When planning one’s first trip to Germany, it’s fun to take a break from all the intricate business aspects of travelling overseas and create your dream travel itinerary. I like to assume all the specifics will fall into place and then, I want to actually see the country while I’m there! Here are some sights I have begun to gather that make our current Germany Wanderlust Bucketlist! What’s on yours??
ALL the Castles, duh. But more specifically:
1. SCHWERIN CASTLE
image source: http://www.goodwp.com/world/28348-schwerin-castle-castle-schwerin-mecklenburg-vorpommern-germany.html
2. NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE
image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuschwanstein_Castle
The most famous castle, maybe of all time, was not even built as a defensive fortress but rather, as a summer retreat for King Ludwig II. Located in southern Bavaria and overlooking the Alps makes it a most idyllic tourist “must-see.”
*Opera Diva Fun Facts about this castle: aspects of the structure are attributed to the Castle of the Holy Grail from Wagner’s Parsifal and the sleeping quarters are embellished with more details from Wagner’s operas, like a dressing table inspired by Lohengrin!
3. HEIDELBERG CASTLE
image source: http://yallabook.com/guide/en/show.php?nid=1738&heidelberg-castle
Heidelberg Castle is often said to be the epitome of German romanticism, even as it lay in ruins. It was built around 1300 and home to the Wittelsbach dynasty. No castle would be complete without its’ garden, Heidelberg houses the Hortus Palatinus pleasure garden, These uncompleted gardens were even considered the eighth wonder of the world. ‘Life at court’ guided tour, offered on Saturdays depict insight into the everyday lives of the people who used to reside at Heidelberg Castle. The German Apothecary Museum within the castle documents how medicines have been prepared and dispensed down the ages. Nearby you can find The Philosophers’ Walk, Heidelberg’s best-known and most scenic trail, which looks out over the old quarter and the castle.
4. REICHSBURG COCHEM CASTLE
image source: http://www.1zoom.me/fr/wallpaper/360245/z3688/%26original=1
The first historical mention of Cochem castle is from 1051. Used mainly as a defensive structure; it was said that at one time, it housed as many as 40,000 knights! Reichsburg was burned to the ground in 1688 and it wasn’t until 1868 that a Berlin businessman, began to reconstruct it in the Neo-Gothic style.
Zwinger Palace, Semper Opera House, The Church of Our Lady
Dresden is full of landmarks! Besides the three listed above, we may check also check out the villas of Blasewitz, the garden city of Hellerau and, of course, the twelve Dresden State Art Collections.
Besides the beautiful Opera House, Dresden also has a State Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic and the Kreuzchor boys’ choir.
*Opera Diva Fun Facts: Nine out of fifteen operas of Richard Strauss once were premiered at the Semper Opera House in Dresden. And in Graupa near Dresden is the birthplace of Richard Wagner’s opera Lohengrin.
The Berlin Cathedral, Museum Island
The Berlin Cathedral, Museum Island, The Museum of Musical Instruments, The Holocaust Memorial and all 3 Berlin Opera Houses (Deutsche Oper, Berlin State Opera & Staatsoper im Schiller Theater) make our list of Berlin must-sees.
Museum Island is an extraordinary ensemble of five world-renowned museums on an island in River Spree in the heart of Berlin’s city center.
The Museum of Musical Instruments boasts a collection of around 800 instruments spanning European musical history from the 16th to the 20th century. The highlights include a violin built by Antonio Stradivari and Carl Maria von Weber’s own pianoforte.
Auerbach’s Cellar, Leipzig Opera
The Auerbachs Keller (Auerbach’s Cellar) owes its fame to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who studied in Leipzig from 1765 to 1768. The scene “Auerbach’s Cellar in Leipzig” from his celebrated Faust made the restaurant world-famous.
Leipzig Opera is the third oldest bourgeois music theatre of Europe, and is comprised of opera, operetta and the ballet of Leipzig. It was here that Robert Schumann’s Genoveva had its’ world premiere.
BLACK FOREST NATIONAL PARK
image source: http://www.bavarianclockworks.com/blog/black-forest-germany-things-to-do/
Some areas of this national park have been able to develop for more than 100 years without human intervention. This means that all the animals and plants that are found here live in authentic, natural surroundings. To explore the suggested place to start is in Baiersbronn.
This list is just the start! Please share your magical experiences or well established wanderlust wish lists with us!