Germany – Reunited Country
Germany shares borders with Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and The Netherlands. Its area is 357,021 square kilometers. Its official name is Federal Republic of Germany.
During ancient and medieval times hundreds of Germanic, Celtic, and Slavic tribes lived in what is now Germany. For many years various princes and dukes and bishops ruled small states in the region. It was not until 1871 that these became united as a single nation.
In the early 20th century, Germany became involved in two world wars. After World War I the country suffered through difficult times and many people supported Adolf Hitler, who wanted to make Germany strong again. As the leader of the Nazi party he soon took control of the country. Germany entered World War II. The country was defeated in 1945 and was divided into East and West Germany. East Germany became a communist country, while West Germany was a democracy. Berlin, the former capital of Germany, was also divided.
In 1961 the East German government built the Berlin Wall to separate the two sides of the city. In 1989 the Berlin Wall fell. On October 3, 1990, Germany became one country again.
Germany’s capital is Berlin which was founded in the early 1200s. It has many historic buildings that survived the war: the Brandenburg Gate, Charlottenburg Castle, and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. The Brandenburg Gate has become a symbol of the 1990 reunification of East and West Germany.
Almost 90 percent of the population is German. There are small groups of Turks and other Europeans.
German is the official language.
Germany is one of the top industrial countries in the world. It produces automobiles, machinery, chemicals, food products, electrical equipment, metals, and other goods.
Germany’s natural resources include iron ore, coal, potash, timber, lignite, uranium, copper, natural gas, salt, and nickel.
The Schlossberg caves near Hamburg are Europe’s largest sandstone caves. Long corridors connect their vast, multi-tiered, and multicolored sandstone rooms.
The Messel Pit Fossil Site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has produced the largest known collection of fossils from the Eocene Age (between 36 million and 57 million years ago).
Zugspitze is the highest point (2,963 m).
Freepsum Lake is the lowest point (2 m below sea level).
Danube is the longest river (2850 km). The Rhine is one of the largest and most commercially important rivers in Western Europe.
Lake Constance is the longest lake (571.5 sq km).
– Germany is the birthplace of the world-famous composers of classical music. The most famous German composers were Bach, Handel, Beethoven, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Wagner and R. Strauss.
– There are over 1300 breweries, which produce more than 5000 varieties of beer! Weihenstephaner Brewery in Bavaria was built in 1040! It is the oldest brewery in the world.
– The term “ecology” was coined by the German biologist Ernst Haeckel in 1866.
– Ulm Cathedral is the tallest church in the world. Its height is 161.53 meters.
– Germany is the birthplace of the greatest philosophers of the world. The best known are: Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger…
– The longest word in the German language: Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft (79 letters).