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Am Königssee, Bayern, Southern Germany

The Königssee is a natural lake in the Berchtesgadener Land near the Austrian border. Most of it lies within the Berchtesgaden National Park. Due to its picturesque setting, the lake and surrounding parklands are very popular with tourists and hikers. In addition, the surrounding sheer rock walls create an echo known for its clarity. On boat tours, it has become traditional to stop and play a flugelhorn or trumpet to demonstrate the echo. Previously demonstrated by shooting a cannon, the echo can be heard to reverberate up to 7 times. The trumpeter plays along with the echo, so that there can seem to be as many as 7 players.

St. Bartholomä, a famous pilgrimage church, is located on a peninsula about halfway down the western lake shore. The small Christlieger island is located near its northern end. South of the Königssee, separated by the Salet moraine, is the smaller Obersee lake with the 470 m high Röthbach waterfall. Because there is no lakeside path on the steep shore of the Königssee, St. Bartholomä and the southern edge can only be reached by boat, or via hiking trails up the surrounding mountains, except during harsh winters when the lake freezes over.

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Neuss in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Northwestern Germany, is located on the west bank of the Rhein river opposing Düsseldorf. It is known for its historic Roman sites, as well as the annual Neusser Bürger-Schützenfest, a fun fair. Neuss and Trier share the title of “Germany’s oldest city” – in 1984, Neuss celebrated its 2000 year anniversary since its founding in 16 BCE.

It was founded by the Romans in 16 BC as a military fortification. Legio XVI Gallica (“Gallic 16th Legion”) of the Roman army was stationed here in 43-70 AD. It was disbanded after surrendering during the Batavian rebellion. Later a civil settlement was founded in the area of today’s town center during the 1st century AD.

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Brandenburg an der Havel in Brandenburg, Eastern Germany, served as the capital of the Margraviate of Brandenburg until replaced by Berlin in 1417. It provided the name for the medieval Bishopric of Brandenburg, the Margraviate of Brandenburg, and the current state of Brandenburg. Today it is a small town compared to nearby Berlin, but it was the original nucleus of the former realms of Brandenburg and Prussia.

In the late 19th century it became an industrial center in the German Empire. Steel industries settled there, and several world-famous bicycle brands such as Brennabor, Corona and Excelsior were manufactured hzere. A world-famous toy industry was also established. With a giant industrial complex, the Deutsche Reichsbahn (German Imperial Railways) was located here-Kirchmöser during the time between the two world wars and the time of the former GDR. The city’s excellent transport infrastructure was a big advantage.

After German reunification the city’s population declined from around 100,000 in 1989 to roughly 75,000 in 2005 through emigration. The migration was mainly by young people.