Merian (travel magazine)

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The Basel copperplate engraver Matthäus Merian gave the magazine its name

The Merian -Magazin has been a monthly travel magazine since July 1948, which was published by Hoffmann and Campe until 2000 , since then in the Jahreszeiten Verlag from the Ganske publishing group . The magazine was developed, both textually and illustratively, by the first editor at the time, Heinrich Leippe. The booklets each deal with a geographic region: a country, a part of a country, a group of countries or a city. The name of the magazine is reminiscent of the Basel engraver Matthäus Merian , who published illustrated city descriptions in the 17th century.

In articles, reports and essays , mostly illustrated, the geography, economy, politics, history and literature, but also museums, art and culture and the gastronomy of a region are presented.

The editor-in-chief from 2002 to 2016 was Andreas Hallaschka , the eldest brother of TV presenter Steffen Hallaschka , and since 2016 Hansjörg Falz.

Years and count

In the initial phase, the Merian booklets were numbered consecutively in Roman times. Since the first issue was published in July, the first volumes I to V always begin in July and extend to June of the following year. Volume V is a (half) trunk volume of only 6 issues, which ends with the December 1952 issue. From 1953 the month count is synchronized with the calendar, so 1 / VI corresponds to January 1953. From 1975 the year is no longer given in Roman but in Arabic (e.g. 03/51 Rome), later the year appears in plain text also on the title or in the imprint. The year of publication is not always recognizable in the case of new reprints, so that the year count is still relevant for determining the publication date.

Special editions

Initially, Merian books were provided by the publisher with cover strips, also known as "belly bindings", to stimulate sales. So far, booklets with cover strips have only become known from the period from 1948 to 1953 (1st to 6th year). The stripes are six centimeters high, have been labeled differently depending on the title and have rarely survived.

In addition to the series, some special editions were issued for special occasions. Partly differ somewhat from the thematic spectrum of the series:

  • 1987 (40th year) 100 years of the automobile
  • 1990 (43rd year) a special issue GDR
  • plus 5 booklets about each of the five new states of the Federal Republic.
  • 1993 (46th year): 150 years of Thalia Theater (Hamburg)

For several years now, special editions have been made in the “Merian extra” series. These special issues are paid PR products on behalf of tourism companies, associations or the automotive industry.

Subjects, authors, photographers

Depending on the need for updates, many themed issues are revised every year in terms of image and text and then reissued (e.g. Berlin: 12/1949, 11/1959, 1/1970, 7/1989, 6/1998, 9/2001 , 3/2005, 11/2007 and 6/1997 Berlin area). This not only gives an interesting view of the historical development, but also of the changed themes, the photographic reception and representation as well as the literary reflection.

Important (travel) writers were often won over for the essays, e. B. Hermann Kesten (8/1962 Franconian Jura), Friedrich Torberg (2/1974 Prague), Herbert Rosendorfer (12/1982 Munich) or the FAZ travel journalist Jakob Strobel y Serra (5/2007 Mallorca). Established travel and calendar photographers are often used for the illustration, e.g. B. Christian Heeb and Eberhard Grames (9/1997 Paris); occasionally the outstanding full-page photo series were provided by a single photographer, e. B. Munich (12/1982) by Guido Mangold .

Travel guide and book program

The compact travel guide Merian live! have been published in bookshops since 1993. The series has won several ITB book awards. Since 2007, these travel guides have included a removable extra map that supplements the multi-page map atlas in the book. There is also the leisure guide Merian aktiv , the literary travel books Merian portraits - a city in biographies and Merian moments . The Ganske company Travel House Media is responsible for the editorial work.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. 25 years of "Merian". To look for the beautiful. DIE ZEIT, July 28, 1972 No. 30
  2. ↑ Travel magazine Merian - The desire to stay ( Memento of the original from December 20, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Süddeutsche .de, July 1, 2008 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Profile Andreas Halasschkas at
  4. Change at Merian: Hansjörg Falz becomes the new editor-in-chief. On: from February 26, 2016
  5. If it says Merian, there is Mercedes inside. On: from March 11, 2010