UNESCO Heritage Site #105: Sanssouci and Charlottenburg Palaces

In 1745, Frederick, king of the emerging German state of Prussia, decided to build for himself a summer escape residence akin to those built by the French monarchs. However, unlike Versailles, Frederick eschewed palatial grand in favor of the charm of a vineyard villa. Over the next 40 years, this would become the place where … More UNESCO Heritage Site #105: Sanssouci and Charlottenburg Palaces

UNESCO Heritage Sites #73 and #74: Strongholds of Teutonic Knights

From Oslo, I flew to the impossibly-spelled and undeniably Polish-sounding Szczecin, from where I started my big train journey through Poland all the way south to Kiev. Over the next seven days I would travel to seven towns, all by train, and three times overnight. I booked so many train tickets with the Polish railway, that I … More UNESCO Heritage Sites #73 and #74: Strongholds of Teutonic Knights

UNESCO Heritage Sites #70 and #71: Exclusive German-only merchant houses

From Essen, I took the overnight bus to Hamburg, where I dropped my bags off and immediately set off for Lübeck, as it was my next UNESCO destination. Lübeck was a former capital of the Hanseatic League, a trading organization of merchant cities across the Northern Europe. Little known fact (as revealed by Wikipedia), it is … More UNESCO Heritage Sites #70 and #71: Exclusive German-only merchant houses

UNESCO Heritage Site #69: World’s Most Beautiful Coal Mine

Who was the judge? Are there pageants for coal mines? How does a coal mine look in a swimsuit? These were the questions that kept on popping up in my mind as I was heading to Essen. Surely, beauty is not a quality that coal mines should be measured by, is it? It’s almost like measuring the sharpness … More UNESCO Heritage Site #69: World’s Most Beautiful Coal Mine