Host nation highlights - January 2016
Castle: Burg Hohenzollern
Since the 11th century, various fortified structures have crowned the 2,800-foot-tall Hohenzollern mountain of the Swabian Alps. The castle was destroyed during a 15th century siege and reconstructed as a larger, stronger fortress that survived the Thirty Years’ War but was abandoned a few years later.
In the mid-1800s, Crown Prince Frederick William of Prussia commissioned the present-day Burg Hohenzollern, incorporating the 15th century chapel in the new design. The castle remains privately owned and houses an impressive collection of Prussian gold and silver objects and artwork.
In Germany, towns with mineral or thermal springs are distinguished by the word “Bad” (meaning “bath” in German). Located in the Black Forest, Baden-Baden has been known as a spa town since the days of the Roman Empire, when nobels visited to bathe.
Today, Baden-Baden has two spa facilities, where tourists and locals escape the cold German winter. At Caracalla Spa, guests wade from pool to pool in a central bathing area and dry in numerous saunas. The quieter Friedrichsbad features a 17-step regimen for hours of relaxation.
Baden-Baden has a number of noteworthy sites, including Germany’s oldest casino, castle ruins on a scenic overlook, Victorian mansions, Lichtentaler Allee gardens and Roman bath excavations. Travelers can hike in the nearby Black Forest National Park, gamble at the horse races and try local wine served in a specially shaped bottle, known as a Bocksbeutel. For those seeking more luxury, Baden-Baden has high-end boutiques selling famous brands and gourmet restaurants serving French and eclectic cuisine.
Event: International Green Week Berlin
For 80 years, Berlin has hosted a grand expo for food, farming and gardening. From Jan. 15-24, 2016, an estimated 1,700 exhibitors representing more than 60 countries are expected to participate in Green Week. This event is the place for foodies to stock up on produce, meats, fish, alcoholic beverages and herbs.
Green Week is held indoors at Messe Berlin. Standard admission is 14 euros. Discounted tickets are available for families, students and weekday afternoon entry. Buy tickets and learn more at www.gruenewoche.de/en.
Word: der Miesepeter (noun)
Someone who consistently has a negative outlook or attitude; a killjoy; a grump; a complainer.