The quick travel guide to Germany and Berlin
Germany is a large country in central Europe, it has borders with Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the south west and Belgium and The Netherlands to the west. It also has coastlines on the North Sea and the Baltic Sea both of which lie to the north of Germany.
Germany covers an area of 356,910 sq km which makes it the forth largest country in the EU by area. Germany has the largest population within the EU at 81.8 million people, it also has the third highest number of immigrants in the world living within it's borders, at 12.3%. East Germany was incorporated with West Germany in 1990 after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The integration added 108,333 sq km of territory to Germany and increased the population by around 16 million people. Subsequently the capital of Germany moved from Bonn in the west to Berlin in the east, today Berlin has a population of 3.45 m.
Geographically Germany has 3 main areas; the north German plains, the central highlands, the south central Alps. The fertile plains to the north are drained by the Wesser and Elbe rivers which flow into the North Sea and in the east by the River Oder which flows into the Baltic Sea. Within the central area lie the Harz Mountains and the Thuringian Forest. The land rises in southern Germany to the Bavarian Alps which form the border with Switzerland. The highest point in Germany is the the Zugspitze at 2,962 metres which is in the Alps. To the south east of the country lies the Black Forest which runs along the Rhine valley. Germany has a temperate climate with warming winds coming from the North Sea. The northern plains tend to be cooler while further south the temperature becomes more continental. An alpine climate exists within the mountainous areas with snow throughout the winter months.
Present day Germany is divided into 16 states many of which date back to the Middle Ages when the country was divided into separate duchies and cities. These are; Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenberg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony, North Rhine- Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia. Other large cities within Germany are as follows; Hamburg with 1.8 m people, Munich 1.35m, Cologne 0.99m. Frankfurt 0.67m, Stuttgart 0.6m.
A region named Germania, inhabited by several Germanic peoples, has been known and documented before AD 100. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire, which lasted until 1806. During the 16th century, northern Germany became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. As a modern nation-state, the country was first unified amidst the Franco-Prussian War in 1871. In 1949, after World War II, Germany was divided into two separate states—East Germany and West Germany—along the lines of Allied occupation. Germany was reunified in 1990. West Germany was a founding member of the European Community (EC) in 1957, which became the European Union in 1993. It is part of the Schengen zone and adopted the European currency, the euro, in 1999.
Location Map of Germany
Interactive Map of Germany
|Travel Guide to the European Union 2013|