Although predominantly an industrial city, Magdeburg, the capital of Saxony-Anhalt, has an interesting history and is worth a stopover if you're in the area.

Visit Germany's oldest Gothic cathedral (begun in 1209), which is most famous for its early-Gothic sandstone sculptures of the Five Wise and Five Foolish Virgins (1250) and an emotional war memorial by Ernst Barlach finished in 1929 expressing the horror, pain and desperation of war.

The 12th-century Romanesque Kloster Unserer Lieben Frauen (the former convent) and the old town hall are also worth a look. In the Elbauenpark you can see the conical Jahrtausendturm (Millenium Tower), at 197 ft /60 m the world's tallest wooden tower. It was finished in 1999 and now hosts a museum, which presents 6,000 years of science and technology. Don't miss the cotton-candy colored Grune Zitadelle, a melange of shops and residences.

The composer Georg Philipp Telemann was born in Magdeburg. The city is 101 mi/163 km west of Berlin.

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