Germany (German: Deutschland), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.
Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,578 square kilometres (138,062 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying entirely in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a very decentralised country. Its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport.
In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic. The Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to World War II, and the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American, British, and French occupation zones, and East Germany, formed from the western part of the Soviet occupation zone, reduced by the newly established Oder-Neisse line. Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990.
Today, Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor. It is a great power with a strong economy. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993. Read more...
Anniversaries for June 1
Did you know...
Did you know ...
- ... that Michael Boddenberg (pictured), the minister of finance of the German state of Hesse, once directed a school for butchers and bakers?
- ... that American tenor Scot Weir sang Hans Zender's contemporary version of Schubert's Die Winterreise with chamber orchestra in a performance of the Hamburg Ballet?
- ... that several hymns for Pentecost in different languages are based on the 9th-century Veni Creator Spiritus?
- ... that the hymn "Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier", a prayer for illumination because the human mind is "shrouded in darkness", became popular in English as "Blessed Jesus, at your word"?
- ... that after the 7th Infantry Regiment captured Hitler's Berghof on 4 May 1945, its commander, Colonel John A. Heintges, took Hermann Göring's 1941 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet B for his personal use?
- ... that with the growth of the Werl pilgrimage to a statue of Mary, a large Romanesque Revival basilica was built adjacent to the former Baroque style church?
- ... that Helmut Machemer joined the army of Nazi Germany in the hope of winning a bravery award to save his part-Jewish family?
- ... that the first earth-return telegraph was set up along the Nuremberg–Fürth railway line in 1838?
Selected fare or cuisine
Maultaschen (singular Maultasche) is a traditional German dish that originated in the region of Swabia. It consists of an outer-layer of pasta dough which encloses a filling traditionally consisting of minced meat, smoked meat, spinach, bread crumbs and onions and flavored with various herbs and spices (e.g. pepper, parsley and nutmeg). Maultaschen are similar to the Italian ravioli but are typically larger in size—each Maultasche being approximately 8-12 centimeters (3-5 inches) across. They are almost invariably square or rectangular in shape.
On 22 October 2009, the European Union recognized Maultaschen (Schwäbische Maultaschen or Schwäbische Suppenmaultaschen) as a "regional specialty" and remarked that the dish is significant to the cultural heritage of Baden-Württemberg. This measure provides protection to the integrity of the dish, mandating that genuine Maultaschen are only produced in Swabia, a historical region that was incorporated into the modern German states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. Read more...