Sunday, November 4, 2012

German Cities and Towns

Augsburg (pop. 255,000)
In Bavaria. One of the oldest German cities, founded in 15 BC by the Romans. The city achieved great prosperity in the 15th and 16th centuries as a result of the international trade and banking business of the Fugger and Welser merchants families. The magnificent patrician houses and palaces date from this period.

Bielefeld (pop. 265,000)
Economic and cultural centre of Eastern Westphalia. Founded in the Middle Ages. Beautifully located on the slopes of the Teutoburger Wald. Surrounded by vast forests with 580km of well-maintained hiking trails. Rich arts and entertainment scene. Medieval Castle. Centre of textile, furniture and food industry.

Erfurt (pop. 200,000)
State capital of Thuringia. Founded in 742 AD by St Boniface. One of the best preserved medieval town centres in Germany. In the Middle Ages Erfurt’s strategic location at the intersection of old trade routes made it rich and powerful. Its renowned university made it a centre of education.

Freiburg (pop. 210,000)
In Baden-Württemberg at the southern gateway to the Black Forest. Beautiful medieval Old Town with city walls and gates and little streams run through the cobble-stoned streets. Famous cathedral and thriving university community.

Heidelberg (pop. 140,000)
In Baden-Württemberg 130km northeast of Stuttgart. Beautiful setting at the Neckar river. World famous for its romantic castle and its picturesque Old Town with its winding alleys. Oldest German university city.

Lübeck (pop. 210,000)
In Schleswig-Holstein on the Baltic Sea. Lübeck was founded in 1143. It rose to head the Hanseatic League and became a major economic power in medieval times. The famous fairy-tale town gate and more than a thousand historical buildings testify Lübeck’s past. UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lübeck is also known as the “Marzipan Capital”.

Passau(pop. 55,000)
In eastern Bavaria, beautifully set on the confluence of the rivers Danube, Inn and Ilz. After 739 AD, Passau became the biggest bishopric on the Danube. Stunning historical centre. Cathedral of St Stephan boasts the biggest church organ in the world. High up above the town and the rivers stand the Veste Oberhaus Castle. Southern gateway to the Bavarian Forest National Park.

Regensburg (pop. 130,000)
In eastern Bavaria on the river Danube. Germany’s best-preserved medieval city with two thousand years of rich history. Outstanding historical monuments and architectural marvels and exquisite collections at the city’s fine museums. St Peter’s Cathedral is the most impressive Gothic building in Bavaria.

Rostock(pop. 200,000)
On the Baltic Sea. Largest city in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and a major port and shipbuilding centre. 800 years of history. Medieval city gates, beautifully decorated gable houses and the 13-century Marienkirche, Rostock’s gemstone. The elegant seaside resort of Warnemünde lies a few kilometres north of the city.

Schwerin(pop. 100,000)
State capital Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, founded in 1160. Set in the middle of an idyllic lake landscape which extends into the city centre. Stunning castle with impressive grand hall, ancestral gallery and orangery. Exceptional museums and galleries. The renowned Mecklenburg State Theatre along with the Mecklenburg State Orchestra can look onto 400 years of history.

Weimar(pop. 64,000)
In Thuringia. One of Germany’s most visited towns. The centre of the Enlightenment and “Sturm und Drang” era was honoured as the “European City of Culture”. You can visit the many places where all the great names associated with Weimar lived and worked, including Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Johann Sebastian Bach, Friedrich Nietzsche, the painters of the Weimar School, the Bauhaus architects’ school and many others.

Würzburg(pop. 140,000)
In northern Bavaria. Charming Baroque city with a southern flair, surrounded by pleasant hillside vineyards. The medieval Marienberg fortress dominates the skyline, overlooking the beautiful Old Town with its architectural masterpieces from many different periods. Well-known university.

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