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Calling all sailing fans! From 5 to 13 July 2014 the Baltic coast of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania provides the setting for an event of a very special kind – Warnemünde Week. As in previous years, some 2,000 sailors from over 20 countries will take part in this maritime spectacle. Top sporting events on the programme include the European Cup and the German Open. There are plenty of fun and games to enjoy on dry land too, with an exhilarating beach party and a summer festival offering visitors a range of activities such as dragon boat races and beach handball.

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The State Museum of Archaeology in Chemnitz, located in the iconic semi-circular building of a former department store on Brückenstrasse, has only very recently opened its doors to the public. Inside, a permanent collection of over 6,000 exhibits presents the archaeological treasures of the federal state of Saxony. The exhibition, which covers around 3,000 square metres across three floors, provides a fascinating timeline of Saxony from the days of the first hunter-gatherers some 300,000 years ago through to the early industrial era.

Don't miss your chance to retrace the history of mankind from the Early Stone Age through to early industrialisation!

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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 Brezelfest or 'pretzel festival' is as much part of Speyer as its cathedral. It is the festival of festivals in Speyer and a prime example of tradition in Germany.

From 10 to 17 July 2014 there will be fun, entertainment and a lively atmosphere at the festival site below Speyer Cathedral. As well as modern and traditional fairground rides and attractions, you can expect welcoming beer gardens, a huge festival tent and a daily programme of live music on three stages. Sunday is the day of the traditional Brezelfest run, followed by the festival procession through the city centre featuring around 100 floats.

If Speyer is too far to travel, you might like to visit the pretzel festival in Bottrop-Kirchhellen, North Rhine-Westphalia, on 8 September 2014.

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The Suhl Shooting Centre is hosting the 2014 IPC Shooting World Championships from 17 to 26 July 2014. More than 300 world-class disabled athletes will be competing there in the various Olympic shooting disciplines. The eight-day programme at the shooting centre, which is set in scenic surroundings on Friedberg hill in Suhl, also features a range of exhibitions and entertainment for the international participants and spectators.

Back in 2007 Suhl hosted the European Championships in disability shooting, which was a resounding success. This year the town is once again looking forward to welcoming athletes and visitors from all over the world.

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On 19 July 2014 the hugely popular Cologne Lights festival will be taking place in Cologne. Throughout the day, there will be a varied programme of events and live performances, culminating in a musical firework display at 11.30pm.

There are many different places from which you can watch the fireworks, but one of the best vantage points is undoubtedly from the boats on the Rhine, which also offer sightseeing cruises. The traditional riverboat parade features a total of 50 boats. Be part of it and enjoy the spectacular fireworks!

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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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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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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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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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