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Culture

Germany's Top Five

This week you can attend a 15th century wedding, take in a free opera, sample some real French and German cuisine, watch the vélos race past, and learn about the art of being German.

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Catch the Tour de France action during its two days in Germany

Tunier

See the knights to battle

Become enchanted by the pomp and circumstance of a royal medieval wedding, then get up close and personal with the events and music of 1475 brought to life by more than 2,000 costumed people in Landshut. Take in the atmosphere in the tavern after the jousting matches and hear what people have to say about the marriage between Hedwig, the Polish King’s daughter, and Georg, the Duke of Landshut's son. The festival runs Saturdays and Sundays until July 17

Italienisches Straßencafé

Hamburg turns into an Italian street cafe

Soar along with the music at Hamburg's free opera film festival. Only two years old, last year's organizers knew they'd have to mix Italian gastronomy with a relaxed piazza atmosphere again this year. This week's program includes Madame Butterfly, Cyrano de Bergerac, Aida and The Flying Hollander. The festival runs until July 10 with a opera daily and two on Saturdays and Sundays.

Practice your best French accent and head to Berlin to shout Vive la France ! at the German-French Volksfest that begins this weekend and runs until July 17. They'll be plenty of chances to brush up your language skills while sampling a fine Bordeaux or munching on a crêpe when the German capital hosts food and fun from all over France. It all takes place in a mini French village under the motto "Tour de France."

Spezialbild: Einfahren für die Tour de France: Ullrich mit Vinokourov

Jan Ullrich, left, prepares for the Tour de France

Grab your cow bells and join the locals in cheering on German cycling hero Jan Ullrich as the real Tour de France speeds across the border into Baden-Wurttemberg. This year's riders will be racing in Germany on July 8 and 9 pursuing the elusive yellow jersey that each wants to be wearing while riding up the Champs Elysées in Paris on July 24. Get a front row seat to see Ullrich and American Lance Armstrong race away by arriving in Karlsruhe early.

Discover "The Art of Being German" from some 50 German photographers at the seventh annual Fototage in Mannheim and Ludwigshafen. From photojournalism to artistic imagery and from documentary to surreal, the search for an identity is the subject that drives this year's show, according to curator Hansjoachim Nierentz. Made up of photographs depicting contemporary views of Germany, you can get a feel for the issues provoking today's German photographers. The exhibition runs until July 10.

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