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Top 5 Places to Go in Germany

Aldous Huxley, the author and humanist, said, “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” And that’s just what one will find about the seventh largest country in Europe. Germany, one of Europe’s most populated countries, has too much art and entertainment and beautiful architecture to sit with the label of the beer capital of the world. Extravagant buildings, as well as the events of WWII and following have left Germany full of attractions rich with history.

1. Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 to divide West Berlin from East Berlin. The western Allies, the U.S., France, and Great Britain, controlled Berlin west of the wall, while East Berlin was under the dominion of the USSR. After the fall of Soviet Russia, the wall followed suit, and in November of 1989, all of Berlin was reunited. Today, there is a memorial at the former crossing point, Checkpoint Charlie, dedicated to the more than 1,000 who died in attempt to cross over into Germany. On top of its historical significance, the east side of what remains of the wall has been tagged with graffiti, complementing the previously tagged west side. The fallen Berlin Wall is an attraction representing the reunification of Berlin, and is equally notable for its artistic value.

2. Holocaust Memorial

The Holocaust is one of, if not the most, tragic genocides in the history of the world. To commemorate the death of the six million Jews at the hands of the Nazis, the Holocaust Memorial, literally translated “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe,” was constructed. The site is nearly five acres of concrete rectangular prisms of varying heights aligned in a grid formation. The completed memorial, designed by the winner of a design contest, was commemorated in May 2005. Accompanying the memorial is a museum/info center located across the street. When touring the country at the heart of the great tragedy of the twentieth century, it would be great to pay the Holocaust Memorial a visit.

3. Potsdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz is an artsy shopping and entertainment square located in central Berlin. The four acre plaza is comparable to New York’s Times Square, as it is one of the busiest crossings in Europe. The ultramodern architecture makes the Platz itself a work of art. For a trip to the cinema unlike any other, sojourners can make a pit stop at the recently constructed CinemaxX cinema. There are also over forty restaurants and bars to choose from in Potsdamer Platz alone. Don’t worry, pomme lovers, there are fast food locations as well as the classier gourmet joints. To add to the full experience of the square, those traveling with an extra, empty backpack will enjoy most of all the mall, Potsdamer Platz Arkaden. The 130 shops are distracting enough to turn a Eurotrip into a Berlintrip. For sojourning city folk, Potsdamer Platz is a little taste of home with a German twist.

4. Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein castle was constructed for King Ludwig II of Bavaria in late 19th century. He wanted the castle to reflect the castles from the Middle Ages. When Ludwig II died in 1886, the castle was opened to the public, as if the view from the outside wasn’t awe-inspiring enough. Walt Disney took inspiration from Neuschwanstein for Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Today, the castle receives 1.3 million visitors per year, making it one of the most popular castles in all of Europe.

5. Cologne Cathedral

Germany’s most visited landmark began construction in 1248 and was not completed until 1880. Today, it represents the focal point of Germany’s Gothic architecture. A panorama of Cologne, Germany would be dominated by the towering structure. The tallest point, the North Tower, reaches a little over 516 feet. The interior of the cathedral is lined with sculptures and stained glass windows, representing the early Roman Catholic traditional church. A visit to Germany without touring the Cologne Cathedral would be missing a valuable piece of the art, architecture, and religious history at the foundations of early Germany.

Bonus: Romantic Road/Autobahn

Thrill-seekers and Romantics alike can find euphoria on Germany’s two most world renowned roads – the Autobahn and the Romantic Road. Many know of the Autobahn for having no speed limits. However, there are some restrictions to keep the highway from resembling an AC/DC song. The general, agreed-upon speed is 130 kph (81 mph), however for cars and trucks not pulling trailers, there is no enforced limit. On the contrast, the Romantic Road passes over twenty-eight beautiful, hard to pronounce, sights; many of which are castles and scenic towns. The scenic route is lined with signs labeling the many sights, making for a quick buffet of gorgeous scenes throughout southern Germany.

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Comments
4 Responses to “Top 5 Places to Go in Germany”
  1. Love to read about your travel recommendations! Been to Germany a few times the years we lived Spain. thanks for the post.

  2. restlessjo says:

    Only just managed to pop over the border from Poland for some time in Gorlitz, in the south. Kind of Bavarian but busy with a market at the time. I’d like to see more.
    http://restlessjo.wordpress.com/my-personal-a-z-of-poland/

    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. restlessjo says:

    So sorry, I posted the wrong link! (me and technology)
    Try again- http://restlessjo.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/sunday-post-collectibles/
    Humble apologies.

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