GER­MANY

BBC History Magazine - - 2017 Historical Travel Guide -

Ger­many’s last cen­tury may over­shadow the ones that came be­fore it, and mean the coun­try is one of Europe’s most un­der­rated his­tor­i­cal des­ti­na­tions. And while places like Hei­del­berg, the Rhine Val­ley and Neusch

wanstein Cas­tle may be well known, trea­sures like me­dieval Bam­berg,

Aachen’s stun­ning cathe­dral and the gothic fan­tasy of Schloss

Ho­hen­schwan­gau are close to be­ing se­crets lit­tle-known out­side Ger­many.

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the start of the events on Ger­man soil that kick-started the Re­for­ma­tion. Martin Luther is be­lieved to have posted his 95 The­ses on the door of All Saints Church in Wit­ten­berg. Hei­del­berg Univer­sity and Augs­burg Cathe­dral also played key roles in Luther’s de­fence of his po­si­tion. He was con­demned as a heretic in Worms, a con­ve­nient stop on a jour­ney along the Rhine. The world-class in­sti­tu­tions of

Mu­se­um­sin­sel (Mu­seum Is­land) in Ber­lin will de­tain you for sev­eral days alone, while the liv­ing his­tory at sites like the former Tem­pel­hof Air­port jus­tify fur­ther ex­plo­ration. Mu­nich also draws big crowds, but there’s more to Bavaria’s big­gest city than beer. Cul­tural at­trac­tions in­clude the Bay­erisches Na­tional­mu­seum, while just as fas­ci­nat­ing is the me­mo­rial to the lit­tle-known story of the White Rose re­sis­tance group in­side Lud­wig-Max­i­m­il­ian-Univer­si­tat. The port city of

Ham­burg is home to rem­nants of the Hanseatic trad­ing cen­tre that flour­ished here, a re­con­structed old town and the red­brick ware­houses of the Spe­ich­er­stadt.

Away from these, qui­eter des­ti­na­tions like Pots­dam and Ro­s­tock in the east,

Augs­burg and Re­gens­burg in Bavaria andMün­ster and Osnabrück in the west are re­ward­ing al­ter­na­tives.

The fairy-tale ar­chi­tec­ture of the 15th-cen­tury town hall in Unesco World Her­itage site Bam­berg

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