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Swabian Alb

The traditional landscape was grass fields with juniper bushes. Sheep ate everything else. Today this has become a comparatively rare sight. However, in certain places it is protected by the government of Baden-Württemberg.

Since raising crops was not easy, raising sheep was popular. This yielded the development of a strong textile industry. In the 1950s, Reutlingen was the German town with the highest number of millionaires, until the decline of the German textile industry hit them as well. Still, many high quality textile companies can be found, such as Hugo Boss, Trigema, Reusch, Groz-Beckert and others (the town of Metzingen is widely known as a "luxury outlet town", with people from all over Europe coming to buy expensive clothes cheaper).,/p>

The Swabian Alb is not densely populated (by German standards). Most larger towns are just next to the Alb (yet they are often counted as part of the region). These towns often have some of the highest rents in Germany, while land on the Swabian Alb itself is considered cheap (by south German standards). Many town names end in -ingen. There were several military training grounds, some also used by NATO troops. On the Münsingen training ground which existed for over 100 years, a biosphere reserve is in the making. The region has several larger and many small nature reserves.

[ source: wikipedia ]

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Germany has numerous cities of interest to tourists; these are the top nine travel destinations:

Berlin - the reunified and reinvigorated capital of Germany; known for its division during the Cold War - and the Berlin Wall. Today its a metropolis of diversity with elegant clubs, galleries and traditional restaurants. It is also a haven for shoppers.

Bremen - one of the most important cities in northern Germany, its old town will be of interest to travelers who want a slice of history.

Cologne - Germany's fourth-largest city. Cologne was founded by the Romans and is 2000 years old with its huge cathedral, Romanesque churches, and archaeological sites. Cologne also well known for its carnival and its Christopher-Street-Day parade. Don't forget to try the local cuisine and of course the local beer, called "Kölsch".

Dresden - once called Florence on the Elbe, and world-famous for its Frauenkirche and historic center which was destroyed during the war, the city offers more than what the average traveller can expect: Great festivals, all kinds of cultural entertainment, vibrant night life, and surrounded by beautiful natural vistas. Dresden hosts the Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections) which is one of the world's most impressive museums and collections. The art collections consist of eleven museums, of which the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister and the Grünes Gewölbe are the most well-known.

Dusseldorf - Germany's capital of fashion, the capital city of North Rhine-Westphalia offers a wide scale of fascinating new architecture. Right along the shores of river Rhine, the "Altstadt" and the "Medienhafen" are among the best places in Germany to enjoy a vibrant nightlife. Being one of the country's wealthiest cities, the atmosphere is very pleasant. Germans call it "the only metropolis ending with -dorf (German for village)".

Frankfurt - Germany's leading financial center, transportation hub, seat of the European Central Bank (ECB), international trade fair center (Book Fair, Motor Show), hub of multicultural activity (30% Immigrants), and site of numerous world-class museums and theaters. It is also Germany's only city with enough skyscrapers to have a skyline.

Hamburg - Germany's second-largest city, famous for its harbour as well as its liberal and tolerant culture. Don't miss the Reeperbahn with its night clubs and casinos. Hamburg is also popular for its many musicals.

Hannover - One of Germany's newer tourist cities, having hosted various international events in recent times.

Munich - Bavaria's beautiful capital city and Southern Germany's primate city. Third largest city in Germany, Munich is the site of the famous Oktoberfest and the gateway to the Alps.

Nuremberg - Second largest city in Bavaria, after WW2 over 90% of the old-town was destroyed. Today it has already been reconstructed, including the Gothic Kaiserburg Castle (Emperor's Castle of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation). You can also visit the Nazi party rally grounds, the Documentation Centre and Courtroom 600 - venue of the Nuremberg Trails.

[ source: Wikitravel ]

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