The Land of Living History
Rural Germany is the land of fairy tales. From the iconic Kassel village to Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany is full of dense forests and rolling fields the land itself feels like it hasn’t changed in centuries – men and women still wear dirndl with regularity, eat their wursts and the same heavy breads they have eaten for centuries.
Rural Germany spotted with the remains of ancient castles and standings: the remnants of the middle ages lining the roads and hills throughout the country.
Rural Germany is bucolic and beautiful from north to south.
Northern Germany is full of marshes and plains, and in the most rural areas German dialects, such as Westphalian, are still present and used. In the early middle ages, northern Germany was the land of the Saxon settlements, and most of it was included in the Holy Roman Emperor of Charlemagne. Today’s northern Germany corresponds to the Northern German Confederation of 1900 and uses the northern border of the Bavaria as its border.
The Central Uplands of Germany are just south of the northern German plain. The central uplands are a very ancient mountain range, which may have been formed by ancient volcanic activity and remain largely untamed to this day, contributing to the look of rural Germany. Southern Germany is defined by two mountain ranges: the Swabian and Franconian Alb as well as the Bavarian forest. The Thüringen forests in particular are thick and untamable. Very few things compare to the beauty of rural germany.
Villages in rural Germany are sparse and lightly populated. They have become even less populated as young people have moved to the cities from the countryside, leaving the rural areas of the country aging and becoming impoverished.
However, if you wish to practice your German language skills rural Germany is the place to do it. In the cities, most people speak English and wish to practice their English skills.
In the country, however, fewer people speak German.
Rural germany is covered in field and forest: most of Germany has a temperate climate caused by the jet stream, which is amenable to a long growing season and the production of many types of crops. However, only 15% of the country is natural and permanent pastureland, with most of the country consisting of heavy forest, which has helped the entire country to remain largely rural.
Vacationing in Germany
German vacations are very popular. Berlin today is like “paris in the 20’s” it’s a center of art and culture with a thriving counter culture atmosphere. But there are many wonderful rural Germany vacations. Hiking throughout the country is very popular due to the nation’s rugged terrain. You can also make tours of Bayreuth and the Neuschwanstein castle.
Neuschwanstein castle is the ultimate fairy tale castle. It was built in the 19th century by king Ludwig II of Bavaria. King Ludwig had been so inspired by Richard Wagner’s opera Lohengrin, that he built a fabulous palace, and invited Wagner to come and write his famous ring cycle, building him the perfect theater for Wagnerian opera at Bayreuth. Neuschwanstein is a highlight of the kassel region in rural Germany.
Germany is made up of fifteen regional districts, which are the equivalent of counties. These were once separate countries, which became only loosely bound together through years of conquest and the succession of great empires. It wasn’t until the 1940’s when Hitler came to power that the country was successfully linked as one sovereign nation. However, despite its now fundamental interconnectedness, rural Germany remains a world apart.
German architecture has gone through many phases. From the 1950’s Bauhaus back to the white-stucco walls and red tile roofs of Frankfurt. Romand and pre-roman architecture can be found throughout the country, due to the Roman empire once stretching across much of the country. These are mainly ruins, however. Architecture from the romanesque and pre-romanesques periods still stand and in some cases remain in use, such as at speyer cathedral. During World War II many cities and examples of great architecture were lost during the bombings. Rural Germany remained largely intact as bombings were focussed mainly on cities; the city of dessau, for example, was over 90% destroyed by the end of the war.
Within Rural germany remains some of the most beautiful countryside today, retaining much of the looks of its 19th century roots, and is still a sought out destination for vacations. Backpackers especially love walking through rural Germany, due to the ruggedness of the scenery.