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Between 21 September 2014 and 1 March 2015, food lovers and culinary explorers from all over the world will be making their way to Germany's northernmost state for the 28th annual Schleswig-Holstein Gourmet Festival. In 31 events centred around food and wine, 19 guest chefs – including the acclaimed Harald Wohlfahrt – will be presenting dishes made with locally and sustainably sourced ingredients. Numerous top restaurants in the region are expanding culinary horizons too, among them the beautifully situated Töpferhaus lakeside hotel in Duvenstedt. Isn't it time you got a taste of Germany?

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Germany's biggest and spookiest Halloween parties are being held in the ruins of Castle Frankenstein near Darmstadt from 24 October to 9 November 2014. The ruins are transformed into a haunted castle crawling with creepy characters such as vampires, witches, monsters and werewolves. Every year, more than 15,000 horror fans enjoy a spine-tingling experience set within walls that date back thousands of years. For under-14s, there are special events staged on family days and children's Sundays, when the otherwise beastly monsters and witches are uncharacteristically friendly. It's a great day out full of fun and games... and screams!

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It was 850 years ago that the relics of the Three Wise Men arrived in Cologne, making the city one of the most important pilgrimage sites of the Middle Ages. The shrine of the Three Kings inside the UNESCO-accredited Cologne Cathedral is just one of many architectural monuments devoted to their memory. To mark the anniversary, the Museum of Medieval Art is running a major exhibition dedicated to the Three Wise Men from 25 October 2014 to 25 January 2015. The display includes exquisite paintings and sculptures as well as art treasures from around Germany and Europe. Discover the many sides to this Magic City and make a trip to its other museums, such as the heavenly chocolate museum.

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The magnificent landscape and biodiversity of the UNESCO Bliesgau Biosphere Reserve is like nothing else. Besides its varied scenery, its popular walking routes and cycle trails, and its impressive industrial heritage, the Saarland region also has many towns and cities that are well worth exploring. Of particular note is the region's capital, Saarbrücken, which has a distinctive character and friendly feel. Saarbrücken will appeal to every one of your senses, whether you're learning about local culture in the Saarland Museum, shopping in the bohemian quarters or sampling the menus of top chefs.

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The idyllic Hanseatic city of Rostock on the Baltic coast is a place of extraordinary soul and character. It offers a wide choice of shopping opportunities, restaurants serving delicious food & drink, and inviting pubs all around the city harbour. Attractions such as the zoological gardens or the Maritime Museum in the IGA Park will light up the eyes of children and adults alike. A major landmark of this historical city is the old lighthouse in Warnemünde. While you're there, why not take advantage of the many health and wellness facilities in this coastal resort? What are you waiting for?

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The tradition of public festivals goes back for centuries in Germany, as exemplified by the Onion Fair in Weimar. The 361st Onion Fair will take place between 10 and 12 October 2014. Onion farmers have been plaiting colourful strings of onions since the start of September. Every year the extensive programme of events attracts visitors in their hundreds of thousands. Besides experiencing the biggest public fair in Thuringia, festival-goers have the opportunity to marvel at the city's UNESCO world heritage sites and to explore the local connections with Goethe, for instance at the National Museum. The region around Weimar also makes for a great day out in nature – just come and see for yourself!

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The fresh autumnal air and mild temperatures make this an ideal time to explore the great outdoors on foot. With around 200,000km of marked footpaths, Germany has plenty to offer walkers and those looking to get away from it all: from the sweeping pastures of the Uckermark region in north eastern Brandenburg to the Alpine spa town of Oberstdorf in southern Bavaria. The Walking in Germany pocket guide contains details of 70 walking trails and the interactive map provides route descriptions as well as attractions along the way.

Be inspired by the variety of active holidays on offer in Germany!

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On 8 October 2014 at 5pm, the Church of the Holy Cross (Kreuzkirche) in Dresden is holding a special anniversary service with the motto 'The peaceful revolution - day of awakening' to commemorate the historical events 25 years ago that brought about the collapse of the East German regime. At the same time, an exhibition at the memorial site on the city's Bautzener Strasse will be displaying words and images that portray the events that unfolded in Berlin, Plauen, Dresden and Leipzig on those defining days between 7 and 9 October 1989. Exhibitions like this one will be running in parallel at different sites in all four of these towns and cities. One Dresden landmark that has come to symbolise German unity is the Church of Our Lady – a compelling example of civic engagement.

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Ten museums in the Ruhr region are showcasing their wide-ranging collections from early September to late December 2014 as part of the RuhrKunstSzene event. Coach tours are being run between the exhibition venues in towns and cities such as Bochum, Witten and Oberhausen, and these include a guided tour in each museum.

Active art buffs may also like to discover the surrounding scenery on a cycle tour along the Route of Industrial Heritage and visit the fascinating Zollverein Coal Mine in Essen, a UNESCO World Heritage site. For those who don't want to travel so far, Duisburg-Nord Industrial Landscape Park is a great place to while away the hours. The Ruhr region is full of surprises!

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Leipzig was one of the most important centres of the peaceful revolution in Saxony. On 9 October 2014 thousands of people will be gathering in this historical city to commemorate the events that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall. They will have the opportunity to share in a traditional prayer of peace and listen to the 'speech for democracy'. The festival of lights, held around the entire inner city ring road, is the emotional highlight of the event. Along this historic route, light, sound and video projections create connections between 1989 and 2014 that encourage people to reflect and reconsider.

Exhibitions, talks and commemorative events about German reunification and the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall are being held all over Germany until the end of the year.

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