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Last updated : Nov 2009
Germany General Info
Germany General Information - TravelPuppy.com
Capital: Berlin

Area: 357,027 sq km (137,849 sq miles)

Population of Germany: 82,536,680 (official estimate 2002).

Population of Berlin: 3,392,900 (official estimate 1999).

Population Density:
231.2 per sq km

Geography: The Federal Republic of Germany shares frontiers with Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland.

The northwest of the country has a coastline on the North Sea with islands known for their health resorts, while the Baltic coastline in the northeast stretches from the Danish to the Polish border.

The country is divided into 16 states (Bundesländer) including the formerly divided city of Berlin. The landscape is exceedingly varied, with the Rhine, Bavaria and the Black Forest being probably the three most famous features of western Germany.

In eastern Germany, the country is lake-studded with undulating lowlands which give way to the hills and mountains of the Lausitzer Bergland, the Saxon Hills in the Elbe Valley and the Erzgebirge, whilst the once divided areas of the Thuringian and Harz ranges in the central part of the country are now whole regions again. River basins extend over a large percentage of the eastern part of Germany, the most important being the Elbe, Saale, Havel, Spree and Oder.

Northern Germany includes the states of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and the city states of Bremen and Hamburg.

The western area of the country consists of the Rhineland, the industrial sprawl of the Ruhr, Westphalia (Westfalen), Hesse (Hessen), the Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz) and the Saarland.

In the southern area of the country are the two largest states, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria (Bayern), which contain the Black Forest (Schwarzwald), Lake Constance (Bodensee) and the Bavarian Alps. Munich (München), Stuttgart and Nuremberg (Nürnberg) are the major cities.

The eastern part of the country is made up of the states of Thuringia, Saxony, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt and Berlin. The major cities in eastern Germany are Dresden, Leipzig, Erfurt, Halle, Potsdam, Schwerin and Rostock. Apart from Leipzig and Rostock, these are also all recently reconstituted state capitals.

Government: Federal Republic.

Head of State: President Horst Köehler since 2004.

Head of Government: Chancellor Gerhard Schröder since 1998

Language: German.

English is widely spoken and French is also spoken, particularly in the Saarland. In the north of Schleswig-Holstein, Danish is spoken by the Danish minority and taught in schools.

In Brandenburg and Saxony, Sorbic is spoken by the ethnic minority called the Sorbs and is also taught in about 50 schools. Regional dialects often differ markedly from standard German.

Religion: Approximately 34 per cent Protestant, 34 per cent Roman Catholic, with Jewish, Muslim and other non-Christian minorities.

Time: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).

Electricity: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style round two-pin plugs are in use. Lamp fittings are screw type.
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