Germany is a majestic and beautiful country, with a long and storied history spanning centuries. There are countless sights and destinations to see, from historic sites and quaint towns to sporting events and major festivals. Here’s a look at some of the top attractions and locations in Germany, according to the German National Tourist Board.
Coming out on top of the 2014 visitors’ poll was Neuschwanstein Castle. Construction at the castle began less than 150 years ago in 1869, making the castle an almost-modern achievement. Boasting two magnificent halls – Singers’ Hall and the Hall of the Holy Grail – visitors can admire the extravagant structure and golden décor. This medieval-style castle, built in spiteful tribute to the lost autonomy of Ludwig II’s Bavarian throne, incorporates many elements and tributes to the Middle Ages.
The town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Nestled in the center of southern Germany, Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a small town that has managed to retain its charms and character from the Middle Ages. The town boasts one of the largest collections of still-standing medieval structures, largely preserved from destruction during the Thirty Years’ War by the heroic actions of a former mayor – draining a 3-liter vessel of wine in a single chug, according to legend. The town also provides a wealth of opportunities to explore, whether through the history and festival culture of Rothenburg itself or headed out along the Romantic Road to other waypoints and historic destinations along the road’s 400-kilometer run.
In the heart of Berlin lies the Brandenburg Gate, one of the signature monuments to German history. Built in the late 18th century, the six-column structure bears a four-horse chariot driven by the goddess of Victory atop its roof. During the Cold War, the gate was impassible until the removal of the Berlin Wall, and the Brandenburg Gate now celebrates the history of that time, the reunification of Germany and the storied past of the country’s capital city.
Less a physical location than a phenomenon, the festival synonymous with beer is held annually in Munich and throughout the nation. The top event in the GNTB’s rankings during the 2014 voting – the first year events were included – this festival has been celebrated since 1810. The fall festival is held in September and October annually, and those interested in learning more about the festival’s history can take a guided tour of the Theresienwiese grounds.
Church of Our Lady
Last on the list is Dresden’s Church of Our Lady, which boasts more than 250 years of history and tradition with modern reinvention and meaning. After being severely damaged during World War II, the church served as a war memorial for 60 years before being reconsecrated just a decade ago. The church now stands as a testament to reconciliation, and hosts regular church services and concerts. Visitors can take a free sightseeing tour, giving them a chance to see the height of the Protestant architectural style.
Blue Horizon Travel & Yacht Charters is planning an August and September trip to southern Germany, exploring the region’s rivers and history, in an optional heritage tour. Contact an agent today and start planning your trip to this historic and beautiful country.