Germany Journals

The Three Biggest German Cities

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A travel journal to Germany by MALUSE

Hamburg warehouses Photo, Hamburg, Germany More Photos
Quote: Berlin, Hamburg, Munich

Berlin

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Berlin has not one centre but several, this has nothing to do with the former partition, it has always been like that, the different boroughs have quite independent sub-centres, too, a tourist should know this in order not to be disappointed. It‘s advisable to move through the city from West to East, starting at Bahnhof (train station) Zoologischer Garten which was the destination for everyone coming from West Germany before the Hauptbahnhof (main train station) was opened in May 2006. The area round the station was one of the shopping and cultural centres of Berlin before WW2 and the only one after the war until reunification. The Gedächtniskirche near the station was bombed in 1943 and n...Read More

Berlin, Reichstag

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The Houses of Parliament in London may be bigger and more impressive, but every time I was in London they looked the same, how boring. Not so the Reichstag (pronounced: raychs-tag), the German equivalent, in the course of my life I’ve seen it in three different varieties, if I were older, I could add a fourth. This is not so surprising, after all the building stands in Berlin, about which the art historian Karl Scheffer said in 1910, "Berlin is condemned forever to become and never to be."The original Reichstag was completed in 1894, the architect Paul Wallot designed a grandiose neo-classical building with an over-scaled above-ground basement level and four monumental façades, a large fl...Read More

Berlin, Brandenburg Gate

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"How small it is," was what I thought when I walked through it the first time. Like many other Germans I had waited for this opportunity for a long time, for nearly 30 years it had been behind The Wall when you were a Wessi (a citizen of the Federal Republic of Germany) and beyond the so-called death zone running in front of The Wall if you were an Ossi (citizen of the German Democratic Republic). It isn’t really small as far as city gates go, in fact it was the grandest of a series of city gates encircling the city at the end of the 18th century. The other gates haven’t survived, the Brandenburger Tor (Tor=gate) has because it’s at the end of the famous boulevard Unter den Linden (yes, th...Read More

Hamburg

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Hamburg warehouses Photo, Hamburg, Germany
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Last May I stayed in Hamburg, my train arrived at 3 pm and I left the following day at about the same time. Can one get a more than superficial impression of such a big city, the second largest German city (~ 1,8 million inhabitants) after Berlin, in such a short time? I think so, after all tourists are only interested in the city centre, who'd want to visit the suburbs, which are more or less the same everywhere in the world anyway? I left my luggage in a locker at the train station, went to the Tourist Information there and bought a Hamburg Card. It saves money on tickets when going hither and thither by U-Bahn, S-Bahn (kind of tubes) or bus and on entrance fees. Then off t...Read More

Munich Walk Tour

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When I was in Munich and saw an ad for the Munich Walk Tour, I thought, why not? Why not find out what foreigners tell foreigners about Munich? (I’m German, you know)Starting from the Marienplatz the guide, a young woman from Australia, began with a survey on the history of Munich from the year it was officially founded up to today and covered 800 years in about 10 minutes. Our tour wasn‘t specified as a historical tour, it was just a general introduction, but we heard more about the reign of the Royal Family of Wittelsbach which ended in 1918 than about the Munich of today. We heard that Munich was bombarded and destroyed so badly during WW2, 70% of the city lay in ruins, tha...Read More

Munich, Museum Pinakothek der Moderne

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Situated in the immediate vicinity of the Alte Pinakothek (art of the Old Masters to the 18th century) and the Neue Pinakothek (art of the 18th and 19th centuries), the Pinakothek der Moderne forms a troika with its predecessors. The building itself, designed by the American architect Stephan Braunfels, is worth a visit, it has received only enthusiastic critiques. It’s an almost white building shell made of exposed concrete, it‘s unobtrusive, when you get near you have the feeling that it belongs, it has to be just the way it is. It‘s not show-offy and puts its neighbours into second file, although it has almost twice as much room value as the Alte Pinakothek, it seems much smaller, 1/3 o...Read More

Jewish Centre

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Attraction | "Jewish Centre, Munich"

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The city of Munich has a Jewish Centre again consisting of three buildings (built from 2003 to 2007): the 20-metre-high Ohel Jacob synagogue, the three-storey Jewish Museum and the six-storey Jewish Community Centre. It couldn’t be built on its original site which has been made into an underground parking lot but it’s not far away from it on the Jakobsplatz, about ten minutes on foot from the Marienplatz, the heart of the city. The site had been urban wasteland, a relic from WW2. The opening ceremony of the synagogue took place on 9th November, 2006, on the 68th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the ‘Night of Broken Glass‘, the day on which in 1938 Nazi gangs smashed windows and set fire to 1000 Jewish ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 5, 2010

Jewish Centre
St.-jakobs-platz 16
Munich, Germany
+49-89-233-28189

Bavarian Dirndl

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Bavarian dirndls Photo, Munich, Germany
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For many foreign visitors, especially the ones from overseas who do Europe in five days, Germany shrinks to Bavaria, Bavaria shrinks to Munich. Munich means Oktoberfest, Mad King Ludwig and Hitler. If they do come in October and take the visitors of the Oktoberfest for typical Germans, they may return home believing that Germans wear lederhosen and German women dirndl. What an insult to the rest of the population.Dirndl is the diminutive Bavarian dialect form of ‘girl’. The thing you put on should be called a ‘dirndl dress’, but over time the second word has got lost and today a dirndl can wear a dirndl. What nowadays seems the typical dress for women in Bavaria, Austria, Liechtenstein and...Read More