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Beyond The Weihnachtsmarkt: Germany’s Top Festivals And Events In Winter 2013
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Beyond The Weihnachtsmarkt: Germany’s Top Festivals And Events In Winter 2013

Picture of Stephanie Chang Avila
Updated: 9 February 2017
Germany is a top Christmas destination for many holiday makers for its famous Christmas Markets, which sell traditional crafts and foods to the merry crowds. Christmastime in Germany is also a brilliant time to catch up on the many art exhibitions and festivals that spice up the winter season. We highlight 12 great winter festivals and events to visit in Germany.

Art | Reading Andy Warhol

Munich, Museum Brandhorst, 18 September – 12 January 2014

With its striking — some say dizzying — façade, Museum Brandhorst put Munich on the world stage as an up and coming contemporary art centre. Featuring a rich collection of modern art works, the museum houses numerous works by influential American artists Andy Warhol and Cy Twombly, as well as works by Damien Hirst, Gerhard Richter, Joseph Beuys and more. Museum Brandhorst also boasts of the largest Twombly collection outside of the US with a room specially designed to house Twombly’s Lepanto series.

Address: Museum Brandhorst, Theresienstraße 35, 80333 München.

Design | NOVE NOVOS: Emerging Architects from Brazil

Frankfurt, Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM), 20 September – 19 January 2014

NOVE NOVOS at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) showcases the works of emerging architects from Brazil. Featuring nine Brazilian architectural firms from Belo Horizonte (Arquitetos Associados, BCMF and Rizoma), Rio de Janeiro (Carla Juaçaba and Jacobsen), Porto Alegre (Studio Paralelo) and São Paolo (Corsi Hirano, Metro and Nitsche), the exhibition showcases the innovative practices of these up and coming architectural firms.

Address: Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Schaumainkai 43, 60596 Frankfurt am Main

Art | Vienna Berlin: Art of Two Cities

Berlin, Berlinishe Galerie, 24 October – 27 January 2014

Vienna and Berlin have long been linked in the fields of literature, theatre and music; now, the Berlinische Galerie’s Vienna Berlin: The Art of Two Cities explores the rich exchange of artistic ideas that emerged at the turn of the century between Vienna and Berlin. From the secession movement to expressionism and new objectivity, the exhibition explores the dawn of modernism through the lens of these two dynamic cities. Works by German and Austrian greats including Gustav Klimt, Ernst-Ludwig Kirchner, Hannah Höch, Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele, Otto Dix and George Grosz to name a few feature in the exhibition. The Berlinische Galerie in Berlin’s rough-and-trendy Kreuzberg district specializes in exhibiting the rich artistic history and heritage of Berlin’s 20th century art movements.

Address: Berlinische Galerie, Alte Jakobstraße 124, 10969 Berlin-Kreuzberg.

Photography | Guy Bourdin Retrospective

Hamburg, Deichtorhallen International Kunst und Fotographie, 1 November – 26 January 2014

Guy Bourdin’s experimental photography put him at the helm of avant-garde fashion photography in the 20th century, as his works were simultaneously shocking, provocative, surreal, sensual and visually stimulating, indelibly shaping the landscape of the art form. The Deichtorhallen Guy Bourdin retrospective brings together Guy Bourdin’s oeuvre, from his iconic fashion shots to paintings and film notes. The exhibition is held in Hamburg’s Deichtorhallen art and photography hall, amongst the foremost contemporary art spaces in Europe. Originally built as a market hall in 1911, the Deichtorhallen’s two exhibition halls are iconic examples of art nouveau industrial architecture, its capacious steel-and-glass hall serving as a stunning backdrop to world-class contemporary art exhibitions.

Address: Deichtorhallen, Deichtorstraße 1, 20095 Hamburg.

Music & Performance | Tollwood Winter Festival

Munich, 26 Nov – 31 Dec 2013

Munich’s Tollwood Winter Festival uniquely presents art and performance with an ethical edge. Along with the German Humane Society, the Tollwood Winter Festival seeks to end industrial-scale animal farming that inhumanely houses animals for the sake of economic gain. Tollwood Winter Festival’s cultural-ecological outlook brings a great program of events, with live music, performances, on-site art, international arts and crafts and food stalls serving organic, ethical food.

Address: Tollwood Winterfestival, Theresienwiese, St.-Paul-Straße, 80336 München

Culture | Berlin ERLEUCHTET

Berlin, Friedrichstadt-Palast, 29 November to 26 December 2013

Berlin’s Friedrichstadt-Palast turns the long winter months into a magical wonderland with its berlin ERLEUCHTET (‘berlin ILLUMINATED’) showcase, transforming the stunning Friedrichstadt-Palast stage, which is the largest in Europe, into an enchanting winter wonderland with 100 world class artists, singers, dancers and performers to bring good cheer and seasonal happiness to the audience. Berlin’s Friedrichstadt-Palast in its central Mitte district offers a wide range of performances, hosting festival events, children’s shows and is home to its own Ballet Company and show band.

Address: Friedrichstadt-Palast, Friedrichstraße 107, 10117 Berlin

Theatre | Märchenhütte (Fairytale Hut)

Berlin and Frankfurt, 2 December – 31 January 2014

Magical fairytales for all ages by day, gruesomely grim (or erotic) tales by night, Märchenhütte presents Germany’s famous Grimm’s fairytales to a modern audience. Warm yourself up on a cold winter’s night with some hot chocolate and cookies and prepare for an evening of fairytales as you’ve never experienced them before. Märchenhütte’s 2013/2014 program of shows includes classics like the Frog Prince, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin and Puss in Boots. All shows are in their original German language form.

Address: Märchenhütte of Hexenkessels Court Theatre, Monbijoupark, Mitte, Berlin

Dance | gefaltet by Sasha Waltz & Guests

Berlin, Berliner Festspiele, 13-15 December 2013

gefaltet, which means ‘folded,’ is a choreographic concert created as a collaborative performance project by noted German choreographer Sasha Waltz and French composer Mark Andre, which originally debuted at Mozartwoche 2012 in Salzburg. Eight dancers and four musicians take to the stage to explore the impulses, rhythms and folds of dance and music, experimenting with sound and silence, movement and stillness with mesmerizing effect. Not only has Sasha Waltz & Guests been named 2013 Cultural Ambassador for the European Union, 2013 also marks the company’s 20th anniversary.

Address: Haus der Berliner Festspile, Berliner Festspiele, Schaperstraße 24, 10719 Berlin

Dance | Tanzen vor Weihnachten

Berlin, Acker Stadt Palast, 17-22 December 2013

Held over six days just before Christmas, 13 artists and dance groups from around the world descend on Berlin in a hypnotic showcase of contemporary dance with an international flair for the Tanzen vor Weihnachten (‘Dance Before Christmas’) dance event. Held at the Acker Stadt Palast in Berlin, the program of dance highlights is eclectic and varied, with artists from England, France, Sweden, Italy, Greece, Israel, Korea, and Burkina Faso bringing their works to the dance festival.

Address: Acker Stadt Palast, Ackerstraße 169, 10115 Berlin

Culture | Weihnachtsmarkt – German Christmas Market

The single biggest cultural draw during Christmastime, Germany’s world renowned Christmas Markets spring up in cities in villages across the country during the four weeks of Advent. With a long and rich history dating back to the Middle Ages, some of the oldest of Germany’s Christmas Markets are in Munich (1310), Frankfurt (14th century), and Dresden’s Strietzelmarkt (1434). Local craftspeople set up stalls selling Christmas gifts, ornaments, and decorations, and traditional food stalls serve Christmas favorites including glühwein (mulled wine), christstollen, lebkuchen (gingerbread) and other delicious treats.

Address: Throughout Germany.

Dance | 23rd Tanztage Berlin 2014

Berlin, Sophiensaele, 4-14 January 2014

Tanztage Berlin 2014 lights up the long winter days with a brilliant display of movement and dynamism, bringing dancers and choreographers with diverse backgrounds together in an exchange of ideas that explores the complexity and innovations of contemporary dance. This colorful festival of dance brings a ‘myriad of artistic visions’ to the audience, giving emerging dance artists an important stage on which to experiment with form, style, and technique as well as to project their artistic visions. This vibrant dance festival is held in Sophiensaele, the main venue for independent theatre in Germany that seeks to foster experimental young dance talent.

Address: Sophiensaele, Sophienstraße 18, 10178 Berlin

By Stephanie Chang Avila

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