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Germany’s rich and chequered history makes it one of the most endlessly fascinating countries to explore and return to in Europe. ‘Das Land der Dichter und Denker’ (‘The Land of Poets and Thinkers’), Germany has been a critical power in the evolution of European politics, thought, invention, religion and art for more than a millennium. From Johannes Gutenberg’s 15th-century innovations in mechanical printing, to Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, which would spark the Protestant Reformation across Europe, and from Beethoven to Einstein and Dürer, Germany’s cultural contribution to the world continues to grow. The country’s three great cities are diverse in attitude, vibrant and worldly Berlin, mighty Hamburg and laid-back Munich, and are complimented by a plethora of smaller cities and towns, many of which burst with equally fine architecture, dazzling museum collections and fascinating history. Pleasingly, Germany is a country that continues to look to the future – architectural masterpieces of the Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque periods often sit side by side with offerings from the great masters of modern design, creating evolving and exciting skylines. But Germany was not just bestowed with urban sophistication, its rural landscape is a patchwork of scenic delight: romantic castles, majestic rivers and soul-stirring mountain vistas all beckon to the curious traveller.
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