Bauhaus (1919–1933) is considered to be the most famous art, design and architecture college of Classic Modernism. Founded by Walter Gropius it was located in Weimar and later in Dessau. Bauhaus artists and architects created a new, clear, contemporary formal language, much of which still exerts an influence today. The most famous representatives of Bauhaus include Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Lyonel Feininger, Oskar Schlemmer and Sophie Taeuber-Arp.

Berliner Theatertreffen

Berliner Theatertreffen is organized by the Berlin Festival and is the single most important German theatre festival. Held each year since 1964 in May, it showcases the ten “most striking productions” of the season, selected by a jury of theatre critics from around 400 performances. In addition, the Theatertreffen provides a platform for young playwrights to present their new work at a “script shop”.

Book market

Books and the culture of reading continue to be held in high regard in Germany. In 2016 the German book market generated sales of about EUR 9.28 billion. Online book selling had a share of 18.2% of total sales that same year. In Germany there are about 6,000 book stores and more than 7,400 public libraries. The major publishing cities are Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt/Main, Stuttgart, Cologne and Hamburg.

Cultural sovereignty

In Germany culture is the core area of the 16 states’ sovereignty. The Basic Law accords the Federal Government few powers on cultural questions, and thus most cultural institutions are maintained by the states and municipalities. This independent cultural life in the states has led to cultural centers arising all over the country. There are world-class cultural offerings to be found even in smaller cities.

Frankfurt Book Fair

The International Frankfurt Book Fair has taken place every autumn since 1949 and is the outstanding annual international book trade get-together. The highpoint of every book fair is the award-giving ceremony for the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, which has been won by the likes of Margaret Atwood, Carolin Emcke, Navid Kermani and Susan Sontag. Since 2005, to mark the beginning of the Book Fair, the German Book Prize is presented for the best novel written in German.


Freedom of the press and speech

In Germany, freedom of communication also means that public agencies are obliged to provide journalists with information. The rights of the press are encoded in the press laws of the federal states. These include the duty to publish an imprint, journalists’ duty to take due care in their research and their right to refuse to stand witness or disclose sources. The German Press Council is the voluntary journalism and publishing watchdog: it monitors violations of the duty to take due care in research and of the ethical sides to stories.

German Federal Cultural Foundation

The German Federal Cultural Foundation was established in 2002 and acts nationally and internationally. By supporting relevant projects, it focuses primarily on the challenges of art and culture in the 21st century. The German Federal Cultural Foundation is based in Halle an der Saale.


News agencies

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) is the largest German news agency. Alongside AFP, Reuters and AP it is one of the leading international agencies.


There are around 130 German professional orchestras, first and foremost among them the Berlin- Philharmonic, the Berlin Staatskapelle,  the Gewandhausorchester, the Bamberg Symphonic and the Munich Philharmonic

Public and private stations

In Germany, there are in principle two different forms of TV and radio as well as of financing for them. The private stations exist almost only from ad billings – the public stations are financed by license fees and advertising; they are duty-bound to uphold a programming agenda set out in law. There are nine public stations: They are structured by state and all come under the aegis of the ARD, the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Rundfunkanstalten in Deutschland. Together, they are responsible for programming by Erstes Deutsches Fernsehen (Das Erste), but also broadcast their own TV and radio programs. Other public stations are ZDF, which has neither regional programming nor a radio service, and Deutschlandradio.

State Minister for Culture and Media

Since in Germany culture comes under the ambit of the states, there is no federal ministry of culture. A State Minister for Culture coordinates activities in the field of cultural policy.


With 140 public theaters and some 220  private theaters, Germany is a theater giant. The best-known venues include Thalia Theater in Hamburg, the Berlin Ensemble and Munich‘s Kammerspiele