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When you first come to Garmisch-Partenkirchen by car, you might get confused by road signs that divide traffic to Garmisch and Partenkirchen. That is because these towns were separated for many centuries and still maintain their own identities. Administrative unification occurred in 1935, just before the Winter Olympic Games of 1936. That was the first Olympics to introduce alpine skiing, and the one that put newly unified towns to everyone's world map. Many decades after, the town remains home to sports venues and many athletes. Walls of old town buildings often look like living frescoes, and it's not unusual to get into the traffic jam caused by cows crossing the roads.

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