Few countries in Western Europe have such a fascinating yet complicated past as Germany. Much of its history is easily explored by any visitor today. As you can understand from the date, this was way back. I was really young and I visited Germany with my family. I don’t recall many things. Back then it was still divided into East Germany and West Germany. I visited Munich in Bavaria as we entered the country from Switzerland. I still remember being impressed by the city’s structure and order. Some people believe that a visit here gives you a good idea about the whole country. We headed further north, past the city of Stuttgart that lacks historical monuments and we spent some time in Manheim. I was impressed by the music scene of this city because there were a lot of concerts going on and every kind of music was represented. The city that still stands out in my memory after all this time is Heidelberg, a really charming town on the banks of a river. Its Renaissance castle was an irresistible draw for me. We were on our way to the Netherlands when we stopped in Cologne. Located at a major crossroad of trade, Cologne was an important city even since the Roman times. It’s worth making the effort to visit this relaxed city for its famous cathedral, its interesting museums and its vibrant nightlife. My visit to Dachau concentration camp, just outside Munich, and everything that went on in there during the Second World War, stand out in my mind until today. As a kid it was shocking for me to see what I had only imagined from the stories I had been told. I have to mention here, as my sister reminded me, that we also made a short stop in Bonn, the capital of West Germany. We visited the house where Beethoven was born because my mother was a piano soloist and that was her dream since childhood. Germany is one unified country now although the cultural, social and financial differences of the separation will take many years to disappear. Today it has assumed a more confident role in world affairs and it’s definitely the leading power in the European Union. Come here as a tribute to Europe’s history and you will be rewarded.

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