Germany is located in the centre of Europe. It forms a bridge between maritime West of Europe and the continental East, between the warmer South and the cool North. Germany is a triad of mountain ranges, uplands and low-land plains – the Bavarian Alps in the South, the pleasant wooded mountains of the Mittelgebirge in the centre of the country and the low country along the North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts in the North.
Germany has 9 neighboring countries:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland.
Germany itself is split into 16 Bundesland (states) these are Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony (Niedersaxon in German - Where I am living), North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia.
The Federal Republic of Germany is a democracy with a liberal free-market economy, freedom of religion and freedom of the press. Germany is a member of the European Union (EU).
Germany’s climate is temperate. The average temperatures are around 20-30°C in the summer (June/July – August/September) dropping around 0°C in the winter months (November/December – February/March)
After the Second World War Germany was divided in two; with the democratic Federal Republic on the west and the communist ‘Democratic’ Republic on the east. Germany’s capital was also cut in two – the Berlin Wall keeping east and west apart. The Berlin Wall came down in 1990 and the two states became ‘one’ Germany. The cost of rebuilding East Germany has been high and unemployment has shot up in recent years but Germany remains one of Europe’s most powerful and richest countries.Because of its wealth and size Germany is a key player in European politics.
The church is widely seen as irrelevant in today’s culture. Although 70% of Germans would call themselves Christians, only 45% believe in God and less than 10% go to church. While Christianity has become less popular New Age philosophies, the occult and Satanism are on the increase.
Protestantism is concentrated in the north and east and Roman Catholicism is concentrated in the south and west. Both denominations comprise about 31% of the population each.
More than half of German Christians are over the age of 50.
The second largest religion is Islam with 3.3 million adherents (4%) followed by Buddhism and Judaism, both with around 200,000 adherents (ca. 0.25%). Hinduism has some 90,000 adherents (0.1%). All other religious communities in Germany have fewer than 50,000 (or less than 0.05%) adherents. About 24.4 million Germans (29.6%) have no registered religious denomination.
Thousands of immigrants and political refugees flood into Germany from all over Europe. There is a growing criminal network, making money from people’s desperation to enter the country illegally.
Facts about Germany
Goverment Federal Parliamentary republic
President Horst Köhler ( role like the british Queen)
Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) (role like the British Primeminister)
Captial city Berlin
Official language German
Area 357,021 km
Telephone Code +49