Country Germany

Germany

Germany is a country of Europe

with a surface area of 357,026 km² (density of 228.2 inhab./km²).
The population of Germany is 81,471,834 inhabitants in the last census.
The capital of Germany is the city of Berlin which has 3,499,879 inhabitants.

The chancelor of the federal parliamentary constitutional republic is .

Germany

"Unity and right to freedom"

Germany or the Federal Republic of Germany is a central European country bordered by the northern and Baltic seas and bordering Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland.
Germany and before it, the Holy Roman Empire, has always played an important role in history. It has had hours of glory but also much darker pages especially during the World Wars.
Germany is the most populous country in the European Union of which it is a founding member. It is considered to be the main economic power of the continent and the 4th largest in the world, notably thanks to its important industrialization and its expertise in sectors such as aeronautics or automobile manufacturing. As such, it is also a member of the G7, the G20, the Schengen area, NATO and the euro zone.

Germany at a glance

 

Federal Constitutional Federal Republic of Germany
Capital: Berlin
Administrative divisions: 16 Länder (federated states) comprising 12,226 Gemeinden (municipalities)
Population: more than 82 million inhabitants
Official language: German
Main religions: Catholicism (30%), evangelical church (30%). 34% of Germans are atheists
Current Federal President: Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Federal Chancellor: Angela Merkel
Currency: Euro

Tourism: no restrictions

A mosaic of landscapes

Germany or the Federal Republic of Germany is a central European country bordered by the northern and Baltic seas and bordering Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland.
Germany and before it, the Holy Roman Empire, has always played an important role in history. It has had hours of glory but also much darker pages especially during the World Wars. 
Germany is the most populous country in the European Union of which it is a founding member. It is considered to be the main economic power of the continent and the 4th largest in the world, notably thanks to its important industrialization and its expertise in sectors such as aeronautics or automobile manufacturing. As such, it is also a member of the G7, the G20, the Schengen area, NATO and the euro zone.

A mosaic of landscapes

Due to the size of the country, there is a great diversity of landscapes in Germany, from the plain in the north of the country to the Alpine massif in the south.
Some regions are centered on industry in particular in the Rhine country and in the Rhine-Main region. Since the reunification of East and West Germany in 1990, the eastern Länder have struggled to adjust to the western regions despite the federal government's investments.

 

The northern part of Germany consists of a wide plain, a succession of hills, lakes and swamps and a coastal strip bordering the Baltic and the North Sea.
Many mountain ranges and three alpine regions (the Alpine Alps, the Bavarian Alps and the Salzburg Alps) form the southern part of the country.
Large forests, such as the Bavarian Forest and the Black Forest, are ideal for hikers.
They cover a third of German territory.

Germany is crossed by large rivers:

the Danube River coming from the Black Forest and flows into the Black Sea in Romania
• the Rhine coming from the Swiss Alps and flows into the North Sea in the Netherlands
• the Elbe coming from the Czech Republic and flows into the North Sea in Germany
• The Oder coming from Moravia, flows into the Baltic Sea and forms with the Neisse a natural border between Poland and Germany
• the Weser and the Ems flow into the North Sea after a 100% route in Germany

 

Besides these rivers, Germany has some great lakes, including Lake Constance on horseback between Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Enjoying a temperate continental climate determined by the Gulf Stream and the Azores High, Germany enjoys pleasant summer temperatures but also severe winters influenced by the cold air coming from Siberia, which recalls that Germany is at the Heart of Europe.

The large protected areas allow Germany to shelter a particularly rich wildlife and flora. Very concerned by the environment, it has created a large number of national and regional parks and nature reserves.
Nature lovers also enjoy the romantic scenery of Bavaria, its forests, lakes and numerous castles.

An occupation from the Paleolithic period

Germany has had a turbulent history, which explains the frequent changes of its borders.
Archaeological excavations have made it possible to determine the presence of hominids in German territory in the Heidelberg region as early as the Lower Palaeolithic, while in the Magdalenian (Upper Palaeolithic) the "Hamburg culture", a civilization of Reindeer hunters that are found in much of northern Europe and lived in isolated settlements.
During the Neolithic, tribes migrate from continental Europe up the Danube. In particular, they settle in West Germany and bring their know-how in agriculture and livestock. The term ribbon culture refers to pottery adorned with ribbons found in abundance in Central Europe.

The first Germans

In spite of this very ancient human presence, it was necessary to wait until the 1st century BC to find mention of the Germanic tribes that occupy Northern Europe. The Germans were then divided into different independent or allied groups. This power worried the Romans who conquered Gaul, putting the German people at the gates of their Empire.
The Romans attempted to invade Germany and undertook long and difficult military campaigns, sometimes with bitter failures.
At the beginning of the 5th century AD, the Germans joined groups of Vandals, Burgundians, Saxons, Franks and Alamans to ransack the Roman regions on the other side of the Rhine. Little by little, Rome found itself obliged to accept the newcomers in its ranks, which provoked a Germanization of the region and the rise of the German chieftains to the highest functions of the Empire.
The different Germanic tribes were to obtain territories, the Angles and Saxons in England, the Lombards and Ostrogoths in Italy, the Visigoths in Spain, the Vandals in Tunisia, and finally the Franks and Burgundians in France.
The Franco kingdom will rapidly expand and encompass the Benelux and the western part of Germany. At that time, the Frankish kings who christianized mandate monks charged with evangelizing the Rhine region as evidenced by the Benedictine Abbey of Fulda founded in 744.

Under Charlemagne, the Franks continued their progression in Bavaria and Lower Saxony, which led to the coronation of Charlemagne, "Emperor of the Franks and the Romans" in 800. This empire then occupied approximately the present territory of France and Germany.
At the death of the son of Charlemagne, Louis the Pious, the Empire was divided between his three sons and the eastern Francie (present Germany) falls to Louis the Germanic in 843, date of the Sharing of Verdun.

The Holy Roman Empire

In 911 the Carolingians lost Germania and the imperial title was abandoned a few years later while the crown was attributed to the Ottonians who were to found the Holy Roman Empire uniting Germany and former possessions of the Western Empire The Kingdom of Italy and Lotharingia) in 962.
At that time the German emperors were to have a great power, also having control over the election of the pope and, later, the appointment of the bishops. The Court settles in Rome and the Empire is booming economically.
On the death of the last Ottoman emperor, the Salian dynasty succeeded him, and with it a new era began. Emperor Conrad 1st took over all his authority in Germany and imposed himself in Poland and the Czech Republic while he recovered Burgondy by inheritance.
But the Catholic Church wants to free itself from the guardianship of the Empire, opening the way to the "Quarrel of Investitures" opposing the papacy to the Holy Roman Empire from 1075 to 1122 and again from 1154 to 1220 Name of "Fight of the Priesthood and the Empire". The conflicts will lead to a victory of the Church who demands Frederick II to abandon his privileges.

The Age of the Principalities

From the second half of the 13th century, the Empire will divide into a multitude of free cities and principalities, while the size of its territory was considerably reduced following the loss of Burgundy, Provence and the Kingdom of France. Italy, while the merchant towns of the Hansa were emancipated from the imperial power.
The different principalities have their own courts, their own army, and their own laws. Pushed by the pope who does not appreciate the vacancy of the throne, the princes are in charge of electing an emperor and choose Rodolphe of Habsburg considering him to be not very powerful and therefore more easily controllable. However, he proved to be an enlightened emperor and the Habsburg dynasty became powerful by annexing Austria. The dynasties of Habsburg, Wittelsbach and Luxemburg succeeded to power until the 15th century but the emperors failed in their various attempts to unify the Empire.
At that time, 350 independent states formed a veritable mosaic. On the death of Maximilian of Habsburg, Francis I., king of France, and Charles V. both claimed the imperial title. It is the latter who prevails.
Charles V will try to fight Lutheranism but cannot. In order to guarantee peace in Germany, he empowers the princes and free cities to freely choose their religion.

The Wars of Religion

The peace was short-lived, since in 1618 the Thirty Years War broke out following the revolt of the Czechs against the Habsburgs.
For three decades, the Habsburgs of Spain supported by the Pope and the various Protestant states of the Holy Roman Empire paradoxically supported by Catholic France will clash. All of Europe is involved and fighting is being waged in Central Europe as well as Flanders or Spain.
It is customary to regard this war of religion as an important political turning point marked by the birth of the modern state and the abandonment of feudalism. The Holy Roman Empire emerged profoundly weakened from the war, which led to its dissolution in 1806 in favor of the Confederation of the Rhine under French protectorate, itself replaced by the Germanic Confederation ratified by the Congress of Vienna in 1814. The Habsburgs Now governs only 39 states.

The Kingdom of Prussia then adopted a new commercial policy, the Zollvereien allowing to create a harmonized internal market by authorizing a single customs tariff which facilitates trade and industries. This policy will isolate certain states and weaken the position of Austria, the last possession of Germany.
In 1862 Otto von Bismarck led the Prussian troops to victory against the Austrians, which was at the origin of the declaration of war between France and Prussia in 1870.
Prussia emerged victorious and the German Empire led by William I of Prussia was proclaimed the following year at Versailles. The German economy is flourishing and expanding.

The World Wars, the End of an Empire

This new power allied itself with Austria-Hungary to invade France, marking the beginning of the First World War. In 1918, the Empire was exhausted by a long war that caused famine and misery in the country following the economic blockade. The entry of the United States into the conflict provoked a movement of dissatisfaction among the German troops, while the workers went on strike in January in order to demand the conclusion of peace while the Empire made concessions to avoid a civil war.
The Allies gradually gained ground and won the big offensive on August 8th. All the allies of the Germans capitulated but the Emperor William II refused to acknowledge his failure. A real revolution shook the country and finally the emperor abdicated on November 9 putting an end to the history of the Empire and allowing the German General Staff to demand the armistice that will be signed on November 11th.

Germany loses several territories and colonies and is condemned to a heavy debt. Moreover, his army is greatly reduced and can no longer possess aviation or tanks.
This heavy toll is causing the anger of Germans and the German National Socialist Workers' Party, known as the Nazi Party, was founded in 1920. This extreme right-wing, nationalist, anti-Semitic and anti-capitalist party is experiencing a dazzling ascent and its leader, Adolf Hitler, became Chancellor of the Reich in 1933. Two years later, Germany hastily adopted the "Nuremberg Laws", which aim to "protect German blood". These texts actually serve to support the anti-Semitic policy which prohibits intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews and which aims to keep Jews out of the economic life of the country.
On September 1st, 1939, Germany invaded Poland and the Second World War was declared two days later when France and the United Kingdom returned to the conflict to protect the interests of their ally.

The German offensive supported by Italy and Japan is brutal and within a few months a part of Europe, the Soviet Union and North Africa is occupied by Hitler's troops.
Badly equipped to face the cold, the German army will know their first defeats in the winter of 41/42 on the Russian front. At the same time, the Japanese Navy's attack on the US naval base in Pearl Harbor prompted the President Roosevelt to sign the US entry into the war, which will be a decisive turning point for the outcome of the conflict.
The Germans are fighting on several fronts (Soviet Union, North Africa) and suffer several successive defeats while the United States began the reconquest of the Pacific islands inflicting heavy losses to the Japanese troops.
In May 1943, the Allies rescued North Africa and continued their advance in Italy, which was soon to accept an armistice.
The disembarkation of the Allied troops in Normandy on June 6, 1944, precipitated the outcome of the war. After a few days of bloody fighting, the Allies repulsed the German troops and delivered France and Belgium, city after city while the Soviets took Berlin in April 1945. Hitler committed suicide in his bunker the same day. The Germans signed the surrender of the Third Reich on May 8th.

The time of reconstruction

Germany is occupied by the Allies who must decide its fate. It is the beginning of the "Cold War" between the USSR and the USA that cannot come to terms. In this context, Germany is divided into two, the Federal Republic of Germany in the West and the German Democratic Republic in the East.
While the FRG supported by the Marshall Plan (US financial support for the reconstruction of Europe in exchange for imports of US products) is rapidly developing again, it is not the same for East Germany that is experiencing a period of impoverishment.
In 1990, the Berlin Wall fell and the two Germans were united to become the first European economic power.

Political life in Germany

Since the end of the Second World War, Germany is a federal republic governed by the Basic Law (constitution). The capital of united Germany is Berlin (Bonn was the capital of the FRG before reunification).
The President of the Federal Republic (currently Frank-Walter Steinmeier, member of the Social Democratic Party) is elected indirectly (by Parliament) for five years. The mandate is renewable once. His role is limited and is essentially representative of the country.
The Parliament is made up of the Bundestag (parliamentary assembly) and the Bundesrat (Federal Council) composed of representatives of the Länder.

The real power is in the hands of the Federal Chancellor elected by the Bundestag for 4 years, the mandate is renewable without limit.
The head of the current government is Angela Merkel, elected in 2005. Angela Merkel is a member of the Liberal-Conservative CDU (Christian Democratic Union of Germany).

Demography

With nearly 83 million inhabitants, Germany is the most populous European nation. There are high concentrations in western cities.
Paradoxically, Germany has a very low fertility rate with 1.5 children per woman. The increase in the population is mainly due to high migration. More than 10% of the total population is foreign.
In order to offset the decline in fertility, the Government has introduced a family policy, including the creation of day nurseries, a parental salary and the organization of working time.

The First economic power in Europe

Despite the two World Wars, Germany is today the leading European economic power and the fourth largest in the world, which allows it to have a low unemployment rate and a comfortable standard of living. Its economy is mainly based on foreign trade thanks to a strong industrialization of the country (automotive and mechanical engineering, chemical industry, electrical engineering) and a remarkable communication network (motorway, railway, maritime and river).

This strong economy also makes it possible to develop the tertiary sector and business tourism. The Germans also promote family tourism by increasing the number of events and sporting or cultural events.
Finally, agriculture occupies an important part of the German economy, notably the production of cereals and milk.

Germany on a daily basis

German is the mother tongue of approximately 90% of the population. It is an Indo-European language from the western branch of Germanic languages with consonances similar to Dutch. Also noteworthy are the two traditional languages of the Gypsies, the Sinti and the Roma, and a large number of dialects, including Low German, Bavarian or Swabian.

 

The wars of religion that shook up Germany have left traces. The Evangelical Church in Germany (Protestantism) and the Roman Catholic Church share the country, the former being the majority in the north and east of the country, while the second majority is in Rhineland, Bavaria and south Baden- Wuerttemberg. The Turkish minority concentrated mainly in the Ruhr and in the capital is Islamic.
Let us also note that a little more than a third of the Germans call themselves atheists.

Germany is also a nation oriented to the arts and many musicians, poets, painters or sculptors are of German origin. Romanticism is omnipresent in the works, largely inspired by the landscapes.
For example, Holbein and Dürer for painting, the poet Goethe, the brothers Grimm and their tales, the philosophers Kant and Nietzsche, the playwrights Bertold Brecht and Büchner and, of course, the many musicians, Handel, Johann Sebastian Bach , Gluck, Weber, Schubert, Wagner, Beethoven or Mozart.

German gastronomy has the reputation of being heavy and abundant in the image of its sauerkraut or its cakes of the Black Forest. There are, however, many other traditional regional dishes often unknown to tourists. Let us note the flamed tarts, noodles with eggs, grilled or smoked sausages, red beetroot herring ...
The Germans favor a hearty breakfast with cheese and cold meats, cereals and whole meal bread. At noon, the menu usually consists of a soup, meat and vegetables and a dessert. Traditionally, Germans take an evening meal of bread and cold meats around 18 pm. These habits tend to be dropped due to inconsistent schedules.
It is also common for Germans to sit down in a tea room at the time of the tea.
Meals are most often accompanied by beer or white wine (Riesling, Rivaner ...).

Tourism

Despite an increase in terrorism in European countries and an increase in petty delinquency in cities and places of high traffic, Germany is a safe and open country for tourism.
More than 40 German sites are inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List, witnesses to the cultural, natural and historical richness of the country.
Among the must-see
• the cathedrals of Aachen, Ulm, Cologne, Spiers and Hildesheim
• the Romantic Route lined with medieval cities and imperial cities
• the prehistoric sites of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria
• the Roman remains of Cologne and Trier
• the castles of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Nuremberg, Ludwigsburg and Neuschwanstein
• the monastic island of Reichenau on Lake Constance
• Dresden and its old town, an open-air cultural treasure
• The Black Forest
• the historical district of Hamburg
• the city of Lübeck, center of the Hanseatic League
• numerous national and regional parks
• ...

Beer festival (Oktoberfest), Christmas markets, Phantasialand amusement park are all opportunities to visit festive Germany.

Figures

Country :
Germany
Country code :
DE
Latitude :
51.165691
Longitude :
10.451526

Like it? Share it!