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The exhibition at the UNESCO World Heritage Völklingen Ironworks marking 25 years since German reunification has been extended until 8 March 2015, giving visitors longer to see the display of exclusive photographs by acclaimed photographer and photo journalist Helmut R. Schulze. The collection presents an eye-witness account of the political path to German unity. Born in 1929, Schulze enjoyed a front-row seat for many of the diplomatic occasions that helped to bring about reunification, and his images offer fascinating insights into Germany's history.

In November 1989 the Berlin Wall came down and as of October 1990 Germany was a reunified nation. There are lots of exciting events planned for 2015 to mark the anniversary of German reunification. Find inspiration for your next outing with our 25 perspectives – a collection of places in Germany that have been given a new lease of life in the 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. What are you waiting for?

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16 February 2015 is Carnival Monday, which sees parades taking place across the Rhineland. During carnival, or the 'fifth season' as it is known in many regions of Germany, the streets swell with colourful costumed characters, and a festival atmosphere fills the air as they parade through towns and cities. Put on your best carnival outfit and join the party!

The biggest of all the processions is the one held in Cologne. Large parades also take place in Düsseldorf, Mainz, Trier and Koblenz as well as in many other towns and cities across Germany. You can find out more about the long tradition of carnival or fastnacht at dedicated museums, such as those in Cologne, Mainz, Koblenz and Speyer.

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From 5 to 8 February 2015, all eyes in Bad Wiessee will turn skyward for the town's 15th Montgolfiade. Every day of this festival sees unusually shaped hot-air balloons take to the skies above Lake Tegernsee, creating a colourful spectacle that makes both children and grown-ups stop and stare. And there's plenty more to keep you busy in the Lake Tegernsee area, including snow hikes, torch-lit walks, horse-drawn sleigh rides and romantic evenings inside cosy log cabins.

Bad Wiessee is also famed for its iodine sulphur springs. So why not unwind with a trip to Bade Park Bad Wiessee with its spas, saunas and swimming pools or to the Monte Mare lakeside sauna?

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Now in its eighth year, the Harz KulturWinter runs from 30 January to 15 February. Make your trip to the Harz mountains memorable by taking full advantage of the wide-ranging programmes of activities available across the region, including special guided tours and unusual events. Venues include castles, palaces, museums, theatres, craft workshops, abbeys and even mines.

There's something for everyone in the Harz, whether it's a family tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Rammelsberg mines (followed by a stroll through Goslar's old quarter), a chocolate seminar in the UNESCO town of Quedlinburg or a fairytale experience at Wernigerode Castle.

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'Das Erbe – the mining exhibition in the Saarland' presents three themed sections exploring the impact of mining on the Saarland and life working with coal. It is set within the former washhouse of the old Reden colliery. The last of the Saarland's coal pits closed in 2012 and its legacy is preserved in this exhibition. Follow a former miner on a tour of the exhibition, and use all your senses to discover the realities of mining.

You can gain other fascinating insights into Germany's industry (past and present) all along the Route of Industrial Heritage in the Ruhr valley, including at the UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Zollverein mine in Essen and the Völklingen Ironworks, as well as at the German Mining Museum in Bochum.

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This winter, you can take part in a special sporting event in the Erzgebirge mountains in Saxony. The Oberwiesenthal winter golf festival (Wintergolftage) is being held from 23 to 25 January 2015 at a specially created six-hole snow golf course. While you play, you can enjoy panoramic views of the scenery around Mount Fichtelberg. The event in Oberwiesenthal, Germany's highest town, promises plenty of sporting highlights as well as excellent food and drink away from the golf course. So, what are you waiting for!

There are many reasons to visit the Erzgebirge mountains. This region of eastern Germany is known for its traditional crafts, such as nutcrackers and incense burners, its mining heritage, which you can discover on the Saxon-Bohemian Silver Mines Route, and its fantastic walking trails, which include the Erzgebirge-Vogtland Ridge Trail.

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An exhibition entitled 'Cologne 1914. Major city in the West' is on in Cologne until 19 April 2015. Three venues in the city – Cologne City Museum, the MAKK Museum of Applied Art and the Stiftung Rheinisch-Westfälisches Wirtschaftsarchiv – will each be presenting one part of the exhibition, which explores Cologne's importance in 1914 and the impact of the First World War on the city. Embark on a fascinating journey through Germany's history.

Cologne is, of course, also famous for perfume thanks to Johann Maria Farina, who created his eau de cologne in 1708. Today, Farina House is the world's oldest working perfumery and also houses a fragrance museum. And if you're looking for a souvenir, why not take some eau de cologne home?

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Experience an unforgettable event this winter! On 23 January, Obermaiselstein in the Allgäu will be hosting its third snow shoe night (Schneeschuhnacht). Strap on your snow shoes, along with hundreds of other participants, and get some coaching from the pros, Olympians Rosi Mittermaier and Christian Neureuther. The snow shoe walk will be followed by a huge party with live music.

Another top tip: you can easily combine this event with a tour along the Romantic Road or a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle near Füssen, which was voted Germany's top visitor attraction in 2014.

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The Wine Forum will be taking place at the Thermen am Viehmarkt Roman baths in Trier from 23 to 25 January 2015. In the underground passages, you'll be able to sample award-winning German wines from vineyards along the Moselle, Saar and Ruwer rivers. The wide selection will feature around 200 wines and sparkling wines from over a hundred producers.

But Trier is not only a great destination for wine connoisseurs. While in the city, you might also like to visit the Roman monuments, the Cathedral of St. Peter and the Church of Our Lady, which have been granted World Heritage status by UNESCO, or the TUFA events venue at the former textile factory, which offers an exciting programme all year round.

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Rhineland-Palatinate has so much to offer – from historical highlights and vineyard scenery to havens of relaxation. Mainz, the state capital, looks back on more than two thousand years of history and is home to an impressive cathedral. The vineyards along the river Ahr also play a big part in the region's appeal. If you're looking to relax, the spa resort of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler is one of many places offering health treatments using natural remedies, or you could visit the Ahr-Therme baths and the historical thermal bathing house which are open daily. Come and discover Rhineland-Palatinate for yourself!

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