What’s on in Germany: December 1 – 7

This Week's Highlights: Electronic music festivals in Cologne and a Berlin, Shakespeare in Frankfurt, and a US Army chorus in Stuttgart.

What's on in Germany: December 1 - 7
Photo: Karl Marx Stadt at the Worldtronics festival.


Music Festivals

Worldtronics 2011 – Electronica Surprise

Some of the musicians performing at Worldtronics 2011 are into in the music of far away lands like Colombia and Ghana. Have a listen this week at Berlin’s House of World Cultures where radical developments in electronic music take centre stage through Sunday.

Price: €10; Accompanying conference and trade fair are free

Location: Haus der Kulturen der Welt, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10

Times: November 30 – December 4

Phone: 030 397 870

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US Embassy Literature Series – Porochista Khakpour

Iranian-American author Porochista Khakpour takes the mic Monday at the US Embassy in Berlin, continuing the fall literature series. Now in paperback, her debut novel Sons and Other Flammable Objects traces the trials and tribulations of an Iranian family living in the United States.

Price: Free

Location: English Theatre Berlin, Fidicinstrasse 40

Times: Monday, December 5, 7pm

Email to register: [email protected]

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St. Nikolaus Day at the Charlottenburg Palace Christmas Market

Tuesday is St. Nikolaus Day in Germany. Hooray! This holiday is the best because jolly old St Nikolaus fills all the kids boots with candy and toys. Once they’ve come down from their sugar high bring the tots over to Schloss Charlottenburg’s Christmas Market where they can ride the carousels as many times as they want for free, then sip hot chocolate in the small orangery like little King Friedrichs.

Price: Free

Location: Schloss Charlottenburg, Luisenplatz & Spandauer Damm

Times: Tuesday, December 6, 2-7pm

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Weekend – A Different Festival For Music, Film and Arts

Artists from as near as Cologne and as far as Hawaii play contemporary pop, post-punk, electronica and experimental music this weekend at the Alta Ufa Filmpalast while classic movies like Rocky and The Wizard of Oz flicker across the big screen. Follow the yellow brick road Sunday, then rock out to Thurston Moore.

Price: €19 per day

Times: Friday, December 2 – Sunday, December 4

Location: UFA Filmpalast, Hohenzollernring 22

Tickets: 0221 2801

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Splendour and Glory of the Middle Ages Exhibition & Mediaeval Advent Concert

Take the family to see the mediaeval statues, paintings, and illuminated texts at the Museum Schnütgen Saturday and stay for the Advent Concert. The Ensemble Ala Aurea performs selections from The Song Book of Anna von Köln, infusing the atmosphere with the splendid solemnity of the Middle Ages.

Price: €10 (Concert); €6.80 (Exhibition)

Location: Museum Schnütgen, Cäcilienstrasse 29-33

Times: Saturday, December 3, 6:30pm

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King Lear

The Cambridge University European Theatre Group has performed a Shakespeare play in cities around the continent every December for over half a century. Partake in their tradition Tuesday when the excellent student-run company bring King Lear to Frankfurt. The legendary tragedy will have you feeling a heckuva lot better about not talking to your sister about that stupid thing she did. But hey, maybe it’s time to pick up the phone. Then again, what would Cordelia do? Better go see the play first. Just don’t bring your Dad.

Price: €19

Location: Internationales Theater Frankfurt, Hanauer Landstrasse 5 – 7

Times: Tuesday, December 12, 8pm

Phone: 069 499 09 80

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In 1973 Uruguay experienced a coup d’état and a pair of 11-year-olds fell in love. So goes the storyline of Spanish director Ana Díez’ film Paisito, which translates to “Small Country.” An official selection at the 2008 Malaga Film Festival, Paisito screens in Spanish with English subtitles Monday as part of the Cervantes Institute’s women in film series.

Price: €4

Location: Cervantes Institute, Staufenstrasse 1R

Times: Monday, December 5, 7pm

Phone: 069 713 74970

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Hamburg Klang Werktag Festival – Festival of Contemporary Music

Cross cultural exchanges are an important aspect of good international relations, and music is one of the most effective ways to get people talking. Whether you give a hoot about east/west friendship or are just interested in of the moment creativity, check out Hamburg’s Klang Werktag Festival. European and Iranian artists mingle in a variety of contemporary music concerts, including a rare performance outside of Iran by the Iranian Orchestra for New Music.

Price: Various

Location: Kampnagel, Jarrestrasse 20

Times: Thursday, December 1 – Sunday, December 4

Phone: 040 270 9490

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Terry Pratchett’s Maskerade

Take in a little English theatre this weekend. The English language troupe Entity Theatre performs Stephen Brigg’s adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s Maskerade. The 18th novel in the bestselling British author’s Discworld series is a mayhem-filled mystery about witches and opera singers.

Price: €15

Location: Pepper Theater, Thomas-Dehler-Strasse 12

Times: Thursday, December 1 – Saturday, December 3, 7:30pm and Thursday, December 8 – Sunday, December 10, 7:30pm

Reservations: 0700 3684 8900

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Munich Christkindl Tram

Nothing says Christmas in Munich quite like the Christkindl Tram. All aglow with twinkling fairy lights and resounding with seasonal tunes, the historic streetcar makes its way around the city every December, leaving a wake of holiday cheer in its path. (Unless you’re stuck behind it during rush hour.) Embrace one of Munich’s quirky holiday harbingers this week and embark on the half-hour journey around town. Want to meet Santa? Go Tuesday.

Price: €1.50, Under 6 Free

Location: Sendlinger Tor Tram Stop

Times: Monday – Friday, every half hour starting at 3:30pm-7:30pm; Saturday and Sunday, 11am-7:30pm; through December 23

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The United States Army Europe Soldiers Chorus

One of the special things about the holiday season in Stuttgart is the concert series in the old castle courtyard. From local jazz choirs to evangelical church choirs, the cold winter air fills with heartwarming voices every evening right up until the week of Christmas. Patriotic Americans can wave their flags Tuesday when the United States Army Europe Soldiers Chorus sings a repertoire dear to anglophone hearts.

Price: Free

Location: Old Castle Courtyard, Schillerplatz 6

Times: Tuesday, December 6, 6pm

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Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.