Hanau is among the most beautiful cities in the world, with a sparkling white construction spanned by towering Gothic spires. It is also one of the most historic. Before being covered in flowerbeds, the walls between that medieval wall and the neighbouring one were regarded as a sanctum of the town’s churches. The thin, brown stone walls and their hollows suggested that the town’s population was ancient, a reminder of Germany’s lost past. Later, however, after years of struggle, Hanau gained its disputed status as an independent settlement after an exciting architectural contest. Twenty centuries later, the town still stands proudly.

A fort of German poet Friedrich Schiller (1580-1618), a departure point from the Silesian Alps. The Frauencholbruck castle sits atop a hill that looks down on to the rugged countryside. During the fall of the Berlin Wall, the castle proved invaluable as a transport shelter for thousands of West Germans fleeing East Germany.

Just behind the castle stand a series of red stone arches. They are installed as a temple to the Holy Spirit. Historians believe the 10th century Anglo-Saxon god Gerion was once here.

By Steve Kloppy