Germany (Deutschland), officially the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland), is a federal parliamentary republic in west-central Europe. The country consists of 16 states, and its capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km² and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With 81.8 million inhabitants, it is the most populous member state in the European Union. Germany is one of the major political and economic powers of the European continent and a historic leader in many theoretical and technical fields.
A region named Germania, inhabited by several Germanic peoples, was documented before AD 100. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward and established successor kingdoms throughout much of Europe. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation while southern and western parts remained dominated by Roman Catholic denominations, with the two factions clashing in the Thirty Years’ War, marking the beginning of the Catholic-Protestant divide that has characterised German society ever since. Occupied during the Napoleonic Wars, the rise of Pan-Germanism inside the German Confederation resulted in the unification of most of the German states in 1871 into the German Empire, which was Prussian dominated.
After the German Revolution of 1918-1919 and the subsequent military surrender in World War I, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic in 1918, and some of its territory partitioned in the Treaty of Versailles. Despite its lead in many scientific and artistic fields at this time, amidst the Great Depression, the Third Reich was established in 1933. The latter period was marked by fascism and World War II. After 1945, Germany was divided by allied occupation, and evolved into two states, East Germany and West Germany. In 1990, the country was reunified. Germany was a founding member of the European Community in 1957, which became the EU in 1993. It is part of the Schengen Area, and since 1999, a member of the euro area. Germany is a great power and member of the United Nations, NATO, the G8, the G20, the OECD and the Council of Europe, and took a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2011-2012 term.
Germany has the world’s fourth largest economy by nominal GDP and the fifth largest by purchasing power parity. Subsequently, it is the second largest exporter and third largest importer of goods. The country has developed a very high standard of living and features a comprehensive system of social security, which includes the world’s oldest universal health care system. Germany has been the home of many influential philosophers, music composers, scientists and inventors, and is known for its rich cultural and political history.
Abensberg is a town in the Lower Bavarian district of Kelheim, lying around 30 km south-west of Regensburg, 40 km east of Ingolstadt, 50 km north-west of Landshut and 100 km north of Munich. It is situated on the Abens River, a tributary of the… [Read more]
Altötting is the county seat of the district of the same name in the administrative district of the Upper Bavaria and is located about 90 km east of Munich. The city experiences national importance as a place of pilgrimage with the Chapel of Grace… [Read more]
The Ammersee is after Chiemsee and Lake Starnberg the third largest lake in Bavaria (under the lakes, which lie exclusively in Bavaria) and reaching the farthest north alpine lake. The lake is owned by the Free State of Bavaria, the Bavarian… [Read more]
The Fuggerei is the world’s oldest social housing complex still in use. It is a walled enclave within the city of Augsburg, Bavaria. It takes it name from the Fugger family and was founded in 1516 by Jakob Fugger the Younger (known as “Jakob Fugger… [Read more]
The Barmsee is a maximum of 1.12 km long and a maximum of 0.49 km wide lake in the district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Upper Bavaria) in the territory of the municipality Krün north of Mittenwald. The sheltered location and its relatively large… [Read more]
Bavaria lies in the southeast of Germany and is with approximately 70,500 km² the area’s largest German country. As a landlocked country, Bavaria borders to the south and southeast Austria, in the eastern part the Czech Republic, in the southwest… [Read more]
The Befreiungshalle is a historical classical monument upon Mount Michelsberg above the city of Kelheim in Bavaria. It stands upstream of Regensburg on the Danube River at the confluence of the Danube and the Altmühl, i.e. the Rhine-Main-Danube… [Read more]
The old town of Burghausen is the largest city in the Upper Bavarian district of Altötting. It lies on the Salzach, which forms the border with Austria here. Set on a hill above the old town, the Burghausen Castle is the longest castle in the world… [Read more]
The Eibsee is a lake 9 km southwest of Garmisch-Partenkirchen below (3.5 km north) of the Zugspitze (2,962 m) in the Wetterstein mountains in Bavaria. In the northeast is the 4.8 ha and 26 m deep Untersee separated almost completely by a 50 m wide… [Read more]
The Fürstenfeld Monastery is a former Cistercian Abbey in Fürstenfeldbruck in Bavaria in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. It is located about 25 km west of the city of Munich. The former monastery was one of the household monasteries of the… [Read more]
The Geroldsee, also called Wagenbrüchsee, is a bog lake near Krün, a few kilometers from Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It has an area of 10.6 hectares, a maximum depth of 6.1 meters and falls flat. The location of the Bavarian bathing lake is fantastic:… [Read more]
Harburg (Swabia) is a town in the valley of the Wörnitz and lies on the Romantic Road between Nördlingen and Donauwörth. The word Harburg consists of two parts: “Har” and “Burg”. Old certificates speak of Harburc, Horeburch and Horburc. In Old High… [Read more]
The Hintersee (formerly Ferchensee or Forchensee) is a 16.4 hectare lake in the municipality of Ramsau in the Berchtesgadener Land, about two kilometers west of the center of Ramsau. Named after him is the village Hintersee directly on its western… [Read more]
The Höllental (Hell Valley) is a valley in the Zugspitze massif of the Wetterstein mountains, between Blassenkamm and Waxensteinkamm through which the stream Hammersbach flows and runs a well-known ascent of the Zugspitze. [Read more]
Kallmünz is a town in the Upper Palatinate district of Regensburg in Bavaria. The town is located at the confluence of Naab and Vils, about 25 km north and upstream of Regensburg on an ancient trade route to the east. Due to its location, the town… [Read more]
The Kochelsee (Lake Kochel) is located 70 km south of Munich on the edge of the Bavarian Alps. It belongs to the communities Schlehdorf in the west and Kochel am See in the east. While the southern part of the lake is surrounded by mountains, the… [Read more]
The Königssee is a long mountain lake in Berchtesgaden in the southeast of Bavaria and part of the municipality of Schönau am Königssee. It lies at the eastern foot of the Watzmann and is mainly fed by the Obersee through the Saletbach in the… [Read more]
The Linderhof Palace (Schloss Linderhof) is the smallest of the three palaces built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and the only one which he lived to see completed. Ludwig already knew the area around Linderhof from his youth when he had accompanied… [Read more]
Lüftlmalerei referred in particular in Upper Bavaria (Werdenfelser Land by Garmisch-Partenkirchen) and in Tirol to the native art form of facade painting. The Lüftlmalerei is a popular variant of the trompe l’oeil from the Baroque era, and imitates… [Read more]