Cultural Heart Of Germany

Events Preview & Travel Ideas 2015

Albrechtsburg Castle – Image (c) Cultural Heart of Germany

 

2015 will see the 25th anniversary of Germany’s reunification, and the regions of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia have come a long way since the fall of the Wall. Now a prime travel destination featuring a unique combination of cultural and natural attractions, the Cultural Heart of Germany also offers a fascinating glimpse into the country’s most recent history.

Exploring contemporary history

Among the many sights related to the country’s past division, the ‘Green Belt’ stands out as a project protecting nature and the historic heritage along the former inner German border. What used to be no man’s land is now a well appointed hiking trail allowing visitors to explore natural habitats in Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Saxony as well as old watchtowers and memorial sites along the route. Another one for history buffs: On top of the Brocken, with 1,141 metres the highest peak in Harz National Park, the Brocken House information centre provides an opportunity to get up close and personal with Germany’s former separation and reunification in 1990. The Brocken was used for surveillance and espionage purposes and its plateau was sealed off and surrounded by a concrete wall. Visitors can see remnants of this wall as well as surveillance equipment used by the Stasi secret police exhibited in the Brocken House.

Music, arts and anniversaries

Apart from the annual music festival highlights, such as Thuringian Bach Weeks (27 March to 19 April), Dresden Music Festival (14 May to 7 June), Halle’s Handel Festival (30 May to 14 June), Bach Festival Leipzig (12 to 21 June) and the Cathedral Steps Festival in Erfurt (9 to 26 July), visitors to the region will also be able to choose from a wealth of special events and exhibitions including some (more) anniversaries worth flagging up:

Leipzig, fast becoming an urban hot spot on a par with Berlin, will next year be commemorating its 1000th anniversary and the city’s first documented mentioning. At the centre of the year-long festivities the Festival Week from 31 May to 7 June will feature the ‘Lipsia’s Lions’ Street Theatre Festival and the Leipzig City Festival. Amongst other musical highlights, performances of the Gewandhaus Orchestra can be enjoyed in summer in Leipzig’s Rosental park during the popular open air concert ‘Klassik Airleben’ plus Leipzig Museum of Fine Art will be hosting a Paul Klee retrospective (1 March to 25 May). In nearby Dresden, the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), a potent symbol of Germany’s contemporary history, was rebuilt after the reunification and the 10th anniversary of its reconsecration will be celebrated from 22 to 31 October 2015.

The other Cranach

Last but not least, another anniversary worth mentioning is the 500th birthday of Lucas Cranach, the Younger, often overshadowed by his father, the eminent Renaissance master, Cranach, the Elder. Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia will take the occasion to put a special spotlight on the art of the Reformation, the former with an altogether whopping seven exhibitions in Wittenberg, Dessau and Wörlitz, while in Thuringia, three outstanding exhibitions in Eisenach, Gotha and Weimar will showcase works of both, Cranach, the Elder and Younger.

Travel information

Easy access to the Cultural Heart of Germany with Cityjet from London City to Dresden, Ryanair to Leipzig and Germania from London Gatwick to Erfurt-Weimar. All major airlines to Berlin.

The Cultural Heart of Germany online:

Website: www.culturalheart.info
Facebook:www.facebook.com/CulturalHeartofGermany
Twitter: www.twitter.com/CulturalGermany

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