What’s on in Germany: October 13 – 19

This Week's Highlights: Lights in Berlin, "Dance" in Hamburg, and Kraftwerk's 3D installation opens in Munich.

What's on in Germany: October 13 - 19
Photo: DPA



Berlin Festival of Lights – Open House Night

If you’re in Berlin this week you might notice fancy light patterns dancing across the city’s landmark buildings, as well as some fanciful light installations dotted around the streets. The Berlin Festival of Lights takes place every October, and it’s a fun time to visit the German capital. “Open House Night” is a highlight of the annual event that offers visitors a rare behind-the-scenes look at some of Berlin’s architectural stars.

Price: Free

Location: Various

Times: Saturday, October 12 – 23, 7pm-midnight

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Zeig Her, Führ Vor, Tausch Ein – Presence Is The Artist

Visual artists who work in performance face an interesting conundrum. What space suits their work? A theatre, a gallery, or something else? General Public attempts to offer a solution, or at least initiate the conversation, with three days of presentations, performances, and discussions (in English).

Price: Free

Location: General Public, Schönhauser Allee 167c

Times: Friday, October 14, 7pm; Saturday, October 15, 3-8pm; Sunday, October

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Swap in the City

It’s ladies night Sunday in Cologne when Swap in the City sets up beneath E-Werk’s extraordinary soaring ceilings. Grab a cocktail and groove to the tunes while you browse the racks of chic threads. But you have to give in order to receive, so clean out those closets and head over to E-Werk with at least three new or gently used pieces and let the swapping begin!

Price: €15

Location: E-Werk, Schanzenstrasse 37

Times: Sunday, October 15, 4-9pm

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Vive Le Jazz – Michel Godard and Gunter Baby Sommer Duo

Since Germany and France share a border, it’s only natural that their cultural pursuits would meld. Jazz music is one of the best examples of this bi-national artistic fusion. The Vive Le Jazz festival, organized by the Cologne and Dusseldorf French Institutes celebrates this partnership with two weeks of not only music, but movies and exhibitions as well. Don’t miss French tuba player Michel Godard and German drummer Gunter Baby Sommer’s Sunday night concert.

Price: €12

Location: Institut Français Köln, Sachsenring 77

Times: Sunday, October 16, 8pm

Phone: 0221 9318 770

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Frankfurt Book Fair

This weekend the world’s biggest book fair opens to the public. So even if you’re not an editor, publisher, or author, you can spend Saturday and Sunday running your fingers along all those beautiful dust jackets and e-book readers. Iceland is this year’s guest of honour, so check out the exhibition “Books on Iceland” then go get lost in an endless world of international literature.

Price: €15 (Day Ticket); €21 (Weekend Ticket); €35 (Family Ticket)

Location: Messegelände, Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1

Times: Saturday, October 15, 9am-6:30pm; Sunday, October 16, 9am-5:30pm

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Barrelhouse Jazz Party

The Barrelhouse Jazz Band has been blowing strong for half a century. In honour of the occasion, the guys are throwing a bombastic jazz bash Saturday in Frankfurt. Soloists from New Orleans, New York, and Milan join Maryland Jazzband Cologne, the Joscho Stephan Quartett, and the Anke Angel Boogie Trio for one hot night of hootin’ tootin’ fun. After the concert the party spills out into the foyer.

Price: €25.50 – 44.50

Location: Alte Oper, Opernplatz 1

Times: Saturday, October 15, 8pm

Tickets: 069 13 40 400

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Lucida Childs, Philip Glass, Sol LeWitt – Dance

In 1979, choreographer Lucina Childs, composer Philip Glass, and visual artist Sol Lewitt collaborated on a dance piece they simply called “Dance.” Propelled by postmodern minimalism, the Lucinda Childs Dance Company performs the piece this week in Hamburg. Though the choreographer no longer dances the solo, it’s her larger than life projected image you’ll see stepping and swaying along to the movements of Anne Lewis in this rare performance.

Price: €8 – 29

Location: Kampagel Hamburg, Jarrestrasse 20

Times: Thursday, October 13, 8pm; Friday, October 14, 8pm; Saturday, October 15, 8pm

Tickets: 040 270 949 49

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International Queer Film Festival

Germany’s largest LGBT film festival starts rolling in Hamburg this week. The colourful programme includes over 100 films from around the world, many with English subtitles. Angel, Sebastiano D’Ayala Valva’s tale of a Parisian transsexual’s first trip home to Ecuador, and Tien-yu Fu’s directorial debut Somewhere I Have Never Travelled both screen Wednesday. After the movie, settle in for some cineaste discussion with a drink at the festival night bar.

Price: €7.80 – 8.50 (Single Tickets); €33 (Five Ticket Package)

Location: Various

Times: Tuesday, October 18 – Sunday, October 23

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Kraftwerk 3D Video Installation

Describe Germany in three words. If you said “bratwurst, beer, and Kraftwerk,” you’re right. The electronic music pioneers have impacted music and culture enormously, and though all three concerts in Munich are sold out, Kunstbau has something spectacular up it’s sleeve. A multi-channel 3D video installation offers a fantastic sensory explosion for Kraftwerk fans starting Saturday.

Price: €5

Location: Kunstbau, Königsplatz

Times: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am-10pm; Saturday, October 15 – November 13

Phone: 089 233 32 000

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The Bread and Puppet Theatre Exhibition

Nestled among the green hills of Vermont, US, the Bread and Puppet Theatre Museum is a hive of creative political puppetry. Founder Robert Schumann was born in Silesia, studied in Germany, and started baking bread and making puppets in New York City in the 1960s. Check out the legendary theatre man’s new exhibition at the Munich City Museum when it opens Wednesday night.

Price: €6

Location: Münchner Stadtmuseum, St-Jakobs-Platz 1

Times: Wednesday, October 19, 7pm (Opening); Tuesday – Sunday, 10am-6pm (Regular Hours); through January 29, 2012

Phone: 089 233 22370

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Long Night of Museums

It’s museum time! From the Alpine Museum to the America House, cultural institutions around the city are staying open late Saturday night. Hum along to Russian songs at the Tolstoy Library, see a video projected onto the side of the Pinakothek der Moderne, and hear the sounds of a “Pomegranate Tree” at the Museum of Egyptian Art. One ticket is all you need for this smorgasbord of culture and fun.

Price: €15

Location: Various

Times: Saturday, October 15, 7pm-2am

Tickets: 089 54 81 81 81

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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.