Very near Stuttgart in southern Germany is one of Germany's most important and famous university towns, Tubingen, which was built on a hillside above the Neckar River and at the edge of the Black Forest. The city itself dates from 1078, while the university was founded in 1477. This hilly region has patches of beautiful dark forest, green meadows and small lakes. This is the area where cuckoo clocks are manufactured. Situated near the Alps, the Black Forest is also very popular for outdoor activities such as hiking, cross-country skiing and ski jumping. At the edge of the Black Forest and stunningly nestled in the Swabian mountains is Stuttgart which is the home of Porsche and Mercedes.
Although it boasts of fairy-tale sights and picturesque scenery that is reminiscent of medieval times, Germany is undoubtedly a postindustrial, multicultural country with all the inherent advantages and conflicts. Germany's is far from being homogeneous where each of its regions display sharply defined elements, each one maintaining its distinctive character in terms of dialect, traditional dress and foods. Berlin, today the No. 1 tourist attraction, is the biggest winner of reunification. The north has the wonderful seafaring cities of Hamburg and Bremen. Along the Rhine and Moselle Rivers are glorious castles and steep, terraced vineyards. From Frankfurt to Bremen runs a path of idyllic villages, and in the south are the famous Black Forest, Munich and Bavaria's loud beer halls and rococo palaces and churches.