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Face to face with art: can you imagine huge black and white portraits staring back at you from buildings, stairways, walls and rooftops? The latest exhibition at the Frieder BurdaMuseumsin Baden-Baden, on show until 29 June 2014, presents the most important works of JR, the French artist born in 1983 who typifies the international contemporary street art scene.

JR installs his black and white photographic images in urban public spaces all around the world, almost as if they were monumental billboards. The nature of his art means that he works in the most diverse locations, mostly in Paris and New York, and in different culturaland social contexts.

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The Palmengarten in Frankfurt has been cultivating azaleas ever since it was founded. You can admire the finest specimens from its collection at the Azaleas exhibition, which runs from 16 April to 4 May. As well as azaleas, which are a symbol of spring and good fortune in Asia, the show will also include bamboo and hydrangeas from the Palmengarten collection.

This year the gardens will once again be taking part again in the Luminale, Frankfurt's biennale of light art. On from 30 March to 4 April, this multifaceted event sees the whole of Frankfurt transformed by spectacular light installations.

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This year, the Leipzig Baumwollspinnerei will once again be offering a grand spring tour of the Spinnerei galleries. All of its galleries and exhibition spaces will be open for public viewing throughout the weekend of 3 and 4 May. 'From cotton to culture' is the motto of the Spinnerei, formerly a cotton mill and now an innovative venue for art and culture. With a cinema, art supply store and porcelain workshop among its attractions, there is sure to be something for everyone. You can even grab a bite to eat there!

Leipzig is famous not only for arts and crafts but also for music, and has been the home of many distinguished musicians and composers past and present.

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From 26 April to 4 May 2014 people will be flocking to Werder an der Havel to celebrate the Tree Blossom Festival. Set amid beautiful natural scenery, this delightful festival is known for its friendly atmosphere. The tours of the orchards in and around Werder are a great way to get a taste of German gemütlichkeit. You can also look forward to wine tastings, delicious fooddelicious food and entertainment at its best, with lots of musical performances and all kinds of different fairground rides.

Additional train services are laid on from nearby Berlin, making it easy to visit the festival from the German capital.

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The Brühl palace concerts will open on 10 May 2014 in the beautiful setting of Augustusburg Palace. The ceremonial staircase at this UNESCO World Heritage site is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable concert venues in Germany. This year's concert season will end in August with a firework display set to music in the palace gardens.

Augustusburg and Falkenlust palaces and their baroque gardens were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1984 and present a exquisite fusion of architecture, art and landscape design.

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This year the Mannheim May Fair will be taking place from 26 April to 11 May 2014 on the city's Neuer Messplatz square. Mannheim's local brewery, Eichbaum, provides a focal point and meeting area in the form of a beer garden measuring nearly 100 metres in length. The extraordinary fairground park and music create the perfect setting for relaxing and whiling away the hours. There will also be lots of different food and drink stands, children's carousels, freshly roasted almonds and other market stalls.

The fair's official opening event is held on Saturday 26 April 2014 at 5pm when the first keg of beer is tapped inside the 'Circus, Circus' festival tent. On top of all this, there are two family days plus firework displays on both Fridays.

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The XJAZZ festival is being held in the heart of Berlin's trendy Kreuzberg quarter from 8 to 11 May 2014. The three venues – Bi Nuu, Privatclub and Emmaus Church – are all within easy walking distance of each other, so nothing should get in the way of the party vibe!

The partner country for the first ever XJAZZ Festival is Iceland: few other countries in Europe have as innovative a music scene as this island in the north Atlantic. Confirmed acts from Reykjavik so far include ADHD, the Samúel Jón Samúelsson Big Band and Stereo Hypnosis.

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Want to put a spring back in your step? Then the second Wanderfrühling walking festival on Rügen may be just the thing for you. From 15 to 25 May 2014 you can enjoy guided walks, Nordic walking tours and trips to Jasmund National Park, go on expeditions in the Granitz hills and the hinterlands of Rügen or join tours of Cape Arkona and discover the entire island .

So lace up your walking boots, pack up your rucksack and off we go!

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Museums Night in Berlin is an opportunity to explore museums late at night. This year Museums Night will for the first time be taking place on the evening before International Museum Day in May. Which means that on 17 and 18 May 2014 Berlin's famous museums will be dazzling visitors with special programmes and activities throughout the weekend. Getting to the individual museums is hassle-free with shuttle buses operating on several routes. What's more, the majority of museums will be marking the occasion with a programme of concerts, film screenings, performances and other events.

There really is something for everyone on Museum's Night!

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The Rhine in Flames firework spectacular takes place every year from May to September along one of the most scenic stretches of the Rhine. During the event, the riverside promenades and famous landmarks between Bonn and Rüdesheim are bathed in a red glow and an illuminated flotilla of boats glides down the river as fireworks light up the skies above. A fantastic spectacle for all the family!

This year's Rhine in Flames festival starts on 3 May in Bonn. Celebrations continue on the section of the river between Rüdesheim and Bingen on 5 July, Spay and Koblenzon 9 August, in Oberwesel on 13 September and, last but not least, on the section between St. Goar and St. Goarshausen on 20 September.

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