Discover Germany, Issue 56, November 2017

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Issue 2017 Issue56 55| |November October 2017






Your Shortcut to Germany Bergen


Oslo Stockholm Bromma

SWEDEN Aalborg bo org g


G enburg Goth

Aarh A rhu us us

Billund Manchester

London City







S na c ks

Me al s

Dr inks

Pap ers



Discover Germany  |  Contents

Contents NOVEMBER 2017

20 Photo: © Vanessa Cowling

COVER FEATURE 20 Rebecca Immanuel After her big breakthrough in Edel & Starck, Rebecca Immanuel went on to play in numerous high-profile TV series. Discover Germany speaks to her about current projects, why she took a break after Edel & Starck, the German film industry and more.

SPECIAL THEMES 12 Top Swiss Design 2017 Switzerland is known for its great design. Thus, for this month’s issue, we take a closer look at some of the great designers and the innovative products this country has to offer. 28 Culture Highlights Switzerland – Top Museums & Galleries Get your Swiss culture fix: cultural events, top-notch museums or high-quality galleries can be found all over the country. We have handpicked some of the greatest ones in this special theme. 52 Wellness, Beauty & More What better way to greet the cold season than to indulge in some extensive wellness and beauty treatments? For this special theme, we have handpicked great companies and destinations that offer exactly that. 64 Magical Christmas Time What better way to greet the cold season than to indulge in some extensive wellness and beauty treatments? For this special theme, we have handpicked great companies and destinations that offer exactly that. 86 MEDICA & COMPAMED 2017 The two trade fairs COMPAMED and MEDICA will run parallel to each other

64 Photo: Essen, Marketing GmbH, Peter Wieler


from 13 to 16 November in Düsseldorf. To get you inspired, we have handpicked some of this year’s innovative exhibitors. 99 Austria’s Leading Real Estate Experts 2017 Looking for a house to buy? Or simply examining suitable real estate companies? We have got you covered in this special theme as we introduce some of Austria’s leading real estate experts.

Photo: © Arnold Investments

Lübeck is available for everyone. Our writer Wibke Carter finds out more. 94 Climate Change Conference in Bonn World climate is a topic we all deal and will all have to deal with. Thus, our writer Nadine Carstens visits this year’s UN Climate Change Conference held in Bonn.


FEATURES 24 Film Review: Before the Fall Find out what our writer Sonja Irani thinks about Before the Fall – a powerful World War Two movie that was filmed in the Czech Republic. 40 Star Interview: Langston Uibel The bilingual up-and-coming actor Langston Uibel just recently starred in High Society alongside Katja Riemann and Iris Berben. Discover Germany speaks to him about his love for Berlin, political commitment and more. 42 Hotel of the Month Our hotel of the month is the five-star superior Regent Hotel Berlin. This exceptional boutique hotel is the perfect base to experience Berlin’s Christmas season and is a top insider tip amongst international celebrities. 48 Destination of the Month This month, we chose the town of Lindau as our destination of the month - for its enchanting Christmas markets and many more reasons. Find out what makes it so special in our Lindau feature. 80 Marzipan – From Lübeck with love Once the preserve of the wealthy and the powerful, today, the confectionary from


Dedicated to Design Whether you are searching for exquisite whiskeys for the festive season, cosy design items or stylish outfits for the DACH region’s ski pistes, be sure to take a look at our design section.

24 Culture This month, our culture section is filled with an event that should not be missed, great German and Austrian education experts and more. 82 Business Our business section is filled with exclusive business profiles, Austrian tech innovators and much more. Furthermore, our columnist Gregor Kleinknecht takes on the exciting topic of the BoeingBombardier trade dispute and the legal side of international trade disputes. 108 Culture Calendar Discover Germany’s culture calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in November. 114 Barbara Geier Column This month, our columnist Barbara Geier writes about her personal experience of when the wall came down in November 28 years ago. Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  3

Dear Reader, Welcome to our November issue!

Discover Germany Issue 56, November 2017 Published 11.2017 ISSN 2051-7718 Published by Scan Magazine Ltd. Print Liquid Graphic Ltd. Executive Editor Thomas Winther Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Nane Steinhoff Assistant Editor Marilena Stracke

Even though exciting events like Christmas and NewYear’s Eve are quickly approaching now, we also have something else to look forward to: ski season! After all, most ski regions across Germany, Austria and Switzerland start to open in November. And what would winter be without a good old ski holiday, right?

Silke Henkele Sonja Irani Wibke Carter Cover Photo © Vanessa Cowling Sales & Key Account Managers Emma Fabritius Nørregaard Laura Hummer Noura Draoui Sophie Blecha Audrey Bardzik Publisher: SCAN GROUP Scan Magazine Ltd. 15B Bell Yard Mews Bermondsey Street London SE1 3YT United Kingdom

Copy-Editor Isa Hemphrey

Phone: +44 (0)870 933 0423 Fax: +44 (0)870 933 0421   Email:

Graphic Designer Mercedes Moulia

For further information please visit

Contributors Barbara Geier Cornelia Brelowski Gregor Kleinknecht Ina Frank Jessica Holzhausen Nadine Carstens

© 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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France may still be at the very top of the list of the most favoured skiing destinations in Europe, but ski resorts in the DACH region have a lot to offer too. Not only are they all situated in beautiful landscapes, they also offer the best regional culinary delights, fun après-ski offerings (after all, the DACH region loves a bit of ‘schlager’ music) and beautifully rustic alpine huts. Thus, when planning your next skiing trip, take a look at what Germany, Switzerland and Austria have to offer in this respect. And don’t forget to check out our fashion finds this month, where we showcase some stylish pieces for the pistes. If you’d rather spend your winter in a more relaxing way than in thrilling mountain sceneries, be sure to read our special theme on Germany’s greatest Christmas markets and top wellness destinations. For the culinary connoisseurs out there, our writer Wibke Carter further takes a look at one of Germany’s favourite Christmas treats: Lübeck’s Marzipan. And if this still isn’t enough, our November issue is filled with many more interesting topics like a star interview with young actor Langston Uibel, innovative trade fairs, top hotels and destinations, museums and galleries, events not to be missed, great design items, a film review and much, much more. To round the issue off, we adorned our cover with none other than Edel & Starck star Rebecca Immanuel. She talks to Discover Germany about living consciously, her long-term acting partner Christoph M. Ohrt, the current state of the German film industry and about her current projects amongst other topics. Sit back, relax and thanks for reading.

Nane Steinhoff, Editor

A unique piece of Austria – Waidzeit wooden accessories Onlineshop: (free shipping) Automatic wooden wrist watch: EUR 299 Waidzeit GmbH & Co KG, Michaelerberg 17, 8962 Michaelerberg-Pruggern, Austria, Tel. +43 699 17194634

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds Snow-covered mountains, cute wooden chalets, warm fireplaces, hearty fondues and a glass of red wine after an action-packed day in the snow – who does not love a good ski holiday? In November, the DACH region’s ski season is already in full swing so we have handpicked some great items that will not only make you look stylish on the pistes, but that will also keep you warm this ski season. EDITOR’S PICKS  I  PRESS IMAGES

The German luxury brand Bogner is known for their fashionable and unique winter and ski collections. This outfit will definitely turn you into a real eyecatcher on any piste. First layer ‘BELINE’ £170.

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Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Fashion Finds

Slightly colourful, yet elegant: these outfits from Bogner are a must-have for this season. Whether you are into skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing or simply walking through the snowy landscape, the jackets and pants will keep you warm in any terrain. Left: ski pants ‘ROLA’ £385, ski jacket ‘MACIE’ £425.

After an action-filled day, there is nothing quite like a hot chocolate in front of the fireplace. This warm sweater from the German Cashmere designer Antonia Zander will be your perfect companion for this. Around £1,055.

The young Austrian label NAKED Optics knows what great ski goggles entail: a stylish frameless design with a gigantic field of vision, the special NAKED airflow technique, a strong anti-fog coating and easily interchangeable glasses for different weather conditions. TROOP in ‘Flamingo’, around £61.

If you love to show off some colour on the piste, do it in style with this neon jacket from Bogner. Waterproof and breathable. ‘PAULA’ £1,020.

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  7

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design… What better way to spend cold and dark winter days than to cuddle up on one’s sofa with a glass of wine, a good book and some candles? After all, winter is the perfect time to spend some relaxing hours in your own four walls. This is why we handpicked some stylish design items from the DACH region that will turn your home into a cosy oasis. BY: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PRESS IMAGES

1. To make your home cosy in the dark season, embellish your dining table with a nut or orange bowl like this stylish one from the Hamburg-based brand Philippi. From £45.


2. When food sources slowly become scarce outside, do not forget to feed the birds that call your garden their home. This bird feeder from Philippi is made from stainless steel and a real eyecatcher. £18. 3. Autumn and winter are the perfect seasons to indulge in your nut addiction as walnuts and hazelnuts are omnipresent in everyone’s home. To crack these tasty treats in style, get this nutcracker from the Berlin-based label SIEBENSACHEN. £23. 4. There is always space for one more pillow, especially for this one. With its particular knot design, it does not only look interesting, but will also keep you warm during cold winter nights on the couch. £94. 5. What is better than lounging on one’s couch all day when it is stormy and rainy outside? Make this cosy and soft knitted plaid from TOM TAILOR this season’s couch companion. £53.



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Discover Germany  |  Design  |  MoinDori

Taking writing to another level

– with unique leather notebooks The Hamburg-based company MoinDori fabricates exceptional notebook covers made from high-quality leather, simple designs that rely on the leather’s structure and haptic or have added screen-print motifs for a more individual touch. What is so special about MoinDori are not only the handmade, refined leather covers, but that the inlets can be added and replaced according to individual needs.


“Originally, we were inspired by logbooks like they were used by Japanese seafarers and by travel notebooks,” says Philipp Brugger, who founded the company together with Sabrina and Torben Glamm. The combination of a design degree, a love for leather and creative ideas were the basis that formed their unique cooperation and business: “We all love to write and collect, but it was always very hard to find fitting, individual and beautiful notebook formats.” And so, the idea for MoinDori was born. The notebook covers are handmade from high-quality leather and most of them have a unique print on the cover: A mandala or a sugar scull, an ink heart, a harbour crane like it can be found in Hamburg’s international port or the tower of Hamburg’s

Michel, the city’s famous landmark. “We actually don’t have a favourite motif, but anchor and seagull are very popular among our customers,”says Brugger.“We originally worked in textile printing, so we now have specialised to refine leather using screen printing techniques.”Apart from the printed designs, MoinDori also has pure leather covers on offer. “Some leathers are simply so unique and beautiful, we’d rather leave them as they are without adding a print. Instead we enhance them through coloured seams and inside pockets,”explains Philipp Brugger. Those are mostly the business varieties, less playful, a bit more high-grade and functional. Take for example the MoinDori Vintage Gipsy that comes in different colours

from cognac to deep black: The cover has a lovely structured surface that in a way looks like waterlines and cracks in a landscape. Like all the other models, the leather cover has four rubber bands on the inside that allow adding four thin inlets like they are sold by Moleskine. Normally the inlets would include two notebooks, a calendar and a folder – but this is something customers can choose according to their needs and buy in MoinDori’s online shop. All notebooks are available in three sizes from smart pocket to A4.

The MoinDori team: Philipp Brugger, Sabrina and Torben Glamm. Photo: © Cassius Prudent

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  9

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Product of the Month

‘Koskue Gin’.



‘Napue Gin’.

– when a crazy idea turns into crazy success Finns often have their best ideas in a sauna. Thus, it seems no wonder that this is exactly where the story of the Kyrö Distillery Company began in 2012. A group of friends wondered why nobody had made Finnish rye whiskey yet, given the fact that Finns consume six times more rye than the world average and rye bread is the official national dish! A couple of months after that fateful sauna session, the Kyrö Distillery Company was born. TEXT: SIERRA MADRE GMBH, NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: SIERRA MADRE GMBH, VEERA KUJALA, KIMMO SYVÄRI

After slogging through two years of building works and bureaucracy, the fearless Kyrö distillers finally fired up the stills in 2014 in an old dairy in the Finnish village of Isokyrö. Their first product was ‘Juuri’ the new make that was lovingly poured into American white oak casks to mature into delicious rye whiskey. However, as whiskey needs to mature for at least three years, the founders decided to also produce 10  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

other rye-based spirits in the meantime. This was the moment their delicious gins ‘Napue’ and ‘Koskue’ were born. By the end of 2014, the five young founders had produced 4,700 bottles of their products, which CEO Miika delivered himself. 2015 then took an unexpected turn, as Kyrö’s ‘Napue Gin’ was named the ‘World’s Best Gin for Gin & Tonic’ at the 2015 In-

ternational Wine and Spirit Competition. Demand for the rye gin sky-rocketed literally overnight, leaving the founders no choice but to put their whiskey production on hold. Within two days, the products were sold out everywhere and it took seven months to meet demand, which amounted to 100,000 bottles that year. So far, the distillery has won several international awards and now sells their products in dozens of countries around the world. ‘In Rye We Trust’ Everything is made out of rye at the Kyrö Distillery Company. No wonder, as a great deal of sunshine and mild temperatures give the rye up north its unique and intense flavour. Rye may be the most demanding grain to distill, but as everyone

Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Product of the Month

at the distillery believes that good things come from honest enthusiasm, it is a challenge they gladly accept.

on one, do not despair as larger quantities will mature over the next couple of years.

In addition to the intense flavour of Finnish rye, the local wild botanicals - including wild flowers, sea buckthorn, cranberries and birch leaves - all contribute to the fresh flavour of Kyrö’s gins. The key ingredients are deeply rooted in the very heart of Finnish nature. For the gin, warm spice from the rye is combined with 12 dry and four freshly distilled botanicals, creating a uniquely local flavour.

Kyrö’s rye-based Napue gin boasts locally foraged fresh botanicals, including sea buckthorn, cranberries and birch leaves. The distinct fragrance and flavour of an early morning, misty Finnish meadow is instantly recognisable. Enjoy your Napue Gin & Tonic with plenty of ice, a twig of rosemary, a few cranberries and your favourite tonic water.

For the wholegrain rye whiskeys, Kyrö either uses 100 per cent malted rye or rye grain which is dried with local traditional methods. The rye new make is double distilled and aged in American white oak casks. The first small batches have been available since October 2017, but are considerably smaller than originally planned. However, if you want to get your hands

Tingling taste buds guaranteed

the rye. For the ideal serve, enjoy Koskue with plenty of ice and cloudy apple juice, garnished with a slice of apple and fresh vanilla. Visit the distillery Want to see where the magic happens? The bar at the distillery, ‘Kyrönmaan matkailun edistämiskeskus’, serves dinner to order with local ingredients and craft cocktails. If you are looking for a more tailored programme, visit

The ‘Koskue Gin’ on the other hand, is the perfect union of rye, locally sourced botanicals and American white oak cask maturation. For good reason, this unusual gin has many whiskey-drinking fans: the gin is aged in small American oak barrels for three months on average and fine-tuned with freshly distilled orange peel and black pepper. This excellently complements the vanilla from the barrel and the heat from

Travel times to the distillery (from Helsinki) - by plane: 1 hour (to Vaasa) - by train: 3.5 hours (to Tervajoki) - by car: 5 hours Address Oltermannintie 6, FI–61500 Isokyrö, Finland

Group photo.

Master distiller Valkonen.

Cask filling.

Malt from the sky.

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  11


Swiss innovators up close In this special theme, find out what designers from the country of Switzerland have to offer this year. On the following pages, we discover their innovative products, reveal inventive ideas behind their creative output and much more. Get inspired! PHOTOS: PIXABAY

12  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Swiss Design 2017

Florian Schlumpf.

Fiona Schlumpf.


The art of becoming timeless:

One tick-tock at a time Lovers of unconventional, functional art will be happy to read about the authentic designs of Swiss artisan Florian Schlumpf, who focusses his work on the conscious appreciation of time and its relation to life.

mall in Moscow; at a height of 23 metres it certainly is a most striking evidence of Schlumpf’s singular talent, vision and craftsmanship.


Florian Schlumpf comes from a family with a 132-year-old tradition of workmanship and innovative engineering. “Johann Schlumpf, my great-grandfather, was a skilled carpenter and mechanic genius who laid the foundations for a successful business that today is a widely known worldwide operating component manufacturer of the paper, plastic, film and foil industry,” Schlumpf recounts his family background. Johann’s inventive genes have been passed down to Florian who developed a pronounced interest in mechanics, which he today combines with art. “I have a degree in sculpturing as well as in mechanical engineering which perfectly matches my multidisciplinary interests and which prepared me for running my own workshop,” elaborates Schlumpf. One of the results of Schlumpf’s successful workshop in Trimmis is a unique view on clocks and precision mechanisms, out of which in 2014 developed Schlumpf’s

timeless design series ‘Zeitmaschine’ (Time Machine). “The objects crafted by me and my highly skilled team provoke by their authentic blend of design and engineering that effortlessly creates a real aesthetic value while at the same time serving as an invitation to weigh our unique approach towards time against the innovative mechanisms we use for our devices,”says Schlumpf. Schlumpf, who in 2012 was joined by his daughter Fiona who thus presents the fifth generation in the line of this highly successful family business, wants the Zeitmaschinen understood holistically. “For us, clocks are more than a mere appliance for measuring time. Our latest design is the TM5, an uncompromising kinetic composition that transcends time by uniting contemporary design with the authentic traditions of Swiss timekeeping,” Schlumpf describes their latest masterpiece. Another one of Schlumpf’s singular designs is the Monumental Time Machine, which has been installed in a shopping

There are five differing series of Florian Schlumpf’s marvellous Zeitmaschinen and each series is available in differing colours and designs. “Our designs are tailored to our customers’ individual requests thus making the objects singular pieces of functional art,” says Schlumpf, underlining the particularity of the Zeitmaschinen, which are on view in Schlumpf’s showrooms in Trimmis and Zurich. TM4.

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  13

Tradition in style

Edelweisshemd 2.0 Stockberg Design turns Swiss traditional items into fashion cult objects by linking custom with modern design. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: STOCKBERG

The new label translates Swiss tradition into modern design by developing pieces of traditional clothing and accessories that are tailored (in the true sense of the word) to match clientele in a vivacious and modern manner. The hip fashion label thus produces traditional Swiss clothing with a trendy edge for fashionconscious people. Stockberg is especially focusing on traditional items of Swiss Alpine Farmers, turn14  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

ing them into cult fashion objects. Consequently, their reinvented apparel and accessories, such as the ‘Edelweiss’ Shirt, Pointed Hat and Appenzell ‘Chüeligurt’ belts, reach a much broader range of customers than ever before. ‘Back to the roots’ attitude Even though Stockberg aims at a modern clientele, a strong link with its Swiss origins is mandatory for the label. All pieces are crafted in Switzerland and the Stock-

berg ‘Edelweiss’ shirt is currently the only one on the market made from original Swiss ‘Edelweiss’ fabric. Stockberg thus stands for sustainable and fashionable clothing inspired by Swiss tradition: With a ‘remedy’ of 40 per cent tradition and 60 per cent fashion resulting in 100 per cent style, the label convinces with modern cuts and designs, creating a truly unique look and fashion experience. Honoring origins in a globalised world Founder Felix Büchi recalls: “After several long-term stays abroad, my wish to create a tradition-related type of clothing crystallised as a counterpart to the fast-paced, globalised world that we live in.”

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Swiss Design 2017

For those who find the three terms of Heidi, Heimat and fashion to be incompatible, Felix Büchi has got a message: As Hawaiian shirts, Bermudas or the Bavarian Lederhosen are proudly worn by people in their respective country of origin; in Switzerland, wearing traditional clothing such as the Edelweiss shirt and the Chüeligurt is at times still frowned upon. The business economist decided to take on the challenge to change this attitude and turn tradition into a winning factor within the fashion world.“My label stands for open-minded, modern cosmopolitans with both a globalised world view and a connection to their roots.“ The label was founded in December 2015 with the first products reaching the market in November 2016. Still in its founding years and financed by a day job at a trustee’s office, the label’s owner is as grounded in the here and now as the firm philosophy of the label itself. Büchi stems from a downto-earth entrepreneur family and likes to follow a flexible, produce-to-order policy for the time being. The label already draws

attention on fashion events and fairs and is set to expand in the immediate future. So – with both online shop and pop-up store in place and thriving – what would be the next goal? “A Zurich-based flagship store.” says Felix Büchi. With a both quality-driven and hip design philosophy based on Swiss traditional custom, this objective should pose no problem. Customer kaleidoscope As Büchi explains, Stockberg customers can roughly be split into three sections. There are the young people living in the country with a strong link to Swiss tradition and customs – basically those who have grown up with similar clothing. Those, as Büchi explains, buy and enjoy Stockberg items because they are convinced by both the quality and the updated designs. The second group stems from urban surroundings. Here, the fascination with Stockberg items lies exactly with the ‘exotic’ traditional link – for most urban customers, their Edelweiss shirt for example forms the first ‘traditional’

fashion item they have ever purchased. They especially feel attracted by the ‘Swiss-Made’ philosophy and the slim fits. Then, of course, there is the growing customer group of tourists and expats looking for the perfect Swiss-Made Christmas or birthday present. New collection Next year will bring a completely new line with the focus on modern streetwear, merging innovative design and Swiss tradition in true Stockberg style. “With this collection, we follow our goal of gaining even more ground with our existing customer base and gaining new clients at the same time. The preparations for this collection are running on full speed and we therefore advise all interested customers old and new to sign up either on social media or via the newsletter.” Be the first to get the updates and benefit from pre-order options for the new Stockberg line.

Felix Büchi, founder.

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  15

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Swiss Design 2017

A heart for postcards

Top: freshfish postcard box with various postcards from the series 'Tiere im Schnee', 'Winterkinder' and others. Bottom: freshfish owners Sonja Kräuliger (design) and Kevin Bein (print).

Are you looking for a unique present for someone special? Why not choose ten postcards, add a pen and put them in an exclusive metal box? Just like that, you have a very personal present for that one particular person in your life. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: FRESHFISH

Bern-based company freshfish and their exclusively designed postcards are out to put the pleasure back into writing. “It is impossible to put up text messages on your fridge! That was one of our most convincing arguments when we decided to establish our exclusive postcard design company 15 years ago. Besides, we wanted to fill the analogue void left by the growing digitised communication channels,” recount Sonja Kräuliger and Kevin Bein, owners of freshfish postcards. Graphic designer Kräuliger, printer Kevin Bein and their team are enthusiasts when it comes to the design of freshfish’s exclusive postcards: “Our cards recount tales; they express the idealism with which we go about our work. We are devoted to what we do and each order which, by the way, we personally pack and dispatch, is 16  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

special to us,” Kräuliger enthuses about freshfish’s team and mind-set. Postcards designed by freshfish tend to mirror their makers’ experiences and stand out by their original designs and a very distinctive choice of topics. “Very often, new ideas develop out of personal experiences; we thus only design motifs we ourselves are happy to send to our friends and families,” explains Kräuliger. One of the many distinctive features of postcards designed by freshfish is the postcard box - a distinguished metal box that contains a pen plus a choice of ten pre-packed designs or your own individual choice of postcards. “I really love our postcard boxes,” says Kräuliger. “As the individual choices of our customers allows us to get to know them a little bit better. If a

customer, for example, fills a box with lovethemed cards, he or she wants to share his or her feelings with one special person. It is these moments, the envisioned stories behind our customers’ orders, that give our work and freshfish a most personal touch I would not want to miss,”stresses Kräuliger. Postcards designed by freshfish are sold all around Switzerland, but you can also order your own favourites or even fill your personal postcard box on their homepage - the team at freshfish is looking forward to your order!

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Swiss Design 2017

Every pattern tells an individual story Socks are articles of clothing that are often unnoticed and do not go well with the outfit – Thomas Gfeller wants to change that with his label Thomas Jakobson. Since 2014, he creates twinsets, combinations of socks and bow ties. Everything is Swiss-Made and organic. Thomas Gfeller, from the Swiss city of Bern, loves wearing colourful socks matching with his shirts, pullovers or scarves. All those unnoticed socks that do not go well with the people’s outfits inspired him to start his label Thomas Jakobson. For three years now, he has designed twinsets, pairs of matching socks and bow ties. “The socks are made of organic cotton, which is produced in the German Alpine region Allgäu. The thread is then dyed and made into the socks in Switzerland,” Gfeller explains. He adds: “The cloth for the bow ties is an organic sateen cotton printed in Southern Germany. The bow ties themselves are manufactured by hand in Bern.” It is important to the designer to use local resources, to help keep craft trades in Switzerland and to be able to

give information about the value creating chain of his products. What will his new collection look like? Gfeller reveals a little bit about it:“The collection consists of eight different pairs of socks with matching bow ties. Late summer colours contrast with grey autumn colours. In general, every pattern tells an individual story. A story which the person


who wears the set can continue to write in his own way.” Ten per cent discount until the end of 2017 with the code ‘SWISSMADESOCKS’

VIENNE Socks & Bow tie from the summer collection 2017.

BOWA Socks from the winter collection 2016/2017.

On over 300 square metres of exhibition space, you will find exclusive original works and prints from over 20 internationally renowned street artists. The next big group exhibition ‘Teufelsberg reloaded’ will start on 16 December, with 31 big international names of the street art scene.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Swiss Design 2017


Bringing a city’s silhouette to light A stark and sharp outline, lighted from behind: KONTURA design fabricates wall lightings shaped like the silhouette of Swiss cities – so far Bern, Zurich, Basel, Lucerne and Fribourg. In addition to the city silhouettes on offer, KONTURA also fabricates custom-made products for hotels, practices, hospitals and private customers. “My original inspiration was our move to Bern. Our new flat had very high walls and the view from the living room window was actually not very nice: The building next door was a large concrete office building,” says designer Susanne Heinzer. Because the room did not have any light fittings on the ceiling, she had an idea that would later become a business.“We created a wall light that gave us exactly the view we wanted,” a city silhouette. The Creative Hub helped with later product development. Susanne Heinzer is currently developing a new collection in her atelier, situated in a building from the 19th century. “I want to let ordinary things appear in a new form and in a new light,” explains

Heinzer, who has a great understanding of materials and their properties. Design should also have a function, she says. KONTURA design lightings are fabricated in the workshops of the GEWA foundation, a charity that helps people with mental health problems to integrate into a normal work routine. “Maybe the training period sometimes takes a bit longer, but

Small size but a lot of light. Photo: © Roland Goy (Fotostudio LichtBlick) and Susanne Heinzer


the work is always done with great precision and commitment,” says Heinzer. “We are very pleased with the cooperation.”

Designer Susanne Heinzer. Photo: ©

Zurich: the lights can easily be dimmed. Photo: © Roland Goy (Fotostudio LichtBlick) and Susanne Heinzer

A special way to say ‘Hello’:

Playful postcards and designs from Switzerland A giraffe with its head in the clouds, a mouse under a moon ready to sing a lullaby – schönegrü postcards are unique, hand-designed and inspired by artist Nina Binkert’s family life with five kids. Schönegrüsse stands for best wishes and speaks of the joy of writing and receiving handwritten notes. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: NINA BINKERT, SCHOENEGRUESSE.CH

For many years, Nina Binkert had worked as a freelance designer, but with five children she had to reduce her workload for many years. The family had moved into her grandparents’ house and renovated it from top to bottom. Three years ago, the designer added an atelier and finally had space to work at home. schönegrü was born. “All my drawings are inspired by my daily life with children. I love fairy tales and nature,” says Nina Binkert. Therefore, her atelier is not a closed off space, but one she enjoys together with her three younger kids. “They often play in the atelier while I work. That always cheers up the atmosphere.” The children even have their own workspace. 18  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

Nina Binkert works together with traditional Swiss companies who print her hand-drawn designs on postcards, notebooks or calendars using lithography.

She has already made about 120 drawings, some of them sold out. In October, the publisher baeschlin published a children’s book with Nina Binkert’s drawing: Binkert illustrated a song by Silberbüx, a Swiss band who makes music especially for children. The text about a hippopotamus fits perfectly with Nina Binkert’s colourful illustrations. www.schönegrü

Just plant! One set, including everything! A gi for every occasion!

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Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Rebecca Immanuel

Rebecca Immanuel

On liquorice and living consciously Playing the lead role in SAT.1’s famous series Edel & Starck was her major breakthrough. For 25 years, the theatre-trained actress has appeared in many high-profile TV productions, such as Die Eifelpraxis, Tatort and Im Alleingang, in feature films and on stage. Of course, we speak of none other than charming actress Rebecca Immanuel. She spoke to Discover Germany about her current projects, why she took a break after Edel & Starck, her long-term acting partner Christoph M. Ohrt and the current state of the German film industry. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF   |  PHOTOS: VANESSA COWLING

Born in 1970, Rebecca grew up in Hamburg and currently lives with her family in Berlin. She came to Berlin to study at the renowned acting school Ernst Busch and decided to stay. She smiles: “In my heart, I will always be North German though: straightforward, always outside regardless of the weather, with a passion for liquorice. I have lived abroad but Germany is my home. I love its culture, the profoundness, the reliability and efficiency, the aspiration for understanding things and the wish for sustainability. But I also value seemingly profane details like our tasty bread.” ‘Doors always opened by themselves’ Early on Rebecca knew that she wanted to become an actress. She recalls: “Even though I was – and still am – really interested in medicine, I discovered my acting talent at the tender age of 12. It simply fascinated me how I was able to touch people of all ages through acting and singing. The doors always opened by themselves, I only had to walk through them. How wonderful is it that I’m currently able to play in the medical field again [laughs]?”

She is of course talking about her latest lead role in Die Eifelpraxis, a successful TV series about a district nurse on ARD. It is not just another role for Rebecca as it was especially written for her. The actress explains her character’s appeal: “The series’ unique selling point is its authenticity, its warm-heartedness and its conviction that things will turn out for the better. For the first time, we are experiencing a certain type of woman in the front row that is competent, as well as warm, without seeming weak or naïve. A woman with integrity to whom values matter. In a world, where an increasing decline of values can be observed, we desperately need those qualities. I wouldn’t be opposed to the idea of being able to walk through everyday life as relaxed, smart and calm as Vera [laughs].” The big breakthrough From 2002 to 2005, Rebecca played Sandra Starck in one of Germany’s most successful TV series to date: Edel & Starck. From that point on, she became a household name across Germany and Austria.“To this day, I

can remember every detail [about the audition]; who sat next to me during makeup, what the weather was like and so on. By the way, I have kept the blouse that I bought for the borrowed costume – as a talisman. We had a number of callbacks. The first and last audition were together with Christoph M. Ohrt. And that was the only constellation in which magic was created in front of the camera, even though Felix Edel was supposed to be ten years younger and Sandra Starck was meant to be blonde,” Rebecca smiles. What followed were years of exciting episodes and film work. Rebecca says: “During my time at Edel & Starck, I was able to acquire unbelievably profound experience in acting in a short time. I was able to act alongside the best actors and to tell the most beautiful stories – for an entire 52 episodes. That was like winning the lottery! And, of course, we all were really happy about the public recognition in the form of appreciation and TV awards. It was an extraordinary time,” says Rebecca. Those who miss the good old days of Edel & Starck, need not despair. After all, at the beginning of the year, Rebecca and Christoph M. Ohrt starred together in a new film, Die Hochzeitsverplaner. We wanted to understand the appeal of working with Ohrt. “It’s simply a great match, maybe it’s our common, North German, dry, humorous heritage. He was my mentor and I was an equally temperaIssue 56  |  November 2017  |  21

Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Rebecca Immanuel

mental challenge to him. Our cooperation is characterised by respect, humour and sympathy – a rich mix for the daily work routine,” she smiles. Can we look forward to a new series of Edel & Starck? “We both wouldn’t object that idea – on the contrary. But only SAT.1 can answer this question.” ‘Fame is a blessing and a curse’ After the success of Edel & Starck, Rebecca Immanuel slowed down a bit and took a break to concentrate on different things. The reason for this was the sudden death of her PR agent. Rebecca recalls: “She died totally unexpected, much too young and it was a shock for me. I asked myself: what does life boil down to? What’s the deeper meaning? Because I also didn’t have a follow-up project, I was able to find answers to these questions and fulfilled all those desires that I had on the side. I travelled the world, lived abroad, learned Italian, studied handicrafts, learned how to play an instrument, walked the Way of St. James and came back home fulfilled and satisfied. Today, I live more consciously and mindfully.” For Rebecca, this also includes consciously influencing the world and her surroundings through her fame. “After all, 22  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

being a public figure is a blessing and a curse. As soon as you leave the house, you’re a public figure and given special attention. That’s not always easy, especially when you want to be alone or need to go grocery shopping when having a flu. However, the advantage is that you are heard very quickly and are thus able to champion causes that support the common good. Furthermore, we meet decision-makers on all levels at public events and thus, can connect money with visions. For me, this is fame’s secret purpose,” Rebecca explains. Having been a part of the German film industry for so long, we asked Rebecca what has changed over the years. She says: “Just like in any other profession, one has to do more in a shorter amount of time. The ‘golden years’ of filmmaking are over, overtime is par for the course now. A positive development is the freedom we have to work across genres. In the past, once you were pigeonholed, you couldn’t get away from that. Today, one can switch more easily between Tatort and [Rosamunde] Pilcher, stage and film. In addition, new technologies enable incredible effects that are very beneficial for the film genre.”

Those who want to see Rebecca on screen are in for a treat, as she will be filming new episodes until 2019. She will film five more episodes as empathetic Vera Mundt in Die Eifelpraxis for ARD and will also play the counterpart of bossy Dr. Fendrich for the seventh time in Der Bergdoktor on ZDF. Talking about dreams Profession wise, which role is she dreaming of? “Being raised bilingually I would love to play in an international, Englishspeaking co-production about historical matters. The role of a quiet heroine would be exciting.” She adds: “But contributing to a more peaceful environment for future generations would be the culmination of my life’s work.” Left: Rebecca Immanuel in the film Alleingang.   Photo: © SAT.1/Stefan Erhard Top right: Scene from Die Eifelpraxis.   Photo: © ARD/ Hardy Spitz Below right: Scene from Edel&Starck.   Photo: © SAT.1/Thorsten Eichhorst

Want to see Rebecca on screen? Be sure not to miss the new episodes of Die Eifelpraxis on ARD. They will be shown in December this year.

Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Kirsten Dunst

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  23

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Film Review Column

Tom Schilling in Before the Fall.

Max Riemelt in Before the Fall.


Before the Fall (OT: Napola – Elite für den Führer, 2004) Powerful storytelling, brilliant acting and huge emotions: To me, Before the Fall is the best German World War Two film ever made. TEXT: SONJA IRANI  I  PHOTOS: 2005 CONSTANTIN FILM MÜNCHEN/OLGA FILM

war Germany than Germany itself. During World War Two, many German towns were bombed so badly that they irreversibly lost most of their historical buildings.

The Story

The final verdict

It’s 1942 and Friedrich Weimer (Max Riemelt) is just an ordinary, carefree working class kid living in Berlin with his parents and younger brother. Because of his high physical fitness level (he is a successful boxer) and his ‘Aryan appearance’, blond-haired and blue-eyed Friedrich is recruited to join an elite Nazi boarding school. These elite schools really existed and were called Napolas (short for Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalt, English: National Political Institutes of Education). Hoping for a university degree and better job prospects, Friedrich enrolls against his father’s stern objections. At the Napola school, he befriends Albrecht (Tom Schilling). Physically fragile and rather intellectually than militarily gifted (he writes poems and in-depth essays), Albrecht is the total opposite of Friedrich. 24  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

Furthermore, Albrecht is a huge disappointment to his father, who happens to be a high-ranking Nazi officer. While he witnesses how Albrecht and some of his other “less gifted” classmates are treated at the Napola, Friedrich’s initial optimism soon disappears. Now, he realises in horror that what the boys are really training for is war... The location Bouzov Castle in the Czech Republic was used as the filming location for the film’s fictitious Napola school ‘Allenstein’. Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, was also used as a backdrop for many scenes, for example those in Friedrich’s hometown of Berlin at the beginning of the film. The main reason for that is that many parts of Prague still look more like pre-

What truly counts when everything else is lost is real friendship and standing up for what you believe in! Despite a very sad Titanic moment, Before the Fall is a stunning and striking anti-war drama seen from a German youth’s perspective. ***** 5 out of 5 stars Before the Fall is now available on Netflix and DVD with English subtitles.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sonja Irani is a (tourism) 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.

Rosé aus der Provinz. Saftabzug vom Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot. Ausgebaut in französischer Eiche. 13% Alkohol.

Rosé für Erwachsene. Nur zu bekommen im wirklich gut sortierten Fachhandel oder über

Main photo: Room of Silence: A light pendulum by AustrianAmerican artist Erwin Redl turned the hall of the Montforthaus into a Room of Silence. Photo: © Lisa Mathis


Montforter Zwischentöne:

Exploring the dialogue of classical music and everyday experiences The Montforter Zwischentöne is a new festival concept that takes place in the Austrian town of Feldkirch. It brings an innovative form of performance, art and music merged with everyday issues to the stage. As Confucius famously said: “Roads were made for journeys not destinations.” The Montforter Zwischentöne embrace this through staying in constant contact with their audience and reinventing what art is actually about. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE

The new Montforthaus, a culture and congress centre in Feldkirch, opened its doors for the first time in January 2015. Right from the start the organisers wanted to move away from being a ‘holy temple’ for highbrow culture, but aimed to open it widely towards an artistic everyday experience of the individual. Already a month later, the Montforter Zwischentöne, a new festival concept with events during three weekends a year, started its mission in that wonderful new location. 26  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

“The Montforter Zwischentöne is a festival concept that allows music and dialogue to meet and merge. We combine classical music with the everyday experience and develop formats to communicate the big power that lies within this music in a touching and low-threshold way,” managing director Edgar Eller explains. “In order to achieve that, we do an evening of Bach together with new research findings regarding aging, for example. Or we put a cello player on stage,

who musically accompanies the reports of three death researchers. We want the spark to jump from the stage to the audience and that every visitor goes home feeling enriched.” The German word ‘Zwischentöne’ can be translated to ‘nuances’, ‘shades’ or ‘overtones’. It highlights perfectly what the festival aims to present. It puts matters that are not blindingly obvious, which need to be looked at from all angles because they simply are not black and white, into the limelight. This month, there are a range of exciting events lined up as Eller tells us: “A particularly emotional moment will be the dialogue between the viols ensemble and the experts for ‘finishing it or leaving it be’. The event is titled ‘I have fought the

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Event of the Month

fight, finished the run’. The experts specialise in the last stage of life and they will talk freely on their own account. They will share personal experiences and realisations regarding the futility of completion. All of it in resonance with John Dowland’s Lachrimae - Sieben Tränen, which is a timeless encyclopaedia of breathtakingly beautiful melancholy. This format particularly highlights the true idea behind the Montforter Zwischentöne: the intertwining of dialogue and music.” The event takes place on 18 November at the Montforthaus. 12 different locations, including old indoor pool, a church, a cinema and the hall of a jury court, become the backdrop for the various events. “Another highlight will be the pop-up stage in the old gym right in the historical town centre,” Eller adds. “It will show smaller formats about the best final scene of a film or the best last songs of famous LPs.”This event will take place on the 5 November and promises to be a unique night. One project particularly stood out during the past three years, as Eller remembers: “We were especially proud when the Hilti

Foundation celebrated their 75th anniversary in our house. They organised a charity concert with the famous Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra. The foundation maintains a long-lasting partnership with ‘El Sistema’ and dedicates a large proportion of their work to the field ‘Social change through music’. That attitude matches ours perfectly.” The team behind the Montforter Zwischentöne also includes the two artistic directors Hans-Joachim Gögl and Folkert Uhde. For them, it is crucial that the Montforter Zwischentöne are in constant dialogue with their surroundings whilst also being nationally relevant in terms of their contemporaneity and overall concept quality. “Our main goal is to reach our audience as intensively as we can and continue to provide a sounding board for everyday experiences,” says Eller about what the future has in store for the festival. “Aside from that, we will incorporate a lot more political matters of the region in a cultural way. Much like with the concept ‘Vision Rheinstadt’ (‘vision Rhine city’) where we staged a court trial. During this, we made

the fictional dissolution of the communes and the foundation of a common city the subject of discussion.” Overall, the Montforter Zwischentöne is an unusual and unique festival concept, which deserves a great deal of respect alone for its brave boldness. Refreshing and innovative like the concept itself are the showcased performances and one thing is guaranteed: It is impossible to be bored. Visit the website for tickets and further information about all the upcoming events this November. From top left: Picnic concert at the monastery garden with the SBVPocketensemble. Photo: © Magdalena Türtscher sounds & clouds – a garden concert at the hall of the Montforthaus. Photo: © Julian Keick Foreground: Ensemble Age of Passions with the singer Dorothee Mields. In the background a video is shown where a couple talks about the first time they saw each other. A unique interplay between old music and timeless contemporary stories from the region. Photo: © Dietmar Mathis Murder Souls: drummer Alfred Vogel, Author Raimund ‘Tschako’ Jäger and forensic psychiatrist Reinhard Haller. Photo: © Lisa Mathis Red follows yellow follows blue. Participants become part of an artwork with the help of the ensemble KLANGLABOR from Lichtenstein and artist collective MONIKER from Amsterdam. Photo: © Magdalena Türtscher

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  27

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Culture Highlights Switzerland: Top Museums 2017

Art exhibition at the Kunsthaus Zuerich. Photo: © Zurich Tourismus, Real

S P E C I A L T H E M E : C U LT U R E H I G H L I G H T S S W I T Z E R L A N D – T O P M U S E U M S & G A L L E R I E S

Get your Swiss culture fix Switzerland is known for its great variety of cultural events, top-notch museums and high-quality galleries. Thus, for this month’s issue, we take a closer look at some of the inspiring cultural institutions Switzerland has to offer to find out about their current exhibitions and much more.

The Grison art museum in Chur. Photo: © Chur Tourismus, Badrutt

28  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

The Museum Oskar Reinhart in Winterthur. Photo: © Winterthur Tourismus, Christof Schuerpf

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Culture Highlights Switzerland – Top Museums & Galleries

Finance for beginners and experts Those who have always been interested in financial matters or the history of finance will be pleased to hear about the brand-new Swiss Finance Museum (Schweizer Finanzmuseum). TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: SCHWEIZER FINANZMUSEUM

Recently opened Zurich-based Swiss Finance Museum, owner of one of the largest collections of international historic securities worldwide, is the first museum in Switzerland exclusively dedicated to financial topics and the country’s history as an important international financial centre. “While we are proud of the outstanding size of our collection, the Swiss Finance Museum’s concept goes far beyond the mere display of these securities,” points out Andrea Weidemann, director at the Swiss Finance Museum. Broadly speaking, the museum is focused on the global economy of the 16th to 21st century. “Finances have always been an important part of society. Visitors to our museum want to understand about the development and the history of this particular line of business. Here, our exhibits inform for example about revolutionary business ideas or uncover the functional-

ities of a stock market launch in a manner that captivates laymen and professionals alike,”Weidemann explains. As financial topics can be dry and complex, the makers of the Swiss Finance Museum have taken great care to present the topic in a lively, entertaining and engaging manner: “Our visitors will be thrilled to learn that ours is a ‘hands on’ museum; our multimedia-based installations involve the active engagement of our visitors. Interactive video sequences or touchscreen animations are equally part of our exhibition as are annually changing special exhibitions like the current Famous exhibition, which exhibits securities signed by celebrities like Charlie Chaplin or Austrian empress Maria Theresia,”exemplifies Weidemann.

a series of lectures for experts and nonexperts about a multitude of topics related to the financial markets. More precise information about the content of these lectures is available on our homepage,” says Weidemann, inviting interested parties. By combining an attractive choice of exciting exhibits with multimedia-based methods of display, by engaging in an active discourse, each visitor not only will be able to learn a great deal about finances but is highly likely to find his or her favourite object in the Swiss Finance Museum. Get a first glimpse at the Swiss Finance Museum by downloading the app for free and decide which one is going to be your favoured exhibit.

As of November 2017, the museum is going to add another appealing attraction to its programme: “We are going to launch Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  29

Visitors enjoying the collection.

A home for the soul of Impressionism The Oskar Reinhart collection «Am Römerholz» in Winterthur opens the door to a comprehensive understanding of Impressionism, implementing an open, crossthinking approach that mirrors the original collector’s attitude towards the arts.

collection also includes Renaissance and Early Baroque artists, as well as the English Romantics with their light- and colour-filled landscapes and open layouts.

another area of interest. Thus, taking his picks here and there, Oskar Reinhart fully concentrated on connecting the threads, literally depicting the development it took for the French Impressionists to blossom. His cross-thinking approach has been followed up by the curative work at the «Am Römerholz» collection until today, fostering, as Maria Larsson explains, a “dialogue across the centuries”.

Reinhart liked to arrange and rearrange the paintings in his mansion to analyse and display interconnections between artists of various epochs, often ignoring the constrictions of chronology. Having lived in London for a few years while still conducting business for his father’s overseas company, he had become interested in John Constable’s paintings, an artist who claimed that “painting is but another word for feeling”. The gestural freedom of Constable’s brush stroke was therefore

The inherent charm of the collection no doubt stems from the fact that it is displayed in the building and gardens, forming the private home of an art enthusiast. Comparative to international private collections like, for example, the Neue Galerie and the Frick Collection in New York, or Kenwood House in London, the personal touch of the former home of an art patron, with architectural and botanic surroundings constantly interacting with the exhibits, also provide the unique at-


A citizen of Winterthur and the offspring of a wealthy local merchant family, Oskar Reinhart (1885 - 1965) was a born art lover, just as his father before him. Together with his brothers and sister, Reinhart grew up in a world infused with art. He quit the family business at the age of 39 to fully focus on his position as art patron and collector. His preferred epoch was French Impressionism and, as art historian Maria Larsson (PR of Collection «Am Römerholz») puts it, he “remained loyal to the artists of his youth and stopped with Picasso’s Blue Period”. However, he thoroughly sought out predecessors and influences as well as analysing crossconnecting movements. Therefore, the 30  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Culture Highlights Switzerland – Top Museums & Galleries

mosphere and magnetic pull of the «Am Römerholz» mansion. The collection counts around 200 international works. Focusing on individual artists rather than epochs, Reinhart favoured the most independent ones, those who had arrived at an individual style marked by an innovative use of colour and light. He especially valued Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet and Paul Cézanne, three artists whose work unmistakably invoked the art of the past as well as paving the path to modernism. As for PostImpressionists, he favoured those who kept close to Impressionism, for example Vincent van Gogh. While the early portrait by Pablo Picasso marks the closest work to modernism, predecessors of Impressionism are well represented, for example with major works by Gustave Courbet, Honoré Daumier and Camille Corot. Old Masters identified by Reinhart as formal inspiration include Lucas Cranach the

Elder, Hans Holbein the Younger, Jacopo Bassano, Nicolas Poussin, Jean-Siméon Chardin and Francisco de Goya. The «Am Römerholz» collection holds a significant position in the art world and draws both national and international art enthusiasts. European Impressionists are of high interest in Asia and the audio guides available have reached a truly multilingual range, with German, English, French, Italian and Spanish, as well as Japanese. For the young visitors, a special audio guide features Oskar Reinhart’s “niece”, inviting the children on an exploratory tour through the premises. In addition, they can engage with art under the guidance of specially trained experts: at a painting workshop or the children’s library. The Mansion also provides a unique backdrop for small-scale conferences and presentations. A room for up to 25 people can be rented in combination with a private guided tour.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Adoration of the Kings in the Snow, 1567.

Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Mateu Fernández de Soto, 1901.

Due to the picturesque surroundings, the Déjeuner sur l’herbe picnic at the museum park has been particularly drawing in the crowds. Concerts, expert talks, spoken word events and experimental music are on the cross-disciplinary programme, all of which show as much success as the birthday party offer for the young ones – a refreshing counter scheme to commercial parties conducted in the children’s workshop: Culture and cake, combined! Oskar Reinhart’s private collection was left to the Swiss Confederation after his death, under the premise that the collection should remain exactly the way it is – with no additions and no sales. It forms a gift to the world from a conscientious and curious, soul-searching European art enthusiast who concentrated on the avant-garde of his youth, to which he remained loyal for the rest of his life.

Aristide Maillol, La Méditerranée, 1905–07.

Park impressions.

Terrace with a view.

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  31

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Culture Highlights Switzerland – Top Museums 2017

A small selection of Le Corbusier's original lithographs and posters available at Gallery Mera. Photo: © Evelyn Kutschera

The art of Le Corbusier as a fundament “I am an architect, but I am also a painter - there are two souls dwelling in my chest,” once said Le Corbusier, master builder of the 20th century. Indeed, it was his artistic oeuvre that enabled Le Corbusier’s architectural designs and which serves as the fundament of Schaffhausen-based Gallery Mera’s concept. At the same time, owners Karin and Tomas Rabara have also specialised in original vintage posters dating to the first half of the 20th century. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  |  PHOTOS: GALLERY MERA

Karin and Tomas Rabara became gallerists more or less by accident.“At the beginning there was Le Corbusier,”recounts the couple.“12 years ago, I was looking for a present for my wife who had worked at the Centre Le Corbusier in Zurich and who was entirely besotted with his artwork,” explains Tomas Rabara. “So, it was the most obvious choice to look for something signed by the master himself. During my research I delved deep into Le Corbusier’s life and visual worlds and was simply overwhelmed by what I saw. You may rightfully say that in the end both of us were actually infected by Le Corbusier.” In 2010, the Rabaras finally opened their gallery. Le Corbusier - an artist? Le Corbusier (1887-1965), born in Swiss La Chaux-de-Fonds, is known to the broad 32  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

public primarily by his architectural designs. “In fact, he started his career as a visual artist who, as of 1918, belonged to the spearhead of the Parisian artistic avant-garde,” relates Karin Rabara. Vers une architecture, a collection of Le Corbusier’s essays on modern architecture, gained him prominence beyond the bounds of Paris and thus marked the beginning of him becoming the prototype of an architect. This, however, did not prevent the autodidact Le Corbusier to dedicate each of his mornings to art: paintings, drawings, lithographs, sculptures and tapestries etc. “He created all these different types of art at the same time when he was already working as an internationally successful architect,” Karin and Tomas Rabara marvel.“His creative power was infinite.”

Le Corbusier started creating his prints in 1917 and today they are integral to his complete oeuvre. It is particularly to these prints that Gallery Mera has dedicated the catalogue Building on Art: Graphic Works by Le Corbusier over Fifty Years. The catalogue, for the first time ever, focuses entirely on Le Corbusier’s original prints. It contains two essays by Tomas Rabara and goes way beyond the mere imaging of Le Corbusier’s graphic oeuvre. Further evidence of the gallerists’ passion for Le Corbusier is, an online page that lists the gallery’s complete offer of Le Corbusier’s prints. Time travels with original vintage posters It was thanks to Le Corbusier that Tomas Rabara got interested in vintage posters. “As of the 1930s, Le Corbusier also designed art posters for his own exhibitions and these got me interested in posters in general. They had emerged at the end of the 19th century and campaigned for anything - products, travels, ideas, exhibitions - you name it,” says Tomas Rabara. These large-sized lithographs enticed the observer with bright colours; they captivated

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Culture Highlights Switzerland – Top Museums & Galleries

the viewer’s attention, their style was enticing. “You simply cannot compare them to modern advertisements,” he points out. Many of these posters, some of them already more than 100 years old, are in high demand as they are not only of an unprecedented artistic quality but also constitute a direct link to the everyday life of times gone. “The unity of art and commerce was singular and, without any exaggeration, even today speaks to all. In the light of the wealth of motifs and styles, there is at least one favourite for everyone,” promises Tomas Rabara. Gallery Mera focuses on Swiss posters dating to the first half of the 20th century, but also offers research services for private individuals as well as for companies and collectors who are in search of particular motifs.

Exhibitions of contemporary Swiss art While Gallery Mera focuses on Le Corbusier and vintage posters, the gallerists are also engaged in contemporary art and each year organise five respectively themed exhibitions. These exhibitions are particularly aimed at artists with a pronounced personal or work-related link to the region of Schaffhausen - amongst them are artists that have already risen to international fame. In 2018, and in cooperation with Kunstverein Schaffhausen, Gallery Mera is going to house several exhibitions of artists whose names are known even in the United States or in China. “However, the contracts are not signed yet therefore we can only pique the readers’ curiosity,” regrets Karin Rabara.

If you have become curious about Le Corbusier’s artistic oeuvre, or if you want to know more about original vintage posters, you can satisfy your curiosity by paying Gallery Mera a visit - either in Swiss Schaffhausen or online. Gallery Mera is a member of Art Galleries Switzerland (AGS) and International Vintage Poster Dealers Association (IVPDA).

Below left: Advertising poster by Hugo Laubi advertising horse races in St. Moritz (1928) (lithograph, 128x90cm). Below middle: Only two colours were needed for Hermann Blaser’s splendid poster from 1926 (lithograph, 128x90cm). Below right: Building on Art: Graphic Works by Le Corbusier over Fifty Years.

Every piece an eye-catcher: original Swiss-themed vintage posters from 1905 to 1951. Photo: © Patrick Stoll

Gallerists Tomas and Karin Rabara. Photo: © Jeanette Vogel

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  33

You’ve got a vision? Let’s find the perfect school! Worldwide private day and boarding school consultant. For more info, call +49 (0)2246-915 and visit

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Award-winning association takes students into the world To spend a year or a few months in a foreign country is a great experience for students, especially when they are 15 or 16. international Experience e.V. (iE) cooperates with schools all over the world and finds the right place for everyone’s individual profile. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE E.V.

“We have very different programmes and countries on offer and take a lot of time to really get to know our pupils and families. We simply want to find the best possible school for our kids in environments providing safety and welfare,” says international Experience programme director Andrea Bauer and refers to the US boarding school and private school programme. Boarding schools are very international and a great way to prepare for later university studies. iE has existed for 17 years now, but with its joint competence the team has more than 40 years of experience. international 34  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

Experience e.V. works together with a large partner school network, especially in the USA, and operates offices in Germany, Austria, Switzerland Spain, Ireland and the USA. “Every exchange student has his or her individual contact person directly on-site,” says Bauer, because iE staff works directly in the exchange countries. So, while students have a great time, learn a new lanAustria Frau Mag. Birgit Schnedl Anton-Scharff-Gasse 6/Top 4A 1120 Wien +43 (0)660 2283322

guage and become independent, they are still protected by a stable safety net. In 2017, the German Institute for Service Quality named international Experience e.V. the best charitable student exchange organisation.

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Campus of the University of Economics and Business. Photo: © WienTourismus/Christian Stemper

S P E C I A L T H E M E : E D U C AT I O N – T H E A U S T R I A N W A Y

Diversity and the highest quality Austria’s educational system is one of the best in the world. No wonder that the country has a diverse offering of highquality schools and universities that are geared towards meeting the needs of the future. In the following special theme, we take a look at some of Austria’s best institutions.

Photo: © Pixabay

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  35

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Education – The Austrian Way

Educating soon-to-be experts, researching for the future Sustainability is at the core of research, development and teaching at the Montanuniversität Leoben in Austria. The university is unique not only in the German-speaking area, but in Europe with a portfolio focusing on advancing technology and the use of natural resources and raw materials. With 4,000 students, the small university offers the best possibilities to learn, research and develop in cooperation with partners in science and industry worldwide.

the new GTF engine was developed under assistant professor Dr. Svea Mayer at the institute for metallurgy and metallic materials in Leoben. The main focus was on developing a new titanium aluminide alloy using a computer-based method to determine the composition.


Today, the University of Leoben can look back on a long and successful history. Originally founded in November 1840 in Vordernberg, the university moved to Leoben nine years later. The university has a very practical approach and of course a long and proud tradition as a centre of excellence in research and education. With its unique profile, the university has an outstanding and special position in the national and international educational landscape. “We have positioned ourselves consequently as a research institution with the highest aspirations, focusing on the whole value chain: starting with raw ma36  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

terial extraction and processing up to environmental technology and recycling,” says university spokesperson Erhard Skupa. Innovative solutions with practical value The University of Leoben advances science and technology – in many fields. To give an example, researchers here developed new materials for Airbus. When in early 2016 the A320neo with new engine architecture went into serial operation, this material came into use making the airplane more eco-efficient. The first customer was the German Lufthansa. The material used for

It was an important development, because the requirements in aeronautics have changed a great deal. Machines need to be quieter, more fuel-efficient and above all they need to be more environmentally friendly than they used to be. The engines are key to that, and if they work more efficiently then passengers fly cheaper and emissions are reduced as well. Sustainability in key technologies Sustainability and sustainable technology are key factors for future developments. Research groups in Leoben constantly develop new processes and technologies that have this idea at heart. They are work-

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Education – The Austrian Way

ing together to solve today’s most urgent questions, for example how to recycle mobile phones in Europe, where still no overall concept exists for how to extract valuable resources like rare earths from used phones. The focal points are mineral resources, high-performance materials and sustainable production and technology. The university here has a wide network of partners in science, industry and economy. But research is not everything. What makes the University of Leoben so special is the symbiosis of research and teaching, which is an important factor for advancement in science. Not only do researchers introduce new concepts to their students, out of the dialogue with students new ideas are born. “As a training facility, we are well aware that we have a special responsibility towards our youth who are interested in technology. But the university also has a special responsibility towards the industry because their future employees are

shaped by what they experience and learn at university,” says university press officer Erhard Skupa. Above that, the university is situated in a region that struggles with demographic change and a population decline. The small city with about 25,000 residents in Styria has a long tradition as centre for the mining industry and metallurgy, but felt a decline in population since the 1970s and 1980s. The university not only attracts younger people, but is also a driver for innovation that re-shapes the region. Educating future technology experts Currently, the university offers 11 undergraduate courses and 14 master degrees, as well as doctoral studies. Among the courses are for example studies in applied geoscience, mineral resource engineering, metallurgy, industrial logistics, or recycling. Additionally, there are 19 different practical courses and shorter training events. The full list of courses can be found online at

“The courses we are offering are unique and in this form can only be found in Leoben – with the success that Leoben graduates are among the most soughtafter academics,” says spokesperson Erhard Skupa. As the smallest technical university in Austria, the university currently has 4,000 students which guarantees an optimal support and state-of-theart equipment available to everyone. The small size of the university allows lecturers to focus on students’ individual needs and profiles and guarantees close contact between students and staff – which most times is not the case at larger and less well-equipped universities. “’Mass university’ is a foreign word for us in Leoben,” says Skupa. It is no wonder that for years now various magazines and research institutes have stated that the University of Leoben is the most popular and best university in Austria.

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  37

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Education – The Austrian Way

AIS Vienna campus.

Unleashing young minds within a safe environment The American International School Vienna (AIS) ignites student power by focusing on individual abilities and talents, fostering them in a way that helps them rise to the surface and blossom.

methods so that students can reach their full potential within the various areas – be it science, sport or visual and performing arts.

attention and parents are frequently contacted with updates on their child’s progress. Parents are encouraged to keep in close communication with teachers and the teachers themselves meet frequently to discuss the needs of individual students as well as to plan course content so that the curriculum is accessible for each student and the transitions are as smooth as possible.

A good example of how AIS Vienna works is the special focus on the “sensitive” grade six, seven and eight. As those years present a time of significant physical, emotional, and social changes for young adolescents, the programme is designed to help students to be successful throughout this period of adjustment.

As for extracurricular activities, there is a regular afternoon programme offered for elementary pupils. Both middle and high school students are encouraged to form their own activities and clubs. The manifold activities and clubs include coding and game design, Romanian children’s relief, and musical and creative writing.

Class sizes are small enough so that students are able to receive individualised

AIS sports activities include soccer, volleyball (HS), cross country, and tennis as


Set within the historical surroundings and significant cultural context of Vienna, AIS is the oldest English language school offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) in Austria. It forms a unique combination of family atmosphere and an ambitious educational programme, supported by extensive experience in academic achievement. School programmes are designed to aim at the creative and emotional growth of individual students, as well as developing their leading qualities. The school recognises individual learning processes and strives to include a variety of teaching 38  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Education – The Austrian Way

well as basketball and swimming. The spring season features track and field, tennis, softball, volleyball (MS), golf, and baseball. A variety of sport events and competitions both indoors and outdoors promote the pupils’ physical fitness throughout the year. In October, the school hosted the MS & HS Cross Country Championships of the SCIS (Sports Council of International Schools), featuring two days of boys’ and girls’ races across various distances. Next will be the SCIS MS Girls Soccer Championships, taking place on 10-11 November. The school’s technical equipment is up to date and the 1:1 laptop programme provides each student in grades five to 12 with a school-purchased laptop to use both at school and at home. In addition, each classroom has a computer, projector, and an interactive Smart Board, and there is high-speed wireless internet access throughout the school. Ethical awareness is provided by the online learning policy: “As a community, we challenge ourselves to understand our role, and model re-

sponsibility as ethical, knowledgeable and safe digital citizens.” The AIS Arts Department offers music as well as visual and theatre arts. Important artists, art movements and art traditions from around the world are integrated into all visual art classes and rotating exhibitions of student art work fill the hallways of the school throughout the year. The American High School Diploma requires all high school students to complete two years of music, theatre or art education. Students are given the opportunity to explore music more deeply in specialised band, choir, and strings classes. The HS string quartet recently performed at this year’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Conference in Vienna. AIS also has a rich extra-curricular theatre culture. Elementary school students can take advantage of the after-school activities programme that includes a range of creative dramatics while middle school actors present a large ensemble play each year in February. High school thespians per-

AIS Elementary School students.


Main gate.

AIS Middle School students.

form an annual fall comedy or drama and crown the theatre arts calendar with ‘AIS Presents...’, an evening featuring original student performances. Encouraging students to be intellectually curious, to take risks in their work and to develop a lifelong commitment to personal expression is an important goal of the AIS Arts Department. Each summer, parts of the campus receive a makeover. Just recently, the sports field and outside facilities have been redesigned. In planning for the near future is also a brandnew science lab and a newly designed library for the elementary school pupils, as well as the renovation of the cafeteria and the installation of photovoltaic solar panels to offset the school’s carbon footprint. With a visionary focus on global awareness and individual growth, AIS Vienna provides the perfect ground for an allencompassing holistic education, opening the minds and preparing the path for university access around the globe. AIS Vienna was founded in 1959 by the US and Canadian embassies and today counts 800 students stemming from around 54 nationalities. Preparing pupils for university, the school offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB), the equivalent of the Austrian Matura, as well as the Standard American Diploma. The learning age is four to 18. While 50 per cent of the pupils are native English speakers, 30 per cent speak it fluently and the remaining 20 per cent receive language support. A thorough and selective admissions process guarantees the future support of each pupil's individual strengths, talents and interests.

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  39

40  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

Discover Germany  |  Star Interview  |  Langston Uibel

Langston Uibel

On politics and High Society The bilingual up-and-coming actor Langston Uibel, who was born in London but grew up in Berlin, made his acting debut in The String Puppet. Numerous roles followed: last year, he starred in the award-winning film Freistatt, just recently appeared in High Society with Katja Riemann and Iris Berben and a leading role in the next German Netflix production is in the pipeline. Discover Germany speaks to Langston about his love for Berlin, current projects and his political commitment. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTO: DOMINIK H. MÜLLER

Do you ever think about going back to England or did you fall in love with Berlin? L. Uibel: Actually, I fell in love with both cities, but with London it’s more of a lovehate relationship. It offers so much culturally and is a mirror of the world but there are simply too many people and let’s not even talk about the rental fees. Berlin is so green, relaxed and has something ‘unexplored’ about it. Together with my dad, I manage the ‘Dalston Jazz Bar’ in London and thus, I’m often there but I live in Berlin – and that can also stay this way!

velopment in the past ten years. However, we really need to start understanding that we don’t have to explain to the viewers why the lawyer is a woman, the doctor is handicapped or why the teacher is black. Luckily, we live in times where the word ‘German’ isn’t linked to a certain look any longer. Just take a look at our football national team! That’s beautiful and at the same time, not more than reality.

Why did you become an actor? Did you ever have other career aspirations? L. Uibel: I always found it very interesting that you can achieve so much with making films. You can do politics, without being a politician and this remains to be one of my biggest motivations for making films: to influence world affairs, deal with problems and, of course, to reflect society. But I always think that if I don’t want to do this anymore, then I will simply become a very cool teacher.

You were seen in The String Puppet or Freistatt amongst others. Which of your past roles has especially stuck in your mind? L. Uibel: Freistatt was an incredibly important project for me and I’m proud to be part of that movie. We show the dark, German story that needs to be told urgently. Luckily, we were able to initiate a discussion but we need to continue to speak about this topic, and especially about the affected people. But I also won’t ever forget my role as a child soldier in The String Puppet. That was my first role and I was still so young. I still like to watch it today – even though it also deals with a harsh and touching topic.

Was it initially hard to take root in the German film industry as a bilingual, ‘black German’? L. Uibel: It wasn’t and still isn’t easy. But I was actually able to observe a great de-

High Society came to cinemas in September. What was the beautiful thing about this role? L. Uibel: High Society was something entirely different for me. It is a family-friendly

and relaxed comedy, written and staged by Anika Decker. It was really great to work with colleagues like Iris Berben, Katja Riemann and many others. After all, you find a different atmosphere on set when filming a comedy than when filming a drama. It was a great experience and the outcome is something to be proud of! What is planned for the future? What can we look forward to from you? L. Uibel: I hope that everything will continue as before and that I can keep on working with talented and inspiring people. Apart from that, I’ll have a guest appearance in the US series Berlin Station and a new cinema project is coming up at the beginning of next year. Furthermore, I will return to the series Um Himmels Willen for a few episodes as the mayor’s grandson Wolf Wöller. We also read that you’re currently planning a food truck project with friends? L. Uibel: Yes, that’s right! We’re five friends who opened a ramen noodle food truck in Berlin a few weeks ago. We’re called ‘YAMEN RAMEN’ and stand on different markets and events in Berlin. Last but not least, what wishes and dreams do you still have? L. Uibel: Doesn’t matter how corny this might sound, but I hope that the world becomes a bit better each day. There’s currently so much discrimination on our planet and each one of us should do their bit to change that. Maybe then our children and grandchildren can grow up in a better and more beautiful world without as much war and hate as today. Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  41



Lobby lounge.

An unforgettable stay in the historic heart of Berlin With the Christmas season fast approaching, it is time to plan your trip to Germany’s capital and experience all its local Christmassy goodness. The five-star superior Regent Hotel Berlin is the perfect base to start your adventures. This exceptional boutique hotel caters to all your wishes and is a top insider tip amongst international celebrities. What are you waiting for? TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: REGENT HOTEL BERLIN

The luxury Regent Hotel Berlin is an absolute gem located on Charlottenstraße right in Berlin’s vibrant historic district Mitte. There are 156 spacious rooms and 39 suites featuring a timeless elegant style and a great love for detail. They are furnished with precious antiques and equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Lavish bathrooms made of marble with both shower and bathtub, invite to relax. The Regent Health Club also offers guests to slow down and indulge in some supreme pampering. Spa massages or the top-notch sauna facilities give the perfect opportunity to unwind. 42  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

But the hotel is not only a lovely peaceful retreat, all the major sights are also just a short stroll away and guests can


enjoy stunning views over the Gendarmenmarkt Square. Senior PR manager Carolin Meltendorf says: “The Museum Island, the Brandenburg Gate, the government district, Checkpoint Charlie as well as the State Opera are only a few minutes walk away.” Especially during the winter season, the hotel’s location right by the Christmas market called ‘WeihnachtsZauber’ (Christ-

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Hotel of the Month

mas magic) at Gendarmenmarkt is simply ideal. Berlin`s popular shopping mile Friedrichstraße, as well as the Mall of Berlin, are right around the corner for some Christmas shopping.

and original Devonshire clotted cream, accompany the grand tea selection. The cosy open fireplace, gentle piano tunes and comfy Biedermeier chairs add to this elegant traditional experience.

“A stroll over one of the most beautifully decorated Christmas markets right by our hotel followed by our afternoon tea at the hotel’s Tea & Lobby Lounge is the perfect combination,” Meltendorf adds. The afternoon tea at the Regent Hotel Berlin is an absolute highlight not to be missed after a busy day in the wintery streets of Berlin.

“Another highlight is without a doubt our gourmet restaurant Fischers Fritz, led by chef de cuisine Christian Lohse, who has been awarded with two Michelin stars ten times in a row,” Meltendorf explains. “The presentation of the lobster press, the cheese waggon or the Martini trolley is part of the outstanding service our guests can enjoy.” Guests and critics alike celebrate the unparalleled fish and seafood creations.

Certified Tea Master Gold Roland Pröh looks after the guests and personally prepares the teas. He offers professional detailed advice on how to choose the right tea from the 40 different quality varieties by top suppliers like Fortnum & Mason or Ronnefeldt. Guests can smell and touch the precious leaves in order to pick their personal favourite, which is then freshly prepared for them and served in delicate Meissen porcelain. Exquisite gourmet finger sandwiches such as salmon-tomato tramezzini, mini tarts and of course English scones fresh from the oven, with homemade strawberry jam

Afternoon tea.

Gendarmen Suite.

Highly recommended is also the kitchen table, which allows guests to get an intimate look behind the scenes of a world-class kitchen. Experiencing the restaurant “unplugged” whilst indulging in an exquisite tasting menu is not only a culinary delight, but also real-life entertainment at its best. What makes this hotel even more special is certainly the friendly staff that creates the homely flair. “It is our employees’ strive for quality, authenticity, enthusiasm and warmth that really makes the differ-


ence,” says Meltendorf. “To provide a discreet, courteous and personal service is of utmost importance at the Regent Hotel Berlin. That way our employees create a pleasant family atmosphere, a home away from home.” It should come as no surprise that international celebrities, artists, entrepreneurs and politicians frequently visit the boutique hotel. “The intimacy is well appreciated amongst the VIPs. We’ve had the pleasure of accommodating various known guests such as Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Meryl Streep, Justin Trudeau and Leonardo DiCaprio to name but a few,” Meltendorf points out. For those who want to experience the ultimate deluxe stay just like the celebs, the Presidential Suite is the top choice. Located on the eighth floor, the suite is approximately 140 square metres in size, comes with a large balcony and offers the most stunning views of historic Berlin. All in all, Regent Hotel Berlin provides luxury accommodation throughout with a classic elegant flair. For more information, please visit their website.

Gendarmen Suite.

Gourmet restaurant Fischers Fritz.

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  43

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Smucke Steed

Peace and quiet for your soul The boutique hotel Smucke Steed in the German seaside town of Glücksburg enchants guests with its personal service, the quiet nature and a fabulous homemade breakfast. Only a stone’s throw away from Denmark, Smucke Steed features timeless Scandinavian interiors. If you need a break from the daily noise, this is certainly the place to be. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: SABRINA ROTHE, COPYRIGHT: SMUCKE STEED

It has always been a dream of Tine and Sönke Roß to run their own petite hotel. When they found the little gem that is Smucke Steed, their dream finally came true in 2014. Built in 1898, the house originally served as a boarding house for daughters of upper-class families who were looking to mingle with potential husbands vacationing in the wealthy resort of Glücksburg. Incidentally, ‘Glück’ in German means ‘luck’ and it is easy to imagine that many a romance began here. Smucke Steed, which is Danish for ‘beautiful place’, has certainly kept its special charm. Today it has 16 rooms with handpicked Scandinavian-style designer furniture. There is also a seminar room for up

to six people featuring modern conference facilities and overlooking the garden. Tine Roß explains why the hotel is so peaceful: “Our house is right by a nature conservation area and the only sound guests will hear are the birds. Although we are tucked away, we are conveniently located between the beach and the town centre. Both are just a short stroll away.”

Top left: View from the breakfast terrace onto the Schwennautal and the Flensburg Fjord. Left: Premium double bedroom. Right: Smucke Steed. Bottom: Sauna area.

As we speak, Tine Roß is getting ready for the cold season: “Winter here at the Flensburg Fjord invites to long walks, sauna and our late riser’s breakfast by the cosy fireplace. Guests can book our winter special called ‘Smucke Winter’, which runs up until March.”Part of the package is a visit to their Finish sauna, which guests can individually book so they have the sauna to themselves. The Roß family’s dedication also makes Smucke Steed such a lovely place. They are genuinely interested in their guests’ wellbeing and give great advice on what to explore. Their heart-felt hospitality is perfectly combined with the tranquillity of this marvellous little place.

A highlight is the lovingly prepared breakfast at Smucke Steed, a real insider tip: “We make our own crunchy muesli as well as a variety of jams and spreads. Boiled or scrambled eggs are cooked fresh for each guest, as that tastes much better. We mainly use local produce from around the corner, where we know it’s top quality.” Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  45

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Top Romantik Hotel

The ‘Wappensaal’.

Sauna in the spa area Jungbrunnen.

Exterior view.


Have great holidays where Martin Luther beat the devil – and translated the Bible The five-star Romantic Hotel at the Wartburg is an ideal place for people who love to stay in unique and special places. 37 individually designed rooms invite for a romantic holiday for two, a quiet break alone or a short family trip. The hotel is situated at one of the most important historic sites in Germany – and that can be felt in every single room. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: ROMANTIC HOTEL AT THE WARTBURG

It is a steep slope that leads up the hill towards the romantic hotel at the Wartburg and – a few steps further – to the castle itself. The hotel’s cosy single and double rooms have a great deal of historic features, nooks and wooden beams, and of course a fantastic view towards the castle itself, over the Thuringia forest and towards the town of Eisenach at the foot of 46  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

the hill. The historical layout of the listed hotel defines its rooms and atmosphere. The romantic hotel at the foot of the Wartburg originally opened its doors in 1914. But actually, there had been a hotel before – which had become far too small for the constantly growing number of visitors inspired by the history and the castle that was

rebuilt from ruins in the 19th century. Over the years, the hotel has been refurbished and modernised a few times to keep it up to date and to provide visitors the comfort they deserve. In 2001, the arcona Hotels & Resorts took over the management. Since then, hotel manager Jens V. Dünnbier and his team have focused on honest hospitality: “We have internalised the hotel’s original name and motto: an inn for cheerful people,” says Jens V. Dünnbier. A place full of history The Wartburg is an important historic site. Originally built in the 11th century, it was here that Martin Luther, hiding under the pseudonym ‘Junker Jörg’, translated the

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Top Romantik Hotel

New Testament from Greek into German. Later in the early 19th century, students gathered here and thus started the German national movement.“The history and the aura of the nearly 1,000-year-old Wartburg, one of the most important places of Christianity, of course play an important role. After all day visitors have left, our guests have the UNESCO world heritage site nearly all to themselves,” says hotel manager Jens V. Dünnbier. But it is not only a great place for people who enjoy historic places, or the atmosphere of great castles. The Wartburg castle lies on top of a hill surrounded by a forest. The region has many well laid out hiking paths, among them the famous Rennsteig, which is also part of a hiking trail that celebrates the German unity. So, visitors staying in the romantic hotel Wartburg can enjoy long hikes in unspoiled nature, follow the paths by bike or take a canoe or raft trip along the rivers. “We also have a lot to offer for fam-

ilies with children and the region provides great opportunities to spend some unspoiled days in the Thuringian forest,” tells Dünnbier. The region around Eisenach is especially beautiful during the quieter months in autumn and winter with a very calm atmosphere, but all the tourist attractions still at hand. Relaxing in front of the fire place The five-star romantic hotel at the Wartburg offers a special winter deal ‘fireplace romantic’, it can be booked daily in November 2017 and from January to March 2018, or Sunday to Wednesday in December 2017. Why not spend a quiet evening in front of the fireplace after a long day exploring the castle and the region? Additional relaxation can be found in the spa area called Jungbrunnen – fountain of youth. The offer includes two nights including a breakfast buffet, a glass of sparkling wine as a welcome, a three-course meal on the first evening, afternoon tea on the second day and a tour through the

Junior suite.

‘Jägerzimmer’, registry office.

Wartburg suite.

Terrace with a view.

Wartburg museums. The price is 279 euros per person in a double room and 298 euros per person in a single room. Discovering Thuringia’s culinary delights Thuringia is well known for its regional cuisines. The famous Bratwurst is made here, as well as the Thuringian Klöße, large-sized dumplings. Whoever wants to explore the regional kitchen or knows the dishes already, but still wants to be surprised, is at the right place in the hotel’s restaurant and café. “Our team around head chef Annett Reinhardt is inspired by the banquets held here 100 to 150 years ago and interprets the traditional dishes in a new and contemporary way – using the best regional ingredients,” says hotel manager Jens V. Dünnbier. “Our historic menu is the perfect connection between past and present. This is why we simply recommend it to all our guests.”

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  47

Lindau Harbour Christmas Market. Photo: © Wolfgang Schneider, Lindau Tourism


Tuning into the magic of Lindau There are a multitude of reasons for visiting the picturesque island and town of Lindau. The unhurried pace of the island with its old town buildings and narrow, winding alleyways and its lush greenery surrounded by the lake’s ever-changing blue draw visitors of all ages, at any time of the year. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

All year round, visitors enjoy Lindau’s Mediterranean flair, the clear waters of Lake Constance, the charming, historic old town with its cute alleys and the Alpine Panorama with its snow-covered peaks. For sailing enthusiasts, there is the annual long-distance night regatta, taking place during the Lindau sailing days. 48  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

Lindau in winter forms a charming and fascinating counterpart to the bustling summer months. Foggy November and December days form a wonderful backdrop for romantic walks across the island. Imagine the moon rising over the mountains, the stars twinkling above the streets and houses and the scent of spicy treats

filling the air. Around and during the festive season, Lindau simply transforms itself into an enchanting place. When the December snow falls silently and Lake Constance takes on a mysterious air, the picturesque island entices with a visit of the famous Harbour Christmas Market. Christmas market in Lindau One of Germany’s most beautiful Christmas markets, the lovingly decorated market stalls of the Harbour Christmas Market line the shores of Lake Constance against the stunning backdrop of the Alps. With its unique lakeside setting on the promenade

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Destination of the Month

and the Mangturm Tower at its heart, the famous Harbour Christmas Market is the perfect place to enjoy hot mulled wine, spicy Christmas cookies and to look for unique Christmas gifts and decorations.

The Lindau Harbour Christmas Market on the harbour promenade runs each weekend between 23 November and 17 December, from Thursday through Sunday at 11am - 9pm (closed on 26 November).

A varied programme of events is on offer to get visitors into the Christmas spirit, including storytelling, city tours, night watchman tours, shows and musical events. Both children and grown-ups enjoy the magical fairytale forest with its scent of pine trees, wildlife and surprises around every corner.

Capture the spirit of Christmas and tune into the most enchanting time of year with the help of Lindau’s romantic scenery and inspiring events. No matter if just for a weekend treat or a longer stay – the enchanting island of Lindau will always provide the perfect ambiance to let go of the daily grind.

The walking tour with night watchman Michl is a particularly popular way of exploring the beautifully decorated streets and alleyways of the town. Armed with halberd, lantern, horn and good humour, Michl reveals some of the secrets of times gone by. Along with the market, the Old Town is festively illuminated and its many shops and restaurants tempt visitors to do a little shopping or enjoy a delicious meal in the evening.

Another top event in Lindau: the Annual Fair

Lindau turns into a Christmas island during the Advent period and the market is the perfect way to brighten up the dark days of the season with its wonderful location and festive atmosphere. Christmas tree at the Lindau City Hall. Photo: © Wolfgang Schneider, Lindau Tourism

For those coming in early November, the Lindau Annual Fair with a flea market and funfair form a treat not to be missed. The fair has been a town tradition since 1652 and has ever since remained a true visitors’ magnet. As of last year, the funfair is spread around the harbour promenade, the station square and the Reichsplatz. The fairground rides will tip you up and send you racing round bends and tunnels at breakneck speed. Those who prefer their fun to be a little more grounded enjoy the bumper cars and swing rides. Of course, it would not be a funfair without the shooting galleries and fairground games. The Marionette Opera. Photo: © Hari Pulko, Lindau Tourism

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  49

Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Destination of the Month

The Ferris wheel is the true highlight of the event. It is set up right by the Mangturm Tower and the stunning views from the gondolas include the harbour entrance with lion and lighthouse, the rooftops of Lindau, the bustle of the harbour promenade and of course Lake Constance itself. For culture lovers: Lindau Marionette Opera A unique cultural experience can be enjoyed at the city’s Marionette Opera, residing in its own space at the city theatre. “Are those really puppets?” audience members wonder time and again when they see the four little swans from Swan Lake dancing across the stage. Excelling in the art of puppetry, the Marionette Opera has staged incredible shows featuring dancing puppets for more than a decade. Founder and director Bernhard Leismüller himself describes his art as “authentic, believable and realistic”. Together with

his 12 puppeteers, he brings the figures to life using the tiniest, most detailed movements. Over the years, Leismüller and his troupe have made more than 400 puppets. The repertoire includes wellknown operas such as The Magic Flute, La Traviata, Carmen and Hansel and Gretel, as well as the aforementioned Swan Lake ballet. At first, the Marionette Opera of Lindau only had a temporary home, but now it is the proud occupant of its own stage at the Lindau Stadttheater. Since 2010, the Marionette Opera has owned a mobile stage and is thus able to take its shows on tour. The theatre is regularly staging a special show for children, based on the fairy tale of Der Riese Tunichtgut. The puppeteers aim to make guests forget that the characters on the stage are “only” puppets – a goal reached on every night of performance. Watchman Michl. Photo: © Hari Pulko, Lindau Tourism

Lindau Annual Funfair. Photo: © Hari Pulko, Lindau Tourism

Atmospheric views. Photo: © Hari Pulko, Lindau Tourism

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Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Destination of the Month

Lindau Annual Funfair Photo: © Hari Pulko, Lindau Tourism

Guarding the harbour: Lion and lighthouse. Photo: © Hari Pulko, Lindau Tourism

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  51

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Education – The Austrian Way


The latest wellness craze When the last few golden leaves fall off the trees, the coats become thicker and when windows sills all over town are lined with candles of all dimensions and designs, winter is not far. What better way to greet the cold season than to indulge in some extensive spa, wellness and beauty treatments? They are as part of our winter feel-good routines as hot chocolate. Thus, let’s take a look at this year’s top wellness and beauty trends. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: PIXABAY

52  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Wellness, Beauty & More

Adaptogens Hyped by celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, the newest wellness craze are adaptogens – an ingredient that is said to raise energy levels, reduce stress and regulate hormones. The term ‘adaptogen’ describes herbs or mushrooms that support the body’s resistance to stress. For example, Korean ginseng and Reishi mushrooms are well-known adaptogens. Benefits are said to be manifold and include mental clarity, energy, stress relief and immune support, amongst others. If this got you interested, adaptogens are sold as pills, liquid, powders or teas. Cryotherapy

Clean beauty products As the trend goes towards less make-up in general, more and more consumers actually look out for what is in their beauty products. Thus, natural and organic brands are becoming increasingly popular and not only do good to their clients’ skin, but also for the planet.

a healthy weight and reducing appetite – even when restricting calories. Infrared saunas Even though infrared saunas have been around for a while, they have gained increasing popularity all over the world. While being a bit cooler than common saunas, an infrared sauna’s heating system soothes muscles and joints, increases relaxation levels, makes you sweat more and fosters a more powerful detoxification. Find out more about great wellness trends, the movers and shakers in Germany’s beauty scene and much more in our special theme on the following pages.

The ketogenic diet As one of the most-searched wellness trends and with dozens of keto Instagram accounts, we wanted to know more about the ketogenic diet. This plant-based, highfat, low-sugar diet seeks to train one’s body to rely on fat instead of glucose. Health benefits include reaching and maintaining

Offered by Kur- und Kongreß-GmbH Bad Homburg v.d.Höhe, Kaiser-Wilhelms-Bad im Kurpark, 61348 Bad Homburg v.d.Höhe

While cryotherapy has been around for a while already, it has become ultra-popular over the past year. The word describes the exposing of one’s body to very low temperatures (as low as minus 140 degrees Celsius) in a controlled environment for a short time. This is said to stimulate receptors, release endorphins, increase circulation and reduce inflammation amongst other health benefits.

Next-level wellness retreats Wellness weekends and spa holidays have always been a beloved vacation option. However, the trend goes towards extreme wellness retreats this year. This describes, for example, an entire week of clean eating, custom workouts with health experts or daily massages in picturesque destinations like Botswana, Bali or Cuba.

ROYAL RELAXATION Experience the Kur-Royal Day Spa within the historic walls of the great Kaiser-Wilhelms-Bad in Bad Homburg Kaiser-Wilhelms-Bad im Kurpark Bad Homburg . open daily 10 am–10 pm . Phone +49-6172 - 178 3178 .

KurRoyal .

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Wellness, Beauty & More

Natural long lashes for everyone M2 BEAUTÉ Cosmetics is a true pioneer for natural eyelash growth. The idea came to the family of CEO Alexa Moysies a decade ago and they certainly embarked on the right mission at the right time. Today, their company is as successful as it is established in the market and their product portfolio has grown from just eye care to facial and decorative care.

and a great deal of wasted money. Furthermore, fake lashes, which can be difficult to put on, can have the tendency to fall off at exactly the wrong moment.

vividly: “It was pretty much exactly ten years ago when our family came up with the idea to found M2 BEAUTÉ Cosmetics. The initial impulse for the first product idea came from an American friend who worked as a make-up artist back then. She told us about medical eye drops, which had the side effect of causing strong eyelash growth. So, we simply sat down together, consulted many experts and thought about how we could turn this into a cosmetic application.”

Alexa Moysies wanted to develop a product that would make the dream come true: Real thick eyelashes with a beautiful curve. She remembers the early days

“We immediately knew that such a product would be sensational and a true innovation for so many women,” Moysies continues. “And when you look at the


It may sound clichéd, but it is certainly true: Long, thick lashes that beautifully curve at the exact right angle is something almost all women dream off. It is no coincidence that many women go through piles of different mascara brands in order to find the magic one that will make our eyelashes appear as gorgeous as we envision it. But this can result in frustration 54  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Wellness, Beauty & More

big cosmetic trends, it is clear that strong well-shaped eyebrows are also a real must-have for expressive faces.”

facemask Hybrid Second Skin Mask Brown Alga, which provides moisture and smoothens the skin.

more and more men, who turn to us for longer lashes or a fresh skin tone even during stressful days,” Moysies adds.

That is why the team behind M2 BEAUTÉ Cosmetics knew right from the start that they wanted to develop another product for eyebrow growth as well. Moysies adds: “For us, it was important that our products would deliver what they promised but that they also would be entirely tolerated health-wise and hence free to sell over the counter.”

A fantastic mascara can be found in the Decorative Care division. Using extremely fine pigments, the mascara has a very intense effect. It also comes with three differently shaped brushes, which are easily exchanged and allow this one mascara to create three different looks.

Just like at the beginning, the brand stands for three attributes as Moysies explains:“The first one is credibility, that the products genuinely work and result in a visible demonstrable improvement of the customer’s natural appearance. Secondly, we of course stand for innovation. That is why we are thrilled that our EYELASH ACTIVATING SERUM is used as M2 Lashes to label the section for growth serums, in the same league as Nivea crèmes or Labello lipsticks. Number three is professionalism. We are known as a trusting and team-oriented partner in the market. We place great importance on top overall performances of our employees, on the training of our sales staff and above that we support our partners with quality marketing campaigns and promotions.”

Since the early days, many years have passed and M2 BEAUTÉ Cosmetics has become hugely successful worldwide and today their portfolio includes a range of different products. Aside from their alltime bestsellers, which are the growth serums for eyelashes and eyebrows, facial care has also turned into a very successful part of the business. The innovative Facial Nano Sprays series includes a range of different products. For example, face sprays, which transport vitamin C, hyaluronic acid or copper peptides into the deeper layers of the skin. Also part of the series is the brand-new

It should come as no surprise that M2 BEAUTÉ Cosmetics received various prestigious local and international awards over the years such as the Award for Innovation by the German perfumery retail trade. Recently, the company was awarded the RSVP Beauty Award 2017. But as Moysies points out, what matters most is that her customers are happy with the products and genuinely feel that they are working for them. Customer feedback is still the biggest motivation for her team and no award can compete with that. Given the nature of the products, the wide client base includes women of all ages who look after their appearance. “Interestingly enough though, there are

With such drive and passion, it is clear that M2 BEAUTÉ Cosmetics has many more stunning products in the pipeline. Stay tuned.

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  55

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Wellness, Beauty & More

Model with Silicone care® Décolleté Pad. Silicone care® products and APRICOT SKIN® products.

Aging gracefully

…with a little help from APRICOT beauty and healthcare Unfortunately, we cannot stop aging. But thanks to APRICOT we can certainly do something about some side effects. The effective beauty and healthcare products not only convince with their high success rate, but are also crueltyfree, vegan and hypoallergenic; so we can look beautiful as well as keeping a clean conscience. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: APRICOT

Entrepreneur Verena Jäger always dreamed about developing her own innovative cosmetic and healthcare line, which would tackle the beauty issues that aging brings. She wanted to find solutions for well-known problems using new research and development work. The result of this comprehensive approach is the APRICOT SKIN® and Silicone care® anti-wrinkle-pads. “We look at anti-aging from a new angle,” Jäger explains. “You can imagine wrinkles like a notch in the dermis, the second layer of skin. The supplying blood vessels cannot fully function in the affected area and hence the cell renewal is reduced. Through applying our products, the skin is smoothed out manually and can finally regenerate itself again. The wrinkle’s depth is reduced after the first application with significant improvements in the long run.” 56  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

She continues: “Additional supporting effects are for example the microclimate, which is built between the skin and our silicon pads. The low molecular hyaluronic acid some of our products contain, can therefore reach deeper levels of the skin and are absorbed over longer periods of time.”

international distribution as well as growing as a business by employing more staff. This is, of course, all due to the great customer satisfaction. “The products’ quality and effect are highly appreciated by our customers and hence they remain loyal to our brand,” Jäger smiles brightly.“This makes us super happy and confirms that we are on the right track.” To find out more about APRICOT’s products, please visit the following website. CEO Verena Jäger.

It is significant how many customers return to APRICOT after their first purchase, which makes Jäger particularly happy as it speaks for the success of her products and means they genuinely add value. Each product tackles a specific problem so that every customer can find her personal favourite. Not only are the innovative products highly effective but, with a price range of 12 to 39 euros, they are also very affordable. Over the past years, APRICOT has established itself firmly in the beauty and healthcare sector. The company is expanding their

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Wellness, Beauty & More

Bathing complex.



Mountain power Sometimes, switching off requires an input of energy from the outside as well as complete relaxation. At ROMANTIK ALPENHOTEL WAXENSTEIN in Grainau, guests are on the right track for finding just that. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: ROMANTIK ALPENHOTEL WAXENSTEIN

The power of the Bavarian mountains with their pure air and clear waters are known for their rejuvenating qualities. With its manifold alpine flora and wonderful views, the state-approved climatic spa town of Grainau has exactly what it takes for a refreshing holiday. While daily stress cannot always be avoided, the chance to switch off for a few days may yet do wonders, given the right location is at hand. Situated right by the stunning panorama of the Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany, the ROMANTIK ALPENHOTEL WAXENSTEIN in Grainau near Garmisch-Partenkirchen welcomes its guests to enjoy a relaxing time out and indulge in a few days of peace and rejuvenation. Looking back on 100 years of tradition, the hotel draws its unique ambiance from art work and furniture styled by contempo-

rary French artists. The combination of cosy family atmosphere, a lovely wellness area and the location itself adds up to a perfect place for recharging the batteries. An active day in pure natural surroundings with fresh mountain air helps body and soul to relax and gain new energy. With the crystal-clear Eibsee and Badersee mountain lakes nearby, the guests have the choice of numerous scenic hiking and mountain bike routes. There are golf, climbing and water sports opportunities as well as beautiful alpine ski areas to explore on both the German and the Austrian side. After a refreshing day outside, the ROMANTIK ALPENHOTEL WAXENSTEIN provides guests with the fitting relaxation, for example at the sauna area with steam bath. Enjoy pure well-being during

a cosmetic or Ayurveda treatment with high-quality natural and local products, or simply relax in one of the small pools. The light-flooded bathing complex with whirlpool looks out on the beautiful panoramic views of the Grainau rooftops, the mountain peaks and the surrounding woods. Hotel guests are invited to enjoy multifaceted delights at the Henri-Philippe gourmet restaurant, which has been named “one of the best in the region” by renowned guides such as Michelin. Discover luxury in a surprisingly downto-earth kind of way: The innovative cook combines French Haute Cuisine with traditional alpine delicacies. Owners Jürgen and Maria Lehn are looking forward to welcoming you in their beautiful corner of the Bavarian Alps for a romantic, relaxing and rejuvenating time out at their lovely hotel. Take time for yourself, and allow the perfect location and cosy ambiance to do the rest. Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  57

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Wellness, Beauty & More


365 days of holiday underneath real palm trees Hot summer temperatures, lush green palm trees and blue lagoons. If you catch Wanderlust, the only cure is to pack your bags and head to the Caribbean. But why venture so far when ‘paradise’ is right around the corner? At the indoor water park BADEPARADIES SCHWARZWALD, located in Titisee, guests can indulge in a Caribbean feeling without the long journey. Every year over 720,000 guests explore the little paradise in the Upper Black Forest.

drop. Four exclusively themed saunas with regular sauna infusions invite to pamper your senses and health. The vitality pool promotes health through the added minerals zinc and selenium, which increase the body’s performance and strengthen personal well-being.


Guests can look forward to three different areas at the BADEPARADIES SCHWARZWALD. The PALMENOASE is the health and relaxation area, the WELLNESSOASE with its themed saunas allows guests to sweat out their daily stress and the GALAXY SCHWARZWALD is a true haven for all water slides fans. In the PALMENOASE, you can let your soul wander underneath hundreds of real palm trees, enjoy tropical temperatures and relax whilst overlooking the scenic Black Forest. Accompanied by an exotic cocktail at one of the pool bars, this makes for the perfect feel-good day in paradise. 58  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

The QUELLEN DER GESUNDHEIT (‘source of health’) includes healthpromoting minerals in exclusive vitality pools. Two lithium-calcium pools help to restore our mind’s balance, to build bone matter, to strengthen connective tissue and sooth sensitive skin. The other two pools contain salt concentrations of four and 18 per cent, which is good for our health and provides cleansing for skin and body. Especially those suffering from rheumatic illnesses and circulatory disorders can benefit greatly from the mineral pools. A spa of a special kind is the WELLNESSOASE, where modern sauna culture can be experienced against a paradisiac back-

Galactic water fun for young and old is guaranteed at the GALAXY SCHWARZWALD, one of Europe’s biggest and most modern indoor waterslide parks. On three different levels with varying difficulty degrees, there is the right choice for anyone amongst the 22 high-tech slides. The absolute highlights are the world’s biggest stainless steel half-pipe slide, the Monster Halfpipe and Baden-Wuerttemberg’s longest tyre slide called X-Tube. At the GALAXY RELAX and the GALAXY GARDEN, the whole family can have a rest underneath real Caribbean palm trees on 700 square metres. The opening of the new GALAXY FUN at the end of this year will make the

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Wellness, Beauty & More

whole adventure even more exciting. The new fun area will include the Galaxy Racer, which will be Germany’s longest four-times mat slide, an absolute must for adrenaline junkies. Another new slide with a thrilling 130-metre-long white-water river will also be part of this area, as well as a new gastronomic section so guests can indulge in freshly prepared delicacies. Due to the high demand, BADEPARADIES SCHWARZWALD is also expanding its spa and wellness area, investing more than 32 million euros. On three different floors measuring 5,000 square metres, guests can look forward to a textile-free spa and vitality world of superlatives: the PALAIS VITAL. It will be the biggest expansion since the opening in 2010 and the works are expected to finish this year.

The PALAIS VITAL includes six exclusive vitality pools with stunning panoramic views, several Jacuzzis and massage jets as well as more than nine new themed event saunas and healing steam baths. Unique in the region is the exclusive spa and vitality lounge for ladies only. This heavenly oasis of peace and quiet amongst over 100 real South Pacific palm trees leaves no wish unanswered. High-quality culinary offerings at fabulous indoor or outdoor pool bars give this experience the finishing touch. In the spring of 2018, another addition, a global novelty, will open its doors in the PALAIS VITAL. The area is called Quelle der Schönheit (‘Source of Beauty’) and will offer a completely new experience in the world of beauty and health treatments. The exclusive and top-quality range of massages and beauty treatments, as well as the beautiful panoramic roof garden

with its breath-taking views over the Black Forest will complete the PALAIS VITAL. “Thanks to many years of experience, we are able to create a brand-new vitality and sauna world, offering our guests a sauna experience like never before and unique health treatments,” says owner Josef Wund, describing the exciting expansion. An exclusive parking level, with a separate entrance reception for guests of the PALAIS VITAL, will make a visit as easy as possible. “We are certain that we will reach a very high standard in the world of vitality and health treatments and that our guests’ requirements and wishes will be more than fulfilled,” says managing director Jochen Brugger about the new additions.

Event infusion in the sauna world.

Enjoy a cocktail in one of the pool bars.

Galactic slide fun.

GALAXY SCHWARZWALD: fun for old and young alike.

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  59

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Wellness, Beauty & More

Hotel Solthus Unwind and relax surrounded by untouched nature Located on the scenic German island Rügen, on the shores of the Baltic Sea, four-star Hotel Solthus is a real gem. Nestled within lush nature, the hotel invites guests to let go of the daily hustle and bustle and indulge in the outstanding treatments their brand-new Aquamarine SPA has to offer.

ish and organic saunas, steam baths with light therapy and the infrared cabin invite to leave all worries behind and allow body and soul to relax deeply.


After a day spent in the spa or watching the waves, guests can indulge in local or international cuisine at the hotel’s Scandinavian-style restaurant. The fresh produce is of course sourced regionally and the chefs even prepare their very own seasoning salt variations.

The crisp and healing sea breeze, the lush green grass and the soft sand that is gently kissed by the incoming waves – all that is already worth a trip to the beautiful island of Rügen. But to top the island’s naturally relaxing atmosphere even further, make sure to book one of the 39 rooms and suites at Hotel Solthus. It is tucked away from the tourist areas, and situated right in the heart of the stunning South-East Rügen Biosphere Reserve. The rooms either have a balcony or terrace, featuring views of the Selliner Lake with its charming reed landscape or the impressive Bay of Greifswald. It is a truly unique location with many opportunities for exploring the rest of the island. Whether it is by bike, horse or with the legendary steam-powered narrow-gauge 60  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

railway lovingly called ‘Rasender Roland’ (Speeding Roland), there is the right package for everyone. Guests can also go on chartered sailing yacht tours conveniently taking off right by the hotel. Hotel director Finn Nielsen tells us about the newest developments, the Aquamarine SPA: “This year we finished our wellness area of 350 square metres with an indoor pool featuring massage jets and overlooking the biosphere reserve. For us, it was very important to follow a modern design, offering top-notch comfort and the highest feel-good factor.” Experienced staff offer a range of treatments from hot stone massages and various body peelings to medical chalk or natural mud applications, algae packs and Cleopatra baths to name but a few. Finn-

All in all, Hotel Solthus is the perfect location to discover the beautiful island or to be pampered in an atmospheric setting.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Wellness, Beauty & More

Hotel driveway.


Restaurant Panorama.

A healthy mix of spa treats and activity within powerful surroundings Situated in the middle of the unique Southern Black Forest natural park at an altitude of 1,000 metres, the Vier Jahreszeiten am Schluchsee spa hotel offers everything you need to switch off and forget about the rest of the world. Here you will find the peace, tranquillity and treatments that allow you to fully relax as well as the natural surroundings for active recreation. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: VJZ

The rooms offer stunning views of the Black Forest and the setting allows for an ideal mix between sport and recreation, beauty and wellness programmes. The culinary variety ranges from gourmet cuisine to traditional Black Forest dishes and Mediterranean treats. Recreation is the main theme at the beauty pavilion. Apart from enjoying a vast bathing and sauna landscape, guests can pick from a multitude of treatments, ranging from medical baths to massages and spa packages of all kinds. The Ayurveda centre, with its team consisting of a doctor and therapists from Sri Lanka, indulges you with a range of authentic treatments and wholesome meals based on Ayurvedic recipes.

In terms of active relaxation, wonderful Black Forest hiking trails start right in front of the hotel. Varied accompanied hikes are on offer around the area through the hotel’s own guide, while mountain bike trails are also to be found in close vicinity. Yoga and back-strengthening fitness are part of the regular wellness programme as well as Qigong, aqua aerobics and Nordic walking amidst the wonderful panoramas of the Black Forest and Schluchsee lake. There is the 27-hole Obere Alp golf course and tennis players get their money’s worth all year round on five outdoor and four indoor courts. Family holidays are supported by the multiple, award-winning range of activities

the Vier Jahreszeiten am Schluchsee has to offer. The Spatzenclub kindergarten provides for day programmes while sports tournaments for indoor hockey, table tennis, football or basketball are tempting the kids to get active. Outside offers include nature exploring trips and high rope garden excursions, as well as snow Olympics during winter times. At the Vier Jahreszeiten am Schluchsee, you can fully enjoy your recreational time out or family holiday feeling safe and provided for, while taking in the stunning natural setting of the Schluchsee surrounded by the powerful energy of the Black Forest.

Ayurveda treatment.

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Wellness, Beauty & More

Snuggling up at the fireplace bar.

Relaxing on waterbeds at the Wellness Oasis.

Skiing on 130 kilometres of prepared slopes and 75 kilometres of trails.

Conference room with a mountain view.

Perfect location in the Allgäu region Hotel Oberstdorf combines number one winter sport conditions with relaxing wellness offers and attractive conference packages. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: HOTEL OBERSTDORF

Set in the picturesque Allgäu region, the four-star superior Hotel Oberstdorf’s architecture is marked by traditional and region-related components mixed with modern design elements. Equipped with a nature-related spa area and armed with a plucky sense of style, the atmospheric charm of the mountain hotel is highly fostered by the team itself, creating a unique and wholesome stay for each and every guest. Enjoy your holiday from the first minute, either in one of the spacious, comfortable rooms or in the luxurious apartments of the Allgäu chalet, set in the idyllic hotel gardens. 62  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

Skiing in the Allgäu region means powder snow, sun and fun at all levels and hotel director Sebastian Reisigl himself occasionally joins his guests on the piste. With 130 kilometres of groomed slopes and 75 kilometres of prepared cross-country trails, the Oberstdorf/Kleinwalsertal region is Germany’s biggest winter destination and will be part of the Nordic World Ski Championships again in 2021 (as it was already in 2005). Take your pick from the challenging 7.5-kilometre slope at the Nebelhorn mountain to family-friendly skiing areas, through to fascinating scenic deep-snow runs. The hotel is the ideal

starting point for skiing fans and offers a private, free ski shuttle to the Fellhorn skiing area. Ski classes and equipment can be booked on the spot. The area also offers more than 140 kilometres of winter hiking trails at three altitudes. Guests appreciate the individual tips provided by the hotel’s professional hiking guide, both on secret scenic routes as well as where to get the best refreshments on the way. Enjoy the perfect peace of a snow hike on well-prepared trails, breathe in the fresh, healthy air and relish in the beautiful panoramic views. After a beautiful day outside, the hotel’s spa area provides deep relaxation for body and soul. Designed in harmony with the natural surroundings, materials

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Wellness, Beauty & More

like original woods and stones create a unique atmosphere of peace and calm. An all-season heated, sole-enriched outside pool, eight saunas and baths, cosy relaxation rooms as well as a 360-square-metre natural lake promise complete relaxation. After visiting one of the special saunas or bubbling stone baths, guests can indulge in regional wellness and cosmetic treatments with natural products. As of January 2018, Hotel Oberstdorf will welcome their guests with a completely remodelled wellness area, presenting new relaxation rooms, a fireplace lounge as well as a whole new palette of delicacies and treatments. As for palatal delights, both regional and international delicacies can be enjoyed at any time of day. The wholesome breakfast buffet leaves nothing to be desired for a healthy start. In the evening, guests can round off their day relaxing at the fireplace bar with a cool drink. Once a week, the bar

team provides a whisky tasting event by the open fire. Lifestyle is a key word at the hotel, drawing especially those guests who enjoy life with an active, open mind and are in close touch with nature. The diverse guest programme offers regular enticing events such as the sauna night with sunrise hike, a culinary afternoon workshop and an Alpine evening special taking place on the hotel’s own alp, complete with Kässpatzen (dumpling and cheese casserole) and live music. Apart from being the ideal place for a relaxing holiday, the Hotel Oberstdorf is also perfectly suited for professional conventions and company events in the Allgäu mountains. Four professionally equipped conference rooms, attractive packages as well as countless possibilities for optional team events make for a unique conference location. From archery to biathlon through to ‘Lodge Olympics’ or igloo building, many fun activities are on offer as well as a

variety of food-related evening events. Among the optional culinary extras are the ‘Allegro con Gusto’ dinner with live piano music at the Alpine Restaurant, a gourmet menu in the Winter Garden or a hearty winter BBQ by the natural bathing lake, with fire-bowls providing an atmospheric illumination. At Hotel Oberstdorf, you can book meeting packages either separately, or in combination with great team and evening events, as well as culinary extras. With the organisation coming from one hand, every company trip thus becomes a success both for the guests and the organisers. No matter if you are looking for a perfect combination of wellness and skiing holiday, a unique company treat or a picturesque conference location, Hotel Oberstdorf has it all – in four-star superior quality and with that extra personal touch that makes all the difference. Feelgood Days special offer Three nights, including: – Hearty breakfast, Allgäu afternoon buffet and varying evening buffet – Alpine Wellness & attractive guest programme From 308 euros per person

Holiday joy at one of the ‘Allgäu Chalet’ double rooms.

Enjoying the all-season heated, sole-enriched outside pool.

Hotel Oberstdorf is the ideal starting point for skiing enthusiasts.

At the heart of Germany’s largest skiing area.

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  63

Photo: © Ludwigsburg/Neckar Stadtmarketing u. Touristik GmbH


Get into the festive spirit Germany is known for its diverse array of enchanted Christmas markets, beautiful festive handicraft and its many Christmas traditions. Thus, to get you into the festive spirit, we handpicked Germany’s top Christmas markets and festive design items on the following pages and collected some of Germany’s most-beloved traditions for the Christmas period. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Photo: © Essen, Marketing GmbH, Peter Wieler

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Magical Christmas Time

Germans love traditions. Obviously, they make no exception when it comes to the festive period in December. An abundance of Christmas traditions exist, which still get passed down from generation to generation. We wanted to find out more about the respective traditions.

out Germany. Another season highlight for many Germans is, of course, mulled wine and the so-called ‘Feuerzangenbowle’ – a spectacular German drink. For it, mulled wine is heated in a bowl, while a rumsoaked sugarloaf is set on fire before dripping into the mulled wine.

While children from the UK get their presents on the morning of 25 December, Germans just do not want to wait that long. Therefore, Christmas Eve is the time when German youngsters get to unwrap their presents.

Decoration highlights

Festive treats Turkey is actually quite uncommonly served as the main Christmas meal. Instead, goose, duck and even carp find their way onto German dinner tables. For dinner, ‘Stollen’ is rather famous – a cake-like fruit bread with candied orange and citrus peel amongst other ingredients. Gingerbread, chocolate Santas and many ‘Plätzchen’, Christmas cookies, fill the homes through-

During Advent, many German families decorate their homes with the ‘Advent wreath’. It usually consists of pinecones, berries and four large candles. On the fourth Sunday before Christmas, the first candle is lit and then, each following Sunday, the next candle gets lit until it is finally Christmas. Other common Christmas decoration are little wooden Christmas angels. Wonderfully carved, these cute figurines usually play various musical instruments.

boots and put it in front of their house or bedroom doors and hope that St. Nicholas and his assistant ‘Knecht Ruprecht’ will visit their home at night as he usually leaves a little present, nuts, chocolate or some other sweets in the boot. On the morning of 6 December, parents usually have no problem to get their children out of bed. Frohe Weihnachten!

St. Nicholas Day 5 December is a special evening for children all over Germany. They polish their

Photo: © Rothenburg Tourismus Service, Frank Respondek

Photo: © Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus e.V., Daniel Geiger

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  65

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Magical Christmas Time

Krefeld’s Christmas Market, with ‘Made in Krefeld’ special for the first time.


A different kind of Christmas Christmas time in Krefeld is indeed something magical, not least due to its compact city centre that invites visitors to enchanting advent strolls. However, the unique Christmas concepts the city has to offer make a visit to Krefeld especially worthwhile this year. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: STADTMARKETING KREFELD

Krefeld impresses with its compact city centre, generous pedestrian zones and cute alleyways, which invite visitors for relaxing strolls through its diverse retail and gastronomy offering. Situated at the Rhine, Krefeld further offers an abundance of international street art and other great culture. For example, the two ‘Esters and Lange’ Bauhaus villas by star architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe are the focus of international attention. Krefeld tries to stay true to its motto ‘innovative, creative, open-minded’, which is a direct result of the ‘Krefelder Perspektivwechsel’ (Krefeld’s changes of perspectives). With this campaign, Krefeld seeks to develop a new urban consciousness through identity-building activities that stand out from the urban scene. Hereby, the fields of innovation, design, contemporary architecture and cultur66  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

al activities are significantly fostered so that the slogan ‘creative, innovative, open-minded’ becomes a fundamental consensus of Krefeld’s urban society. An example of this ‘Perspektivwechsel’ is the new concept for the Christmas market that is worth a visit this year: Himalaya birches, crab apple trees, Nordic spruces and red dogwoods will turn the central city square into an exceptional park landscape that will be lined with market stalls that have been specifically designed for Krefeld. In its middle, visitors will find a cosy lounge area, furnished with ‘forest furniture’. For five weeks, vendors from Krefeld and the region will present their unique products in the stalls. Extraordinary drinks, which will be served in Krefeld’s special Christmas mug that gets a new design each year, and special foods complement this high-quality offering.

If you are still searching for some Christmas gifts for your beloved ones, maybe Krefeld’s very own perfume ‘ESNC Crefeld’ would be a suitable souvenir – purchasable at the Christmas market. Clear design language meets woody, fresh and brut tones for the man, while the female version is ozonic, solar and floral. However, not only this remarkable Christmas market is worth a visit in Krefeld. For example, on 25 November, visitors can look forward to an advent shopping experience of a special kind. While the shops will be open until 11pm, several, colourfully illuminated parades, fire artists and ice queens will accompany the evening. Make Krefeld the place to visit this advent!

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Magical Christmas Time

A magical Christmas in the most beautiful region along the river Main


Many large cities in Germany have famous Christmas markets, but often enough the smaller ones in picturesque villages and historic market towns have a far more festive atmosphere: arts and crafts markets, local musicians and choirs and regional specialities. One region definitely worth a visit during the festive season is Churfranken at the river Main’s shore. The Churfranken tourism association unites 24 cities and villages in the region between Spessart and the Forest of Odes. All these villages are small jewels worth exploring, especially during Christmas time. Most of them have their own little Christmas market and are great places to shop for gifts. The two biggest Christmas markets are in Amorbach and Miltenberg. Amorbach is a baroque market town and worth a visit in itself. During the festive season, the local Christmas market offers culinary highlights and musical delights. Miltenberg’s Christmas Market is dedicated to a different theme and topic every weekend. It starts the festive season with

a wishing tree for kids and a crafts market, followed by an advent for children and a Christmas exhibition in the local museum. Art and sculptures are displayed all over the city and music completes the festive experience. Miltenberg with its historic timber-framed buildings is also a fantastic spot for Christmas shopping. Churfranken itself has beautiful spots, hiking routes and of course the river Main with its untouched shores. So, visitors can combine Christmas shopping with nature hikes, boat trips or simply enjoying regional food.

Miltenberg’s ‘Schnatterloch’, the historic market square.

Miltenberg’s Christmas Market: angel procession.

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Magical Christmas Time

A Christmas market with historic flair, a unique setting and world-class concerts The Altöttinger Christkindlmarkt attracts people from all over the world with its unique atmosphere: a Christmas dream world surrounded by historic buildings, churches and chapels that tell the story of Altötting’s tradition as a pilgrimage site. The setting radiates history and spirituality. Every year round about 200,000 people visit the traditional Bavarian Christmas Market that combines culinary experiences, arts and crafts with programmes for children and high-class concerts. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: H. HEINE/VERKEHRSBÜRO ALTÖTTING

In Altötting, Saint Nicholas traditionally opens the Christmas market after the Advent wreaths have been blessed in the church. Angels accompany him, as do musicians and the choir from a local school. The Marienbrunnen, the central well in the middle of the marketplace, is covered with pyramid-formed glass that reflects the lights of all the surrounding, lovingly decorated wooden stalls. The smell of sugar, roast chestnuts, lebkuchen and mulled wine hangs in the air and draws visitors 68  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

from stall to stall. Artists and crafters are selling their products – from leather gloves to traditional hats, from jewellery to decorations. Many people, who have visited the Altöttinger Christkindlmarkt before, come back every year because the atmosphere is very special and unique. “Because the Christmas market with its 80 stalls has an ideal size, it creates this cosy, homely and peaceful atmosphere one can feel all over the city,” says Sabrina

Peetz, who works for the city’s tourist information. Altötting is the most important Marian pilgrimaging site in the German-speaking area, so the city’s atmosphere is shaped by the ‘Chapel of the Miraculous Image’ and churches, the impressive baroque buildings framing the central Kapellplatz. “The ensemble of baroque buildings create a unique atmosphere and form an incredible backdrop for our Christkindlmarkt. And when it comes to choosing the stalls we concentrate on a balance between arts and craft and culinary delights,” says Sabrina Peetz. All year long, Altötting is a great destination for people interested in art, people enjoying a hike, pilgrims or cyclists. The museums in Altötting house world-class art treasures like the Goldene Rössl in the house of pope Benedict XVI. or the 1,200-square-me-

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Magical Christmas Time

tre circular painting of Jerusalem Panorama Kreuzigung Christi that is under the protection of the UNESCO. The third museum of great importance is the diorama depicting the origin of the pilgrimage to Altötting using 5,000 figurines, most of them handmade. There are also a few curiosities to find, such as the Bavarian house of Wittelsbach, the former rulers, had their hearts buried in heart-shaped urns just opposite the black Madonna in the Gnadenkapelle, the main place of pilgrimage. Among those following the tradition was the so-called fairytale King Ludwig II. So, whoever visits the Christkindlmarkt can combine this visit with a programme full of culture, history and discovery. During the Christmas season, many retailers in Altötting exhibit small nativity scenes, a smaller scale counterpart to the life-sized nativity scene in the front of the Basilika St. Anna, a highlight especially among children who enjoy the living animals populating the crib. “Children can

also find a starlit sky installed in a Mongolian yurt and St. Nicholas visits the Christkindlmarkt every day at 5pm,” states Peetz about the daily programme. On the main stage, choirs and musicians from Altötting and the surrounding Chiemgau show their repertoire with concerts every day at 5pm and 7pm and additional concerts on the weekend at 2pm. But what makes Altötting so special for music lovers during Christmas time are the Advent concerts with renowned international musicians. “Those concerts are played in Altötting’s festively decorated churches, which simply creates an incredible atmosphere,” says Sabrina Peetz. Some of these concerts have a very long tradition; for 50 years now, every Saturday and Wednesday in Advent, a traditional Advent choral concert in the Alpine style is held in the Basilika St. Anna. Sabrina Peetz emphasises other cultural highlights. For three days, the Tyrolean

singer Oswald Sattler will enthuse his fans. The Altöttinger Kapellsingknaben, the boys’ choir, and the Mädchenkantorei, the girls’ choir, of the Basilika St. Anna are also among the highlights of this season. “Next to the big Advent concert, where traditionally an actor reads the Christmas story accompanied by music – this year actor Christian Wolff will take over this part – visitors can look forward to further highclass concerts,” says Peetz. More information can be found online or using the Christkindlmarkt Altötting App to have all the necessary information at hand when visiting the market. This year, the Christkindlmarkt runs from 25 November to 17 December.

Main image: The Christkindlmarkt. Below left, middle and right: The Christkindlmarkt. Bottom left: Crib in front of Basilika St. Anna. Bottom right: Advent concert at Basilika St. Anna.

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Magical Christmas Time

Golden autumn and festive season in the four-country region Mystic atmosphere, multifaceted experiences, golden glow: the combination of exciting and dreamy gives Konstanz, the largest city in the four-country region around Lake Constance, a special flair. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Lake Constance is worth a visit every season. It is unique throughout the entire year and is different every day. But when it becomes quieter, when the fog slowly drifts through the alleyways and across the lake, visitors who primarily seek relaxation and calm come to Lake Constance. But what exactly can visitors look forward to in autumn and winter around Lake Constance? Discover Germany tried to find out. 70  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

Astonishment and relaxation For the first time this year, autumnal cruises will take visitors on unique discovery tours on the water. Onshore, daily guided tours will take people of all ages 600 years back and onto a lively journey through the times of the Council of Constance. Furthermore, numerous top events will fascinate visitors and the picturesque city centre, with more than 400 special-

ist shops and the region’s largest LAGO shopping centre, offers a diverse shopping landscape. Last but not least, cosy cafés, restaurants and rustic wine taverns invite visitors to try regional delicacies in front of breath-taking panoramic views of the Alps, the lake or the quaint old town with its romantic alleys. Cultural enthusiasts will also find their fair share of things to do around Konstanz. For example, Germany’s oldest and permanently played theatre stage, which is still in use, the ‘Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie’ (Southwest German Philharmonic Orchestra) with new staging,

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Magical Christmas Time

visitors can learn more about the culture and history of Konstanz, the largest city in the four-country and Appenzell region. Moreover, a new island-hopping experience, hiking on the premium hiking trail ‘SeeGang’, romantic strolls along the waterside promenade, special markets, relaxing hours in the thermal bath, as well as impressive natural experiences on the flower island Mainau, give Konstanz a flair of southern mildness - even in autumn. 100,000 lights and 10,000 gift ideas For real connoisseurs, Konstanz is the perfect destination in the calm, romantic and festive season. Relaxation in the thermal bath, strolling through the snow-covered old town, enjoying a visit to the theatre or museum and taking a break from everyday life on the flower island Mainau: all of this (and more) is possible in Konstanz in the cold season.

Christmas Market on Lake Constance. Photo: © Achim Mende

the new ‘Bodenseeforum’ (forum of Lake Constance) with numerous events and Konstanz’s nightlife offer an inspiring cultural programme for young and old alike. Furthermore, in the city’s many museums, Constance Cathedral in winter. Photo: © Achim Mende

Konstanz’s Christmas Market is a highlight for many visitors. The Christmas ship with its 360-degree panorama bar, a two-storey Christmas tree tavern, the breath-taking panoramic views of the lake and Alps, as well as numerous more highlights distinguish Konstanz’s Christmas Market near the lake. No wonder that it belongs to Germany’s top Christmas markets. For example, GEO magazine counts it towards the top ten German Christmas markets and for the Best Christmas City 2016’s public ranking, the market was selected as spot 15.

Here, around 170 dealers and craftsmen invite for relaxing strolls, while 100,000 twinkling lights reflect on Lake Constance. The council rises majestically into the winter sky, fragrant delicacies invite for tasting sessions and the historic old town surprises with unique gift ideas. The market stands with their multifaceted offerings stretch from the historic old town to the harbour and the unique Christmas ship welcomes visitors with additional stands and the unique 360-degree panorama bar on its upper deck. Thus, if you want to experience a special Christmas season this year, filled with high-quality offerings of regional craftsmen, festive music and culinary delights from the four-country region, be sure to head to Konstanz. Scandinavian Christmas at Castle Mainau This winter, Scandinavian winter decorations, such as Nordic goblins and colourful, Swedish Dala horses, will welcome visitors to a cosy shopping world on the Mainau island. From 17 November to 11 February, DIY fans can look forward to hands-on activities that will bring them straight to the far north. A subsequent stroll through Mainau’s wintry park rounds off the exceptionally Scandi experience. ( EVENT HIGHLIGHTS - 1 November 2017: Autumnal cruises on Lake Constance  ( - 10 November 2017: St. Martin’s procession ( - 30 November to 22 December 2017: Christmas Market on Lake Constance   ( Practical tip: The winter packages of Konstanz’s hotels fascinate with special culinary, cultural and natural experience offers.

CONTACT Regio Konstanz Bodensee Hegau z.H. Marketing & Tourismus Konstanz GmbH Obere Laube 71 78462 Konstanz T: +49 (0)7531 13 30 0 F: +49 (0)7531 / 13 30 90

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Magical Christmas Time

Aquatic birds at Untersee. Photo: © Tourismus Untersee

Radolfzell. Photo: © Tourismus Stadtmarketing Radolfzell GmbH, Harald Wochner

Mettnau peninsula near Radolfzell on Lake Constance. Photo: © Tourismus Stadtmarketing Radolfzell GmbH

Untersee: a special nature adventure Untersee’s (or Lower Lake Constance’s) rich bird life can be appreciated throughout all seasons of the year. However, the Untersee does not only cater for bird lovers, but also has a great deal to offer when it comes to Christmas and the winter season. The extensive natural reserves that line the Untersee’s shores are known to be popular habitats for numerous bird species. Great crested grebes, reed warblers and other feathered specialists use the reeds as breeding grounds. Additionally, the nutrient-rich shallow water zones are sought-after wintering grounds for whooper swans, red-crested pochards and tens of thousands of other ducks. Furthermore, numerous migratory birds use the Untersee as a vital milestone. For those interested, the region offers an abundance of guided bird-watching tours and more. ( Of course, there are also many other great experiences to be enjoyed at the Untersee. Take the Magic Boat, for example. Here, visitors can experience a magical evening 72  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

Christkindle Market in Radolfzell. Photo: © Aktionsgemeinschaft Radolfzell

on a romantic Rhine cruise, a delicious three-course dinner and fantastic table magic. For the evening’s big finale, the magicians of the ‘Magical Ring Winterthur’ will bring visitors into the realm of magic for an hour. ( Advent in Radolfzell Advent in Radolfzell means the following: Lake Constance’s very first chocolate market, the traditional Christkindlmarkt, as well as daily activities from schools, kindergartens and clubs around the new Advent hut on the town’s Seetor square. Radolfzell’s Chocolate Market on the Untertor square will run from 23 to 25 November and will delight chocolate enthusiasts from all over. Here, chocolatiers will hold workshops and a diverse chocolate offering of pralines, sweets and creative chocolate creations will delight visitors. Another Advent highlight is the already mentioned Radolfzell Christkindlmarkt (7 to 10 December) on the second Advent weekend. On the market square and in the old town’s alleys, it impresses with over 80 stalls and exquisite, predominantly regional handicraft. (

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS - KrippenWelt Stein on the Rhine: Over 500 cribs are exhibited during the KrippenWelt Stein on the Rhine. ( - Observation meeting Hegne (11 December): Explore nature’s beauty and secrets under expert guidance, while watching shy birds in protected shallow water zones from the visitor platform. - Nature adventure Mettnauspitze (7 and 21 November, 12 December): Only in the autumn and winter months, one can explore the outer part of the Mettnau peninsula. Visit the small beach at Mettnau’s tip and experience a magnificent view across the lake. - Guided tour through Wollmating’s reedlands (all year, every first and third Sunday of the month): Five-kilometre-long tour through the natural reserve. Event calendar: - Ornithological observation meeting at Reichenau’s dam (26 November): Explore the beauty and secrets of nature without disturbing it. - Christmas market Allensbach (25 November): Idyllic Christmas market on Allensbach’s town hall square.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Magical Christmas Time

The Hegau: A great deal going on Bizarre volcanic formations, enchanting scents, legendary wells, imposing castles and beautiful riverscapes – this combination of a Southern German Tuscany and a mystical wonderland with many interesting events is well worth a visit in autumn and winter. For example, one of these interesting events will be held from 2 to 3 December. On the first Advent weekend, Engen’s Christmas Market will impress with a very special ambiance. The festive atmosphere of the festively decorated old town enchants visitors from the entire region and also Switzerland. The numerous vendors will sell Christmast decorations and cute gift ideas at their stalls, while the scent of mulled wine and baked goods will get even the biggest Grinch into that much-needed Christmas spirit. Behind the town church, a crib with live animals will delight young and old alike and St. Nicholas and ‘Knecht Ruprecht’ will en-

dow children with small presents. Furthermore, night guards announce “what time it is” at different times and in different places – a spectacle not to be missed. ( Another highlight that should not be missed is Singen’s ‘Hüttenzauber’ (cottage magic) from 1 to 23 December. This year, once again, over 50,000 individual lights and fairy lights transform the Hoh garden into a sparkling and bright sea of lights and enchant visitors of all ages. With varied programme focusses and diverse topics, a broad target group can be addressed and an exciting programme and imaginative installations especially impress children. Atmospherically illuminated areas and high-quality worlds of experiences and culinary treats invite for extensive relaxation. ( For more information on the many events and the region, please visit the following website.

The Hegau. Photo: © Hegau Tourismus

The Hegau. Photo: © Hegau Tourismus

The Hegau. Photo: © Hegau Tourismus

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Magical Christmas Time

Have a beautiful Christmas Almost without warning, it is that time of the year when we start embellishing our houses with our favourite Christmas-themed accessories. Ino Schaller papiermâché manufacture specialises in decorative figurines for the festive seasons and may be the answer to all ‘deco-holics’ and collectors out there who cannot wait to decorate their homes with the proper seasonal accessories. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: INO SCHALLER

Based in Neustadt near Coburg, Ino Schaller is a long-established family business that was founded in 1894 by Carl Schaller, the great-grandfather of current owner Thomas Schaller, who runs the business in the fourth generation. “Contrary to our competitors’ products, our figurines are entirely ‘Made in Germany’ and thus a guarantor for the highest level of craftsmanship,” stresses Schaller. “All of our products are hand-cast and painted by highly qualified artists.” Family ties are strong within the Schaller family and, as reminiscence to said founder Carl Schaller, all Santas produced today are still cast in the original moulds. Some 74  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

are even still designed in the same way as their 19th-century predecessors. It is attention to small details that make Ino Schaller’s figurines so popular. The lovingly handcrafted figurines are partially decorated with natural products like goose quills or fur, and enhanced by precious materials like Swarovski crystals, which gives them a particularly original touch. Love for detail, superb craftsmanship as well as the adoring design not only make the figurines highly sought-after collectibles, but the family business an important and successful global player. Ino Schaller’s figurines travel widely and are sold in France, Switzerland, Russia,

or even Canada and Australia. “Our main market is the US American market,” observes Schaller. Luxury department stores like Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and similar big names count among Ino Schaller’s customers and speak of the high regard that is also shown internationally towards Ino Schaller’s products. So, if you are still looking for the right Christmas mood, look out for Ino Schaller’s figurines. They are sure to grant you and your loved ones a very merry Christmas!

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Magical Christmas Time Photo: © Hässelbarth & Freunde

More Christmas than ever before This year, Christmas time in Düsseldorf will get an entirely new meaning: visitors can look forward to more Christmas market fun than ever and a special ice experience will delight young and old alike in the centre of the Königsallee shopping mile. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: DÜSSELDORF TOURISMUS GMBH

Just in time for the most beautiful time of the year, Düsseldorf puts forward many atmospheric novelties. From 23 November to 30 December – longer than ever – Düsseldorf’s Christmas Market will invite visitors to numerous exciting Christmas worlds in the city centre. Besides the opening time extension, two new features are especially worth mentioning: the 1,700-square-metre-large ice-skating rink with exceptional culinary offerings on Cornelius square and the new ‘fairytale market’ on Schadow square. Here, elaborate scenes from the popular Grimm fairy tales, some of them animated, will impressively decorate the market stalls’ roofs. Of course, visitors can also look forward to Düsseldorf’s Christmas Market classics. In front of the city hall, the historical artisan market invites visitors to gaze at exceptional

handicraft and a ‘heavenly atmosphere’ can be experienced on the angel market at the Heinrich-Heine-square. However, Düsseldorf has even more markets on offer, such as the idyllical star market in the WilhelmMarx-Haus’ courtyard or the cosy stalls on the old town’s Flinger Street. If you prefer to experience the festive hustle and bustle from above, why not head to the ‘Wheel of Vision’ on the Burgplatz square? Until January, it will reveal spectacular views across the Rhine and the Christmas city. If you are still searching for some Christmas presents, be sure to head to Düsseldorf’s city centre where attractive shopping opportunities and a unique Christmas experience are beautifully combined. Whether it is the Kö-Bogen, the Königsallee with its many international brands and regional retailers, the Schadow street with numer-

ous department stores and smaller shops, or the old town and the Carlstadt district which many boutiques and local designers call their home, everyone will find their perfect shopping match here. In Flingern and Bilk, two districts bordering the city centre, numerous fashion and jewellery designers, small cafés and restaurants invite for extensive relaxation, rummaging and – of course - shopping. Additionally, all shops in the city centre will be open from 1pm to 6pm on Sunday 10 December for Christmas present shopping. christmas-market The Christmas market will be closed on 26 November and on 24 and 25 December. SPECIAL OFFER Book Düsseldorf Tourismus GmbH’s hotel package for a relaxing Christmas experience: one overnight stay in a double room, including breakfast - 65 euros per person. The Düsseldorf Card for buses and trains, as well as more discounts and a Düsseldorf info pack with a guidebook round off the hotel package.

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Magical Christmas Time

Ice rink at the Kaiser-Wilhelms-Bad. Photo: © Christian Metzler

Bad Homburg’s enchanted Christmas You may have been to Frankfurt am Main. But have you heard of its charming neighbour Bad Homburg? Well, you should! Just minutes away from downtown Frankfurt lies a multifaceted jewel with a great deal to offer.

well-kept gardens. Take a museum tour and enjoy a hot chilli-chocolate in the charming castle café or chocolate store close by.


Bad Homburg may not be as big as Frankfurt am Main, but nestled within the beautiful countryside of the Taunus Mountains, with the UNESCO World Heritage Site LIMES and its Saalburg Castle right at its backyard, Bad Homburg not only is a historic gem but also a modern spa town that beautifully links old tradition and modernity.

emperors paid regular visits to the spa town they had elected as their summer residence. Famous poets like Hölderlin, Goethe, Gogol, Eliot, Stephenson or Oscar Wilde were regular visitors and the famous Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky even used a game of roulette played in Bad Homburg’s famous casino as material for his opus The Gambler.

Celebrities in Bad Homburg

Things to do

Bad Homburg’s charm has never eluded the rich, famous and beautiful. Many years ago, Bad Homburg was visited regularly by European gentry and crowned heads in search of divertissement and respite from their busy lives. The German

Climb the top of Bad Homburg castle’s White Tower and overlook the old town, the Taunus hills and get a glimpse of Frankfurt’s impressive skyline. Soak in the spirit of former times when kings and landgraves strolled down the paths at the

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The sweeping Kurpark, laid out in 1854 by the grand landscape gardener Peter Joseph Lenné, and its mineral springs invite for pleasant and relaxing strolls through historic Bad Homburg. The impressive Kaiser-Wilhelms-Bad, built in 1890, had already been visited by the Prince of Wales and former Reichskanzler (Chancellor) Otto von Bismarck. Today it is home to the luxury Kur-Royal Day Spa, an ideal place to spend an idle spa day in perfect relaxation. As a guest of the modern spa you can discover the Sand Light Bath or the Hay Steam Bath, for example. Quaint cafés and restaurants satisfy the tastes of even the most critical gourmets. Small and charming little specialist shops

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Magical Christmas Time

as well as big brands like Boss, Baldessarini or Michael Kors are sure to grant shopaholics fabulous catches. Culture enthusiasts can expect a diverse programme from fine art galleries and exhibitions to theatre or vibrant concerts at unique settings. Classical or jazzy tunes, swing, pop or rock music? Bad Homburgs cultural calendar is bursting with musical events of all genres. Within ‘Bad Homburg’s summer’ special there is a magical highlight taking place each year. At the Klassiknacht in Weiß (White Night of Classic), people all clad in white gather in the candle-lit Kurpark and celebrate the warm, mellow nights of summer with Champagne, canapés, nibbles and classical music in front of the Kaiser-Wilhelms-Bad. Highlights of 2018 In 2018, numerous very special attractions are awaiting Bad Homburg’s visitors. The Rallye Monte Carlo Historique is one of the most famous Oldtimer Rallyes and, at the end of January, Bad Homburg’s city centre will be the starting point for numerous Oldtimer-Racing

Cars. The Bad Homburg festivals are loved by visitors and Homburgers alike. There is the Boom! Design Festival at the end of April that is serving all kinds of self-made products and music. The Poesie & Literaturfestival (Festival for Poetry and Literature) invites visitors to a variety of readings held by some of the most prestigious players of German theatre, film and writer’s scene. There is the much loved Bad Homburger Sommer that provides outdoor festival fans with theatre, opera and musical events for every taste taking place in the lovely parks and public places all over Bad Homburg. The Christmas town Bad Homburg While the spa town is vibrant in the warm months from April until October, the rather chilly season lets you experience the cosy charm of winter in Bad Homburg. The pre-Christmas period starts at the beginning of November with the so-called Stadl, a rustic wooden chalet set up in front of the Kurhaus, where you may enjoy a hearty meal, pretzels as well as one (or two) pints of tasty beer.

‘Bad Homburger Sommer’. Photo: © Johannes Elze

Test your skating or Bavarian curling skills in one of the regions’ most romantic ice rinks, which is set up right in the centre of the Kurpark between the impressive Kaiser-Wilhelms-Bad and the Casino. The traditionalists will be glad to hear of the Romantic Christmas Market, which is located around Bad Homburg’s castle and the White Tower. At lovingly decorated, Christmas-themed stalls you may buy beautiful presents for your loved ones at home or enjoy the famous German Glühwein (mulled wine) in an enchanted Christmassy surrounding. A path of lights and stars leads you from one attraction to the other. Feel the spirit of Christmas while wandering through the town of Bad Homburg. If you would rather spend those crispy winter nights indoors, Bad Homburg invites you to a variety of literary readings, Christmasthemed concerts, ballet performances of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as performances of a Christmas Fairytale. Can you think of a better way to celebrate the festive season? The luxury Kur-Royal Day Spa. Photo: © Johannes Elze

Bad Homburg winter. Photo: © Priedemuth

Tasty chilli-chocolate. Photo: © Nina Gerlach

Christmas market. Photo: © Bad Homburg

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Magical Christmas Time

Enjoying some mulled wine. Photo: © Romana Dombrowski

The light market St. Lamberti.

Münster’s Christmas markets

Advent in Münster – a winter fairy tale When the Prinzipalmarkt takes on a golden radiance, the archways are embellished with Advent wreaths, the smell of mulled wine and roasted almonds flows through the streets and the stores are festively decorated, Münster’s probably most beautiful season begins: from 27 November to 23 December, five Christmas markets will open their doors and transform Münster’s old town into a winter fairy tale. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  |  PHOTOS: WWW.AIR-KLICK.DE

Only a few walking minutes away from each other, the markets invite for cosy Christmas strolls. Under a romantic lightfilled sky, the oldest and largest Christmas market can be found on and around the town hall’s courtyard. Here, exceptional jewellery pieces, arts and craft and numerous culinary offerings are showcased. At the foot of the mighty St. Lamberti Church and surrounded by historic arc houses, the light market St. Lamberti impresses with blue pointed roof stalls and a 20-metre-high Christmas tree. Indulgence and tradition are combined on the rustic stands of the cosy Christmas village that can be found around the monument of Münster’s Kiepenkerl.

derful view across the illuminated steeples of the Münster Cathedral, the Giebelhüüskes Market opens its doors with great handicraft and special delicacies.

The Aegidii Christmas Market presents itself as especially family-friendly. A beautiful crib and a six-metre-high, richly decorated wooden pyramid makes children’s eyes shine. In front of the medieval walls of the Überwasserkirche and with a won-

Special tip

Room for meditative moments can be found in the many churches. Concerts and top-class exhibitions in Münster’s museums cater for the cultural side programme. Furthermore, informative Advent tours give insights into Münster’s history and traditions. Childcare offering in the Maxi-Tower (Prinzipalmarkt 15) offers children that are from four to ten years old the alternative programme to their parent’s relaxing Christmas stroll (Monday to Friday: 2pm to 6pm, Saturday: 10am to 6pm).

30 buildings from the 17th to 19th century, as well as festively decorated wooden huts ( Extraordinary highlights Why not visit the opening ceremony with mayor Markus Lewe and the ‘6-Zylinder’ in front of the St. Lamberti Church on 27 November at 5pm? The well-known acapella group will sing parts of their Der Schweinachtsmann musical. Furthermore, a large Advent singing event will take place on the illuminated Prinzipalmarkt with Team Rauterberg on 10 December at 4.30pm. Annually, hundreds of people gather here to sing cult and classic songs like Last Christmas or Silent Night together. Opening hours of the Christmas markets: Sunday – Thursday: 11am - 8pm Friday – Saturday: 11am – 9pm Facebook: Instagram: @exploremuenster #adventinmuenster Website:

Giebelhüüskes Market.

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A special Christmas market with a great deal of nostalgia takes place in the historic open-air museum of Mühlenhof on the second and third Advent weekend. Here, visitors can look forward to around

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


Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Feature

Main image: Marzipan figures Niederegger Museum.  Photo: © Wibke Carter


Top left: Worker at marzipan factory.  Photo: © J. G. Niederegger GmbH & Co KG Top right: Marzipan. Photo: © Erasmi & Carstens GmbH & Co. KG

From Lübeck with love Once the preserve of the wealthy and the powerful, today the confectionary from Lübeck is available for everyone. Famous around the world, the sweet delicacy does not originate in northern Germany though. But it was perfected here. TEXT: WIBKE CARTER

Ask a German where marzipan is from and the answer will unquestionably be Lübeck. No other place is so closely associated with the almond sweet than the town on the Baltic Sea where five companies still produce what literature Nobel Prize winner Thomas Mann once described as ‘harem confectionery’. Historians trace the origins of marzipan back to the orient in the ninth century, but whether or not locals in northern Germany knew of it in 1407, when a famine ravished Lübeck, is not known. Food lore claims that starving residents turned almond remains and sugar, found in the port city’s warehouses, into almond meal, moulded it into loaves and distributed this 80  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

‘Mark bread’, or Marci panis, to the needy on St. Mark’s Day. In 1530, the word ‘Martzapaen’ was mentioned in Lübeck’s guild-rolls for the first time. Initially, only apothecaries were allowed to trade with sugar and spices and it was not until confectionery became a trade in its own right that others were allowed to also produce marzipan. At first, it was only Europe’s nobility, amongst them German emperors and Russian czars, who were able to indulge in marzipan. It took until the beginning of the 19th century before ordinary citizens were able to enjoy it as sugar became more affordable thanks to new extraction practices from sugar beet.

Bottom left: Old advertising with Queen Elizabeth I for marzipan.  Photo: © J. G. Niederegger GmbH & Co KG Bottom right: Marzipan by Niederegger.  Photo: © J. G. Niederegger GmbH & Co KG

It is estimated that in 1800 around 135 marzipan producers, mostly pastry shops, were active in Lübeck and in 1806, Niederegger confectionary, the oldest manufacturer still in existence, opened its doors. Around 1900, there were 29 marzipan makers in town, but today only a handful are left. Although marzipan is widely produced in Germany, since July 1996 ‘Lübecker Marzipan’ has been registered in the European Union (EU) as a ‘protected designation of geographical origin’ like Gouda cheese or sparkling wine from Champagne. So what distinguishes ‘Lübecker Marzipan’? The basic elements of marzipan products are marzipan paste and sugar. It is the ratio of these raw materials that primarily determines the flavour, and each producer keeps his secret. Legislation permits products marketed as marzipan to have a ratio as low as 50 parts marzipan paste to 50 parts sugar. But both types of

Discover Germany  |  Travel Feature  |  From Lübeck With Love

local marzipan have a much higher proportion of almonds. Lübeck marzipan has a ratio of at least 70 parts marzipan paste and 30 parts sugar, and Lübeck fine marzipan has a ratio of 90 parts marzipan paste and ten parts sugar. In former times, the production of marzipan was a strenuous and troublesome job at the grinding stone, but these days most products, except the very high-quality ones, are produced industrially. After harvest and transport, the almonds are first shelled by machine, then subjected to visual checks to ensure any contaminants and traces of shell are picked out before the almonds are made into a paste, combined with sugar, and placed into copper cauldrons for roasting. This process also removes excess moisture from the paste, which is next placed in ‘cooling boats’.

Next, the marzipan is shaped to the desired form (for example loaves, hearts, sweets, figures etc.) and, depending on product, filled and chocolate-coated. Finally, the products are packaged by machine or, as is customary in the case of the figures, skilfully painted by hand using food colouring, and then packaged. While Niederegger, which exports to 40 countries and employs around 500 people, is Lübeck’s best-known marzipan maker, there are others like Erasmi & Carstens or boutique producer Mest who specialises in organic ingredients and unusual flavours like garlic marzipan. It is impossible to ignore the sweet temptations while in town. The Niederegger Marzipanerie is awash with 300 different chocolate-covered, glazed or decorated

specialties along with classic marzipan in the shape of bread or the famous marzipan hearts, fine chocolates, sweet liqueurs, hot drinks and seasonal extras. The upstairs Marzipan Salon explains the history and science behind marzipan, displays some of the ancient tools used for grinding almonds, and a dozen life-size figures from the confection’s history as well as some famous Lübeck buildings like the Buddenbrook House and Holsten Gate, completely made from marzipan. In the Marzipan Speicher, located on Lübeck’s picturesque Trave River, rich marzipan cake is on offer on the second-floor café and sweeter marzipan can be bought in a wide variety of shapes and products.

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  81


The DACH region’s innovators On the following pages, find out what the country of Germany and Austria can offer on the business front. PHOTOS: PIXABAY

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Exclusive Business Profiles

Compliance management

– an early-warning system for companies AGAMON Consulting GmbH located in Berlin helps mid-sized companies to implement reliable risk and compliance management systems. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS  |  PHOTOS: AGAMON CONSULTING GMBH

In Germany, the governmental supervision of companies has been significantly intensified lately. This also applies to controlling the activities of firms in other countries. While some infringements used to pass off as trivial offences in the past, the same rights violations will lead to severe punishments today. Since the modern business world is in constant change and the German jurisdiction is very complex, companies easily run the risk of violating certain compliances. Especially medium-sized companies might unintentionally violate compliances. Therefore, AGAMON Consulting GmbH located in Berlin provides advice particularly to mid-sized firms. By implementing a risk and compliance management system that is individually tailored to the companies’ needs, AGAMON Consulting offers extensive protection against all kinds of risks. Established in 2008, the consulting firm is a network consisting of consultants who have more than 20 years of experience.

ny, which also leads to the reduction of costs as a positive side effect. Secondly, AGAMON Consulting provides advice on how to set up and implement efficient management systems. “In doing so, we have specialised in risk and compliance management – two fields which are closely connected with each other,” says Achauer. Risk management covers all kinds of possible risks a company might face, including for example economic and political risks, as well as market, product, and foreign exchange risks. Meanwhile, compliance management focuses on guaranteeing regulatory compliance, while also involving the existing business

culture. In order to implement any of these management systems, it is necessary to closely work on the business processes of a company: “For this reason, we help to set up both systems within one holistic project,” Achauer states. Since AGAMON Consulting is accredited to the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control, the consulting firm can also apply for federal aid intended for clients who conduct a Compliance Audit. “The Compliance Audit is a special product we developed,” Achauer explains. It enables our clients to quickly determine their organisational capabilities and offers recommended courses of action. “With these strategies, we always try to achieve the optimum for all of our clients.”

“Most people think that criminal energy is the main reason for compliance violations, but in fact, it is ignorance,” says managing director Eckart Achauer. In 2014, AGAMON Consulting conducted a study which clearly proved that many employees are not familiar with specific requirements. As a result, the risk of violating compliances is disproportionally high.“The only solution is to consequently inform employees and to make them aware of all aspects regarding compliance,” Achauer explains. The AGAMON Consulting team is the perfect partner for this task. Firstly, the experts help to optimise organisational structures and processes within a compa-

Right: Eckart Achauer, managing director of AGAMON Consulting GmbH.

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Exclusive Business Profiles

Top: The new device ‘Atmosphere’. Right: Easy Master.

A vision of hope Austrian company €cosys is a pioneer in developing technology to protect the climate and save energy and resources in the industrial sector together with their partner HMI-Master. With an innovative approach, they raise awareness for the atmosphere and are committed to sustaining our planet’s eco-system. Their remarkable work is certainly something we can all get behind. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: €COSYS, HMI-MASTER

It is no secret that our environment needs us to change our habits if we want it to be sustainable. The two partners, Manfred Lobenwein from hardware and software firm HMI-Master and Albert Jocham from €cosys, help enable the change we need. Their exciting new innovation is a device called ‘Atmosphere’, an energy-saving system for the industrial sector and factories. As the name suggests, it is dedicated to our vulnerable atmosphere. “Invisible, scentless and volatile – that is how the atmosphere surrounds our planet. It allows us to breathe, protects us from unhealthy radiation and regulates our lives through climate. However, we are diligently and globally pumping crude oil into the atmosphere and by that we are changing the climate. Ice caps are melting, vegetation 84  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

zones are shifting, the weather becomes more dynamic and we are starting to feel it more frequently,” explains Jocham. The brand-new device ‘Atmosphere’ links weather data with sensors in the factories. When the employees leave their work place, the eco-systems automatically turn off lights, heating, air compressors and many other energy-using applications. Jocham adds: “The savings are on average around ten to 15 per cent of energy, costs and emissions: Energy efficiency and climate protection completely automated. ‘Atmosphere’ also gives factories identification with climate protection and the opportunity to show their achievement for our climate publicly.” ‘Atmosphere’ will be officially launched on the

16 November during the UN climate conference COP23 in the Austrian Showcase at the Bonn Marriott World Conference centre. Another exciting team project by €cosys and HMI-Master is the software ‘Easy-Master’. As Lobenwein explains: “It intelligently manages all linked devices of a building and hence it saves resources such as gas, water, electricity and heating fuel.” From blinds to solar technology and photovoltaic processes, the software regulates it automatically and, more importantly, efficiently. “It is easy to customise the software to the individual requirements,” he adds. “With the free Easy-Master app, available for all operating systems, it is child’s play to manage all projects.” It certainly cannot get any easier to help protecting our climate. What are you waiting for?

Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Solicitor Column


The British press, government, business and public were up in arms and not so quietly indignant the other week when the US Department of Commerce imposed punitive tariffs of more than 219 per cent on Bombardier C-Series aircraft as a result of a preliminary ruling by the US International Trade Commission (USITC). The background to this story is that Canadian manufacturer Bombardier received a large order for this type of aircraft (partially designed and manufactured in Northern Ireland) from US airline Delta. Its competitor Boeing then launched a complaint to the US authorities, alleging that Bombardier receives state subsidies which enable it to offer aircraft at artificially low prices. I have previously talked in this column about the politics of law and there can be few examples where this is more a case in point than here. Let’s be clear about one thing: this whole episode is not about upholding the rule of law but about national self-interests and (a lot of) money. Not surprisingly, UK defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon promptly warned Boeing that it “could jeopardise” its chances of securing government contracts; as it happens, Boeing is still looking to complete a large contract with the MoD for the delivery of Apache attack helicopters. There are a few more background facts that are worth savouring for a moment: as is always the case with tariffs, they

will make the affected product more expensive for the (in this case American) customer. Furthermore, Boeing did not directly lose out because it did not compete with Bombardier for the Delta contract, which rather suggests that this is more about competition in other aircraft segments than concerns about state aid. This dispute rather illustrates that trade sanctions in a globally intertwined economy more often than not can end up with the complainant cutting its nose to spite its face. Following the preliminary ruling, the case will now proceed before the USITC; its determinations can be appealed to the US Court of International Trade and, because this case involves Canada, and Canada is a member of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), before a NAFTA disputes panel. Ultimately, the government of Canada could even pursue a case against the US at the World Trade Organisation. There is one thing that should make the UK government rather wary of what has happened: if the US are meant to be the country’s new best friend and free trade partner, the imposition of punitive tariffs on a product partially manufactured by a key employer in Northern Ireland is surely not a good start to the new relationship. Oh, and one last thing: for the time being, and until Brexit, external trade is a matter for the EU, rather than

the UK government, and the EU has in the past indicated that it will respond to US punitive tariffs in kind. It is a lot easier to stand up to the bullies if you have 27 friends at your side.

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 56  |  November 2017  |  85

S P E C I A L T H E M E : M E D I C A & C O M PA M E D 2 0 1 7

Meet the world’s medical technology experts From 13 to 16 November, Düsseldorf will become a meeting point for high-tech solutions and medical technology experts. The two trade fairs COMPAMED and MEDICA, which will run parallel to each other, are the world’s largest medical trade fairs, devoted to trending subjects and innovations with over 5,000 exhibitors. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: MESSE DÜSSELDORF/CTILLMANN

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  MEDICA & COMPAMED 2017

According to the trade fair’s website, the number of health sector workers in Germany increased to more than seven million for the first time in 2016. The industrial side of the healthcare sector alone now employs a good 900,000 people. However, the healthcare sector is experiencing rapid change. Thus, MEDICA, the world's leading medical trade fair, will be embracing this dynamic with the presentation of new products by more than 5,000 exhibitors from 68 countries and by devoting the accompanying conferences and expert conferences to it. To give you an idea of how many visitors can be expected in 2017: a whopping 127,800 trade visitors from 135 countries visited MEDICA and COMPAMED last year. MEDICA This year’s MEDICA trade fair will put special emphasis on the rapid change the medical industry is currently experiencing. Thus, ‘networking’ and ‘artificial intelligence’ become increasingly important terms. The trade fair will provide professionals with the opportunity of gaining insights into all of these developments

– through presentations, talks, exhibitors’ products, workshops and much more. Electromedical equipment, ‘wearables’, robots, medical imaging innovations, eHealth applications, molecular pathology or microbiology are further topics that will be extensively covered this year. COMPAMED The leading international medical technology supplier trade fair COMPAMED will run parallel to MEDICA in halls 8a and 8b on all four days (13 to 16 November). Here, more than 750 exhibitors will showcase what the future of medical progress looks like. Whether product development, production, marketing or showcasing a range of innovative parts, cutting-edge equipment and technologies for medical instruments, COMPAMED is definitely worth a visit. Highlights this year include so-called ‘wearables’. The best-known wearables are those used for sports watches or fitness wristbands, but COMPAMED will showcase many more options. Furthermore, raw materials will play a crucial role at this year’s fair.

Date: 13 - 16 November 2017,   Monday to Thursday Opening hours: 10am - 6pm

Meet some of this year’s innovative COMPAMED and MEDICA exhibitors and their impressive products in our special theme on the following pages.

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  87

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  MEDICA & COMPAMED 2017

Left: This picture from the 1960s shows much has happened at medi. Right: The manufacturer of health products with headquarters in the Bavarian city of Bayreuth.

Feel better – with medi medi is one of the leading manufacturers of a comprehensive range of supply concepts and medical aids such as compression stockings, supports, orthoses and orthopaedic insoles to name but a few. With over 65 years of experience, medi is an established international player exporting in over 90 countries and maintains a wide global network of own branches and distributors. But back in the day it all started with Wolfgang Weihermüller risking his freedom when he crossed the border from East Germany to the West.

elastic medical mediven stocking. In 1975, WeCo already manufactured the compression stockings in an appealing transparent design. This synergy between health and aesthetics turned into the solid base for developing the products, which would become internationally successful - made by these health pioneers in Bavaria.


What would you take with you if you were to break free from the chains of East Germany? For medi-founder Wolfgang Weihermüller, it was an easy yet unusual choice. During a night in 1951, he crossed the inner-German border near Rudolphstein with a backpack full of parts of a valuable knitting machine. In crossing the green border Weihermüller risked going to jail for many years, but he successfully made it to Bayreuth. He brought his knowledge gained at his parental hosiery and corsetry manufactory back in Saxon Pausa to West Germany. Over 88  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

there, Weihermüller founded the company WeCo together with his cousin Günter Voigtmann. They did not have much seed capital to begin with: only three knitting machines and the knowledge of how to knit with elastic bands. But it turned out that this was all they needed to start their production of medical stockings in a former ballroom.

In 1982, Weihermüller’s sons took on the US market and opened their first international branch over there and the company has been expanding further ever since. Today the family business is run in the third generation. It goes without saying that today medi’s craftsmanship has evolved from its traditional roots to smart hightech products using top modern production facilities and innovative materials.

Back then, the motto was to question existing methods and that is still the pillar of today’s mission at medi. Following that credo, WeCo revolutionised the compression therapy with the first seamless highly

Whether customers suffer from back pain, a torn ligament during a gym session, skewed, sunken or splayed feet or slow-healing wounds that often come with diabetes, the products and therapy

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  MEDICA & COMPAMED 2017

concepts can help with many issues. The wide range of products are available in almost any German specialist medical store and in over 90 countries worldwide. But medi did not stop with the traditional health products. The passion and innovative drive to continuously develop and improve the products keeps opening new lines of business. Ten years ago, the team at medi realised the performanceenhancing effect of compressions. Thus, the sports brand CEP was born, which is an absolute pioneer in its field. Today medi’s sportswear is represented at every marathon or city run.

Medical compression stockings activate tired veins. Venous diseases are widespread. Frequent causes are a lack of exercise and being overweight. Designs made of Swarovski®crystals* turn the stockings into an absolute eye-catcher. medi also offers vitalising compression stockings for people without vein problems, which are great during travel or work. They relax the legs and they feel lighter and fitter. * Swarovski is a registered trademark of Swarovski AG.

The glamorous world of modelling might not be the first thing you connect with compression stockings, but medi simply demonstrated the positive effects of compressions and received a warm welcome. With its quality stockings and shapewear collections by ITEM m6, medi established itself firmly in the beauty and wellness sector. Thanks to co-operations with well-known designers, the body-shaping products conquered the catwalks of the fashion capitals across the globe effortlessly. An important factor of the company’s success is its highly motivated and qualified employees. Thanks to their daily hard work, medi can supply premium-quality aids featuring innovative designs with a comprehensive service for customers and partners. Between regional commitment and thinking globally, the spirit to always question the status quo in order to achieve new goals unites all humans.

Our miraculous joints where high forces are at work. The supports by medi relieve the joints during many activities whilst looking super trendy. The top performers of the medi bayreuth basketball players (medi is main and name sponsor) as well as professional alpinist Stephan Siegrist trust in the medi products.

medi CEO Stefan Weihermüller stands by his region: “We are expanding our production and logistic division in Bayreuth. We see our company’s future very clearly at that location and we want to continue with the strong quality feature ‘Made in Germany’.” For more information, please visit the following websites.

Orthopaedic insoles by medi can help with many medical conditions. They support the arches of the feet and hence improve the posture. Thanks to special stimulations elements, which are fitted individually during therapy, selected muscles are activated exactly where they are needed. medi Footcare counts on the smart features of carbon. It is a light, flexible and extremely stabile material, which stands out because of its low tare weight and a comfortable fit.

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  89

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  MEDICA & COMPAMED 2017

The desire for cocooning – top-range noise protection for open spaces When the futurologist Faith Popcorn coined the term ‘cocooning’ in 1981, she understood it as the individual’s retreat into a private space from an external world that is perceived as stressful. Today, similar retreat tendencies can also be observed in modern office worlds’ open spaces. TEXT & PHOTOS: ROPIMEX R. OPEL GMBH, TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF

As favourable as fostered communication in an open-plan office might be for teamwork – it also has a high price tag: it leads to overstimulation and thus influences the productivity of the individual. After all, who does not get distracted by constant phone calls and conversations in the background and – whether we intend to or not – inevitably listen to them with one ear? In such moments, probably everyone wishes one thing: to curl up into a ball to be able to work in peace. DIVI put.on: modular sound and sight protection Keeping cocooning’s requirements in mind, the manufacturer Ropimex from Saarland developed an entirely new, modular sound and sight protection system: DIVI put.on. It comprises cubes in the following formats: 80 x 40 x 9.4 centimetres or 40 x 40 x 9.4 centimetres. They are solely connected with adjustable feet and 90  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

top panels made from aluminium, as well as plug connectors. While being fully configurable, the modules form a stable union when being placed on top of or next to each other and as offset arrangements. The best noise insulation requirements: A-class absorber 100 per cent polyester-acoustic-fleece in a cover made from two-millimetrestrong, 100 per cent wool felt ensures a sound absorption level of αω=1,00 – an exceptional level that is achieved when the cubes are used as a wall panel, as well as a partition wall. Adaptability for modern office life: like this today, different tomorrow While it is very easy to disassemble and assemble the lightweight cubes for one person, the system is also reconfigurable in no time. Each of the large modules do not weigh more than 2.65 kilogrammes, the

small ones a mere 1.35 kilogrammes. Thus, the modular system can be used in many different ways - consistent to the everchanging requirements of modern office life: as room divider in open spaces, as VIP lounge in the foyer or as a beautifully designed eyecatcher at trade fairs and conferences. With the sound and sight protection system DIVI put.on, one is able to create private, shielded off work islands – and also always an eyecatcher - in open spaces. Wide range of colours: large scope for creative design 11 standard colours that can also be combined with each other, secure great design freedom. Additionally, special colours and two-tone designs are available for inner and outer surfaces.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  MEDICA & COMPAMED 2017

Where tradition meets the future With over 90 years of experience, STEINCO is an established expert for castors and wheels. The products are applicable to any mobile equipment and feature modern technology. The successful merge of tradition and innovation has brought STEINCO many prestigious prizes such as the Red Dot Award. STEINCO offers a wide range of wheels, castors, machined components and quick release couplings, all produced at one of their four manufacturing sites. “The vertical range of manufacture of 95 per cent allows us to respond quickly to our customers’ individual requirements and remain flexible,” explains managing director Michael Pesch. “Hence we are able to realise tailormade solutions. The majority of our customers currently come from the sectors of medical engineering and aircraft technology, but in general any mobile equipment can benefit from our products.” Always pioneering in their field, STEINCO has patented many new designs. One of the bestsellers are their twin wheels

and the team behind STEINCO is already thinking about the future of the wheel. Even this special field is slowly becoming digitised and at this year’s MEDICA, held in Düsseldorf, STEINCO will present its first product in line with this new development – a worldwide innovation. “Highly trained staff, investing huge resources into training young people and the continuous self-improvement of our employees are a given at STEINCO,”Pesch adds with a warm smile. “Because aside from innovation, automation and digitisation, the human being is irreplaceable in order to achieve the top quality STEINCO represents for almost a century.”


STEINCO building in Wermelskirchen.

Twin wheels and Airliner.

Components for a strong knowledge base The requirements for the medical technology industry are growing – and so is Tuttlingen-based Medical Mountains AG’s range of advanced training offerings: in 2018, the programme will comprise around 100 one-off events and six certificate courses. Registration is possible as of now.

tablished courses. Companies appreciate this specific know-how – and thus, the graduates have great chances to move forward in the industry.


Situated in the Weltzentrum der Medizintechnik (World Centre of Medical Technology), continuous learning is an obligation in an industry that is subject to fast-moving and fundamental change. “The more complex the requirements become, the more solid and broader the knowledge base of executives and employees needs to be,” emphasises Medical Mountains’ executive board Yvonne Glienke. “Our training offering provides the perfect components for this.” Currently, companies especially have to deal with regulatory questions concerning the new European Medical Device Regulation, authorisation procedures, as well as quality, risk and process management. These topics are as part of the ad-

vanced training offerings as management, marketing or purity of medical devices. Medical Mountains’ certificate courses enjoy a good reputation as extraoccupational qualifications nationwide. In 2018, the courses ‘Quality Assistant Medical Engineering’ and ‘Specialist Operational Quality Assurance Production’ will complement the four, already-es-

The current training catalogue is available at For more information, or call +49 (0) 7461 / 969721-0.

Left: The participants of the ‘Regulatory Affairs Manager’ course complete two exams to receive the sought-after certificate. Photo: Medical Mountains, Meinrad Kempf Right: Yvonne Glienke, executive board of Medical Mountains AG. Photo: Medical Mountains, Michael Kienzler

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  91

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Medica & Compamed 2017

KARL STORZ headquarters in Tuttlingen.

Quality for the surgeon

– Medical devices made by KARL STORZ

To provide surgeons in operating theatres with innovative and high-quality devices is KARL STORZ’s core mission. The southern German family business KARL STORZ was founded in Tuttlingen in 1945 and since then has become one of the market leaders in the field of endoscopy and minimally invasive surgery. The company is still led by members of the founding family: Dr h. c. mult. Sybill Storz and Karl-Christian Storz, the founder’s daughter and grandson, represent the second and third generation of company leaders, responsible for success, global growths and more than 7,500 employees. TEXT: KARL STORZ, TRANSLATION: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: KARL STORZ

Endoscopy or keyhole surgery, as it is commonly called, has in recent decades made a multitude of operations far easier on patients. Instead of using large incisions, the medical instruments are inserted into the body using natural body orifices or minimal incisions. With an endoscope, a thin tube with an optical system, a surgeon can look into the body and thus treat tissue and organs. The advantages are obvious: Smaller surgical wounds heal faster, the 92  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

risk of infection is minimised and patients can leave hospital far sooner. Using this method today in all medical specialties, from head to toes, from neuroendoscopy to the arthroscopy of ankle joints, has become possible especially through technological milestones achieved by KARL STORZ. The company’s founder Dr med. h. c. Karl Storz was an entrepreneur and inventor, who in the 1960s already

developed and established technologies that have brought more light into the body and via endoscope provide the surgeon with bright and colourfast pictures from inside the body. Today, endoscopic systems are employed that allow practitioners a better view or orientation even in complex situations, among them are video endoscopes that use computer chips instead of glass lenses or 3D camera systems. Modern software systems connect the various devices used in operating theatres, so they can be operated and controlled centrally. A so-called visualisation mode software integrated into the camera systems also helps to depict tissue more differentiated. KARL STORZ additionally develops and deploys medical navigation systems that help surgeons to protect sensitive structures in the body, as well as fluorescent imaging processes that enable medical experts to detect tumours at an earlier stage.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  MEDICA & COMPAMED 2017

When it comes to innovation, the company always takes the surgeon’s task into consideration: Which function should a medical system offer to make sure that the doctor can treat and heal the patient in the best way possible? A special KARL STORZ endoscope for emergency medicine shows that even flying can be combined with patient security. In 2017, this endoscope won the German Innovation Award in the category ‘Large Companies’. Flying is the most beautiful way of travelling, as one sees the world from above. It is fast and most destinations can be reached with direct flights – normally with no obstructions. This is something air rescuers are also taking advantage of. Air rescue teams are very fast and very professional. Traffic accidents and serious illnesses are treat-

Dr med. h. c. Karl Storz (company founder).

ed directly on-site. Rescue helicopters – “flying clinics” – take the rescuers to the site very quickly. Here, seriously ill or wounded patients are provided with first aid care and are then carefully transported from the area, so they can get precise treatment in a hospital. If artificial respiration is needed in such a situation, the patient needs a ventilation tube that is inserted into the windpipe. To carry out this procedure fast and safely, a video laryngoscope is required. This KARL STORZ high-precision product named C-MAC® Pocket Monitor is fitted with a mini-camera and a LED light that illuminates the mouth and windpipe. Additionally, it is so small that it can easily be stored and is ideal for mobile use – it therefore deserves the name Pocket Monitor. The attending physician will see

Dr h. c. mult. Sybill Storz (daughter of company founder, second generation).

the real image on a high-resolution monitor. Additionally, the life-saving procedure can be recorded and saved for educational purposes to train young doctors. This innovation developed by KARL STORZ helps doctors to save people’s lives in emergency situations and has already become standard equipment for the German air rescue. Not only are emergency doctors with a great deal of knowhow and expertise on board, but also a KARL STORZ quality product. More information can be found at the following website or visit KARL STORZ at the world’s largest trade fair for medical devices, the MEDICA in Düsseldorf (13 - 16 November 2017).

Karl-Christian Storz (grandson of the company founder, third generation).

The video laryngoscope C-MAC® Pocket Monitor – the winner of the German Innovation Award 2017 helps emergency doctors to save lives.

KARL STORZ exhibition stand at the MEDICA.

Networked operating room – KARL STORZ OR1™.

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  93

Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Feature


The centre of climate change conferences Under the presidency of the government of Fiji, the UN Climate Change Conference 2017 (COP 23) will take place in Bonn from 6 to 17 November. Politicians, diplomats, and representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from all over the world will gather on the United Nations Campus on the banks of the Rhine to discuss the global dangers posed by climate change. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS

The earth is heating up. Since records began on a global scale in 1880, temperatures have risen by around one degree Celsius. As a consequence, heat waves are becoming more frequent, and much of the earth’s glaciers have started to melt, leading to rising sea levels. Small insular states like Fiji are the ones who already suffer from severe consequences of global warming: Rising sea levels force villages to relocate, while unpredictable storms carve paths of destruction and warming seas lead to changing underwater populations. At the upcoming 23rd Conference of the Parties (in short: COP 23) to the Unit94  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

ed Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the participating nations therefore aim to solve the climate crisis in time by pushing on the Paris Agreement that was adopted two years ago. Back then, nearly 200 nations committed to reducing emissions in order to prevent average temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Presiding the COP 23, the government of Fiji will represent all Small Island Developing States, giving special attention to efforts to fight and also adapt to climate change. In addition, delegates will discuss ways to de-

velop resilience to the impacts of this global challenge. Since the insular state located in the South Pacific Ocean does not have the capacity to arrange the conference as well as additional events where about 20,000 to 25,000 participants will attend, the sessions of the COP 23 will take place at the seat of the secretariat in Bonn. Therefore, representatives of the 197 parties of the UNFCCC will head to Bonn. Home to 19 UN institutions After 1999 and 2001, it will be the third time that the former capital of West Germany hosts a UN Climate Change Conference. Being home to 19 United Nations institutions with about 1,000 employees, there are also many international institutions and NGOs that have settled here. In 2006, most of these UN institutions officially moved to the former building for the German members of parliament, the so-called ‘Langer Eugen’, and the surrounding buildings, forming today’s UN Campus. While Fiji

Discover Germany  |  Business Feature  |  Bonn: The Centre of Climate Change Conferences

will preside the COP 23, the secretariat of the UNFCCC in Bonn is responsible for arranging the events with support from the German Federal Government, NorthRhine Westphalia and the Federal City of Bonn. One conference, two zones This time, there will be a new concept called ‘one conference – two zones’, which means that the events will be divided into two zones. On the one hand, there will be the Bula Zone (in the Fijian language, ‘Bula’ means ‘welcome’) comprising the UN campus and the World Conference Center Bonn. Here, politicians and diplomats of the participating countries will meet to negotiate details concerning the Paris Agreement, which is still considered as one of the most promising efforts to combat climate change – even if the United States announced their withdrawal from the deal in June this year. On the other hand, there will also be the Bonn Zone located in the Rheinaue Park.

In this zone, many additional climate events will take place: NGOs and representatives from science, industry, business, and society, as well as from governments and local authorities will then have the chance to present their contributions and ideas to combat climate change. With this platform, the presidency of the COP 23 and the secretary of the UNFCCC want to emphasise the importance of all these non-governmental participants’ work. To commute between the two of these zones, participants can either use a low-emission shuttle service or one of 600 bicycles that will be available. Demonstrations As is tradition at every climate change conference, various environmental associations and other organisations and initiatives, including WWF, BUND, and Oxfam, have planned peaceful demonstrations on the side lines of the COP 23 negotiations. On the 4 and 11 November, they want to demonstrate on the streets of Bonn to demand that the participating nations meet

the commitments of the Paris Agreement, for example, and that fossil fuel phase-out will take place soon. These protesters and especially the population of Fiji and other vulnerable insular states count on the COP 23 to be successful as they are the ones who may have to deal with the consequences of global carbon pollution first. From top left: The World Conference Center in Bonn.  Photo: © Bundesstadt Bonn/Volker Lannert International conferences regularly take place in the World Conference Center.  Photo: © Bundesstadt Bonn/Michael Sondermann The COP 23 will take place from 6 to 17 November.  Photo: © Bundesstadt Bonn/Sascha Engst A press conference with Nazhat Shameem Khan, chief negotiator for the COP23 Presidency, Jochen Flasbarth, state secretary at Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Ashok Sridharan, mayor of Bonn. Photo: © BMUB/Jürgen Schwarz On special events, Bonn raises the flags of all the member states of the UN.  Photo: © Bundesstadt Bonn/Michael Sondermann The foyer of the World Conference Center.  Photo: © Bundesstadt Bonn/Michael Sondermann

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  95

Photo: © Pixabay


Cutting-edge products from the Alpine country In the following special theme, find out what the country of Austria can offer when it comes to innovative technologies and cutting-edge products that enhance one’s life and the environment.

AIT TECHbase, Vienna. Photo: © Johannes Zinner

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Tech Innovation


Top left: Company headquarters in Rotenturm – Burgenland. Right: Managing director Christian Röck, MBA, MPA.

Rays of warmth With more than 15 years of experience in producing high-quality heaters, Redwell is considered a pioneer supplier on the infrared market. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: REDWELL

Independent of fossil fuels, infrared heating reflects heat like the sun itself – the warmth is being stored by objects and walls, making the process much healthier, more comfortable and more effective than conventional heating systems.

saving LED-light system, won the Red Dot Award. The latest Redwell hit is an infrared bathroom heater, which keeps the bath cosy throughout the winter months and can be installed as a towel warmer panel.

Manufactured by hand in Austria, Redwell products use the highest quality materials only; all of which have been previously checked and approved by independent institutes such as universities and technical colleges.

Redwell founder and mastermind Mike Buschhoff started out by building innovative heaters in his own garage. The first prototype was developed in 2001 in cooperation with the GSF Institute for Ecology and Health in Munich, and 2002 saw the first product series. Meanwhile distributing to 20 countries, the company today resides in 3,600-square-metre production premises in the Ökopark Hartberg in Styria and in an additional production and development hall in Rotenturm.

A big advantage is the firmly fitted storage core which makes Redwell heaters both energy efficient and sustainable. Due to the firm’s longtime experience, Redwell nowadays grants a 90-month warranty with no hidden costs. With a strong emphasis on design, the Redwell product portfolio includes panels for all tastes and can also be disguised as mirrors or paintings. The 2015 launched product 2IN1 - Heat & Light, an infrared heater combined with an energy

Hands-on approach

Left: Red Dot Award winner 2IN1 - Heat & Light. Middle: Panel heater. Bottom: WE-Line heater.

“Students and young builders who strive to equip their home with energy efficient infrared heating are to be found among the Redwell customers as well as older people, who appreciate the comfort and sustainable nature of the service-free heating source. Furthermore, a growing number of allergy sufferers turn to installing infrared heaters because they guarantee a dust-free living atmosphere.” By steadily optimising quality and efficiency through inhouse product development, Redwell continue to enhance the infrared market armed with strong partners and a steadily growing net of distributors.

For energy-conscious users Managing director Hr. Christian Röck, who has been with Redwell from the early beginnings, is glad that people from all walks of life feel inspired by Redwell products: Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  97

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austrian Tech Innovation

Main photo: X-ray analysis.

Smooth operator Flexible and client-oriented, the Austrian technosert electronic GmbH is a comprehensive service provider for the industry with a focus on design and development. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: TECHNOSERT

technosert electronic GmbH is a 100 per cent service provider. The company thus does not distribute its own products but acts exclusively on behalf of the client. The highest technology is provided through a flexible service without loss of precision, aimed at achieving success for both client and product. Comprehensive service range As an engineering company, technosert is split into roughly eight sectors regarding electronic device services. The range includes conception, design and development as well as prototype service, production and assembly. Test strategy development and component x-ray analysis are on offer as well as modification, repair 98  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

and batch production on series machines (single items possible). technosert provide full support and traceability throughout a product’s entire life cycle. Company success through incremental growth The industrial electronic specialist was founded by managing director Johannes Gschwandtner in 1988 with a small team of five employees. Grown to a staff number of 165, technosert electronic GmbH have won prestigious awards and certificates such as the 2017 EFQM Recognised for Excellence 4 (Quality Austria). Clients stem from a large variety of sectors, the majority of which are brand companies with a claim for leadership on both a re-

Left: Modification. Middle: Test. Right: Managing directors Johannes Gschwandtner (left) and Hermann Schübl (right).

gional and a global level. As Johannes Gschwandtner puts it: “Due to our close focus on technology, we achieve a level of specialisation that cannot be reached by many competitors. Today, our clients are outsourcing their production to technosert with the aim of achieving efficiency gains.” The highest possible flexibility and precision will remain the guideline for technosert in 2018. The company principle of incremental growth will be followed up on through for example the expansion of services in the device assembly section. Johannes Gschwandtner sums up the general outline: “A heightened, flexible sensitivity for our clients’ needs is of the same importance to us as an increased focus on environmental issues: Enhanced energy efficiency, the search for efficient ecological solutions as well as resource management in general are high on our list for 2018.”

S P E C I A L T H E M E : A U S T R I A’ S L E A D I N G R E A L E S TAT E E X P E R T S 2 0 1 7

How to find one’s perfect home Looking for a house to buy? Searching for an apartment to rent? Or simply examining the most suitable real estate companies that cater for your individual needs? We have got you covered in the following special theme as we introduce some of Austria’s leading real estate experts. PHOTOS: PIXABAY

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  99

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austria’s Leading Real Estate Experts 2017

Dr. Christian Nordberg.

Dr. Michael Hule.

Serviced apartments and student housing:

What to look out for as an investor Real estate law is an integral part of the Vienna-based law firm Hule BachmayrHeyda Nordberg. Partners Dr. Michael Hule and Dr. Christian Nordberg outline the important aspects of the increasingly popular investments in student housing and serviced apartment projects. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  |  PHOTOS: HULE BACHMAYR-HEYDA NORDBERG

Dr. Hule and Dr. Nordberg give an insight into why these types of real estate investments are becoming more popular amongst investors. “The increasing popularity is due to the higher returns such properties generate. Tenants pay monthly rents starting from 600 euros for units no larger than 20 to 25 square metres, fully furnished, with Wi-Fi and TV, lounge, laundry service and sauna. However, in order to secure the higher returns, the property has to comply with a variety of legal requirements,” the partners explain. They continue: “It is of great importance, whether the Austrian Tenancy Act (‘Mietrechtsgesetz’) applies to the tenancies or 100  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

not. If it applies, the landlord’s freedom to determine the relevant aspects of the rental contract is significantly restricted. That includes a limitation of the maximum permitted rent, the possibility to pass over operating costs to the tenant or to limit the duration of the contract. Moreover, the right to terminate the tenancy agreement is bound to material grounds. The Austrian Tenancy Act exempts student and serviced apartments from the scope of its application, provided however that certain conditions are met. In addition to the letting of the flat, the landlord has to offer services to the tenants, such as cleaning services, catering, bedding, amenities, etc. The courts take a strict approach when ruling on exceptions to the tenancy act. Offers of cleaning services, provision of bedding or some

form of catering are indicators for such an exception according to the Supreme Court. It does not matter if the tenant actually uses those additional services. Moreover, a fixed all-inclusive rent (including all operating and service costs) is an important criterion for a serviced apartment – without replacing the other requirements! In addition, the landlord has to hold a pertinent business licence, which leads to various commercial law obligations.” The partners summarise: “This is in fact a highly attractive but also regulated business, which needs to fulfil the legal requirements. Therefore serviced apartments can only be let outside the tenancy law and achieve those higher returns if the mentioned conditions are met.” Hule Bachmayr–Heyda Nordberg helps investors to comply with the law and develop a successful real estate business with this new investment trend.

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austria’s Leading Real Estate Experts 2017

Adding value and gaining ground


S IMMO AG is a real estate investment company, which has successfully been investing in EU countries for the past 30 years, with a special focus on Germany and Austria. Acting quickly and flexibly due to a streamlined organisational structure and short decision paths, S IMMO AG works with employees in Austria, Germany, Hungary and Romania. Local real estate developments are thus easily detected and swiftly acted upon. Making use of real estate cycles is a major strategy point at S IMMO AG, resulting in a reliable and sustainable value increase for both company and shareholders. The rising investors’ interest is due to strong results (this year shows a 50 per cent shares performance) and a sustainable dividend policy. Two strategic core shareholders, Erste Group and Vienna Insurance Group, help boost S IMMO AG’s performance with their networks, experience and expertise. As of mid-September, the S IMMO AG share has been listed in the 2_0_subscribe_DG:Layout 1


ATX on the Vienna Stock Exchange, raising additional attention and liquidity. S IMMO AG currently invests in new objects in major German cities with low price levels and a promising demographic development such as Leipzig, Rostock and Kiel. For next year, the company’s agenda is already packed to the rim. It will include major projects in both Berlin and Vienna, boosted by a total investment volume of more than 600 million euros. With a flexible strategy, a result-oriented performance and strong shareholders by its side, the S IMMO AG is steadily gaining ground, adding value to real estate investment all over Germany and Austria as well as in the CEE region.


Leuchtenfabrik (former light factory), Berlin: the listed building by the Spree river offers 16,000 square metres of available floor space. Photo: © Erich Sinzinger

101 Neukölln, Berlin: around 22,000 square metres of office, retail and gastronomy spaces in the making. Photo: © IQOI

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Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  101

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austria’s Leading Real Estate Experts 2017

Arnold Investments

Some jewels are measured in carat …and some in square metres The international world of finance is currently facing the extreme pressure big changes always bring. Where stocks, foreign exchange and mixed investment funds were previously the key to monetary profit, trust has vanished for those products that were once so popular. Real estate is the solid answer. However, it brings a different set of challenges and in order to successfully invest in property, it is advised to have a strong reliable partner who looks out for you.

coming more and more significant. Good advice does not necessarily have to be expensive, but real estate agents, who have in-depth knowledge of the current market situation, are an invaluable support to any investor considering buying property.


How well the relationship between an estate agent and an investor can work in day-to-day-business shows one of Vienna’s leading real estate agencies, Arnold Investments. Not making much of a fuss, but rather getting on with the task of finding top-quality property for their clients in the international real estate market, can be seen as the agency’s motto.

These days, investors are often searching far and wide for a reliable alternative to invest their money safely and profitably. That is why the real estate market still experiences such an impulsive revival, next to the gold market. Investing in precious stones, residential and business buildings 102  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

offers a special kind of security regarding yields on the capital. The increased demand requires the investor to scan the real estate market carefully and targeted evaluations, which are carried out before a deal is made, are be-

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austria’s Leading Real Estate Experts 2017

Founder and CEO Markus Arnold worked many years as a well-known employed estate agent for a large listed estate agency before deciding to take matters in his own hands. So, in 2009 he quit his job and founded Arnold Investments. “It all happened at the right time,” says Arnold. “Of course, there are many factors that come into play, but the timing was certainly right as the investment markets were buzzing back then.”

tor. The classic apartment buildings are one of our main areas of expertise, but we also offer the wide spectrum from retail parks to shopping centres and office buildings. Anything that is seen as a property investment, we offer and we are specialised in working with clients from a background of substantial assets,” says Arnold.

“Of course, we also sell to the developer, but three quarters of our business is finding properties for foundations, private investors or family offices.” Being efficient is extremely important as Arnold continues: “My clients have anything but time, which means we cannot waste it if we want to keep them as trusting clients.”

The company quickly became very successful, and what started in Arnold’s kitchen turned into a business that currently employs 46 property experts with offices in five countries and 1,400 investments. With a humble smile, he adds: “You could say it worked out well.” Jumping in at the deep end certainly paid off. Today, Arnold Investments focuses entirely in the specialised field of real estate investments. The team of agents functions as a link between the institutional investor, the developer or the trader and the wealthy private client, the foundation or the family office. “We strongly focus on the residential sec-

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austria’s Leading Real Estate Experts 2017

This also leads to another crucial aspect that Arnold points out: “Correctness is most important when it comes to real estate investments. In a market that involves extremely high commissions, there is always the temptation to overstep the mark and we see this happening with our competitors. So, for us it is of upmost importance to not give in too. There is the saying that the best estate agent is the one who does not seal the deal. Meaning he can also say no when this benefits his client more. We follow that maxim rigorously.”

ent is looking for, why they want to buy and which asset category they are looking at. “Then I already show a few properties straight away to discuss further what goal-oriented path we are going to take in order to find the right match. If someone approaches me today, he usually buys in around nine months’ time and up until then he will have looked at 50 to 100 properties on paper and between ten to 20 properties on location. Only then you are ready to say this is the one I truly want.”

Arnold’s golden advice for investors is to really check if an investment feels right on a personal level: “You have to feel good with the decision. The gut feeling is always more important than any expert’s advice.” For that reason, Arnold and his team will also never rush their clients into making a quick decision. It just does not work.

Arnold Investments is also represented beyond Austria. With offices in Vienna, Berlin, Prague, Bratislava and Budapest Arnold’s property portfolio includes the best these historic cities can offer. There are plenty of beautiful, prestigious buildings and the cities are hence perfectly suited for Arnold’s comprehensive portfolio of imposing investment properties.

An in-depth conversation face to face with his clients is the first step for Arnold. He needs to understand exactly what a cli-

“For our clients, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the right estate,” Arnold explains. “It is quite common for

104  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

the wealthy client to look at properties across borders. That is why we said straight from the beginning that we wanted to offer our clients a wide range in our portfolio. We always wanted to bring objects to the table, that are located in different countries but which are similar to what is on offer in the home market.” European investors often search the markets in the neighbouring countries, but Arnold points out that, especially for clients from Russia, Asia or nowadays also from the US, there usually is no set focus on one particular European city. Instead, they want an overview of various markets. “As an international investment estate agency we are of course covering that area for our clients,” says Arnold. “The current hotspot for us is Budapest,” he continues.“The prices are low. The bottom has been reached and it is now seeing an upturn. That is why there is a high international demand at the moment. Aside from that, our home market

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austria’s Leading Real Estate Experts 2017

Vienna as well as Prague and Berlin are our strongest locations. Those are the cities that survived the financial crises well and remained stable.” Given the nature of their business and the status of their clients, there is one aspect that is incredibly important. “Discretion is one of our most valuable assets,”Arnold explains.“We never publicly talk about which properties are part of our portfolio. For the same reason we do not do any online or print advertisements of the properties.”

At Arnold Investments, clients are looked after personally. The process is straightforward and carefully tailored around the client’s individual requirements and schedule. Arnold and his team of international estate experts not only have in-depth knowledge of the European market, but also fully understand the needs and circumstances of their clients. This makes Arnold Investments the perfect and most reliable partner for any real estate investment.

CEO Markus Arnold.

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  105

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austria’s Leading Real Estate Experts 2017

Living in style with the all-round carefree package by Viennese real estate agency Freude am Wohnen Buying property without worrying – that is a dream of many future homeowners. A real estate carefree package with a three-year warranty after you bought a flat almost sounds too good to be true, but Austrian company Freude am Wohnen offers exactly that and they deliver nothing less. Let’s move to Vienna! TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: FREUDE AM WOHNEN, MICHAEL SCHRITTWIESER

The typical Viennese Gründerzeit houses have a very unique charm. The tasteful flats with their remarkably high ceilings provide a special quality of living. It has become the heartfelt mission of brothersin-law Michael Schrittwieser and Markus Walterskirchen to let these premium flats, with their distinctive style of forgotten days, shine again and equip them in line with all modern demands of today’s busy lifestyle. “We are committed to preserving the old building structure and therefore the unique urban landscape of Vienna,” says Schrittwieser and Walterskirchen, explaining their goal. Together they founded the 106  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

company W & S Freude am Wohnen OG (which translates to ‘Joy of living’). Their company specialises in renovation and sales of premium flats in those stylish old buildings, which are so typical for Vienna and well beloved. At Freude am Wohnen, particular importance is placed on high quality. Custom-made windows, new installations and electrics, lovingly restored swing doors, parquet flooring and top-quality tiles create a wonderful atmosphere and offer the highest level of living comfort. Only the best of the best. Some of the flats even have a balcony terrace, which is a

speciality of those beautiful old buildings and invites to linger whilst looking over the roofs of Vienna. “We only work with our own craftsmen as that is the only way sustainable high quality is guaranteed throughout,” the two founders emphasise. For many years they have worked with the same craftsmen, who are masters in their various fields of expertise. From carpenters and painters to plumbers, electricians and floor tilers, they all work with the highest precision and a great love for detail. Clients can also request the company’s craftsmen for the installation of furniture, the move itself or small alterations. Freude am Wohnen’s special service is the mentioned all-round carefree package, which is of course highly appreciated by their clients. The package is a warranty for three years, starting when you buy a flat. This means all works and later occurring

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austria’s Leading Real Estate Experts 2017

defects are carried out or immediately fixed free of charge. “That way our clients can be absolutely certain that there won’t be any unpleasant surprises after they bought a property,” Walterskirchen and Schrittwieser clarify. This very unusual package is evidence how committed the two partners are to quality. They will not sell anything less than perfect and they stand behind their offered properties 100 per cent. At Freude am Wohnen you can be sure that nobody will talk you into a quick buy. The outstanding quality of the flats simply stands for themselves.

The two partners have been renovating flats since 2005 and finally founded their company in 2011. With that much dedication for their craft and ambition, it should come as no surprise that the company is continuously expanding. Their recipe of success is without a doubt the high quality, top planning, good locations, great links to the excellent Viennese subway network and, of course, everything for an attractive price. The founders add: “Our client base includes many international clients, who can appreciate the unique charm and the relatively low prices in Vienna.”

Word has already gotten around about the high quality and the special warranty service Freude am Wohnen offers. “There are more and more clients, who are already buying their second or third flat from us or recommend us to their friends,” the two CEOs tell us proudly.

Freude am Wohnen is particularly specialised in smaller flats with two or three bedrooms. Their clients often use these flats as a secondary residence for theatre or opera visits in the city, for their kids who maybe study in Vienna or simply as a lucrative real estate investment.

Since all of the old buildings are located in the attractive heart of the city and living space is generally becoming more and more sparse, clients can expect a substantial increase in value. Schrittwieser and Walterskirchen are obviously always there to give further advice on any real estate investments and that is how the longlasting trusting relationships with their clients organically form. Integrity and customer service are particularly important at Freude am Wohnen as Schrittwieser and Walterskirchen highlight: “What we enjoy most is when an old flat’s former glory has been successfully restored and improved, and our customers are happy.” You can find the current offers on the following website.

Markus Walterskirchen and Michael Schrittwieser. Photo: Piotr Jarzabek



Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  107

Culture Calendar As it is getting colder and the cities begin to show all those beautiful lights, there are some great events lined up throughout November. It is the perfect month for exhibitions and fairs, music, delicious food and tastings of outstanding wines across Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Are you ready?

sic stage when vocal ensembles and soloists from Austria, Germany, Central Europe and Madagascar let their voices ring from balconies and church galleries.


Geneva International Film Festival (3 – 11 November) The Geneva International Film Festival (GIFF) explores the links between cinema, television and digital art, while standing defending auteurism in the visual arts. Packed with international premiers, masterclasses, networking events and parties, this is the place to be for film professionals and film enthusiast alike. 108  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

This year’s 23rd edition promises a sparkling programme spread across a week.

International A Cappella Festival Voice Mania, Vienna (3 November – 3 December) For the 20th time, Vienna’s city centre will turn into a pop, rock, jazz, swing and world mu-

Procession of Weinhüter, Perchtoldsdorf (12 November) On the first Sunday after St. Leonhard’s Day, Perchtoldsdorf celebrates the procession of the ‘Weinhüter’, the central aspect of what is most probably Austria’s most well-known wine growers’ festival. The appointment of the ‘Weingartenhüter’ (vineyard keepers), which is still conducted following an old ceremony,

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

The Christmas Garden, Berlin. Photo: © Alexander Volkmer

dates back to the 16th century and promises to be a great event for wine connoisseurs.

Cologne Carnival. Photo: © Dieter Jacobi/ KölnTourismus GmbH

International book fair Buch, Vienna (8 – 12 November) Every year, the international book fair Buch Wien attracts book lovers from all over the world. It is the biggest fair of its kind in Austria with over 300 programme items. Last year, 43,000 visitors came to get insights and tips on what to read next. Check out their website for more information.

Fairy Tale Days of Berlin (9 – 26 November) This year, the 28th Berlin Fairy Tale Days are dedicated to LOVE and put it right at the centre of the festival. Dive into the world of forgotten stories and allow your inner child to take over. www.mä Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  109

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

Fairy Tale Days of Berlin. Photo: © Cathrin Bach

Plaza Culinaria, Freiburg (10 – 12 November) The food fair Plaza Culinaria is the most important one in Southern Germany and tickets are selling out fast. The special flair and the mix of food fair, evening events, entertainment and info stalls makes it a culinary highlight of the month. Who does not enjoy fantastic food and great company?

Carnival begins, Cologne (11 November) As every year, it is time to officially kick off the new carnival season with up to 70,000 carnival revellers coming together on Heumarkt Square to celebrate. The city will turn into a carnivaltastic madhouse with a colourful programme that includes all the big stars of the German carnival scene, which will certainly get you dancing. Get your fancy dress ready and join the celebrations!

Vinifera, Biel (11 – 19 November) This international exhibition in Switzerland’s Biel offers a wide range of wine products, 110  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

which can be purchased locally, and is a must for any wine connoisseur or those who want to become one. The friendly atmosphere and shared passion for the precious liquid makes for a heart-felt experience inside out.

Affordable Art Fair, Hamburg (16 – 19 November) Affordable Art Fair returns for its sixth edition with 80 local, national and international galleries all showcasing a huge array of contemporary art. Art lovers can look forward to affordable art pieces, handpicked by experts from galleries across the world.

The Christmas Garden, Berlin (16 November – 07 January 2018) After last year’s grand success of the magic glittering Christmas world of the Christmas Garden Berlin, the Botanic Garden opens its gates again to take the visitors from all over the world on a tour of uniquely designed wintry magic. If you are in need of some

Plaza Culinaria, Freiburg. Photo: © FWTM – Kaeflein

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

International book fair Buch Wien Photo: © LCM Fotostudio Richard Schuster

The Christmas Garden, Berlin. Photo: © Sven Bayer

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  111

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

European Theatre Night. Photo: © Nadine Weixler

heart-warming lights during the darker season, this is certainly the place to be.

Family and Home, Stuttgart (18 – 26 November) The biggest shopping and leisure fair is exciting for the entire family. Stuttgart hosts the annual event and invites young and old to explore a large variety of different exhibitions and info stalls. From contemporary kitchen utensils to construction materials of the future, this fair convinces with its striking versatility. Of course, there is a fun programme for kids on offer as well so the whole family can enjoy a great day at the fair. 112  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

European Theatre Night, Austria (18 November) Across Europe in over 400 locations, theatres put on a full night of shows and entertainment. Austria contributes to this marvellous annual event with over 70 different locations. The rich programme is a colourful representation of the Austrian theatre scene with workshops as well as open performances and it promises to have something for everyone. Every year, guests are encouraged to donate whatever they can spare.

Onion Market, Bern (27 November) The annual onion market, or as the locals say Zibelemärit, is not only a highlight for the region but also attracts international visitors. There are

various onion items on offer such as braided bunches of onions, onion wreaths and figurines made of onions. At this typically Swiss event jewellery, textiles, ceramics and toys are also sold. markte/zibelemaerit

City of the Stars, St. Gallen (30 November – 23 December) As we arrive at the end of November it is time to get into the Christmas spirit. Kick it off in the atmospheric Swiss city of stars, St. Gallen. Around 700 stars twinkle above the old town where the lovingly decorated stalls of the Christmas market give the whole city a glow. weihnachtsstadt

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

Plaza Culinaria, Freiburg. Photo: © FWTM – Kaeflein

Onion market, Bern. Photo: © Bern Tourism

Issue 56  |  November 2017  |  113

Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Barbara Geier Column

Where were you when…? TEXT & PHOTO: BARBARA GEIER

Ok, let’s talk about ‘Where were you when’ moments: each generation has their own. In my lifetime so far, I can count ‘Where were you when Diana died?’, ‘Where were you on 9/11?’, ‘Where were you when the Wall came down?’ and ‘Where were you when you first heard about this thing called Brexit?’ But let’s not think too much about the latter for the moment and turn to that very special day in November 28 years ago. I remember where I was on 9 November 1989, and, I’m afraid, it’s not very exciting or special at all. I was at home that Thursday night, watching the German news programme Heute at 7pm. I saw all these people in Berlin, having climbed up the Wall and standing on it, cheering. So much excitement and joy. And it was all a bit surreal. To be honest, I don’t think that I, teenager that I was, quite grasped what was really happening there at that moment in time. I had grown up in (the very west of) West Germany – which was ‘Germany’ for us, the other country was the ‘DDR’ – and for me it was normal that Germany was divided. I had, after all, never known anything else. No big deal. My family didn’t have any relatives in the former GDR, so it didn’t really figure any way in my daily life. Therefore, I’ve got to admit that, when the Wall came down, it was just something that happened. Great, of course, since no country should be divided, but that was it basically. I can’t recall any particular emotional upheaval. It took some time for me to understand the enormity of this Peaceful Revolution and 114  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

also to consider that for the generation of my grandparents, for example, having two Germanys was not normal at all, as it was for me. So far, so boring (me). The next day in school, I was confronted with the stories of some people who got much more engaged. I heard that some in my year had somehow managed to get a ride with older friends, who were already in the possession of driving licences and cars, and had driven all through the night to Berlin. They wanted to be part of what was happening, and when I heard that I had a bit of a “Oh, I think I missed something here” moment. If they’re now being asked the “Where where you when” question, they definitely have something better to tell than me with my boring “watching the news” story. Anyway, moving on. Now, 28 years after the Wall came down, the fact that Germany is one unified country is for me as normal as the division was before. And after having explored what used to be ‘the East’ for us but are in fact, at least partly, regions that are in the centre of Germany, I can’t believe in hindsight that so much of our cultural and intellectual history, so many treasures, so much beautiful landscapes, so many fabulous cities were hidden behind the Iron Curtain and out of sight. I’ve been to Leipzig and Dresden, to Erfurt and Weimar, visited the Wartburg where Luther translated the New Testament into German in 80 days, been to fabulous museums, sat in lovely cafés, ate in nice restaurants and got used to what

for me were ‘new’ German dialects. Just as it was surreal seeing people standing on the Wall, that night in November 28 years ago, it’s now surreal to think that this country in the middle of Europe was once divided. Just imagine. The things that can happen in a lifetime. Next time, I only need to make sure not to just stay put in front of the news but get a bit closer to the action …

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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