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Meiningen, Germany

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MEININGEN, 20km south of Schmalkalden, is a surprise in a region fond of half-timbering. There's a touch of aristocratic swagger to the small town on the River Werra. It blossomed as a Residenzstadt of the dukes of Saxe-Meiningen, notably nineteenth-century culture-vulture Georg II. Under the tenure of this friend of Brahms, the town acquired fame Europe-wide for its theatre and orchestra. Enter from the north on boulevard Bernhard Strasse and you're greeted by the duke's city-scale theatre, whose massive portico acclaims his noble gift to "the people to befriend and elevate". …
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