Themes

Newsblog

On 8 and 9 February 2014 everything in Baden-Baden, the famous thermal spa in the Black Forest, will be centred around health and fitness as the town hosts the German Wellness Festival. The main focuses of the festival are a healthy lifestyle, beauty, massages, nutrition, exercise, new medicine and therapies. At the event you can get lots of information on health matters, try out all the many products and services on offer and talk to experts from the world of beauty and wellness.

Baden-Baden can look back on a proud 2,000-year history as a thermal spa and remains one of Germany's best-known health resorts.

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This year the popular illustrated tales of Max and Moritz are 150 years old. To mark the occasion, the German Museum of Caricature and Graphic Art in Hannover is dedicating a special exhibition to the two fictional rascals and their creator, Wilhelm Busch, from 16 February to 4 May 2014. As part of the exhibition Busch's original manuscripts will be on display until 23 March 2014. Reproduction brought the tales of Max and Moritz to a global audience, and they are regarded as the first German-language comic strip. The exhibition also provides lots of information about the history of comics in Germany.

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On 7 February 2014 the theme is 'Sparkling Dresden – Glitz and glamour at the Semper Opera Ball', as the city of Dresden celebrates at the Semper Opera House until the early hours. The stunning programme featuring leading opera stars is followed by young debutant couples performing a ten-minute choreography that sets the tone for the evening. There is also plenty of food and drink for guests to enjoy, with local restaurant bean&beluga and its Michelin-starred chef Stefan Hermann providing exquisite delicacies. In an unusual twist, the festivities also go on outside at the Semper Open-Air Ball on Theaterplatz square, where more than 10,000 people will be celebrating.

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The first proper frosts in Germany's winegrowing regions mean the start of the ice wine harvest is just around the corner. The temperature needs to drop below -7°C for several days in order for the grapes to freeze on the vine. Ice wine is a special type of wine that can only be produced in the northern wine regions. The harvest is a laborious process, as the frozen grapes are picked by hand in the early morning. Ice wine is particularly well suited to fruit desserts, ice cream and sorbets.

Germany's winegrowing regions are remarkably diverse and can be easily explored on walks or cycling tours.

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Something very special is happening on Heligoland at the moment. Until the middle of January you can watch close up as baby grey seals are born and reared. Heligoland is the only place in Germany where you can get as close as 30 metres to the animals. During their first month the baby seals are protected against the cold and wet by a thick coat of fur. The high fat content of their mothers' milk allows them to gain weight quickly, and they can reach around 50kg within just three weeks.

Heligoland is Germany's only deep-sea island and can be reached by ship from Büsum, Hamburg, Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven.

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The Deutsches Museum in Munich is presenting a special exhibition 'Inspired by nature: Drawings and models by Leonardo da Vinci' until 3 August 2014. The exhibition focuses on how da Vinci's observations of nature led him to remarkable scientific insights. In addition to facsimiles of da Vinci's manuscripts there are numerous historical models and interactive multimedia stations, so you are sure to come away with plenty of fascinating new discoveries.

Munich is very proud of its wealth of museums, several of which are internationally acclaimed – why not come and see them for yourself?

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The International Sweets and Biscuits Fair in Cologne is the largest trade fair of its kind in the world. The event will be drawing fans of chocolate and other treats to Cologne Exhibition Centre from 27 to 30 January 2014. For people in the business the trade fair is an essential part of the industry calendar.

While in Cologne, visitors with a sweet tooth should also stop by the Chocolate Museum. It takes you on a journey through the 3,000-year history of chocolate and lets you take a look behind the scenes of how it is produced. Be sure to try the chocolate from the three-metre-high chocolate fountain!

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The Black Forest^ is a popular spot for sled dog enthusiasts, as is evident when the annual international sled dog race comes to Todtmoos. Around 100 teams and 800 dogs will be in action in this part of the southern Black Forest from 24 to 26 January 2014. The open races featuring teams of ten dogs or more are particularly exciting. In the Todtmoos spa gardens you might even get the opportunity to meet some of the sled dogs close up.

For those who are more interested in getting active themselves than watching the dogs race, the Black Forest has lots of ski pistes and some wonderful walks.

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In 2014 Germany is celebrating a very special anniversary: 25 years since the peaceful revolution. To the cry of "We are the people – no violence!" more than 70,000 demonstrators confronted the armed security forces of the East German regime in Leipzig in 1989. Their actions made a significant contribution to the collapse of the regime and the fall of the Berlin Wall, ultimately leading to German reunification. Among the highlights of the year are the celebrations in Leipzig on 9 October 2014. During the course of 2014 you will be able to access a wealth of information about the peaceful revolution and the changes it brought, including on this website.

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From 31 January to 16 February visitors can enjoy the seventh KulturWinter programme in the enchanting setting of the Harz mountains. During this magical time of year there will be special guided tours and memorable events at castles, theatres, mines and abbeys. These venues give a hint of the diverse natural and cultural heritage of the northernmost mountains in Germany. Large parts of the area come under the Harz National Park, and there are also UNESCO World Heritage sites in Quedlinburg and Goslar. If you're visiting the Harz this winter, be sure to take a trip on the Harz narrow-gauge railway to the top of Mount Brocken.

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