Passages and arbors from Bavaria to Leipzig
GShop protected from the sun and rain – the idea is as old as the movement of goods. Just visit the ruins of the Trajan’s Markets in Rome, built in the 2nd century AD. Balls of cloth and amphorae were sold in the covered corridors – a forerunner of arcades in medieval squares, baroque arcades and modern shopping malls.
They can now also be found north of the Alps, for example in Wasserburg am Inn. The so-called German arbours were added as a second facade from 1500 onwards. They offered space to stroll around, for business premises and workshops – and still offer it.
In general, the Upper Bavarian town is worth seeing. Its island location gives it a romantic flair, the old town with pastel-colored Gothic houses and the castle invites you to stroll under the arcades in all weathers.
Germany’s prime city when it comes to arcades is, however Hamburg. Germany’s bad weather metropolis has a kilometer-long labyrinth of arcades, passages and shopping centers, some of which are interconnected, in the city center between Gänsemarkt, Jungfernstieg and the main train station. Here you can walk for hours even in continuous rain without getting wet.
The most beautiful are the Alster arcades with their Venetian flair, created after the great fire of 1842. The Mellinpassage branches off from this (opened in 1864), with ceiling paintings like in a church, elegant Hanseatic shops and the Felix Jud bookstore, where Karl Lagerfeld was a regular customer (“My intellectual deli”).
The Hanseviertel, the Hamburger Hof, the Kaufmannshaus and the Kaisergalerie are also well sorted and covered, all lined up along the Große Bleichen shopping street.
Also Leipzig has a number of old passages, mainly from times of trade fairs. The most famous is the 140-meter-long Mädlerpassage from 1912, with “Auerbachs Keller” integrated into it, to which Goethe sent his Faust. “Above all, I have to bring you / into fun company / so that you can see how easy it is to live,” says Mephisto and leads Faust into that cellar.
If you want, you can explore Leipzig’s passages, courtyards and hidden shortcuts on a guided tour. In addition to the magnificent Mädlerpassage and Specks Hof, they also offer discoveries beyond the tourist racetracks, including the world’s first model exhibition center, built between 1894 and 1901.
By the sea or on the mountain – hiking outside
Usedom offers 42 kilometers of sandy beach alone, you can go from Peenemünde in the northwest to Swinoujscie in the east. You can’t get lost: the sea on the left, the sand on the right. You only stop when the wind blows you through enough and your legs get heavy from sand hiking.
Conveniently, the ban on accommodation in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has just been overturned by the court. In Lower Saxony it doesn’t apply anyway, that’s why it’s there Borkum a good November hiking alternative.
On the one hand it is pretty, with dunes and a sea view, on the other hand it is healthy, in a stimulating climate. The combination of sun, wind and cold sea water influences physical performance. Which is why they call hiking on the island “climatic terrain cure” – you trudge through the three climate zones on Borkum, from the sheltered interior of the island over the edge of the dunes to the fresh air beach.
Or may it already be snow? If you can’t wait for winter: on the Zugspitze it has already snowed. Germany’s highest mountain was climbed for the first time 200 years ago, today you take the train up and enjoy the panoramic view of the snow-covered Alps, walk around on the Zugspitzplatt and throw snowballs or enjoy the winter sun from a deck chair.
If you want to combine mountains and trees, go to the Bavarian Forest National Park. There is a network of hiking trails around 350 kilometers long. Snow is not a problem here either. In the lower parts of the national park, the hiking trails are rolled or cleared. And when the snow is really deep, you can just rent snowshoes and hike through the white splendor.
Immerse yourself in another world in the library
Already 4000 years ago the Egyptians collected papyrus rolls, ancient Greeks and Romans surrounded themselves with writings, in the Middle Ages important libraries were built in the monasteries – unforgotten by Umberto Eco’s “The Name of the Rose”. A novel that is in every library today.
Above all, Germany’s monasteries, cultural cities and universities offer great libraries, you can spend days in them. And not just reading: Most of them offer extensive media collections.
The Duchess Anna Amalia Library in is a wonderful old house Weimar, Founded in 1691, managed by Goethe for 30 years, Unesco World Heritage. A fire destroyed the historical book inventory in 2004, but the oval, gold-decorated rococo hall could be reconstructed. The largest book collection north of the Alps was brought together by Duke August the Younger in Wolfenbüttel in the 17th century. Here too – from 1770 – a famous librarian was in charge: Gotthold Ephraim Lessing.
There are not only historical, but also new, equally spectacular libraries in Germany. To name (and recommend) is of course in here Stuttgart the futuristic cube by the Korean star architect Eun Young Yi.
But also the city library in Württemberg Heidenheim Well worth a visit: The Swiss architect Max Dudler created an airy reinforced concrete building in a shell made of light bricks, with a gleaming white interior. The house won the Chicago Athenaeum’s International Architecture Award in 2019, something that doesn’t happen every day in Heidenheim.
Evergreen gardens – in the museum
Do you remember? Everything is green. Flowers of all colors. This is how it looked in gardens and parks in October. Anyone who passes away from longing for a garden in November can satisfy them: In search of the lost greenery, you meander through Germany’s museums – and find good-mood garden paintings (although you should generally find out in advance whether there are current corona restrictions, such as the Opening hours).
That offers plenty of choice Museum Barberini in Potsdam with his impressionist collection. An entire hall is dedicated to the artist gardens.
The garden pictures by Claude Monet are to dream away, who even created a pond in his garden – with water lilies. In Potsdam, you can linger on a bench in front of two of his large-format water lily pictures, think about last summer and indulge in the coming spring.
Also painted her own garden Max Liebermann in his villa am Berlin Wannsee. And that’s exactly where they’re exhibited. One would like to take a seat on the white “garden bench” of the 1916 painting of the same name in the midst of rampant greenery.
Where does a garden actually end and where does landscape begin? In front of the mini-picture “Italian Landscape with Bridge” from 1630/35 by Carel de Hooch in the Old Pinakothek in Munich ponder. Bushes grow around an Italian country house, then it gets hilly, in the distance the sea – a dream!
Also in Frankfurt Städel you will find what you are looking for at the old masters on the second floor: Here the view is lost in the “paradise garden” of an unknown Upper Rhine master, full of details such as birds, apples, lilies of the valley. The painting is over 600 years old – one has dreamed of gardens for a long time.
Travel around the globe while drinking tea
Hot tea is not only perfect for warming up in cold November, you can also combine it with a trip around the world on your doorstep. If you are longing for Turkey, for example, you can visit one of the countless Turkish cafes that can be found in all major cities from Duisburg-Marxloh about Berlin-Kreuzberg to Hamburg-Ottensen. Here the sugar-sweet chai is poured out of the samovar, just like on the Bosporus, and served in the typical small glasses on red and white saucers.
British-style afternoon tea is also available in many cities. The ritual of Five o’Clock Tea is attributed to a lady-in-waiting of Queen Victoria. The tea is served with sandwiches such as cucumber sandwich or salmon canapes, often also as a cream tea with scones, a pastry that is served with jam and clotted cream (thick cream).
In this country it is often celebrated at a high level – in luxury hotels like the “Excelsior Ernst” in Cologne, the “Four Seasons” in Hamburg or the “Taschenbergpalais” in Dresden. Whether you take the “Mif” or “Tif” tea is a question of faith – that is, “Milk in first” (first the milk in the cup) or “Tea in first” (first the tea). The Queen prefers, one hears, the “Tif” variant.
Germany offers the most exotic tea enjoyment Berlin: the “Tajik tea room” in the Kunsthof. The interior was originally from the Soviet pavilion of the Leipziger Messe from 1974. Russian and oriental dishes are served with strong tea from Central Asia in the tea room. However, guests have to be flexible: here, as it should be in Tajikistan, you sit on cushions on the floor.
And if you want to experience the whole world of tea, go to it north – that’s the name of a pretty town on Lower Saxony’s North Sea coast. The East Frisian Tea Museum there in the old town hall not only takes visitors to the growing areas in India and China, but also provides information about the tea rituals of various cultures – including local ones.
For that you need the original East Frisian tea mixture, a warmer, sugar tongs for the Kluntje (rock candy piece) and a silver cream spoon to put on the Wulkje (cream puff). The East Frisian tea ceremony was even recognized by Unesco as an intangible cultural heritage – a German world heritage for drinking.
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