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Culture

Germany's Top Five

As summer fades slowly into fall, the opportunities for fun in Germany do not abate. From the Black Forest to the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, DW-WORLD has searched out some of the most fascinating events this week.

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The Black Forest is home to the International Alpenhorn Festival

The Feldberg, the loftiest peak i n the Black Forest of south-western Germany, is the spectacular setting for the Second International Alpenhorn Festival, held on Sunday, Sept. 4. The day of folksy fun begins at 10 a.m. with a regional farmers' market in the town of Feldberg. At 1 p.m., the alpenhorn players will form a musical chain stretching from the ski-lift base station to the summit, filling the alpine air with traditional mountain melodies. Meanwhile, the Feldberg Goat Association will drive their goats from the summer pasture back to the valley. At 4:15 p.m., you'll want to be at the Feldberg Nature Center ( Haus der Natur) for the alpenhorn grand finale. At this folk fest you can sample traditional cuisine, shop for crafts, learn about natural cosmetics, and watch the Feldberg mountain rescue service demonstrate their abilities. Finally something to yodel home about.

Feuerwerk zum Alstervergnügen über der Hamburger Alster

Fireworks over the Alster in the Hansastadt Hamburg

Head to Hamburg for the "Alster Pleasure" ( Alsterverg n üge n) Festival, one of Europe's largest open-air street fairs. From Thursday, Sept. 1, until Sunday, Sept. 4, the area around the Alster Lakes in the center of Hanseatic city-state will be bursting with motley musical and cultural events. In years past, the Alster Pleasure Fest has drawn crowds of over a million to view the acts on numerous stages sprinkled throughout the historic area. The climax of the festival is probably the great fireworks and music show.

Travel back i n time to the Lü n eburg Re n aissa n ce during the Old Craftsman Street festival, held Saturday, Sept. 3 to Sunday, Sept. 4. The narrow alleys of the most ancient part of picturesque Lüneburg's old town, around St. Michael's Church, will be transformed into a living-history theater where actors in period costume recreate an everyday scene in a bustling tradesman quarter. Craftsmen from various guilds, as well as peasants, soldiers, musicians, beggars and playing children will complete the picture of life in a prospering northern German city about half a millennium ago. Examples of artwork and crafts by potters, candle makers, basket weavers, bottle makers, hatters, and other trades will be on display. And, of course, historical foods, many of them still enjoyed today, will add to the experience for the thousands of expected visitors.

Berliner Olympiastadion Panorama

Berlin's Olympic Stadium is gearing up for the ISTAF

The I n ter n atio n al Stadium Festival, now in its 64th year, is an athletics event with tradition. Founded in Berlin's Grunewald Stadium in 1921, the largely track-and-field competition has grown and grown through the years to become a mass sports event drawing thousands of spectators to Berlin's Olympic Stadium. Since the introduction of the International Association of Athletic Associations' Grand Prix in 1985, the ISTAF has been one of the six qualifying meetings where athletes can earn points towards the coveted Golden League. It all begins on Saturday, Sept. 3, at 11 a.m., when you can meet and greet the athletes and enjoy a wide variety of sport-related events in the historical surroundings of the "Mess Hall of Nations" in the Olympic Village. The International Stadium Festival itself will be held on the following day, Sunday, Sept. 4.

Rothe n burg ob der Tauber has been one of Germany's most popular tourist destinations ever since the advent of tourism itself. The perfectly preserved (or restored) medieval old town provides a backdrop for imagining life as it was 500 years ago in a Frankonian imperial city. The high point of the Rothenburg festival calendar year takes place during the first days of September, this year from Friday, Sept. 2 until Sunday, Sept. 4, and is known as the Imperial City Festival ( Reichstadttage). The historical pageant focuses on a central point in the history of Rothenburg: the Mayor Nusch's feat in 1631 of saving his city from utter destruction by the troops of Flemish general Tilly. This was accomplished by winning a wager that said he couldn't drink a 3.25 liter (about 0.8 gallon) draught of wine. The mayor succeeded in emptying the glass, and the citizens of Rothenburg have been thankful for the "Master Draught" ( Meistertru n k) ever since.

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