Germany

We’ve lived and traveled all across Germany for several years. We’ve got all the info on travel in Germany.

UNESCO World Heritage Site – Würzburg Residenz

Wurzburg Residenz Germany

The Würzburg Residenz is a mammoth building that encompasses art styles from around Europe.  The gardens are also an exquisite part of the reason that it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.   The Würzburg Residenz took over 50 years to build in the late 17th to early 18th centuries.  Built to house the Bishop-princes of Franconia, it was lavish and extremely expensive.  Unfortunately is was all but destroyed at the end of World War II, and now only a few rooms remain that are original.  These are the  the Vestibule, Garden Hall, White Hall, Staircase and Imperial Hall.  All others had to be reconstructed using photographs. To enter the main part of the building, you must buy a ticket (currently …

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Visiting Berlin’s Reichstag

Reichstag Berlin

A stone’s throw from the famous Brandenburg Gate–the iconic symbol of the border where East Germany meets West–the Reichstag (parliament or diet) building looms large and imposing. The neo-renaissance facade, complete with massive columns, fit in well in the late 1890s when it was initially conceived to represent the power and might of the newly united German Empire. With a little bit of advance planning, you can tour this symbol of German power and resilience on your weekend trip to Berlin.

Easter in Germany

Ask any child and they will tell you that Easter is one of their favorite holidays of the year! Easter in Germany is not that much different than the Easters I celebrated as a child. Germany is rich in Easter traditions. From coloring eggs to chocolate Easter bunnies, many of their customs are similar to our own. However, there is one tradition that I’ve never heard of before–that of the Osterbrunnen, or Easter Well. These decorated town fountains can be found all over the region called Franconia. And guess where I live? As I said, we had never heard of it before…Friday afternoon. One of the teachers just yelled at me in passing to go searching out the decorated Easter …

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A Somber Visit to Dachau Concentration Camp

Dachau

Dachau wasn’t my first choice of sights to see, but a friend was visiting from Italy and she felt it was a must-see. This was my second time visiting, and the first time was 30 years ago. The entire museum has changed dramatically since then. In the past it was a much more visceral view of the happenings that took place there; I know I left feeling completely wrecked. This time, they have updated the materials and included a lot more history and tales about all the kinds of prisoners that were once there. As you can see, we went in the middle of winter. Snow was on the ground and the temperature was below freezing. Visiting the site was …

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World Heritage Site – Quedlinburg

Quedlinburg

Quedlinburg is a small medieval town in the Harz Mountains of Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany. It was designated UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1994. This little guy and his dog just seemed to be welcoming us to the town. There are three main characteristics of Quedlinburg that led to its heritage status: the layout of the town, with the medieval streets still in existance, the abundance of half-timbered houses, and the Collegiate Church on Castle Hill. After having visited our fair share of medieval towns like Rothenburg, Eisenach, Carcassonne, to name a few, we thought we would be well-prepared for the quaintness of the town. We didn’t realize just how cute the town could be. I was a little miffed that I …

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Kreuzberg Monastery and Beer!

Kreuzberg Rhon

Living in Germany means that you have to love beer, good beer, beer that is made right on the premises! Yum! We never turn down a chance to check out an artsy brewery or a great monastery. Europe is chock full of great beer, and we don’t mind trying it out! So, at the tail end of winter, with just a little snow and a warm sun we found ourselves exploring Kreuzberg Monastery, and oh was the beer good! Kreuzberg Beer Straight From their Monastery These views greeted us on the sunny, yet cold, Sunday morning as we parked the car and climbed to the monastery to start our exploration of the area. . The first stop was the Information …

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World Heritage Sites – Wartburg Castle, Germany

Wartburg Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Eisenach, Germany.  The location of the castle is above the border of what used to be West and East Germany, so for over forty years it was pretty inaccessible.  Either because of this, or because it is such a famous pilgrimage site, the day we were there so were  plenty of people.  Last year there were over 400,000 visitors. As a good castle should be, Wartburg is situated up high, above the town on a jutting precipice.  We drove up, up, up, and then the only parking available was down the hill a little.  Darn it!  That just meant more climbing.   We parked the car, and as we stepped out into …

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Reveling in Memories of Trier

We arrived in Trier and we felt that we were coming home.  We lived near the city for four years, and that was the place we went to lunch, to shop, to tour, and just to hang out.  So as we drove into town, we couldn’t wait to see our old stomping grounds. As you walk across the street from the parking garage, the first thing you see is the impressive Porta Nigra, which was one of the four Roman gates protecting the city around 200 AD.  It towers over the modern buildings of the city, as it has four stories of large dark stone.  I can only imagine that if there were archers and sentries blocking my way, that …

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A Quiet Maulbronn Afternoon

After our jaunt into Bavaria, we wanted to head due west to the city of Trier and the Mosel river.  We used to live near this city, and it holds a special place in our hearts.  We also have friends in the area, so of course, wanted to go visit them while we were in the country.  We had to stop half way, just for sanity’s sake, so we chose the little-known town of Maulbronn.  There is not much there except for this awesome UNESCO World Heritage monastery which is over 850 years old. As all religious sites seem to have, the founding of the monastery has a good story. Legend has it that the monks were looking for a …

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Wies Church – What a surprise!

We left off in Bavaria, Germany.  There is so much to do here, that a few days just does not do it justice.  As we went south to visit the famous Ludwig castles, major tourist sights that they are, we stopped off at the Wies church.  Located a bit off the beaten track, the pilgrimage church of Wies is in Steingaden, a rural, but completely typical Bavarian countryside.  There isn’t even much of a village nearby; it’s set among a few farms and lots of open fields.  In early June, it was gorgeous weather and the there were flowers and animals; very bucolic. The question becomes, why here?  Well, just like the beginning of many pilgrammage sites, this one has …

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Rental Car Woes Washed Down with Smoke Beer

The Schenkerla where you can imbibe on smoke beer.

As you know, we love driving around a country. I’m not sure it’s more economical than public transportation, but it certainly becomes more depending on the number of people you are traveling with, and on this stint, it was four of us. We arrived in Germany and proceeded to the rental car desk, where we were in for a shocker.  Yes, we can have our credit card be the overriding insurance carrier on the car, except that since we were not from the European Union, we were going to have to produce written authorization from the credit card company to do so. What?!  We have never, ever had to do this before in any country.  But, the lady was adamant …

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