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Hannover will be hosting the Lake Maschsee Festival from 30 July to 17 August this year. For these 19 days, the promenade around Lake Maschsee, the 'blue heart' of Hannover, will be transformed into a vibrant open-air festival, offering fun and entertainment for young and old alike.

The four large stages around the lake present live music covering various genres, while the festival food and drink is creatively themed on pirate landscapes, seafaring romance, lighthouses and beach lounges.

Celebrate with friends, family or colleagues – enjoy an evening of dancing under open skies, a relaxed glass of wine or delicious cocktails in good company.

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The Saxony Wine Route runs through some of the most scenic sections of the Elbe Valley and the smallest wine region in Germany. Here you can soak up the almost mediterranean atmosphere and sample the local wines in the place where they were made – at seasonal wine rooms on the wayside or at traditional wine taverns and restaurants. The choice of establishments ranges from quaint inns offering a taste of German gemütlichkeit to exclusive gourmet restaurants.

No matter whether you prefer to sample wine in a cool wine cellar, a sunny garden or an elegant vinothek, you will be spoilt for choice on the Saxony Wine Route.

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This year's Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival will be taking place from 5 July to 31 August at various venues across Schleswig-Holstein.

Since 1996 the festival has been themed on a different country every year, taking its audiences on a musical journey around the globe – from Finland to Japan, from Russia to the USA. As of this year, the concerts featured in the festival programme will be focused on a single composer. In 2014 it is the turn of Felix Mendelssohn to be honoured by classical music stars. The featured artist for 2014 is the Argentinian cellist Sol Gabetta.

Immerse yourself in the magical world of classical music at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival.

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On 13 April 2014 the Reiss Engelhorn Museum in Mannheim opened its second exhibition devoted to Emperor Maximilian I. Entitled 'The Last Knight and the Court Tournament', it runs until 9 November 2014 and presents around 150 exquisite exhibits on loan from Vienna's Museum of Art History.

Emperor Maximilian I (1459-1519) was one of the most popular rulers from the House of Habsburg. He ruled over the Holy Roman Empire in the late Middle Ages, on the threshold of the modern era, and laid the foundations for his dynasty's rise to world power. It is said that his greatest passion, aside from hunting, was the medieval tournament.

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Germany is home to more than 200 zoos and wildlife parks, which attract over 35 million visitors every year.

But only one can claim to be the best. The winner of the coveted Parkscout Public Award for the 2013/14 season is Hannover Adventure Zoo. The prize has been awarded by the Parkscout.de website for more than ten years now and has become a highly regarded accolade in the leisure industry. This is the sixth time that Hannover Adventure Zoo has been voted the no. 1 zoo in Germany, once again beating Hagenbeck Zoo and ZOOM World of Adventure in Gelsenkirchen to the top spot.

So if you're looking for fun and entertainment for all the family, be sure to visit Hannover Adventure Zoo!

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In spring and summer, markets are ideal for strolling around, shopping and savouring delicious food and drink. As the temperatures rise and seasonal and regional produce begins to flourish, the markets come into full bloom too. All across Germany there are weekly markets to be explored.

For instance, there is a delightful regional market in Fischland-Darss-Zingst, in the Western-Pomeranian Boddenlandschaft National Park. Some places offer a variety of different specialist markets where you'll find everything your heart desires – from arts and crafts to painting and woodwork, from organically and sustainably grown produce to oils, spices, tea and coffee.

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Germany has over 1,000 health and wellness hotels and 350 certified spa and health resorts where you can enjoy round-the-clock pampering and recharge your batteries as spring draws to a close. You can also keep yourself fit and active by roaming the countryside on foot, following one of the well-signposted walking routes that form an extensive nationwide network covering some 200,000 kilometres. Cyclists have a similarly wide choice with more than 200 long-distance cycle routes on which to tour the sights of Germany's major cities and explore the great outdoors.

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The Köstritzer Spiegelzelt or 'mirror marquee' on Beethovenplatz square in Weimar presents an unbeatable blend of top entertainment, with music, drama and variety all featuring prominently on the programme. You have until 29 June 2014 to visit the mirror marquee, a historical danspaleis from the Netherlands that dates from the turn of the last century. Red velvet, antique wood and countless mirrors create a unique atmosphere inside.

The programme spans 42 evenings and features a total of 33 artists. This is also the first time that food and drink will be available in the tent. On 27 June 2014 the venue is staging a very special event: Weimar's inaugural Summer Night's Ball.

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The Hörgänge tours offer an experimental form of sightseeing in Oldenburg, weaving the city's attractions into an audio play. Instead of being broadcast on the radio or published on CD, the various short episodes are designed to be mobile experiences. To be precise, they are meant to be listened to at particular locations in the city, on squares, in parks or in public buildings.

This audio play experiment, which has been running in Oldenburg since late August 2013, comprises a series of five episodes that are set at five different sites in the city centre. The episodes can be downloaded from the internet free of charge, for use at any time and by anyone.

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Health-conscious visitors to Germany may already be familiar with 'Kneipp cures'. This form of treatment was invented in the 19th century by Sebastian Kneipp, who was a firm believer in the healing power of nature. Kneipp's method of keeping the body healthy consisted of five pillars: hydrotherapy, regular exercise, a balanced diet, herbal medicine and inner balance.

On 24 May 2014 Bad Nauheim will be hosting its 7th Kneipp Health Day, an event devoted to health, exercise and Kneipp's teachings. From 10am to 5pm there will be talks and a programme of other health-related activities at the Trinkkuranlage concert hall and outdoor grounds.

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