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Dresden, Wernigerode, Cologne, Lübeck

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The Crown Gate at the entrance to Zwinger

The Crown Gate at the entrance to Zwinger

During my study trip to Germany, when I was a student, I had the privilege of visiting this splendid city. Our group of students was taken there for a weekend trip during our stay in Magdeburg where we attended a month-long course of German at the local university.

Dresden, the capital of the State of Saxony, is often called "The German Florence'. It is a unique and attractive German city full of art and culture of the past centuries.

My plan of Zwinger

My plan of Zwinger

Visiting "Zwinger", a complex of pavilions, is necessary for the visitors of the city. You will enter Zwinger from Julian-Grimau Alley through Kronentor ("Crown Gate"). You will see the world famous Semper Gallery right in front of you. It occupies the left part of the Semper Building. The Historic Museum is in its right part. To your left is the Wall Pavilion and to your right is Meissner China Pavilion.

I will always remember visiting the Zwinger - a complex of pavilions including Semper Gallery – the world-famous picture gallery containing lots of pictures of Old Masters. Visiting Semper Gallery, I was very impressed by seeing Raffael's Madonna. I had seen its reproductions many times, but it was something special to see it in the original. I stood there and pondered what the great artist had conveyed to us by his masterpiece

Admiring the world famous painting

Admiring the world famous painting

We had the pleasure of experiencing the beauty of this marvellous city two times. "Altstadt" - the Old Town - is one of the starting points of all tours of Dresden [Dresden-travel-guide-374880]. There are also many new and renovated districts in the city.

During my second stay in Dresden, our group stayed at "Berg-Hotel Freital-Dresden". We stayed there for a night only, and it was $75 a day, but our travel expenses were covered by the company since we were on a business trip, thank Goodness. The hotel has a great location and nice amenities and is a quiet place with all modern conveniences in the rooms. It is only six kilometres away from the city. Address: Am Langen Rhein 15-17, 01705 Freital/Dresden.

The Feudalism Museum in the former castle, Wernigerode

The Feudalism Museum in the former castle, Wernigerode

During my first trip to Germany (the GDR at that time), when I was a student, I had a very good chance of visiting the Harz - the famous mountainous region to the south of Magdeburg.

We, a group of Soviet students of German, stayed in Magdeburg at the teacher-training college for a month to study German.

We stayed at the campus of Erich Weinert Teacher-Training College and attended classes at that college. We were also taken to the Harz Highlands for a weekend trip to see the great sites.

The medieval Rathaus - the City Council building

The medieval Rathaus - the City Council building

Wernigerode, as we were told, was famous for its medieval architecture and was often called "the city of half-timbered houses". "Fachwerkstadt" - this is how it sounds in German. Like in many German cities, Markt is the central square attracting all the visitors of the city due to its splendid medieval architecture and sightes, among them the medieval City Hall, the fountains, stores, cafes. Wernigerode is really full of those old houses and one of them is the City Hall built in the 15th century. They say this city became famous all over Germany for married couples liked to come here for a wedding ceremony in the old City Hall. Therefore, the city was also called “The Newly-Weds’ City”. We saw the famous City Hall that has always attracted lots of newlyweds from all over Germany. It is astonishing to see the well-preserved exhibits, the halls and rooms that have preserved their original look for 400 years...

Also, we had the pleasure of visiting the Feudal Museum in Wernigerode located in an old castle up the hill. It was, in fact, the first medieval castle I had ever visited.

My picture of Wenigerode

My picture of Wenigerode

Historical Ritterburg ("Knights' Castle"): this is the Knights' Castle that is a must for everybody coming to this city. If you take your time and go up the hill, you will enjoy the whole day of discoveries in this splendid complex of buildings. I visited this city shortly after a famous Soviet movie about Baron Münchhausen had been filmed here. Our city guides mentioned that fact to us. The famous castle on the hill was built in 1862-1883 at the site of an old knights' castle and is still called Knights' Castle. You can see it practically from every corner of the city. The castle houses many exhibitions now and is visited by lots of travelers not only from Germany, but also from many other countries. There is a very nice view of the city and its neighborhood from the castle.

Weekend relaxation at the riverbank in Cologne

Weekend relaxation at the riverbank in Cologne

Each time I went to Cologne, I used trains. I liked the huge railway station and its location in the city - right opposite the famous Dom – Cologne Cathedral. I took an ICE train from Berlin to Cologne last time and was amazed by its speed - 250 km/h. It is my land record so far.

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I was lucky to visit Cologne in 1992 for the first time. It was marvelous and very impressive! Our trip to Germany would have been incomplete if we hadn't visited Cologne. We managed to see some beautiful places downtown and, of course, visit the famous Cologne Cathedral. If you only have time to see that cathedral during your stay there, it is already a lot and great! I would visit it again and again!

At the Rhine Embankment

At the Rhine Embankment


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It was a great chance for me to see something of this magnificent city on the Rhine during my second trip to that city in May 2002. We found ourselves there on our way back from the International Folk Dance Festival in Balingen after we had stayed for several days in Altenkirchen County. We went to Altenkirchen County located not far from Cologne and thanks to that trip we had an opportunity of visiting this wonderful city.

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German Column

German Column


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Downtown Cologne

Downtown Cologne


We only had a day trip there to Cologne on Christi Himmelfahrt when the city was full of people.

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Cologne Cathedral and the modern museum

Cologne Cathedral and the modern museum


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Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral

We managed to see the famous Cologne Cathedral, to walk downtown, to take an excursion train along the Rhine Embankment and to drink beer at one of the numerous bistros not far from Cathedral Square.

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St.Martin's Cathedral

St.Martin's Cathedral


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If you feel tired from walking, you can take a tourist bus from Cathedral Square. The bus will take you to the Rhein Embankment and to the Chocolate Museum and back.

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During our downtown walk in Cologne.

Exploring downtown Lübeck

Exploring downtown Lübeck

During my business trip to the north of Germany in March 1996, when we stayed in Timmendorfer Strand at the seaside, I had a chance of visiting Lübeck on weekend. We had arrived from Ukraine by Ford-Transit minibus and went to Lübeck by that bus.

UNESCO recognized Lübeck as a city with a great historical heritage. Indeed, the city is full of medieval buildings and edifices.

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Holstentor is one of the old city gates became one of the symbols of Lübeck. The city has a long history. You feel the history at every step you make. Lübeck used to be the head of the Hanseatic League.

We walked about downtown Lübeck, where I could see the medieval Gothic churches: Marienkirche dating from the 13th century. Admiring the centurie-old downtownAlso, we admired the City Hall ( Rathaus) that is famous for its exquisite staircase, woodcarving and vaulted wine cellar.

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It was pleasant to walk along the river embankment. We also dropped in at Schiffergesellschaft - the oldest restaurant in Germany dating from 1538. We drank beer at ancient tables dating back to the 16th century. It was like being at a museum. As we were told, "Seafarers' Society" (this is how its name sounds in English) is the oldest restaurant in Germany dating back to 1538. We sat at a long medieval table and I felt I was in a local lore museum. It was a privilege to drink beer at those "pirate tables", as I called them then. I must say that was the most expensive beer I had ever had in Germany!...But it was certainly worth visiting that restaurant! It was great sitting at those ancient tables and to drink beer. I took a picture of our merry company, but myself was left out. You can only see my glass of beer. Perhaps next time I will be in the picture.

Posted by Vic_IV 07:28 Archived in Germany

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