36 imagesBavaria offers access to some of the country's most prominent hiking areas, Berchtesgaden National Park, with pristine mountain forests and rolling rivers. The scenic 450 km long German Alpine Highway - the Deutsche Alpenstrasse - was opened in 1933 and ran from Lake Constance through Bavarian Alps to Berchtesgadener Land. Berchtesgaden is the end of the Deutsche Alpenstrasse, and it is one of the most popular resort towns in the Bavarian Alps. Surrounded by mountains, it has drawn sightseers for centuries. Also of interest is the Kehlsteinhaus, a 50th birthday present to Adolf Hitler by the Nazi party, at 1,834 meters. One has a magnificent view of Königssee, a lovely lake, and the natural pearl in the Berchtesgadener Land. Königsee is a crystal-clear alpine lake because only electric-powered passenger ships are allowed. Bavaria's economic center and capital, Munich, attracts more and more tourists to look at its architectural gems, international sports events, exhibitions, conferences, and world-famous beer festival Oktoberfest.
21 imagesWürzburg, founded in the 10th Century, served as the home of powerful prince-bishops for many centuries. The residence had a reputation for being one of the grandest palaces in Europe. It represents Baroque so outstandingly that UNESCO has named it a cultural world heritage site. Another impressive building is Festung Marienberg, which overlooks the town from a high hill on the bank of Main. The city is also the capital of one of Germany's most famous wine-producing districts and vineyards all around the landscape as far as the eye can see. Franconian wine is among the best in the country, and Würzburg has grown grapes since its first contact with the Romans.