Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
Photograph by Timothy Burk, My Shot
Once marking the turbulent division of East and West Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate now stands at the head of a pedestrian plaza just blocks from the German parliament. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, a physical and social reinvention has taken place throughout the city, visible in the bold lines of new architecture juxtaposing mementos of eras past.
Wangen Town Center
Photograph by Paul Hogie, My Shot
Though post-Communist Germany has seen a rapid expansion of its capital and an embracing of modern architecture, many smaller towns—such as Wangen in the country’s south—preserve their cultural heritage with traditional storefronts and cobblestone alleys.
Photograph by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images
Originated in 1810 as a wedding celebration for two Bavarian royals, Oktoberfest now marks the start of the harvest season each year. Instead of gathering corn, though, participants in the two-week-long festival gather in Munich to consume some 1.8 million gallons (7 million liters) of beer produced by local breweries.
Photograph by Iva Seto, My Shot
Snow creates a winter wonderland scene near Linderhof Castle in Bavaria, Germany's largest state. Mountain peaks and lakes dot Bavaria, which shares a border with Austria, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland.
Residenz Palace, Würzburg
Photograph by Cotton Coulson
The extravagant rococo chapel of the Residenz Palace in Würzburg excites architecture buffs and novices alike. Designed by young architect Balthasar Neumann, the space surrounds visitors with an embrace of twisted columns and wavy walls punctuated by tall windows.
Photograph by Brooks Walker
Two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the capital city of Germany has created its own blended culture in the art districts of Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte. A steady economic climb throughout Berlin has encouraged many small business owners to open shops in the city.
Holocaust Memorial, Berlin
Photograph by Per Olof Stoltz, My Shot
Opened six decades after the end of World War II, Berlin’s Holocaust memorial draws visitors from all over the world who come to honor the approximately six million Jews killed during the war. A grid of 2,700 concrete slabs fills the five-acre (two-hectare) memorial site, creating a maze of alleyways for guests to explore.
Market Goods, Berlin
Photograph by Brooks Walker
Originally born in the year 1200 as a pair of trading villages, Berlin still enjoys markets full of local produce and wares for sale.
Potsdamer Platz, Berlin
Photograph by Miguel Villagran/AP Photo
Once Europe’s liveliest intersection, Potsdamer Platz was reduced to rubble by Allied bombs and bisected by the Berlin Wall. Today, passersby can visit an outdoor exhibit displaying pieces of the wall that used to divide the country's capital.
Hainich National Park, Thüringen
Photograph by Norbert Rosing
Originally a military training camp for Soviet and German armies, Hainich National Park—set in the middle of a primeval forest in central Germany—now welcomes civilian visitors who walk its many trails.
Katholische Hofkirche, Dresden
Photograph by Getty Images
After being severely damaged during World War II bombings, the ornately decorated Katholische Hofkirche, or Catholic Court Church, underwent significant reconstructions to restore its roof and upper levels.
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