Five Historic Places to Visit in Germany

When many people think of German history they immediately think of World War 2, however German history brings back further than the 20th century. In fact, many people do not realize that Germany old became the present day country as we know it today in the 1871.

Here are 5 places around the present day Germany to visit that earned their reputation well before the 20th century.

1. Hameline and the Tale of the Pied Piper – The story of the Pied Piper is a famous fairy tale that many children have heard over many generations. As a reminder the tale is set in Hameline (located in present central northern Germany) that is suffering from a rat infestation. After successfully solving the problem by playing his pipe and leading the rats to their death by drowning in the nearby river, the townsmen decide not to pay him. As revenge the jaded piper leads the town's children away from the town, never to be heard from again.

Modern day Hameline does not seem to suffer from any more rat problems, but it is a beautiful city for biking and hiking. You can even visit the Pied Piper's house which is a gallery of texts to everything related to the Pied Piper.

2. Berlin and The Brandenburg Gate – Erected in the 1730s, The Brandenburg Gate has witnessed many of Berlin's ups and downs through the years. Prior to the 20th century one of the most significant moments the Brandenburg Gate oversaw was the invasion of Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleonan ordered that the Quadriga, or a representation of a four horse drawn chariot be pulled down and carted off to Paris. It was only returned to Germany in the late 20th century.

The Bradenburg Gate still stands proud today, and you can walk in the very area that Napoleon Bonaparte himself walked.

3. Munich and Oktoberfest – Perhaps one of the most famous annual German events. The first Oktoberfest was held to celebrate the marriage between Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on October 18, 1810. Oktoberfest when it started, and up to today is a celebration of German, and in particular Bavarian food and drink. However, due to the Napoleanic war and other disruptions Oktoberfest did not become an annual event until 1819. However, it has still canceled a total of 24 times to war, illness and other problems.

The modern day Oktoberfest has gone from strength to strength, and has built on many of events that unfolded well over 100 years ago. Recent numbers cited over 6 million people attended Munich's celebrations, this is not including the different regional celebrations for Oktoberfest that have swept Germany in the last 50 or so years.

4. The Cologne Carnival – There have been street parties going back before anyone noted them in any history books in Cologne, however it was not until the early 1800's that the Carnival became an officially managed part of the city.

The event takes place every year traditionally at 11 minutes past 11 on the 11th of November. Similar to carnivals in Rio de Janerio and Venice, the events go on for several days with many parades in the street featuring fancy costume. The entire city comes alive during this period, and for it is a real sight to see, especially for those that have not witnessed such a spectacle before.

5. Bonn and Beethoven – Permanent moving to Vienna and establishing his career there in his 20s, one of the most famous composers of all time, Ludwig Van Beethoven was born in Bonn.

It is possible to visit his birthplace at Bonngasse, and also the Beethovenhalle which was originally built in 1845, however has seen many recent reconstructions since.