Wiesbaden , the capital of Hessen and one of Germany's finest cities, is nothing less than a global showcase for the world's theatres and orchestras. Here's it's about striving for perfection and for the ultimate in music-making, bringing together high culture, great art and discerning audiences.
For grown-ups, it's a haven of bliss – for children, the city's biggest sandpit. The Kulturstrand in Bavaria's capital city is a welcome relief for all, especially city-dwellers who, according to the organisers, are always needing a holiday.
At this festival, established film makers can only sit and watch. The Mannheim / Heidelberg International Film Festival is devoted exclusively to talented newcomers to the industry, and that's what makes it special. All 40 to 50 films screened are genuine premieres selected by the organisers from over 1,000 entries from around the world. Every year around 60,000 festival visitors gain insights into current developments in 21st century film.
Since 1997 Classics at the Lake has been the Saarland's biggest and most popular open-air classical event. The gently sloping grounds, the lake view, the scenery and the excellent facilities at Losheim reservoir all contribute to the wonderful, laid-back atmosphere. In true Saarland style, there's delicious food to go with the music. The gourmet package comes with an exquisite finger buffet including drinks.
The Festival of German Film is held in a park on the banks of the Rhine on the outskirts of Ludwigshafen . Its aim, say the organisers, is to promote high-quality German films regardless of their box-office success. The festival also pays tribute to outstanding German-language films from other countries. The best film of the festival is presented with a cinematography award. Around 35,000 people cast their vote for the audience award.
Friedrich Schiller was not only one of the most important German-speaking dramatists – he was also Mannheim's first playwright. In acknowledgement of this, Mannheim National Theatre holds the International Schiller Festival every two years, at which a variety of productions from classical to contemporary shed light on the modern relevance of Schiller's writings and ideas. In the true spirit of this great poet, time is also set aside for discussions and debate.
It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful open-air stages in the world. The ruins of this abbey church are so stunning that they were used for theatre performances only a short time after the 1761 fire that devastated the building. The modern-day festival in the Hessian town of Bad Hersfeld was launched in 1951. Since that date, at least four plays or musicals have been performed in the ruins each summer – and the erection of a covered stand has allowed the show to go on whatever the weather.