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Map of Germany

Population: 82.2 Million
Area in sq mile: 137.800
Capital: Berlin
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About Germany

Germany has a surface area of 356,734 km². Through its long history Germany’s borders have changed many times. After the Second World War Germany was divided into two countries, East Germany and West Germany, which were reunited in 1990. With more than 80 million inhabitants, Germany is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia. The country has a temperate climate with mild winters and summers.

Many of Germany’s cities are situated next to rivers, of which the Rhine is the most important. It connects the industrial centre of the Ruhr Valley (Ruhrgebiet) with the Dutch ports and the city of Basel in Switzerland. The Rhine is also a popular river for pleasure cruises. The Rhine flows past pine forests, steep hills covered in vineyards and medieval castles atop rocky outcrops.

Today the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany, once again, is Berlin, a city of 3.5 million inhabitants. For years Berlin was famous for the Wall that divided East from West. Now that the city has been reunited, tourists can learn about Germany’s history by visiting sites such as Checkpoint Charlie, the remains of the Wall, the Gedächtniskirche (Memorial Church) and the Brandenburg Gate.

In addition to its large industrial areas with automobile and machinery manufacturing plants, and chemical plants near the large cities, Germany also has swathes of countryside with farms and vineyards. Its most famous wines are the Moselle and the Rhine wines. Large-scale wine festivals are held all along the Rhine in October.

Tourism is growing in the north on the Baltic Sea, especially on the islands of Rügen and Hiddensee. There are beautiful vast forests in central and southern Germany, such as the Thüringer Forest and the Harz Mountains. To the south is the Black Forest, famous for the cuckoo clock and Schwarzwalderkirschtorte (Black Forest cake, made of chocolate and cherries). Dotted throughout all that natural beauty are countless medieval castles and fortresses.

German cuisine features hearty fair, such as potatoes and sausages, and beer is a popular beverage.

You will find a wide range of information in German on the Internet, much of it posted by travel agencies offering complete holiday packages. Regional information can be found on tourist office websites and on provincial and municipal websites.

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