Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

The Dessau Bauhaus was the creative focus for a galaxy of talented artists, architects and designers, among them Walter Gropius, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky and Mies van der Rohe. We explore the small town of Dessau in eastern Germany.

article summary —

Dessau is too easily missed. Despite being one of the few places in Europe to boast not just one but two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the city on the Elbe is by-passed on many travel itineraries. Not a single Inter-City train stops at Dessau, so rail travellers must resort to the red local trains that dawdle through forests and pause at crumbling platforms built to serve long abandoned factories.

Dessau is in the German State of Saxony-Anhalt, a part of former East Germany that has seen too few benefits from German unification and suffers from high unemployment. Drive southwest down the motorway from Berlin and as you crest a little rise in the undulating forests you cross the border from Brandenburg into Saxony-Anhalt. "Welcome to the land of the early risers," exclaim huge signs by the side of the motorway. It is a proclamation that surely encourages many would-be visitors just to speed through Saxony-Anhalt as quickly as possible.

Exactly what induces all those folk in Saxony-Anhalt to get up so early is quite a mystery. Unless of course they are interested in history.


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About the authors

hidden europe

and Susanne Kries manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers. They delight in discovering the exotic in the everyday.

This article was published in hidden europe 24.