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Culture Germany

Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Section editor

Germany : Discover the country's culture

Music

'Berlin cabaret songs' by Ute Lemper, interpretation of works of Kurt Weill (Decca).
One of the several compilations of songs and music of beer festivals.

Germany : Discover the country's history

Historical dates

Between 1000 and 15 BC: Germans coming from Scandinavia crossed the Rhine, collided with the Celts and were later pushed back by the Romans.
9: Arminius, the German leader defeated Varus the Roman General.
496: Clovis, King of the Francs (left bank of the Rhine) converts to Christianity, defeats the Alamans, annexes the future Franconia and gives Alemanian lands to Austria.
782-785: Charlemagne annexes all the tribes in Western Germany (Saxons, Bavarians) to whom he brings Christian and Roman civilisation.
843: the Treaty of Verdun outlying the future kingdom of France and Germany.
936-973: reign of Othon I who founds the Holy Roman Empire (1st Reich) which includes the kingdoms of Germany and Italy.
1027-1410: reign of the Salians and Franconians.
1450: Gutenberg invents printing.
1517: introduction of the Reform with Martin Luther. Religious split of Germany.
1555: Peace of Augsburg; Charles Quint recognises the Lutheran faith. In each state, princes decide on the religion of their subjects.
1618-1648: Thirty-year war between the Catholic Emperor and the Protestant Princes.
1648: Peace of Westphalia. The Holy Roman Empire is subdivided into 343 different States. The United Provinces (The Netherlands) break off from the Empire. In the weakened Empire, Prussia breaks off from the Organisation.
1740-1786: Frederick II makes Prussia a powerful nation.
1792-1815: wars of the Revolution and the Empire.
1806: dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire. Austria and Bohemia break off from Germany. The other states regrouped into a Confederation of the Rhine, with the exception of Prussia who turned down Napoleon's offer to belong to the Confederation. It becomes a foreign state.
1813: the Battle of Nations in Leipzig marks the end of French domination in Germany. End of the Confederation of the Rhine.
1815: founding of the German Confederation in Vienna (led by the Austrian Emperor).
1828: institution of a customs Union (Zollverein) under the leadership of Prussia.
1862: Bismarck becomes Prime Minister of Prussia.
1864: Prussia breaks off from the German Confederation and creates the Northern German Confederation.
1870-71: Franco-Prussian war. France, defeated in Sedan, loses Alsace and Lorraine.
1871: proclamation of the German Empire (2nd Reich) which includes all the German States with the exception of Austria (that is 25 states). Wilhelm I, King of Prussia, becomes Emperor.
1914-1918: First World War.
1918: proclamation of the Republic of Germany.
1919-1933: the Republic of Weimar.
1934: 3rd Reich. Hitler takes over power and creates a dictatorship.
1939-1945: Second World War. Extermination of Jews and opponents of the regime.
1945: Germany capitulates unconditionally on 8 May.
1946: the Nuremberg Trials against those accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
1949: blockade of Berlin and separation of the town into two zones. On 23 May, The Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) is created. Adenauer is the first Chancellor. 7 October, creation of the Democratic Republic of Germany (DRG), Eastern Berlin becomes the capital.
1957, the Treaties of Rome. Creation of the European Economic Community (EEC).
1961: construction of the Berlin Wall.
1989: opening of the Berlin Wall and other border points of passage.
13 October 1990: unification of Germany. Berlin becomes the capital.
October 1998: Gerhard Schroeder is made Chancellor.
June 1999: Johannes Rau is elected President.
August 2004: start of construction work of the new Berlin airport Berlin-Brandenburg-International. The work is due to be completed in 2010. Once completed this airport will replace Tegel and Tempelhof.
September 2004: three new sites are added to the Unesco list of World Heritage: the Elbe Valley in Dresden, the Muskau Garden and the Town Hall and statue of Roland in the Bremen Market Square. This takes the number of sites listed by Unesco in Germany to 30.

Germany : Stay up to date on the country's holidays and events

Events

1st January: New Year.
Beginning of January: Twelfth Night (Bade-Wurtemberg, Bavaria and Saxony-Anhalt).
March-April: Easter.
1st May: Labour Day. Spring festival (most important manifestation of the ex-DRG). Festivities of the Rhine in flames (from Bonn to Linz).
May: Ascension. Dresden Musical Festival.
Mid-May: Cultural Carnival in Berlin (Kreuzberg).
End May: Corpus Christi (Bade-Wurtemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, Rhineland, Sarre).
From June to September: Bonner Sommer. Bonn Summer Festival. Jazz, Rock, Hip hop, classical music and reggae concerts in the market place.
June-July: ?Kissinger Sommer' Festival of Bad Kissingen.
Beginning July: Classic Open Air of Berlin. Classical music concerts in Gendarmenmarkt.
July: Munich Opera Festival.
July-August: Cologne Summer Festival. Musical concerts and shows performed by groups from various parts of the world.
July-August: Bayreuth Festival.
August: Cologne Ringfest. World music festivals in open air.
Beginning August: Berlin International Beer Festival.
15th August: Assumption (Bavaria and Sarre).
End of September: Oktoberfest. Beer Festival in Munich and Stuttgart. Berlin Marathon.
3 October: National Holiday.
31 October: Reform Day (Saxony only).
1st November: All Saints Day (Bade-Wurtemberg, Bavaria, Rhineland, Sarre).
11 November: Start of the carnival season in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Mainz, Bonn, Munich and the Black Forest (at 11:11 exactly).
From end November to end December: Christmas markets in all of the towns. The most popular markets are in Berlin, Dresden, Bremen, Hamburg, Lübeck and Göttingen.
25 and 26 December: Christmas.