Roman gladiators show Germany off the beaten track

Europe’s economic giant Germany is going on the offensive to promote its tourism credentials using a Canadian travel writer to discover the country off-the-beaten track.

While Munich and Berlin are at the top of the tourism agenda Germany has many other cities that have a lot to offer, with a past that has influenced not just Europe but the rest of the world as well.

Tourism boss Bj√∂rn Rudek from historicgermany.com said: “Rome has it ampitheater but we have one too here in Germany in Trier, a place that was once the capital of the Western Roman Empire, and nowadays the gladiators are back performing for tourists.

“And while India has the testimony to love of the Taj Mahal we have the German Prince who arranged a spectacular illumination and firework display of Heidelberg castle as a declaration of love – starting a 300-year annual tradition that continues today.”

But the network of 13 cities that makes up Historic Germany also includes uniquely German offerings, such as the 15th century workshop of Johannes Guttenberg in Mainz who introduced printing to Europe, or the tour of the city’s wine bars with a member of the city watch. And in Potsdam outside Berlin there is the bridge of spies, the location where secret agents were exchanged in the 60s during the cold war

Travel writer Tracy Bee, 34, from Vancouver will be starting this week on her tour to discover this less well known but equally fascinating part of Germany and will end her tour on September 12.

Rudek said: “Historic Highlights of Germany was formed 35 years ago and the 13 cities that are its members all have a rich history going back over 2,000 years – which means plenty of history, tradition and legend to write about.”

More information on the blog and the itinerary can be found on www.historicgermany.com.