The one minute summary on Germany
This is it: one minute to the best info on Germany. This info alone will put you ahead of 99% of foreigners visiting Germany, garner the admiration of the locals who will instantly want to be your friends, and the envy of your fellow travelers. Read on. You’ll make friends faster that way, become a traveler instead of simply being a tourist, and also enjoy your travels a lot more.
As Europe’s largest economy and second most populous nation (after Russia), Germany is a key member of the continent’s economic, political, and defense organizations. European power struggles immersed Germany in two devastating World Wars in the first half of the 20th century and left the country occupied by the victorious Allied powers of the US, UK, France, and the Soviet Union in 1945.
With the advent of the Cold War, two German states were formed in 1949: the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The democratic FRG embedded itself in key Western economic and security organizations, the EC, which became the EU, and NATO, while the communist GDR was on the front line of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. The decline of the USSR and the end of the Cold War allowed for German unification in 1990. Since then, Germany has expended considerable funds to bring Eastern productivity and wages up to Western standards. In January 1999, Germany and 10 other EU countries introduced a common European exchange currency, the euro.
That was it. I promised one minute.
For other condensed info check also my other posts on local culture (don’t make the mistakes I made), local food or local drinks. And when you call your friends to tell them you were by far the most knowledgeable at the party, do that with confidence that you’ll not get hit with a 6.99 per minute bill. You’ll also pick the local food from the tray, and order a local drink with confidence.
- Cultural Mistakes To Avoid in Germany
- Does my current phone work in Germany ? Tips to cell phone usage in Germany
- Local food you should try in Germany and No miss drinks in Germany
Now, cheers to the most Germany aware person at the cocktail party.
What are the key history moments for Germany?
From the Holy Roman Empire to Imperial Germany The roots of German history and culture date back to the Germanic tribes and after that to the Holy Roman Empire. Since the early middle ages Germany started to split into hundreds of small states. It was the Napoleonic wars that started the process of unification, which ended in 1871, when a large number of previously independent German kingdoms united under Prussian leadership to form the German Empire (Deutsches Kaiserreich).
This incarnation of Germany reached eastward all the way to modern day Klaipeda (Memel) in Lithuania and also encompassed the regions of Alsace and Lorraine of today’s France, a small portion of eastern Belgium (Eupen-Malmedy), a small border region in southern Denmark and over 40% of contemporary Poland. The empire ended in 1918 when Emperor (Kaiser) Wilhelm II was forced to abdicate the throne at the time of Germany’s defeat at the end of World War I (1914-1918) and was followed by the short-lived and ill fated so called Weimar Republic, which tried in vain to completely establish a liberal, democratic regime. Because the young republic was plagued with massive economic problems stemming from the war (such as hyperinflation) and disgrace for a humiliating defeat in World War I, strong anti-democratic forces took advantage of the inherent organizational problems of the Weimar Constitution and the Nazis were able to seize power in 1933.
The one minute summary for Germany geography
Best places to see in Germany
Cultural and historical attractions Rothenburg ob der Tauber When thinking of Germany, beer, lederhosen and Alpine hats quickly come to mind, but these stereotypes mostly relate to Bavarian culture and do not represent Germany as a whole. Germany is a vast and diverse country with 16 culturally unique states that have only formed a political union since 1871 in the modern era, and including the significant 1945-1989 parenthesis. If you’re still looking for the cliches, the Romantic Road is a famous scenic route along romantic castles and picturesque villages.
With its fairy tale appearance, the Neuschwanstein Castle could be considered the most iconic of German castles. The walled city of Rothenberg ob der Tauber has a beautiful mediaeval centre that seems untouched by the passage of time. Similar typical German towns can be found elsewhere in the country, like Görlitz, Bamberg, Celle, Heidelberg, Erfurt, and Quedlinburg.
Your picture postcard visit to Germany will be complete with a visit to the beer halls of Munich and a peek of the Alps at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Germany is a modern industrial nation, and the Wirtschaftswunder is best represented by the industrial heritage of the Ruhr. Hamburg is another economic powerhouse with the second busiest port of the continent.
Frankfurt is the financial centre of Germany, and of Europe as a whole, as it is the base of the European Central Bank. Its skyline comes close to those found at the other side of the Atlantic. The fashion city of Düsseldorf, media industry of Cologne, and car companies in Stuttgart each represent a flourishing sector of the German economic miracle. A completely different experience can be found in Berlin, a city unlikely to be found anywhere else on the planet. While architecturally an odd mismatch of sterilised apartment blocks, post-modernist glass and steel structures, and some historic left-overs, it has a laid-back atmosphere and a culture of internationalism that accepts everyone as a “Berliner”. Its turbulent history gave rise to an enormous wealth of historical attractions, among them the Berlin Wall, Brandenburger Tor, Bundestag, Checkpoint Charlie, Fernsehturm, Holocaust Memorial, Rotes Rathaus, and the DDR Museum. But do not miss out the Prenzlauer Berg neighbourhood if you want to feel like a true Berliner. Schöningen : City of the Spears The Schöningen Spears are 8 wooden throwing spears from the Palaeolithic Age, that were found between 1994 and 1998 in the open-cast lignite mine, Schöningen, county Helmstedt, Germany, together with approx. 16,000 animal bones.
More than 300,000 years old they are the oldest completely preserved hunting weapons in the world and they are regarded as the first evidence of the active hunt by Homo heidelbergensis. These discoveries have permanently changed the picture of the cultural and social development of early man.
Natural attractions Due to its size and location in Central Europe, Germany boasts a large variety of different landscapes. In the north, Germany has an extensive coastline along the North Sea and the Baltic Seas in a vast area known as the North German Plain. The landscape is very flat and the climate is rough with strong winds and mild, chilly temperatures. Due to the south-easterly winds that press water into the German Bight, tidal variations are exceptionally high, creating the Wadden Sea. Vast areas of the seabed are uncovered twice a day, allowing one to walk from one of the numerous islands to another. The East Frisian Islands just off the coast are very picturesque, although mostly visited by the Germans themselves. Favourite white sand resorts along the Baltic Sea include Rügen and Usedom.
The central half of Germany is a patchwork of the Central Uplands, hilly rural areas where fields and forests intermix with larger cities. Many of these hill ranges are tourist destinations, like the Bavarian Forest, the Black Forest, the Harz, the Ore Mountains, and Saxon Switzerland. The Rhine Valley has a very mild, amenable climate and fertile grounds, making it the country’s most important area for wine and fruit growing. In the extreme south, bordering Austria, Germany contains a small portion of the Alps, Central Europe’s highest elevation, rising as high as 4,000 m (12,000 ft) above sea level, with the highest summit in Germany being the Zugspitze at 2962 m (9,717 ft). While only a small part of the Alps lie in Germany, they are famous for their beauty and the unique Bavarian culture.
Along the country’s southwestern border with Switzerland and Austria lies Lake Constance, Germany’s largest fresh-water lake. Itineraries Bertha Benz Memorial Route follows the tracks of the world’s first long-distance journey by automobile Romantic Road the most famous scenic route in Germany that starts in Würzburg and ends in Füssen