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Arts and Culture for Expats in Germany

Submitted: October 2013

Culturally, Germany is a magnet for the creative as well as a melting pot of cultures. Germany boasts of having over 300 theatres, 130 professional orchestras and 630 art museums with internationally renowned collections and over 25,000 libraries.

Museums - In Germany, there are over 91 million museum visits every year. The Deutsches Museum in Munich is the world's largest museum of technology and science with thousands of exhibited projects from over 50 fields of science and technology and approximately 1.5 million visitors per year. To see profiles and addresses of several museums in Germany, as well as dates of current exhibitions, seehttps://www.tatsachen-ueber-deutschland.de/typo3conf/ext/dh_linklayout/res/link_ext.gif www.deutsche-museen.de (In German)

Literature - Germany is often referred to as the ‘Land of the poets and thinkers’ (Das Land der Dichter und Denker).There are roughly 94,000 titles published annually, making Germany one of the world’s leading book nations. The International Frankfurt Book Fair, held every October, and the Leipzig Book Fair, often held in the spring, has made names for themselves as premier reading festivals for the publishing world and the wider public. A useful information portal on German literature (In English and German) is https://www.tatsachen-ueber-deutschland.de/typo3conf/ext/dh_linklayout/res/link_ext.gif www.litrix.de

Music - For those who enjoy classical music, Germany’s stellar reputation in this genre is commonly based on names like Beethoven, Bach, Brahms and Handel.

Out of the 130 orchestras throughout the country, the Berlin Philharmonic, under the British conductor Sir Simon Rattle, is considered to be the best.  Other renowned orchestras include the Munich Philharmonic, the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig and the Staatskapelle Berlin, all of which are also conducted by top international artists. There are 80 publicly financed concert halls in Germany, the major ones being in Hamburg, Berlin, Stuttgart, Dresden, Munich, Frankfurt, and Leipzig.

German popular music includes several movements: Neue Deutshce Welle, Punk, Ostrock, Metal/Rock, Indie, Pop Rock, Electronica and Hip hop. There are also many festivals music lovers can attend, some of which are:

Art - One of the major art exhibitions and festivals in Germany to visit is Art Cologne. It is an art fair held annually in CologneGermany and was established in 1967. It is considered to be the world's oldest art fair of its kind and runs for six days and brings together more than 200 international galleries at the Cologne Exhibition Center. It is open to the public and attracts about 60,000 visitors. See https://www.artcologne.com/en/artcologne/home/index.php

National parks - There are 14 national parks in Germany where visitors can view Germany’s unique nature and landscape. The largest is the Schleswig-Holstein Mud Flats National Park and the smallest, Jasmund National Park on the Isle of Rügen, with its famous white cliffs.

The Munich Oktoberfest - known locally as the Wiesn, has developed into a spectacular international event. In 2013, there were over141 caterers and 173 sideshow operators offering food, drinks and entertainment. Approximately seven million guests from around the world are expected at this festival annually. In 2013 the price for a 1-litre tankard of beer at the Oktoberfest cost between 9.40 and 9.85 euros.

Since 1810, visitors have flocked to the famous Theresienwiese venue. Apart from the regular modern-day Okctoberfest, a historical fair was founded to provide visitors with impressions of the traditional Oktoberfest.

The “Oide Wiesn” (Old Oktoberfest) in the south of the Theresienwiese, offers an enjoyable alternative to the neighbouring Oktoberfest, especially for children and older people. It is not all about beer and it focuses largely on Bavarian customs, hospitality and traditional folk music.

Young and old alike can expect to be delighted by the whip-cracking (Goasslschnalzer) and the Bavarian shoe-slapping dance (Schuhplattler). Guests can also opt to ride retro-style in a Krinoline carousel or go for a spin in the Hexenschaukel (Witches’ Swing). Also, the Munich Sideshow Operators’ Foundation offers interesting insights into the eventful lives of the travelling show people via a museum tent for the curious.

For more information about this yearly festival see www.oktoberfest.de



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