Sunday, April 18, 2010

Destination Europe - Garmisch Partenkirchen

  Germany's largest alpine resort has a split personality, and not just because it consists of two towns that were merged for the 1936 Olympic Winter Games. Rather, it's because Garmisch-Partenkirchen is both a world-class ski resort and a summer vacation playground. When the skiing finally stops in early May, the town has just over a month to prepare itself for a summer onslaught of hikers, mountain-climbers, cyclists, spa aficionados, folklore enthusiasts, and high-altitude sunseekers.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a market town in southern Bavaria in the Oberbayern region. The town was formed in 1935 through the merger of Garmisch and Partenkirchen, two separate towns until then. It was the site of the 1936 Winter Olympic Games. Today Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a tourist and winter sports centre and has some of Germany's best skiing areas. Near Garmisch-Partenkirchen lies the 2962m high Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany.

 At 2960 m above sea level the Zugspitze is Germany highest mountain. It lies at the border between Germany and Austria in southern Bavaria and the summit can be reached either by foot or with a cog railway or a cablecar. Below the Zugspitze lies a huge glacier. Right next to the summit there is a restaurant, a weather station and microwave relay stations.

In 1936 it was the site of the Winter Olympic Games. Traditionally, a ski jumping contest is held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on New Year's Day, as a part of the Four Hills Tournament (Vierschanzen-Tournee). A variety of Ski World Cup Races are also held here, usually on the Kandahar Track outside town. The 1978 Alpine World Ski Championships were organized in Garmisch and the 2011 Alpine World Ski Championships are to be held there as well.

 Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also a favored holiday spot for skiing, snowboarding, and hiking, having some of the best skiing areas (Garmisch Classic and Zugspitze) in Germany. It was also announced on December 7, 2007 that Garmisch-Partenkirchen will put in a bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics together with partner candidates Munich and Schönau am Königsee (near Berchtesgaden).




The Redhead Riter said...

The mountains covered with snow are absolutely gorgeous!

Monica said...

It is indeed breath taking !