Germany: Rich Diversity-A A +A
Friday, February 1, 2013
GERMANY is often underrated as a destination, despite its picture-postcard medieval villages, dynamic modern cities and swathes of idyllic countryside. Many of the world’s most beloved seasonal traditions originate in Germany, such as the Christmas tree and the Advent Calendar.
My family always consider Munich as our home in Germany which has a rich heritage as the city of beer, breweries, beer gardens and beer festivals like the Ocktoberfest. The city is 850-yrs old with a combination of old and new, huge palaces, beautiful churches and 21st architectural masterpieces. Munich is a large city so I can mention only a few places among those I visited. The Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) and Glockenspiel are located in Marienplatz, the bustling center of Munich. A few meters away are the Viktualienmarkt (18th c. farmer’s market) and St. Peter’s Church.
The BMW Complex is near the three-square kilometer Olympiapark which was built for the Summer Olympic Games of 1972. Within the park stands the Television Tower. Hofbrauhaus is the world’s most famous beer hall. The baroque palace of Nymphhenburg was built as summer residence for the Bavarian kings. With its 373-hectare of lush meadows, the English Garden is the world’s largest park within a city. The 200-year Chinese Tower was built in the heart of the English Garden.
We took a daytrip to the beautiful medieval city of Nuremburg - treasure chest of the Holy Roman Empire, centre of the German Renaissance, home to both the Nuremberg Nazi Rallies and Nuremberg Trials. There are Gothic churches and colorful markets that have taken place for more than 700 years.
From the train station, we passed by the amazing Handwerkerhof (Craftsmen Courtyard) with its small shops and alley-ways. Churches, museums, fountains, monuments, ancient edifices, and all the many places of interest which are distributed throughout the old part of the city are too numerous to be covered in one day. The center of the city is the Hauptmarkt (main market), started in 1349 by Emperor Karl IV, and established Germany’s most famous Christmas Market. Found in the square are Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) which towers above the Market Square and Schoner Brunnen (Beautiful Fountain), the four-step stone pyramid which rises 17.30-meter high. At the highest point of the city is Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle) where the German Emperors ruled and where we enjoyed a panoramic view over the rest of the castle and the city below.
Although we enjoyed almost a month of express travel through several countries in Europe, German and Liza Ilagan, Rey B. and I looked forward going back to our own… “It’s more fun in the PHILIPPINES!”
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 02, 2013.