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Germany is a land of beautiful lush green forests located in Western Europe. Nine countries have borders with Germany along with the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.
The country has a population of over 84 million people. The largest city is Berlin which has over 3.4 million people.
Quick Facts about Germany
- Germany is the seventh largest country in Europe. The land mass of Germany is 137,847 square miles (357,021 square kilometers) which includes 3,011 square miles (7,798 square kilometers) of water.
- Over 32% of the land is covered in forests. The largest forest in Germany is the Black Forest (Schwartzwald) located in the state of Baden-Württemberg, the southwest part of Germany.
- Oktoberfest, the largest beer festival in the world, is held in the Bavarian city of Munich, Germany. It began on October 12, 1810 when Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese held their wedding ceremony. All the people of the village were invited to the festival and the tradition continued each year since that day.
- There are over 25,000 castles in Germany. The longest castle is the Burghausen castle complex located in Burghausen, Upper Bavaria.
- The Gutenberg printing press is located in Mainz, Germany. This is the first press that transferred ink from movable type to paper sheets. Because of this process, books were able to be mass produced.
Germany is surrounded by nine countries which include Poland and the Czech Republic on the east; Austria and Switzerland on the south; France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands on the west.
The northern border of Germany includes the North Sea on the northwest, Denmark on the north, and the Baltic Sea on the northeast.
German is the official langauge in Germany. High German is the main spoken language and for those who learn German as a second language.
There are many dialects of German spoken in Germany including Hochdeutsch (High German) which is the most standard German language. Other versions of the German language include Bayerisch (Bavarian Dialect), Österreichisches Deutsch (Austrian German), Schwiizerdütsch (Swiss German), Berlinerisch (Berlin Dialect) and Plattdüütsch (Low German).
English, French and Latin are secondary languages taught in schools throughout Germany.
The temperatures in Germany are moderate and include colder temperatures during the winter months and warmer temperatures during the summer months. Temperatures average around 22°C (72°F) during August and around 0°C (32°F) during January. These temperatures vary some depending on where the city is located.
Germany does have snow during the winter months; however, is does not stay around very long. There have been some years with summer temperatures reaching 38°C (100°F).
- Berlin – Berlin is the capital of Germany. It is the largest city in Germany with over 3.4 million people from around the world living within the city limits. Berlin has many places to visit and things to do. A “hop-on hop-off” sightseeing bus tour stops around different places in Berlin such as the Brandenburger Tor, Checkpoint Charlie, the Gendarmenmarkt, the Kurfürstendamm/Rankestraβe and so many more beautiful sites.
- Hamburg – Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany with a population of almost 1.8 million people. The city is a major transportation hub and lies on the River Elbe which flows into the North Sea.
- Frankfurt am Main – Frankfurt am Main is the fifth largest city in Germany with over 753,000 people. Much of Frankfurt was destroyed during WWII and has been rebuilt since that time. The city shows some older architecture along with many newer buildings intertwined. Frankfurt is a major financial center of Europe and holds the German stock exchange, the European Central Bank headquarters and other important financial institutions.
- Munich – Munich is the capital of Bavaria with a population of over 1.4 million people. Munich is a main hub for international science, culture, technology, education and research. It is famous for Oktoberfest held annually in the early fall season.
- Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) – From mid to late November until Christmas Eve, almost all cities, towns and villages in Germany have a Weihnachtsmarkt. The Markts will have selling booths with items such as beautifully made leather goods, hand carved wooden gifts, homemade sewn clothing and so much more.
- The Black Forest – Schwarzwald (The Black Forest) is located in Baden-Württemberg in southwest Germany. It is 2,320 square miles (6,008 square kilometers) and holds many species of trees, rivers, and waterfalls. Cities to visit within the Black Forest include Freiburg, Badische Weinstrasse, and Triberg. In In Triberg is the Schwarzwaldmuseum, which has the world’s biggest cuckoo clock.
- Gutenberg Museum – The Gutenberg Museum is located in an older sector of Mainz, Germany which is the hometown of Johannes Gutenberg. Johannes was the inventor of the movable metal type press in Europe. In the museum, the recreated original printing press is displayed and is active with visitors able to actually work the press.
- Saar Historical Museum – The Saar Historical Museum is located near the German – French border in the city of Saarbrücken. The museum holds a permanent exhibition along with a current exhibition. The main attraction is the original underground castle upon which the museum is built. The original walls, fortifications, shooting chamber, a moat and many more sites are available to see walking throughout the castle.
- Hiking in Germany – With its lush green forests located throughout the country, the German people walk, hike and bike everywhere. Trails are located between villages where one can walk from village to village. Along some trails are apple trees and berry bushes in which the hiker can grab a fresh snack while trekking to the next destination. Some larger famous trails include Painters’ Way in the Elbe Mountains, the Rhine Castles Trail beginning in Rolandsbogen in Remagen, and Triberg Waterfalls in the Black Forest.
- Neuschwanstein Castle – The Neuschwanstein Castle lies against the Bavarian Alps in the village of Hohenschwangau near the town of Füssen. The Neuschwanstein Castle is best know for being the model of the Disney Cinderella Castle.
- Hohenzollern Castle – The Hohenzollern Castle is located near Hechingen, about 39 miles (63 kilometers) southwest of Stuttgart. It is the ancestral seat of the imperial House of Hohenzollern. Today, when the Prince and Princess of Prussia are staying inhouse, the Castle flag is raised high telling the people that royalty is in town.
- Lichtenstein Castle – The small Lichtenstein Castle is located south of Stuttgart, Germany in Baden- Württemberg. This castle is one of the newer castles in Germany with construction beginning in 1840 and finishing in 1842. Lichtenstein Castle is known for its stunning looks as it sits upon the cliff looking down upon the many hills and valleys of the land.