Just the Pictures (Germany) The Spree River with Museum Island (with the Bode Museum at its tip) and the Fernsehturm (“Berlin TV Tower”) in view. The Ishtar Gate (from Babylon, ca. 604-562 BC), on display in the Pergamon Museum. Closeup of a lion depicted on the glazed bricks on the Ishtar Gate. Glazed bricks from the Procession Street of Babylon. The Market Gate of Miletus (a city on the western coast of Anatolia), built during the reign of Emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD). Center-view of the Market Gate of Miletus. Reconstruction of Assyrian schedulamassu, figures that once stood at the entrance to a chamber in a palace in Ancient Assyria. Relief depicting deities on both sides of a sacred tree, from the Palace of Ashurnasirpal II at Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), ca. 883-859 BC. A limestone relief depicting warriors, taken from the palace of Darius I or Xerxes I in Persepolis (6th or 5th-century BC). A prayer niche from a mosque (Iran, 13th-century AD). A holy figure believed to represent the Madonna and Child (Iranian, 13th-century AD). Frieze taken from an Iranian palace (13th-century AD). A replica of a 7th-century AD Iranian silver hunting plate. The Mshatta Facade, which once made up part of the Umayyad residential palace of Qasr Mshatta (8th-century AD). Part of the wall paneling for the Aleppo Room, which comes from a banquet hall of a private residence in Aleppo’s Christian district (ca. 1600-1603 AD). The Berlin Cathedral next to the Spree River. ‘Three Girls and a Boy’ by Wilfred Fitzenreiter (1988 AD). View of the front of the Berlin Cathedral, which dates back to 1451 AD; however, its current form dates to 1905 AD. Interior of the Berlin Cathedral. Looking up at the dome inside the Berlin Cathedral. Looking at the Rotes Rathaus (“Red City Hall”), the town hall of Berlin, from the Berlin Cathedral. An angel trumpeter adorning the outside of the Cathedral. Looking at the Lustgarten (“Pleasure Garden”) in front of the Cathedral and the southwest section of Berlin. One last view of the Berlin Cathedral. The backside of ‘Three Women’ by Xu Hongfei (2015 AD). The Neue Wache (“New Guardhouse”), the Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Victims of War and Tyranny – originally a guardhouse for the Crown Prince of Prussia, it took on its current use in 1931 AD. The interior of the Neue Wache, which was designed by Heinrich Tessenow in 1931 AD. The Brandenburg Gate, a Neoclassical triumphal arch built in 1791 AD as a sign of peace. Another view of the Brandenburg Gate with economic ignoramuses in the foreground. The Reichstag building, completed in 1894 AD, infamously set on fire in 1933 AD, and current meeting place of the Bundestag (or “Federal Diet” – the “lower house” of the German Parliament). The Reichstag seen from the Platz der Republik. The Berlin Victory Column, built to commemorate the Prussian victory in the Danish-Prussian War. Another view of the Berlin Victory Column (Note: I did not see any angels hanging out on top during my visit). Statue of Otto von Bismarck. Bellevue Palace; it was built in 1786 AD and has been the official residence of the President of Germany since 1994 AD. Banner at Berlin Lollapalooza (the first Lollapalooza concert in Europe). Map for Berlin Lollapalooza, which was located at the former Berlin Tempelhof Airport. The old terminal building for Berlin Tempelhof Airport. A C-54 Skymaster on display at Tempelhof Airport; the C-54 was the standard aircraft used during the Berlin Airlift (1948-1949 AD). Strange promotional artwork for Berlin Lollapalooza. Razz performing on stage. The lead singer and drummer for Joywave. The band Everything, Everything. James Bay and his band. The Mighty Oaks. Franz Ferdinand & Sparks (FFS). Closeup of FFS lead singers Russell Mael and Alex Kapranos. Bastille performing their music. One of the singers of Deichkind shown on the big screen wearing his electronic pyramid head costume. Fatboy Slim performing at Berlin Lollapalooza. Another shot of Fatboy Slim. Dawes performing on the second day of Berlin Lollapalooza. The Coasts. Closeup of the lead singer for Wolf Alice. Brand New performing. The Stereophonics. My Morning Jacket playing at Berlin Lollapalooza. Belle & Sebastian. The lead singer of Belle & Sebastian surrounded by audience members he invited on stage to dance with him. The Beatsteaks. Sam Smith performing at Berlin Lollapalooza. Seeed (a German band) performing on the secondary main stage. Muse performing on the primary main stage at Berlin Lollapalooza. Muse performing a song from their latest album, ‘Drones’. Another shot of Muse. Matt Bellamy (lead singer of Muse) covered in fog. A woman attached to a giant balloon, floating over the crowds at the conclusion of Berlin Lollapalooza. The replica Checkpoint Charlie hut in the middle of the street (where the original once stood between East and West). Another view of the faux Checkpoint Charlie hut with male strippers playing the part of U.S. Army soldiers. A 200 meter section of the Berlin Wall, still standing, next to the Topography of Terror Museum (located at the former site of the Gestapo and SS headquarters). Chronological displays (covering the lead up to and full horror of the Second World War) outside of the Topography of Terror Museum, with the remains of the Berlin Wall behind them. An East German watchtower that once stood between the Brandenburg Gate and Leipziger Platz (it now stands near Potsdamer Platz). Potsdamer Platz. The area where the Führerbunker (the bunker where Hitler spent the last days of his life) once existed. The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (located south of the American Embassy, near the Brandenburg Gate). Walking through the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, which was built in 2004 AD and consists of 2,711 concrete slabs or “stelae.” Another photograph from inside the memorial. ‘The Chronicle of Cologne’ (1499 AD), on display inside the German Historical Museum. Small pavise (convex shield) with St. George and the arms of the city of Nuremberg (1480 AD). ‘The Golden Bull’ (1485 AD). Mace with hidden stiletto, commander’s staff of Cardinal Ascanio Maria Sforza (1500 AD). A Letter of Indulgence that was issued to a married couple, dated to August 15, 1503 AD. ‘Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences’ by Martin Luther (1517 AD). Field and jousting armor from the early 16th-century AD. ‘Augsburg Labors of the Months: Autumn (July, August, September)’ by Jörg Breu the Elder (1531 AD). Two-handed sword with sawfish blade (16th-century AD). A brutal and gory wooden sculpture of the Crucifixion of Christ (17th-century AD). ‘Mars and Venus or the Horrors of War’ – an allegory in connection with the Thirty Years’ War (17th-century AD). Left-hand dagger with spring blade (17th-century AD). An Imperial Eagle beaker from the 17th-century AD. A paper theater depicting the activity in a mine (1730 AD). Another paper theater, this time depicting a baroque garden scene (1730 AD). Guild sign for Butchers (1768 AD). Wheel-lock rifle of the Elector Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg with the wheel-lock in the form of a lying stag (1746 AD). An anatomical model of a pregnant woman (ca. 1700 AD). Uniform of Frederick the Great (reign: 1740-1786 AD). Napoleon’s bicorne from the Battle of Waterloo (June 18, 1815 AD). ‘The King Everywhere’ by Robert Müller (1886 AD). Uniform with officer’s decorations from the Garde du Corps regiment, Potsdam garrison (1900 AD). Image of crowds gathered outside a landed Zeppelin – made for a stereoscope. Heavy machine gun, Model 1908, with gun mount (1914 AD). Banknotes during Germany’s Inflation Period (1923 AD). ‘Mein Kampf’ (the first of two volumes) by Adolf Hitler (1925 AD). Tin and cardboard boxes for cigarettes (ca. 1915-1930 AD). ‘Transparent Human’, a model designed for the 2nd International Hygiene Conference in Dresden, 1930 AD. The interior of a doll’s house that was made in 1933 AD and is decorated with National Socialist leaders and wallpaper depicting Hitler Youth scenes – designed to indoctrinate Germany’s youth. A gas bed for infants and toddlers (1940-1945 AD). Special edition of the Southern German Newspaper announcing the sentences for the Nuremberg Trial (October 1, 1946 AD). The Spree River with the Fernsehturm (“Berlin TV Tower”) in the background. The New Synagogue in Berlin, built in 1866 AD. Skewered sausages and vegetables (currywurst, Thüringer roast sausage, Nürnberger sausage, leeks, onions, and peppers), bread, and beer. Nuremberg Main Railway Station. The Spittlertor, one of the four main gates through Nuremberg’s old city wall. The Way of Human Rights, a monument in Nuremberg. Building on the corner of Karolinenstraße and Königstraße. The façade of St. Lorenz Church, built in 1477 AD. Buildings on the Pegnitz River in Nuremberg. The Fleisch Bridge, over the Pegnitz River, built in 1596-1598 AD. Statue based on the satire ‘Ship of Fools’ (written by Sebastian Brant in 1494 AD), created by sculptor Jürgen Weber in 1987 AD. The Frauenkirche (“Church of Our Lady”), built in 1361 AD, seen from the Grand Market in Nuremberg. A closer view of the Church of Our Lady. Interior of the Church of Our Lady. Street on the east side of Nuremberg’s town hall. Gooseherd Fountain in Nuremberg. The Schürstabhaus. St. Sebaldus Church, which dates back to 1225 AD. The altar inside St. Sebaldus Church, with the shrine of St. Sebaldus in the background. Closeup of two of the twelve carved snails that support the shrine of St. Sebaldus. A single rose with the shrine behind it. Looking down Albrecht-Dürer-Straße. The Albrecht Dürer House, where the artist lived from 1509 to 1528 AD (when he died). The Tiergärtnerplatz, seen from the Albrecht Dürer House. The “Wanderer Room” inside the Albrecht Dürer House. Albrecht Dürer’s studio. A stained glass window inside the Albrecht Dürer House. View of the old town from Nuremberg Castle. Sinwell Tower and the Deep Well (the small building in the middle). View of Tiergärtnerplatz and the Albrecht Dürer House, from the castle. The Imperial Chapel, built in the 13th-century AD. Looking at the Inner Courtyard and Inner Castle Gate from the Bower. A mold for compressing pyrotechnic charges for rockets (17th or 18th-century AD). A rocket launcher from the 17th-century AD. Fire balls from the 17th or 18th-century AD. An artillery tool used to determine the inclination angle of the cannon. Pikes, halberds, and glaives (16th to 17th-century AD) The forecourt with Secretarial building on the left and the Deep Well on the right. The exterior of Sinwell Tower. Looking up inside Sinwell Tower. View of Nuremberg from the top of Sinwell Tower. Looking at Heathens’ Tower and the Inner Castle Gate from Sinwell Tower. Sculpture adorning the corner of a building on the Tiergärtnerplatz. ‘The Hare – Homage to Dürer’ by Jürgen Goertz (1984 AD). Façade of the Fembo House, a large late Renaissance merchant’s house (now the location of the city’s museum). The façade of Nuremberg’s town hall. The exterior apse of St. Sebaldus Church. Building along the Hauptmarkt in Nuremberg. A giant keg parked in the Hauptmarkt alongside a food stall. Looking at the Pegnitz River from Heubrücke Bridge. Building alongside and over the Pegnitz River, seen from Marientormauer Bridge. Part of the city wall around Nuremberg’s old town. The Königstor (“King’s Gate”), seen from outside the city wall. The medieval shopping and handcrafts area just inside Königstor. A wheat beer and a Franconian marinated pot roast with apple slices and a wine braised red cabbage. The exterior of the Zeppelin Grandstand, seen from Zeppelinstraße. The Zeppelin Grandstand, which overlooked Zeppelin field, the central venue during the Nazi Party rallies. Another view of the Zeppelin Grandstand, which was designed by Albert Speer and inspired by the Pergamon Altar. The opposite view of the Zeppelin Grandstand. Structures along one of the sides of Zeppelin Field. Congress Hall (“Kongresshalle”), seen from across Dutzendteich Lake. The Great Street (“Große Straße”), which was intended to be the central axis of the Nazi Party rallies and a parade road for the Wehrmacht. Inside the unfinished Congress Hall, which was intended for NSDAP congresses during the Nazi Party rallies. Entrance to the Documentation Center for Nazi Party Rally Grounds (located in the north wing of Congress Hall). The inside of Congress Hall, seen from an overlook out of the Documentation Center for Nazi Party Rally Grounds. The Hall of Honor (“Ehrenhalle”), built in 1929 AD to commemorate the 9,855 Nuremberg soldiers killed in World War I. Looking out from the Hall of Honor, where the Totenehrung (“honoring of dead”) ceremony occurred during the Nazi Party rallies. The Hall of Honor seen from across Luitpold grove. The eastern wing of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice, where Courtroom 600 (the site of the Nuremberg trials) is located. A US Army foot locker that was used to transport evidence for the prosecution during the Nuremberg trials. Benches used by the defendants (in front: Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and Wilhelm Keitel; behind: Karl Dönitz, Erich Raeder, Baldur von Schirach, and Alfred Jodl) during the Nuremberg trials. Courtroom 600, the setting for the Nuremberg trials. Buildings along Fürther Straße. A “wolf” cigarette dispenser. Sign at the entrance to the Nuremberg Old Town Festival, located on Insel Schütt (the island in the middle of the Pegnitz River, on the east side of the old town). Crowds watching the ceremonies for the Nuremberg Old Town Festival. Restaurants set up for the festival. My meal at the Nuremberg Old Town Festival: a pork shoulder roast and dumpling served in a pool of gravy, a mixed salad, and beer. A stall selling various sausage links in Nuremberg’s Hauptmarkt. The arch building on the east side of Nuremberg’s town hall. St. Sebaldus Church at sunset. The Hauptmarkt and the Church of Our Lady at sunset. Another view of the Church of Our Lady. The façade of St. Sebaldus Church. The White Tower seen from Breite Gasse. St. Elizabeth Church in Nuremberg. The White Tower at sunset with a rainbow in the sky, seen from Jakobsplatz. A narrow street in Nuremberg basking in the sun’s waning rays. The old city wall and Frauentormauer Straße at sunset. The Spittlertor at sunset. German beer and chocolates – a fantastic way to end the day. The Oktoberfest grounds, located in Thereisienwiese in Munich (opening day, September 19, 2015). Another view of Oktoberfest’s setting. The towers outside of the Löwenbräu and Winzerer Fähndl beer halls. The entrance to the Winzerer Fähndl beer garden and hall, which is obviously supported by Paulaner. The Bavaria Statue and the Hall of Fame. Inside the Winzerer Fähndl beer hall. Another view of the interior of the beer hall with its central gazebo. The opening ceremony for Oktoberfest inside the Winzerer Fähndl beer hall. A server carrying 12 liters of Paulaner beer to some thirsty patrons. The glass washing machine used inside the beer hall. One last view inside the Winzerer Fähndl beer hall on the opening day of Oktoberfest 2015. The Spatenbräu beer carriage. The Hacker-Pschorr beer hall. Inside the Hacker-Pschorr beer hall. The gazebo inside the Hacker-Pschorr beer hall. The Augustiner Bräu beer hall. Inside the Augustiner Bräu beer hall. The Hofbräu beer hall. Inside the Hofbräu beer hall. The Ochsenbraterei (Spatenbräu) beer hall. Inside the Ochsenbraterei (Spatenbräu) beer hall. The Fischer Vroni beer hall (for those who prefer to eat fish over pork with their beer), supported by Augustiner brewery. Inside the Fischer Vroni beer hall. The Marstall beer hall, supported by Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu. Inside the Marstall beer hall. The Armbrustschützen beer hall, supported by Paulaner brewery. Inside the Armbrustschützen beer hall. View of the animal busts decorating the interior of the Armbrustschützen beer hall. The Schottenhamel beer hall, supported by Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu. Inside the Schottenhamel beer hall. The Pschorr-Bräurosl beer hall, supported by Hacker-Pschorr brewery. Inside the Pschorr-Bräurosl beer hall. Gingerbread hearts for sale at Oktoberfest. The Löwenbräu beer hall. Inside the Löwenbräu beer hall. The Weinzelt (or “Wine Tent”), supported by the Nymphenburger Sekt cellars. Inside the Weinzelt. The Ferris wheel at Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest seen from the top of the Ferris Wheel. A more down-to-earth view of the goings-on at Oktoberfest. Käfer’s Wies’n-Schänke beer hall, supported by Paulaner brewery. The beer garden outside Käfer’s Wies’n-Schänke beer hall. Inside Käfer’s Wies’n-Schänke beer hall. The Schützen-Festzelt beer hall, supported by Löwenbräu brewery. Inside the Schützen-Festzelt beer hall. The north exit of the Oktoberfest grounds – “Auf Wiedersehen!” The Palace of Justice in Munich. Karlstor, a Gothic gate located on the westerly side of Munich’s old city wall. Façade of St. Michael’s Church, built in 1597 AD. Lovely building at the corner of Kaufingerstraße and Augustinerstraße. Munich’s New Town Hall at Marienplatz. The Rathaus-Glockenspiel (on the tower of the New Town Hall), which chimes and re-enacts two stories from the 16th-century AD everyday at 11:00. A building arch over Sparkassenstraße, with the Old Town Hall on the left. Isartor, the most easterly of Munich’s three remaining Gothic gates. The Father Rhine fountain, located on an island in the Isar River. Part of the Isar River with the Müller’sche Volksbad building in the background. The Old Town Hall of Munich. Statue of a man standing on a steel beam, located at the entrance to the Kaufingertor Passage shopping center. ‘Fountain Boy’ by Matthias Gasteiger (1895 AD), located near Karlstor. Bell tower of St. Markus Catholic Church in Erbach in Rheingau. Town center of Erbach. Half-timbered houses in Erbach. Vineyards in the Mosel Valley. Passage through the grapevine trellises. Different orientations of vineyard rows – found in Mosel. Mosel River. Schloss Schönborn in Geisenheim. Rheingauer Dom in Geisenheim. Linden tree in Geisenheim – the tree is over 700 years old. Christmas market in Mainz. Rococo style altar inside of Augustinerkirche (or the “Church of St. Augustine”) in Mainz. Mahnmal der Deutschen Einheit (“German Unity Memorial”), which was created in 1961 AD and is dedicated to the unification of German territories held before the war (including cities now located in Poland and Kaliningrad Oblast). Christmas market Glühwein bar with decorative top in front of Mainzer Dom (“Mainz Cathedral”). Building that is now part of the Gutenberg Museum that covers the history of printing; Johannes Gutenberg (1400-1468 AD) – who invented the moveable type printing press – was born and died in Mainz. An early example of a travelogue – ‘Report and Guide to a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land’ by Bernhard von Breydenbach (1486 AD); this fold-out page depicts Venice as it was then, during his pilgrimage. Page from a medical handbook created by Johannes de Ketham (1491 AD) that shows the most common types of injuries that would befall a man back then. Agricultural guidebook that was originally written by Petrus de Crescentiis (1230/33-1320/21 AD), but published in this edition in 1512 AD; these pages explain the stages involved in wine production. ‘Instructions for the Preparation of Medication’ by Hieronymus Brunschwig (1512 AD); these pages explain the receptacles and equipment required for distillation. Map of Frankfurt, made by Matthaeus Merian in 1646 AD. Girdle book from the 16th-century AD, which could be tied or fastened to a person’s belt so that they could easily carry it with them for daily reading. Depiction of Vitis vinifera flowers and fruit. ‘Constellations of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres’ by the Office of Ibrahim Müteferrika in Constantinople (1730 AD). The first ever known logo of a company [printing block (L) and resulting print (R)], which shows a hare kissing an oversized needle – from the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127 AD). ‘Artikulation’ by György Ligeti (originally composed in 1958, this scorebook was printed in 1984 AD). Heavy-duty spindle press (19th-century AD). Clear watermark from Germany (18th-century AD). My favorite nighttime reading – modeled after book boxes that were popular in the late 19th-century AD. Recreated Gutenberg press inside the museum. View of Mainz Cathedral from the surrounding Christmas market. Another view of Mainz Cathedral. Weihnachtspyramide (“Christmas pyramid”) in the Christmas market in Mainz. Nativity scene in the Christmas market. Christmas market stalls in Marktplatz in Mainz. Christmas tree in the market in Wiesbaden. Carousel and lights in the Christmas market in Wiesbaden. Another part of the Christmas market in Wiesbaden, next to the Evangelical Market Church. Wiesbaden Museum at night. Wiesbaden Central Station at night. Brömserburg castle on the left and Boosenburg castle in the distance (the tall tower) in Rüdesheim am Rhein (the earliest structures of both castles date back to at least the 12-century AD). Drosselgasse – an alley in Rüdesheim that is decorated with Christmas trees for the holidays. Northern end of Drosselgasse. Marktplatz in Rüdesheim. Statue in Marktplatz wearing a mask during these plague times. Half-timbered building in Rüdesheim. Hiking through vineyards toward Niederwalddenkmal (“Niederwald Monument”). View of Rüdesheim and the Rhine River. Niederwaldtempel with a view of the Rhine and Rüdesheim. Niederwald Monument, which was built between 1871 and 1883 AD to commemorate the founding of the German Empire after the end of the Franco-Prussian War. View of the Rhine from the Niederwald Monument. Front view of the Niederwald Monument. Side view of the Niederwald Monument. Remains of sunflowers. Different levels of vineyards, located between Rüdesheim and Assmannshausen. Burg Ehrenfels (ruins of a 12-century AD fortress on the hillside) and Binger Mäuseturm (“Mouse Tower” – 14th-century AD tower on the island in the Rhine River). Close-up of Binger Mäuseturm. Another view of Burg Ehrenfels with the town of Bingen am Rhein on the other side of the river. Town of Assmannshausen. Another view of Assmannshausen. Looking up at Burg Ehrenfels. 50 degrees north latitude marked on Gutenbergplatz in Mainz. Mainz State Theater. Statue of Johannes Gutenberg. Christmas pyramid in Mainz. Old buildings in Marktplatz in Mainz. Mainz Cathedral, seen from Marktplatz. Another view of the colorful buildings at Marktplatz. Marktbrunnen – a Renaissance fountain at Marktplatz. Nagelsäule – an oak column that was erected in 1916 AD and decorated with nails donated by locals as a World War I fundraiser. Statue in a garden along the Rhine in Mainz. Wood Tower – named so because wood used to be piled next to it on the bank of the Rhine; it’s present form dates back to the 15th-century AD. Remains of a Roman theater in Mainz. Another view of the Roman theater. Wall that is part of the Mainz Citadel. Entrance to the Mainz Citadel. Half-timbered buildings at Kirschgarten in Mainz. Northern end of Augustinerstraße. Neubrunnenplatz. Statue of a drinking man in Mainz. Wiesbaden Museum in the daylight. Rhein Main Congress Center. Evangelical Market Church (or “Marktkirche”) in Wiesbaden. Statue of Wilhelm I, Prince of Orange from the House of Nassau (the house which controlled Wiesbaden for many years), in front of the Evangelical Market Church. Lion statue in Wiesbaden. Fountain fed by a hot spring in Wiesbaden. Christmas trees and fountain in front of Hessisches Staatstheater in Wiesbaden. Kurhaus Wiesbaden, which houses a casino inside. False ruins inside the Kurpark. Kurhaus seen from the lake in the Kurpark. Langgasse. Replica of a 2nd-century AD relief found in Wiesbaden that depicts Minerva, Vulcan, and Mercury, as well as the seven gods of the week at the top (left-to-right, Saturday-to-Friday: Saturn, Sol, Luna, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus). Ferris wheel and Christmas market in Wiesbaden. St. Bonifatius Church, which was built in 1849 AD in a Gothic Revival style. Christmas market in Luisenplatz in Wiesbaden. Trees lit up along Luisenplatz. Buildings in Wiesbaden. Cloister courtyard next to St. Stephan’s Church in Mainz. Vaulted ceiling inside the cloister. Interior of St. Stephan’s Church – the current church was built in 1340 AD, but it was heavily repaired after Allied bombing during World War II. Stained glass windows created by Marc Chagall inside St. Stephan’s Church. Another view of the cloister courtyard at St. Stephan’s Church. Looking up at the central tower of Mainz Cathedral. Interior of Mainz Cathedral, which dates back to the late 10th-century AD. Altar inside the Cathedral. Another view of the interior of Mainz Cathedral. Sculpture reminding us of what is to come: a dead man’s party – who could ask for more? Nativity scene in Mainz Cathedral. Monument at Kurfürstenbrunnen. Walkway alongside the Rhine in Mainz. Christuskirche (“Christ Church”), an Evangelical church that was built in 1903 AD. Interior of Christuskirche. Main River in Frankfurt. Städel Museum – an art museum in Frankfurt. Holbeinsteg – a pedestrian bridge over the Main River. Eiserner Steg (“Iron Footbridge”) over the Main with Frankfurt Cathedral in the distance. Half-timbered building in Frankfurt’s Altstadt. Tall Christmas tree in Römerberg (“Roman Mountain”) – the main square in Frankfurt’s Altstadt. Fountain and the eastern section of Römerberg. Looking up at the Christmas tree in Römerberg. Friedrich-Stoltze-Brunnen in the Altstadt. Looking up at the bell tower of Frankfurt Cathedral. Looking east at the Main River, from the top of the bell tower. Looking west at the Main River, from the top of the bell tower. Frankfurt’s skyline with Römerberg and St. Paul’s Church in view. Looking at the Europaturm (“Tower of Europe”) – a 337.5-meter tall telecommunications tower. Doors and sculptures on the north-wing of Frankfurt Cathedral. North side of the Cathedral’s bell tower. Altar inside Frankfurt Cathedral; the present Cathedral was completed in 1550 AD and, from 1562 to 1792 AD, emperors-elect for the Holy Roman Empire were crowned here. Altarpiece inside the Cathedral. Depiction of the Last Supper displayed inside the Cathedral. Organ inside the Cathedral. Triptych inside Frankfurt Cathedral. Closer view of the buildings on the eastern side of Römerberg – the originals were destroyed in World War II; these reconstructions were built between 1981 and 1984 AD. Bethmannstraße with a skybridge overhead. Paulskirche (“St. Paul’s Church”) – a former Protestant church, but now used as a national assembly hall; its political importance dates back to 1848 AD, when the Frankfurt Parliament convened there (the first publicly and freely-elected German legislative body). Assembly hall inside St. Paul’s Church. Mural inside St. Paul’s Church. Another view of Römerberg. Alte Oper (“Old Opera”), which was originally built in 1880 AD, but later rebuilt (after WWII bombings) in the 1970s. Fountain in Opernplatz (“Opera Square”) in Frankfurt. View of Geisenheim and the Rhine. One really long grapevine cordon. Façade of Rheingauer Dom (officially known as Pfarrkirche Heilig Kreuz (“Holy Cross”)), which dates back to the 16th-century AD. Hohenzollernbrücke with Kölner Dom (“Cologne Cathedral”) on the other side of the Rhine River. Blossoming trees along the river walk in Cologne. Looking up at the exterior of the Palatine Chapel, which began construction under Charlemagne in 796 AD, is where the first Holy Roman Emperor was buried, and later became part of Aachen Cathedral. ‘St. Stephanus, the Apostolic King of Hungary’ by Imre Varga (1993 AD) – located outside of Aachen Cathedral. Viewing the sculptures on the exterior of Aachen Cathedral. Aachen Cathedral, seen from Katschhof. Aachen Rathaus (“Town Hall”), on the northern end of Katschhof. Main entrance to Aachen Cathedral. Colorful buildings in Marktplatz am Rathaus in Aachen. Main entrance and façade of Aachen Town Hall; the Town Hall was built in the first half of the 14th-century AD. Master Craftsmen’s Court inside the Town Hall. Red Hall (or “Peace Hall”), where negotiations to end the Austrian War of Succession were originally meant to take place, but never did. Council Hall. Aachen Cathedral, seen from inside the Town Hall; the area from the Town hall to the Cathedral was the site of Charlemagne’s original palace. Coronation Hall in the top floor of the Town Hall; completed in 1349 AD, this was the site of coronation banquets up to the last coronation in Aachen, in 1531 AD. Replicas of the Imperial Regalia that were created by order of Kaiser Wilhelm II for an exhibition to commemorate the 31 coronations that took place in Aachen between 813 and 1531 AD (NOTE: the originals can be viewed inside the Imperial Treasury in Vienna). Marktplatz am Rathaus, viewed from the entrance to the Town Hall. Statue of Charlemagne on top of the fountain, with Aachen Town Hall in the background. Some of the old(ish) buildings in Aachen. “Flora and Botanical Garden” in Cologne. Cruise ship on the Rhine, seen from Zoobrücke in Cologne. Alter Markt (“Old Market”) in Cologne. Cologne Cathedral; the original foundation stone was laid in 1248 AD and it was consecrated in 1322 AD, but wasn’t fully completed until 1880 AD – it then had to be extensively restored after World War II. Façade of Cologne Cathedral. Close-up of numerous saintly sculptures on the Cathedral. Roman cellar (2nd/3rd-century AD) excavated around the southwest corner of the Cathedral. Looking up at the spire of the south bell tower of Cologne Cathedral. Rhine River seen from Cologne Cathedral. Looking toward the Colonius telecommunication tower (266 meters high). Processional Cross made in the 13th-century AD. Reliquary monstrance of Saints Amandus and Matthias Wendel Dederichs. Another view of the Cologne Cathedral’s façade; with a height of 157.38 meters, the Cathedral was the tallest man-made structure in the world (from 1880 to 1884 AD) until it was surpassed by the Washington Monument. Interior of Cologne Cathedral. Looking across the nave at the stained glass windows. Looking up at the tall ceiling of the nave (43.35 meters high). Stained glass depicting the Last Supper, Pietà, and the Four Evangelists (left to right: Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Ambulatory inside the Cathedral. Altar in Cologne Cathedral. One of many chapels inside the Cathedral. Looking up at the stained glass above the choir. Triptych in Cologne Cathedral. Cologne Cathedral, seen from a terrace on the Museum Ludwig – a modern art museum with a large collection of Picasso’s artwork. ‘The Portable War Memorial’ by Edward Kienholz (1968 AD). ‘Portrait of Bert Brecht’ by Hans Jürgen Kallmann (1956 AD). ‘The Station of Perpignan’ by Salvador Dalí (1965 AD). ‘Oval Dish with Ornamental Border ‘ by Pablo Picasso (1951 AD). ‘The Kiss’ by Pablo Picasso (1969 AD). ‘Lunch on the Grass’ by Pablo Picasso (1961 AD). ‘Harlequin with Hands Folded’ by Pablo Picasso (1923 AD). ‘Seated Girl’ by Henri Matisse (1909 AD). ‘An Artists Group (The Painters of the Brücke)’ by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1925/26 AD). ‘Yellow House’ by Marc Chagall (1924 AD). ‘Portrait of Dr. Hans Koch’ by Otto Dix (1921 AD). Gothic style Council Tower (built in 1414 AD) on the Cologne City Hall building – Germany’s oldest city hall with over 900 years of history. Ruins of Old St. Alban – a medieval Romanesque church that was heavily damaged during World War II. Groß Sankt Martin (“Great Saint Martin Church”), which was originally built in the 13th-century AD. Interior of Great St. Martin Church. Band playing inside Papa Joe’s Jazz Bar. Heinzelmännchenbrunnen – a fountain that commemorates a legend about Heinzelmännchen, which are gnomes that used to do all the work in Cologne at night so the citizens could be lazy during the day. Oberstraße in Moselkern. Trail to Burg Eltz. Approaching Burg Eltz from the trail. View of the southeastern side of Burg Eltz; the castle dates back to the 12th-century AD, but of course many additions have been made since then; additionally, extensive restoration work was completed in the 1800s. View of Burg Eltz near the entrance gate. Approach and gate to Burg Eltz. Looking up from the inner bailey in Burg Eltz; the castle is still privately owned by the Kempenich, Rübenach, and Rodendorf families. Cupping head in an elector’s case. Interesting sculpture with four different faces (one on each side) and eyes shared between them. Three types of maces, a war-hammer, and an equestrian war-hammer (for Cuirassiers) with a wheel-lock pistol (from the 15th- and 16th-century AD). Drinking bowl in the shape of a ship (from 1685 AD). Another view of the inner bailey in Burg Eltz. Rain gutter spout in the shape of a dragon. Bridge and gate to the old city of Mayen. Schloss Bürresheim – a medieval castle that dates back to the 12th-century AD and has been expanded and remodeled since; it is now a mixture of Romanesque and Baroque architectural styles. Baroque ornamental garden, which was formerly a kitchen garden for Schloss Bürresheim. Looking up at the south round tower, which was built from the 13th- to 15th-century AD. Barbican in Schloss Bürresheim, which is the only access to the inner castle from the outer ward. Inside the covered gateway (known as “cannon alley”) for Schloss Bürresheim. Kitchen inside the castle. Inner bailey of Schloss Bürresheim. Looking out from the covered gateway toward the barbican. One last view of Schloss Bürresheim. Trail back to Mayen, from Schloss Bürresheim. Vineyard near Geisenheim. Revisiting Burg Eltz. View of Burg Eltz from near the ruins of Burg Trutzeltz, which was a small siege castle built on a rocky outcrop to the north during the Eltz Feud (1331-1336/37 AD) – the siege lasted two years and trebuchets, as well as a pot-de-fer (a primitive cannon), were used against Burg Eltz. The town of Bremm and the Mosel (or “Moselle”) River. Sharp bend in the Moselle River with the ruins of Kloster Stuben visible. Another view of Bremm from the vineyards on the steep hillside. Looking back at the Moselle River. Street in Bremm. Corridor inside the Bundesbank Bunker in Cochem; the bunker was built in 1964 AD to withstand a nuclear blast and store 15 billion German Marks, which would be used to replace all banknotes in Germany within 14 days to ensure the stability of the economy in case there was an influx of fake or poisoned money from the East. Decontamination chamber in the bunker; in the case of nuclear contamination, people would coming in to the bunker would have to shower in cold water for 30 minutes to ensure all hazardous substances were washed off. Access to the vault is through this 8-tonne reinforced steel door, which requires three keys and a number combination to open. Inside one of the twelve cages in the vault; during operation (from 1964 to 1988 AD), this vault was used to store up to 26 billion German Marks. Workroom inside the bunker; at the end of the room is an old copy machine with its lid up. Reichsburg Cochem – the hilltop castle that overlooks the town. Moselle River in Cochem. Gateway to the inner ward of Reichsburg Cochem. Dining hall inside the castle. Candelabrum from the 16th-century AD that was a symbol to ward off evil – located in the room above the gateway to the inner ward. Guild jugs (each capable of holding 3-5 liters) and windows glazed with bull’s-eye panes in the hunting room. Neo-Gothic fireplace with two heraldic lions (that look like frogs because of the armor) on the mantle – located inside the knight’s hall of the castle. Knight’s hall, which has 12 oak columns and a stucco ceiling. View of the Moselle River, from the castle balcony. Inside the inner ward of the castle. Looking up at the castle keep. View of Reichsburg Cochem, which was originally built around 1000 AD, but was destroyed in 1689 AD by Louis XIV’s troops in the Nine Years’ War; it laid in ruins until it was reconstructed in the Gothic Revival style by a Berlin businessman in the late 19th-century AD. View of Cochem and the Moselle River, from the castle hill. Marktplatz in Cochem. Wine bottle vending machine, which requires the German Identity Card or Passport to verify the buyer’s age. View of Cochem from near the Cochemer Sesselbahn – Bergstation. Cochem seen from Skagerak-Brücke. Hotel Krone in Assmannshausen. Part of ‘Rhine Polyptych’ by Michael Apitz (2022 AD) – these are large photographs of watercolor paintings that were created using water from the Rhine River and that depict the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Die Drosselgasse in Rüdesheim am Rhein crowded with visitors due to the Rhein in Flammen (“Rhine in Flames”) – which is a series of fireworks displays scheduled from May to September in different parts of Rhine River from Bonn to the Rüdesheim-Bingen area. Half-timbered building which is part of Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum. Automated figures in a music cabinet that will play for you for only one euro. Steingasse in Rüdesheim. Looking up at the half-timbered façade of a building that dates back to the 16th-century AD. Looking at the remains of Boosenburg castle and Brömserburg castle in Rüdesheim from a cable car. Traveling to the Niederwald Monument via cable car. Looking at Rüdesheim during dusk, from the Niederwaldtempel. Crowds of people waiting to watch the fireworks show at the Niederwald Monument. View of the Rhine River from the Niederwald Monument. Bingen am Rhein and the Nahe River on the other side of the Rhine. Fireworks shooting off from Assmannshausen as a convoy of lighted boats travel up the Rhine River, from Trechtingshausen to Rüdesheim and Bingen, during the first Saturday in July – which is when the Rhine in Flames festival occurs in this part of the river. Another firework exploding above Assmannshausen; as the boat convoy travels up river, fireworks are set off in each town. Couple more fireworks above Assmannshausen. Fireworks going off on the opposite side of the river as boats full of revelers pass by during the Rhine in Flames festival. Altstadt in Sankt Goarshausen. Statue of a fisherman in Sankt Goarshausen. Grapevines overhead on Burgstraße. View of Sankt Goarshausen and Burg Katz, seen from the peninsula where the Loreley statue is located. Loreley statue – a legendary siren who lived in the area, distracted sailors with her beauty, and who eventually fell from Loreley Rock to her death. View of Sankt Goarshausen and the bend in the Rhine, seen from the trail to the top of Loreley Rock. Looking south at the bend in the Rhine from Loreley Rock. View of Sankt Goarshausen and Sankt Goar (on the opposite side of the river). Another view of Sankt Goar on the other side of the Rhine. View of Burg Katz with Loreley Rock in the distance. Burg Katz was originally built in the 14th-century AD, bombarded by Napoleon in 1806 AD, and then rebuilt in 1896-98 AD. Sankt Goarshausen, seen from the ferry to Sankt Goar. Oberstraße in Bacharach. Looking north at Langstraße in Bacharach. Münzturm. Half-timbered buildings in Bacharach. More half-timbered buildings and a well. St. Peter Church – an evangelical church in Bacharach. Bacharach seen from Postenturm (which is one of the old town wall towers that is still standing). View of Postenturm from the town. Ruins of Wernerkapelle, which was a Gothic chapel completed in 1430 AD and served as a stop-over chapel for pilgrims heading to Camino de Santiago in Spain; it was partially destroyed in 1689 AD during the Palatine War of Succession and later the roof, vaults, and cellar walls were removed. Inner bailey of Burg Stahleck – a castle which is now a youth hostel. Main tower in Burg Stahleck. Rhine River, seen from the observation deck near Burg Stahleck. View of Burg Stahleck from the observation deck. Bacharach, seen from the park along the Rhine. Sankt Goar, seen from the docked ferry.