Leafy Mainz offers two fascinating highlights. Mainz was the birthplace of Johann Gutenberg, and the city's Printing Museum exhibits the first two copies made of his famous Bible. In St Stephans' church there are wonderful, vivid blue stained-glass windows created by the great 20th century artist, Marc Chagall.
The skyscrapers on Frankfurt's skyline reflect the city's importance as a centre of finance in Europe. The Romer is an old patrician residence which now houses the Town Hall, and there are several public gardens including the baroque Bolongarogarden and the Nizza.
Miltenberg has rows of richly-timbered houses huddled together on the town's narrow streets and squares. It is well-known for the Crooked House, Main Castle and the Royal Inn, which has been in continuous use as an hotel since the 15th century. The area around Miltenburg is renowned for glass-blowing. Close by is 18th-century Schloss Kleinheubach, a magnificent castle with lovely grounds.
The magnificent Bishop's Residenz in Wurzberg is one of Germany's largest and most ornate Baroque palaces. It houses paintings by Tiepelo and the famed Residenz Wine Cellar, sometimes open for tastings of Franconian wine and is said to have the most beautiful staircase in existence. Tours along the 'Romantic Road' through the Bavarian Alps to Rothenburg are often available. This medieval walled town has a glorious rural setting, gothic churches and gabled buildings, and the Puppen and Spielzeug Museum of dolls, dollhouses and miniature trains.
The wonderfully-preserved city of Bamberg has a four-steepled cathedral and half-timbered houses edge the winding lanes, contrasting with the vast 'New Residence' which was the seat of the prince-bishops and has a delightful Rose Garden. The old Town Hall can be found on the Island City in the River Regnitz, along with Little Venice - an area of brightly-painted fishermen's houses. A visit to a traditional Bamberg Beer Haus is an opportunity to taste the locally brewed smoky-tasting beer, Rauchbier.
The medieval city of Nuremberg was the site of the War Crimes Tribunal at the Justice Palace. Other World War II sites include the Court House and the Nazi rally grounds at the Zeppelin Fields. The old city is surrounded by 900-year old ramparts which enclose Albrecht Durer's house, the Hesperides Gardens and the Market Square with its fountain. Rulers of the Holy Roman Empire resided at Nuremburg Castle, which includes the Kaiserburg Fortress.
Heidelberg (Germany) by Excursion
Heidelberg is a beautiful city where visits usually include Germany's oldest university and the picturesque ruins of Heidelberg Castle, from where there are wonderful views of the Neckar River valley. The Altstadt is the charming old town, district, and a funicular can be taken to the top of the Konigstuhl Mountain.