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Blick auf Milwaukee, Wisconson, Bild: Jayne Lipkovich / shutterstock

German heritage on every corner: Milwaukee in the US state of Wisconsin

Milwaukee, the largest city in the US state of Wisconsin , has something homely about it. Despite its size with just under 600,000 inhabitants, the water-shaped city, on the western shore of Lake Michigan, can be easily accessed on foot. Visitors will quickly notice Milwaukee’s German heritage: in the 19th century, many German economic refugees and politically disappointed Germans sought their fortune here. As a result, they founded German restaurants and breweries, such as Pabst, Stroh, Schlitz and Miller, which still bear the name of their German founding fathers today. In addition to culinary delights, Milwaukee also has a lot to offer culturally.

The Milwaukee Art Museum

MIlwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee
Milwaukee Art Museum, Image: Checubus / shutterstock

The Milwaukee Art Museum is worth a visit for its striking architecture alone. As early as 1888, German artists founded the Milwaukee Art Association and the city’s first art collection. The basis at that time were paintings by German and Austrian artists of the 19th century. Today, the museum offers a wide range of paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures. The focus is on German Expressionism, American art of the 19. and 20th century and Haitian folk art. Works by Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Claude Monet and Georgia O’Keeffe are also on display. The new museum building, which opened in 2001, was designed by architect Santiago Calatrava. The futuristic-looking building is somewhat reminiscent of birds taking off.

The Milwaukee Riverwalk

The best way to get a taste of Milwaukee’s beauty is to take a walk along the Milwaukee Riverwalk. Milwaukee is crossed by three rivers: the Menomonee River, the Milwaukee River and the Kinnickinnic River. On the banks of these rivers there is now an extremely interesting urban mix of industrial buildings, residential buildings, small shops as well as bars and restaurants that invite you to linger. The view of the rivers is magnificent. In the morning and evening hours, the local joggers cavort here. So if you don’t want to miss out on your daily dose of sport during the holidays, you will find the most beautiful jogging route in the city here.

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Discovery World

Discovery World, Milwaukee
Discovery World, Image: f11photo / shutterstock

The Discovery World adventure museum is known far beyond the borders of the USA . The external shape of the museum building is reminiscent of a spaceship that emits laser beams in all directions that shine brightly in bright colors. The exhibition deals with the peculiarities of modern sciences and technologies and has a focus on water worlds. In the Discovery World, visitors are invited to join in. Many areas are interactive, which is why it is particularly suitable for family visits. Young and old can immerse themselves in 14 different worlds and experience how the water population in the Caribbean is structured in the Reiman Aquarium. In addition, there are hands-on laboratories in the fields of biology and technology. The Rockwell Automation Dream Machine helps visitors try their hand at being a product designer. The results of your own creativity can be taken home with you.

The North Point Lighthouse in Milwaukee’s Lake Park

The North Point Lighthouse is a lighthouse built in 1888 that is now used as a museum. On the one hand, you can see the original equipment of the lighthouse. On the other hand, information will be provided about the shipping history around Milwaukee’s Lake Park. In 1855, the first lighthouse was built there, which prevented the ship’s crews from being smashed in bad weather and darkness on the dangerous coast of Milwaukee. Lake Park itself is now a destination for many families. The green oasis invites you to take long walks including bird watching. There are numerous picnic opportunities and also restaurants. If you like it sporty, you can play tennis, golf or croquet here. In winter, visitors can skate in the fresh air. In the summer months, the park is often converted into a venue for concerts.

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The Basilica of Saint Josaphat

In Milwaukee, there was a large number of Polish immigrants in addition to German immigration. In 1888, the latter immigrants founded the first Polish Christian community in an American city. The Basilica of Saint Josaphat was built under the direction of the German architect Erhard Brielmaier from bricks in the Neo-Baroque and Neo-Renaissance styles. The basilica is not only stylistically based on the Polish cathedral style, but is also reminiscent of London’s Saint Paul’s Cathedral and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. In total, the mighty basilica offers space for 1000 people and has a copper-covered dome, which, with a height of 65 meters, was the second highest dome in the USA at the time of its construction – right after that of the Washington Capitol. Inside, there are magnificent murals of detailed biblical scenes to see. The glass windows of the church come from Innsbruck.

The Great Lakes Distillery

If you are interested in the production and tasting of hard liquor, the Great Lakes Distillery is the right place for you. In addition to various types of whiskey, brandy, absinthe, gin or various liqueurs are also produced here. How and what the differences in taste of the different varieties are are explained by the distillery employees on guided tours of the factory premises. Here you can look over the shoulders of the alcohol experts during their day’s work. Next door, in the Tasting Room, all the wines from the Great Lakes Distillery can be tasted directly on site. In addition to pure whiskey, there are numerous cocktails and craft beers. On request, the bartender can also mix completely individual creations, according to the preferences of his clientele