A IS FOR AGRICULTURE, ARCHAEOLOGY, & ARCHITECTURE
Germany has many ARCHAEOLOGY sites including Roman Sites and Prehistoric Sites. Some of the first Neanderthal fossils were found in 1856 in a limestone quarry in Neanderthal. Xanten is an Archaeological Park.
The Bauhaus, a school of design, has had a strong influence over ARCHITECTURE and art. Buildings in Germany have a variety of architecture. The third largest dome in Europe is in the town of St. Blasien. The Weissenhof Row Houses are examples of modern architecture. Many castles and churches in South Germany are in Baroque Art.
Germany has hundreds of BRIDGES. The first covered bridges were built in this country in 1325. There are many modern steel bridge. Freeway bridges are being built over the Wilde Gaer Valley and over the Gauchach Valley. One of the greatest railroad bridges in Germany is the bridge across the valley of the Wupper River. The Lego Bridge is a concrete beam bridge which crosses over the Schwesterstraße in the North Rhine-Westphalian city of Wuppertal. In 2011, a graffiti and street artist repainted the bridge in the style of Lego bricks. In 2012, it was awarded the Deutscher Fassadenpreis Advancement Prize. Germany has many scenic BYWAYS including the Romantic Road, the Fairy Tale Road, the Alpine Road, and the Black Forest Road. The country has a variety of hiking trails including Rennsteig, the most well-known hiking trail in the country. It also has bike routes and long-distance cycling routes.
Germany has hundreds of CASTLES including Water Castles. Some are in ruins, some have been restored, and some have been converted into hotels. For its first 500 years, Nurnberg Castle was the residence of German Kings and Emperors. Ludwig II built many castles, but the Linderhof Palace was the only one completed in his lifetime. The castle at Disneyland in California was modeled after the Neuschwanstein Castle.
The first attempts to measure time with wooden CLOCKS were made in Germany in medieval times. Furtwangen in the Black Forest is the heart of the German clock and watchmaking industry, & the site of a training school for watchmakers and clockmakers. The German Clock Museum in Furtwangen has more than 8,000 items from throughout the world. The Village and Clock Museum Gütenbach features permanent and temporary exhibits on the local history of clockmaking and the history of making wooden clock movements. The Clock Museum in Freiburg is home of the cuckoo clock. A researcher from University of Bonn was one of 3 people to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics for work in development of atomic clocks.
Several species of DINOSAURS once lived in Germany. Solnhofen is home to some of the best fossils in the world. The Paleontology Museum in Munich has displays of dinosaurs. The Natural History Museum in Berlin has more than 30 million zoological, paleontological, and mineralogical specimens, including more than ten thousand type specimens. It is famous for two spectacular exhibits: the largest mounted dinosaur in the world, a preserved specimen of the earliest known bird the Archaeopteryx. and has a collection of dinosaur and reptile fossils. Hunsruck is the site of a famous fossil deposit.The Senckenberg Museum in Frankfort is particularly popular with children.
Germany is the largest national ECONOMY in Europe, the fourth largest in the world, and the third largest exporter in the world. Of the world's 2000 largest publicly listed companies measured by revenue, 53 are headquartered in Germany. The country is a world leader in the chemical industry. The country has a high reputation for design and workmanship of vehicles. Volkswagen is one of the largest manufacturers of motor vehicles in the world. Most of Germany's trade is within the European Community. Around two thirds of the world's leading trade fairs take place in Germany.
In Germany the free public EDUCATION system lies primarily with the states. Optional Kindergarten education is provided for all children between three and six years of age after which school attendance is compulsory, in most cases for 11 to 12 years. German secondary education includes several types of school: The Gymnasium, The Realschule, and the Hauptschule finishes after grade 9 or 10. The country provides many education programs for those with special needs.
Germany has many special EVENTS throughout the year. Karneval (Fashing or Mardi Gras) is celebrated the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and is one of the biggest festivals in Germany. Octoberfest is the biggest annual fair in the world and has been held in Munich since 1810. The state of Hesse has many festivals. The oldest festival in Germany is the Oberammergau Passion Play. The country has public holidays and religous holidays.
The FOOD of Germany dates back to the Celts. The arrival of the Romans influenced what is eaten in Germany today. Food in Germany has evolved through centuries of social and political change with variations and can be divided into several areas - Bavaria(southern Germany), Thuringia (central Germany), and Lower Saxon. Germany has a variety of grocery stores. The country has many restaurants including fast food. The pretzel and gingerbread are believed to have originated in Germany. Thuringer sausage is named after state of Thuringia. The World Food Day is celebrated.
FORESTS cover about 1/3 of Germany and provide lumber and paper products for the country. The Black Forest is the largest forest in Germany. The Thuringian Forest is famous for Wartburg Castle which is a World Heritage Site. The Oak is the National Tree of Germany.
The GLOBAL POSITION of Germany ranges from 52 to 30 degrees north latitude and 13 to 22 degrees east longitude. The country is located in central Europe. It is bordered on the north by the Baltic Sea and the North Sea and by several countries to the east, west, and south. The lowest point is Neuendorf-Sachsenbande and the highest is the Zugspitze - the highest peak of the Wetterstein Mountains. The country is composed of nearly 138,000 square miles. Geocaching is a high-tech game using a Global Positioning System, and Germany has many geocaches.
The GOVERNMENT of Germany is a democratic, federal, multi-party republic. The Reichstag in Berlin is the seat of German Government. The country is a member of the European Union. The country is also a member of the United Nations and is host to several UN institutions. Germany has Embassies in countries throughout the world, and many countries have Embassies in Germany.
Germany has many HISTORIC SITES and Special Attractions. Three of the most famous are the Black Forest, the Riechstag Building, and Neuschwanstein Castle. The Brandenburg Gate is one of the most famous landmark in Germany.
The HISTORY of Germany dates back thousands of years to the arrival of the Germanic People. Current history can be traced to Roman commander Julius Caesar and the Gallic Wars. Click HERE for a Germany history timeline year by year.
Germany is home to many INVENTIONS and inventors. The most famous invention of all time was the Gutenberg printing press. Other inventions include cuckoo clocks, blue jeans, the mercury thermometer, and x-rays.
Germany has nearly 300 ISLANDS. There are islands in the North Sea, and part of the East Frisian Islands are in Germany. There are also islands in lakes and rivers. Mainau Island in Lake Constance is known as the "Flower Island" and has a butterfly garden. Rugen Island in the Baltic is one of the largest islands in Germany. At one time the country had many Island Castles. The best-known island castle in Germany is Pfalzgrafenstein Castle near Kaub.
The southern portion of the JUTLAND Peninsula is part of Germany. The major cities of Southern Schleswig are Schleswig, the current border between Germany and Denmark; and home of the annual international piano festival; and Flesburg home to the Naval Academy Murwik.
Germany has been ruled by many KINGS and emperors. Due to the rapid succession of 3 monarchs, 1888 is called The Year of Three Emperors. The most famous emperor was Frederick I consider to be among the Holy Roman Empire's greatest medieval emperors. Wilhelm II was the last German Emperor (Kaiser) and King of Prussia. He was the eldest grandchild of the British Queen Victoria and related to many monarchs and princes of Europe..
German is the official LANGUAGE of Germany but there are different dialects or accents. German and English belong to the West Germanic language family and share numerous words that are quite similar in pronunciation or spelling. Two familiar words are "Kindergarten" (children just entering school) and "gesundheit" (said to someone when they sneeze).
Germany has many public and academic LIBRARIES. Many famous fairy tales and folklore came from German writers. The German Fairty Tale Route is a tourist attraction. Stories by The Brothers Grimm are wellknown, and there is a Brother Grimm Museum in Kassel. Heidleburg is a UNESCO City of Literature.
Germany has many active LIGHTHOUSES and Light vessels. There are 2 old lighthouses at Cape Arkona. The Bremerhaven Lighthouse is the oldest operative lighthouse on the mainland along Germany's North Sea shore. The lighthouse at Travemunde is the oldest lighthouse on the Baltic Coast. Lighthouses in Germany are operated by the regional harbor authority, called the Water and Shipping Office.
Germany has many MOUNTAINS and mountain climbing is a popular activity. The highest mountains are in Bavaria. A small part of the Alps is in Germany, but the country has one of the highest Alpine peaks - The Zugspitze. The Karwendel mountains have some of the best hiking trails in the country.
MUSEUMS are located thoughout Germany. The German Historical Museum was originally an arsenal. There are many state museums. The Vogtsbauenhofe Museum is an open air museum of farm life in the 16th and 17th century. The Berta Hummel Museum in Massing has the largest collection of Hummel figurines in Europe. The Natural History Museum in Dortmund documents the past 55 million years. The Pergamon Museum on Museum Island in Berlin has a world famous collection of antiquities.
MUSIC has long been a German tradition,and more than 100 music festivals are celebrated each year throughout the country. The country has over 100 professional orchestras and over 100 opera houses. A unique type of music called Oom-pah originated in Germany. Yodeling is part of the folk music of Bavaria. The country has produced many famous composers.
Germany has a population of nearly 83 million PEOPLE and is one of the most heavily populated countries in the world. Many famous people have called Germany their home. German sur names often indicate where a person was born or their occupation. Germany has had many Rulers including Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers. presidents, monarchs, State office-holders, and Barbarian states.
Germany has PORTS & harbors on the Baltic Sea, North Sea & along the rivers. The Port of Rostock is one of the biggest German Baltic ports. The Port of Kiel has deep-water harbor facilities & is connected to inland waterways. Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany & has the 2nd largest port in Europe. Germany has had many shipwrecks and wreck diving is popular.
Many RIVERS flow through Germany. The Rhine is the longest & one of the most important rivers. It is linked by canals to other major rivers and is used for shipping and transportation. It is connected to the Danube and provides a commercial route between the Black Sea and the North Sea. The Danube River flows into the Black Sea and all other German rivers flow into the North Sea or Baltic Sea. The Living Waters Program is involved in improving the water quality of the major rivers in Germany.
Germany is divided into 16 Federal STATES. The largest state is Bavaria which has 7 distinct regions and is the oldest state in Europe. The smallest state is Saarland. Evidence of human settlement there goes back to the stone age. Berlin and Hamburg are called "city states" and consist only of the city of their name. Bremen consists only of Bremen and Bremerhaven.
TRANSPORTATION in Germany includes all forms of transportation. The country has the 2nd largest road system in the world to include themed highways reflecting a feature unique to the region. The autobahns built in the 1930 were the first motorways in Europe. Officially there is no speed limit, but some states do impose them. Lufhansa is the National Airlines. Cities have excellent public transportation systems. And the country has many museums with transportation themes. The first license plates with letter of Germany were in issued in 1906. The license plate system of the Federal Republic of Germany began in 1949. There are many rules and regulations to know about driving in Germany
Both the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic became member of the UNITED NATIONS in 1973. The two countries merged in 1990, signifying an end of the Cold war era.
Germany has many UNIVERSITIES. Attendance at the universities is free and divided into general studies and a period of specialization later. Most Colleges of Education have been merged with universities. The University of Heidelberg is one of the oldest Universities in Europe.
Germany has many VINEYARDS including many famous vinyards. German Wine is primarily produced in the west of Germany with the oldest plantations going back to the Roman era. The county has 13 major wine regions. Bernkastel is one of the top wine growing regions in the country. "Bernkasteler Doktor" is one of the most famous vineyard names in the world. Germany has more than a thousand wine festivals every year and Wurstmarkt is the largest wine festival in the world.
Evidence of volcanoes is located at the Eifel Volcanic Field. The area is the target of a research project. The Eifel Volcano Field contains ash cones, lava domes, and explosion craters and is separated into east and west. The West Eifel Volcanic Field has over 200 individual volcanoes, and the East Eifel Volcanic Field has about 100. The Rhon mountains are partly the result of ancient volcanic activity. The Vogelsberg is the largest volcanic structure of central Europe.
The WEATHER in Germany is mild. The average temperature in January, the coldest month, is about 30 degrees. The hottest month, July, has an average temperature of about 70 degrees. The country has approximately 20-40 inches of rain a year. Germany has several Weather Stations. The weather station in Zugspitze opened in 1900. The research station Schneefernerhaus near the summit of the mountain Zugspitze conducts climate research.
Germany has several species of wildlife and many are endangered. Deer, lynx, and pine marten live in the forests. Beavers live in the Elbe Valley. The country has over 30 wildlife overpasses that serve as safe passage for wildlife, local farm vehicles and residents, and more are under construction. The park adjacent to Dornroschenschloss Sababury Castleis the oldest animal park in the world, dating back to 1571. The Biological Protection Association preserves and protects wild plants and animals. Germany has included protection of animals as part of its Basic Law. The and other heaths are protected game reserves. Germany is involved in the international efforts to protect species.
Germany has a variety of ZOOS including animal parks, wildlife parks, bird parks and more. The Augsburg Zoo has more than 2,000 animals and is involved in the European Endangered Species Programmes. The Hagenbeck Zoo in Hamburg is known for being the first zoo to use open enclosures surrounded by moats, rather than barred cages. The Berlin Zoo is the oldest and best known zoo in Germany and the only one with pandas and polar bears. Its Aquarium has been ranked among the public aquariums with the world’s greatest biodiversity.