What’s on in Germany: September 29 – October 5

This Week's Highlights: A reunification party in Berlin, Picasso portraits in Cologne, and film festivals in Munich and Hamburg.

What's on in Germany: September 29 - October 5
Photo: DPA



German Reunification Day – Unity Festival and Coke Sound Up

How ironic that a music festival presented by Coca Cola kicks off this year’s celebration of Germany’s reunification. That’s right, the Coke Sound Up Festival comes to a finale Sunday night in front of the Brandenburg Gate. Rock out to Mando Diao, Sunrise Avenue, Culcha Candela, and Jennifer Rostock, then get yourself back to that famous divider Monday and raise a pint to the reuniting of East and West.

Price: Free

Location: Brandenburg Gate, Pariser Platz

Times: Sunday, October 2, 3pm (Coke Sound Up); Saturday, October 1 – Monday, October 3 (Unity Festival)

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Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church 50th Anniversary

In 1961 construction was completed on “the lipstick and the powder box.” Celebrate the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church’s Golden Jubilee this weekend at a fall festival. A 60-meter high scaffolding offers close up views of the Egon Eiermann-designed tower. After your tour, go eat some pea soup while the kids jump around in the bouncy castle.

Price: Free

Location: Breitscheidplatz

Times: Sunday, October 2, 11:30-5:30pm

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Friedrich Seidenstücker – Photographs 1927–1958

Humour abounds in Friedrich Seidenstücker’s black and white pictures of Berlin. From Weimar Republic street style, to post war destruction, the German photographer captured everyday city life excellently. Marvel at his wise-eyed walrus and other grin-inducing images this weekend at the Berlinische Galerie. An exhibition of Seidenstücker’s oeuvre opens Friday.

Price: €8

Location: Berlinische Galerie, Alte Jakobstrasse 124-128

Times: Friday, September 30, 7pm (Opening); Wednesday – Monday, 10am-6pm (Regular Hours); October 1 – February 6, 2012

Phone: 030 789 02 600

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Sergei Prokofiev – An Exiled Composer

The American Academy’s “Return of the Exiles” series continues with an evening devoted to Sergei Prokofiev. Did you know the Russian composer lived in San Francisco, Paris, and Kazakhstan, as well as Saint Petersburg, and Moscow? Witness Guy Braunstein, First Concertmaster at the Berlin Philharmonic playing Prokofiev pieces with the celebrated Israeli pianist Ohad Ben-Ari Tuesday. Registration requested.

Price: Free

Location: The American Academy, Hans Arnhold Center, Am Sandwerder 17-19, Wannsee

Times: Tuesday, October 4, 7:30pm

Phone: 030 804 830

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MemyselfandI – Photographic Portraits of Picasso

For those forever fascinated by the modern art legend known as Pablo Picasso, a new exhibition at Cologne’s Ludwig Museum let’s you stare at his face for as long as you’d like. Famous portraits join never before seen snapshots of the man and his studio.

Price: €10

Location: Museum Ludwig, Heinrich-Boll-Platz

Times: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am-6pm; through January 15, 2012

Tickets: 0221 221 26165

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Gabriela Fridriksdottir – Crepusculum

Gabriela Fridriksdottir creates intricate narratives woven with elements of Norse mythology, dream worlds, symbology, and iconography. Realized through a variety of visual mediums like drawings and installations, her intriguing universes can be experienced at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. A new exhibition displays the work of the Icelandic artist (and friend of Bjork–they’ve collaborated on a few projects), through the end of the year.

Price: €5

Location: Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Romerberg

Times: Tuesday, Friday – Sunday, 10am-7pm; Wednesday and Thursday, 10am-10pm; through January 8

Phone: 069 29 98 820

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Adrian Williams – Audio Play: Episode 3

Some pianos, a couple mixing boards, and a table set for a party fill the newly constructed second floor at Portikus. What does it all mean? Find out Wednesday, when the artist Adrian Williams performs her audio play, a collaboration with the composer Theodor Kohler that fuses music and narration in interesting ways.

Price: Free

Location: Portikus, Alte Brücke 2

Times: Wednesday, October 5, 7pm

Phone: 069 9624 4540

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Filmfest Hamburg

With a section devoted to Iceland, a section devoted to Paris and plenty of films from across Europe, Scandinavia, and the Middle East, Filmfest Hamburg is truly an international affair. Many are shown with English subtitles. Check the program and order those tickets!

Price: €3.50 – €8.50

Location: Various

Times: Thursday, September 29 – Saturday, October 8

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Hakuna Matata – An African Evening at the Leipzig Zoo

Bring the family on an African adventure at the Leipzig Zoo. Live music and dance shows accompany a buffet dinner Wednesday night at the Kiwara Lodge in the zoo’s African section. The fun starts at 6pm, but go early and take a stroll through the new Gondwanaland to see what the planet was like millions of years ago.

Price: €65

Location: Leipzig Zoo, Pfaffendorfer Strasse 29

Times: Wednesday, October 5, 6pm

Tickets: 0341 5933 3856

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Underdox – International Festival of Documentary and Experimental Film

Berlin filmmaker Thomas Heise opens this year’s Underdox Festival with his film Solar System, which focuses on an indigenous mountain tribe in Argentina. Meet the filmmaker Thursday night and kick off a week of exceptional documentary and experimental cinema in style.

Price: €5 – 6

Location: Munich Film Museum, St-Jakobs-Platz 1 and Werkstattkino, Fraunhofer Strasse 9

Times: Thursday, September 29 – Thursday, October 6

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Pierre Boulez – Le vierge, le vivace et le bel d’aujourd’hui

Fifty-one years ago, Pierre Boulez premiered his homage to the French poet Stéphane Mallarmé “Pli selon pli” in Cologne. See the maestro conduct soprano Barbara Hannigan and the Ensemble Intercontemporain through the second part of the piece “Improvisation I – Le vierge, le vivace et le bel aujourd’hui” Friday in Munich.

Price: €10 – 50

Location: Prinzregententheater, Prinzregentenplatz 12

Times: Friday, September 30, 8pm

Tickets: 089 2185 2899

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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.