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.
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?
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.
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!
From 11 to 19 October 2014 the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park and its partners will be hosting their Migratory Bird Week for the sixth time. More than 250 different events in connection with migratory birds will be taking place on the North Sea coast in Lower Saxony and on the East Frisian islands. The programme is aimed at experts and amateurs, locals and tourists. Families are well catered for too, as there are lots of ways for kids to get creative. Many of the activities are designed for small groups, so early registration is recommended. Discover the remarkable flora and fauna of Germany at the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea!
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.
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.