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Central Germany

Crucial to its culture, science, industry and history, Mitteldeutschland is Germany’s beating heart. It is studded with cities whose historical importance matches their modern vitality (Weimar, Erfurt and Kassel are just the first names on this list); ridged by low, forested mountains that loom large in German mythology; and edified by museums, cathedrals and castles without number, so it’s puzzling that such a rich destination is routinely overlooked by international visitors.

Goethe, Cranach, Schiller, Bach, Grimm, Gropius: the roll-call of German cultural giants nurtured by this region is truly astounding. And it’s easy to trace their footsteps, whether you’re wending your way along the Fairy-Tale Road, or exploring Wittenberg, where Luther lit the touchpaper to the Protestant Reformation. Add baroque palaces, strikingly preserved towns such as Goslar, Wernigerode and Quedlinburg, the wines of Saale-Unstrut and the ancient beech forests of the Kellerwald to the mix, and you have something like the ideal German destination.

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