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This year the Sandstone & Music Festival in the Saxon Switzerland region of eastern Germany celebrates its 22nd birthday. From 2 February to 30 November 2014 there'll be numerous events taking place that unite music, culture and nature. Venues include baroque gardens, venerable old churches and castles.

Saxon Switzerland is a national park south-east of Dresden characterised by bizarre rock formations, deep valleys, tabletop mountains and gorges. There's so much to do here, from hiking to taking a boat trip along the river Elbe in an old paddle steamer.

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Johannisburg Palace, the most popular attraction in the town of Aschaffenburg, celebrates its 400th anniversary this year. In 1614 the Archbishop of Mainz had an old ruined castle that already stood on the site transformed into his residential palace, creating a splendid example of Renaissance architecture. 2014, the year of its 400th anniversary, will see numerous events taking place, such as an exhibition showcasing the work of sculptor Hans Juncker, and musical highlights that include concerts in the palace courtyard and chapel. But the museum is worth a visit at any time, containing as it does a permanent collection of works by the artist Lucas Cranach the Elder, who was a friend of Martin Luther.

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A must-see for car enthusiasts is the 'Luxury on four wheels' exhibition celebrating 150 years of coachworks by Gläser Karosserien Dresden. Founded in 1864, the Dresden manufacturer initially produced carriages and sleighs. As time progressed, however, the company came to specialise in cabriolet bodies for cars by Mercedes-Benz, Horch, Audi and Opel, earning Gläser a fine reputation for luxury bodywork. Visitors to Dresden Transport Museum have until 6 April 2014 to 'take a spin' through the manufacturer's history.

During your trip to Dresden, don't miss the chance to see Volkswagen's 'transparent factory' where you can watch VW Phaetons taking shape before your very eyes!

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To mark 100 years since the death of August Macke, the art museum in Mülheim an der Ruhr is presenting a special exhibition on the artist from 2 February to 27 April 2014. During his short career Macke put his heart and soul into art and found inspiration on his travels around Europe and North Africa. In 1911 August Macke joined the Blue Rider artists' group in Munich.

If you are staying in the Ruhr area be sure to visit the UNESCO World Heritage accredited Zollverein mine. This vast industrial complex and its museum reveal all manner of fascinating facts about the region.

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Wooden spoons at the ready! From 28 to 30 March 2014 Berlin is playing host to the gourmet expo eat&STYLE. It's a chance for budding cooks to rub shoulders with top chefs and to find inspiration from a wide range of stands. There is a live cooking stage and a cookery school where you can meet the stars of the gastronomic scene. Find out about the latest culinary trends in various themed sections or get involved yourself in a seminar or a workshop.

If you can't make it to eat&STYLE in Berlin, there are more chances to catch the show this autumn in Hamburg, Munich, Cologne and Stuttgart.

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From 21 to 30 March 2014 Arnstadt will be devoted to all things Bach. This small town in Thuringia has close links to the composer who worked there as cantor between 1703 and 1707. The festival will be opened by a brass ensemble and closes with a performance by Germany's leading vocal ensemble, Singer Pur.

Thuringia regularly hosts a series of events in honour of Johann Sebastian Bach. And you can also follow the composer's footsteps through Eisenach where he was born and Weimar where he worked.

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The IMPRO Festival is on in Berlin from 21 to 30 March 2014. Ensembles and solo artists will be gathering in the German capital to take part in this festival of improvisational theatre across several stages. The event has been running since 2001 and is now one of the biggest and most influential of its kind. As well as featuring talented improv groups from all over the world, it also presents the latest trends in this genre.

But Berlin is not the only location for improv theatre in Germany. There is similar entertainment to be found in a host of cities including Cologne, Leipzig, Würzburg and Mainz.

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During the CMT travel fair in Stuttgart, the German Ramblers' Association awarded its Wanderbares Deutschland quality certification to a number of walking trails. Among them is the 274km Lahnwanderweg, which starts at the source of the river Lahn in the Rothaargebirge hills and continues all the way to its confluence with the Rhine. Along the way you can enjoy beautiful natural landscapes in North Rhine-Westphalia, Hessen and Rhineland-Palatinate and stop off at delightful towns and villages.

With over 200,000 kilometres of well-signposted trails, Germany is a walker's paradise and offers boundless opportunities for exploring the great outdoors.

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What does the historical Romantic movement have in common with the new concept of Romanticism in the modern age? This is the question underpinning the 'FLUXUS made in USA' exhibition, which is on at the Schwerin State Museum from 14 March to 9 June 2014. It presents the works of Caspar David Friedrich, Georg Kersting and other Romantic painters alongside those of American Fluxus artists such as John Cage and George Brecht.

While in Schwerin, the regional capital of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, be sure to visit its most famous landmark, Schwerin Castle. The castle is situated on an island on Lake Schwerin and its beautiful baroque gardens are perfect for long walks.

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The Baltic island of Rügen is hosting the Rügen Spring Festival from 14 to 23 March. Russia provides the theme for this year's programme of around 15 events. Among the festival venues are Granitz hunting lodge and the neighbouring island of Hiddensee. This event, now in its third year, is curated by the Fauré Quartett.

Rügen is Germany's largest island and offers a rich variety of scenery and architecture. A visit to the island would not be complete without seeing Jasmund National Park, awarded World Natural Heritage status by UNESCO, and the famous chalk cliffs.

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