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Issue #124 January 1, 2018

The MyGermanCity.com G-ZINE

The MyGermanCity.com G-ZINE — the Germany Magazine — provides you with news, updates and happenings in and around Germany. While saving you valuable time, this e-zine prepares you and sets you up for an unforgettable Germany experience.

January 2018 Topics

In this issue . . .

  1. Must-See And -Do Events
  2. German Phrase
  3. German Quote
  4. Trip Tip
  5. Good To Know
  6. Next G-ZINE's Preview

 

From Marcus' Travel Desk...

Let me start off by wishing you all a very Happy New Year, or Frohes neues Jahr! My sincerest wish is for 2018 to bring all of you health and happiness no matter where in the world you are reading this.

As for me, I'm sitting here typing this on a cold winter morning (with a good coffee, of course) wishing I could spend it in the majestic city of Magdeburg—my choice for this issue's Trip Tip.

Now I don't usually start these pages jumping right to that part, but if you've ever seen this gorgeous city you'll understand. It's been home to a number of famous Germans throughout the centuries, and it only gets better with age. Heck, I hope I'm this regal when I'm over 1,200 years old.

What? I can dream. Besides, it might take more than a millenia to experience all that Madgeburg has to offer.

Whatever secrets Madgeburg holds on to for its longevity, it's nowhere near as secretive in today's imagination on the Illuminati. Oh, I know you're asking how this mysterious organization factors into the G-ZINE—an organization that's been written about in modern-day books, movies, and conspiracy theories.

I'll tell you... The German Quote of the Month comes from Adam Weishaupt, or by his German name, Johann Adam Weishaupt—founder of the Illuminati in the late 18th century.

Born in Ingolstadt in 1748 (died in Gotha at the age of 82 in 1830), Weishaupt's Illuminati wasn't the secret society of present-day lore, but more of an organization to stop the spread of the Church's influence in people's everyday lives, and the abuses of power by those in politics.

You are all free to discuss conspiracy theories, learn more about the Illuminati, or you could continue reading about more of Germany's Composers in the Good to Know. I'm quite guilty of thinking "old-school" when it comes to Germany's long list of famous composers, but quite a number of them did come from the 20th century.

I'm sure I'll get to them eventually, but not today. ;-)

The rest of today is to spent checking out all of January's Must See & Do Events. The cold weather should no way stop you from experiencing the grandeur of a German Winter, but I'll take those indoors, thank you very much.

Whatever you choose to see and do, again I wish you all the best for the coming year—and look forward to all of you being here at the G-ZINE and MyGermanCity.com throughout 2018.

—Marcus

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Must-See And -Do Events

Schnuppertour (Taster Tour)

Translated into English, the Schnuppertour is a "Taster Tour," but this has nothing to do with food. What you'll find it to be is a 90 minute guided tour throughout nine centuries of Zwickau's history. Everyone's to meet at the Tourist Office (located at Hauptstraße 6) by 10:30am to get in on this informative tour that'll take you to the Middle Ages and back again. This kind of tour is a great way to appreciate the art and architecture of places like the Church of St. Mary with its impressive 285-meter tower.

http://www.zwickau.de/veranstaltungen/tourist-information/schnuppertour-durch-die-zwickauer-altstadt-20918-20978

Nachtwächter Fackeltour (Night Watchman Tour)

  • January 6th & 20th
  • Bonn

Witch hunts? Plague? What could be better? I jest, of course, but there's something exciting and dramatic about a nighttime tour around a 2,000 year old city. Here in Bonn you can learn plenty about the city's darker past while following a period-garbed, torch carrying Night Watchman. Wanna join in? Come to the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) at 8pm for a two-hour journey back into the Middle Ages that's not exactly children friendly. Don't balk, didn't I already mention witch hunts and the plague to start with?

http://vanueuem-events.de/nachtwaechter-fackeltour/

Rittersaal (Knights Hall)

Better hurry if you want a look at the seriously impressive Knights Hall at Burg Dankwarderode, which is also home to the Medieval Division of the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, by the way. Open 10am-5pm everyday but Monday, the Knights Hall visit also includes a chance to see the medieval exhibits—along with the restored paintings and its other finery in the grandiose hall that was closed for the public for almost a decade.

http://www.braunschweig.de/kultur/veranstaltungen/index.html?mode=details&event_id=143630

Berlin Fashion Week

While I appreciate a comfortable shoe (not to mention looking somewhat presentable in public), events like Fashion Week are a bit foreign to me. For others, Fashion Week is an absolute "must" highlighting the best and brightest in haute couture, and all things relating to clothing. Not all of Berlin's Fashion Week's events (held in various venues around the capital) are open to the public, but those that are require tickets. So if you're into shoes, bags, and possibly even hungry models then you better get on that now.

http://www.fashion-week-berlin.com/en/

Gourmet Festival

  • Jan 17th-20th
  • Sylt

While high fashion eludes me, eating does not—so if you're like me then the Gourmet Festival in Sylt is the place to be for the haute couture of gastronomy. Prices can be a bit high, but it's a small price to pay to eat six-course menus that'll have you savoring every morsel and washing it down with champagne. Some spots are already been booked solid, so it's best to hurry. Try not to drool with anticipation in the meantime. ;-)

http://gourmet-festival-sylt.de/

Semper Opernball (Semper Opera Ball)

Gorgeous ladies decked in bejeweled finery; Gentlemen dressed to the nines in black tuxedos; debutants ready to dance their way into society—it's a night of drama and dance and theatrics at the Semper Opera House. All the extravagant excitement isn't limited to within the Opera House itself, as thousands gather outside to have their own OpenAir Ball. Inside or outside, it's a magical night of dancing under the stars—or with them—as the Semper Opernball is celebrity packed.

https://www.semperopernball.de/en/

500 Years of the Reformation

What? You think because 2017 is gone that events of the 500th anniversary of Luther's Protestant Reformation are gonna stop? While some are out there in the Bavarian cold, here you can come indoors to the Dachauer Galerien und Museen to learn more of the medieval city's Reformation history. While Luther might've had a gripe about the Church in the 1500s, I highly doubt you'll find anything to complain about here as you learn about Protestant immigration, churches, and the personal struggles of those involved.

http://www.dachauer-galerien-museen.de/index.php/aktuelle-ausstellung-bezirksmuseum

 

German Phrase of the Month

  • English: I want to freeze my credit card/bank account.
  • German: Ich möchte meine Kreditkarte/Konto sperren.
  • Pronounce: Ihk merkhte maine cre-deet-carte/contoh shpear-rehn.

 

German Quote of the Month

"Oh mortal man, is there anything you cannot be made to believe?"

—Adam Weishaupt

 

Trip Tip

It's hard to determine whether to love the city of Madgeburg in Saxony-Anhalt of today, or love it for the Madgeburg of yesteryear. Perhaps it's the combination of the city's l-o-n-g history, and the sparkling jewel it has become. Whatever it is, there's something magical (and even enlightening) about this 1,200 year old city.

One thing I do know, is Madgeburg has seen some heavy hitters in terms of famous Germans who graced the city along the banks of the Elbe over the centuries. It's the birthplace of General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben—the Prussian officer who helped the United States win their War of Independence. And let's not forget to mention Charlemagne, the man responsible for the founding of the city back in 805 A.D.

Probably Madgeburg's most famous "resident" is its Cathedral, a nothing short of stunning Gothic church whose full name is Dom zu Madgeburg St. Mauritius und Katharina. A mouthful, no doubt, but it's the final resting place of another famous German, Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor.

The Cathdral itself took some three centuries to build (over its original from 937 A.D.), but art & history lovers might be happy to hear it isn't the only old church in town—there are more medieval churches to be found throughout its 40 districts.

So, if you've taken a liking to "Old World" architecture, then it's off to see the Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen, an 11th century monastery that's now an art museum. And that's on top of the Church of St. John (built in the 13th century) where you'll find a monument to Martin Luther. Did I forget to mention he went to school here in Madgeburg?

Two other medieval churches to mention before moving on—the 12th century Church of St. Peter, and the 11th century Church of St. Sebastian.

A wonderful way to see a good bit of the former Hanseatic City is taking a guided city tour. Running from April to October, you can jump on a double decker sightseeing bus, or on the 4th Friday of the month you can get in on a Night Watchman Tour. More "romantic" evening tours are available on Saturdays at 6pm from May to October.

If you choose to meander Madgeburg by yourself, know there's a multitude of monuments (like the Luisendenkmal in honor of Queen Louise of Prussia), statues like the Madgeburger Reiter, said to be the "first statue of its kind north of the Alps." Honestly, I'm not exactly sure what all the hoopla is about on that, so maybe someone can fill me in—we all know I love learning new things.

I can tell you what I do know—along the Hasselbachplatz you'll find quite the nightlife scene going on, and the city is brimming with gardens, parks, ferries, and even a zoo. It's also quite a town for cultural events and activities—right down to the theater, the ballet, and the Opera (even if you're not into the whole Opera scene, Madgeburg's Opera House is a beautiful building nonetheless).

As if that's not enough to keep you entertained, let's mention the Christmas Market, the Christopher Street Day event, the summertime's Domplatz OpenAir, and the Altstadt (Old Town) Festival for just a moment.

Maybe it's moments like these that make Madgeburg more than marvelous, and most definitely Trip Tip worthy. Wouldn't you agree?

http://www.mygermancity.com/magdeburg

 

Good To Know

If I was smart (which I'm not), I'd have arranged the list of German Composers in the Good to Know by century—you know, write a Good to Know all about 17th century composers, followed by 18th century. You get the point, right?

But, I'm not that on-the-ball, and I'm nowhere near as brilliant as some of the best minds in German music history. And there's no way I can comprehend the difference between secular and sacred music, music of the Baroque Period compared to a medieval minstrel—but I'm trying.

Although I'm one who appreciates the melodious sounds of music, for me it's more social. I'm fascinated about the lives of famous German Composers—fascinated by guys like Giacomo Meyerbeer, who was criticized by guys like Wagner (yeah, that Wagner) who claimed this 19th century composer was only in it for the cash.

Meyerbeer, by the way, was born in Berlin in 1791 and influenced by none other than Tchaikovsky, had some amazing success in Italy, and whose music was banned almost a century after his death during the Nazi years simply because he as Jewish.

Speaking of the Third Reich, composer Carl Orff was reported to have had Nazi ties—although he was said to have been friends with Kurt Huber, a member of the Nazi Resistance. Born in Munich in 1895, he's the composer of the famous Carmina Burana cantata based on a collection of medieval poems. The man was married four times (didn't he learn his lesson?), and after his death in 1982 he was buried at the stunningly beautiful Baroque Andechs Abbey alongside Dukes and Princes of Bavaria.

Royalty factors in again with another German composer, Johann Adolph Hasse. He was born in Hamburg back in 1699, and performed his Operas in places like Dresden, Venice, and Naples (where they knew him as Giovani Adolfo). He was also said to have written sonatas for none other than Frederick the Great, his Operas had been played at Royal Weddings, and two of his arias were continuously played for a decade for Philip V of Spain.

Hasse was married to the Italian mezzo-soprano Faustina Bordoni, having performed some of his Operas for Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland.

Last, by by no means least, is Johann Pachelbel. While Herr Pachelbel might not have performed for royalty (I think), he certainly moved in musical "royal" circles as he was friends with the Bach Family, going so far as to have taught Johann Sebastian's brother.

He was born humbly enough in Nuremberg in 1653 (died there too in 1706), he went on to compose both religious and secular music in the middle Baroque period. He was an accomplished organist at the Predigerkirche in Erfurt in the 1670s.

Amazingly enough, Pachelbel's famous Canon in D major is still heard today—as it's often played at weddings, both in reality and in cinema.

Hmm, I wonder if Orff played it any one of his... ;-)

 

Next G-ZINE's Preview

Short 'n sweet, here's what's coming up next in Germany — a preview of the next G-ZINE:

  • Beautiful Bears of the Berlinale
  • You Know, UNESCO
  • Morgenstern Knows Home

 

Published by Marcus Hochstadt
Founder, MyGermanCity.com

Albert-Schweitzer-Str. 3
68723 Schwetzingen, Germany

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