One of Europe’s largest, most populous, and wealthiest nations, Germany delivers memorable experiences for every taste, interest, and budget. By all means, do take in the blockbuster sights—Neuschwanstein Castle, Brandenburg Gate, Cologne Cathedral, and the Romantic Road among them. But don’t forget to slow down and savor life’s little pleasures: a slice of Black Forest cake on the cobbled market square, a scenic drive among wildflower-strewn hills, a crisp Riesling in a candle-lit wine tavern, or a restorative dip in a hot mineral spring.
As you travel around Germany, you’ll discover that the past is present wherever you go, from 2000-year-old Roman ruins to grand medieval cathedrals to baroque royal palaces to “nostalgic” relics of the former East Germany. Knowing the history and culture that produced these sights is bound to deepen your appreciation for them. Therefore, the next pages provide you with a crash course in German history, art, architecture, literature, and music, along with other tips to help you get the most out of your trip to this fascinating country.
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