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Things to do in Germany

Pergamon Museum Pergamon Museum, Ishtar Gate & Pergamon Altar Berlin, Germany
The Pergamon Museum is located on the Museum Island in Berlin, Germany, designed by Alfred Messel and Ludwig Hoffmann, it would take twenty years to build from 1910 to 1930. This world famous museum contains the original sized monumental buildings that have been preserved from ancient history. One such outstanding feature is the Pergamon Altar and the Market Gate of Miletus that were brought here from Turkey. There has been some controversy about the legitimacy of the way these magnificent ancient artifacts were acquired, and many believe these two relics be returned to Turkey where they were taken from. The museum is separated into the museum of Islamic art, the Middle East museum and the antiquity collection. It welcomes about 850,000 visitors a year that come to view these exquisite relics, and it is the most visited museum in the country. After the Kaiser-Friedrich museum was opened on the Museum Island, it became all too clear that there wasn't enough room to house and showcase all the magnificent archaeological treasures that had been discovered and brought back by German historians and archaeologists. Especially since there were many more excavations going on at the time in Priene, Egypt, Babylon, Miletus, Assur and Uruk. There just wasn't any possible way that the spectacular relics discovered in these areas would be able to be housed and especially shown in such a museum. In 1907, Wilhelm von Bode, the director of the Kaiser began planning a new museum that would be able to contain all these splendid artifacts and ancient architecture, Islamic art, Middle Eastern art and German post-antiquity art. The huge three-wing museum was being planned when architect Alfred Messel passed away in 1909, so his closest friend, Ludwig Hoffman took over the project that started in 1910. Even during WWI, the museum's construction continued and into and past the terrible inflation of the 1920s; completed in 1930 and opened to host the four museums that would be located inside. Then the next stage of war, and during the bombing of Berlin, the museum would be badly damaged, although the majority of the finest relics had been taken away and stored, while the bigger pieces were walled in for their safety. In 1945, the Russian Army came and collected all the loose and left over artifacts, as either war booty or to keep them from being looted, burned or destroyed as the city was in a chaotic state. It wouldn't be until 1958 that the majority of the relics were returned to East Germany, with many significant works staying in Russia, either in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow or the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. These pieces have been promised to be returned in a treaty between Germany and Russia, but by 2003, they hadn't been and it was beginning to look doubtful if they ever would; blocked by Russian restitution laws. Those structures that are located and shown at the museum include the Pergamon altar, the Msatta facade, the Market gate of Miletus and the Ishtar Gate and the Processional Way from Babylon. The vast and varied collection goes back to the Electors or Kurfursten of Brandenburg who had started collecting the artifacts from antiquity, with the first acquisition acquired by a Roman archaeologist in 1698 and became available to be seen in public in 1830 when the Altes Museum opened. That collection grew rapidly with the excavations that were occurring at Didyma, Miletus, Olympia, Magnesia, Cyprus, Pergamon, Samos and Priene. The results of those digs is separated between the Pergamon and Altes Museum. It contains sculpture from the archaic to the Hellenistic ages, bronzes, jewelry, pottery, sculptures, inscriptions, mosaics, and artwork from Roman and Greek antiquity. The most significant exhibits are the Pergamon Altar from the 2nd century BC that contains a 371 foot long sculptural frieze that shows the struggle between the giants and gods and the Miletus gate from Roman antiquity. Just as the nation was divided after the war, so was the collection with half in East Berlin and the rest that was in the west was displayed at the castle of Charlottenburg. Since the Germans, especially the Nazis traveled all over the world to find and acquire these incredible relics, there is one of the finest collections of antiquities in the world housed here, if not the best.

Neues Museum
Neues Museum Berlin, GermanyThe Neues Museum or the New Museum is located in Berlin, Germany, just north of the Altes Museum on the Museum Island and was constructed between 1843 and 1855 designed by Friedrich August Stuler, student of Karl Friedrich Schinkel. It would closed during WWII in 1939 and then badly damaged during the bombing of Berlin in 1945, with the reconstruction directed by English architect David Chipperfield. It officially reopened in October of 2009 and got a 2010 RIBA European Award for the outstanding architecture. It houses many Egyptian, prehistory and early history collections, just as it did before the war, including the majestic iconic bust of the Egyptian queen Nefertiri. The museum was the second one to be constructed on Museum Island and had been the original museum that would house the huge overflow of artifacts and ancient structures that the Altes Museum couldn't hold. Some of the collections include ancient Egyptian artifacts, plaster casts, ethnographic collections, prehistoric and early historic collections and the massive collection of engravings and etchings. It is the first museum that housed the antiquities that are now located in the Ethnological Museum of Berlin and the Egyptian Museum of Berlin. The Neues is especially important in regards to the history of construction and technology with numerous iron constructions, in fact, the first monumental structure of Prussia to continuously use new techniques that were made available by industrialization. Another first involved the use of a steam engine in construction in the city, used to ram the pilings into the foundation and since the soft soil that is located around the Spree River signifies that this method needed the pilings put down deep. Construction started in 1841, with the initial laborers finding diatomaceous earth located just beneath the surface, which necessitated the pilings to be used under the entire structure, consisting of 2344 wooden foundation piles between 23 and 60 feet long. These pilings had a steam engine drive them in that ran between 5 and 10 horsepower, as well as running the pumps that continued to drain the site, elevators and mortar mixing machines. When the ceremony of laying the cornerstone happened in 1843, the foundations, cellars, and other in ground work had already been completed. The museum would eventually open in 1855, with some interior decorations continuing to be worked on until 1866.  It was a long and difficult road, that was interrupted only by WWII, which ultimately led to the destruction of much of the museum, which was left to decay for another long period, with the other museums located here using the best remaining rooms to house parts of their collections, until 1986, when the East German government finally began the reconstruction process, until the fall of the Berlin Wall and the German reunification that happened afterwards. During that period that were many pieces of the building lost, especially the last remains of the Egyptian courtyard. In 1997, David Chipperfield would become the architect responsible for the reconstruction of the museum which was a monstrous project. The costs were staggering, but the results were well worth it as the antiquities were brought back and installed. It now houses the Nefertiri bust, the Egyptian museum and papyrus collection and other works from the period of king Akhenaten. There are other parts of a significant collection from the stone age and later prehistoric period from the Museum of Pre- and early history, magnificently displayed.

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Deutsches Historisches MuseumGerman Historical Museum Berlin, Germany
The German Historical Museum (DHM) was started in 1987 by the chancellor Helmut Kohl and mayor of Berlin, Eberhard Diepgen on the 750th anniversary of the city and is located in the Zeughaus, the oldest building on Unter den Linden Avenue in the center of the city, which was founded in 1695. I. M. Pei designed the enlargement for the museum which was finished in 2004, and opened to the public in 2006, after the Zeughaus was renovated.  The collection contains over 700,000 relics that were collected during a 300 year period and includes the Prussian armory collection, with 300 scientists and more than 1000 loaned exhibitions all over the world.  One of their most exciting and awesome permanent exhibitions includes the German History in Images and Artifacts from Two Millennia.  Other current exhibitions include; 1990: The Path to Unification which looks back at the beginning of the struggle to reunify that started in 1990, the significant events, using photographs, objects and media stations the exhibit guides visitors through those years to the present day. Another is Castles and Power that shows the importance of the castles from the beginning of the Middle Ages to around 1500 using 400 relative displays that showcase castles and the surrounding areas that grew and became settlements and more. Beginning in October and running to January 2011, the museum moves into a topic of worldwide interest with Hitler and the German nations and Crime. This very relevant display looks beyond the obvious and pertains to the underlying questions that were unanswered at the time and still are so hazy, no one can ever be sure how and why. It is an intriguing exhibit that is sure to become quite controversial since it is designed by the very country that was involved, using all their historical documents and memories. One of the very most significant topics of the display is how the people of this great country could have become so enamored by this fanatic that cared more about his precepts and not those of his countrymen, although that is the ruse that he used to overcome all obstacles. In November and running until March 2011, the museum will host the exhibition of Reinhold Begas - Monuments for the German Empire, An exhibition on the centenary of the death of the sculptor, Reinhold Begas (1831-1911). Almost a century since the last exhibition by this great German sculptor, this new exhibit will showcase the many talents of the man that created some of the city's most famous monuments, including the Schiller Monument, the Neptune Fountain and the Kaiser Wilhelm National Monument, as well as a number of portraits of famous and important Prussian nobles. The final entry runs from April 2011 until July of the same year and is named Order and Annihilation: Police and the Nazis Regime, which is quite specific, dealing with the importance of the police in gaining control and creating fear in the old German nation. The incredible exhibit explains how this formidable group would play one of the most important role in the control and ideological terror that it used to hold not only a nation, but almost an entire continent prisoner while they continued to eradicate the Jews and any other resistance group that tried to overcome them. It is certain to be one of the most interesting exhibits the museum has ever developed and one that is so appropriate after the Hitler exhibit, especially in light of today's societies that still have many dictatorships causing terroristic acts around the world. It is so amazing that lone wolves, like Hitler and the fellow from Iran, North Korea and many African nations can exist in today's world, while their reigns of terror spread through their regions unhindered or at the least overlooked for whatever reasons the democratic societies have considered.

 Nymphenburg Palace (Schloss Nymphenburg)
Nymphenburg Palace Munich, Germany
The Nymphenburg Palace, or the Nymph's Castle is a baroque palace in Munich, Bavaria, Germany that was at one time the main summer retreat for the rulers of Bavaria, constructed in the late 17th century. The magnificent palace had been commissioned by Ferdinand Maria and Henriette Adelaide of Savoy to the Italian architect, Agostino Barelli in the year, 1664, after their first son Maximillian II Emanuel was born, with the center pavilion being finished in 1675. Max, the next heir to the kingdom of Bavaria, a sovereign of the Holy Roman Empire, started a massive enlargement of the palace in 1701, adding two more pavilions to the main on the north and south ends using Enrico Zucalli and Giovanni Antonio Viscardi to head the work and design the huge extensions. The south wing would later be enlarged to encompass the stable, so to balance the scene, a orangerie was constructed on the north. His son, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VII Albert would complete the grand circle or schlossrondell, with more baroque mansions, called kavaliershauschen or cavalier's lodges. The palace and park have become one of the most famous landmarks in the city, with the baroque facades stretching out almost 2000 feet, and the stone hall's ceiling frescoes are a spectacular image, created by Johann Baptist Zimmerman and F. Zimmerman, with decorations by Francois de Cuvillies. It has been used as a grand hall and contains three of the floors in the center pavilion, with many rooms showing their original baroque decorations, with the various other rooms displaying rococo or neoclassical designs. In the south wing, the small dining room has the gallery of beauties of King Ludwig I of Bavaria and the pavilion itself is where King Ludwig II was born. The stable house one of the most significant museums of old carriages in the world, also becoming part of other historically important events like the Paris Coronation Coach that was used for the coronation of Emperor Charles VII in 1742. Highlighted relics include the carriages and sleighs of King Ludwig II and are splendid objects indeed. Also in the first floor stables area is a outstanding collection of Nymphenburg porcelain; the factory, that is located on the grounds was started by Maximillian III Joseph and the handcrafted porcelain is said to be legendary and exquisite.

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BEST Restaurants in Germany

Spindler & Klatt
Starters; chicken sate is marinated in coconut milk & cilantro with peanut sauce; gratinieter ziegenkase is gratinated goat cheese with wild herb salad, lime vinaigrette & calamata figs; kalt marinierter hasenrucken rendang is marinated saddle of hare rendang with sorrel salad, passion fruit dressing & warm Szechuan apricots; gegrillte black tiger prawns with Caesar salad & lime garlic mayo. Japanese open kitchen; lachs sashimi mit avokado is salmon sashimi with avocado, black sesame, wasabi, ginger, horseradish & lime; sashimi von der gebratenen jacobsmuschel is sashimi of fried scallops with warm nut butter, star anise & cardamom; pomelo nam jim with grilled prawns, green cabbage, gagant, lime & chili; thunfisch carpaccio is carpaccio of tuna with cilantro & lime emulsion. Main entrees; orecchiette with Thai asparagus, black truffle & parmesan; gratinierter wasabi sake kabeljau is gratinated wasabi sake codfish with glazed cape gooseberry, lotos root puree & kaffir sauce; gegrillte entenbrust is grilled duck with fried shiitake, Thai shallots, roasted violet potatoes & ginger jus; bavette beef vom grill is grilled bavette beef with Thai asparagus, new potatoes & sauce béarnaise Hong Kong style; kalbshochrippe is prime rib of veal with chanterelles, pok choy, new potatoes & sauce béarnaise Hong Kong style.

Gunnewig Rheinturm Restaurant
Starters; salmon variation is smoked salmon, salmon tartar & carpaccio of salmon with salad served in dough basket; green tea noodles salad with chicken, mango & papaya in sesame coconut dressing; braised veal with tuna sauce & capers; goat cheese filled with grape salsa served with leaf salad & olives tomato bruschetta. Soups; carrots-apricots soup with ginger & coriander; sorrel cream soup with crayfish; French onion soup with garlic croutons; consomme double with poultry sorrel. Vegetarian dishes; gnocchi in homemade walnut rucola pesto & parmesan cheese; fricelli with sun dried tomatoes, baby spinach, dark olives & chili; bottoms of artichokes & truffle potatoes, gratinated with gorgonzola cheese on stew of black salsifies. Pasta; noodles with porc fillet in curry sauce; beef fillet provencale style on noodles. Fish; fried pike-perch with chervil sauce served with carrots puree & potato praline; salmon with lime crust on glazed vegetable & roasted potatoes; fillet of red fish pan fried in butter on pearl-barley-risotto with vegetable straw; pan fried codfish with onions, bacon & prawns sautéed beetroot & wild rice cookies. Dishes from the Oven & Frying Pan; grain fed chicken breast with 2 kinds of pepper sauce on vegetable paella; duck breast with orange pepper sauce, broccoli with almonds & potato cakes; pork fillet with balsmico sauce served with baby spinach & polenta strudel; veal steak & fried prawn with lemongrass sauce served with baby leaf spinach & noodles; boiled beef with horseradish sauce & bouillon potatoes; lamb racks, medium, with lamb jus, vegetable French style & rosemary potatoes; rump steak with crust of Düsseldorf mustard, red wine sauce, seasonal veggies & pepper potato tartlets.


Grilled Bavette Beef Spindler & Klatt Berlin, Germany


Grilled Duck Spindler & Klatt Berlin, Germany




 Pan Fried Codfish Gunnewig Rheinturm Munich, Germany

Salmon Limecrusted Gunnewign Rheinturm Munich, Germany


Rump Steak Gunnewig Rheinturm Munich, Germany



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Deutsches Museum German Museum Munich, Germany
The Deutsches Museum, or German Museum is located in Munich, Germany and it is the biggest museum of science and technology in the world welcoming more than 1.5 million visitors every year and houses some 28,000 items from 50 fields of technology and science. It opened in 1903, after Oskar von Miller suggested the museum at a gathering of the Association of German Engineers (VDI). The complete name in English is the German Museum of Masterpieces of Science and Technology, and naturally the biggest museum in the city. The main site of the museum is located on a small island in the Isar River, an island that had been used for its rafting woods since the early Middle Ages.  The island didn't have any structures on it until 1772, since it flooded quite often, but the Isar barracks were built then and did very well until a flooding in 1899 that necessitated the island be fixed with flood protection. The city council offered the island free to the Deuthces Museum and the name of it was changed from Coal Island to Museum Island. Besides this main building, the museum has two smaller branches in Bonn and a smaller one near Munich. The Flugweft Schleissheim branch is about 14 miles north of Munich by the Schleissheim Palace and located on one of the first military bases in Germany that was opened just before WWI. It contains many outstanding aircraft that couldn't fit into any of the other museums, so it made sense to have them here, with a marvelous Horten flying wing glider that was constructed in the 1940s and a great collection of vertical take off and land planes the were created in the 1950s and 1960s. There are a number of Vietnam era planes and Russian planes that were saved from East Germany after the reunification occurred. It also houses a splendid workshop that is devoted to all kinds of aircraft that would need restoration so that they could be exhibited. Oskar von Miller had been studying electrical engineering and had been known for the first high voltage line that ran from Miesbach to Munich in 1882 to power the electrical technology exhibition at the Glaspalast in Munich and the next year he started AEG and an office for engineering in Munich. During the early years, Oskar had a great influence on the exhibition and collection of the German museum. Just a couple of months before the 1903 meeting, Miller had brought together a small group that was supportive of his ideas for a museum of science and technology, and they immediately donated a large sum of money. In June of 1903, Prince Ludwig agreed to the act as a patron and the city donated the island to construct it on. In 1906, the temporary exhibits were opened to the public, with Oskar opening the museum in its entirety in 1925 at his 70th birthday. Before WWII, the Nazis put the museum on a small budget, with numerous exhibits getting put out of date, except a few, like the new automobile room that was dedicated in 1937. After the war, the museum had to close for many repairs and numerous other temporary tenants used the remaining structures until they all were replenished. In 1945, the library reopened and then the congress hall in 1946. The next year, a special exhibit of the diesel engine was opened and the remainder of the regular exhibits reopened in 1948. But it wasn't until 1965 that the museum reached its former glory of the pre-war status and in 1969, the Apollo 8 capsule was given a special display that was named, Man and Space.

Cathedral of St. Bartholomew (Dom St. Bartholomaus)
Cathedral of St. Bartholomeus Frankfurt, GermanySaint Bartholomeus's Cathedral in Frankfurt, Germany is a gothic church that was built during the 14th and 15th centuries and is the main church of the city. It was constructed on the foundations of an earlier church from the Merovingian period and from 1356, it would be the site of the Holy Roman Empire monarchs elections, and from 1562 to 1792, they would be crowned here as well. It has always been a symbol for the unity of the nation, but more during the 19th century than any other. It has never been a bishop's seat, but since it was so significant to the politics of the nation the church would become one of the most important structures in the Imperial history and by that implication would be considered a church of the cathedral magnitude, since the 18th century. During 1867, it would suffer from a sever fire and then reconstructed in its present form, however, during the time between October 1943 and March 1944, the largest old gothic town of central Europe was devastated by six bombings from the Allies. This destruction had occurred in hopes of destroying the public's support of the war, and on March 22, 1944, more than 1000 buildings were demolished, with the cathedral suffering terrible damage, and the interior was entirely burnt up. During the 1950s, it would be restored and renovated into the magnificent cathedral it is today.

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Schleissheim PalaceSchleissheim Palace Munich, Germany
Schleissheim Palace is really three palaces in a magnificent baroque park in the village of Oberschleissheim near Munich, Bavaria, Germany and was one of the summer retreats of the monarchs of Bavaria. It began as a renaissance country home and hermitage started by William V that was located near the Dachau Palace, and during his son's, Maximillian I, the structures were enlarged between 1617 and 1623 by Heinrich Schon to what would become known as the old palace. The numerous rooms would then be decorated by Peter Candid, interior designer. Max's son and successor Ferdinand Maria both passed on here in 1679, and during the second world war, the palace and outbuildings were destroyed. Afterwards it would be rebuilt, and the old palace currently contains two exhibits, one about the history of Prussia and the other on religious culture. The grand hall, located in the main building in the center has been transformed into the foyer for the museums. In the period between 1684 and 1688, Enrico Zucalli constructed Lustheim Palace as an Italian style garden villa for Maximillian II Emanuel and his first wife, Austrian princess, Maria Antonia. The insides of the magnificent palace is dominated by a huge banquet hall in the center with frescoes created by Johann Anton Gumpp, Johann Andreas Trubillo and Francesco Rosa. In 1968, the palace became home to a fabulous collection of Meissen porcelain that is considered to be one of the finest in the world. The palace had been the center of a semicircle of round structures, with two of them still surviving today, and on the south of the Lustheim is the Renatus Chapel that was constructed in 1686 by Zucalli and the northern has a decorated stable that was constructed for the favorite horses of Max Emanuel. During the period between 1701 and 1704, Zuccalli built a new baroque palace, merely called the New Palace, because the elector had expected to be crowned the emperor anytime. When Max Emanuel lost the country in the War of the Spanish Succession, the work stopped, and in 1719 to 1726, Joseph Effner would continue the construction trying to finish the most impressive baroque palaces in Europe, but could only finish the main wing. There are significant samples of German baroque architecture in the grand hall, the grand gallery, the chapel, four state apartments and the wide staircase that were decorated by Franz Joachim Beich, Cosmas Damian Asam, Jacopo Amigoni, Charles Dubut and Johann Baptist Zimmerman. The gallery of baroque paintings is showcased in a number of rooms and includes such masters as Anthony van Dyck, Carlo Saraceni, Peter Paul Rubens, Luca Giordano, Carlo Dolci, Guido Reni, Jose Antolinez, Jose de Ribera, Guercino, Alonso Cano, Alessandro Turchi, Johann Heinrich Schonfeld, Carl Loth, Marcantonio Basseti, Joachim von Sandrart and Pietro da Cortona.

Schloss Augustusburg
Schloss Augustusburg Bruhl, GermanyThe Augustusburg and Falkenlust Palaces are located in Bruhl, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany and are on the UNESCO cultural World Heritage Site list, getting put on in 1984 and connected by expansive gardens and trees in the Schlosspark. In the start of the 18th century, the archbishop elector of Cologne, Clemens August of Bavaria of the Wittelsbach family had the palaces constructed, using architects Francois de Cuvillies and Johann Conrad Schlaun. The main Augustusburg Palace is a u-shaped structure with three main stories and two attics with a splendid stairway that was designed by Johann Balthasar Neumann. Dominque Girard designed the magnificent gardens, with a beautiful flower garden in the south area but later rebuilt by Peter Joseph Lenne in the 1800s who converted it into a landscape garden. There have been a few tries to improve the gardens, but since the soil is not too good, it has proven difficult. Falkenlust was constructed from 1729 to 1740 in the style of the Amalienburg hunting lodge that sits in the park by Nymphenburg Palace, by Francois de Cuvillies. Just after WWII, the palace would be used for receptions for guests of the state by the German president until 1994, since it isn't far from Bonn, which had been the capital of Germany during that period. It is used today for many of the Bruhl Palace Concerts, and the Max Ernst museum is nearby.

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Heidelberg Castle (Schloss Heidelberg)Heidelberg Castle Heidelberg, Germany
The famous Heidelberg Castle is one of the most famous and well known castle ruins in Heidelberg Germany and is one of the most significant renaissance structures in the area north of the Alps. It has been partially reconstructed since its demolition in the 17th and 18th centuries, sitting some 260 feet up on the northern face of the Konigstuhl hillside, with a magnificent view of the old downtown area. The first structure built here was in 1214 and began expanding into two castles in 1294, but in 1537, a lightning bolt destroyed the upper levels of the castle and by 1650 the remaining parts had been enlarged, but was later damaged by fires and wars. Then in 1764, another strike tore off some of the rebuilt sections. The city was initially spoken of in 1196 as Heidelberch, and then in 1155, Conrad of Hohenstaufen became the Count Palatine by his half brother, Frederick Barbarossa, so that the region became called Palatine. Some say that his residence was the schlossberg or castle hill, that had been called Jettenbuhl, but it hasn't been found anywhere or in any documents, although the name Jettenbuhl might have come from the name of a soothsayer, Jetta, who was to lived in the area. She had been connected with Wolfsbrunnen (Wolf's Spring) and Heidenloch ( Heathens' Well). The first time the word Heidelberg was mentioned was in a Latin statement from 1214, after Ludwig I received it from Friedrich II, and the last time is was spoken of as a single castle was in 1294. The palace of kings and prison of popes has been said of the formidable castle, that seemed at odds with every ruler in its history and caused great concern. It has a wonderful and interesting history, one that should be read at one time or another and is a magnificent place to visit, although it may seem a bit strange because of its long history and the numerous events that have taken place here. In the 16th century, Martin Luther had come to Heidelberg to defend one of his thesis and went to the castle for a visit. He would be guided around the castle by Wolfgang, count Palatine and writing to his friend George Spalatin he called attention to the magnificence and defenses. It is strange that this grand old fortress should have been left to fall into ruins, with many folks from around the area coming here to take wood, stone and iron from it to build their own homes and thus it would fall into the back of the rulers minds and not worth rebuilding. It wasn't until 1883, that anything significant was done and from 1897 to 1900 Karl Schafer would spend half a million marks on some of its repairs and reconstruction. In 1880, Mark Twain visited and wrote about the castle in his book, A Tramp Abroad and gave it a marvelous rendition. By the 20th century, Americans were coming here to visit and view, giving great accounts in their stories and soon many other nationalities were coming here as well.

Schloss Benrath
Schloss Benrath Dusseldorf, GermanyBenrath Castle is found in Dusseldorf, Germany and was constructed from 1755 to 1773 by Nicolas de Pigage commissioned by the Elector Karl Theodor of the Palatinate, in the style of a hunting lodge, pleasure palace and contain many marvelous ponds and canals that is today one of the most important architectural works of art in the city and has been suggested as an addition to the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites. The unusual architecture is a transitional style from rococo to classicism, more so on the exterior that is more visible to visitors. On the northern side, a manmade bell shaped moat was built to channel water to the other parts and gardens of the estate. There are two wings and two gate houses flanking the main house, with two museums in them; the Museum of European Garden Art sits in the east wing and the Museum of Natural History is located in the west wing. The estate hosts many musical and special exhibitions, with themed tours, and can only be visited with a guide that must be made in an appointment; with a unique stone collection located in the basement, housing figures and statues. In the 15th century, Elisabeth Amalia Magdalena, the second wife of Count Palatine Philipp Wilhelm had the first moated house constructed and in 1660, the construction actually began to expand and by 1666, it would be finished to be used as the summer and hunting residence of the Count Palantine's families.  The marvelous estate suffered only minimal damage during WWII, with only one cabinet that belonged to the princess being totaled destroyed, and the various colored wood parquet flooring has remained in beautiful condition; as did the paintings and stucco decorations. The magnificent silk wall coverings survived as well, with many replaced to renew their freshness and some of the chair coverings. The furniture that was stylish in the 18th century would be taken away in the early 19th century, with some pieces sold at an auction in the early 20th century, since the Prussian administrators had contemplated letting the palace fall into decay after they had abandoned it, but after the second World War, the style of furniture was purchased to fill in the court areas for visitors and dignitaries that came here, with the majority of it being French acquired at various art shows. One spectacular piece, an early pianoforte, that Mozart played on, is still there.

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Museum LudwigMuseum Ludwig Cologne, Germany
The Ludwig Museum is found in Cologne, Germany containing a wonderful collection of modern artworks that include examples of surrealism, pop art and abstract, as well as one of the biggest Picasso collections in the world, with many works by Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. It separated itself from the illustrious Wallraf-Richartz Museum in 1976 and brought with it the Sammlung Haubrich, an outstanding collection of Josef Haubrich artworks from 1914 to 1939 that he donated to the city in 1946. The current structure opened in 1986 and was designed by Godfrid Haberer and Peter Busmann. The Sammlung Ludwig collection contains many works by Picasso, American pop-art artists and Russian avant-garde works. Current exhibitions include the Russian avant-garde/project series from the Museum's collections; Moving Images: Artists & Video/Film; Photographs from the 19th century Japan and China; Roy Lichtenstein Kunst als Motiv. Their permanent collections include; Art of the 20th Century and Present; Distinguished Guests: Masterpieces by Max Beckmann from the Kunsthalle Bremen, expressionism, photographic collections, Picasso and Cubism, Graphic collection, Bauhaus and De Stijl, painting today, Dada and Surrealism, Minimal and Conceptual Art, Abstract Expressionism, Nouveau Realism and Fluxus, Abstraction in Europe, and pop-art.

Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister
Old Master Picture Gallery Dresden, Germany
The Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister, or Old Masters Picture Gallery in Dresden, Germany houses many of the major works of art from the old masters and belongs to the Dresden State Art Collections along with ten other museums that are owned by the Saxony state. The magnificent works span the 15th to the 18th century, with a major emphasis on the Italian paintings of the renaissance period and baroque and Dutch and Flemish paintings from the 17th century. It houses the art of famous Spanish, French and German painters along with canvases and panels of the early renaissance period, like the newly restored Saint Sebastion of Antonello da Messina. After the Kunsthammer of the Electors of Saxony were started in the 16th century, paintings became subordinate to collectors of curiosities, art works and science, with initially Frederick Augustus I and his son, Frederick Augustus II collecting paintings in a systematical style. Many of these masterpieces were acquired illegally, especially in the 1720s by Frederick Augustus I, from Poland, like two by Rembrandt, Portrait of a Bearded Man in Black Beret from 1657 and Portrait of a Man in the Hat Decorated with Pearls from 1667, which had been in the royal collection in Warsaw. As the collection began to grow, more space was needed, both for storing the treasures and showing them, so new rooms had to be constructed or found. The Duke of Modena's, Francesco III improved the collection in 1745 with 100 of the best works available, and that same year saw a reorganization of the Stallhof, where the collections had been preserved since 1747. As time went on and the collection grew, it also grew in fame across Europe, as more paintings came to Dresden from Italy, Amsterdam, Prague and Paris, being bought by the electors, with the crowning event being the acquisition of Raphael's Sistine Madonna in 1754. The New Royal Museum opened in 1855 in the Semper building, exactly where it is today. During WWII, these paintings would be taken away and hidden, while the structure itself sustained heavy bombing in February 1945. When it ended, the Soviet occupation had started and many of the magnificent paintings were taken away to Moscow and Kiev; but returned in 1955 and 1956, although there are many that are either missing or destroyed. Today, in the Semper Gallery, the old masters' paintings are shown to the public, in the long neoclassic building sitting in the center of Dresden by the River Elbe.

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