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For over a thousand years, Germany has been a commanding force in Europe. It sits at the crossroads of several different (and important) trading routes. To this day, commerce and trade is an incredibly important part of the German export-based economic machine. The country’s cars and high-tech products are sought after around the world.

Visitors to Germany frequently come to Bavaria or the Black Forrest looking a fairy tale experience: medieval villages, half-timber houses, beer and bratwurst. There’s plenty of that to go around. However, there’s more to this country than Grimm fairy tales.

World War I and World War II took a devastating toll on Germany and many war sites are now important monuments. As a country, it doesn’t shy away from these difficult and painful topics. The country has the best preserved, best marketed and most thorough collection of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. Germany has thoughtfully evaluated its contributions to world culture and has systematically preserved those sites all of humanity to enjoy.

Having been around the world many times, this is a country we keep visiting again and again. For us, there’s just so much to see and do in Germany! Here are a few of our favorite German experiences.

The Cure of Bad Salzungen’s Keltenbad Spa

The Keltenbad spa in Bad Salzungen, Germany.

Like ghosts in the mist, white hooded bodies move silently through the 200 year old wooden structure. The dense fog strangles the senses as sight and sound are distorted. Slowly, the bodies pace back and forth. The only noise is the faint trickle of water. These pilgrims come to the Keltenbad spa (or Celtic Bath)

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A Tale of Two Weimars

The Goethe-Schiller statue in front of Germany's National Theater celebrates the age of Classical Weimar.

Weimar, Germany is a town with an identity crisis. On one hand, it is a town deeply rooted in the Romantic Classical period. On the other hand, it is progressive, modern and gave birth to the Bauhaus movement. The dual traditions – Classical Weimar and the Weimar Bauhaus – are both recognized as separate UNESCO

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Fairy Tales and Legends in Rothenburg

This intersection in Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of the most photographed spots in all of Germany. Extreme poverty for hundreds of years has preserved the town's medieval character.

The hamlet of Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of Germany’s most visited small towns. It is also one of its best preserved: hundreds of years of poverty and neglect left the town in mint shape. In the summer, over 2 million visitors pack its tiny streets. But in the dead of winter, I had

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In The Footsteps of Cranach in Germany

The Veste Coburg in Central Germany.

On a recent trip to Central Germany, I encountered a man who played an important historical role, but has been relegated to a mere footnote: the painter known as Lucas Cranach the Elder. During the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago, he had a ring-side seat for one of Europe’s most transformative periods. I didn’t go

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The Bleakness of Buchenwald

The Buchenwald Concentration Camp above Weimar, Germany.

The place called Buchenwald was not just a location. It was a journey into the darkness of the human soul. For me, the Buchenwald Concentration Camp is where the Holocaust becomes most real. Buchenwald was not the first concentration camp built by the Nazi’s. Buchenwald was not the biggest camp in Germany’s World War II

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Exploring the Nuremberg Nazi Party Rally Grounds

The Steintribune at the Nuremberg Nazi Party Rally Grounds where Hitler gave his speeches.

For many visitors to Germany, the causes and effects of the deeply troubled Nazi-era are never far from the surface. All across Germany, Nazi sites are preserved so that Germany will never forget what happened and the world can focus on never again allowing it to happen. Perhaps no other city is more intractably tied

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