Germany Travel > Country > Regions > East Germany

East Germany — Heritage Sites With An Illustrious Past

The German Democratic Republic (DDR), identified in English as East Germany, was actually a socialist country in the past, which existed from 1949 to 1990.

The German Democratic Republic was set up in the Soviet occupation region of Germany on October 7, 1949 of which East Berlin was the capital. East Germany contains no minority groups of any considerable size. The majority of citizens recognize themselves as Germans anyway, culturally and linguistically.

It has adopted a "two-nation" strategy and has pointed to divergences in culture, language, and socio-economic development. However, East Germans share with their West German counterparts a German nationality that is based on a universal cultural heritage and shared historical experiences.

Apart from any concern in the enormous historical and industrial impact of East Germany on the world and particularly on Europe, Eastern Germany offers you loads of attractions...

Picturesque Schloss Sanssouci (Palace) in Potsdam, State Brandenburg [Photo: Raymond]
Schloss Sansoucci
Potsdam, Brandenburg

Exquisite rustic towns with well-preserved traditions... classy cities sporting avant-garde art... magnificent castles... huge forests and mountains... and heaps of classic art and culture to fill in the cracks.

Berlin, a feral and electrifying city, particularly staggeringly beautiful.

Leipzig is a laid back, appealing old town, is a musical pot of gold, the home of Wagner, Mendelssohn and Bach. All sorts of fine music are accessible in relaxed environments, from club to classical.

Weimar is a small city but a major tourist attraction for people across the globe and that which has launched a thousand quips. Nietzsche, Goethe, Klee, Kandinsky, Several East Germany hotels present squat rates during the popular summer months in a bid to attract vacationers away from southern Europe.

In the dining section, generally huge portions mean that half portions (at half price) are generally filling. And most German restaurants do not mind obliging.

When you think of the east, Berlin is the foremost place that comes to mind. However, it is the eastern heartland south of Berlin, anchored by well-built cities like Saxony's Leipzig and Dresden. But also lesser ones such as Meissen and Weimar, which endow with the region's true flavor. All are immensely significant in the culture and history of East Germany.

Dresden is a Baroque Phoenix where the inheritance of the hammer (sickle is still evident here), since the Soviets had to pretty much re-establish the city from scratch after the war.

So far, arduous fresh efforts have been made to reinstate much of the magnificent architecture that in past centuries drew artists such as Canaletto to it. Now it attracts increasing numbers of visitors to the Altstadt, dwelling to the eminent Zwinger museum and Semperoper opera house.

In the meantime, north across the Elbe River, New Town (Neustadt) is swarming with hotels, restaurants, bars, coffeehouses, and discos, often at half the price of old town. Get around on the whole reasonably by tram. The Dresden City Card allows 48 hours of unrestrained tram voyage. As a bonus it provides free entrance or discounts at most museums in East Germany.

Special Tip!Dresden is not the only city offering some sort of a City or Welcome Card. Watch out for such in whichever city you're in.

A great deal of Dresden's splendour can be attributed to the eighteenth-century monarch and arts patron Augustus the Strong. His legacies embrace the majestic Zwinger. This is a Baroque multifarious of arcades and pavilions famous for the world's largest clutch of Meissen porcelain, and the Old Masters Gallery, which includes Raphael's Sistine Madonna.

Close at hand, the Albertinum museum is in particular worth a visit for its architecture and it is Green Vault. It features an astonishing jewellery compilation. Dresden is furthermore home to one of the most renowned opera houses in East Germany — the stunning Semperoper.

East Germany's castles, akin to all German castles, are a not-to-be-missed experience. They usually symbolize the historic exquisiteness that Germany is known for with its architecture, museums, music, and culture. In addition, they furnish you an exhilarating manner to experience old times with family and friends.

Albrechtsburg Meissen, on the left bank of the River Elbe, is a gothic castle that was built in the late 15th century and the earliest palatial castle of its kind in Germany castle building history. Unique features of this East Germany castle comprise open-air concerts at the inner ward, a sightseeing tour, the Albrechtsburg Castle Festival, and so much more!

Scharfenstein Castle is 750 years old, featuring a toy and Christmas museum, trade exhibition space, array of shops, and, you guessed it, so much more too. smile

UNESCO sites in East Germany are intimately linked with celebrated historical names such as Luther, Bach and Bauhaus. Steeped in artistic and cultural history, they comprise the Luther towns of...

  • Eisleben and Wittenberg
  • Wartburg Castle in Eisenach
  • the Prussian palaces of Berlin and Potsdam
  • the beautiful scenery in Bad Muskau
  • Dessau-Wörlitz and the Dresden Elbe Valley

By the way, wanna know of another cute and very interesting city or place to go to? Rügen. It's only 165 miles from Hamburg, devoid of airport on the island, and protects you from bothering traffic. Although it's now becoming more and more popular with tourists from all parts of the globe, it's still a pleasure to be there and take a long, relaxing vacation.


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Germany Travel > Country > Regions > East Germany