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Verlag Karl Baedeker is a Germany-based publisher and pioneer in the business of worldwide travel guides. The guides, often referred as simply "Baedekers" (sometimes the term is used about similar works from other publishers, or in reference to any kind of guide), contain important introductions, descriptions of buildings, of museum collections, etc., written by the best specialists, and are frequently revised in order to be up to date. For the convenience of travellers, they are in a handy format and in small print.



Founded by Karl Baedeker in 1827, the company relocated in 1872 to Leipzig under his third son Fritz Baedeker, who took over control of the company following the death and disablement of his older brothers. With the widespread advent of mechanical transportation, it was Fritz who managed an explosive growth in the line of travel guides, also producing international guides. Prior to World War I, Baedeker's guides were famous enough that baedekering became an English-language term for the process of travelling a country for the purpose of writing a travel guide or travelogue about it.

World War II

During 1942, Germany launched a series of air attacks against English cities of historical importance featured in the Baedeker Guide to Great Britain. These "Baedeker raids" were carried out as revenge for Royal Air Force bombing attacks against German cities, including Berlin.

During the years of World War II, the Nazi government commissioned publication of several travel guides of occupied regions of Europe. Among these were travel guides of Generalgouvernement (General Government, part of occupied Poland), and the Alsace region of occupied France annexed by the German Reich.

The Baedeker company's premises and files perished in a December 1943 air raid, but Baedeker's great grandson revived the company, restarting publication of tourist guides in 1948.

Post-World War II

The publishing house joined with the insurance company Allianz Group in 1978, and many of the guides have been called "Baedeker Allianz Travel Guides" (Baedeker Allianz Reisef├╝hrer) since then. However, as of 2001, 64 titles in English and 24 in French do not carry the Allianz logo; Prentice Hall and Macmillan have published the English titles.

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