Germany tours offer a place in Europe where East meets West, the old meets new, where a complicated history propels its future and a stunningly wild landscape gives way to charming medieval cities. A land of contrasts, it is home to the first discovered 40,000 year old Neanderthal fossils, a land that has been occupied by Germanic tribes in antiquity, the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages, and an Allied occupation after WWII.
Even before modern times, for centuries Germany has been known as a hub for technology and art. Towns such as Dresden, took on a more baroque character and emerged as a leading center in the 16th century. Opulent opera houses created in late Renaissance style, baroque Protestant churches, and jewelry treasure houses line the city that began as two Slavic settlements on both sides of the Elbe River in the 12th century.
Elsewhere in discovering the romantic and artistic charm of the country on our Germany tours, Leipzig comes as a welcome surprise. The city has a wonderful collection of Art Nouveau buildings, including the 18th century church where Bach worked (and is buried). Besides being a center for German art and culture, the city also became famous in Germany's recent history, when Leipzig demonstrators initiated the peaceful revolution which lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
Following the division of Germany in the aftermath of WWII, the West of Germany was occupied by the Allied forces of Britain, France and America while the Eastern Bloc fell to the Soviets who oversaw the rapid building of the Berlin Wall in 1961. Divided, Germany’s wall became a symbol of the Cold War, and no visit to Berlin is complete without visiting the remnants of the concrete wall that separated East and West Berlin for 30 years. Sections of the Berlin Wall are not only a reminder of the cold war but also the world's largest piece of art as the wall had been brightly painted with graffiti during the time of the Cold War.
Berlin is like no other city in Germany, or, indeed, the world. For over a century its political climate has either mirrored or determined what has happened in the rest of Europe. Heart of the Prussian kingdom, economic and cultural centre of the Weimar Republic, and, in the final days of Nazi Germany, the headquarters of Hitler's Third Reich, Berlin has always been a weather vane of European history.
As one of Europe’s largest countries, Germany occupies both Western and Central Europe with the peaks of the Alps soaring in the south of the country and the North and Baltic Seas lapping at the northern shorelines. Home to many major river systems such as the Rhine, Danube and the Elbe, it is only fitting that Germany had a major role in the historical immigration to the New World. The port city of Hamburg, the once home to a medieval trading centre became the place where millions left Europe on their way to the new world through the Hamburg harbour in the 19th and 20th centuries.
With an influence that stretches across oceans, Germany tours offer a chance to see where the past and future meld into one unique and fascinating place.