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ECHT Journey to the Winter Christmas Markets of Lipzia, Dresden and Berlin; Germany. Culture, Architecture and Christmas Gifts from Germany

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Journey for the curious mind. See Europe differently, accompanied by local specialists. Experience destinations that tell a story. Understand more about European destinations with history-, cultural- and architectural background information informal during the trip, or -if desired- during lectures in our ECHT Lounge in Pittsburgh to prepare for the trip in advance. You will travel with like-minded travelers and subject matter specialists, we pick and manage for you business or first class flights and privately owned boutique hotels or luxury hotel offerings in historic buildings.

Photos: Christmas markets in Lipzia, Dresden and Berlin; Germany:

    

The city of Lipzia, Leipzig, now the largest city in Saxony, Germany is known for its trade since the 1100s. While some of the Saxon tribes joined the Anglo-saxon settlement of Britain, that changed England from Romano-British to Germanic, some build up a trade hub in Lipzia that became a magnet for middle European trade at one of the western ends of the Silk road. Lipzia´s annual fairs started as one of the earliest and became one of largest in Europe; and some of the rich houses of the trading families are still there.

Photos: Lipzia and Dresden (for photos of Berlin see our Berlin trip description):

   

The citizens of Lipzia were traditionally in economic competition the the citizens of Dresden. While Dresden´s documented history starts in the 1200s, it became the residence of the Kürfürst and then Kings of Saxony in the 1200s, who at its heydays ruled over an empire including Poland.  The renaissance buildings and then baroque architecture of Kurfürst August I, the Strong, and his family were build to show that richness. Saxony as part of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nations became the most influential Protestant Kingdom in Germany - but then the ruler converted to Catolicism in order to qualify as King of Poland. Saxony´s kings were traditional competitor to the King in Prussia with its capital Berlin, where our journey starts. At the end of the journey our curious minds will understand more about these times and the rivalries between Lipzia, Dresden and Berlin, with the competing Kingdoms of Prussia and Saxony; up to reunification of Germany and the German present. The stories of why Lipzia was the nucleus of bringing the communist iron curtain in east Germany to a fall, why Dresden faces now a strong scene of the political right and how Berlin became the on- and off- and on capital of Germany can tell a lot about western culture.

Select concerts in the Lizia Thomas Chruch where Johann Sebastian Bach worked, the Lipzia opera house that was rebuild under the influence of Russian 1950s architecture influence, the famous baroque opera of Gottfried Semper in Dresden, of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Hall of Hans Scharoun from the 1960s. But also pick from our curated restaurant and bar selection.

Photos: Train stations Berlin, Lipzia and Dresden:

We recommend a ten day trip to the three  cities (for more info on the Berlin part, please see our Berlin trip offer). Train rides between the cities are around 2 hours each, offering stunning historic and modern train station architecture as well. Starting in Berlin, we can combine with more exiting excursions from Berlin as well. If you want to use this trip as a station to visit other European cities - let us know.

This will be a journey designed considering a group of 6-12 people, and we will include destinations according to your preferences. The time of the trip will be defined on request, pricing depends on your selection and flight distances. We suggest and manage for you the business or first class flights and privately owned boutique hotels, or luxury hotel offerings in historic buildings. Our rate for management, local organization including guided tours and special tips and contacts is $250/day per person.

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