Discover Germany | Issue 3 | May 2013

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Issue 3 | May 2013


MAX RAABE Reviving the Golden Twenties


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

Discover Germany | Contents

Contents MAY 2013

Badeparadies Schwarzwald


Schwerin Castle


history and tradition these places are well worth a visit.

Max Raabe and the Palastorchester The German singer, who tours the globe enchanting audiences with his music from the Golden Twenties, reveals why some things are no problem for women.



SPECIAL THEMES Wellness & Spa in Germany Relaxing and rejuvenating spa treatments, cleansing steam rooms and saunas and plenty of water activities are all available to get away from it all.



Dedicated to Design Our design and fashion guru Julie Gudbrandsen presents the latest cool interior updates for the house including a rather unsusual bird’s home.


Beautiful Castles of Germany Read about some of the most exquisite historical castles and palaces spread over Germany. Rich in


Fashion Finds In fashion we celebrate flowery prints and the revival of the rucksack. Just for you Julie found some really pretty scarves which go with any summer wardrobe.


Hotels of the Month Hotel of the month Germany leads us to Hessen’s picturesque National Park Keller-Edersee, where kids are very welcome in the Hotel and SPA Freund.

Kitchen wizard Tim Mälzer Meet Tim Mälzer, the German answer to Jamie Oliver. Read about his sometimes unusual ideas, his slightly wild past and his pet pig which is named after a famous German tennis player.


50 Hotel and SPA Resort Freund

KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten's impressive portfolio is known far beyond Germany and their award-winning landmark buildings include the National Library of China in Beijing.

Theme Parks in Germany Germany’s most versatile and entertaining theme parks have a lot to offer. Entertainment for all generations is guaranteed and a visit to either of the parks presented in this issue will certainly create unforgettable memories.



As with our next issue we are officially taking on board Austria and Switzerland we are presenting our hotel of the month Switzerland.The Eden Roc Ascona sits on the northern shore of Lake Garda and offers the ultimate in style and luxury.

Attractions of the Month Take a look at the past, the future and faraway places with artist Yadegar Asisi’s overwhelming 360-degree panoramas currently exhibited in Leipzig, Bremen and Berlin.


Our Austrian attraction of the month is Vienna’s Tiergarten Schönbrunn, a“unique combination of the baroque ambience and a modern zoo concept.”


Business Key note, columns, news stories and features on companies and business development.

Culture Features, updates and news on culture and lifestyle.

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Dear Reader, Discover Germany

Sales & Key Account Managers

Issue 3, May 2013

Lena Meyer

Published 15.05.2013 ISSN 2051-7718

We are proud to present you with the May issue of Discover Germany, a magazine dedicated to promoting Germany, Switzerland and Austria and appealing to all those who have a relationship with or a connection to these countries.

Gudrun Klein Teresa Verwanger Josephina Gorlach

Published by

Nina Deking

Scan Magazine Ltd.

Emma Fabritius Nørregaard Mette Tonnessen

Design & Print Liquid Graphic Ltd.


Executive Editor Thomas Winther

Discover Germany is published by:

Spring has sprung, the days are getting longer and now is the perfect time for visiting Germany’s beautiful old castles, exploring the country’s most exciting theme parks or taking a trip to one of the lush spa and wellness facilities to get away from it all and recharge your batteries. In this issue you will find a wonderful selection of such premises to discover in and around Germany.

Creative Director Scan Magazine Ltd. 4 Baden Place Crosby Row London SE1 1YW

Mads E. Petersen Editor Tina Awtani Copy-Editor

Phone +44 (0)870 933 0423

Mark Rogers Art Director

For further information, please visit

Svetlana Slizova Contributors Astrid Barwasser-Brestrich Stephen Clements

Read the interview with our cover star Max Raabe, Germany’s most successful singer and songwriter, a master of original compositions and classics from the Golden Twenties and Thirties. Max will be performing live in London this May and reveals what he likes most about the capital. In our food section we present celebrity chef Tim Mälzer, who revolutionised the German cooking scene with his casual, unconventional way of presenting food and his positive attitude appealing to all generations. Often dubbed as “the German Jamie Oliver”, his recipes are absolutely delicious and surprisingly simple. Do not miss checking out our quite spectacular hotel and attraction of the month section including a magical time trip to the world of the ancient times of 312 A.D.

Thomas Erskine Barbara Geier Julie Gutbrandsen Sanna Halmekoski Jessica Holzhausen Cordelia Makartsev

In our business section we take a closer look at the rich heritage of the present Anglo-German Societies and what makes them so important for both countries, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Dorina Reichhold

Read about the upcoming German Champions League Final in Wembley Stadium and last but not least our witty columnist Barbara Geier treats us to her wonderful view of German citizens categorised by region from the Hamburg Brit to the Berlin gob.

Jessica Ridder

Enjoy the magazine.

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

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Tina Awtani Editor

Your Shortcut to Germany Bergen


Oslo Stockholm Bromma

SWEDEN Aalborg bo org


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 | Cover Feature | Max Raabe

When his friends were getting excited over the Bee Gees or ABBA, Max Raabe would treat them to a song from the Comedian Harmonists. From a very early age on, he collected shellac records and became an expert on the music and style of the Weimar Era. As no band existed that played this repertoire at that time, he teamed up with fellow students and founded the Palast Orchester. That was in 1986. Later he attended

Max Raabe & the Palastorchester

Reviving the Golden Twenties ‘I am only good when no one is watching’ he claims in one of his songs. But a world-wide fan community proves him wrong. Impeccably dressed in white tie and tails, Max Raabe and the Palastorchester perform original compositions and classics from the Golden Twenties and Thirties. On May 24, Germany’s most successful singer and songwriter gives his only British concert in London. TEXT: CORDELIA MAKARTSEV | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Max Raabe

German texts or I tell a little story about the lyrics.This works very well. Apart from that, a lot of the original German songs like ‘Schöner Gigolo’(Just a Gigolo) or ‘Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuß auf Liebe eingestellt’ (Falling in Love Again) are very wellknown in the UK and America. And there are, of course, the English classics from the Twenties and Thirties like ‘Cheek to Cheek’ or ‘Singing in the Rain’. In general, English people don’t think of Germans being very funny. But humour plays an important role in your concerts. Does the English audience laugh at the right places? When we played two years ago in London, we realised that this is not a problem. The people laughed at my jokes and I believe they were a bit surprised that humour exists in Germany. You played in the Carnegie Hall in America, you have a concert at the O2 Sheperd’s Bush in May. Not many singer-songwriters who perform in German are so popular abroad. What is your secret?

the Berlin University of the Arts, graduating in 1995 as a state-certified opera baritone, but he never lost his passion for the music of the Twenties. Today Max Raabe and the Palastorchester tour the world.The last album ‘Küssen kann man nicht alleine’(One Cannot Kiss Alone) with the famous German producer Anette Humpe was awarded Platinum in 2012. Their new album, released in January 2013, promises to be equally successful. Congratulations on your new album ‘Für Frauen ist das kein Problem’ (‘For women that´s no problem’). Within days, it landed at rank 3 of the German charts. Did you expect that? After the first album in cooperation with Anette Humpe did really well, we secretly hoped that this one would be a hit as well. I have often been asked by people: When

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will there be something new, what comes next? People who liked the first album were very curious, so we did not worry about the new album. But of course we were excited like little children when we heard the news. Unfortunately, the new album is not on sale in the UK, because we are famous there for our songs from the Twenties and Thirties. Certainly, I perform some of my songs in the UK which I have written myself like ‘Kein Schwein ruft mich an’ (No one ever calls me) or ‘Rinderwahn’ (BSE). But when we are on stage in London we don’t want to suddenly change everything.

We work very hard on the music arrangements. And we take the compositions as seriously as if they were written by Mozart or Beethoven. At the same time, on stage we don’t take ourselves very seriously. The audience loves this element of self-mockery which is typical of our concerts.Then we have the same ensemble playing on every tour. Because of that, each musician can strongly rely on the others. We are able to act very harmoniously and put on a fascinating show on stage. The audience appreciates that. How do you like to spend your time in London?

Does an English audience react differently to your songs compared to the Germans? Do the Brits understand the text?

I have to admit that I buy my bow ties and neckties for my tailcoat suits in London. For someone who fancies men’s fashion, London is the land of plenty.

We sing one half of the songs in German and the other half in English. I explain the

Concert: Max Raabe & Palastorchester, May 24 at the O2 Shepherd´s Bush Empire

Discover Germany | Design | Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design... Delicious design news sprawling out of Germany makes it very easy to find cool interior updates for the house. We feel super inspired by these witty, clever and charming designs – and are sure they will make for great talking points as well as gorgeous decoration. BY JULIE GULDBRANDSEN | EMAIL: JULIE.GULDBRANDSEN@DISCOVERGERMANY.ORG.UK



Designer Sebastian Frank, who is behind the label produkte + gestaltung, describes his ‘freebird’ table as an “optical illusion and static experiment”. This is a beautiful object that radiates a very modern lightness and ease. App. £397. Looking for an ingenious way to organise those postcards, bills and other trivia? The ‘Neuer Ordner’ by njustudio brings a piece of our virtual world into actual real-life with its funky computer-folder design. From £14.5. or The über modern birdhouse ‘Rohbau’ is made of concrete – quite an unusual material, but it works as a great protective shield against wind and weather. Designed by Torsten Klocke / 10 Liter Design. £76. The striking Hangar lamp by Supergrau is a simple yet attention grabbing design statement that creates a lovely light. Available in various colours. From £400.


Turn weary wastelands into flower fields with the seedbombs by Stadtgärtner. The round bullet looking seed clusters are perfect for reaching challenging locations – throw and grow between May and August. £6.75.


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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds Spring has officially arrived and we are celebrating the sunnier days of May with a brighter and lighter wardrobe. Take a cue from these cool German fashion brands and shine in flowery prints, fierce colours and dainty pastels. BY JULIE GULDBRANDSEN EMAIL: JULIE.GULDBRANDSEN@DISCOVERGERMANY.ORG.UK

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Sophisticated and elegant: This gorgeous night twittering dress by Esther Perbandt is made of 100% washed silk. Combined with high heels this perfect little dress will surely make heads turn at your next cocktail party. ÂŁ415

The slouchy sweater with gold embroidered stitching by Anuschka Hoevener is a great example of the sporty luxe trend. Combine with a feminine skirt and flats for an effortless cool spring-look. £127.

Simplicity can be an art, and this lovely dress by Anuschka Hoevener, with is stunning turquoise shade and straight fit, makes for uncomplicated beautiful styling. £247.

The rucksack is back! We love this fab knit version by Potopoti, not least because of the fierce colour. £55.

The scarfs by Potipoti are simply irresistible, and will add immediate summer sensation to a simple outfit. Handmade in Germany from 100% silk. £67.

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Functionality and longevity are the way forward KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten offers unparalleled service and is renowned for its impressive portfolio far beyond German borders. Award-winning landmark buildings created by KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten include the National Library of China in Beijing. TEXT: TINA AWTANI

Apart from the German headquarters in Frankfurt, German office locations include Berlin, Braunschweig, Cologne and Munich, while two international offices are based in Chinese Beijing and Vietnam’s city of Hanoi. 200 highly skilled staff members are constantly striving to deliver a state-ofthe art and future-oriented architectural services portfolio for an international and discerning client base. The management of KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten International GmbH is located in Frankfurt as well. The international company coordinates the foreign projects and is responsible for clients from abroad. “Apart from the traditional architectural services we also take care of every relevant

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aspect necessary that comes with a building project, which includes general planning and product design. Real estate assessment and surveys round up the spectrum. Only the holistic linking of all planning creates this added value, which is desired by our clients,”Mr Jürgen Engel, Principal of KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten and former graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA, says. Projects in Germany include the Deutsche Börse Eschborn (German Stock Exchange), the urban quarter Theresie in Munich and the award-winning elegant and innovative WestendDuo, of which Mr Engel is particularly proud. “The WestendDuo in Frankfurt is very important to me, it is a classic

building. It is not in your face, it is very functional and the architecture has a strong longevity,”he says. The Prize of the Lower Saxony Branch of the German Association of Architects (BDA), the Lower Saxony State Architecture Prize, the International Highrise Award, Mipim Award, Design for Asia Award and the red dot design award are just a few highlights from a long list of industry awards won by KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten. The company’s impressive hall of fame reads like an international who’s who of stock exchange listed corporations, including the Allianz Lebensversicherungs AG, the Bertelsmann AG, Deutsche Bank AG and Morgan Stanley Bank AG.

Discover Germany | Feature | KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten

Left: National Library of China, Beijing. Photo: Hans Schlupp

Jürgen Engel. Photo: Kirsten Bucher

Beijing, the world’s third largest library with space for 12 million books and seating capacity for 2,000 visitors. The latest project successfully completed in China was the development of the new Art Museum in Tianjin. KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten won the project against fierce competition before they started to create this award-winning innovative and functional building that will last for many generations to come. The future in China looks bright as KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten just scooped the first prize in the competition for the creation of the Dual Tower for High Tech Park in the city of Foshan.

When Mr Engel decided to transfer his expertise to Asia in the 1990s he literally started from scratch. “At that time we were quite busy over here. I thought, now is the time to invest in the future in case things here won’t always be running smoothly. So we set up an office in Beijing. We took part in local competitions and we built a strong reputation over there. We always present ourselves as a local architect, which is why we are decentralised. In that way we run our office in Beijing and train Chinese architects. We are doing the same thing in Vietnam, where we opened an office in Hanoi,”Mr Engel remembers. The move to China turned out to be a real success story as German KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten won the competition to create the spectacular National Library of China in

From top to bottom: WestEnd Duo Frankfurt. Photo: Jean-Luc Valentin Mosque Algiers. Press image Upper West Berlin. Photo: Heinz Kleim Theresie Muenchen. Press image

Part of the company success is based on the high level of flexibility of which Mr Engel and his team are capable. When they were asked by the Tunisian government to participate in a competition for a new mosque they didn’t hesitate to take on the challenge. Again competition was left behind and the world’s third largest mosque is due to be completed in 2016 in the Bay of Algiers by the German architects. Up to 35,000 people will be able to use the Prayer Room at the same time. “What I found particularly interesting were the pillared halls in the mosques of Maghreb. I took a very close look at the Mezquita de Córdoba in Córdoba as well as other mosques.Their rooms were defined by columns. In our way of seeing things columns actually destroy a space, but in these cases provide a certain character. We are familiar with spaces with a domed roof, these never fail to impress. But a hall with columns was quite a challenge for our team,”Mr Engel recalls. “Our aim is to combine functionality with cost-effectiveness and longevity” is the company philosophy and edifices commissioned to KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten never fail to impress not only the clients upon completion.

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Discover Germany | Feature | Portrait of Tim Mältzer

Tim Mälzer

A young rebel is coming of age He is one of Germany’s most popular TV chefs, a professional chatterbox with a unique T-shirt collection. His cookery books are selling like hot cake and the tickets to his live cooking shows are in high demand. But nowadays, Tim Mälzer has left the image of the young revolutionist behind and adopts a more thoughtful tune. TEXT: CORDELIA MAKARTSEV

What is the favourite dish of someone who has won several cooking awards and is one of Germany’s most-beloved chefs? Spaghetti Bolognese, or, as Tim Mälzer calls it, “Spaghetti Bolo”. His own recipes are not Haute Cuisine: he prefers home-style cooking.“Dishes have to be simple and accessible for everyone, no super complicated

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stuff where you have to slave away for hours in front of the oven,” is his credo. Thus, Tim Mälzer revolutionised the German cooking scene. When his first TV cooking show was aired in 2003, people were amazed by his casual, unconventional way of presenting, his often ribald jokes and the manageability of his delicious recipes.

Teenagers, housewives, managers and grandparents alike are glued to the screen when he has a little flirt with his assistant and convinces his audience that cooking is no science. A picture book career In 1992, when Tim Mälzer started his ap-

© Michael Lange

© Ali Salehi

Discover Germany | Feature | Portrait of Tim Mältzer

the Rock Star among German chefs. Nicknamed the “Küchenbulle”(the kitchen bull) for his rustic language and his work attitude he seemed to be everywhere. But he had a price to pay. In 2006, exhausted from the stress and the hectic life, he had to take a break. The young star chef used the time to reconsider his attitude towards his life and career. A new balance with new ideas Nowadays,Tim tries to find the right worklife balance. He bought a little finca on Mallorca where he enjoys his leisure time with his girl friend, two dogs and a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig named “Bobbele”after the German tennis legend Boris Becker.

prenticeship as a cook in the Hamburger Intercontinental Hotel, he dreamt of becoming the general manager of a large hotel. But soon he got hooked, won a few awards for his cooking and went to London to refine his skills. There, at the Neal Street Restaurant, he worked together with the yet unknown Jamie Oliver. Both young, funky and extremely passionate about food, they soon became friends and still are. “He was the bloke who had every week a different hair colour, black, white, green, blonde. Pink was my favourite,” laughs

Jamie Oliver in a joint interview with the German Bild Zeitung. “Tim was different, a bit crazy....” Back in Germany, Tim acquired his own restaurant in Hamburg. Then he was spotted for the screen and his media career took off. His daily TV show “Schmeckt nicht, gibt’s nicht”(‘I don’t like it, does not exist’) was awarded with the Goldene Kamera 2006. Two recipe books,‘Born to Cook’and ‘Born to Cook 2’ followed and sold together more than 2 million copies.Tim Mälzer was

However, there is still a lot going on in his professional life. Besides writing new cookery books and opening a new restaurant in Hamburg, the “Bullerei”,Tim participates in several projects which are close to his heart. Like his English friend Jamie Oliver, the German chef is concerned about a healthy diet for children. Together with Germany’s Minister of Consumer Affairs Ilse Aigner he started the competition “Klasse, kochen!” (Class, cook!) where pupils could win a new school kitchen. But he admits that the problem often lies within the families who stopped cooking at home and do not eat together anymore.“That is why I often recreate traditional German dishes with a twist, to remind people of the times when they sat around a table and enjoyed a gorgeous Sunday roast together. I am the grandmother who many of us do not have any more,”Tim explains in a Deutsche Welle TV interview. Even his personal eating habits have changed.“I hardly eat any meat any more,” he confesses. Naturally, his new cook book, “Greenbox”, includes only vegetarian dishes, even a vegetarian spaghetti Bolognese. Tim is adamant: “You will not taste the difference.”

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A warm welcome from the German Spa Association A spa break is an opportunity to concentrate on health, relaxation, tranquillity and a holistic approach to treatment. Spas are designed to heal, alleviate and prevent illnesses.

Bad Krozingen. Photo: German Spa Association/Mathias Osti



Their aims are to promote health and quality of life, maintain wellbeing and counteract potential problems. Germany's spas and Theme health resorts offer trails and cycle paths, Nordic walking parks, health and fitness trails and beautiful gardens – delightful settings in which to exercise with plenty of fresh air away from the bustle of towns and cities.

Wellness & Spa in Germany

Germany's approx. 350 approved spas and health resorts – longstanding centres of health excellence represented by the German Spa Association – are experts in the therapeutic use of the natural resources of the earth, the sea, the climate, and Sebastian Kneipp-style physiotherapy. Germany's spa traditions are continually being updated to incorporate new scientific findings and are subject to regular quality reviews. The German Spa Association was founded on 23 April 1892 when Germany's leading spa doctors and health resort officials convened in Leipzig to establish an organisation dedicated to the pursuit of common objectives. Today the German Spa Association represents the spa associations of the individual federal states, the Association of German Spa Doctors and the Academy of Balneology and Climatology, all of which are devoted to spas and health resorts. The spa Heiligendamm for example is one of the 54 hotspots and one of the oldest spas in Germany, which is celebrating the 220th anniversary this year.

Through its member associations the German Spa Association represents • • • Ernst Hinsken, President German Spa Association (DHV)

approx. 300 approved spas and health resorts approx. 700 spa doctors (Association of German Spa Doctors) approx. 200 members of the Academy of Balneology and Climatology

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Badeparadies Schwarzwald

Take a tropical time out You do not need to go on a long-haul flight to enjoy a tropical feeling. Relax instead under Caribbean palm trees and in 33° warm water in the Badeparadies Schwarzwald (Swimming Paradise Black Forest) where first-class wellness, therapeutic pools and a separate, award-winning family fun bath await the tired traveller.


The Black Forest is famous for its vineyards, river valleys, sunny peaks and wide panoramic views. Located in the southwest near Freiburg im Breisgau at the border to France and Switzerland it is one of Germany’s biggest and best known holiday regions. Many centuries ago, the Romans were the first to discover the healing power of this region as they settled on the slopes of the Black Forest and constructed the first baths. But they could never have dreamt of the sophisticated water world at the Badeparadies Schwarzwald that welcomes visitors with stunning pools and healing waters in the heart of the forest at the little town of Titisee-Neustadt. Opened in 2010, around 570,000 guests recharged their energy levels at the spectacular pools last year.

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Sweat away in the Wellness Oasis “Mens sana in corpore sano” as the Romans once said, or in English, “healthy body, healthy mind”. Four themed saunas based on the elements earth, fire, water and air are waiting on the first floor. Special infusions delight the senses and clear the respiratory system. By sitting in a sauna and allowing the skin to sweat for a period of time, toxins are eliminated from the system and the muscles deeply relax.The jump into the cold tub afterwards is not for the fainthearted but breathing in the crystal clear Black Forest air in the enchanting sauna garden lifts your spirit and lets you forget the routine of everyday life. Furthermore, the ice fountain or the crystal shower provide welcome relief after the intense

heat of the sauna.Your immune system will be grateful. A new infrared light cabin is available free of charge to boost your body’s self-healing powers as well. Eventually, it is time to have a well-earned rest in the comfortable divan beds in the chill-out zone or refresh your senses with delicious snacks from the pool bar. Guaranteed holiday feeling in the Palm Oasis Slowly ease yourself into the pleasant warmth of the 33° water, feel it flowing around your body and relax. 180 real palm trees and tropical cocktails from the pool bar transport your imagination to a Caribbean island, drenched in sunshine on

Special Theme | Wellness & Spa in Germany

Bambini Star Slide with an approximate length of 9m whereas teenagers seek the adrenalin kick on the Monster Half-Pipe or the Space Wave. This year, the Galaxy Schwarzwald received the prestigious Parkscout Award as Germany’s best family fun bath.“This award is very important to us, it is the best recognition of our concept and shows that we are on the right track,” says Jochen Brugger. The 40,000 guests who voted for the Galaxy prove him right.

a fine day. The retractable, transparent panorama roof is the architectural masterpiece of the Palm Oasis as it guarantees a perfect view of the sky. In fair weather it slides open and the warm sunshine and the fresh Black Forest air flood in. But there is more to the Palm Oasis than just relaxation. The guest’s wellbeing and health are a major concern of the Badeparadies. “Last year, we invested about 4 million Euros in a new area at the Palm oasis, the ‘Spring of Health’,”explains Jochen Brugger, managing director at Badeparadies Schwarzwald.The new area offers three different kinds of therapeutic pools with valuable minerals. Hovering in the sole pool like in the Dead Sea is an absolute relief to the joints, a beauty treatment for your skin and a purification for the whole system. The Lithium-Calcium bath improves mental and physical performance and stabilizes the mental balance by combating stress and nervous tension. Calcium is beneficial for the bones and helps to prevent osteoporosis. As the Palm Oasis is adults only (and toddlers up to 3 years free of charge) nothing

disturbs the tranquillity of the exotic oasis. Family fun at the Galaxy Schwarzwald At the Galaxy Schwarzwald the whole family finds fun, action and adventure. This area, which is separated from the Palm Oasis and the Wellness Oasis, offers more than 20 attractions for every taste and age. A 25-metre sports pool provides excellent training facilities for aspiring Olympic athletes while less ambitious characters ride the high waves in the fun pool. 18 slides just wait to be conquered by big and small. Without a doubt, the highlight for the bravest is the world’s largest stainless steel half-pipe, the Monster Half-Pipe. But there is a slide for every age and adrenalin level. The smallest ones swish down the Triple Slide or the

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Wellness & Spa in Germany

Therme Erding

Above: Therme Erding. Thermenparadies & Vital Oase.

A short break in paradise Whether you're visiting Munich for pleasure or business, a day at the Therme Erding will ensure you have an unforgettable stay. Recharge your batteries in the tropical warm waters of the Thermal pools, relax in the world’s biggest sauna paradise or let your kids run wild in the huge waterslide area at the GALAXY. Whatever you choose, it will be a day to remember. TEXT: CORDELIA MAKARTSEV | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Munich, the capital of Bavaria, is one of Germany's most prosperous cities. It not only hosts the world-famous Oktoberfest every autumn, it also offers numerous excellent museums, the latest fashion shops and lots of stunning architecture.The city is buzzing with life, especially in the summer when it develops a wonderful easy-going flair, inviting you to meet the locals at one of the open-air beer gardens under old chestnut trees. But do not miss Europe’s biggest thermal water spa world at the Therme Erding, only 20 minutes by car from Munich Airport or 40 minutes from Munich city centre.

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A multiple-award winning water world Right from the start in 1999, the Therme Erding was a huge success and it still enjoys enormous popularity with around 1.5 million guests each year. The Therme won many prestigious awards for its water quality and bathing experience. The unique combination of thermal baths in an exotic holiday ambience offers a perfect time out for body and soul. All of the pools except the children’s pool are fed by the Ardeo spring, a hot mineral spring containing fluoride and sulphur. Doctors recommend bathing in this healing water to treat musculoskeletal disorders and skin diseases.

Not to mention the great pleasure of floating in the warm water with temperatures ranging from 91.4°F to 104°F that relieves body tension and provides immense calm and tranquillity. The extraordinary glass dome, which can be opened on sunny days, and the numerous exotic palms and flowers create this special tropical island feeling which we as northern Europeans so often miss in our everyday lives. Health-conscious guests enter the Vital Oase (16+) where three mineral pools spoil your skin with calcium, iodine and minerals from the Dead Sea. Two saunas help to boost your immune system as well. Here, nothing disturbs the peace and silence. Aqua fitness or various meditation and relaxation courses in an Asian ambience will not only leave the body in a state of purity and renewal but also clear your mind. The world’s largest sauna paradise The sauna paradise is a luxurious 13,383 sq.m. space sensation featuring 25 different

Top image: ROYAL DAY SPA. Deluxe Suite, Smaragd Suite. Photo: André Wahba

Below, clockwise from the left: Saunaparadies, Alhambra. Saunaparadies, Innen Palazzo Veneziano. Saunaparadies, Elementarium Erde Architektur. Saunaparadies, Stonehenge, Keltenthron-Sauna.

saunas and wellness attractions, themed after the world’s most beautiful places like the oriental “Alhambra” or the Icelandic “Geysir Cave”. “The Celtic sauna ‘Stonehenge’ is an exact recreation of its historical model near Salisbury. We used the same dimensions and brought special megaliths from Italy,” explains Uwe Barth, general manager at the Therme Erding. Inside, the sauna looks like a wooden Celtic temple with an elevated throne in the middle. Sit down in the 167°F heat, feel like a Celtic chieftain and enjoy the aromatic infusions. “We invest every year around one million Euro in the Therme Erding,”says Uwe Barth and this explains why the overall condition of the baths is impeccable and why there is always something new to discover. The newest addition to the sauna paradise is the “Tropensauna”(tropical sauna) where up to 100 people on several levels relax in the 149°F warm, very moist air similar to the rainforest climate. Get treated like royalty Discover the pleasure of luxury from top to toe in the ROYAL DAY SPA “Lounge & Dreams” which you will find in the sauna paradise as well. Attention to detail has been paramount in the large exclusive suites, cosy loungers or four-poster beds which can be booked for the day to ensure your privacy. Air conditioning, TV and a reading corner in the suites provide for a perfect day. Spoil your loved ones with a bottle of champagne and fruit if you wish. The staff is committed to the highest standards of service and excellence. Thrill seekers of all ages meet at the GALAXY Europe's biggest water slide paradise GALAXY ERDING takes fun to new heights. 20 slides and three different levels of difficulty mean that every member of

the family finds his favourite slide. Adrenalin junkies will be desperate to try the Free Fall Slide or the 70km/h speeds through the black and yellow chutes whereas toddlers will be keen to tumble down one of the three baby slides. Fun and action are guaranteed!

Spa hotel which will change the Therme Erding into a proper holiday resort. Below: GALAXY ERDING, Triple Slide.

“We are proud that we never keep still at the Therme Erding, there are always new plans and ideas to create the latest trends. As someone who visits the Therme for the first time you would need three and a half days to discover all the attractions on offer,” Uwe Barth points out. One of the future highlights will be a 4 star family Wellness &

Issue 3 | May 2013 | 21

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Wellness & Spa in Germany

Regena offers relaxation, wellness and therapy against burnout Whoever is working under great pressure and has a tight schedule takes the risk of over exhausting themselves, in the worst case leading to a burnout syndrome or depression. Taking a break once in a while might help to prevent that. Regena Health Resort and Spa does not only offer wellness and spa holidays but also a special programme for executive staff called Timeout Instead of Burnout. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: PRESS PHOTO

Situated in Staatsbad Bad Brückenau in the beautiful nature paradise of the Bavarian Rhön the Regena Health Resort and Spa offers a combination of health treatments and holidays. For 40 years Regena has been inviting to a quiet stay in a relaxed and

happy atmosphere. 95 generous rooms and suites are waiting for the guests. There are special rooms for disabled people as well. Regena Health Resort and Spa is neither a hotel nor a clinic but a place which combines the best features of both. The resort is situated in the middle of the beautiful Sinntal, 75 kilometres from Würzburg, a region that is called Germany’s green lung and therefore offers a healthy surrounding to recover from the stress of our everyday life.

Dr med Thorsten Muthorst

Dr med Naixin Wu

The health resort specialises in treating the societal diseases of our time: overweight, back pain or burnout. In addition to

Issue 3 | May 2013 | 23

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Wellness & Spa in Germany

health therapies Regena provides relaxation facilities like the Helena-Therme. It is a thermal bath which, for example, offers a Finnish sauna, steam baths, luxury showers, an ice well, an outdoor whirlpool and a fireplace room where visitors can take a rest after having a sauna.

Photo: Standl

According to guests’ wishes there are beauty and spa treatments and the possibility to have a relaxing massage. The Regena Health Resort and Spa provides fitness amenities as well, including balance aerobic courses or cardio- and strength training. Relaxation and Regeneration are also part of one of Regena’s special programmes: a therapy against the burnout syndrome caused by extensive workload and business stress. The Timeout Instead of Burnout therapy is directed towards executive and management staff, people who feel down and burnt out without really knowing what might be wrong with themselves.

Photo: Standl

The programme offers a complete body check and comprehensive treatment afterwards. The programme combines among others acupuncture, acupressure, traditional Chinese medicine and colour light treatments. Muscle relaxation, cardio-training, autogenic training and relaxation in the thermal bath are part of the therapy as well. Coaching concerning nutrition and worklife-balance should help to achieve a longterm-effect.

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“The programme helps to prevent burnout at an early stage and gives the chance to self-support one’s own health,”says Dr. Med. Thorsten Muthorst, the doctor responsible for the programme. Muthorst is a specialist in naturopathy and rehabilitation and since 2012 he has been head of the Regena health centre of western medicine. He is a specialist in burnout treatment, cardiology, pain therapy, the therapy of rheumatic illnesses and immunodeficiency and

an expert in vital substance therapy. “I want to help those patients other doctors have given up on, telling them ‘You have to live with your illness’,”says Muthorst. Muthorst believes that the deficit of certain nutrients and hormonal factors are partly responsible for exhaustion, concentration disorder and depression. He therefore offers vital substance therapy in order to balance the body’s system. Regional products are the base for the healthy Mediterranean and light cuisine provided for Regena’s guests. Muthorst combines this with special medical nutrition compounds. “What makes us different is the combination of medical competence and a special holiday atmosphere,”says Muthorst. A normal holiday can be relaxing as well, of course. “But we get to the bottom of the illness, analyse and treat tangible structural deficits with 24/7 medical care.” Many people have a lot of stress in their jobs and do not find the time to visit several doctors. For these people Regena offers different treatments out of one hand. But the programme of course has its limits. While it is very effective for those who still have functional bodily and psychic regulating mechanisms it is not effective for those with a psychiatric illness. Patients interested in the programme should check first if they can find help with Regena’s doctors and treatments or if they are in need of psychotherapeutic help. “People with extreme stress in their jobs, who do not want to tell their employer about these problems, often make use of this programme, to regenerate in a very short time,” says Muthorst. Regena Health Resort and Spa is one of the leading health resorts in Germany and was elected under the top ten of approximately 1,300 guest houses in the Relax Guide 2012.

A hotel fit for a king The Alter Meierhof Vitality Hotel at the German-Danish border found royal approval as the perfect setting for recreation and pleasure for all senses, and also offers a relaxing work environment for business conferences. TEXT: DORINA REICHHOLD | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Classified as a“5 star superior”hotel, the Alter Meierhof Vitality Hotel spoils its guests for choice about what to enjoy first: the amazing views of Flensburg Fjord, the distinguished food, or the large beauty & spa area with its various offers. Whatever the pick, the aim is always to help guests enjoy themselves and unwind from stress. “The Alter Meierhof has a very meditative impact on the guests,”explains Hanna Johansson, Marketing Manager for Scandinavia.“The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, almost familial.” She sees the family-run hotel as “a small hideaway, where the guests have a feeling of ‘coming home’.” Each of the 54 rooms is unique and individually decorated, with great attention to detail, and many rooms provide an impressive view of the fjord.

Situated at the Flensburg Fjord, which presents a link between Germany and Denmark, the Alter Meierhof is a sought-after place for business meetings and conferences. In accordance with the hotel's emphasis, work meetings at the Alter Meierhof are an enjoyable experience, a major factor being the prime location: “When entering our conference area, most guests react with a ‘wow’. The beautiful view over the fjord is amazing,” states Johansson.They can also expect some of the best conference cuisine in Germany, which is served on the hotel's terrace in the summertime. Dining in the hotel's restaurant Meierei is an experience not to be missed; its head chef Dirk Luther and its cuisine have won several awards in the last few years, amongst which are two Michelin stars. For unwinding in their spare time the Alter Meierhof offers its guests a great range of beauty & spa services, including an indoor and outdoor pool, saunas, a Turkish bath, massages and various beauty treatments.

Besides the various awards the Alter Meierhof has received, its concept also found royal approval when Harald V of Norway stayed at the hotel – while participating in a sailing competition, as Johansson reports: “Two years ago the 12mR World Championship took place on the Flensburg Fjord, where His Majesty participated. We really appreciated that our hotel was chosen to be his residence for almost a week.” The Alte Meierhof Vitality Hotel is situated in the very north of Germany at the German-Danish border. The town of Flensburg is within a few minutes driving distance from the hotel. Due to its prime location at the border, destinations in both Germany and Denmark are easy to travel to. The biggest city in Northern Germany, Hamburg is situated 170 km south and Copenhagen lies 320 km northeast of the hotel.

Issue 3 | May 2013 | 25


Above: Aurich, Köhlers Forsthaus

– something for everyone Since 1973 Ringhotels has become the largest cooperative of independent privately run hotels. About 130 authentic guest houses bursting with character are renowned for contemporary hospitality. We have hand-picked three truly authentic Ringhotels in great locations for you.

fers visitors a truly great choice of historic premises in some of the most beautiful German settings.


Just 10 minutes out of Bremen centre you find the Ringhotel Munte am Stadtwald, a certified conference hotel with three restaurants and, thanks to a lavish spa area, also perfectly suitable for a relaxing city break. The hotel Munte am Stadtwald is an institution in Bremen and highly popular amongst locals as well as visitors from abroad. Between the end of April and the middle of June it is asparagus season, and guests are warmly welcome to try this German delicacy. If you prefer the coastal region of Ostfriesland in the Nortwestern part of Lower Saxony you will find Ringhotel Köhlers Forsthaus near Aurich, a blissful wellness and garden hotel in an idyllic lakeside setting nestled at the edge of a forest. Enjoy tea with Kluntjes and relax in an authentic Strandkorb, the typical German wicker style two-seaters that are really cosy to cuddle up in and enjoy the sunshine. Run by

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Frank Köhler and his family this is the perfect spot to get away from it all and recharge your batteries. RinghotelVilla Margarete in Waren with its relaxed and friendly atmosphere is located in the Müritz National Park between Berlin and Rostock. “All our rooms are beautifully decorated with great attention to detail and offer a wonderful home from home environment. Our chef will prepare fresh seasonal dishes and our beauty- and wellness area SilvaSPA takes you into a world of tranquillity and inner peace,” owner Mr. Pöhl explains. Three lakes are available for sailing and swimming, and the landscape is perfect for hiking or cycling. In autumn you can observe the cranes, who gather in the area before they migrate south for the winter. From 2007 the ‘German Castles’ line of hotels also became part of Ringhotels and of-

Below: Waren, Villa Margarethe Bottom: Bremen, Hotel Munte am Stadtwald


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Special Theme

Beautiful Castles of Germany

The Beautiful Castles of Germany We just couldn’t resist creating a special feature about the breathtaking castles of Germany in this issue. Thousands of castles, palaces and fortresses are scattered throughout the country all bursting with heritage and many of them still shining in their old splendour. More than 500 of these historic places are located along the rivers Rhine and Moselle alone. No matter which part of Germany you visit rest assured you will pass a castle or two on your way. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: WWW.BILDER.BAYERN.BY & WWW.PICTURES.BAVARIA.BY OF BAYERN TOURISMUS MARKETING GMBH

The most extravagant castle ever built is without doubt the Bavarian Neuschwanstein Castle which was commissioned by the illustrious King Ludwig II in the 19th century. 1.3 million visitors each year flock to the village of Hohenschwangau from all over the world to take a closer look at what is considered the world’s most famous castle. Rumour has it that even Walt Disney took his inspiration from this iconic landmark building when he created his fairytale trademark castle. Germany has so much

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more to offer when it comes castles. No matter if you are looking for old medieval fortresses, picturesque Renaissance buildings, opulent baroque or rococo style palaces or rather sleek examples of neoclassicism, German castles come in all sorts of varieties. Some historic places are still occupied by their noble owners for generations; others serve as museums, schools, hotels or venues for special events.Their romantic nature makes these castles extremely popular as wedding locations and

not only for German lovebirds who are willing to tie the knot. Discover Germany presents you with a variety of splendid castles located in some of the most picturesque settings. Check out the scheduled events over the forthcoming summer months or take advantage of the authentic hospitality packages available. Does it not feel great to be treated just like royalty in an aristocratic setting when on vacation?

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Beautiful Castles of Germany

A Hohenstaufen heritage Situated between the Neckarsteig, a newly inaugurated high-quality hiking trail, and the Burgenstrasse (Castle Road), Burg Guttenberg (Guttenberg Castle) is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Neckar region. TEXT: JESSICA RIDDER | PHOTOS: BURG GUTTENBERG

“Burg Guttenberg is one of the very few surviving Stauferburgen (Hohenstaufen castles) in Europe that is still inhabited to this day by its owners,”says Bernolph von Gemmingen, the current owner, who represents the 16th generation of Barons von Gemmingen.

The child friendly castle tavern combines a beautiful view over the Neckar RiverValley with superb gastronomical offerings including a variety of local dishes as well as those from other regions, served to the guests by knights and maidens in costume. The Falconry

Practical Information •

Open daily from April to October from 10.00 AM to 6.00 PM and on weekends in March. Entrance fees, with or without guided tours of the Castle Museum, vary between 2€ and 5€ In combination with a visit to the Raptor, or a meal in the castle, low flat rates are available.

Sitting on a mountaintop, the castle lies above the lively Neckar River valley, and is surrounded by vineyards and endless forests. “The breathtaking view from the medieval tower Bergfried, from which the eyes can roam endlessly, is really spectacular,” von Gemmingen says.

Bird lovers will be able to admire vultures, eagles, snowy owls, and, of course, falcons at the German Falconry show. In 1970, the German Raptor Research Centre moved into the outer castle complex, the largest and oldest private breeding and research station for birds of prey in Europe.

Knights and ladies

Twice a day visitors can appreciate spectacular flying displays, admiring the birds in free flight and at the same time learning many interesting facts about these feathered creatures. “The swoops from the highest points back to the glove of the falconer will continue to amaze us again and again,” von Gemmingen says. “For the very first time at Burg Guttenberg, this season visitors can also admire a Steller’s Sea eagle.”

The castle hosts a museum within its impressive inner court.You can tour a torture chamber, a spinning room and the tower, amongst other sights. “Living in a knight's castle, is the name of our award-winning exhibition, that provides deep insights into castle life during different eras,”von Gemmingen explains. The castle is also well known for its unique wooden library.

Issue 3 | May 2013 | 29

Rabenstein Castle Be King and Queen for one night – or more When a child many of us dreamed of being a little prince or a fierce knight, living in a faraway castle. A dream some people still fancy when they have grown up. Rabenstein Castle in Northern Bavaria offers a unique experience: a castle hotel full of history. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: RABENSTEIN CASTLE

In the heart of Franconian Switzerland Eschwin de Rabenstein built the first part of this monumental castle in 1188. Resting on a plateau above the Ailsbach River it is set in a beautiful and quiet landscape, a more than 150-acre natural resort with its own miraculous limestone cave, a falconry and romantic hiking trails. It is a place to enjoy the historical buildings and nature likewise, not far away from the ancient towns of Bayreuth, Bamberg and Nuremberg. Crossing the bridge, visitors walk into the castle hotel which today houses 22 comfortable and stylish rooms and suites. It has been famous throughout the centuries and hosted the Bavarian king Ludwig I in the 19th century. And even those visitors who only stop for a brief stay on the castle grounds can enjoy a meal in the castle’s restaurant, which serves regional food such as deer goulash or Bavarian cream.The castle’s specialty is the wild boar buffet, served twice a month and already shown on TV.

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The castle also offers glamorous halls and salons for big events or weddings – from three Baroque Salons with an abundance of gold and cheerful colours for the reception of guests to the elegant Renaissance Hall where up to 150 people can dine and dance to the spectacular Weaponry Hall for a bountiful buffet or round-table discussions. The Great Castle Terrace offers an impressive view of the lovely landscape and the cosy Fireplace Lounge shows the perfect atmosphere for conversations surrounded by countless candles and open fire. Elegant or rustic – Rabenstein Castle offers a gorgeous setting for a special day. Whoever stays in the castle hotel becomes

part of a long and changing history. And twice a year visitors can travel back in time when a big medieval market takes place on the castle grounds: lords and merchants, maids and ladies walk side by side, knights fight for honour and gleemen entertain with their fire shows.

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Beautiful Castles of Germany

Schwetzingen Palace shines in original splendor Palatine’s Schwetzingen Palace with its beautiful Rococo Gardens is a prime example of European cultural heritage and some of its famous former residents have been quite ahead of their time. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: COPYRIGHT LANDESMEDIENZENTRUM BA.-WÜ.

Dating back to 1350 and rebuilt at the beginning of the 18th century by the Prince Elector Johann Wilhelm, Schwetzingen Palace is one of the few historic premises that have been spared destruction through war. Life at the palace flourished, when the Palatine Prince Elector Carl Theodor moved in during the 18th century.The Prince Elector was famous for being a very progressive and peace-loving leader. At his time it was quite remarkable to commission the construction of a bath house for the purpose of recreation, as a common sense for personal privacy was just about to evolve. He also commissioned the design of today’s splendid palace gardens from famous landscape architects Nicolas de Pigage and Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell. Later the Arborium Theodoricum, one of the oldest Englishstyle landscaped parks in the country, was added to the grounds.Take a stroll through the magnificent gardens featuring over 40,000 tulips in spring, more than 100 sculptures, the Apollo Temple, the famous bath house and a real mosque erected purely for decorative purposes.

Behind the garden’s northern Zirkelsaal visitors will be stunned by the gorgeous Rococo Theatre, which was one of the first theatres in Europe featuring galleries. Wolfgang Schröck-Schmidt, curator of the Schwetzingen Palace, has countless stories to share about the rich and colourful past of the premises, but his favourite anecdote is about how one of the world’s greatest musicians started his career: “Mozart performed here when he was a 7-year old boy with his sister Nannerl in front of the Elector and his entourage. Later the proud father wrote a letter to Salzburg sharing his enthusiasm: ‘My children have moved whole Schwetzingen’. ”Today the palace and gardens are prettier than ever and Mr Schröck-Schmidt reckons: “British garden enthusiasts are most welcome to stroll through the palace grounds. Follow the footprints of Elector Carl Theodor, enjoy the great Palatine cuisine (it’s so much more than Bratwurst and Kraut) and don’t forget to taste the good Palatine wines while you’re here.”

Main Picture: Castle and garden Top: Mosque Middle: Bath House Bottom: Rococo Theatre

Special events to highlight this summer include the Schwetzinger Festspiele from 26 April to 8 June, the Mozart Weeks from 27 September to 13 October and the Lichterfest on 27 July 2013.

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Weser Renaissance at its finest at Neuhaus Castle Over 750 years old, Paderborn’s Neuhaus Castle is one of the finest examples of the so-called Weser Renaissance style and has been home to bishops and military over the years. And if you like Baroque gardens this is the perfect place to visit. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: TOURIST INFORMATION PADERBORN

Neuhaus Castle is located just outside the charming city of Paderborn in North RhineWestphalia and is considered to be a very important architectural landmark representing the early Weser Renaissance style. The river Weser determines the area, where this particularly pretty and playful architectural style was originally implemented. The Weser Renaissance evolved with the Reformation which was sparked by Martin Luther publishing his famous Ninety-Five Theses. The whole country was significantly transformed by this revolutionary movement between the 16th and the 17th century. Unfortunately the following Thirty Years' War took its toll and many of the great creations weren’t spared from destruction.

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Neuhaus castle itself with its deep moat served as a bishop’s residence since the 13th century and was later extended by Prince Bishop Clemens August of Bavaria in the 18th century. The regent added the remarkable side buildings Schlosswache and Marstall to the complex. Both premises are today serving as museums, gallery and event locations. But the Prince-Bishop was also responsible for the creation of the gorgeous Baroque style landscaped gardens. Countless flowers blossom here throughout spring and summer and some species even add colour to the grounds during the dark winter season. Although the original gardens were destroyed, they have been lovingly restored to their full splendour. Today

the gardens do not fail to impress botanic enthusiasts and landscaping aficionados from all over the world. In 1994 the Landesgartenschau, an event similar to the Chelsea Flower Show, was held on the beautiful grounds of the castle. Today Neuhaus castle is housing a school and several representative quarters which are used for official events. Outside the school schedule the majestic great hall is often used as a stage for concerts and various performances. The former stable yard, the so-called Marstall has been converted to feature as a natural history museum offering plenty of interactive experiences for the little visitors,

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Beautiful Castles of Germany Left: Neuhaus Castle and Baroque Gardens Below: Libori Procession Bottom: Marstall

Gourmet Festival ‘Hochstift à la carte‘ (21 to 23 June) are on the agenda. Furthermore the historical exhibition CREDO will showcase pieces themed around the Christianisation of Europe during the Middle Ages. And finally we have the biggest Paderborn festival coming up. The Libori celebrations will take place from 27 July to 4 August,”Mr Schäfer proudly announces.The Libori Festival is deeply rooted in the city history and for nine days normal city life nearly comes to a standstill. In 836 the relics of St. Liborius were transferred from French Le Mans to Paderborn and these relics are still worshipped.“The Libori festival is celebrated in honour of Paderborn’s patron St. Liborius. Over 1.5 million people come to Paderborn to join the celebrations every year. The festival is quite unique, because it is a blend of church processions and fun fair. There will be a jumble sale, the Pottmarkt with various market stalls, street artists and plenty of musical entertainment. The Libori festival definitely offers something to everyone,” Schäfer says. And he shares his insider knowledge:“Real Paderborners make their way to the Paderborner beer-fountain.They

buy a beer mug which can be filled three times with real Paderborner beer at the great barrel in front of the historic town hall.”Our British readers may already have heard about it, because Paderborn is still home to 10,000 British citizens of the armed forces. So if you decide to visit the Neuhaus castle don’t be surprised if you bump into a compatriot.

a historic museum and a showcase for the famous glass and ceramics Nachtmann collection. Many of the valuable exhibits have been retrieved from the castle’s moat and painstakingly restored and researched for many years by Hans Joachim Nachtmann. The best time to visit the castle is in summer when the beautiful gardens are the prettiest. Paderborns’s so-called Schloßsommer is a string of events held between May and September in the enchanting castle grounds. Mr Karl Heinz Schäfer, Vice Director of Paderborn’s Office for Public Relations and City Marketing, explains what happens at the Schloßsommer. “We organise plenty of attractive events such as the Paderborn Cycle Day in May or the Neuhaus Garden Days in June and of course the Wine Festival. But that’s not all: the city centre of Paderborn will also be transformed into a vibrant place. Great events such as the Spring Festival or the

Issue 3 | May 2013 | 33

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Beautiful Castles of Germany

Schwerin Castle 1000 years of history Set in the most idyllic location on an island in the middle of Schwerin, the golden dome of the neo-Renaissance style castle can be spotted from miles away on a sunny day. Visit the breath-taking castle, stroll through the splendid gardens and enjoy a tour through the museum. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: BRÖCKER © STAATLICHES MUSEUM SCHWERIN

The history of Schwerin castle can be traced back to the year 973. The historic building, as it stands today, was created under the supervision of the Grand Duke Friedrich Franz II of Mecklenburg-Schwerin at the beginning of the 19th century. Inspired by the French Renaissance, the Duke hired Germany’s most influential and leading architects such as Ernst Friedrich Zwirner, who served as master builder for the famous Cologne Cathedral, Friedrich August Stüler, who was the court architect to the Prussian king, as well as Dresden’s legendary Gottfried Semper for the project. Today the castle houses the State Parliament of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. But it also hosts a museum. The grand living quarters and ceremonial rooms have been made accessible to visitors and the museum showcases paintings, sculptures and artisan craftwork, mainly from the 19th century. 300,000 visitors per year are espe-

34 | Issue 3 | May 2013

cially enchanted by the exquisite collection of porcelain from the Meissen and KPM manufacturers, as well as an impressive collection of royal hunting and decorative weapons. Dr. Dirk Blübaum, Director Staatliches Museum Schwerin/Ludwigslust/Güstrow Kunstsammlungen, Schlösser und Gärten Schloss Schwerin, points out what attracts his British guests: “Mecklenburg and Schwerin are still considered as insider tips for British visitors. Historically there are quite a few interesting facts: The wife of King George III, Sophie Charlotte was from Mecklenburg, and it was she who attracted many British visitors to the country. You can see her portrait at the nearby art gallery Galerie Alte und Neue Meister am Alten Garten, which has been painted by no other than Thomas Gainsborough. Hans Caspar von Bothmer, the closest advisor to King George I and Sir Robert Walpole, Britain’s first Prime Minis-

From top to bottom: Throne Room Red Audience Room Ancestors gallery. Photo: Steiner

ter to be accommodated in 10 Downing Street, chose Mecklenburg to live in at his later stage in life.” Two more castles, Ludwigslust and Güstrow are also located nearby and well worth a visit. Schwerin Castle hosts several events during the summer months including the medieval festival on 1 June and the Garden Summer with musical highlights such as the open air “Fledermaus”operetta by composer Johann Strauss II.

Castle Assumstadt

Above: Assumstadt Castle, Rococo Room

A rococo domain with grand style and tradition The rococo façade of Castle Assumstadt alone is a magnificent view: painted in a rose colour with white windows the wide staircase towards the entrance immediately catches the eye. Today it is not only home to its owners but also a place for conventions, concerts and celebrations. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Castle Asssumstadt near Heilbronn was built in 1771 at the behest of the Austrian empress Maria Theresa. The famous architectural school of Fischer von Erlach made the draft for the castle, the same architect who also built the well-known castle Schönbrunn in Vienna. Castle Assumstadt is surrounded by a beautiful rococo garden until today.

ter an indoor market provides guests with pre-Christmas decorations, crafts and arts.

“Some places are beautiful in every season and Castle Asssumstadt is one of these places,”says Hubertus Count of WaldburgWolfegg and Waldsee, the current owner of the castle. His family, which can trace its line back to the Staufer reign in the 11th century, bought the castle in 1937 and today heads the estate in the third generation. Ten years ago the count opened the castle’s doors to the public and founded a cultural association that, for example, organizes castle concerts with a local music school. In summer the castle grounds host a big garden exhibition and a concert series, in win-

The castle also offers an ideal place for family celebrations, conferences, garden parties or weddings. The great rococo hall, for example, accommodates up to 65 guests, who dine under a painted cupola and crystal candelabra. The party barn for 200 guests offers a more rustic atmosphere while the rococo garden invites to a party under the open sky or in party tents, which are set up according to the guest’s wishes. Assumstadt Castle works together with a local caterer, the Küffner Hof, who creates buffets as well as multi-course menus or canapés and snacks. “We want to fulfil every desire of our guests,”says castle owner Hubertus Count of Waldburg-Wolfegg and Waldsee. “They should always have a happy and memorable stay here in Castle Assumstadt.”

The party barn for 200 guests

Issue 3 | May 2013 | 35

Special Theme

Theme Parks in Germany

German Theme Parks – everything but boredom Exciting rides, relaxing landscapes, breathtaking shows and performances, blissful wellness areas – these are just a few examples of what German leisure parks have to offer. Over 32 million visitors enjoy a trip to a theme park every year. In many parks 80 per cent of guests are returning visitors. Not surprising, as a colourful palette of attractions is offered.


The 67 leading German theme parks include classic parks as well as themed parks such as zoo or safari parks, movie parks, brand parks and indoor entertainment premises. There is something for everyone and service always comes first. Many parks added more to the already existing attractions, such as rides, entertainment programmes, street performers, parades, etc. to an extent, that just one day is not enough to indulge in all the temptations. That is why most parks lure in visitors with attractive overnight packages. Themed four star hotels, fully equipped holiday homes, authentic block houses, camp sites, tipi-villages, traditional German inns, romantic shepherd’s wagons and even tree houses offer great hospitality and in most cases even include a wellness programme. In that way many parks turned from a day trip destination into an attractive short stay vacation resort. Thus different target groups may be served at the same time. On the one hand the central target group is the family audience with children. In general the main programme is tailored to their needs. On the

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other hand the German theme parks – just like other parties in the tourism industry – adapted to the demographic changes and included the discerning 50+ guest in their programme. Blissful wellness areas in the hotels and culinary delicacies prepared by award-winning chefs are successfully catering for the age group 50+. Both target groups, families and senior citizens, will be joined together away from the‘higher and faster’rollercoasters.Various family friendly rides can be used by grandparents, parents and children together: A theme park is now the perfect generationspanning entertainment destination. Especially vacationers with children benefit from a trip to the theme parks, which offer a great distraction from only strolling through classic tourist attractions, so the little ones won’t get bored. It is also considered a great advantage that most German parks offer an all-inclusive price for their guests, so individual attractions inside the park gates don’t need to be paid for on top. If for just one or for more days, if central city indoor attractions or classic parks in the

Dr Ulrich Muller-Oltay, Managing Director, Verband Deutscher Freizeitparks und Freizeitunternehmen e.V. VDFU

outskirts: there is something to be found for every taste and budget. A visit to a park is the perfect opportunity to get away from it all, have lots of fun and being pampered in style.


+27(/ DP 7HFKQLN 0XVHXP 63(<(5

Adventure Park Tripsdrill Germany’s first theme park Oscar Wilde once said: “Pleasure is the only thing one should live for, nothing ages like happiness,” and pleasure is exactly what you find at Tripsdrill, Germany’s very first and oldest Adventure Park. TEXT: JESSICA RIDDER | PHOTOS: ADVENTURE PARK TRIPSDRILL

“I look forward to many beautiful and hopefully sunny days with happy visitors and children with a sparkle in their eyes, and of course I'm curious to see how our two new attractions, the Gaudi-Viertel (fun-district) and the catapult rollercoaster Karacho, will resonate with the visitors,” Tripsdrill Manager Helmut Fischer says. Situated near Stuttgart in southern Germany, covering 77 hectares in total, the

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amusement park opened its doors again on Easter for a new season of pleasure and fun.

wildlife park just a 10-minute walk away, Tripsdrill offers visitors two experiences for the price of one.

Adventure, wild life and nature

“Tripsdrill is Germany's first theme park, it is surrounded by nature. Through decades of tradition, it appeals to all generations. The attractions are original and designed with great attention to detail, this philosophy has remained with us since the beginning of Tripsdrill,”Fischer says.

In 1929, Eugen Fischer, the grandfather of the current owners, built the first Altweibermühle (Old Women's Mill), the heart and soul of today’s Tripsdrill. Housing both an adventure park featuring over 100 attractions and the Wildparadies, its own

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Theme Parks in Germany

for children like the Moggelesbahn as well as larger ones for adults like the wooden roller coaster Mammut, which guarantees a pure thrill,”Fischer says. What’s on offer is extremely versatile; the fun does not end with roller coasters and the Waschzuber-Rafting (a white-water-ride), there’s also a toy museum for the little ones and the Vinarium, a wine museum, built on the model of a historic wine press. Furthermore the whole family can enjoy many more attractions in the idyllic Mühlental (Mill Valley), the Doppelter Donnerbalken (freefall ride), a soapbox-race and the Mühlbach-Fahrt-water ride, where the youngest thrill seekers travel through the water and hold on tight to their flour sacks for a 3.5-metre drop at the end!

red kites and vultures during flight demonstrations on the new falconer's grandstand. Practical information • The park is open daily from Easter to November. Opening times are subject to alterations so check the website before visiting. • Day-tickets include a voucher for a wine glass from the Vinarium as a souvenir. Entry to the Wildlife Park is included (also open during winter, every weekend, public and school holiday from 9 am to 5 pm). • Overnight visitors receive reduced-rate Day-Passes for the adventure park. There are also 4,000 free parking spaces at the main entrance.

When hunger strikes, visitors can chose from a large variety of gastronomic offerings, delicious regional foods including venison dishes, noodles and meat fritters. A new season A brand new attraction this season is the weatherproofed Gaudi-Viertel which provides on the inside, over 1,000 square metres, limitless ways to play: “Climbing, slides, softball games, all under one roof, and also the nearly 8-foot marble tower that moves up and down like a yo-yo,”Fischer describes. This summer Tripsdrill’s latest attraction will also go live, the themed catapult rollercoaster Karacho, whose train accelerates from 0 to 100 to about 30 metres in height. Get in touch with nature With over 600,000 visitors each year, the park now also offers it’s own newly built accommodation in the form of tree houses and rustic shepherd’s wagons in the nature resort. Ideal for families, the new buildings are sustainably integrated into the existing landscape and the choice to use green energy reflects the founders’ love of nature.

Surrounded by vineyards, meadows and forests, Tripsdrill is a unique experience, a world of its own. The wildlife park expanded in 1972 from a petting zoo and now looks after 40 different species of animals. Favourites include the European and Arctic wolves amongst raccoons, brown bears and lynxes. Every day at 2.30 PM (apart from Fridays) you can observe their feeding.

A theme park for the whole family “Tripsdrill is a theme park for the whole family, because there are special attractions

At 3.30 PM (and at 11.30 AM during the high season) visitors can marvel at eagles,

Issue 3 | May 2013 | 39

Travel the world in just one day At wildlife centre Zoom Erlebniswelt Gelsenkirchen you can explore the beauty and the species of Alaska, Africa and Asia in just one day. Highlights include close encounters with some of the world’s most majestic and exotic animals. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Zoom Erlebniswelt is located in the North Rhine-Westphalian city of Gelsenkirchen between Dortmund and Duisburg. Founded in the year 2005, the park today is home to more than 900 animals from over 110 different species and attracts almost 1 million visitors per year.You won’t see any fences as all enclosures are designed as naturally as possible with no visible boundaries.“Unique adventures are also waiting for you during the safari through the Africa world of adventure, past mighty lions and

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elegant giraffes in the bush-tree savannah and onward through the wet savannah, where you will encounter baboons, meerkats and the hippos. Watch the red ruffed lemurs on Lemurs’ Island who enjoy experiencing the first rays of sun on their bodies like small sun worshippers.”Spring is the perfect time for a visit as plenty of young little animals are just born and really cute to observe in action as Sabine Haas, diploma biologist and Marketing and PR spokesperson of Zoom Erlebniswelt, rec-

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Theme Parks in Germany

ommends: “All guests just adore the little Orang-Utans or chimpanzees, but the cute little meerkat babies are also winning the visitors’ hearts by storm. Children love our 850 square metres Dragon Land indoor adventure playground featuring a big ship, flying dragons and plenty of climbing frames.”And there is more for children such as a real Ranger Tour through the park or the possibility to be a zookeeper for a day.

Get up close and personal with Ernie the hippo, Maro the Lion and his three foxy ladies, which are just separated from visitors by a glass panel. Zoom’s Afrika is home to almost 400 animals from antelopes to zebras. “My favourite place is the Africa Lodge from where you can see the rhinos, zebras and the African lake. Or the bear cove in Alaska, where you can see the mighty Kamchatka bears,” Sabine Haas says.

Visit the three different areas and be prepared to be wowed. Alaska is a fascinating landscaped area renowned for its bear enclosures. Meet Bill and Lara, the two polar bears, who are always happy to show up at the glass window of their natural enclosure or take look at the majestic Kodiak bears. Wander through the North American coastal rainforests, the tundra area, the harsh mountains and the Polar Regions and watch over 120 animals such as lynxes, wolves or the occasional moose.Those who would like to experience a truly Alaskan gold rush ambience are welcome to wander through Sam’s Goldmine and choose to pan for gold with a sieve in real streams. And while you are in Alaska take a ride on the multimedia Ice Adventure to learn all about this amazing part of the world and its residents in a sophisticated manner.

The Asian part is entered via the Namaste Portal and is home to some most exotic creatures. An area as large as seven football pitches takes the visitors into a different world made of prairie and bamboo forests. Take advantage of the Canope Walk, a six metre high skywalk, from where you can observe the Orang-Utans in their natural habitat. Furthermore the indoor ELE Tropical Paradise features 3,600 plants, rare birds and reptile species and a warm climate throughout the year. For 2013 it is big news: “A special highlight is our new Tiger Kingdom, which will be opening shortly. Over 1,000 square metres we have created courses of streams, a swimming pond and a landscape that is based on the Ussuri River surrounding in Russia including wooden logs and lavish botany. If everything goes as planned four Siberian Tigers will move in this May,” Sabine Haas proudly announces.

In Africa it is Safari-time. The African Queenboat ride takes you through the savannah, Namibia’s water mountain landscape and more authentic surroundings.

Culinary needs are catered for according to various taste and needs.The Grimberger

Hof offers a typical German beer garden. And while mum and dad are enjoying a traditional Westphalian lunch, children can play on the adventure playground or experience a close encounter with cuddly animals such as goats and sheep in the nearby pets corner. If you prefer a more international option head for the authentic Alaska saloon type Diner or the Africa Lodge, both located at an idyllic lakeside. For a more formal lunch and dining experience the Asian themed restaurants Pangung and Ryokan are the perfect venues. After a trip around the world in just one day it sometimes is hard to wave good-bye to all the lovely creatures, but you can always pick up your favourite animal in the form of a soft toy at the Zoom shop at the exit and thus take home a cuddly souvenir.

Issue 3 | May 2013 | 41

Tropical Islands vacations in the heart of Germany The Tropical Islands resort is the ultimate leisure experience right in the heart of Germany. Europe’s largest self-contained tropical holiday resort offers 26°C all year round, room to relax under palm trees and plenty of fun for everyone. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

“Come in and discover the delights of Tropical Islands. Stroll along the sandy beach by the Tropical Sea, join an expedition through the Tropical Rainforest, relax in theTropical Sauna and Spa Complex, taste the wonderful food and enjoy some first-class entertainment.” That is just a hint towards what to expect when you visit the resort. But best of all is the option to stay overnight as the resort offers some truly unique accommodation facilities and all attractions are open 24/7 for guests.

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Just 50 minutes by train from Berlin, the Tropical Islands resort consists of 66,000 square metres of tropical surroundings inspired by the most beautiful holiday dream destinations. The huge dome construction measures 107 metres in height, so you could easily fit in London’s Big Ben tower, and the resort has capacity for up to 6,000 guests. Step inside and be prepared to be wowed. Inside the dome the Tropical World and Eu-

rope’s largest sauna and spa complex offers visitors a literally warm holiday experience, no matter what the weather conditions are outside. Attractions include the African Jungle Lift that takes you 20 metres up in the air, Germany’s highest water slide tower, the world’s largest indoor rainforest with 50,000 tropical plants and an array of rare bird species, Island ballooning, miniature golf and more. The Boulevard offers plenty of retail facilities, a beauty salon and even

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Theme Parks in Germany

Samoan Fale or the Thai House, all created by international experts such as the Thai Royal Family architect Ladda Teijavnaija. Europe’s biggest spa and sauna complex was carefully designed to deliver a truly exotic holiday feeling. Over 10,000 square metres, replicas of landmarks such as the Indian Elephanta Temple, the Cambodian Angkor Wat Temple or Sicily’s Alcantara

which has been landscaped after the Waiotapu conservation area in New Zealand and the lavish Spa offers a wide range of pampering Far Eastern treatment options. Every night at 7:30 pm it is show time on the Wayang Stage.This season the “AKOYA – Pearl of the Tropics” performance transports the audience into a colourful world of artistic feats and musical stage performances all inspired by the beauty of the underwater world. Mr Patrick Kastner, Press Relations Manager at Tropical Islands, explains what draws people to the resort: “Our guests are truly amazed by the high level of authenticity and the tropical atmosphere inside the resort. We offer a best-of mix of the tropical hemisphere and visitors are always surprised by the unique ambience they experience during their stay. And where else in world are you given the opportunity to stay overnight right in a theme park where all the attractions are free to use 24/7?” Accommodation options available on site are quite unique as guests may choose to book a room, stay in an authentic lodge or opt for a night in a canvas tent, which is set in one of the rainforest camps. All tents, rooms and lodges are available in various categories offering a perfect solution for every budget and purpose.Tropical Islands is a fun destination for everyone, no matter if you are planning a family vacation, a romantic get away with your loved one or a fun trip with friends, team mates or colleagues. “We are really excited about this summer’s opening of our new accommodation complex Port Royal, featuring 48 rooms based on the architecture of a Caribbean harbour village,” Mr Kastner announces and he adds: “For those who wish to escape the unpredictable British weather we are the perfect destination with 365 days of warm climate throughout the year.”

an airbrush tattoo shop. And if parents need a break, children are welcome in the Tropino kids club, where the little treasures are well entertained while mum and dad can recharge their batteries in the nearby Lagoon area. Take advantage of the Tropical Sea and the Bali Lagoon areas with their sandy beaches and a cosy 28°C warm water. The Tropical Village features true to original and sumptuously reproduced premises such as the Balinese Temple Gate, the Bali pavilion, the Borneo longhouse, the

Canyon have been constructed to serve as various types of saunas and steam rooms. And if you prefer a dip in a natural hot tub you may enjoy the 32°C warm geyser,

Book your flight to Berlin-Schönefeld and enjoy a tropical vacation without the hassle of a long haul flight.

Issue 3 | May 2013 | 43

Take a stroll on the wings of the Jumbo Jet in Speyer.

Fast and Furious – Discover Technology in Motion Technology Museums Sinsheim and Speyer Thousands of unusual masterpieces of mobility technology are waiting to be explored just an hour’s drive south from Frankfurt airport in the Technology Museums Sinsheim and Speyer. From Concorde to space shuttle – you won’t see such a variety anywhere else. TEXT: ASTRID BARWASSER-BRESTRICH | PHOTOS: © TECHNOLOGY MUSEUMS SINSHEIM AND SPEYER

It is easily recognizable from a distance: The gigantic French/British Supersonic Concorde sits on the roof of the Auto & Technik Museum in Sinsheim, almost ready for take off – together with neighbouring Supersonic Russian Tupolev TU-144 (see top image). “In our museums, which are privately held and run by a non-profit-making club, everything is authentic,” explains Simone Lingner from the press department of the Museums. “In Sinsheim and Speyer we show more than 6,000 exhibits altogether – vintage cars, sports and race cars, motorcycles, military vehicles, trucks, fire engines and much more. We also have many large exhibits on display: the supersonic aircraft Concorde and Tupolev 144 in Sinsheim and a Boeing 747, a submarine and a rescue cruiser in Speyer, to name but a few. All can be visited as well from the inside. We also have two IMAX large screen movie theatres, an IMAX 3 D in Sinsheim and an IMAX Dome in Speyer, a spectacular adventure for everyone.” One particularly outstanding exhibit in Sinsheim is the experimental vehicle “Brutus”.

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Museum boss Hermann Layher invested a decade relentlessly assembling a veritable beast: an old 1908 American La France chassis with scarcely any brakes powered by a BMW WWI aircraft engine with 47 litres capacity. Layher put it on the road in 2006, reaching a staggering 90 mph! As Jeremy Clarkson of BBC’s TOP GEAR pointed out on the show featuring “Brutus”in 2012:“It feels like doing a crossword while being eaten by a tiger.”

Explore the inner life of the German submarine U9 in Speyer

Fancy climbing a space shuttle today? Besides many other unique exhibits, in the Technik Museum Speyer you can visit Europe’s largest space flight exhibition featuring a genuine Russian BURAN space shuttle. Outside the USA and Russia, it is the only space shuttle in a museum, and the exhibition comprises everything connected to manned space flight. Go and see the unusual. The museums offer several economically priced packages with or without accommodation at the museums’ hotels. For booking visit The museums can be booked for private or company events.

Our firespitting “Brutus”

Visit a genuine BURAN space shuttle in Speyer

Attraction of the Month Germany

Above: Pergamon panorama; Right top: Amazonia – visitors get the experience of standing in the middle of the rain forest. Photo: Stefan Hoyer; Right below: 360°-Panorama Rome 312

Asisi Panorama International – a look into past, future and faraway places Have you ever wondered how the world looks like when you are standing in the middle of the Himalayas at the foot of Mount Everest? Have you ever wanted to visit ancient Rome? A panoramic view most people will never actually see in their lives – that is what artist Yadegar Asisi creates with his 360-degree panoramas.

Yadegar Asisi


It is a landscape of harsh rocks, snow, ice and a clear blue sky. Whoever watches the great Mount Everest panorama gets an idea of how it must feel to stand at the foot of this gigantic mountain. The artist Yadegar travelled through the Himalayas before he created the panorama, which was exhibited between 2003 and 2005 for the first time. In 2005 Yadegar Asisis exhibited a panorama of Rome in the year 312 A.D. in Leipzig, alternating with other themes. It shows the city at the dawn of Christianity during the reign of the great emperor Constantine and in Rome’s architectural blossom time. Panoramic views of the Amazonia and

Dresden in the year 1756 followed shortly afterwards. From October 2013 the panorama of Rome 312 A.D. will be presented again, this time in Pforzheim. “The art of Yadegar Asisi is unique and moves people directly,”says Martin Löwer, patron of the arts and managing partner of Asisi Panorama International (API). API aims to identify future projects and cooperate with partners on exhibiting Yadegar Asisi’s panoramic views in many European countries. Currently exhibitions are planned and negotiated in Vienna, Paris, Brussels or Istanbul. “The physical experience to stand in the middle of a monumental painting alone is overwhelming; people can travel into the past or experience natural spectacles as if they were really there,”explains Löwer. “There are so many details and people intuitively grasp historical events and circumstances.”

The biggest success for Asisi was the historical view of the Ancient Greek town of Pergamon. The panorama is like time travelling back into the year 129 B.C. showing the antique buildings in all their splendour and artistry. Today people from all over the world express their interest in Asisi’s panoramas. The artist is developing new ideas almost every day; at the moment he is already working on exposés as well as details about how to create panoramas of the Great Barrier Reef, Ground Zero or the Titanic. “The fascination of such panoramas is difficult to describe,”says Martin Löwer. “It is such an impressive and sensual experience. People should try out themselves.You simply have to go and look.”

Issue 3 | May 2013 | 45

Attraction of the Month

Tiergarten Schönbrunn


– MeetYangYang and Long Hui, the Pandas The Tiergarten Schönbrunn in Vienna is the oldest zoo in the world. And many of the visitors believe it is the world’s most beautiful zoo as well. Founded in 1752 as an imperial menagerie on the grounds of the famous Palace Schönbrunn, today the zoo features more than 600 different species in stunning surroundings of the baroque era and is an important centre for species conservation. TEXT: CORDELIA MAKARTSEV

In July 1752 Emperor Francis I. Stephan, husband of Maria Theresa, showed his noble guests the newly built menagerie in the park of his palace for the first time. Ever since then, the zoo has prospered and is now considered one of the best and most modern zoos in the world. It witnessed many sensational events like the first birth of an African elephant conceived in human

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care in 1906. Today, each year more than two million visitors explore the expansive 17ha grounds of the zoo with its generous animal compounds. “Tiergarten Schönbrunn is a very unique combination of the baroque ambience of the listed buildings and a modern zoo concept which provides animals with their natural habitats,” explains Johanna Bukovsky, head of PR at the

Tiergarten Schönbrunn. The zoo is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site Schönbrunn. A modern zoological approach in historic flair In the particularly generous and natural designed animal compounds live more than 8000 animals, from Siberian tigers and

Discover Germany | Attraction of the Month | Austria Main image: Kaiserpavillon. ©Tiergarten Schönbrunn/Daniel Zupanc Left: Rain Forest House. ©Tiergarten Schönbrunn/Harald Eisenberger Below: Seal feeding. ©Tiergarten Schönbrunn/Daniel Zupanc

A large South America Park shows the zoo’s contemporary approach to animal keeping. The landscape resembles the famous South American pampas. Giant anteaters, capybaras, tapirs and rheas live here together like they would do in the wild. Do not miss the giant, artificial termite hill where visitors observe the giant anteaters licking their food out of the tunnels with their endless tongues. Especially for children the zoo offers an unforgettable day out. Their hearts will be captured by the cute miniature goats at the animal encounter zone. “Children love to run wild on our adventure playgrounds,” says Johanna Bukovsky. ”And we have a pet zone where children can learn how to keep a pet at home and what needs animals such as rabbits or budgerigars really have.”Not to mention the Nature Experience Trail with a fire salamander climbing wall and a cobweb for clambering young visitors. And the Treetop Trail, a long rope bridge 10 meters above ground where children and parents alike enjoy the gorgeous view over the Tiergarten Schönbrunn and the city of Vienna. Breeding programmes for future generations polar bears to Venezuelan tarantulas. A highlight is the giant Rain Forest House where you and your children can marvel at the vast range of flora and fauna from south-east Asia. Wafts of mist waver through the moist trees and sometimes the exotic birds, tiger pythons and Asian otters get startled by a tropical thunderstorm. Who dares to advance into the dark bat grotto will feel the mysterious animals fly over head. In 2009, the Orang-Utans moved into their new home, the ORANG.erie. Erected in the 19th century as a palm house, today the huge glass walls give a home to Vladimir, Nonja, Sol und Mota, a happy Orang-Utan group. Have a nice cup of coffee in the neighbouring cafe and watch the big apes climbing the tall trees or swinging on the ropes through their territory.

Tiergarten Schönbrunn is one of the few zoos worldwide to house giant pandas.The female Yang Yang (“Sunshine”) and the male Long Hui ("Dragon Symbol") came ten years ago as a loan from the Republic of China. In 2007, the zoo witnessed a European premier: for the first time ever, a panda baby that was naturally conceived in a European zoo was born in Schönbrunn. His name is Fu Long (“Happy Dragon”) and three years later, he got a brother, Fu Hu, the “Happy Tiger”. The siblings are now living in China. This year, there could be offspring again:“We know that the Pandas mated but until now we cannot be sure that Yang Yang is really pregnant,” reveals Johanna Bukovsky. But the Pandas are not the only aspiring parents. In the summer, a little elephant is expected, another huge success of the

breeding programme. Just recently, the twotoed sloths which spend most of their time hanging dozing from a branch of a tree had a little baby. It will spend the first months huddled together in its mother’s lap. Species conservation is an important part of the zoo’s mandate.“The Tiergarten Schönbrunn takes part in 51 conservation breeding programmes. Zoos are the only institutions which are able to maintain such a lot of threatened species. The knowledge gained in these projects is very important for the conservation projects in the wilderness,” says Simone Haderthauer, zoological trustee at the Tiergarten.

Giant Panda. ©Tiergarten Schonbrunn/Daniel Zupanc

Orang-Utans. ©Tiergarten Schönbrunn/Norbert Potensky

Tuluba. ©Tiergarten Schönbrunn/Daniel Zupanc

Issue 3 | May 2013 | 47


of the Month

Eden Roc Ascona


– timeless elegance in a prime location As part of the Tschuggen Hotel Group, member of the Leading Hotels of the World, Virtuoso and Swiss Deluxe Hotels, the Eden Roc five star superior hotel nestling by the shore of Lake Maggiore offers the ultimate in luxury and style. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: URS HOMBERGER

“In recent years the Hotel Eden Roc in Ascona has garnered numerous awards as Switzerland’s best holiday hotel, with guests able to enjoy a slice of paradise all year round between the fragrant Garden of Eden and the gently lapping waters of Lake Maggiore. Cuisine of the highest standard, an innovative approach to guest service, a

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paradise of peace and quiet, a private bathing area, a panoramic landing stage,” these are just a few of the highlights visitors can expect when staying at the iconic Eden Roc hotel. Internationally renowned local interior designer Carlo Rampazzi created an ambience of Italian style with an eccentric twist. Bespoke contemporary furniture

pieces were blended with original wall paintings and vintage marble laid floors to offer a truly unique hospitality venue. “The Hotel Eden Roc is located directly on the shore of Lake Maggiore and offers ample gardens and terraces. All of our spacious rooms and suites offer balconies to savour

Hotel of the Month | Switzerland

Press image/Tschuggen Hotel Group

lighter option guests may opt for La Cassetta or the Eden Bar with its spectacular terrace overlooking the lake.

the scenery and nature. The amazing view of Lake Maggiore or the Ticino mountains is only one of the specific characteristics of our hotel. In addition the private beach, its own marina and the various water sports facilities inspire guests of all ages, â€?Daniel Schälli, General Manager of the Eden Roc hotel, says. Once an idyllic fishing village on the Northern shore of Lake Maggiore, Ascona soon became a hot spot for the artsy society and is today one of the most authentic places to visit in the Ticino region of Switzerland. During the summer months Ascona hosts several music festivals as well as the world famous CSI Ascona horse trials. Awards won by the Eden Roc Hotel are countless and include GaultMillau's Hotel of the Year 2010, and the title Best Holiday Hotel in Switzerland for the second year

running by the Swiss SonntagsZeitung in 2012. Three grand suites, 34 junior suites and suites, 42 double rooms as well as 16 rooms in the Eden Roc Marina are all designed to impress even the most discerning guests. Designs vary from eclectic Rampazzi style to a classical and traditional ambience or even a fresh maritime motto; nothing is left to desire.

The impressive Spa complex, also designed by Rampazzi, was opened in 2010 and won the SENSES Award 2011 as the World's Best Spa Resort in the Spa Design category. The Italian Class lifestyle magazine voted the Eden Roc Spa at rank 9 in the list of the best spas in the world. 2,000 square metres feature indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a hydro-pool with eight whirlpool recliners, sauna and steam rooms and even an ice-fountain. A high tech gym is available for the fitness savvy and for a more relaxing time a wide range of treatments may be enjoyed in one of the seven dedicated spa rooms. There is more on offer to have a good time with the Eden Roc featuring its own water ski school. Water sports are key and what is more stylish than chartering a legendary Riva boat and cruising the lake? For those who prefer turf to surf no less than 18 golf courses nearby are waiting to be played, and given the beauty of the town of Ascona, even sightseeing is a most interesting option to spend a lazy summer day. For those not only visiting Ascona for leisure, the state-of-the-art conference centre located in the Eden Roc Marina is the perfect place to get down to business in most inspiring surroundings. No matter if you are planning a high profile offsite or a special event in a unique setting, the Eden Roc will certainly impress your guests.

Bursting with taste are the freshly prepared dishes from the hotel’s restaurant kitchens. Three head chefs share an impressive 45 GaultMillau points between them to guarantee guests a culinary experience second to none. Gourmets are spoilt for choice between the refined La Brezza restaurant, the classic Eden Roc venue and the more casual Marina restaurant, featuring 16, 15 and 14 GaultMillaut points respectively. For a

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Discover Germany | Hotel of the Month | Hotel & Spa Resort Freund

Enjoy the great outdoors and wellness in the heart of Germany In our busy times, peace of mind and true relaxation have become great luxuries. At the award-winning 4 star superior Hotel and SPA Resort Freund, located at the Edersee (Lake Eder) you are guaranteed to unwind in idyllic surroundings, enjoying first class comfort and cuisine and reviving the spirit with bespoke spa experiences. But be warned, once there, the kids will not want to leave.



of the Month Germany

Tucked away from the bustle of modern life, the Hotel Freund lies in an unspoilt corner of northern Hessen. Here, nature lovers can find the paradise of the National park Kellerwald-Edersee on the doorstep, offering endless possibilities for watersports and outdoor activities. Just grab a specially prepared lunch package and maps from the hotel, put on your hiking boots and get on the trail which starts right behind the house. Sign posts will lead you through the famous beech forest which is a part of the “Ancient Beech Forests of Germany�on the World Heritage List. More adventurous characters can climb the soft hills on one of the hotel-owned mountain bikes to be rewarded by an endless downhill rally into a picturesque valley. What could be more exciting after an exhausting bike ride than to take the plunge into the crystal clear waters of the Edersee? This huge artificial reservoir is a heaven for all watersports enthusiasts where they can sail, waterski, go fishing or diving or try their luck on the surf board. Wellness at its best After an active day out in the fresh air it is time to relax the tired muscles.The modern

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Discover Germany | Hotel of the Month | Hotel & Spa Resort Freund

for your own horse. For little children friendly mini ponies, donkeys, rabbits and sheep are waiting at the petting zoo. During the German holidays the hotel organises a childrens’club with various activities and fun games to keep the small ones entertained and give their parents a break. The big games room is a great option for a bad weather day. Breathing, movement, nature – get in balance with yoga

Spa at the Hotel Freund welcomes guests with a lovely Mediterranean outdoor pool, an indoor pool and five different saunas for every taste. Hubertus Trageser, managing director at the resort, is particularly proud of the Latvian sauna with the natural stone cold pool. “Our log-cabin Latvian sauna outside is very special. We went to Latvia to choose the trees for the construction. Inside it is around 95°C, nice and hot.” Another option is the salt crystal sauna. At 75°C it is less hot, but to breathe in the warm, salty air is extremely healthy for your respiratory system. With the wellbeing of their guests in mind, Hubertus Trageser and his wife, Rosalinde Freund have created an amazing programme of treatments and massages which can be booked at the hotel. Experienced and certified therapists combine Western methods with traditional Far Eastern medicine to provide their clients with the optimal care. A family tradition of welcoming hospitality Over the last four decades the Freund family developed the small guest house with eight beds, built in the 60s, into a modern and stylish spa resort. With great attention to detail the 150 rooms recently underwent a two million Euro refurbishment to give them a sophisticated and contemporary look. Bright colours and floral designs create an uplifting, joyful atmosphere where travellers feel at home immediately. The free of charge WLAN in every room makes life easy. Families will appreciate the spacious apartments with two separate ensuite bedrooms and flatscreen TV.

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The Hotel and SPA Resort Freund is very proud to employ its own yoga teacher who gives lessons twice a day. Anton Kaschin regularly travels to India to improve his yoga skills and is happy to tailor a programme to the individual needs of yoga beginners or advanced pupils. The positive effect on body and soul from a yoga retreat at the Hotel will still be felt when hectic everyday life sets in again.

Three restaurants spoil guests with modern, international cuisine or regional cherished delicacies. The young chef who gained experience at acclaimed houses before joining the Hotel Freund uses seasonal, locally sourced ingredients to present his delicious creations with a matching wine from the exclusive cellar. The restaurant “Waidmannseck” (Hunter’s corner) offers the gems of the local traditional specialties. People travel far to try the well-known “Bürgermeisterstück” (Mayor’s piece), the slow-roasted beef with puree of asparagus and new potatoes.

But it is not all about leisure and relaxing: the hotel’s perfectly equipped congress centre is able to cater for up to 400 participants. The location of the hotel in the heart of Germany makes it easy accessible from all parts of the country. “Variety instead of randomness and individuality instead of anonymity. A good mix between grown values and modern design and comfort” is the leitmotif of the hotel. Their guests think that this is a successful recipe. Not surprisingly, they voted the Hotel and SPA Resort Freund on the Holiday Check top hotel list in 2012.

Take your children and your horse Children love to run wild in the surrounding meadows and to explore the ancient forests. But the absolute highlight are the twenty Finn horses at the hotel-owned stables where riding lessons for every age and ability can be booked in English. Because of their good-natured character and tolerance, Finn horses are ideal for families and beginners. They will not tire on long hacks through the beautiful countryside and will carry you home safely. But if you do not want to miss your four-legged friend during the holidays, the stable has nice boxes ready

Discover Germany | Feature | Freimarkt Bremen



Freimarkt Bremen

Fun at the Freimarkt & mulled wine at the Christmas Market Between 18 October and 3 November millions of visitors will be flocking towards the northern German Free Hanseatic City of Bremen to celebrate the city’s 978th Freimarkt fun fair followed by the great Christmas Market from 28 November to 23 December 2013. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: ©BREMER FOTO SERVICE

It may seem a little early to think about Christmas, but the people of Bremen can’t wait for the market season to start.The first official Freimarkt fun fair was held in 1035, but the history of the event dates back to the year 888 during the reign of King Arnulf. What started as a trading hub for merchants became one of Germany’s largest fun fair events and now attracts a whopping 4 million visitors every year. Over 100,000 square metres at Bremen’s historic Bürgerweide place more than 300 stalls and attractions will be established in order to offer visitors a maximum level of fun and entertainment. Nadja Niestädt, PR

spokesperson for the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Bremer Märkte, describes what attracts millions of people each year to the event: “A mix of fun fair for the whole family plus Bremen’s longest ’Bremen at night‘ party, as well as the historic Freimarkt location right next to UNESCO World Heritage sites Bremen town hall and the Roland statue.” Some stalls at the Freimarkt will be replicas of their original medieval predecessors, while other attractions include rollercoasters for the thrill seekers, raffles and of course the typical German Bratwurst and beer. Grimm’s fairy tale about the Town Musicians of Bremen will be performed on

site too. But the Freimarkt is not the only highlight Bremen is tempting its visitors with during the winter months. The annual Christmas Market attracts 1.5 million people and comes in a most remarkable setting.“The ambience at the Christmas Market is absolutely unique.The beautiful village made of artfully decorated stalls and attractions offers our visitors an amazing ramble experience through Bremen’s historic city centre,” Niestädt says. And for those who plan a trip to Bremen, she reveals a little insider tip:“A visit to our markets can be perfectly combined with a guided tour through the Beck’s beer brewery, because the world famous German beer is made in Bremen.”


Hamburg at night


Anglo-German associations between Hamburg and Munich UK exports to Germany were worth €43.5bn in 2012, making it the UK’s second largest trading partner after the US and these crucial economic ties are underpinned by a rich political and cultural heritage. We take a closer look at a few of the associations that sprang up across Germany in the post-war years with the specific intention of re-forging these links with Britain, breaking down stereotypes and helping to develop a united Europe.


Hamburg has of course always had strong trading connections with Britain and in 1948 the Anglo-German Club was founded there by the then High Commissioner of the

54 | Issue 3 | May 2013

British military government with the intention of helping heal the wounds of war and promote good international relationships.“It is the continent’s last British colony” is how

the club was described by a former mayor of the city and, housed in an elegant villa on the leafy banks of the Alster river, the club continues to provide a congenial venue for

Discover Germany | Business Feature | Anglo-German Societies

German and British business people to come together in the furtherance of their commercial interests, as well as providing support for cultural interchanges and the funding of academic scholarships in Germany and Britain. Hamburg also boasts a Caledonian Society, as does Bonn where, in 1946, members of the British military established the club to celebrate Scottish traditions and promote international relations. The society today continues the good work with ceilidhs and a St Andrew’s night ball which raises money for Scottish and German children’s charities. In the south of the country, the GermanBritish Society, Munich, founded in the 1950s seeks to encourage interchanges in the areas of economics, science, politics and culture, through meetings, lectures and discussions. Additionally, the Anglo-Bavarian Club, Munich, set up in the 1960s by a group comprising British and local business people and professionals, focuses on social and commercial links between Bavaria and the UK.

mer German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and more recently, in 2010, Vince Cable, the current British Secretary of State for Business and President of the Board of Trade. The influence and importance of the conference was highlighted by former Federal President Horst Köhler in his 2005 address, stating: “Königswinter has become such a widelyrecognised brand name for bilateral social dialogue that you could almost have it patented. The central task of the DeutschBritische Gesellschaft and the Königswinter Conference remains highly relevant: to bring two of Europe’s large nations even closer together, and to promote the German-British relationship, also within the European framework.”

The fact that the genesis of the GermanBritish Society was in a post war meeting to discuss the works of Goethe and that the conference itself is named after the Rhine spa town where the first German-English talks were held in 1950, points to earlier interactions of the two cultures which can be regarded as stepping stones towards the current state of international relations. Goethe’s work, for instance, was a seminal influence on the Romantic movement in art and literature and Königswinter, with its famous rock formation, the Drachenfels and the Rhine valley were popularised in Britain by famouos Romantic artists such as the poet Lord Byron and painters like J.M.W.Turner. Turner’s depictions of the Rhine were exhibited in England to great public acclaim while advances in print technology allowed early 19th century entrepreneurs to reproduce large quantities of such images, often printed together in books that were either sold or displayed to the public, for a price, and so amass huge profits from the works. Some individuals were further enticed to visit the Rhine valley, some even restoring or entirely rebuilding ruined fortresses along the river’s route, still to be seen by anyone visiting there today.

"A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship."

Berlin hosts the HQ of the Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft (German British Society), started by German academics and professionals in Düsseldorf in 1949, with the aim of restoring Germany to the ranks of the Western democracies and it was facilitated by the British Occupation Authorities who provided top level contacts in Britain. There are now 17 regional branches throughout Germany which organize around 120 events every year, the most significant being the annual Königswinter Conference. Held alternately in Germany and Britain, this forum for around 80 German and British business leaders, politicians, academics, cultural figures and journalists has previously debated themes like international economic policy, security policy, European integration, and the Atlantic alliance. High profile speakers have included the late Margaret Thatcher, in her final year as British Prime Minister in 1990, the for-

John D. Rockefeller (1874-1960)

This year the 63rd conference will take place from 30 May to 1 June at Neuhardenberg Castle near Berlin under the rubric, “The Crisis of Europe’s Future: the ‘KönigsWinter’ of Our Discontent?” Participants will be tackling three areas of topical economic, social and political concern: • Overcoming the economic and financial crisis: What strategies should Germany and Britain have? • What kind of Europe do Germany and the UK want? What are the implications for the future of the EU of enhanced cooperation and opt-outs? • Managing Europe in a multi-polar world: Does the role of our countries in the world depend on more political integration of the EU? Or can our countries go it alone in the globalized world?

The web of German British relations stretches over the centuries and our contemporary Anglo-German associations and similar institutions are clearly seeking to perpetuate and amplify this historical, cultural and economic interlacing of the two countries. With burgeoning globalization, close friends and neighbours may be just what one needs to preserve the commercial and political advantage.

Issue 3 | May 2013 | 55

German building quality made in London by Modor & Partner “We fulfil your dreams with German quality” – that is exactly what Modor & Partner promises its customers. With a proven track record and a loyal customer base throughout London, this is the perfect partner to add value to your home. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: SANNA HALMEKOSKI & THOMAS ERSKINE

British homes are absolutely gorgeous to look at. Edwardian, Victorian, Queen Anne and Georgian styles are made of most impressive architecture and visitors from

56 | Issue 3 | May 2013

abroad are always amazed by the sheer beauty of the buildings. However, living in a historical building is not always the most energy efficient solution. Insufficient insu-

lation leads to soaring energy bills once the cold weather period starts. Modor & Partner help you to add value to your property and keep energy bills low.

Discover Germany | Business Feature | Modor Construction Far left: Mr Modor Middle: Team of Modor & Partner Right: Ytong Multipor. Press image

German born founder Jens Modor grew up in Germany and Hungary, where he learned the construction business from the very beginning. He gained his skills the hard way and served years on building sites after going through a proper apprentice scheme, before he was finally awarded his Meisterbrief, the certified national master craftsman diploma. Today he holds over 20 years of industry expertise and has successfully operated in the Greater London area since 2007 with his qualified team. He is passionate about traditional British buildings and loves to take on the challenge of bringing these up to sophisticated modern standards while keeping the historic facades. “Our ultimate goal is to make our clients’ dreams a reality with high quality workmanship and at an affordable price. Our craftsmen in all areas of the building industry have been training for many years to acquire their skills and knowledge and they remain up to date with the latest technologies and techniques in order work to a high EU standard,” Mr Modor describes the company philosophy.

A co-operation with Modor & Partner is a very personal experience. If you have a vision of what your property should be transformed into, Modor & Partner will do the planning for and with you. Once the cornerstones are set, construction starts and the finished project is delivered just on time and budget. Services include project management, internal and external painting and decorating, plastering and rendering, dry lining, brickwork, carpentry and joinery, wall and floor tiling as well as plumbing. All works are carried out with great care and when Modor & Partner is finished, all traces of the building site will be removed and clean grounds will be left behind.

The company offers comprehensive project management with free estimates and provides customers with a full breakdown on costs and technical specifications in order to enable their clients to opt for the right plan fitting the budget. But what makes Modor & Partner so special? “The German precision and quality we offer to our clients make us unique. Especially our ever growing know-how about and use of new German and European building materials sets us apart from our competitors,” Mr Modor explains. Satisfied clients include the German Catholic Church in London at Aldgate, London’s Friedrich-Ebert foundation in Westminster and a large number of private clients, who commissioned Modor & Partner for bathroom refurbishments, basement creations, side and loft extensions and conversions. A house specialty is the creation of

wheelchair friendly homes that comply with the Housing Corporation Design and Quality Standards. Modor & Partner is dedicated to building as energy efficient, eco-friendly and sustainable as possible. The material utilised comes from leading suppliers such as Korff, Jackodur, Linzmeier, Joco Klimaboden or Ytong. The Joco underfloor heating is a water based system, that runs from any central heating. The system is extremely energy efficient as pipes are bedded into thermal insulation slabs instead of concrete like other systems. The padding is only 30mm thick and can be fitted on any type of substrate. For every project the local requirements are carefully assessed by an engineer who then plans the new heating system for the client’s property. The Ytong Multipor Mineral Insulation boards provide“tremendous advantages” particularly for renovating old buildings. They are suitable for insulating exterior walls on the inside without a vapour barrier, making them ideal for sustained thermal renovation of old buildings. Modor & Partner hold strong relationships with their supply partners to guarantee a seamless high quality work process. Partners include London-based Team 51.5° architects, Knauf Drywall manufacturers of lightweight building products and systems, the Heidelberg Cement group and Südwest Lacke + Farben GmbH & Co. KG manufacturer of colours. After all it is all about the peace of mind for the clients and Mr. Modor puts it in a nutshell: “We pride ourselves in saving our clients the time and hassle of organizing a renovation project, therefore we are here to take control from beginning to end.” Property owners are very welcome to visit the Modor & Partner shop and showroom, where the materials used are on display and friendly staff is happy to explain the technologies used.

Issue 3 | May 2013 | 57

Boarding School Marienau First class education to embrace the world How would parents imagine the ideal school for their children? Small classes, enthusiastic teachers, a modern approach and with outstanding sports facilities? Don’t look further, the coeducational day and boarding school Marienau, founded in 1923, combines excellent teaching with a holistic approach to develop a sense of responsibility, tolerance and social engagement in its students. TEXT: CORDELIA MAKARTSEV | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

“Once a week we go horse riding, that is really fun. And the landscape is beautiful here!” The four little girls are obviously very excited about their life at the boarding school Marienau, 80 km south-east from Hamburg. The country life is calm and peaceful here, the hectic pace of our large

58 | Issue 3 | May 2013

cities seems to be forgotten. The school warmly welcomes the visitors with its 200 acres of woodland, a pond, pastures, barns, and administrative and dormitory buildings. “We live school” is the motto at Marienau which makes sure that everyone of the 330 pupils feels comfortable and at

home in the school. Although most of the children here are from a German background, the numbers of international students increased significantly over the last years. “We established an international team this year to meet the needs of our foreign students and to ensure that they

Discover Germany | Feature | Boarding School Marienau

the talents and interests of every child are recognised and supported. The teachers are committed to providing the children with an inspiring academic experience which is pupil-centred and stimulating.

programmes with schools in different regions of the world and extended stays abroad foster intercultural learning and are one of the school’s responses to globalization.

Foreign languages are an important part of German education, so every 5th grader starts to learn English, and in year six he chooses either French, Spanish or Latin as a second language. Pupils with English as native language function as coaches in the English lessons and give vital support to their class colleagues. In the upper grades the students specialise in the natural sciences, language studies, social studies or the arts.

Learning with head, heart and hand

After year 12 the pupils graduate with the academic level of the Abitur, the German high school graduation exam. It is comparable to the International Baccalaureate (IB Diploma) and allows the graduate to move directly to university. Raising responsible and socially-engaged individuals

are properly supported. We have pupils from China, Mexico, Russia and Taiwan,” explains Rana Raslan-Alaoui, the head of PR at Marienau. Students whose mother tongue is not German receive additional one-to-one lessons in German language from specially trained teachers. As children learn languages quickly, in a short time they are able to follow the main lessons in German. Academic excellence at international standard In small classes with around 15 pupils the students are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning. Not a consumerist attitude, but rather an active engagement with the subject is at the centre of the work. Methods of individualization, cooperative learning and portfolio work make sure that

School Marienau stands in the tradition of German progressive education. At its heart are democratic values as a vital guideline for the upbringing of young people. Heike Elz, principal of Marienau, is proud of the tradition:“We aim to educate students to think and act independently, and to raise children in the spirit of solidarity and humanity, that is, to help them become individuals who are politically and socially engaged in their community.”

“It is so cool that we can do archery here and lots of different activities. We do not have to learn all the time,” says the boy with a big smile on his face. Obviously, the holistic approach to develop the whole personality is highly appreciated by the pupils. Extracurricular activities are seen as extremely important in Marienau. Especially the participation in theatre workshops and musicals is taken very seriously as it helps to improve self confidence and presentation skills. Music and art and crafts in the school-owned workshop are an essential part of the education at Marienau. Another focus area is sports. A wide variety of clubs and programmes is available. Martial arts like Aikido have their place alongside archery, badminton, tennis, gymnastics or dance. The campus includes a tennis court and a modern athletic field equipped for team sports like soccer, basketball and hockey, as well as the whole range of track and field activities. The school’s golf teachers take their students to the nearby golf course every week to prepare them to participate in tournaments.

In practise, this means that the students are directly involved in the decision making process. In the school assembly, a kind of school parliament, students and staff are equally represented. Here, they learn how to convince with thought-through reasoning. Social skills and responsibility are developed by mentoring younger children, caring for the school ponies or laying the tables at dinner time. Since 2003, Marienau is a UNESCO project school and focuses on international understanding, intercultural dialogue and sustainable development. Annual exchange

Issue 3 | May 2013 | 59


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Discover Germany | Culture | Barbara Geier

Regional Differences Of Germans From the Hamburg Brit to the Berlin gob People in the north are all reserved, the typical Rheinländer (i.e. someone from Cologne) is forever in a good mood, Berliners are famously rude, Swabians (whose home is partly in Baden-Württemberg and partly in Bavaria), are super stingy and Bavarians think they’re better than the rest. There are lots of regional stereotypes within Germany. But are they true? TEXT: BARBARA GEIER

As always with clichés, it’s a mixed bag. There wouldn’t be a stereotype in the first place if there hadn’t at some point been a justification for inventing it, right? On the other hand, you can’t put a whole group of people in one big bag, tie it up and put a label on it. However, let’s have a closer look at some of the things that Germans think about other Germans. People from Hamburg, as a prototype for northerners, are reserved, introvert, maybe a bit arrogant and nose-in-the-air. Funnily enough, they’re also always said to be the most British in Germany. Hamburg certainly has a bit of a soft spot for all things British or rather, what is conceived to be British. There’s a Polo Club, an Anglo-German club and you definitely won’t have a problem finding some typical British attire (Barbour jackets, anyone?). From my personal experience and as someone from the southwest of Germany who’d obviously be more than happy to believe that the northerners are all stuck-up, my encounters with Hamburgers and the like were mostly all refreshingly pleasant. Good sense of humour, nicely on the dry side, down-to-earth people. As for Berliners being rude, well, let’s put this down to the famous Berliner Schnauze, literally ‘Berlin gob’. They just like to say it as it is. Straightforward, very direct, and sometimes, well yes, maybe that can come across as a bit harsh. From my personal experience

with Berliners they also have a certain way of, how should I put it, not engaging if they don’t want to. A little story to illustrate what I mean: a friend of mine once got in a cab in Berlin asking to be taken to a certain hotel and the cab driver just couldn’t be bothered apparently and told him “Sorry, this hotel doesn’t exist.”–“Well, but I’ve been in the past, more than once. So, could you please …?” – “No, there’s no hotel of that name.” Or as many Germans would say: only in Berlin. If the Berliner doesn’t want to, he doesn’t want to. End of. When it comes to the Swabians, I can’t really comment on their alleged stinginess. (I’d rather say in general that Germans are fairly sensible when it comes to money and like to have savings.) What I can say, however, after having spent two years working in Stuttgart is that they’re without doubt the most orderly, in particular when it comes to things like rubbish, recycling and cleaning the communal parts of apartment buildings. Let me just mention one word in this context: Kehrwoche (the week when someone has the duty to clean the communal areas). It doesn’t get more Swabian. Me, I’m from the Palatinate region in the Rhineland-Palatinate, and I’d say we’re fairly easy-going people, influenced by our proximity to France, our wine and our pleasant climate. And not surprisingly, we’ve got our very own local stereotypes, about our next door neighbours in the Saarland, Germany’s smallest federal state. We

like to look down on them as the ‘little ones’ who don’t really know what’s going on and speak a very funny dialect. But then again, I’m sure there’s a region somewhere in Germany which thinks exactly the same about the area where I come from.

Barbara Geier is a London-based freelance writer, translator and communications consultant. Her take on the new UK-Germany romance was originally written as a blog for, a German travel and tourism guide and blog that was set up together with UK travel writer Andrew Eames in 2010.

Issue 3 | May 2013 | 61

First All-German European Champions League Final at Wembley Stadium

The 2012-2013 Champions League season will see a first ever All-German Final on 25 May in sport’s most rewarding European team tournament. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have played extraordinary football in this year’s Champions League, sparking a debate about whether German football is back at the top of European football. Wembley Stadium


Dortmund came through to the final after winning their group which included Manchester City, Real Madrid and Ajax Amsterdam; Dortmund struggled in their successive matches with close aggregate wins. Bayern dominated the tournament, improving throughout and increasing their winning margins constantly, only really challenged by Arsenal, which lost on away goals to Bayern Munich. Dortmund and Bayern have been dominating the German League over the last two years and this year’s Champions League edition sees this rivalry culminate in a final on the European stage. Last year Dortmund won the German League and the German Cup ahead of Bayern Munich. This year Bayern Munich has won the German league breaking several records. In the German Cup Dortmund beat Bayern in last

62 | Issue 3 | May 2013

year’s final 5-2 and this year lost to Bayern in Munich 1-0 in the quarter finals. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund is also a clash between two teams who have built squads with very different budgets. According to the Guardian newspaper Bayern Munich has spent over £168 million over the past four years in the transfer market strengthening its squad, whereas Dortmund has relied on much home-grown talent, selling off players accordingly. Although Bayern Munich has much homegrown talent in world-class players, such as Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Mueller and Philip Lahm, Dortmund has relied almost solely on this model, producing players such as the incredibly talented and coveted 20 year old Mario Goetze. Bayern Munich signed Mario Goetze for £31.7 million – a record sum to be paid for a German

player – in April, which was considered by many as tasteless timing. This year’s tournament final will be staged at London’s Wembley Stadium, often referred to by Germans as the “heilige Rasen”, the holy grass, referring to the German national team’s successful campaigns in Wembley, last as winners in the 1996 UEFA Euro tournament. The 86,000 seat stadium is set to host the Champions League Final for a record seventh time in what is much heralded to be the most amazing German sports festival of the year. The onslaught of German football fans is going to be massive, with an expected 500,000 expected to travel to London. The winner of this final will be German football as a whole as arguably the strongest sides have emerged to play out this Champions League Final edition.

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