Top 10 Bavaria

     Bavaria is the large area in the southeastern part of Germany and the country’s largest state. It is also Germany’s most popular tourist area because of the many attractions available here. The capital of the region is Munich, a city rich in tourist sights and activities. It also make a great base of operations for an exploration of the entire area. Below is my list of the best that Bavaria has to offer. Realize that there are many other spots which are worthwhile, but this is only a compilation of ten. A photo album will follow tomorrow.
     1. Neuschwanstein – This fairy tale castle is "Mad" King Ludwig II’s greatest triumph, although it was never finished. It was the major inspiration for Cinderella’s Castle in Disney World.
     2. Munich – This classic Bavarian city is perhaps most known for beer-drinking – the first "Oktoberfest" was held here in 1810. Now the event is attended by thousands each year. Munich’s Hofbrauhaus is the most famous beer hall in the world. Munich is also a city of Arts and Culture. For example, it’s Deutches Museum is probably the most respected science museum in the world.
     3. Rothenburg ob der Tauber – This classic German village is the most popular stop on the "Romantic Road" a stretch of highway from Wurzburg to Fussen which is noted for its perfectly preserved and maintained Medieval towns, oozing with charm and ambience.
     4. Oberammergau – This village near the Austrian border is noted for its woodworking and also for its Passion Play, performed every ten years as a thank you for being spared during the time of the plague in Europe.
     5. Wieskirche – A Rococo masterpiece, this pilgrimage church in the town of Wies was constructed in the mid-1700’s and is a World Heritage Site.
     6. Wurzburg – This city is famous for the Residenz, an ornate, Baroque palace, dubbed by Napolean the "nicest parsonage in Europe." It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1981.
     7. Mittenwald – This adorable village nestled at the base of the German Alps is particularly noted for its "painted houses." Even the church’s bell tower has painted scenes along its length.
     8. Linderhof Palace – Another of King Ludwig’s creations, this rather small royal residence boasts a Moorish kiosk and a cave reminiscent of Wagner’s opera, Tannhauser.
     9. Ettal Abbey – This Benedictine Monastery and its associated church draws huge crowds because of the gorgeous Baroque interior of the church, the dramatic exterior and its setting at the base of the German Alps, near the Austrian border.
     10. Regensburg – This southern German city lies at the junction of the Danube and Regen Rivers. It dates back to Roman times and its Medieval center is a World Heritage Site.
     Other sights considered:
          Herrenchiemsee Palace
          Hohenschwangau Castle


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