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Architecture has a long history in Germany – from Gothic churches and stately baroque buildings through to Bauhaus avant-garde. The idyllic town of Schwäbisch Hall, for example, has a medieval landscape whereas Göttingen features ornate half-timbered houses. Dresden is known as the baroque “Florence of the Elbe” while Hamburg’s Speicherstadt (City of Warehouses) and Vienna’s historic city centre are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Art is rooted in Germany’s urban landscape and is omnipresent. The outstanding Museum Island in Berlin, the Gemäldegalerie in Dresden and the Pinakotheken in Munich are world-renowned. Düsseldorf has many modern features as a centre for art, music and fashion and the Kunsthalle Mannheim features a first-class art collection from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Every third person in Germany is actively involved in a sports club. Göttingen is crazy about basketball, while in Mannheim “Sport in the Park” is offered free of charge to everyone. Nature lovers will find plenty of space to do sport in the green parks of Bremen or Heidelberg or go to straight to Schwäbisch Hall, where there are no limits on the type of sport you can do whether by land, water or by air.
When it comes to doing the things you like best – from famous night-life districts through to concert halls and festivals – there are no limits. In Berlin alone, there are around one thousand events to choose from every day. Bremen has an excellent reputation for its dance theatre and Freiburg is the city of music par excellence. If you like going out for a beer in the evenings, you should go to the St. Pauli district in Hamburg or to one of Bonn’s many student pubs.
Environmental protection has a long tradition in Germany, which is why, today, nature reserves account for around 4 per cent of Germany. The beauty of nature conservation can be seen in the Black Forest around Freiburg or in Taunus near Frankfurt. But also the Eifel National Park near Bonn or the many nature conservation areas around Düsseldorf offer opportunities to experience the countryside nearby. If, on the other hand, you want to be close to the Alps, they're easy to reach from Munich.
Different cultures don't always get together by themselves. The nice thing about our cultural and leisure programme is that I can take the people learning German by the hand and show them our country.
Luise, 29, employed on the cultural and leisure programme
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