Nijmegen: The Dutch city that was the summer capital of Europe

Nijmegen. This small but vibrant city, located in the eastern part of the Netherlands close to the German border, has a couple of uncommon claims to fame.

It is the oldest city in the Netherlands and is more than 2,000 years old.

It was carpet bombed during World War II, meaning relatively few buildings more than 50 years old still remain.

And it is the self-described “summer capital of Europe.”

Nijmegen is located at the bend of the river Waal. As with most Dutch cities, cycling is a popular mode of transportation.

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Lübeck: the City of Seven Spires

Move over, Lüneburg – I’ve got a new favorite medieval city in northern Germany, and it goes by the name of Lübeck.

The city’s most iconic building, the Holstentor, is the gate through which all visitors had to pass before entering the city walls. No, my photography isn’t that bad – the towers are actually leaning (which is forgivable seeing as it was first built in 1464). The city’s tourism office claims this building is one of the most iconic images in Germany, up there with the Brandenburg Gate and the Cologne Cathedral.

Like Lüneburg, Lübeck is a picturesque, old-fashioned small town that was once the capital of the Hanseatic League. Both are full of sagging, 500-year-old brick buildings lining curvy cobblestone streets. Both are a short train ride away from Hamburg and make an excellent day trip if you’re staying in Hamburg. Continue reading “Lübeck: the City of Seven Spires”

The Old City, the Moesgård Museum and church service at the Cathedral

After a Skype conversation with my parents made me realize that I’ve been getting into the habit of drinking and clubbing and not so much experiencing the culture and attractions of Aarhus, I set out one weekend with a newfound determination to enjoy the city. The result? I went to an open-air museum, a traditional museum, and a church service.

Den Gamle By (The Old City)

A part of the canal runs through Den Gamle By. Sometimes there are geese.
A part of the canal runs through Den Gamle By. Sometimes there are geese. The picket fence is the edge of the museum – those buildings to the right and in the background aren’t part of it.

The Old City is a collection of well-preserved historical houses from around Denmark that show you what life was like back in the day. When a building is bought by or donated to the museum, it is painstakingly un-assembled, brick by brick, documented, transported, and re-assembled at its new home. Little signs on the buildings tell you what they were used for, and many also had little gardens where people would grow their own food. Though the gardens weren’t much to look at in the middle of January, the houses were pretty cool Continue reading “The Old City, the Moesgård Museum and church service at the Cathedral”

A University Lecture and a Church Service

Yesterday I was torn between doing the Potsdam day trip with IES and attending a lecture at Humboldt Universität, the university where I’m taking my German intensive course and am technically enrolled at. The Humboldt lecture won, because I would have had to get up early on a Saturday morning for Potsdam.

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