Enjoy more of Germany with escorted tours

The many escorted tours available to the holiday visitor are a great way to take in the sights, sounds and atmosphere of Germany, a country of culture and history and scientific endeavour, which has re-invented itself on more than one occasion whilst arising out of the ashes of conflict.

Germany, a country full of historic and puzzling contradictions, is now a beacon of economic and political freedom, a powerhouse in every sense of the word, the envy of many nations within Europe still struggling with the legacies of the past.

Yet the question is often posed. How did a country which produced a monster like Hitler also give us musical perfection in the form of Beethoven, Bach and Handel, the literary genius of Goethe, the philosophic accomplishments of Nietzsche, the pinnacle of scientific thought and understanding of Einstein? It is a question asked a million times but without any sign of an answer.

Berlin, with around 3.5 million people, is the second most populous city in Europe, behind London. It is the capital of Germany and was until relatively recently a divided city, a pawn in the power struggle of the ‘cold war’ which raged for much of the latter half of the 20th century.

escorted tours germany

The end of the Second World War saw the city in ruins and split up amongst the victorious allied armies, East Berlin becoming the capital of an East Germany controlled by communist Russia. As a consequence, West Berlin, which was under the control of America, Britain and France, was turned into a virtual enclave. In 1961, the East German authorities tightened their grip still further with the building of the infamous Berlin Wall.

For nearly three decades, the wall became a symbol of the struggle between the political ideologies of East and West, with its concrete walls, barbed wired, minefields and forbidding watchtowers. But political change and a loosening of restrictions meant people in the east of the city could now cross over to the west. It was the beginning of the end of the wall. Following the reunification of Germany in 1990, Berlin once more became its capital.

The city offers so much for the visitor, not least fantastic architecture, incredible museums, fabulous night life, world-class orchestras, famed universities and so much more. But Germany has many other great towns and cities, both large and small, that are well worth visiting.

Dresden, situated within a valley on the River Elbe, near to the border with Czechoslovakia, is certainly a destination to consider. The city still bears the scars of the controversial raids carried out by British and American bombers in 1945. Some 90% of the city centre was destroyed and tens of thousands of people killed.

In contrast, the Bavarian city of Bamberg, with more than 1,000 years of history, was one of the few cities in Germany to escape destruction. It is a UNESCO world heritage site because of its authentic medieval appearance.

And talking of authentic, surely no other town or city comes close to the incredible atmosphere found in Rothenburg, often described the best preserved medieval town in Germany. No wonder it attracts millions of visitors every year.

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