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Culture

Germany's Top Five

In the mood for fireworks on the Rhine, Picasso in Stuttgart, Baroque music in Dresden, top-notch soccer in Frankfurt, or postmodern Japanese art in Munich? Check out our top five picks this week.

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Have a blast this week when "Rhine in Flames" sets the river ablaze

Feel the heat when the Rhine river goes up in flames this summer -- figuratively speaking, of course. Rhine in Flames is the name of a series of five mind-blowing pyrotechnic spectacles that light up the summer skies above picturesque towns and cities along the prettiest stretch of Germany's romantic river. Renowned all over Europe, Rhine in Flames is one of the rare attractions that is equally popular among locals and tourists. On July 2, the Night of Fire Magic sees numerous castles and churches alight, while more than 50 decorated boats parade between the wine towns of Bingen and Rüdesheim. Watch from the bank or from boats bringing visitors to prime viewing spots.

Badende von Picasso in der Stuttgarter Staatsgalerie

Picasso's 'Bathers'

Take a dip in the Picasso Bathing Show at the Stuttgart Staatsgalerie. The blockbuster exhibit highlights a particular theme found in many of the Spanish artist's works: bathing, beach and the sea. The 150 paintings, sculptures and drawings on exhibit are on loan from 40 museums around the world. These include New York's MoMa, the Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg. The largest contingent comes from the Musee Picasso in Paris. The exhibit also shows works from painters who influenced Picasso on the topic, such as Ingres, Cézanne, Matisse, Derain, Renoir and Braque.

The hills are alive with the sound of Early and Baroque music during the Early Music Festival in the Harz Mountains, near Dresden. From June 25 through July 3, classical music

Freiberger Dom in Sachsen Erzgebirge

The Freiberger Cathedral is a place for early music

will be performed in sumptuous churches and palaces along the Saxon Silver Mines Route, near Chemnitz (southwest of Dresden). While early music is the event's main focus, the program also features dance, baroque opera and readings.

Confederations Cup - Mexiko - Argentinien Luciano Figueroa

Argentina's Luciano Figueroa celebrates after scoring during the Confederations Cup semi final.

Root, root, root for the... Brazilians or Argentineans at the finals of the Confederations Cup, the star-studded dress rehearsal for the World Cup next year. Tickets are still available to the match, which will take place Wednesday, June 29 in Frankfurt.

Curious about modern Japan? Here's your chance to check out what's new on the Tokyo art scene. In cooperation with galleries in Weimar, Dresden and Munich, the "contemporary art space" Lothringer Dreizehn opened "Not Even the Moon Is Autonomous," a show on cutting-edge Japanese art running from June 25 to Sept. 11. It unites contemporary Japanese artists, artists' initiatives and conceptual-art networks. The basic theme is "the overall effects of the growing pressures of economization on the ways of making contemporary art, with a specific focus on the socio-political function of art." Got that? Well, neither did we. But the pictures look cool.

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