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Janina Huhn has been crowned the new German Wine Queen! She fended off some tough competition in the contest that took place in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse on 26 September 2014. This annual event is organised by the German Wine Institute with the newly appointed Wine Queen responsible for representing German wine around the world for the next year. The contest is between the 13 wine queens from all Germany's wine regions.

Janina Huhn comes from the Palatinate, Germany's second biggest wine region. It's a landscape that is easily explored on the German Wine Route by bike, on foot or even by car – perfect for sampling German wines in the places where they're made. You'll be amazed by the quality!

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On 31 October 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg to protest against the selling of indulgences. This year, tens of thousands of people will once again be celebrating the anniversary of this momentous occasion, which marked the start of the Protestant Reformation. As well as the spectacle of the historical market, the programme on 31 October and 1 November 2014 will feature concerts, exhibitions, church services and a Renaissance music festival, the highlight of the event. Street performers, musicians, artisans and travelling folk from the Middle Ages will gather on the market square and recreate life as it was 500 years ago. Join in the celebrations and take a step back in time!

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Romance will be taking centre stage on the Flower Island of Mainau on 1 and 2 November 2014 as the island on Lake Constance – an idyllic location for getting married – hosts the Hochzeitsmesse wedding fair. Exhibitors will be presenting all the latest wedding trends, and it is a great opportunity for visitors to admire the many special places on the island, such as the harbour, the palace and the palace church.

Mainau Island, which is transformed into a sea of flowers in spring and summer, is also well worth visiting in autumn when the landscape is bathed in tranquil red and yellow hues. But don't just take our word for it – come and see for yourself!

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Germany's wine-growing regions are particularly inviting in the autumn. Not only can you admire the glorious scenery but there are also lots of events taking place at this time of year. In the Palatinate, for example, the village of Hauenstein will be hosting the 15th edition of its Chestnut Market (Kastanienmarkt) on 20 October 2014. The specialities on offer include chestnut bread and chestnut cake, chestnut sausages and game dishes featuring chestnuts. And if you happen to hear the word 'Keschde', it is the local term for Palatinate sweet chestnuts. Visit Germany this autumn and enjoy the fruits of this wonderful season!

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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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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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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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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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