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Festivals along the Romantic Rhine
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Festivals along the Romantic Rhine
  Cologne Travel Event ( Press Release )


Celebrating 200 Years of Tourism to the Romantic Rhine

cologne_rhine_bridge.jpg In 2002, Germany celebrates 200 Years of Tourism to the Romantic Rhine -- to the middle section of the river Rhine that is, the fabled gorge where the Nibelungens legendary treasure of gold remains to this day unfound, where the Lorelei's siren songs are said to have lured many bewitched sailors to certain death by drowning, and where the ruins of medieval fortresses and later castles overlook the river from dramatic crags, creating new photo opportunities with every bend in the river.

Writers like Heinrich Heine, Lord Byron and Victor Hugo made this picturesque scenery known beyond its borders, bringing visitors to come and see with their own eyes what they'd heard and read about. In the course of their visits, they discovered the Rhine isn't the only river in Germany combining scenic drama and romantic intimacy. Given the topography of Germany's larger central regions' high, often arable plateaus carved up by rivers -- many of her other rivers (the Moselle, Neckar, Saar, for example) provide similar feasts for the eyes. They, as well as the Elbe and Danube, benefited from the literary praises of 200 years ago and have delighted visitors ever since.

2002 Special Events:

Fasching o Fastnacht o Karneval (7 - 13 February)

Many cities and towns in Germany stage pre-Lenten celebrations, mostly in regions that have historically been predominantly Roman Catholic, such as Bavaria, the Black Forest and the Rhineland. Major madness, though, happens annually in the cities of Cologne, Dosseldorf, Mainz and Munich.

10th Kurt Weill Festival, Dessau (1 - 10 March)

September Song, Mack the Knife and the Threepenny Opera may well be the most popular of Kurt Weill's compositions in North America, though the body of his work far exceeds what's commonly known. For 10 years, Weill's hometown of Dessau, approx. 100 km southwest of Berlin, has paid tribute to her native son with a festival staging theatre productions, concerts and film screenings, both original and new, reflecting Weill's importance to 20th-century music.

Rhine in Flames 5 Magic Nights of Fireworks and Illumination (4 May - 21 September)

Towns and villages along the Rhine between Bonn and Rodesheim (near Mainz) coordinate fireworks mounted in strategic spots highlighting the river gorge and its fortresses and castles to the most dramatic effect. Spectators line the riverbanks, but the best seats are on board the excursion ships cruising on the river on the respective Saturday nights.

Bonn: 4 May
Rodesheim: 6 July
Koblenz: 10 August
Oberwesel: 14 September
Lorelei: 21 September

25th Dresden Music Festival (16 May - 9 June)

The 25th anniversary makes for special musical celebrations in Dresden. Castles, palaces, churches and public gardens in and around Dresden, including the Semper opera house and the ceremonial Zwinger grounds, will provide stages for international and renowned local ensembles for performances of all genres and periods -- from ancient music to contemporary, opera, dance theatre, jazz and much more.

Grand Opening of Legoland Germany (17 May)

Halfway between Munich and Stuttgart, near the city of Ulm, Legoland Germany will be the largest of the then four Legoland theme parks in the world (the others are in Denmark, Great Britain and the U.S.) 50 million Lego blocks and 40 attractions -- rides, playgrounds, pools and Lego building block stations -- will vie for the attention of kids of all ages.

documenta 11, Kassel (8 June - 15 September)

The world's largest exhibit of contemporary art, taking place every five years in Kassel, a two-hour drive northeast of Frankfurt, will start June 8 and run to September 15. Its 2002 curator is Nigerian-born New Yorker Okwui Enwezor, who is also responsible for Contemporary Art at Chicago's Art Institute.

Grand Opening of Munich's Pinakothek der Moderne (September)

A home for four collections, Munich's latest museum occupies 230,000 square feet in total and promises to become another favourite attraction in Bavaria's capital. It will house the Pinakothek's Modern Art Collection, the New Collection -- including industrial and graphic design as well as applied arts -- the Architecture Museum Collection and the Graphic Arts Collection.

Vincent van Gogh: Fields, Bremen (19 October - 26 January 2003)

The largest collection of its kind ever assembled, more than 40 van Gogh canvases will be on display in Bremen, concentrating on the artist's interpretation of field landscapes. The Bremen Art Museum's own painting, the famous Poppy Fields, acquired in 1911, serves as the focus of this exhibit illustrating the controversy that arose at the time in the artistic community around van Gogh's landscapes.

Other Dates:

30 June: Klassik Open concert, with conductor James Levine, Munich
13 July: Loveparade, Berlin
21 September: Oktoberfest opening day, Munich

2003: IGA Rostock, International Horticultural Show, Rostock

For more information and Web addresses for these and other events in Germany, please contact the German National Tourist Office's toll-free number, 1-877-315-6237, send an e-mail to gntony@aol.com, or visit GNTO's Web sites at Germany Tourism or Visits to Germany

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