Germany is where the notion of Superman was born – in the guise of Übermensch. Its prowess in virtually every field, from the arts to science and technology, dwarfs its European neighbors. It is a land of great composers – Beethoven, Bach, Wagner – and great thinkers – Kant, Nietzsche, Marx. It is the land of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, and Rudolf Steiner. It is a land of glorious castles and soaring cathedrals, and fabled wine regions besides. It is the land of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche. It is the land of Oktoberfest, the biggest beer bash on the planet, and of techno music, which continues to captivate the hip. Germany gave us two world wars to tear the world apart, and two monumental unions, that of Germany (Reunification) and that of Europe (EU), to bring it back together. To which we say, "Prost!"
The Federal Republic of Germany covers 357,020 square km in north-central Europe. About 30% of its land is forested, and the Rhine, Danube, and Moselle are among its principal rivers. The terrain is a mixture of lowland plains in the north, highland plains in the central lands, and mountains in the South. Germany is bounded by Switzerland to the south, Austria to the southeast, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Denmark to the north, and France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands to the west.
Top 10 Destinations in Germany
Germany is composed of 16 states. Its capital is Berlin. The chief of state is the president; the head of government, the chancellor. Recent social issues stem from reunification and its costs, as wealth from the west continues to be sucked into modernization projects in the east. Unemployment rates have soared to 11%, only recently surpassing those of France. Furthermore, Germany’s Basic Law provides for the unconditional citizenship of non-German speakers and for the acceptance of political refugees. Although new laws seek to regulate the influx, the country remains awash in social change, giving rise to racial violence and anti-immigration demonstrations.
Over 90% of Germany’s population is of Germanic descent; the remainder is of foreign origin, including Danes, Turks, Italian, Greeks, Slovaks, and Serbs. Approximately 50% of the population professes the Protestant faith – most of those follow the Lutheran sect. Some 45% are Roman Catholic, and 4% claim the Muslim religion. Over 84% of the population resides in urban settings, with a population density of 222 persons per square kilometer. The largest cities include Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, and Frankfurt.
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