschönen Weinberge und wir sind mittendrin!

Das Hotel Baltic Hills Usedom bietet allen Genießern die perfekte Wohlfühl-Oase im Herzen der Sonneninsel!

Packagepreis: ab EUR 292.– für 2 Personen

Packagepreis: EUR 245.– für 2 Personen

Packagepreis: ab EUR 198.– für 2 Personen

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Schweiz, Graubünden Österreich, Tirol

Thermalquelle in Vals Stilvolles Ambiente für zwei

Erleben Sie die einzigartige Erleben Sie kuschelige MomenteTherme im neuenVals. ****Superior Spa Hotel Klang im Übernachtung und Zedern Kulinarik geniessen Sie Defereggental im Osttirol.

weekend4two – Ihr Spezialist für Kurzurlaube zu zweit mit Zufriedenheitsgarantie!

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Hannover City Special

Photo: © HMTG / Martin Kirchner


Lower Saxony’s green capital Internationally, Hannover is especially known for hosting the CeBIT or the HANNOVER MESSE trade fairs. However, as a city, it has far more to offer. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Photo: © HMTG / Martin Kirchner

66  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Hannover City Special

Photo: © Christian Wyrwa

Situated on the river Leine, Hannover is the capital and largest city of Lower Saxony with a population of approximately 518,000. Here, visitors can indulge in a great shopping experience, visit one of the many museums, learn more about technical innovations or just relax in the enchanting city centre with its many parks and green spaces. As Hannover has had a rich history (it was once the family seat of the Hanoverian Kings of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland amongst others), many tourists appreciate the stunning architecture in the old town or guided tours through the interesting history of Hannover. As the HANNOVER MESSE is being held this month, we thought it would be a great idea to pick interesting things to see and do, as well as places to stay or go, in Hannover. Flick through the following pages to get inspired for your next trip to Hannover.

Top five things to do in Hannover in 2017: - 27th Int. Firework Competition (20 May – 16 September): Are you a fireworks fan? Then be sure to attend one of these events, where top teams will present enchanting firework displays in the Herrenhausen Gardens. - Swinging Hannover (25 May): Around 30,000 people will flock to Hannover’s jazz festival in May to enjoy jazz and swing performances. It is also for free and open-air.

Photo: © ECE Projektmanagement GmbH

Photo: © HMTG / Martin Kirchner

- Fête de la Musique (21 June): Hundreds of musicians will take over the city centre to turn it into one enormous stage. - Maschsee Lake Festival (2 – 20 August): Summer, sun and a seaside atmosphere – for three weeks, gigantic parties will be held around Hannover’s blue heart. - infa 2017 (14 – 22 October): Head to Hannover’s fairground to visit Germany’s largest and most successful customer trade fair.

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  67

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Hannover City Special

Cheese buffet with traditional Italian cheese sorts.


Experience the heart of Italian cuisine “Come in. Have a seat my friend. Let’s go on a journey together. Let’s eat and drink together. Let me take you along into that wonderful, fascinating world of Italian cuisine. A world you’ve never known even existed. But here it exists. Original and pure.” When you enter the restaurant TROPEANO Di-Vino, this is Biagio Tropeano’s promise to you. A promise that can only be fulfilled with Tropeano’s secret ingredient: Biagio’s unique passion. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTOS: TROPEANO DI-VINO, BIAGIO TROPEANO

This is the place where it matters. It, of course, being the tradition and the core of Italian cuisine and the history connected to the cuisine and the regions where it originated. Biagio Tropeano knows all about this history and, throughout his life and career, he has become part of it. “Our dishes have to touch your soul, you must understand. At Tropeano’s you don’t get the ordinary; we are serving experiences.”

Biagio did not think about becoming a restaurant owner or even a sommelier. His grandmother inspired him to take on a study programme in hospitality management. “She said, ‘Oh you like to cook, why not do that?’. Off I went and, to tell you the truth, over time I quickly realised what a wonderful profession I have. I would always, always do it exactly the same if I had to go back.”

When trying to understand the philosophy behind the restaurant, you need to start with the man himself. Initially, young

After his first studies, Tropeano worked in various prestigious hotels in Italy, Germany and Switzerland. He was elected the

68  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

best sommelier in Germany and was part of multiple restaurants and opened the TROPEANO Di-Vino in 2003. How to touch the soul For Biagio, fulfilling his promise for your palate and your soul with his cuisine is not a possibility, but a duty. “You have to hand yourself over to the history and you have to do that with complete passion. I’m in service of the history of the Italian cuisine and in that service quality is the most important aspect.”Visitors to the Tropeano will not find your ordinary pizza or pasta. “When people ask me about pizza or spaghetti, I’m cringing inside. This is not what the old Italian recipes are about. I’ve fought this prejudice for a long time. What we are working with here are recipes from the 14th, 15th and 16th century. Sure, they are updated for our modern guests in some ways, but the ideas go back to the originals that we want to preserve.”

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Hannover City Special

In order to preserve this original quality, Tropeano is known for making no compromises. Laughingly he describes himself as a product fanatic, but in fact he just wants to get it right.“When we have a recipe from Lombardia, we need ingredients from Lombardia. When we like a dish from Trentino, we need to find the ingredients there, too. Only with ingredients from the region, a dish can be original and correct.”

ten into the restaurant. Birolini was serving guests and tasted it in front of them and when he did, he was so appalled that he spat it out onto the floor of his restaurant. He didn’t care. It was incredible. I was immediately fascinated with this. There was a human being, so devoted to taste and quality, making no compromises. I wanted to be that and was very grateful when he became my teacher.”

‘Would you like a glass of wine?’

Preserve, protect and pass on

Naturally, the answer is yes. After all, like Biagio says, “It’s not just wine – it’s liquid passion”, and who would not want to be served the perfect wine to match your personality and the occasion? “You have to read the people. Is there a couple? Is it a married couple or are they just friends? How is the mood? Business or pleasure? All of this matters. All of this has weight in the decision for one wine or another.”

There is one further reasoning for the unique devotion and passion of Tropeano; for having around 40 different native Italian cheeses in the wine and cheese bar; for 200 options for a glass of wine. “When you come here, you should never forget what you experienced when you leave. Our dishes are not meant to be forgotten. They are created to live on in your memories. We bestow you with an experience and our art and passion is serving that experience.” Quality without compromise. A passion for the original cuisine. This is what defines TROPEANO Di-Vino and it is what Biagio preserves, protects and passes on to the next generation.

When Biagio started out, there was a singular moment that would define his passion for wine. “Back in Milan, I worked at Piccolo Gourmet for Giuseppe Birolini,” he says. “At the time, he was president of the Italian union of sommeliers. One day, somehow a bottle of mixed wine had got-

Lasagnette with roasted lobster and pulp on an orange mustard crustacean sauce with green asparagus.

Millefeuille from calf and tuna with a capers vinaigrette (Variant by Vitello Tonnato). Restaurant with wine bar.

Panna cotta from scampi with roasted pancetta.


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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Hannover City Special

Wide range of MHH in-house event services. Photo: © MHH press department

Lecture halls. Photo: © MHH press department

MHH conference facilities. Photo: © Tom Figiel

Hannover Medical School

Expertise in event management Need a place to hold an academic conference, business seminar or strategic meeting? Whether you are hosting a professional reception, workshop, fundraiser dinner, symposium, lecture or an academic conference, Hannover Medical School’s event management team offers the perfect venue and in-house services to suit your needs. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE

Each year, MHH hosts more than 1,500 events, and the school’s contemporary venue and versatile spaces can be transformed for any occasion. Its central German location and proximity to clinical and academic facilities are great assets. The experienced event planners at MHH will take care of every detail necessary to coordinate your conference, locally, nationally, or internationally. In-house philosophy of event planning “Truly our greatest asset and advantage is that we do all event services in-house. This saves our clients both time and costs,” states Fabian Eggers, head of MHH’s event management department. This philosophy and efficient approach to organising and hosting events means that clients will be supported with all tasks that make up a successful event: coordination and promotion with marketing and communi70  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

cation services (all materials are designed and printed in-house), planning, budgeting, technical services, catering, and registration services. The kitchen offers culinary highlights and creations for every taste freshly prepared on-site. A small team of creative, competent and bilingual people will work with clients to realise their individual demands and custom-tailored concepts – even the most challenging ideas. The organisation, marketing and implementation of events will be professional, reliable, and competitively priced. Sharing event expertise Hannover, located in the heart of Germany, is conveniently accessible by train, plane or car. The city’s ‘Eilenriede-Park’, close to the school’s campus, as well as the abundant hotel choices in close proximity

to the school, complement the charm and efficiency of the location. With more than 8,000 employees, the Hannover Medical School is the city’s second-largest employer, and has an excellent reputation for both its medical and academic profile. In fact, the large majority of events hosted here have a focus on science, medicine and research. “For years, we have been working with private companies, associations, and health organisations, insurance agencies, and Lower Saxony’s ‘Doctors Without Borders’ among many more,” states Eggers. “At the same time, we are eager to expand our spectrum and would like to host other lectures, concerts and workshops in the future.” Delicious and sophisticated catering. Photo: © MHH press department

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Hannover City Special


Neoskop Agency

Heartworking digital minds Digital eco systems demand transparency and adaptability, which is why their organisms are constantly in movement and open for communication with the external environment. Whoever wants to cut through this realm needs a deep understanding of its mechanisms. What is also needed are smart heads and an agile team with open eyes, heart and intellect. TEXT: NEOSKOP GMBH, TRANSLATION: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTOS: NEOSKOP GMBH

Such heads can be found at Neoskop, an owner-operated digital agency located in Hannover. Its ambition can already be derived from its name. Both ‘neo’ and ‘skop’ come from ancient Greek and translate into the motto: ‘always considering things freshly’. Part of this is the continuous change of perspective between brand values, user needs and conversion goals. Additionally, a focus on the substantial and the idea is at the centre of Neoskop’s brand communication. Therefore, Neoskop concentrates on its strengths: digital platforms for unique brand experiences on any device. Integrated and individual eCommerce solu-

tions for products with high consulting demands. Campaigns with creative content as an alternative to short-term performance. All in all, digital ecosystems that live through the perfect interplay of creation, technology and content. In his employees and also in clients, founder and CEO Björn Pitzschke is looking for one core ingredient: “We like to work with people who want to make a difference. Who have understood how digital projects work.” The pivotal point for the 40 digital heads that make up Neoskop, is the company’s factory loft in the historic Hanomaghof in Hannover. Here, strategists, planners, designers and developers

all work together for clients like Rossmann, TÜV NORD, VHV Versicherung or Vaillant. One current project is the economic digital platform ‘Invest in Niedersachsen’, aimed at companies and professionals. With a clear and coherent interface, the platform invites interested parties to get to know Lower Saxony and the economic factors that come with it. “Through innovative ideas, Neoskop has created a platform that perfectly presents the business location Lower Saxony to an international audience,”explains state secretary for economy Daniela Behrens. Like all Neoskop projects, ‘Invest in Niedersachsen’ followed an agile workflow without unnecessary hurdles. It is an iterative process, where all disciplines go hand in hand. Naturally, the client himself is always in the loop and fully integrated in the process. Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  71

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Hannover City Special


Bringing medical progress to patients in need Medical devices and medicinal products must meet very strict regulations and standards before they can be brought to the market. Hannover-based company Medicoforum GmbH accompanies the whole process from concept for clinical trials to the market-ready product. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: FOTOLIA

“We know every possible regulation companies have to take into consideration,” says Medicoforum managing director Dr. Uwe Albrecht. Medicoforum is an internationally successful provider who helps implement medical devices in QM systems and prepares them for market entry, a reliable partner for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. “30 years ago, pharmaceutical companies mostly did this independently and on their own, but since then the process has become far more complex,”says Dr. Albrecht. So, companies now rely on external specialists. Medicoforum GmbH accompanies throughout the whole process or on single steps along the way: from assessment and medical device dossiers to admission and registration, from clinical research to market access consulting and publications. The company always keeps a balance between science and busi72  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

ness to create clinical excellence and technological innovation. To comply with legal requirements, specialised attorneys are consulted, as patent attorneys are for questions of intellectual property. One of the key factors for Medicoforum when working with pharmaceutical companies is trust. “You have to trust each other to reach a common goal quickly,” says Dr. Albrecht. This not only means trust between companies and the Medicoforum consultants, but also between consultants and doctors involved in the research. Medicoforum functions as a kind of bridge builder, an intermediary between both sides. “We often have to translate the wishes of one side to the other,”says Dr. Albrecht. And vice versa. Even though doctors and pharmaceutical companies want to achieve the same goal – better

treatments for patients – they often speak a different language, see the same problems, but from different angles. Medicoforum consultants bring both perspectives together so that the process and products profit. Medicoforum GmbH has worked on a number of physically active products and pharmaceuticals. Regulations have become standardised in Europe, the United States and America, which helps to bring a product to different markets in one process. Medicoforum works internationally with a main focus on Germany, the United Kingdom, Denmark and the US.

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Impressum: FROXIMUN AG, D - 38838 Schlanstedt, Neue Straße 2a, © 2017 FROXIMUN AG - Alle Rechte vorbehalten. Fotos - beide © PhotoSG, © detailblick-foto

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Hannover City Special


Private security in public spaces In recent years, the security sector has changed dramatically, especially since recent terror attacks in Brussels and Paris. With higher threat levels, security firms like primetec GmbH must adjust to even higher standards. primetec GmbH, with headquarters in Hannover, is certified in the fields of security, cleaning and service, but has its main focus on public security. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: PRIMETEC

“The new security requirements are something we experienced first-hand, when after the attack on the Paris football stadium a match of the German national team in Hannover had to be cancelled due to terror threats,” says managing partner Dietmar Götze. Götze’s team was working at the stadium that, shortly before the game, had to be evacuated while people travelling to the stadium had to be redirected. To implement the new security requirements, primetec GmbH has optimised internal processes and invested in the training of employees – which is something, smaller companies are struggling with. primetec GmbH has its own certified training academy, so that employees fulfil the high standards the company sets. But what bothers Dietmar Götze concerning the tense situation are the few mecha74  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

nisms he has at hand to check his employees’ credibility. Of course, everyone has to hand in a police clearance certificate. “But this does not say anything about their political views,” says Götze. Even though he respects data protection regulations he would appreciate to have more input about the people the company is employing.“Someone who has a problem dealing with children, women or certain ethnic groups is, for example, unsuitable to work in a refugee shelter,” he says. “Our company has clear values”, which for example means an initiative against racism, a recent problem in the security sector. primetec GmbH was founded in 2012 when it took over the private business sector of the üstra Transport Services AG with its 550 employees. Today’s shareholders are the football club Hannover 96, the

Lower Saxony football association and managing partner Dietmar Götze. “Since the company was established, public security on a very high-quality level has been our main focus,” says Dietmar Götze. “A good cooperation with the police for example is very important to us”, especially since the company often works at large public events like football games or as partner in the public sector.

Industry is looking for solutions. And finds them at one place. HANNOVER MESSE 24 – 28 April 2017 Hannover ▪ Germany

ience – Exper action n i 0 . rie 4 Indust solutions ! 400 nover n a H live in

Get new technology first

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  HANNOVER MESSE 2017


Creating value in the 21st century Former US President Barack Obama called it “the world’s leading show for industrial technology”. German Chancellor Angela Merkel describes it as “the biggest industrial show of all”. Clearly, HANNOVER MESSE is not only the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology, but also a magnet for political and business leaders from all over the world. TEXT & PHOTOS: DEUTSCHE MESSE AG

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As the birthplace and driver of Industrie 4.0, HANNOVER MESSE attracts politicians and executives who want to learn how digitalisation is transforming manufacturing. When the world’s leading industrial trade fair opens its gates from 24 to 28 April 2017, roughly 6,500 companies from 70 countries will showcase the latest solutions for smart manufacturing. “Industrie 4.0 is the defining concept of 21st century manufacturing,” says Dr. Jochen Köckler, member of the managing board at Deutsche Messe AG, the company that organises HANNOVER MESSE. “Digitalisation adds value not only with better facilities and machinery, but also by enabling new lines of business, increasing employee productivity, and improving customer satisfaction.”

also show how Industrie 4.0 impacts energy systems. Visitors will find not only the full range of products for conventional energy generation, transmission, distribution, and storage, but also new solutions such as smart grids, virtual power plants, renewables, and alternative mobility solutions.

venue for foreign trade. “Many countries now support digitalisation initiatives. HANNOVER MESSE provides a unique opportunity to compare visions of Industrie 4.0 on a global scale,”explains Köckler. Visit the following website to learn more.

HANNOVER MESSE hosts more than 1,000 conferences and forums that address topics ranging from Industrie 4.0, the Industrial Internet and digital transformation to cybersecurity, smart grids and decentralised energy supply. Global Business & Markets in Hall 3 is Europe’s leading

Get your free HANNOVER MESSE tickets here.

In 2016, exhibitors demonstrated more than 400 practical Industrie 4.0 applications at HANNOVER MESSE. Guided by the lead theme ‘Integrated Industry – Creating Value’, exhibitors will demonstrate in 2017 how even companies with limited resources can benefit from Industrie 4.0. Hot topics include cobots (co-robots), digital twin, energy efficiency, predictive maintenance, and smart materials and coatings. Digitalisation is not limited to manufacturing. Exhibitors at HANNOVER MESSE

Barack Obama and Angela Merkel at HANNOVER MESSE 2016.

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MENZEL Elektromotoren engine plant in Berlin.


Running for 90 years If you understand how a motor works, how all the different parts intersect and work together, then there should be no problem with regard to running a successful, sustainable business. MENZEL Elektromotoren GmbH is the perfect example for this, as the producer of practical, durable drive solutions is turning 90 years old this year. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTOS: MENZEL ELEKTROMOTOREN GMBH

Kurt Menzel, grandfather of current CEO Mathis Menzel, was only 23 years old, when he laid the foundation for the MENZEL Motors story. It was Berlin in 1927 when he found the Kurt Menzel Elektromotoren company. After about 15 years, the company faced its first great challenge, when the warehouses, workshops and offices were damaged by bombs 78  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

during the Second World War. With a great deal of diligence and hard work, the Menzels prevailed and, about ten years later, the company first expanded by relocating to a 10,000-square-metre-large property. At the new site, production halls and warehouses were built and, after 50 years, with the entry of Kurt Menzel junior, the future of the family business was secured.

Kurt Menzel Senior in 1927.

With the entry of Menzel junior, the company changed its name to MENZEL Elektromotoren GmbH, the name it has become known for during the last decades. Growth characterised these decades, as Menzel continuously expanded the business, by developing new property around Berlin. In 2007, Mathis Menzel became part of the management team and has now followed his father as CEO. Since then, MENZEL Elektromotoren has developed internationally by initiating subsidiaries in Scandinavia, France, Great Britain, Italy and Spain. When asked about the long-time success, Mathis Menzel says: “I’d like to refer to my

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  HANNOVER MESSE 2017

grandfather, whose diligence we owe all of this to. I’ve been told his motto was: ‘For success you need the will, the ability and persistence’.” Knowledge and development After 90 years, MENZEL Elektromotoren has been able to supply electric motors to industrial facilities all over the world. Motors that are manufactured by MENZEL Elektromotoren possess a lifespan of 30 to 40 years and the company offers maintenance services and support throughout that time. With MENZEL Elektromotoren, everything comes from a single source. Clients receive personal advice in terms of planning and development is done individual and specifically for the customer at hand. Thus, the product range includes both standard motors for industrial application, identical and replaceable replicas, custom-built designs and special designs for specific drive operations. The motors are built in state-of-the-art plants, which have been kept that way with various investments during the last few years. Production of mechanical and electrical motors is regulated by a quality management system, that includes international standards and requirements. While speed is important in production, reliability is equally as valuable. That is why each and every motor is thoroughly tested after assembly. At the Berlin site, a dedicated area is equipped with all the technology needed

When the Berlin site was structured it was important to employ a logical layout of the facility, where a motor would move through the manufacturing steps in the most efficient way. For that reason, the finalisation of the manufacturing, namely the paintwork and packaging, take place adjacent to the testing.

core principals have stayed the same. A dedication to quality and people, a downto-earth attitude towards development, a spirit of hard work, diligence and will. In the future, Menzel and his company want to further build on his family’s legacy. “We will continue to make our greatest efforts to earn our role, as the flexible, always approachable partner for client’s, who cannot find their perfect product in the market leader’s portfolios.”

The core ingredient

for this task and it is the final test, that guarantees the durability of the motor.

Though technology naturally is important, Mathis Menzel views another factor as the core ingredient to success. “In our sector, knowledge on the engineering level, experience and competent technical implementation play a major role.” In one of the company’s larger hallways there is a sign reading a quote by Heinrich Nordhoff, who was CEO at Volkswagen from 1948 to 1968. It says: “The value of a company is defined neither by its buildings and machinery, nor by its bank accounts. The only things valuable for a company are the people who work for it and the spirit in which they do so.” For Menzel, this quote rings true. Employees are critical for long-term success and therefore work at MENZEL Elektromotoren is done by permanently employed workers and without temporary employment contracts. 90 years have shaped MENZEL Elektromotoren in unimaginable ways, but the

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  HANNOVER MESSE 2017

Leuze electronic headquarters in Owen/Teck.

Smart Sensor Business 4.0 made by Leuze electronic Sensor expert Leuze is playing a pioneering role as far as Industry 4.0 is concerned In the early 1960s, Leuze textile founded Leuze electronic in a former weaving mill to develop sensors for the company’s textile machines. This marked the beginning of the family-owned company with its headquarters in Owen/Teck, which has grown into a global success story over the past 50 years. Leuze electronic stands for forward-thinking entrepreneurship and innovative product development and, with regard to Industry 4.0, the sensor expert that deals with the exchange of data on a daily basis is adopting an active pioneering role and driving force. TEXT & PHOTOS: LEUZE ELECTRONIC GMBH + CO. KG, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF

Shortly after the first switching and measuring sensors were developed, new sensors and system solutions were developed for safety at work as well as solutions for identification, industrial image processing and data transmission. It is not an advertising slogan but rather corporate philosophy that offers clients an Industry 80  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

4.0-capable smart sensor business. Leuze electronic is intensely focused on smarter product usability in its product developments, which means extremely simple and uncomplicated usability of all devices: be it installation and alignment or configuration and integration in all of the most popular fieldbus systems.

Due to many years of experience, expert knowledge and in-depth smart application know-how in intralogistics, the packaging industry, the automotive industry, machine tool manufacturing and medical engineering, Leuze electronic will actively and globally drive forward innovative developments in all growth markets. Furthermore, Leuze electronic is also committed to Smarter Customer Service and is continuously developing its range of services for the entire life cycle of a machine or system, as well as always finding new ways of providing the best possible customer service worldwide. Think global, act local – always there where a client needs help. Smart sensor

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  HANNOVER MESSE 2017

business 4.0 is the DNA of over 1,000 sensor people worldwide – employees at 22 locations who are supported by many distributors ensure that customers are advised professionally, comprehensively and reliably. “The number of employees increased from 944 in 2015 to 1,045 in 2016. We are planning to increase our workforce by about ten per cent in 2017, with half of this increase taking place in Germany,” says CEO Ulrich Balbach. Leuze electronic is therefore committed to its location in Germany, and is proving its sustainability in the creation of new jobs. They are looking for specialists in all areas, from skilled production workers to product managers and national and international sales managers. Leuze electronic, one of Germany’s TOP employers, is also proud of the awards it has recently received as well as being incorporated into the world market leader index in 2016 and 2017. Leuze electronic also received numerous awards for its product innovations, such as the RSL 400 safety laser scanner, the latest product highlight in the area of safety at work. They have also received first place in the Industry Prize for Optical Technologies, first place in the GIT Safety Award in the safe automation area, and third place in the handling awards in the quality and safety area.

Users and experts do not always see eye to eye with regard to new products, because not every product fulfils both the innovation requirements of the expert juries and the usability requirements of the users. Leuze electronic has brought more than just safety products that are outstanding and far-sighted onto the market, but also services and system solutions. Overall, millions of sensors leave Leuze electronic’s plants each year. Thousands of bar code readers tirelessly work around the clock in different industrial systems in conjunction with image processing systems from Leuze electronic. For example, the majority of high-bay storage devices in high-bay warehouses on the planet are supplied with data and millimetreaccurate positioning by Leuze electronic - also around the clock. The customers of Leuze electronic can choose from more than 40,000 items, be it on the internet or in the catalogue, and can still rely on the extremely quick delivery times. If an employee working the manufacturing area happens to be careless, the safety sensors from Leuze electronic stop dangerous movement immediately. You can also scan the following QR code:

CEO Ulrich Balbach.

MORE ABOUT LEUZE ELECTRONIC Leuze electronic is one of the world's innovation leaders in optical sensors and is internationally known as a leading manufacturer and solution provider in electrical automation. Its main focus is on the areas of intralogistics, packaging industry, tool manufacturing and automotive industry as well as medical technology. The product range includes switching and measuring sensors, identification systems, solutions for image processing and data transmission as well as components and systems for safety at work. Founded in 1963, the company, with headquarters in Owen (Germany), has specific application know-how as well as broad industry knowledge. More than 1,000 employees at 22 locations work in development, production, sales and service, supported by more than 40 sales partners worldwide. Innovative product developments, tailor-made complete solutions and an extensive range of services stand for the ‘Smart Sensor Business 4.0’ at Leuze electronic.

Smart sensor business 4.0 – practiced by over 1,000 sensor people worldwide.

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Cavalon travelling above its hometown of Hildesheim.

Fly like an eagle If you have always dreamed of soaring through lofty heights like the eagle of the famous ‘70s song, you should definitely read the following. If not, you should read it anyway as it may stir the yearning to take off immediately. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: AUTOGYRO

Little did Otmar Birkner, founder and CTO of AutoGyro, know of the success story he embarked on when he started manufacturing his first gyroplane (a mix between an ultralight airplane and a helicopter). When his aircraft had officially been certified for public operation in 2003, friends and acquaintances enthusiastically asked Birkner to manufacture additional specimen - a request Birkner complied with great pleasure. Handmade really means handmade This was 14 years ago. Today, Birkner’s company AutoGyro manufactures up to 300 gyroplanes per year and an everincreasing number of customers make sure 82  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

that the demand for AutoGyro’s extraordinary aircrafts does not waver. “When I built my first gyro, I never dreamed of the consequences this would have. Yet, even though AutoGyro has changed over the last couple of years, while we have grown considerably and still continue to do so, the manner of manufacture has changed little. The team at AutoGyro shares the vision that the best results can only be achieved by the best components. As we entirely trust the high quality of our work, we manually manufacture all of our gyroplanes on our premises ourselves,” Birkner explains the secret behind the extraordinary quality and appealing design ofAutoGyros’ aircrafts.

“Our customers love to visit our premises in order to configure their own gyroplane,” says Birkner.“They become witness of how our aircrafts are built and they can see for themselves that our gyroplanes really are hand-crafted. They tell us what they want, and together we will configure an aircraft that fulfils even their most extravagant requirements,” Birkner illustrates the design process of each individual gyroplane. This manner of production enables the team at AutoGyro to establish a close relationship with their customer base and to thus use the intimate knowledge of their requirements to present aircrafts that better suit their customers’ tastes. Customers with differing needs “There is no typical AutoGyro user. Our customer base comprises of the air enthusiast who loves the freedom of freely moving through the air but also of the business man who is tired of being stuck in traffic jams

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  HANNOVER MESSE 2017

and thus simply flies to his next meeting in one of our gyroplanes,” Birkner says. Various demands are met by six differing models ranging from the basic model MTOfree, the optic embodiment of unique ease, unprecedented mobility and maximum fun, which gives you the most original feeling of flying, up to the CavalonPRO, which is certain to fulfil even the highest demands of a comfortable flying experience. “Another testament of our innovative company focus is a new prototype driven by an electronic engine, which comprises a valuable alternative to our conventional, fuel-driven aircrafts. However, having proven that electronically driven flight is possible, we are limited by the capacity of today’s batteries and will continue our development as soon as more powerful cells will be available on the market. We are confident that this model will be a great launch in the not too far future,” Birkner explains AutoGyro’s latest innovation.

flights over large landscapes and areas,” Birkner sums up a couple of AutoGyro’s aircrafts most evident advantages. An anonymous quote has is that “when once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned On its mission: Calidus flying for the Texas Police Department.

skyward”, and thus perfectly captures humankind’s longing for the freedom of movement - a dream whose fulfilment, thanks to AutoGyro, is closer than you may think. Incomparable views and breathtaking experiences with the MTOfree above the skyline of Dubai.

Pure freedom in the AutoGyro MTOsport.

Gyroplanes by AutoGyro worldwide While AutoGyro is based in Germany, their aircrafts and services are available in over 40 countries. “We greatly value our international customer base,” stresses Birkner, “which is why we have service partners in many countries. These partners are our customers’ local contacts and will help with anything from designing and registering their aircraft to teaching them to fly our gyroplanes.” Still, further services are available for sky enthusiasts.“Our customers are in search of the particular and of freedom of movement,”reflects Birkner.“This is why, in many countries, we offer tailor-made Gyro tours, which will take the traveller to hidden places others are not able to visit by conventional means of transport.” AutoGyro’s gyroplanes combine the advantages of helicopters and airplanes and thus result in one of the safest means of transport imaginable. “Our aircrafts are particularly attractive not only for the private user but also for large or stately organisations. They are individually designed and hand-crafted. They operate at one-tenth of the costs of a conventional helicopter and are much easier to manoeuvre, which makes our gyroplanes very attractive for, for example, inspection

Otmar Birkner, founder and CTO of AutoGyro.

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The compact super conductors are as powerful as common aluminium busbars.

Transferring from copper to super conductors.

Workshop assembly.

Crossing the line:

Superconductors stand for energy transfer, supreme A German provider for superconductor-based high-current system solutions is currently setting technological benchmarks for the future, just in time for crossing the threshold to a new era of energy transfer. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: VESC

Vision Electric Super Conductors (VESC) produce and implement superconductorbased energy transfer systems for industrial, network-related and scientific areas. Conventional ways of energy transfer like overhead copper and aluminum cables are creating resistance and therefore involve up to 15 per cent of energy loss over long distances. This is where superconductors come in. Superconductors are materials that can be used for energy transfer producing no resistance at all, with the result of zero energy loss. Having been originally discovered in 1911, nowadays superconductors present a brand new, environmentally friendly version made of ceramics, finally ready to be used on a broad industrial basis. The global turnaround in energy policies needs new solutions for the near future. In Germany for example, the north with its strong wind resources produces much 84  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

more energy than the middle and south, where in turn the most energy is needed for industrial production. The efficiently produced wind energy therefore needs an equally efficient way of being transported to where it is being consumed. VESC provide an alternative to conventional high-voltage technology. Their flexible ICE®BAR and ICE®CABLE systems make industrial high current usage simpler as well as more efficient. Both are ready-to-use systems, capable of transporting high currents on a low to middle-voltage level, virtually loss-free. Applicable to both direct and alternating currents between 10kA and above 200kA, they facilitate an efficient energy transfer across any desired distance. Apart from the future use for connecting to renewable sources, superconductor-based energy transfer is also of high interest for major industrial firms, for example those using electrolysis. With the support of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and

Energy, one such project is just about to start. The long-term ‘3S-Demonstrator’ trial project, a collaboration of VESC with the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) and the Dresden Institute of Air Handling and Refrigeration (ILK), will transport 20kA currents across a length of 25 metres, imitating real life compatibility for industrial usage. Both in terms of cost efficiency and environmental protection, superconductorbased energy transfer is on the brink of being applied on a broad range – with VESC providing the groundbreaking, highly flexible system technology and a comfortable full-service maintenance package.

Superconductor positioned in cryostat.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  HANNOVER MESSE 2017

Time to shine Expanded polypropylene (EPP) is an innovative type of foam plastic featuring a broad property profile. Being extremely versatile, EPP can be widely utilised and is becoming increasingly popular, for example, in the furniture, sports and leisure industry.

Photo: © ISL Schaumstoff-Technik


Aside from being used for automotive parts such as bumpers and seat shells, EPP has so far been a fairly hidden champion. However, this recyclable foam plastic has so many clear advantages over other materials that it is high time to bring it into the limelight it deserves. Dr. Thomas Neumeyer, CEO of a forum dedicated to EPP, explains: “EPP offers a greater design freedom due to single beads being merged into a final product. EPP is lightweight and features exceptional energy absorption as well as excellent thermal insulation.” EPP is heat resistant up to 100 degrees Celsius and features outstanding thermal insulation properties. Hence, it is the perfect

material for solutions for food transportation, regardless whether the food must be kept at low or at high temperatures. It does not contain hydrocarbons or any other substances that can cause environmental damage. Products made of EPP are completely recyclable and return to the raw material cycle. Being water resistant and non-toxic, EPP can also be used without concern in sensitive areas such as toy manufacturing and the food industry. “Aside from its use in automotive engineering, it has enormous potential for lightweight construction applications, innovative packaging and insulation solutions as well as for the furniture industry, to name but a few,” Dr. Neumeyer adds.

Photo: © T. Michel Formenbau

Are you ready for the revolution?

Industry is looking for solutions. And finds them at one place. HANNOVER MESSE 24 – 28 April 2017 ▪ Hannover ▪ Germany

Get new technology first

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  HANNOVER MESSE 2017

Custom-built 3D printers made in Germany 3D printers are about to become de rigueur in the modern industrial world and 3D prototypes may be crucial in taking economic and processual decisions. Multiphoton Optics is an important player in the production of these highprecision printers. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: MULTIPHOTON OPTICS GMBH

The first 3D printers were introduced to the public in 1986. Now, in 2017, high-profile 3D printing cannot be imagined without high-tech start-up Multiphoton Optics, a company that has specialised in the engineering of custom-built high-precision 3D printers. “It has been an impressive and speedy journey from our very first research projects to arrive at where we are today,” recounts Dr. Ruth Houbertz, multiple award-winning physicist, co-founder and CEO of Germany-based Multiphoton Optics. The speediness of Multiphoton Optics’ journey and the company’s success is entirely justified as the proficiency of Multiphoton Optics’ printers goes to prove. “Our customers, who are mainly 86  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

active in the business fields of photonics, biomedicine and life sciences, value and rely on the precise work of our printing equipment. They also find that there are practically no limits to the material our printers are able to process, and our printers work in an additive as well as in a subtractive fabrication mode. Moreover, we have devised the matching software LithoSoft3D® as a stand-alone solution that thus has the essential benefit of being compatible with any Aerotech GCode or ISO GCode compatible manufacturing machines,” says Dr. Houbertz, summarising just some of the advantages of Multiphoton Optics’ printers and software. 3D printers by Multiphoton Optics are an irremissible partner in the develop-

ment of new product designs in order to test, for example novel designs for illumination, camera or endoscope optics. Not only are the printers very fast and can thus provide the user with a prototype in practically no time at all, the use of these printers is also very cost efficient, which makes the printers favourable to use. “We want to convince our customers of our products, and have thus initiated various projects to introduce our printers and their benefits,” Dr. Houbertz invites interested parties. This year will see a couple of innovations for Multiphoton Optics. They comprise the universally deployable printing platform LithoProf3D with its software packages and an ultrafast fabrication of aspheric or freefrom microoptics. Take a peek at these and many more innovations at Multiphoton Optics’ booth at the HANNOVER MESSE (hall 6, booth C30.2).

Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Business Profiles



The DACH region’s innovators On the following pages, find out what Germany, Switzerland and Austria have to offer on the business front.

Photo: © Curetics

Photo: © information technology GmbH

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  87

Discover Germany  |  Business Profiles  |  Curetics & Philip Loskant Architekt

Do not leave your recovery up to chance The nutrient supplement curetin® has been developed to support the body during its recovery phase after injuries, operations or whilst dealing with chronic wounds. Giving our body that extra bit of help can make all the difference.

curetin® at the surgery.


Developed in the university environment of the Technical University Munich, curetin® contains carefully selected micro and macronutrients to supply the body with a comprehensive mix of nutrients to help repair its tissue after operations. “curetin® contains exactly those nutrients that support and speed up the healing process,” explains Curetic’s director Simon Krämer. “curetin® is available in different boxes for various purposes,” he continues. “The three boxes each contain a mix of sachets with the right nutrients depending on the circumstances and the specific stage of recovery.” The quintessential four-week box supports the body prior to an operation and is continued thereafter (or after any inju-

ry) as it boosts general tissue formation. It can also be used for short-term problems of wound healing. The eight-week box is designed for severe cases, again pre- and postoperative as well as for patients with chronic healing problems. A perfect solution for spontaneous ones is the ten-day box, created to help recover from smaller injuries or operations. Clinical trials back patients’ testimonies that they feel healthy quicker and resume their normal lives sooner. Given that our bodies are our most valuable assets, it should receive all the help it can get during its vulnerable times. curetin® can be purchased online at the following website or on Amazon.

curetin® four-weeks box.

Expecting the unexpected


Creating space for people from alpine heights to tropical forests Architects like to talk about the singularity of clients and sites – and that their designs incorporate that difference. The Zurich-based architect Philip Loskant has a walk-over on that: his projects cover a wide range such as a small school for an Indian NGO in the Himalayas, an office building for a tax optimiser in the Swiss canton of Zug, a guest house in the tropical south of India, a family hotel high up in the Swiss Alps and more. “It’s not only the individual character that makes the difference,” says Loskant. “It’s their cultural background that distinguishes people. Modern life is a mix of longing for the commonly known and searching for the individual new.” Philip Loskant has focused on that mix – by experience and curiosity. After growing up in Germany, he studied architecture in Switzerland and India and worked for architects in New York and Berlin. The outcome of his own work is an architecture of “unexpected traditionalism”. The ‘Frutt Family Lodge’ in the central Swiss Alps for example expresses the 88  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

guests’ longing for comfortable traditional Swiss alpine architecture on the one hand and their curiousness for the unexpected on the other; the building volumes look traditional and unexpected at the same time. The lobby and restaurant have a known cosy modern alpine chic, but the wellness area is a fascinating underworld to be discovered. “Architecture is nothing else but creating space for people. They want to feel comfortable with the known and from that base of certainty want to experience the new. The architect’s task is to put a play between expectations and the unexpected

on stage,” explains Loskant. “So, the first question is: what does the client expect?”

‘Frutt Family Lodge’.

Discover Germany  |  Business Profiles  |  Credentis AG

Fast pain relief for sensitive teeth – easy to use at home and en route


CURODONT™ D’SENZ was developed for fast treatment and desensitisation of teeth. The Swiss company credentis included the ground-breaking CUROLOX® TECHNOLOGY in this novel tooth gel. The CUROLOX® TECHNOLOGY is also used for the self-repair of initial carious lesions. The product seals open dentinal tuThe CUROLOX® TECHNOLOGY was bules and blocks pain triggering signals developed as non-invasive therapy to reinduced by sour drinks, cold or heat. “The pair small carious lesions. Synthetised main difference to other products on the from naturally occurring amino acids, the market is how fast the protective barrier CUROLOX® peptide independently builds builds up,”says Buchloh.“Just apply it with a 3D matrix with the capacity to bind calthe fingertip. In two minutes you can feel cium and join it to the tooth mineral. the difference.” “When the CUROLOX® TECHNOLOGY Clinical studies have proven the effecbuilds its 3D matrix in a carious lesion, tiveness of CURODONT™ D’SENZ: over the lesion can naturally be re-mineralised 80 per cent of the participants with acute without drilling,” says Stefan Buchloh, pains responded and experienced fast product manager at credentis AG. “If this desensitisation. In 2016, this innovative 3D matrix is already included in a tooth product was awarded the Swiss Excellence gel, it allows building up a protective barProduct Award. CURODONT™ D’SENZ rier on the teeth’s surface. This is exactly what happens when using CURODONT™ can be bought directly from the web shop at Amazon. D’SENZ.” 2_0_subscribe_DG:Layout 1 22/3/16 14:06 orPage 1




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Tick here if you do not wish to receive newsletters from Scan Group. Return with payment by cheque to: Scan Group, 15B Bell Yard Mews, Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3TY, United Kingdom or pay online at in action in the newsroom of Heute, a leading Vienna-based Austrian newspaper and online publisher.

C R E AT I V E I N D U S T R I E S , A U S T R I A

Tracking news as it happens, developed by Austrian pioneers, is a cloud-based real-time research tool that makes life for journalists far easier. It allows them to keep track of information using one computer screen only – or even a mobile device. A searchable dashboard runs in the browser and combines different sources from news agencies to Twitter streams. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: X.NEWS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY GMBH

What is always difficult to handle for journalists – especially when working in newsrooms – is to keep track of the fast-flowing stream of information. News moves quickly and comes from very different sources. Of course, for many years there have been tools on the market that allow real-time tracking of news agency feeds and internal systems, but what most of them lacked was the inclusion of other sources. So what happens if the first rumours circulate on Twitter before any agency or reporter picks them up? 90  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

A journalist relying only on traditional systems might actually miss the story. Or has to regularly open and check many different tabs in the browser. Siloed systems made tracking news far more complicated than it needs to be. closed this gap. Creating a path through the information jungle “The birth of was a team effort – the result of creative discussions between some very experienced Austrian technologists

and myself and others with expert knowledge of working in newsrooms,” says editorial director Simon Andrewes, a former BBC journalist who supports the team from London.“I knew from my experience as a journalist that the rapid growth in information sources was making traditional tools increasingly unsuitable.” So Andrewes teamed up with the Austrian team that had already been working on a search aggregation tool, but solely for video. The team outside Vienna today is led by CEO Andy Pongratz and CTO and lead product manager Markus Prochazka and unites a group of talented young software developers headed by Philip Pock. “We put our heads together and came up with – a radically different solution to anything previously tried,” says Simon Andrewes.

Discover Germany  |  Business Profiles  | information technology GmbH allows journalists to quickly find, follow, collect and share the latest information to save time and improve efficiency and quality. Andrewes explains the idea in more detail: “Even as individuals we need to check in lots of different places these days for the information we are interested in – Facebook, Twitter, news sites and personal messaging apps. So you can imagine how complicated this has become for the average journalist or researcher trying to find out the latest on Donald Trump or Brexit for example,” he states. basically takes information from internal systems, multiple websites and social media platforms and presents it on a single dashboard, which journalists can see and search in one go.“When you save a search you are automatically notified when new updates arrive.” also allows sharing search results with colleagues working on the same topic. The application handles text, video, images and audio. Considering the amount of information flying around, it is also important to have filters in place

to show only relevant content for a particular subject area – for example business news. With, users can choose from different layouts to highlight the most important sources they need. Using the advantages of cloud-based computing makes use of the latest developments in cloud-based computing. “We have built connectors to many different kinds of sources and our cloud servers are constantly ingesting and indexing millions of items a day,” explains editorial director Simon Andrewes. The former journalist is also responsible for liaising closely with newsroom customers. “Every time a user saves a search for a particular story or topic, it is stored on our servers, and every item is instantly checked to see if it matches.” Users only need to connect a device – either a desktop computer or a mobile device like their smartphone – to the internet, open a web browser and log in. This also allows news reporters on the

go to easily access news feeds, which has been a problem with many traditional systems. “Each of our customers has their own private instance of, taking in whatever information they need, so it’s a highly secure system.“ In short, the application is suitable for organisations that need to monitor news from a range of sources – and to do that in real-time.“Newsrooms might be the most obvious customers,”says Simon Andrewes. “But we’ve recently been expanding beyond that – to companies who need to monitor and manage their brands, such as Red Bull Media House, and even government organisations who need to keep a close eye on what the media is saying. With so much time-critical, reputationally sensitive information out there, many companies have had to develop newsroom-type operations of their own, and we are an ideal tool for them.”

Right: at the Austria Born Global Champion Award 2016: Dr. Christoph Leitl, president of the Austrian Economic Chamber, Gerhard Moeller, director business development, information technology gmbh, Andreas Pongratz, founder, CEO/CMO, information technology gmbh and Dr. Harald Mahrer, secretary of state (from left to right). Below: Trump Travel Ban story – shown on the mobile phone. Bottom middle: Screenshot of full-screen version showing results of a search for the Trump Travel Ban. Bottom right: A search for entertainment news about the Kardashians, showing how can present information flexibly for different topics.

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  91

Discover Germany  |  Business Profiles  |  CROWDLI AG

Co-founder and CEO Felix Helling.

Dipping into the property crowdfunding pool In the last years, crowdfunding has established itself as a viable method of funding a project. The Swiss CROWDLI AG has furthered the idea of crowdfunding and translated it into an alternative investment method for property investment and co-ownership sharing. At the start of the year, it launched its website and began funding its first property. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTOS: CROWDLI AG

Co-founder and CEO Felix Helling had the initial idea for CROWDLI in 2014. At the time, he was finishing his master’s degree in building and property management, but had already multiple years of previous experience in the business. In 2016, he revisited the idea and together with his three co-founders Raphael Hagspiel, Reto Fierz and Roger Bigger put it into practice. CROWDLI, as a FinTech company, is based on the principles of crowdfunding. A property is acquired, split into segments and fully detailed on the online platform. After choosing a property and reviewing the respective documents, the amount of investment can be set. Once the contract is set up, the investment is done and the 92  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

member becomes an official co-owner in the land register, who receives returns. “In contrast to buying a freehold flat, our investors can spread their investments on multiple properties, lowering their contingency risk. Opposed to an investment fund, we are able to offer lower fees, as our organisational structure is much simpler, which, of course, results in higher returns,” explains Helling. Currently, CROWDLI is funding its first property. Located in St Margrethen, Switzerland, the multi-family house was built in 2014. “Many factors are important in finding the right property. That’s why our audit and the independent audit by PWC take a little bit of time. Two factors for ex-

ample are the age of the building, which shouldn’t be more than five years and the rentability of the property. Naturally, the latter should be high.” As the idea of crowdfunding properties takes hold in the public eye, it will enable CROWDLI to continue funding, investigating and presenting new real estate to its members. CROWDLI’s first property.

Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Solicitor Column


When I took the first tentative steps on the property ladder many years ago, buying your first home was difficult but achievable: property prices were much lower than they are now, loan to value mortgages of 120 per cent were on offer for solicitors, and generous multiples of income were applied to the amounts lent. These days are long gone. Now high property prices, deposits of up to 40 per cent and strict lending criteria are the order of the day. As a result, many first-time buyers are now more than ever dependent on financial support from parents and the so-called ‘bank of mum and dad’ has become a major player in UK property transactions. According to data released by Legal & General in 2016, 25 per cent of all homeowners received help from family and friends to buy the property they live in, a figure which increases to 32 per cent for London homeowners and to 57 per cent for those under 35. Given the prevalence and value of such transactions, it is a good idea to obtain professional advice in advance on how they should be structured from a tax and asset protection perspective. There are broadly the following main options for parents to assist their children: (1) buying a second property in the parents’ names and letting it to the children through, for

example, an Assured Shorthold Tenancy; (2) purchasing it jointly with their child; (3) giving their child the funds to purchase the property; (4) lending the funds to the child on an arm’s-length basis and on commercial terms; and (5) using a trust to purchase the property. Depending on the individual circumstances of each case, these options will have implications for inheritance tax planning, income tax payable by the parents or trustees on rental income, the amount of Stamp Duty Land Tax payable on the transaction, capital gains tax payable on a subsequent sale of the property, and asset protection in the event that the relationship between the child and his or her partner should later break down. There is no one-size-fits-all solution and advising on these matters will involve a combination of private client, tax, family and property law expertise. If these considerations are properly balanced, both parents and children can be rest assured that they have struck the most taxefficient deal and future proofed themselves to the extent possible. I am grateful to my partner Graeme Fraser in our family law department and James Vernor-Miles in our residential property team for their input and assistance with this column.

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:

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  93

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

Philipp Poisel on tour. Photo: © Raimond Spekking

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 April. VELOBerlin (1 – 2 April) A bicycle is much more than just a mode of transportation. That is why finding the perfect bike is so difficult. VELOBerlin is a fair dedicated to your favourite two-wheelers and explores bikes for all uses. There are dedicated areas for urban, adventure and electronic bikes and, of course, there is the festival, where you can test your choice. 94  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

The first bike lane in the world, Mannheim (2 April) The technically first bike lane in the world is situated in the castle garden in Mannheim. The lane is celebrating its 200th anniversary with a photo exhibition. The event is part of a larger series, which is dedicated to 200 years of cycling in Mannheim, where in 1817, Karl Drais created the bicycle.


Deutsche Post Marathon, Bonn (2 April) 2017 brings a new edition of the Bonn marathon and half-marathon. Last year 13,000 sport enthusiasts took part in the activities, while 200,000 people cheered them on. It is one of the most beloved running events in Germany. Musikmesse, Frankfurt (5 – 8 April) If you are passionate about music, you should save a date for the Musikmesse in Frankfurt. It is the international trade fair for musical instruments, sheet music, music production and marketing. More than 1,000 exhibitors will present instruments from all genres to more than

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

Deutsche Post Marathon in Bonn. Photo: © Photocapy

60,000 visitors, who will also be treated with exclusive concerts, seminars and workshops. Salzburg Easter Festival (8 – 17 April) Celebrating its 50-year anniversary, the Salzburg Easter Festival has put together an exquisite programme to rise to the occasion. It will recreate Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre, which was the Festival’s very first opera production in 1967. Apart from this main highlight, there is a diverse array of concerts that are all accompanied by an exhibition dealing with the festival’s historic aspects. Easter Festival, Baden-Baden (7 – 17 April) For Easter, the festival hall in Baden-Baden has put together an eclectic musical programme. One highlight is a performance of Puccini’s Tosca

The world’s first bike lane in Mannheim. Photo: © steffakasid

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  95

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

La Bohème. Photo: © Opernhaus Zurich, Judith Schlosser

IGA. Photo: © SINAI Gesellschaft von Landschaftsarchitekten mbH

IGA Berlin (From 13 April) The International Garden Exhibition in Berlin is one of the most renowned festivals celebrating international garden design and a green urban lifestyle. Over the course of 186 days, more than 5,000 events will take place, centring on contemporary garden design, landscape architecture, natural experiences, green urban spaces and more.

with the Berlin philharmonics, soprano Kristine Opolais and conductor Sir Simon Rattle. Further events include violin concerts, special intimate concerts with members of the Berlin philharmonics and much more. CRANACH at Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf (From 8 April) The Museum Kunstpalast is inviting to a new special exhibition on Lucas Cranach the Elder. Cranach is one of the most eminent painters of the Germain Renaissance. For the first time, the exhibition explores Cranach in its entirety and modernity, demonstrating the unique influence of this exceptional artist on modern and contemporary art. Comic Con Austria, Linz (8 – 9 April) Smaller versions of the San Diego Comic Con in the USA have been popping up all over Europe over the years. In its second year, the Comic Convention Austria is gearing up to repeat its wonderful fan festival. Last year, the event which takes place in Linz was completely sold out and one can be sure that it will be this year, too. 96  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

La Bohème, Zurich (15 April) Beginning in mid-April, the Opera in Zurich will stage a new production of Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème. Directed by Norwegian Ole Anders Tandberg, one of the most heartfelt love stories in opera history will captivate you from start to finish with its powerful staging and acting. Surreal Objectivity, Berlin (until 23 April) The exhibition Surreal Objectivity takes a new look at the phenomenon of new objectivity. Presented by the Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg Berlin, they bring a surrealistic vantage point into the Frederick III by Lucas Cranach. Photo: © cea+

reception of new objectivity. Surreal Objectivity has been on display since October 2016 and will finish its run this April. Macbeth, Zurich (23 April) The opera Macbeth is the first exploration of Shakespeare’s work by Giuseppe Verdi. Much like audiences around the world are captivated by his opera, Verdi was in awe of the story about a Scottish lord, whose life unravels in a wave of death, fear and hopelessness. A classic tale always worth seeing again. Philipp Poisel on tour (various dates in April) In April, the German singer-songwriter continues his spring tour 2017. Having just released his latest record Mein Amerika, renowned musician Poisel is heading all over Germany in April. From Berlin to Cologne or Frankfurt, you can catch him anywhere. If something prevents you this time around, be sure to watch out for his summer tour in July and August.

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

Salzburg Easter Festival. Photo: © Forster

Macbeth. Photo: © Opernhaus Zurich, Monika Rittershaus

Issue 49  |  April 2017  |  97

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Barbara Geier Column

Happy Easter everyone! TEXT & PHOTO: BARBARA GEIER

Do you know what Easter is all about? Apart from buying and eating the Easter eggs and bunnies in all shapes, forms and variations that Sainsbury, Tesco & Co have been throwing at us for way too many weeks in advance. Well, in Germany, discounter king ALDI seems to think that the nation – or rather the nation’s children – are in need of some explanation. ALDI Süd, the ALDI branch that – roughly speaking – covers the southern regions of Germany (yes, we’ve got two ALDIs in Germany, North and South), has for the second year brought out a special customer magazine aimed at kids that explains the Christian background of Easter and traditional customs. Why do we celebrate Easter? What’s the story in the Bible? Why Easter bunnies and egg hunts, plus instructions for do-ityourself Easter decorations and information about Easter traditions around the world? What do you think? Commendable? The Church, in general, seems to like it and last year, a spokesperson for the Protestant Church in Bavaria called the campaign “exemplary”, stressing that all the things that make Easter important for Christians are well explained in a language that is easily understood 98  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

by children. Others, however, thought it sad that a discounter feels the need to explain such “Christian basics” and that this should actually be the Church’s remit. Well, let’s be honest – or if you prefer, cynical – the ultimate reason for a magazine such as ALDI’s Ostern einfach erklärt (Easter, easily explained) is not an educational but still a commercial one. Yes, ALDI is, like so many companies, more and more engaged in providing valuable and useful content to its customers because that’s the thing to do. Simply ramming down promotional offers down people’s throats is a thing of the past. But, in the end, they still want to sell. Cue: the ‘Für unsere kleinen Kunden’ (for our little customers) icon on the cover or suggestions for Easter presents on the back cover (‘create a photo book using’). In any case, and in the ALDI spirit of educating you about Easter tradition in other countries, why not try the good old German custom of ‘Eier ausblasen’ this year? All you need are raw eggs and good lungs in order to engage in this pre-Easter activity of ‘blowing out’ eggs in order to then paint and decorate their empty shells. And should you be reading this thinking it sounds somehow wrong,

then that’s only because you want it to. It’s a perfectly normal thing to do in Germany (ask your German friends), albeit one that might leave you slightly dizzy. Happy Easter everyone! Barbara Geier is a London-based freelance writer, translator and communications consultant. She is also the face behind, a German travel and tourism guide and blog that was set up together with UK travel writer Andrew Eames in 2010.

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