Siegen in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Northwestern Germany, is located in the Arnsberg region. It’s a university town with nearly 20,000 students in 2019. The name comes from the possibly Celtic river name Sieg. It is, however, unclear whether there is any relation between this name and the Celtic-Germanic Sicambri (Ger. Sugambrer) people, who in pre-Christian times lived in parts of North Rhine-Westphalia. The first documentary mention of the place called Sigena dates from 1079. The city’s history is markedly shaped by mining, which locally began as far back as La Tène times. Bearing witness to this longtime industry are the many mines that can be found within city limits.

Backnang in Baden-Württemberg, Southwestern Ge…

Backnang in Baden-Württemberg, Southwestern Germany, is located 30 km northeast of Stuttgart. It was ceded to Württemberg by the Zähringer family in 1325, and has been known as the Gerberstadt due to its tanneries, leather factories, plus wool and cloth mills that dominated in the past. Since, all of these have vanished — instead, telecommunication companies like Ericsson (formerly AEG, Telefunken, ANT, Bosch, Marconi) and Tesat-Spacecom dominate local industries. The Stiftskirche church dates back to the 12th century.

Backnang’s hosts an annual Strassenfest during the last weekend in June. It started as a street festival where local sports & cultural clubs offered drinks and foods. The opening is marked with cannon shots from the city tower at 6 pm on Friday. The event ends with the Zapfenstreich on the following Monday at 11 pm and attracts more than 100,000 spectators from the region.