Photo: André Wirsig, Dresden Elbland
The author of Winnetou
With the Middle East just as familiar as the vast US and Mexican plains, Karl May gave his epic imagination and the wanderlust it sparked free rein. Astonishingly however, even without first-hand experience of the foreign climes in which his adventures unfolded, his works were more detailed and accurate than many travel author peers of his time. With 100 million or so of May’s books sold in Germany alone and around the same number again worldwide, he became prosperous and Germany’s most widely translated (and possibly most controversial) novelist.
Worth a visit: Karl May’s Radebeul
Sleepy Radebeul, just outside Dresden, is where May found his home from home; moving into the Shatterhand Villa in 1896 after the resounding commercial success of Reiseerzählungen (Travel Accounts) and spending his twilight years there until 1912. Nowadays, his dwelling place lives on as the Karl May Museum. Don’t forget though, Radebeul’s history is steeped in wine as well as books and it remains a key milestone along the Saxon Wine Route. Vineyards and vintners’ taverns line the country lanes, and the old town of historic Altkötzschenbroda and its lovingly restored private houses, galleries and restaurants, is the place to celebrate lives well lived.