If you never heard of Winnetou, the noble Apache, or Hadschi Halef Omar, the slightly comical, but incredibly loyal Arab, it will be difficult for you to share my excitement. I grew up reading Karl May’s fantastic stories about Apaches, Comanches, black horses, Indian beauties, fights with grizzly bears, Middle Eastern countries, sneaky visits to Mecca – so it was a pleasure to stand on the grounds Karl May spent the last quarter of his life at. Villa Shatterhand and Villa Bärenfett – they host a collection about May’s life and a large and comprehensive collection of North American Indian artefacts. They don’t show the scalps any more, though.

The most famous rifles of the Wild West: Henry rifle, Bear killer and Silver rifle (Henry Stutzen, Bärentöter und Silberbüchse). Any reader who grow up with these rifles and their heroic owner will stand there in awe. Whilst wondering whether Karl May actually had lost his marbles...
The most famous rifles of the Wild West: Henry rifle, Bear killer and Silver rifle (Henry Stutzen, Bärentöter und Silberbüchse). Any reader who grow up with these rifles and their heroic owner will stand there in awe. Whilst wondering whether Karl May actually had lost his marbles…

And I thought, they were fiction. So did Karl May, until he eventually decided to let them come alife.

The Karl May Museum is outside Dresden in Radebeul, easily reached by tram – it is just a 8km ride from the historical centre of Dresden.