Topic: Germany

Interior: The Historic Town Hall Wuppertal is a treat for eyes and ears.

Germany: Wuppertal’s Historic Town Hall

31.03.2014

Up and above

For an international meeting planners’ audience not familiar with Germany, the city of Wuppertal may not come to mind instantaneously when looking for a destination suitable for a glitzy function. If they knew, what Wuppertal – pretty close to Duesseldorf and Cologne and their airports – had in stock, they would surely be envious of its 350,000 inhabitants and its numerous visitors and might rapidly change their attitude. The town, embedded in the lovely scenery of the Bergisches Land situated in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, may rather be associated with down-to-earth features. But especially for these two cases of the „elevated“ variety, quite the opposite is true.

The most extraordinary attraction is perhaps the suspended monorail inaugurated in 1901 and in operation for public transport since. It’s most stunning property may be this one:

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
Tempelhof Airport in Berlin is steeped in history and drama.

Berlin: Tempelhof Airport – a legend!

15.01.2014

Tempelhof Airport was closed for public air traffic in October 2008. 85 years earlier, in October 1923, ‘the first commercial airport worldwide’ was inaugurated by the German Reich’s Ministry of Transport; the initial route operated to Koenigsberg (now Kaliningrad) in former East Prussia. The first plane of the newly founded “Deutsche Luft Hansa” had its maiden voyage from Berlin to Zurich in 1926 and even gigantic Zeppelins majestically raised from the vast Tempelhof airfield. By the 1930s, it had developed into Europe’s busiest airport – ranging ahead of Paris, Amsterdam and London. But Tempelhof is unforgotten for the dramatic role it was to play in post-war Germany.

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A tailor cutting a pattern. Fashion and Couture: There are many creative minds active in Berlin.

Berlin: A City on the Catwalk

15.01.2014

From 1961 to 1989 Berlin, divided into East and West since 1945, was scarred with an invincible concrete wall topped with multiple rolls of impenetrable barbed wire. Armed Vopos, the East German ‘people’s’ policemen equipped with a licence to kill, controlled from their watchtowers the so-called ‘death strip’ passing between the two Germanies; none of the GDR’s involuntary citizens were to escape the socialist paradise imposed on them. Inhabitants of West Berlin belonging to the Federal Republic were better off – and seemingly unimpressed by their severed freedom. Although fenced in, neither their positive attitude, nor their special sense of humour could be suffocated – nor their creativity be paralysed by the circumstances.

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The Palace Meersburg used to be the seat of Prince Bishops.

Meersburg: A fine Palace by Lake Constance

10.01.2014

It goes without saying that, since there is a New Palace Meersburg, there had to be an Old Palace Meersburg first. The latter was neither a spacious nor a representative enough residence for the then-ruling Prince-Bishops of Constance, who were advised to change address to Meersburg after Constance had become protestant. More distinguished quarters were asked for and they decided for a handsome annex befitting their elevated status (that was in 1710). Later, further posh extensions added another layer of glamour to the building. Now of stunning grandeur and in line even with prime princely requirements, the new Baroque structure became a magnificent venue of unseen splendour – and a fashionable meeting point for the influential and powerful of their time.

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Yellow ribbon with black dots: Blindness is the topic of the Dialog Museum in Frankfurt.

Germany. Frankfurt: Trading places with the blind

6.01.2014

A Dialogue in the Dark

I had decided to join a group on a guided tour through a museum that functions vise versa to the regular ones: here the exhibits are invisible; they only become apparent to the touch. The guide cannot rely on his eye-sight, he has been blind since childhood. Still he convinces me that I will be safe in his care these next 90 minutes of absolute darkness. For more reassurance, he takes my hand and strokes it softly. I am surrounded by a merciless sea of black. No ray of light gives away where I am.

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Reading time: about 3 minutes