A Trip to Germany

I have always wanted to visit Germany because part of my heritage has come from there. There are many places to visit there. Some of these places allow one to look around and admire the beauty surrounding you, others are historical and allow you to look back on the lessons that history can teach you.

Rhine

The Rhine River starts in the Alps and flows to the North Sea. Part of this river flows through Germany. The Rhine is the longest river in Germany.  There are many beautiful castles in the Rhine Valley, some in ruins, but some are well maintained, that you would be able to see. You can take a cruise down the Rhine and see the beauty of Germany.

Bergen-Belson Concentration Camp

Bergen-Belsen is one of the more well-known concentration camps located in Germany. It was formed in 1943, orginally as a detention center for Jews who were to be exchanged for German prisoners-of-war. In the winter of 1945, the camp swelled to over 60,000, despite the fact that the camp was only designed to hold 10,000. Bergen-Belsen was not one of the “Extermination Camps” that gained more attention following World War II. These camps were found mainly in Eastern Europe, many of them in Poland, including Auschwitz. Despite this, over 35,000 people lost their lives in this camp in addition to the 28,000 who died after the liberation of the camp due to numerous factors, including disease. One of the noted prisoners of Bergen-Belsen was Anne Frank, who died here in March of 1945. After the war, 48 people who had worked at the camp were put on trial, with 11 being convicted and hanged.

Berlin Wall

Take a visit to where the Berlin Wall once stood. The Berlin Wall was begun in 1961 as a means to control emigration and defection from one side to the other. It began as a wire fence, which was improved in 1962. The concrete wall went into place in 1965. An improved version of the concrete wall, called the Grenzmauer 75, was built in 1975 and remained until 1989, when the wall was torn down. Most of the wall no longer stands, but pieces of the wall have been given to various museums, universities, hotels, etc. There are portions of the wall still standing which can be visited.

Munich

Munich is the largest state in the Bavarian region of Germany. It’s assumed foundation date is 1158 and was officially made a city in 1175. Munich was the host of the 1972 Summer Olympics. It is home to many beautiful parks as well as football teams, including Bayem Munich which is the most popular team in Germany. Munich is also the home to Oktoberfest, which attracts millions of people for the festival known for its beer.

Bavarian Alps

The Bavarian Alps are a portion of the Alps that are located in the Bavarian region of Germany. The Alps are known for their beautiful scenery. They are a wonderful location for camping and hiking.

Resources to Plan Your Trip

Let’s Go Germany

Let’s Go Budget Berlin

Get Around in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland: The All-In-One Travel Guide

Abigail Siemers

Abigail is a Public Service Specialist in the Bookmobile department and recently completed work on her Master's Degree in Library Science. She loves to read, listen to music, crochet, sew, and watch television shows, including "Doctor Who", "Sherlock", and "White Collar". Some recent reads that she loved were "Ruby Red" by Kerstin Gier and "Stuck in the Middle" by Virginia Smith.

  • Brian Lane Herder

    I spent a summer living in Bavaria. The Alps are spectacular. I think when most Americans think of Germany they are thinking of Bavaria whether they realize it or not–Alps, lederhosen, giant beersteins, Oktoberfest, the “Disneyland castle” (Neuschwanstein) and so on. Berchtesgaden and the Koenigssee were amazing. “The Sound of Music” was filmed just a few miles away in Austria.

    Cologne Cathedral was staggering. Its sheer vertical size and smoke-blackened exterior make it immediately distinctive from any other Gothic cathedral. It feels ominous and imposing in a way other cathedrals do not. I didn’t care for Berlin at all — World War II, the Communists, and the massive reconstruction going on seemed to strip any soul out of the place. I found Dresden very haunting and at least in 2001 it was still being rebuilt, with the occasional reminders of the 1945 firestorm visible. To me there is a rich, dark, ambivalent quality to Germany that sets it apart from other countries in Western Europe.