The 11 other host cities for the 2006 finals

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The Independent Travel

Germany's financial hub is home to the European Central Bank and the German Stock Exchange. For centuries the city was an important centre for European trade and domestic politics. No fewer than 36 kings were elected and 10 emperors crowned in Frankfurt between 855 and 1792, and in 1848 it became home to Germany's first elected parliament. Frankfurt was also the birthplace in 1749 of the writer, scientist and philosopher, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Frankfurt

Germany's financial hub is home to the European Central Bank and the German Stock Exchange. For centuries the city was an important centre for European trade and domestic politics. No fewer than 36 kings were elected and 10 emperors crowned in Frankfurt between 855 and 1792, and in 1848 it became home to Germany's first elected parliament. Frankfurt was also the birthplace in 1749 of the writer, scientist and philosopher, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Berlin

Following the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification between east and west in 1990, Berlin again became the capital of Germany, as it was before the Second World War. As well as historical sites, the Brandenburg Gate for example, Berlin boasts some spectacular modern architecture such as the Daniel Libeskind-designed Jewish Museum, and the ultra-modern buildings of the Potsdamer Platz.

Dortmund

Dortmund, in the Ruhr valley, was once known for its iron, steel and coal industries, but is now a centre of technology, research and culture. The city has a strong tradition of horticulture, gardening and park design, as well as being home to Germany's National Rosarium.

Gelsenkirchen

Once called the "City of a thousand fires", Gelsenkirchen was also a coal area, but the mines have been turned into tourist attractions. Gelsenkirchen is home to the FC Schalke 04 football team. The club's AufSchalke stadium is one of Europe's most modern sporting venues.

Hamburg

Some claim the city has more bridges than Venice thanks to its many rivers, canals and lakes. Located on the rivers Alster and Elbe, Hamburg operates one of Europe's largest seaports. Near the port is the red-light district, the "Reeperbahn", which also offers more innocent pursuits with many bars, clubs and pubs.

Hannover

The capital of Lower Saxony is best known for its royal connections and international trade fairs. The centre is an atmospheric jumble of half-timbered buildings, painstakingly renovated, following the bombing raids of the Second World War.

Kaiserslautern

In the middle of the Palatinate Forest, Kaiserslautern is known as the city in the woods. One of its most impressive sights is the imperial palace Kaiserpfalz, built by the emperor Barbarossa in 1152. Kaiserslautern is home to the largest US base outside the US, with more than 40,000 soldiers and their families stationed in Kaiserslautern and nearby airbase Ramstein.

Munich

Bavaria's principal city is perhaps best known for its Oktoberfest beer festival and as the headquarters of BMW. The centre has some stunning buildings, many of which were erected during the reign of King Ludwig I. In preparation for the World Cup, the city has recently opened its new Allianz Arena complete with walls constructed from hundreds of inflatable cushions.

Nürnberg

Nürnberg town centre is a beautiful collection of half-timbered houses and cobbled streets. The city was home to many skilled artisans during the Middle Ages including Albrecht Dürer. In 1835, Germany's first railway was built between Nürnberg and the Fuerth. Every December, thousands of tourists come to visit the Christmas market.

Stuttgart

Stuttgart sits in a valley overlooking the river Neckar surrounded by vineyards and close to the Black Forest. The city is at the centre of Germany's car industry with cars such as Maybach, Mercedes Benz and Porsche produced in and around it.

Cologne

Cologne's 13th-century cathedral dominates the city from the banks of the Rhine. A stone's throw from the cathedral is the Museum Ludwig, which has works by Picasso, August Macke and Paul Klee. Also tucked away in the old town is one of Germany's most famous breweries, "Früh" - home to a delicious lager, served in tall glasses.

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