Pre-conference Tours

Grassland in the centre of Europe - meeting the German history

The pre-conference tour is offered as either a 6-day trip (23 to 28 August 2010), starting in Stuttgart, southern Germany, or a 3-day trip (26 to 28 August 2010), starting in Leipzig, eastern Germany.


Arrival on Monday, 23rd August 2010

The 6-day pre-conference tour will start in Stuttgart, the capital of the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg in southwest Germany, easy to reach via plane or train. The airport of Stuttgart is located approximately 2 km from Stuttgart-Plieningen, where we will meet at the hotel 'Christkoenigshaus'. A shuttle service will be provided from the airport to the hotel. In the evening, you will enjoy the wonderful view of Stuttgart, from the forests and vineyards in and around Stuttgart to the Swabian Jura and the Black Forest and we will have a dinner with typical Swabian specialities.

Tuesday, 24th August 2010

The federal state of Baden-Wuertemberg is famous for its picturesque landscape and viticulture. Our first destination will be a dairy farm cooperation nearby the town of Schwaebisch Hall.

For lunch we will stop at another dairy farm with direct marketing where we will enjoy a home-style cooking after a short farm walk. The afternoon we will spend in the world-famous romantic town Rothenburg ob der Tauber. On a guided tour you will get to know the history and legends of that medieval well restored town. Later in the evening a wine-tasting in rural surrounding at the borders of Main river invites to an informal get-togeter.
Accommodation will be in Veitshoechheim close to Wuerzburg.

Wednesday, 25th August 2010

The programme for Wednesday morning includes a project on grassland conservation and landscape development by large-scale grazing in Wüstensachsen/P-Schornhecke and the nature conservation area 'Thueringer Rhoenhutungen' in Unterweid.
After a nice picknick, we will cross one of the largest low mountain areas in the centre of Germany. The Rhoen Mountains, partly a result of ancient volcanic activity, stretching about the border where the federal states of Hesse, Bavaria and Thuringia meet. In March 1991, the UNESCO acknowledged the Rhoen as a biosphere reserve in order to ensure the protection, the maintenance and the development of this extraordinary mountain landscape. Landscape management as well as the maintenance of grassland ecosystems are of high importance in this region. You will discover differences in the structure of agriculture, with smaller farms in the former western part of Germany and large farms in the former eastern part.

Our next destination will be Wartburg castle near Eisenach, where Martin Luther stayed from May 1521 until March 1522, following his excommunication by Pope Leo X and his refusal to recant at the Diet of Worms. It was during this period that Luther translated the New Testament into German, the first translation into a modern language in over a millennium.
Accomodation will be at the Park-Inn hotel in Weimar. The cultural heritage of Weimar includes the Weimar Classicism of Goethe and Schiller, the Bauhaus as well as the Weimar Republic.

Thursday, 26th August 2010

One of the highlights of Thursday is the "Geiseltalsee", located in southern Lower-Saxony. The lake will cover an area of 18.4 km², which was mined for brown coal from 1698 until 1993, and after its complete flooding (scheduled 2010) will be the largest artificial lake in Germany. Later on, we will visit a grassland area close to the lake, which is managed organically by grazing Hereford cattle and goats.

The next destination after lunch is Leipzig, hometown of Johann Sebastian Bach, famous for its St Thomas Boys Choir, the Gewandhaus Orchestra, and also known as the 'mother of all trade fairs'. Here, participants, who cannot take the whole tour, have the possibility to join the group for the remaining two days. We will pick them up at Leipzig-Halle International Airport and invite them to join the guided evening tour in Leipzig. In the evening, we will experience the most beautiful places and sites of Leipzig city on a guided tour, including a visit of Nikolai church, where we will enjoy the church acoustics and the powerful output of the famous Ladegast organ. Accomodation will be in Leipzig.

Friday, 27th August 2010

The morning is dedicated to Sanssouci palace close to Potsdam with its impressive buildings and garden grounds. Later on that day, we will visit a typical large scale dairy farm with 1700 milking cows in Fehrbellin, approximately 70 km northwest of Berlin and meet representatives of Dr. Pieper consulting, whose main focus is on developing ensiling additives.

This night we will spend in Neuruppin, which has a reputation as being the most Prussian of all Prussian towns, due to its former status as a Prussian garrison town. The novelist Theodor Fontane and the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel were born in Neuruppin.

We will have dinner in a restaurant at the shore of lake Neuruppin. The hotel will be close to the lake.

Saturday, 28th August 2010

Our first destination on Saturday is the Brandenburg principal stud and state stud of Neustadt-Dosse, founded in 1788. The stud is one of Germany's largest state stud facilities, with more than 60 stallions from the breeding regions of Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Hanover, Westphalia, Holstein and Oldenburg. Furthermore, breeders have access to first class thoroughbreds and Trakehners. Arabians, Haflingers and draught horses are also at the disposal of the breeders.

We will move on north to the small island of Poel, where a branch of the IPK Genebank Gatersleben is located. Before we will reach our final destination Kiel in the early evening, we will stop for a little coffee break in the Hanseatic town of Wismar.


6-day Tour: 560,- € (incl.VAT). The fee includes shared accommodation in a double room, breakfast, lunch and dinner according to the programme. If you prefer single room, the price will be 600,- € (incl. VAT).

3-day Tour: 250,- € (incl. VAT). The fee includes shared accommodation in a double room, breakfast, lunch and dinner according to the programme. If you prefer single room, the price will be 280,- € (incl. VAT).

Organising Committee

Dr. Martin Elsaesser and grassland colleagues from all over Germany.
Landwirtschaftliches Zentrum für Rinderhaltung, Grünlandwirtschaft, Milchwirtschaft, Wild und Fischerei Baden-Würtemberg
phone: +49 7525-942-351