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Culture

Germany's Top Five

From early Christmas shopping out in the chilly November air, to warming up with architecture, theater, film and literature in a variety of cosy indoor locations, Germany has much to offer during the pre-festive season.

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Checking out Christmas decorations in Nuremberg

It isn't quite that time of year again but you wouldn't think it considering how many Christmas markets there are starting up around Germany this week. With the big day almost a month away, the traditional huts and stalls are opening the shutters for eager shoppers. When spoilt for choice, it's probably best to go with the most well known and that would be the market in Nuremberg. Dating back to 1628, the Nuremberg Christmas market boasts over 160 stalls in the main square, selling everything from tree decorations and toys to ceramics and blown glass. The festivities officially get underway on Nov. 21 and last until Christmas Eve.

Ausstellungstipps 04.06.2004 Friedensreich Hundertwasser

Models of Hundertwasser's work are complimented by films at the DAM.

U n co n ve n tio n al architecture. Head to the German Architecture Museum (DAM) in Frankfurt for a day in the warmth marveling at the spirals and curved lines of Friedensreich Hundertwasser's fairy-tale buildings. The exhibition presents 13 new buildings and alterations by Hundertwasser, presented in large photographs and models, including the Spittelau district heating plant in Vienna, the Fischau highway service area and Uelzen railway station. Along with the architecture, a series of short films and quotations from the man himself gives a glimpse of Hundertwasser's personality. The recently opened exhibition runs until Feb. 5, 2006.

Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" is playing in Stuttgart.

History a n d drama collide. If architecture interests you but not to the extent of wanting to spend all day looking at it, why not settle down in the grandiose surroundings of Stuttgart's Old Theater for a performance of the Tennessee Williams classic "The Glass Menagerie." The legendary theater, built in 1909, has recently enjoyed a new injection of energy and life under the patronage of Carl Philip von Maldeghems, the director who has mixed the traditional with the modern to reinvigorate the old stage. Williams' story of abandonment and escape is in its final week in Stuttgart and ends on Nov. 26.

Lars von Trier in Cannes

Danish director Lars von Trier was once a budding star at the Munich festival.

Film stars i n their eyes. From established classic to the stars of the future, the Munich International Festival of Film Schools is underway once again delivering the finest in features short films, documentaries and animations from 35 film schools, representing 25 countries. Starting on Nov. 19 and running until Nov. 26 the festival, one of the biggest student film competitions in the world, is celebrating its 25th birthday with 200 screenings at venues all across the city. Young and innovative filmmakers take this annual opportunity to present their works to the public, film industry and critics and the standard is always high. Previous participants include Lars von Trier and animator Nick Park.

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2005: Frau mit Buch, Plakat Lesen!

Young authors from all over the world will be reading their works in Berlin.

Calli n g all bookworms! More young talent is on show this coming week in Berlin where young writers from all over Germany and the world read excerpts from their works during a series of public readings at the Kunsthalle in the German capital. The Young Authors Meeting 2005 follows on from the previous year's extremely successful event where 19 of the best young writers were selected from a field of over 1500 to read. The meeting is the high point of the nationwide Students Write competition and includes a series of workshops which can be attended by would-be authors. A Literary Night Café also takes place, which in recent years has featured young authors from Poland, Italy, Germany and the United States.

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