Germany

Germany is located in the centre of Europe. It is bordered on the North by the North Sea, Denmark and the Baltic Sea; on the East by Poland and the Czech Republic; on the South by Austria and Switzerland and on the West by France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands.

For much of German history, Germany was a name for an area occupied by many different states. These were unified for 74 years in 1871, but were divided in two after the Second World War. These two republics were commonly known as East Germany and West Germany. On the 3rd October 1990, Germany once again became a unified nation.

Germany has an area of 356,959 square kilometres



The capital city of Germany, Berlin, is in the North-East of the country. Germany was previously divided into two countries (East Germany and West Germany). Bonn was the capital city of West Germany.


The German Flag


The official name of the German flag is Bundesflagge (federal flag).

The German flag is a horizontal tricolour, with black, red, and yellow stripes. The colours of the flag were those of the German soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars.

This has been the German flag on several occasions in the past. It first became the flag of Germany in 1848 when the different feudal German states became united. It was not used from 1871 when Bismarck came to power, until 1919 when Germany became a republic. It then was not used again during the Nazi’s control of Germany from 1933. Finally, it was adopted again in 1949 as the flag of West Germany and for the whole of Germany in 1990 when the two halves of the country were reunited.

The Physical Geography of Germany

The south of Germany is dominated by the outermost ranges of the Alpine mountains. From there it extends to the central German uplands which form the core of the country. This is part of a larger European land feature which stretches from France in the West to the Czech Republic and Poland in the West. In Germany this area is characterised by a mixture of forested mountains, flat areas (known as plateaus) and lowland basins. The Northern part of the country consists of the North German Plain, which is a lowland area extending across from the west in the Netherlands to the East of the Baltic states and to Denmark in the North.





Germany is criss-crossed by rivers. In addition to being on he course of the famous European river, the Rhine, Germany is where the Danube starts and the Elbe ends. It is also home to the Havel (with its many lakes) and the Mosel amongst others.






The weather tends to be more extreme than in the UK, with hotter summers, but colder and more snowy winters. The average monthly temperature in July is around 20˚C in the lowlands and around 25˚C in the sheltered valleys of the South. Unlike lots of other countries, Germany doesn’t have ant one particularly rainy month. Rainfall can be expected during all seasons.

The climate information below is based on long-term measurements of the weather:


Hamburg & Berlin

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

 Day temperature

2

3

8

13

18

22

23

23

19

13

7

4

 Night temperature

-3

-3

0

3

7

11

13

13

10

6

2

-1

 Sun hours

2

2

4

6

8

8

7

6

6

2

2

1

 Düsseldorf & Rhine to Frankfurt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Day temperature

3

5

11

16

20

23

25

24

21

14

8

4

 Night temperature

-2

-1

2

6

9

13

15

14

11

7

3

0

 Sun hours

2

3

5

6

8

7

7

6

5

3

2

1

 Stuttgart & Munich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Day temperature

1

3

9

14

18

21

23

23

20

13

7

2

 Night temperature

-6

-5

-2

3

7

10

12

11

8

4

0

-4

 Sun hours

2

3

5

6

7

7

7

7

6

4

2

1

 London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Day temperature

6

7

10

13

17

20

22

21

19

14

10

7

 Night temperature

2

2

3

5

8

11

13

13

11

8

5

3

 Sun hours

2

2

4

6

7

7

7

6

5

3

2

1


N.B All temperatures are in °C



Population

The population of Germany is estimated to be 82,443,000 in 2005. This is greater than that of the UK. There are, on average, 230 people living in each square kilometre of Germany. There are many large cities in Germany, although only four of them have a population of greater than one-million: Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne.

Language

The official language of Germany is German, whilst small numbers of people speak: Sorbian, Frisian and Low Saxon.

Religion

Approximately 33% of the population are Protestant and a further 33% are Catholic. The next largest group in Germany is that of those who are not religious (29% of the population). 2% of the population are Muslim and the remaining people are of other faiths.

Economy

Germany has adopted the Euro as its unit of currency (it originally used the Deutschmark).






Germany is the world’s third largest economy and is the world’s top exporter. The Gross Domestic Product of Germany (a way of measuring it’s wealth) is £17,000 per person. This is nearly the same as that of the UK.

Ten Fabulous Facts:

1. In 2002 British visitors spent 3.4 million nights in Germany.

2. 3 airlines fly from the UK/Ireland to Germany.

3. Almost every town in Germany has its own Christmas Market.

4. There are 1250 breweries in Germany and Becks produced the most beer in 2002 with an unbelievable 551 billion litres.

5. In Germany you can buy more than 300 sorts of bread and more than 1500 types of sausages and cold meats.

6. Germans are the world champions in collecting used paper and recycling.

7. The biggest waterfall in Europe is located near Konstanz in Neuhausen.

8. Lake Constance is third largest lake in Europe and the largest in Germany, covering an area of 5,715 km².

9. The river Rhine is the busiest waterway in Europe and the longest flowing through Germany (1,320km).

10. The first rocket to reach space was launched in Peenemünde.