Germany is Europe’s most populous country and has played a central role in the continent’s history. The country has a great cultural diversity, with both medieval cities or vibrant metropolises.
|State:||Federal Republic of the European Union|
|Population:||80.6 million (2013)|
|Population density:||231 residents per km²|
|Life expectancy:||79 years|
1 euro = 9.76 kr
|GDP per capita:||$ 34,900 (2010)|
|Time difference:||+0 hours|
|Electricity:||220 V AC, 50Hz|
|National Day:||October 3|
|Country area code:||49|
|2-Letter country abbreviation:||DE (See more abbreviations on Abbreviationfinder)|
|Business:||service sector 64%, industry 34%, agriculture 2%|
|Climate:||temperate; cold, humid winters (colder in the east and south) and mild summers|
Germany’s modern history is marked by the two world wars that led to the country being divided in 1945 into West Germany, East Germany and Austria. The country also lost large tracts of land to other countries, mainly Poland. In 1990, West and East Germany were reunited, with the incorporation of East Germany into West Germany. The former West Germany makes up about 70 percent of today’s Germany.
The country has a great diversity of cities, landscapes and sights. Culture flourishes in the capital Berlin. History mixes well with the present, the nightclub scene is widely known and the variety is enormous. But even cities like Hamburg, Cologne and Frankfurt are now making headlines in various lifestyle magazines around the world.
Germany’s landscape is diverse. To the north are the North and Baltic coasts, to the south the high peaks of the Alps rise. In between you will find a variety of landscape types: agricultural areas, vast river and lake landscapes, forested regions, city centers and low mountain areas.
Many great poets and famous musicians come from Germany. Names such as Goethe, Günther Grass, Bach and Beethoven testify to a long tradition as a prominent cultural land.
Germany – then West Germany – co-founded the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951, which later developed into the EU. The country is today one of the EU’s leading powers, and since 1955 has also been a member of the NATO military alliance.
The James Bond films “Octopussy” and “Tomorrow Never Dies” are both largely shot in Germany. The same goes for the films “Cabaret”, “The Pianist”, “Sky over Berlin”, “The Great Escape” and “Inglourious Basterds”.
The following objects in Germany are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The year in which the item was added to the list is indicated in parentheses.
- Aachen Cathedral (1978)
- Speyer Cathedral (1981)
- The castle in Würzburg with park and square (1981)
- Pilgrim Church in Wies (1983)
- Augustusburg Palace and Falkenlust in Brühl (1984)
- The Cathedral and St. Michael’s Church in Hildesheim (1985)
- Roman remains, the cathedral and the Liebfrauen church in Trier (1986)
- Northern Frontier of the Roman Empire (1987)
- Hansestaden Lübeck (1987)
- Palaces and parks in Potsdam and Berlin (1990)
- Monastery and church in Lorsch (1991)
- Rammelsbergsgruvan, the old town in Goslar and Oberharz water shelf (1992)
- The Monastery of Maulbronn (1993)
- Staden Bamberg (1993)
- Church, Castle and Old Town of Quedlinburg (1994)
- Völklingen’s Ironworks (1994)
- Fossil deposits in the Messel mine (1995)
- Lutheran monuments in Eisleben and Wittenberg (1996)
- Cologne Cathedral (1996)
- Bauhaus School in Dessau and Bauhaus Buildings in Weimar (1996)
- Classic Weimar (1998)
- Museum Island, Berlin (1999)
- Wartburgborgen, Eisenach (1999)
- Klosterön Reichenau (2000)
- Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Area (2000)
- Zollverein’s coal mines and industrial landscape in Essen (2001)
- Stralsund and Wismar Historical Center (2002)
- Middle Rhine Valley (2002)
- Bremen City Hall (2004)
- Muskauer Park on the river Neisse (2004)
- Regensburg Historical Center (2006)
- Beech forests in the Carpathians and ancient beech forests in Germany (2007)
- Berlin’s modernist residential area (2008)
- Wadden Sea, tidal coast (2009)
- Prehistoric outbuildings in or around the Alps (2011)
- Fagusverken i Alfeld, Niedersachsen (2011)
- Bayreuth Opera House, built 1745-1750 in typical Baroque style (2012)
- Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, Kassel (2013)
- Carolingian Monastery Corvey (2014)
Electricity and electrical outlets in Germany
Voltage: 230 V
Frequency: 50 Hz
Type of plug: C, F
Need an adapter: No, you do not need an adapter.
CLIMATE AND WEATHER
Weather in Berlin
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According to Countryaah, Berlin is the capital of Germany and its most populous city with 3.4 million residents (2006). With suburbs, the city has 4.35 million residents.
Through its cultural and historical heritage, Berlin is one of Europe’s most famous and visited metropolises. Berlin is a significant traffic hub and an important economic and cultural center in Germany and Europe. Institutions such as universities, research centers, theaters, museums but also festivals, nightlife and architecture in Berlin have a world-wide reputation. Historically, Berlin has been the capital of several historic German states, such as Mark Brandenburg, Prussia, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany and East Germany. Since 1991, Berlin has been the capital of reunited Germany. From the end of the war, Bonn had served as the capital of West Germany and East Berlin as the capital of East Germany.
Bonn is a city in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and is located on both sides of the Rhine, about 40 kilometers south of Cologne. The city has 316,416 residents (2007) and is part of the metropolitan area Rheinschiene.
The city has a history of over 2000 years and is one of Germany’s oldest cities. Until the end of the 18th century, Bonn was the residence of the Elector of Cologne. The city’s university developed during the 19th century into one of Germany’s most important universities. Bonn was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990, and the capital of the reunited Germany from 1990 to 1990. Until 1999, Bonn was the seat of government. After the government and ministries moved, six ministries (Bundesministerien) today have their headquarters here.
The former government and parliamentary quarters, the Bundesviertel, have changed in recent years. Today, the area is characterized by large German groups’ administration buildings, Deutsche Welle’s radio house and an international congress center.
Bremen is a city in northern Germany with 547,934 residents (2006). The city is more than 1,200 years old, and is also one of the foremost Hanseatic cities in history. It is located near the mouth of the River Weser, about 120 km from Hamburg.
In the center of the Marktplatz, i.e. at the square, are the old Gothic town hall and the Roland statue, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as Bremen Cathedral, Bremer Dom.
Dortmund is a city in the Ruhr area of Germany, with 586,909 residents (2007). During the Middle Ages, the city was a Hanseatic city and today is in a time of structural change. The business that seems to be the most important for Dortmund is considered to be telecommunications and other logistics.
Today, the city still has a significant iron and machine industry as well as several large breweries. There has also been extensive coal mining in the past, but today there is no active mine.
Dresden is a city in the southeastern part of Germany with 505,563 residents (2007). During the 13th century, the Count Meissen had a castle built near the fishing village of Drezdzany on the Elbe, and in 1206 the area was referred to as Dresdene. The village and the protected marketplace below the castle grew rapidly, Dresden changed character from a fishing village to a market, and in the 13th century the Frauenkirche and the first fixed bridge over the Elbe were built, connecting the other side, the Altendresden, with the castle. Dresden is first mentioned as a city with privileges in 1216.
Dresden is considered one of Europe’s greenest cities, with forests and green areas covering 63 percent of its area. Dresdner Heide north of the city is a forest of 50 square kilometers. There are four nature reserves, and also nature reserves of about 18 square kilometers. The protected parks, gardens, park roads and old cemeteries in the city contain 110 natural monuments. The Elbe Valley in Dresden is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, preserving Dresden’s ancient cultural landscape. Part of this area is the Elbe meadows, which run 20 km across the city.
At the end of World War II, Dresden experienced the greatest disaster in its history. Between October 7, 1943 and April 17, 1945, Dresden was bombed under eight raids by about 2,500 bombers.
The fires were so intense that people and vehicles standing on the street were sucked into burning houses. The outdoor temperature in the hardest hit parts rose to 500 degrees and the bomb crews at an altitude of 4,000 meters felt the heat in the aircraft. People who took refuge in fountains and ponds in the Altmarkt district were literally boiled alive. It is estimated that 25,000 people died during the bombings. 6,865 bodies were cremated at the Altmarkt on 25 February. SS personnel from the Treblinka concentration camp were called to Dresden to provide expert help in cremation.
An area of 15 square kilometers in the city was completely destroyed, including: 14,000 homes, 72 schools, 22 hospitals, 19 churches, 5 theaters, 50 bank and insurance buildings, 31 shops, 31 large hotels and 62 administration buildings. A total of 36 square kilometers of the city were completely or severely bombed.
After World War II, Dresden became a major industrial center in communist East Germany, with strong research infrastructure. As early as 1945, an attempt was made to clear the ruins, and in 1946 the first reconstruction plan was presented. Many important historic buildings were rebuilt, although the communist leadership chose to reconstruct large parts of the city in a “socialist modern” style, partly for economic reasons,
From 1985 to 1990, Vladimir Putin, the future president of Russia, was stationed in Dresden by the KGB.
Düsseldorf is the capital of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and has 581,122 residents (2007). It is located mainly on the eastern side of the Rhine where the river Düssel flows, and is part of the metropolitan area Rheinschiene. Düsseldorf’s industries span between such diverse areas as chemistry, machine manufacturing, the electronics industry, telecommunications and food manufacturing. Düsseldorf’s proximity to Cologne and the Ruhr area, together with its role as state capital, have made it a business center.
The old town is known for its many beer cabins and is said to be the world’s longest bar. Several music groups such as Kraftwerk, DAF and Die Toten Hosen come from Düsseldorf.
Essen is a city in Germany located on the river Ruhr, about 10 kilometers east of the river Rhine. With its 582,140 residents (2007), it is the second largest city in the Ruhr area and the third largest in North Rhine-Westphalia.
During the Second World War, Essen was almost completely destroyed, and most of what was left disappeared during the reconstruction and modernization wave of the 1950s, which is why Essen does not have much to offer of architectural monuments. A building that is a landmark is the Opera House, designed by the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. In addition, there is the old synagogue Alte Synagoge, Villa Hügel (former home of the Krupp family) and Margarethenhöhe.
From the 1960s, Essen has become a place of emigration where the city has lost 20 percent of its population. The city’s formerly successful mining and engineering industry was closed down from the 1960s due to unprofitability. The city suffered from high unemployment in connection with the large closures. Essen has pushed through major restructurings to find new solutions. In recent years, emigration has been halted, even though problems in population development remain.
Frankfurt is a city in western Germany, located on the river Main, with 670,000 residents (2007). Frankfurt together make up Wiesbaden, the capital of the Rhineland-city metropolitan area, with 4 million residents.
The city was heavily bombed during World War II and the post-war reconstruction has been marked by certain restorations (such as Goethe’s birthplace and the old opera house Alte Oper). The city has otherwise mainly built modernist high-rise buildings. Frankfurt took over Berlin’s position as West Germany’s financial center after the war, and the stock exchange moved to the city.
Frankfurt has a skyline that is rather unusual for European conditions with a large number of skyscrapers, including Europe’s second highest, Commerzbank. To a large extent, the city center does not have a typical European appearance, but looks more like an American metropolis. The city has also been jokingly called Mainhattan.
Frankfurt is also the city of trade fairs with one of the world’s largest trade fair complexes, Messe Frankfurt. Among other things, the world’s largest music fair, Musikmesse, a large book fair and one of the world’s largest car exhibitions, IAA, are arranged there.
Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city with 1,746,893 residents (2006) and about 3 million with suburbs. Hamburg is one of Germany’s most important cities, not least through the city’s port, which has one of Europe’s largest container ports. Economically and culturally, the city is a center for the whole of northern Germany.
Hamburg, like other major port cities like Amsterdam, is known for its lively nightlife centered around the Reeperbahn. This is a legacy from the time when sailors often had to wait for several days for their ships to be unloaded and loaded and in the meantime demanded various pleasures. In the early 1960s, it was at a Reeperbahn club that the Beatles began their careers. In Hamburg, there is virtually no closing time for bars and nightclubs, which means that nightlife starts relatively late.
Hamburg is known for its rich cultural life with, among other things, a large number of theaters. Over the centuries, the affluent merchant class has contributed to distinguished art collections at the city’s museums.
Hannover has been the capital of the state of Lower Saxony in Germany since 1946 with 518,056 residents (2008). It is the largest city in the state and the third largest in northern Germany.
After the Second World War, the city was in the British occupation zone and a municipal constitution based on the British model was created. The city was rebuilt after World War II under the leadership of City Planning Councilor Rudolf Hillebrecht. Hannover came to create a completely new road and street network that has become widely known. In 1974, a comprehensive municipal reform took place where a number of cities and areas became part of Hanover.
After the Second World War, Hanover developed into one of the world’s largest trade fair cities and annually holds several of the largest trade fairs, including the IT trade fair CeBIT. In 2000, it hosted the world exhibition Expo 2000.
Hanover is located in the important industrial region of Lower Saxony. The city includes Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz. The tire manufacturer Continental AG has long been one of the city’s large companies.
Heidelberg is a city in Germany with 144,634 residents (2006), and together with Mannheim and Ludwigshafen am Rhein constitutes the core area of the Rhine-Neckar, a metropolitan area with over 1.8 million residents.
The area where the city is located has been populated at least since the Neolithic, but the lower jaw has also been found from a man, who was given the name Homo Heidelbergensis and is estimated to have been there about 500,000 years ago.
The university, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, which is Germany’s oldest, was founded in 1386. The city also has colleges for teacher education, church music education and education about the religion and culture of the Jews. Heidelberg is one of the few German cities that survived the bombings of World War II and therefore has an old town, the Altstadt, which contains many sights.
In 1972, the US Army’s headquarters in Heidelberg were bombed by the West German terrorist organization Red Army Faction. Queen Silvia of Sweden was born in Heidelberg.
Kiel is a city in Germany with 235,366 residents (2006). During the Cossack winter of 1813, Kiel was taken by Sweden. The following year, Kiel came under Danish rule to become a member of the German Confederation in 1815.
Kiel is one of Germany’s most important port cities and ferries from Norway and Sweden, among others, go here. Stena Line operates daily between Gothenburg and Kiel. Color Line operates daily between Oslo and Kiel.
Cologne is a city in western Germany with 995,397 residents (2007) and is Germany’s fourth largest city. It is also Germany’s oldest city and was built in 50 AD. Roman city privilege. The city was named Colonia Agrippina after Agrippina dy, the birthplace of the Roman emperor Claudius.
The city serves as the capital of the administrative area Regierungsbezirk Köln, which also includes Bonn, Aachen, Leverkusen and Bergisch Gladbach. Regierungsbezirk Köln has about 4.4 million residents.
Cologne is primarily associated with a 2000-year-old cultural heritage, the Gothic cathedral Cologne Cathedral, the Eau de Cologne and its international art and gallery scene. Cologne is a commercial metropolis and a distinct media city with a large number of television companies and publishers. The city’s film and media sector is one of the largest in the country.
Cologne is the local dialect of Cologne. It is an urban dialect with many French elements. Cologne is also the name of the local beer that is brewed in and around Cologne and which is available in about 30 varieties.
Leipzig is a city in Germany with 510,651 residents (2008) located 190 kilometers southwest of Berlin. The city received its city rights in 1165.
In 1813, here was the Battle of Leipzig when Austria, Prussia and Russia defeated France and allies under Napoleon’s leadership. The monument to the battle, the Völkerschlachtdenkmal, located south of the city itself, has become one of Leipzig’s hallmarks.
In connection with the end of the war in 1945, Leipzig was briefly under American control before the city came under Soviet control. When the GDR was founded in 1949, Leipzig became the city of residence in the district of Leipzig. During the GDR era, Leipzig became one of the country’s most important cities.
In 1989, large-scale demonstrations against the regime took place in Leipzig. In retrospect, these so-called Monday demonstrations (Monday Demo) are considered a trigger for the political upheaval in the GDR in the autumn of 1989.
Johann Sebastian Bach lived in the city for many years, and is also buried here.
Lübeck is a northern German port city with 211,213 residents (2006) located on the river Trave. In Swedish, the city’s name is sometimes spelled Lybeck. Parts of the older city were severely damaged by airstrikes in 1942, but have been partially reconstructed after World War II.
Lübeck is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mannheim is a city in Germany with 309,712 residents (2007). It is located in the northwestern corner of the state of Baden-Württemberg at the mouth of the river Neckar on the Rhine.
The city is an important industrial and university city. Mannheim also has Europe’s second largest lake port with large boat traffic on both rivers. The proximity to a number of motorways, which run in both north-south and east-west directions, the railway and an airport further contribute to the city having exceptionally good communications.
Immediately across the Rhine is Ludwigshafen in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, and just southeast of Mannheim is Heidelberg. These three cities are the core area of the Rhine-Neckar area, a metropolitan area with over 1.8 million residents.
Mannheim Castle is one of the largest baroque castles in Europe. The castle was almost completely destroyed in World War II and rebuilt mainly for use as a university and for government agencies.
Munich is the capital of the state of Bavaria in southern Germany and has 1,311,573 residents (2007). In the entire metropolitan area live about 2.5 million residents.
After World War II, Munich became one of the most important cities in the new West Germany. The city came under American occupation in 1945. The city, which was severely destroyed during the war, was rebuilt and, unlike most other German cities, the reconstruction took place in a more conservative spirit, preserving the street network that existed before the war.
The city benefited from the growth of the major car industries, not least BMW. The German defense industry, which was re-created after Germany’s accession to NATO in 1955, was mainly concentrated in the city.
In 1972, the Olympic Games were held in Munich, which accelerated the construction of new infrastructure such as the Munich Metro and commuter trains that were ready for the Games. The Olympics were hit by a terrorist attack when eleven Israeli athletes were murdered by the Palestinian group Black September.
Oktoberfest (locally known as Wiesn) is a large beer festival, held in late September and early October each year in Munich. The first Oktoberfest was held in 1810, and today Oktoberfest is considered the largest folk festival in the world.
In Munich is the Deutsches Museum with the world’s largest collection of scientific and technical character.
Nuremberg is the second largest city in the state of Bavaria in Germany, with 501,265 residents (2007) in the city itself, and almost 1.4 million in the metropolitan area.
During the time of the Third Reich, Nuremberg became herostratically famous through the National Party Days, which the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) held every year from 1933 in the city. Nuremberg was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War, but during the reconstruction, the focus has been on trying to recreate the medieval city structure. Immediately after the war, the victorious powers carried out war crimes trials in the city ?? The Nuremberg trials. The city has also emerged as a large toy city with large annual fairs for model trains, among other things.
Stuttgart is the capital of the German state of Baden-Württemberg in southwestern Germany. The city is located between the Black Forest and the Swabian Alps and has 593,923 residents (2006), as well as over 3 million in the entire metropolitan area. During World War II, the city was hit hard by Allied bombing, which has given the city’s architectural structure a modern touch.
The Stuttgart region has the largest concentration of scientific, academic and research-oriented workplaces in all of Germany. Here, proportionally speaking, most is invested in research and development, corresponding to around SEK 40 billion a year. In addition to two universities, the city has eight universities of applied sciences, two Max Planck institutes and a number of other research institutes. The consequence of this is that nowhere else in Germany are so many patent applications presented as in Stuttgart.
Stuttgart is considered one of the world’s four car capitals. The other three are Toyota in Japan, Detroit in the United States and Turin in Italy.
Weimar is a city of 64,481 residents (2006) in the German state of Thuringia. Among others, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe lived there, and his friendship with Friedrich von Schiller is considered to have been of extraordinary importance to German literature and culture.
A contemporary Weimarbo was the historian and educator Johann Gottfried Herder. Even today you can visit Goethe’s residential building in Weimar, which is now a museum. In 1999, Weimar was the European Capital of Culture, while Goethe’s 250th birthday was celebrated with a series of events in Germany throughout the year.
Other cultural figures who lived in Weimar during the 19th century were the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and the composer Franz Liszt. During the 20th century, the Art Nouveau artist Henry van de Velde stayed in Weimar and Walter Gropius, who created the Bauhaus, a school of design and architecture that was the origin of functionalism.
In 1998, “Classic Weimar” was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.