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Country & People

German Federal Republic

GEOGRAPHY

The Federal Republic of Germany is located in Central Europe and has a territory of 357, 104 square kilometers. From the North- and Baltic Sea to the Alps in the South, the country is divided geographically into the north German lowlands, the low mountain range, the foothills of the Alps in southern Germany and the Bavarian Alps. Bordering countries are the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark.

HISTORY
Germany was led through many historical disruptions into a liberal democracy and a functioning Mauer parliamentary system – starting with the particularism of the early modern age, the failure of the German Revolution and the Weimar Republic to the Third Reich of the National Socialists. Ever since the 19th century, Unity and Freedom were the central terms and they kept influencing the Germans during the division of Germany after World War II. In the night from November 9 to 10, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell after more than 28 years of separation – a historic event with a global significance.

ECONOMY
Germany is the biggest national economy in the European Union and after the United States of America and Japan the third biggest economy of the world. With the largest number of inhabitants
and the highest gross domestic product, Germany is the most important member of the European VW. In 2007, Germany became the world leading export champion for the 5th time in succession. Important German industries are amongst others the automotive industry, electro technology, mechanical engineering, environmental technology and precision mechanics. In many auspicious technologies with high growth rates, such as biotechnology, information technology and nano technology, Germany ranks among the leading nations. The fact that the 500 leading companies of the world are all present in Germany also confirms that the country offers an attractive location for foreign
investors.

CURRENCY
1 EUR = 100 CentOmis
Generally it is favorable to change the currency in your own country. In Germany, foreign currencies can be exchanged in banks, saving banks, exchange offices or post offices. In larger airports and some train stations, there are electronic exchange machines. There are no problems with current credit cards.

POPULATION
81.9 million people live in the Federal Republic of Germany; approximately 7.3 million of those are foreigners. With 231 inhabitants per square meter, Germany ranks among the most populated
countries in Europe. Eighty-eight percent of the population lives in cities and metropolitan areas.

CLIMATE
The best season for – travel to Germany is between April and October. Temperatures during the spring months March, April and May usually range between 5°C and 19 °C (41°F and 66°F); in the summer months June, July and August between 20°C and 30°C (68°F and 86°F). During autumn, September and the beginning of October with temperatures of 15°C to 19°C, is a very pleasant time to travel. In the winter time and the months December, January and February, minus-degrees are common.

RELIGION
Almost 53 million people are Christians (26 million Catholics, 26 million Protestants and 900,000 orthodox Christians), 3.3 million are Muslims, 230,000 Buddhists, 100,000 Jews and 90,000 Hindus. The German Constitution guarantees a freedom of faith, conscience and creed.

POLITICS
The German Constitution is the basic legal and political order of the Federal Republic of Germany, which brought freedom, stability and continuity after World War II. Since 2005, Angela Merkel is the first female Federal Chancellor of Germany.

PECULIARITIES
In terms of regional specialties, typical German dishes are of course Bratwurst, Sauerkraut and Klöße (sausages, sauerkraut and dumplings). With about 1,300 German breweries, the national drink is beer. Some of the larger breweries offer guided tours and tastings. The most famous German folk festival is also closely connected to beer – and there is even a special brew for the Oktoberfest! A “ typical German” trait is punctuality: At work as well as in their spare time, Germans tend to be very punctual. With the exception of students. 😉