Top Ten Germany - Day 01

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1 Top Ten Germany - Day 01 Name: Brandenburg Gate Address: Unter den Linden, Pariser Platz Berlin Germany Alternative Name: Brandenburger Tor Contact Details: Contact local tourist office Entry Information: Viewable at all times. Site Direction: Travel by S-bahn lines 1 or 2 to Unter den Linden. Bus route 100. Description The Brandenburg Gate is a famous landmark in Berlin built between 1788 and 1791 which once served as a city gateway. Commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia it stood in the entrance to boulevard Unter den Linden, which led to the city palace. The Brandenburg Gate was designed by Karl Gotthard Langhans and built in a Romanesque style similar to the Propylaea, the gateway to the Acropolis in Athens, with six Doric columns on each side. Whilst King Frederick William II intended the Brandenburg Gate to be a symbol of peace, different peoples have attached numerous meanings to it throughout its history. The Nazis adopted the Brandenburg Gate as a symbol of their party during their reign in the 1930's and 1940's and it was also a potent reminder of the Cold War when it fell into the no-man s land within the Berlin Wall. During this time, the Brandenburg Gate formed a focal point of many politically charged rallies and speeches, including visits by American Presidents John F Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. A more positive symbolic attachment was formed in 1990, when, following the fall of the Berlin Wall, many viewed the Brandenburg Gate as emblematic of German reunification. Today, visitors from around the world come to see the Brandenburg Gate and its ornate carvings, including its dramatic depiction of Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory, driving a horse drawn chariot.

2 Notes

3 Top Ten Germany - Day 01 Name: Imperial Baths of Trier Address: Weimarer Allee 2, Trier, Germany Alternative Name: Kaiserthermen Contact Details: Contact local tourist office Entry Information: The Imperial Baths of Trier are open 9am-6pm (5pm Oct Site Direction: The site is near Trier s train station with services to Luxembourg (1 hr) and to Koblenz and Saarbruecken, from which there are connections to Frankfurt (3.5 hours total). Trier can be reached via Frankfiurt-Hanh Airport (70km west). It is also 200km west of Frankfurt (2.5 hr drive) which also has an airport. Description The Imperial Baths of Trier, known in German as Kaiserthermen, are the beautifully preserved ruins of a Roman public bath complex constructed in the fourth century AD. Considered to be the largest Roman baths outside of Rome, the remains of the Imperial Baths of Trier are centrally located within the city and are a fantastic site, with many of their walls standing and even the option to explore their underground tunnels. Trier was a Roman city initially established in around 15 BC and called Augusta Treverorum. By the late third century AD, when Diocletian divided the Empire and created the Tetrachy, Trier was such a flourishing and important city that it was known as the Second Rome. At this time, Constantius Chlorus became the emperor of the West Roman Empire and moved to Trier with his son, Constantine the Great. From 306 onwards, Constantine began a mass development of the city, of which the Imperial Baths of Tier were a part.

4 Notes

5 Top Ten Germany - Day 01 Name: Berlin Wall Address: Mühlenstraße 1, Berlin-Friedrichshain, Germany Alternative Name: Berliner Mauer Contact Details: Entry Information: Available to view at all times. Site Direction: On the banks of the River Spree by O2 World. Nearest station is Berlin's Central Station, Berlin Ostbahnhof. Description The Berlin Wall was an 87 mile long concrete barrier between East and West Berlin, a symbol of the Cold War and an embodiment of the so-called Iron Curtain between eastern and western Europe. Originally just a barbed wire fence erected within 24 hours on 13 August 1961, a more robust, concrete version of the Berlin Wall was built on 15 August The origins of the Berlin Wall can be found following World War II, when what remained of Nazi Germany was divided between the Allied Powers, being the Americans, British, French and the Soviet Union. Berlin, which sat in the Soviet sector, was similarly divided between the four nations. However, when differences arose between the Soviet Union and the other three countries as to their approach to reconstructing Germany, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin declared the establishment of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and in August 1961, erected first a barbed wire barrier and then a concrete barrier, closing the border between east and west Berlin to stop Berliners from the east escaping to the other Allied controlled areas of the city. The Berlin Wall was a matter of great controversy throughout its existence, with world leaders continually calling for it to be torn down, including John F Kennedy s famous declaration of Ich bin ein Berliner and Ronald Reagan s 1987 speech when he implored, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!". The fall of the Berlin Wall finally occurred on 9 November 1989 and the wall was almost completely dismantled in the days and weeks that followed.

6 Very few segments of the wall remain. The largest, 1.3 kilometer, section can be found at the open air East Side Gallery, although small sections are dotted throughout the city. Notes

7 Top Ten Germany - Day 01 Name: Schwerin Castle Address: Schweriner Schloss, Alter Garten 3, Schwerin Alternative Name: Schweriner Schloss Contact Details: Entry Information: Schwerin Castle is open daily except Mondays, 10am-5pm (to 6pm 15 Apr- 14 Oct). Guided tours Saturdays 3pm and Sundays 11am. Entry costs 5 full, 3.50 reduced. Audio guide 2. Discounts available. Public tours 3. Site Direction: The nearest train station to Schwerin Castle is Schwerin Mitte, approx 15 min walk away. Description Schwerin Castle (Schweriner Schloss) is a picturesque palace which seemingly floats upon Schwerin Lake. Whilst it is thought that there was a fort on this location as early as the tenth century, the beginnings of Schwerin Castle date back to 1160, when Henry the Lion (Henry III) built a castle there. This first incarnation of Schwerin Castle later became a palace of the dukes of Mecklenburg, but fell into a state of dereliction once the dukes relocated in It was only from around 1843 that Schwerin Castle began to take the form we see today. Vast renovation of the building took place, with only some of its older parts having been kept. Taken over by the German state in 1918, Schwerin Castle would undergo yet another set of renovations in the twentieth century, following a fire. Schwerin Castle is now both the seat of the local government and an art museum displaying pieces ranging from the ancient to the twentieth century. Some of the most important pieces at Schwerin s museum are its seventeenth century Dutch and Flemish paintings. Notes

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9 Top Ten Germany - Day 01 Name: Berliner Dom Address: Am Lustgarten 1, Berlin, Germany Alternative Name: Berlin Cathedral Contact Details: Entry Information: Berliner Dom is open daily, but is closed to tours during ceremonies/services. Opening times: Mondays Saturdays, 9am-8pm and Sundays noon-8pm (October to March it closes at 7pm). Admission is 5 for adults and free for children. Concessions available. Site Direction: The nearest station to Berliner Dom is Alexanderplatz via S-Bahn lines S5, S7, S9 and S75 and U-Bahn lines U2, U5 and U8. Bus routes 100, 200, 248 and TXL. Description Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) is an early twentieth century cathedral built during the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Constructed between 1894 and 1905, ornate and crowned with an imposing dome, Berliner Dom contains the Hohenzollern royal crypt which is the final resting place of, amongst around a hundred others, Frederick William I, Elector of Brandenburg. Berliner Dom is open to the public for tours and audio guides are included in the admission price. Notes

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11 Top Ten Germany - Day 01 Name: Herrenchiemsee Palace Address: Schloss und Gartenverwaltung Herrenchiemsee, Herrenchiemsee, Ger Alternative Name: Herrenchiemsee New Palace Contact Details: +49 (0) Entry Information: Apr-Oct: Buildings and grounds open 9am to 6pm daily. Nov-Mar 10am to 4.15/4.45pm. Guided tours offered daily, English tours are twice an hour in the summer and once an hour in winter. Three types of ticket are available: the Combination Ticket costs 8 and allows access to everything on the island, including the galleries in the Augustinian Monastery. For 4 visitors can enter only the Monastery and not the Palace. However, for 24 you may buy a ticket that allows entry into all of Ludwig s Palaces and Castles for 6 months. The boat trip to and from the island is not included in the ticket price, not is the horse carriage ride from the pier to the Palace, which costs 3 for adults and 1 for under-18s. Site Direction: By Road Take the A8 to Bernau and continue to Prien am Chiemsee. At Prien/Stock visitors must get a boat to the island. By Train closest station is Prien am Chiemsee, about an hour from Munich. From there either a train can be taken to the Prien/Stock boat pier, or it is about a 30 minute walk to the pier. Description Herrenchiemsee Palace is a luxurious 19th Century Bavarian palace, modelled on France s Palace of Versailles, which sits atop its very own 230-hectare island. Initially intended to serve no functional purpose other than as a shrine to absolute monarchy, Herrenchiemsee New Palace was modelled on the Palace of Versailles. Initial work on the Palace began under Ludwig II in 1873 but the palace and grounds stood incomplete at the time of his death in In addition to the other of Ludwig II s commissioned buildings, including Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace, Herrenchiemsee New Palace is a visual

12 representation of the king s ideas on monarchy and absolutism, despite himself being a constitutional monarch. The fairytale-like designs reflect the king s oftdebated eccentricities but are architecturally outstanding and interesting to visit. Today, Herrenchiemsee New Palace offers visitors the chance to explore 19th century Bavarian art and architecture through its ground floor museum, spread across twelve rooms. Furniture from the other of Ludwig s castles and palaces are on display, as are documents, paintings, busts and robes. Lavishly decorated palatial rooms, such as the State Staircase, the State Bedroom and the Great Hall of Mirrors offer a glimpse into the mind-set of Ludwig II and are an example of 19th Century Bavarian decorative artwork. As an interesting side note, the museum highlights the relationship between Ludwig and the composer Richard Wagner, whom he sponsored and supported, acting as the composer s patron. The island itself also houses an Augustinian Monastery dating back to 1645 but with medieval origins as well as several museums and art galleries, including the Constitutional Museum. The art galleries contain work by famous Bavarian painters from the early 19th Century up until the mid-20th. Adding to the splendour of the Museum, Galleries and Palace itself are the grounds in which they are situated. Designed by Carl von Effner, again on Versailles and again left incomplete at the time of Ludwig s death, the gardens offer fountains and a magnificent landscaped design that visitors can explore at their leisure. Visitors to the site arrive by boat and during the summer months can take a horse carriage ride from the pier to the Royal Palace, a fitting way to arrive at this splendid last Palace of Ludwig II. Contributed by Ros Gammie Notes

13 Top Ten Germany - Day 01 Name: Cologne Cathedral Address: Roncalliplatz, Köln, Germany Alternative Name: Kölner Dom Contact Details: Entry Information: Cologne Cathedral is open daily, 6am-7:30pm (10pm May-Oct). Entry is free. The Tower Climb is open 9am-5pm (6pm Jan-Feb and May-Sept and 4pm Nov-Dec) and costs Treasure Chamber is open 10am-6pm and costs 4. Site Direction: Cologne Cathedral can be reached via Dom/Hauptbahnhof station(s) on lines 5, 16 and 18. Description Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) is a vast and impressive gothic cathedral which took over six hundred years to complete. Located on what was previously the site of a Roman villa, thought to have dated back to the fourth century as well as several increasingly larger churches, construction of the current Cologne Cathedral began in There was already a church on the site, but when the relic known as the Three Magi was brought there, it was felt a larger church was need to accommodate the hordes of pilgrims to the site. Due to its enormous size and elaborate nature as well as a series of interruptions including the arrival of French Revolutionaries, Cologne Cathedral was only completed in Today, Cologne Cathedral is home to a wealth of important ecclesiastical art, the highlight of which is the Shrine of the Three Magi (or three Kings), thought to contain the skulls of the three wise men. Despite having been bombed during World War II raids, Cologne Cathedral has survived and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, revered for being a remarkable example of a gothic cathedral. Visitors can also enter its treasury for more religious relics or climb its tower for great views of Cologne. Guided tours are available by

14 appointment. Notes

15 Top Ten Germany - Day 01 Name: Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz Address: Am Grossen Wannsee 56-58, D Berlin Alternative Name: House of the Wannsee Conference Contact Details: Entry Information: Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz is open daily, 10am-6pm. Closed on Good Friday, 1 May, Ascension Day, 3 October,24-26 December, 31 December and 1 January. Admission is free except when some special exhibitions/events take place. Site Direction: Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz is located just on the south western outskirts of Berlin, Germany. The nearest S-Bahn station is Wannsee (lines S1, S7), from which you take bus 114 to the site s dedicated stop. Or, from Station Zoologischer Garten, take the Regional Express train to Wannsee station then bus 114. Description Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz was the site of the infamous Wannsee Conference in which the Nazis planned how to carry out the Final Solution, the plan to murder the Jewish population of Eastern Europe. On 20 January 1942, fifteen senior members of the Nazi government and of the SS met at Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz. Chaired by the head of the Reich Security Main Office Reinhard Heydrich,, this group of men determined the course of the genocide of the Jewish people in Europe which would come to be known as the Holocaust. Instigated by leader of the Nazis, Adolf Hitler, the Holocaust would see over six million Jews murdered as well as members of other minorities, homosexuals, handicapped people and anyone else considered by the Nazis to be racially inferior. Today, Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz provides a moving memorial to the Holocaust as well as an in-depth history of the rise of the Nazi party, the growth of anti- Semitism and the atrocities committed against the Jews.

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17 Top Ten Germany - Day 01 Name: The Holocaust Memorial - Berlin Address: The Holocaust Memorial, Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, Berlin Alternative Name: Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe Contact Details: +49 (0) Entry Information: The Holocaust Memorial s maze is open daily at all times. The Information Centre is open daily except Mondays, 10am-7pm (to 8pm April-September). Last entry is 45 minutes before closing. The Centre is closed 1 January, December and 31 December. Entry is free. Site Direction: Buses 100, 200, 347, M41, M85 and TXL. S-Bahn stations Brandenburger Tor and Potsdamer Platz are nearby (lines S1, S2 and S25). Via U-Bahn, go to Potsdamer Platz or Mohrenstraße on line U2. Description The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, also known as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, is an installation commemorating the genocide of the Jewish people perpetrated under Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. The Holocaust was an attempt by Hitler to exterminate the Jews and any other people who he considered racially inferior in what he called the Final Solution. The Holocaust Memorial is a monument to the six million European Jews who died in the Holocaust. Made up of a vast dark granite maze and a subterranean information centre which has details about the victims, the Holocaust Memorial is a moving site. Notes

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19 Top Ten Germany - Day 01 Name: Worms Cathedral Address: Wormser Dom, Dotzingergasse, Worms, Germany Alternative Name: Wormser Dom Contact Details: / 6115 Entry Information: Worms Cathedral is open daily, 10am-5pm (to 6pm in summer). Closed to visitors during services. Entry is free. Site Direction: Worms Cathedral is fairly centrally located in the city of Worms, a ten minute walk from the train station. Worms is approx. 75km south of Frankfurt and is accessible by train (1 hour from Frankfurt). Description Worms Cathedral (Wormser Dom) also known as the Cathedral of St Peter is a Romanesque cathedral in the German city of Worms. A sandstone structure with distinctive conical towers, Worms Cathedral was constructed in phases throughout the twelfth century and mostly completed by In fact, the present Worms Cathedral is not the first to be built on this site, a previous, smaller version having existed as early as the seventh century and a further incarnation built in the eleventh century. This second version of Worms Cathedral was famous for being the burial site of the Salian Dynasty, a medieval German royal line of Holy Roman Emperors. This Salian crypt can still be seen at Worms Cathedral. In 1792, when French revolutionary forces captured Worms, Worms Cathedral was used as a storage facility and stables. During World War II, the building was damaged by air raids, but survived. Notes

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21 Top Ten Germany - Day 01 Name: Neuschwanstein Castle Address: Schlossverwaltung Neuschwanstein, Neuschnwasteinr.20, Schwangau. Alternative Name: Schloss Neuschwanstein Contact Details: +49 (0) Entry Information: Access to the rooms inside the palace is only via guided tours, which can be booked in advance at the ticket counter in Hohenschwangau. The counter is open 1 Apr to 7 Oct 8am-5pm, 8 Oct to 31 Mar 9am-3pm. The castle itself is open daily except Jan 1 and Dec 24, 25 & 26. In summer the castle is open 9am-6pm and in winter 10am-4pm. Admission 12 adult, 11 OAPS/students. Under 18s free. Site Direction: Neuschwanstein Castle is accessible from the nearby village of Hohenschwangau. From Hohenschwangau you can either walk (30 minutes), get the bus ( 3.60 round trip) or take a horse-drawn carriage ( 9 round trip) up to the castle. To get to Hohenschwangau by public transport: Take the train to Fussen. At Fussen take the bus RVA/OVG 78 in the direction of Schwangau until you arrive at Hohenschwangau/Alpseestrasse. To get to Hohenschwangau by Car: When visiting Neuschwanstein Castle, Hohenschwangau village is the last chance to park (for 5). If travelling by car, take the A7 to Kempton and then the B17 to Schwangau and Hohenschwangau. Description A fairy-tale fortress built for an introverted and reclusive king, Neuschwanstein Castle was built in the 19th century for Bavaria s notorious King Ludwig II and is now a prominent tourist attraction which draws vast numbers of visitors every year. After Ludwig s submission to Prussia in 1866 the king focused his attention on creating overtly extravagant palaces to which he could retreat and become an allpowerful ruler in his own alternative kingdom.

22 Completed in 1886, Neuschwanstein was inspired by Ludwig II s declared desire to live somewhere designed in the authentic style of the old German knights. Ironically the castle that Ludwig desired to be his own private sanctuary, built away from the public eye in a remote mountain setting, wasn t completed until seven weeks after his death, when it was immediately opened to the public he so desperately wished to remove himself from. Today, Neuschwanstein boasts over one million visitors a year making it one of the most heavily visited castles in Europe. Neuschwanstein dramatically upstages nearby Hohenschwangau castle, rebuilt by Ludwig s father Maximillian II and beloved by Ludwig during his childhood. Although Neuschwanstein was inspired by Ludwig s imagination and love of medieval legend the castle itself presents Romanesque rather than gothic architectural features, thanks to Eduard Riedal, the castle s architect, who combined several motifs spanning hundreds of years of architectural history. It also contained very modern features for the time, such as a technologically advanced kitchen and tight-fitting windows made from steel. The picture cycles decorating the interior walls of Neuschwanstein are in themselves reflective of Ludwig s personality; inspired by Wagner s operas they depict the sagas of Tristian and Isolde (on the walls in the bedroom), Lohengrin (in the Salon), and Parzifal (in the Singer s Hall). Wagner s influence on Ludwig is obvious; original designs for the castle were based not just on the existing Wartburg castle but also on stage sets from Wagner s operas. The Singer s Hall and the Festival Hall, (neither of which performed their suggested duties) were inspired by Wartburg Castle, the rest were representations of Ludwig s own imagination. The many rooms inside the castle reflect Ludwig s passion for medieval kingship, such as the Throne Hall, which through its depiction of medieval poets and sagas exalts Christian kingship and absolute monarchy. Rather than being a copy of any specific medieval castle, Neuschwanstein is an excellent example of historicism and combines many different architectural and decorative motifs, culminating in this beautiful, idealistic and extravagant monument to Mad King Ludwig and justifying its position as one of the most photographed buildings in the world. Guided tours take place regularly in English and German, with audio-tours available in a variety of other languages. Contributed by Ros Gammie Notes

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