Introduction to Germany
Germany is a modern, cosmopolitan and rich cultured country. Germans are renowned for being orderly and straightforward, but they also happen to be the highest consumers of beer in the world, plus their homeland is host to myriad celebrations throughout the year and complete with an edgy nightlife to boot.
Most of the Germany we know today was part of the Holy Roman Empire and, from the 1700s to 1918, the Kingdom of Prussia. The country lost some 2 million soldiers in World War I and during the recovery period that followed, a revolution occurred where Adolf Hitler infamously came to power with the Nazi party and World War II broke out. Germany’s struggles continued after Hitler’s defeat by the allied forces and the country was divided into East Germany, a communist state, and West Germany. The Berlin Wall was an ‘icon’ of the Cold War and its collapse in 1989 signalled freedom for those who struggled under the Soviet rule and were separated from family.
Germany boasts the largest population in Europe with around 82 million people. With an area of 357,000 square kilometres, that equates to about 230 people per square kilometre. Edgy Berlin is Germany’s hip and gritty capital, largest city and most popular party town with 3.4 million inhabitants. Other large cities include Hamburg, Munich, Cologne and the finance capital, Frankfurt.
Despite Germany’s large city areas, its proximity between the North Sea and Baltic coasts in the north as well as the Alps in the south furnish the country with some breathtaking, diverse scenery. The country boasts 14 national parks and over 100 nature reserves. Famous landmarks include the country’s highest mountain Zugspitze in the Northern Limestone Alps and the 865 kilometre-long River Rhine. Germany is also rich in artistic history, with names like Goethe, Bach and Beethoven all hailing from here.