Frozen Elbe River in Hamburg, Northern Germany

Frozen Elbe River in Hamburg, Northern Germany

Hamburg-Blankenese in Northern Germany is located on the right…

Hamburg-Blankenese in Northern Germany is located on the right bank of the Elbe river. It’s one of Europe’s most affluent neighborhoods, with Hamburg being one of Europe’s richest cities. Blankenese has a long history as a fishing village. In 1060, Archbishop Adalbert of Bremen built a provost’s residence at the site of an older settlement on the hill. Later the counts of Holstein built a castle. The stunning river views have resulted in highly desirable properties and expensive real estate prices. The hillside residences boast many tiny, pedestrian-only streets and 4,864 stairs. The Strandweg is home to the Strand Hotel, built in 1902, plus little cafes and restaurants. There are two lighthouses, a garden, a doll museum, and many parks and walking trails.

Die Bastei is a rock formation towering above the Elbe river in…

Die Bastei is a rock formation towering above the Elbe river in the Sandstone Mountains of Sachsen, Eastern Germany. Reaching 305 m above sea level, its jagged rocks were formed by water erosion over 1 million years ago. They are situated near Rathen, not far from Pirna near Dresden, and are the main landmark of the Saxon Switzerland National Park. They are part of a climbing and hiking area that extends over the border into the Bohemian Switzerland in the Czech Republic. The Bastei has been a tourist attraction for over 200 years. The spa town of Rathen is the main base for visiting; the town can be reached from Dresden by paddle steamer on the river Elbe.

Lübeck in Schleswig-Holstein, Northern Germany, is home to one…

Lübeck in Schleswig-Holstein, Northern Germany, is home to one of the main ports of Germany. On the river Trave, it was the leading city of the Hanseatic League. Due to its extensive Gothic architecture it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2015, it had a population of 218,523. The old part of town (Altstadt) lies on an island enclosed by the river. The Elbe-Lübeck Canal connects the Trave with the Elbe River. The Autobahn 1 connects Lübeck with Hamburg and Denmark. Travemünde is a sea resort and ferry port on the Baltic Sea coast nearby.

Die Albrechtsburg is a Late Gothic castle that dominates the…

Die Albrechtsburg is a Late Gothic castle that dominates the town center of Meissen in Sachsen, Eastern Germany. It’s located on a hill above the Elbe river, adjacent to the Meissen Cathedral.

Dresden am Ufer. Dresden in Sachsen, Eastern Germany, became a…

Dresden am Ufer. Dresden in Sachsen, Eastern Germany, became a city in 1206 and celebrated its 800th birthday in 2006. It was home to many Saxon kings, the most famous being August der Starke, whose kingdom included Poland. They appertained to the family of the Wettiner and were closely related to many other European royal families. Many buildings date from their reign and the rich art collections are testimony of their extreme wealth. The last Saxon king abdicated in 1918. 75% of the historical center was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1945. These events have left deep scars on the city and are still remembered annually with processions and ceremonies. More than 30,000 people died in the bombing – the exact number is unknown. For many years the ruins and now the newly rebuilt Frauenkirche acted as a call for peace among the nations of the world. The historical center is now largely restored to its former glory, though some parts are still under reconstruction.