During travels through Germany, many tourists focus on the cultural aspects of the country. The 30 UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites in Germany are an exhilarating way to see both natural and cultural "wonders."
The admittance to the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites is by no means easy. Once a spot makes it onto the list, it is no guarantee that it will stay there. Cologne's mammoth, gothic-style cathedral, for example, finds its status endangered because of construction around the 157-meter high structure that could obstruct a visitor's view.
Nevertheless, it probably ranks as one of the most popular attractions on the German heritage site list. Cologne is also near to numerous other world heritage sites in the west of Germany, such as the cathedral in Aachen, where Charlemagne reigned over 1,200 years ago. Another sacral site is the cathedral in Speyer, a classical example of Romanesque architecture.
Hanseatic wealth in the north
Further inland to the south, copper, zinc and lead ores were mined in Rammelsberg near the city of Goslar as far back as 1,000 years ago. So vital was the city for its natural resources, that German emperors, most prominently Frederick Barbarossa, conducted court here.
Parks, castles and Reformation in the east
On Berlin's Museum Island, some of the world's greatest museums are clustered in the middle of the capital and are a must see for art and history lovers. If marble and concrete only cause blisters on visitors' feet, then the numerous parks in and around the palaces of Berlin and Potsdam can be a welcome source of relief.
In Saxony, 18 kilometers of the Elbe River valley in and around Dresden provide a beautiful mix of city and nature. On the Polish border in the southeast, Count von Pückler-Muskau mapped out an exceptional garden with the Muskauer Park.
Picturesque church in a meadow
Far to the north yet still in Bavaria, the River Regnitz beautifies the city of Bamberg. The town was virtually unscathed by bombers in World War II so the 1,000 year architectural history of the Franconian city is a showcase.
A gold medal won by Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Olympics has been bought in an online auction for more than $1.4 million. The medal - one of four golds Owens won at the Games - was bought by an American billionaire.
The European Central Bank (ECB) is in search of some 1000 people to fill positions in a new banking supervision unit. Observers are calling it a vanguard in financial controlling: It's certainly a first for Europe.
It was David versus Goliath in the early Sunday match - only this time Goliath proved quicker of foot and of wit, as wealthy Wolfsburg handed tiny Freiburg another defeat. The final score: 3-0. Hertha Berlin also won.