Germany (German: Deutschland, pronounced), officially the Federal Republic of Germany,is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between the Baltic and North seas to the north, and the Alps to the south; it covers an area of 357,022 square kilometres (137,847 sq mi), with a population of over 83 million within its 16 constituent states. Germany borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, and France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands to the west. The nation’s capital and largest city is Berlin, and its financial centre is Frankfurt; the largest urban area is the Ruhr.
Germany’s most visited and popular landmarks include Cologne Cathedral, the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, the Dresden Frauenkirche, Neuschwanstein Castle, Heidelberg Castle, the Wartburg, and Sanssouci Palace. The Europa-Park near Freiburg is Europe’s second most popular theme park resort.
Germany is well known for such folk festival traditions as Oktoberfest and Christmas customs, which include Advent wreaths, Christmas pageants, Christmas trees, Stollen cakes, and other practices.As of 2016 UNESCO inscribed 41 properties in Germany on the World Heritage List. There are a number of public holidays in Germany determined by each state; 3 October has been a national day of Germany since 1990, celebrated as the Tag der Deutschen Einheit
Germany has a social market economy with a highly skilled labour force, a low level of corruption, and a high level of innovation. It is the world’s third-largest exporter and third-largest importer of goods, and has the largest economy in Europe, which is also the world’s fourth-largest economy by nominal GDP,and the fifth-largest by PPP. Its GDP per capita measured in purchasing power standards amounts to 121% of the EU27 average (100%). The service sector contributes approximately 69% of the total GDP, industry 31%, and agriculture 1% as of 2017. The unemployment rate published by Eurostat amounts to 3.2% as of January 2020, which is the fourth-lowest in the EU.
Germany is part of the European single market which represents more than 450 million consumers. In 2017, the country accounted for 28% of the Eurozone economy according to the International Monetary Fund.Germany introduced the common European currency, the Euro, in 2002. Its monetary policy is set by the European Central Bank, which is headquartered in Frankfurt
Being home to the modern car, the automotive industry in Germany is regarded as one of the most competitive and innovative in the world,and is the fourth-largest by production. The top ten exports of Germany are vehicles, machinery, chemical goods, electronic products, electrical equipments, pharmaceuticals, transport equipments, basic metals, food products, and rubber and plastics.
Of the world’s 500 largest stock-market-listed companies measured by revenue in 2019, the Fortune Global 500, 29 are headquartered in Germany.30 major Germany-based companies are included in the DAX, the German stock market index which is operated by Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Well-known international brands include Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, Siemens, Allianz, Adidas, Porsche, Bosch and Deutsche Telekom.Berlin is a hub for startup companies and has become the leading location for venture capital funded firms in the European Union. Germany is recognised for its large portion of specialised small and medium enterprises, known as the Mittelstand model. These companies represent 48% global market leaders in their segments, labelled hidden champions.
Description of the Monument
Exterior of the structure
At the front side of the monument, a 19 m (21 yd) high and 60 m (66 yd) wide relief depicts a battle scene. The centre piece of the relief is a sculpture of the Archangel Saint Michael, symbolising the personification of God’s support for the German soldiers. Above Michael, an engraving reads “Gott mit uns” [“God with us”]. To either side of the archangel, furies carry the firebrand of war, while two eagles symbolise the “newly won freedom”. On both sides of the relief, lateral staircases with 136 steps lead to the second story and the entrance of the crypt. The staircases are decorated with large heads of Emperor Frederick I, better known as Barbarossa, reminding of the myth of a sleeping emperor and “as expressions of the people’s hopes for better times”.At the top of the monument, of the outside of the dome roof, stand twelve warrior statues, each composed of 47 granite blocks and 13 m (14 yd) tall, meant to remind of the Germans’ will to defend themselves. In the inaugural text about the monument, these statues were described as “guardians of freedom and pillars of justice”.
Leipzig is a major city in Saxony, and it is also home to one of the largest monument in Europe. The Volkerschlachtdenkmal, or Monument of the Battle of the Nations, was built to remember the Battle of Leipzig in the Napoleonic Wars. During the battle, more than 100,000 soldiers perished. Although the battle took place in 1813, the monument wasn’t unveiled until 1913. Today, the monument is accompanied by a museum exhibit explaining more about the battle and the Napoleonic wars of the 19th century.
The monument commemorates the defeat of Napoleon’s French army at Leipzig, a crucial step towards the end of hostilities in the War of the Sixth Coalition. The coalition armies of Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden were led by Tsar Alexander I of Russia and Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg. There were Germans fighting on both sides, as Napoleon’s troops also included conscripted Germans from the left bank of the Rhine annexed by France, as well as troops from his German allies of the Confederation of the Rhine.
Climatically a hill range has lower temperatures and higher levels of precipitation than the surrounding land. The Harz is characterised by regular precipitation throughout the year. Exposed to westerly winds from the Atlantic, heavy with rain, the windward side of the mountains has up to 1,600 mm of rain annually (West Harz, Upper Harz, High Harz); in contrast, the leeward side only receives an average of 600 mm of precipitation per annum (East Harz, Lower Harz, Eastern Harz foothills).
One of the highest mountain ranges in Germany is the Harz Range, a region populated by picturesque, traditional homes, snow-covered peaks and peaceful rivers. The Grimm Brothers, who famously wrote many of the world’s most popular fairy tales, based some of their stories in the Harz Mountains. With a limited number of tourists, the Harz Mountains are slightly off the beaten track, offering activities like hiking to the summit of Brocken, the tallest peak, or riding an authentic steam train through the mountains and valleys.
The dividing line between Upper and Lower Harz follows approximately a line from Ilsenburg to Bad Lauterberg, which roughly separates the catchment areas for the Weser (Upper Harz) and Elbe (Lower Harz). Only on the southeastern perimeter of the Upper Harz, which is also called the High Harz (Hochharz) (Goslar, Göttingen and Harz districts), does the mountain range exceed 1,000 m above NN on the Brocken massif. Its highest peak is the Brocken (1,141 m), its subsidiary peaks are the Heinrichshöhe (1,044 m) to the southeast and the Königsberg (1,023 m) to the southwest. Other prominent hills in the Harz are the Acker-Bruchberg ridge (927 m), the Achtermannshöhe (925 m) and the Wurmberg (971 m) near Braunlage. In the far east, the mountains merge into the East Harz foothills (Harz district, Saxony-Anhalt), which are dominated by the Selke Valley. Part of the south Harz lies in the Thuringian district of Nordhausen.
Sylt is a German island in the Frisian archipelago in the North Sea. It’s known for its long beaches, resorts and the Wadden Sea mudflats on the eastern side. The 1700s Old Frisian House has a thatched roof and exhibits about pre-20th-century island life. Denghoog is a neolithic passage grave filled with giant stone boulders. To the north, Naturgewalten is an interactive ecological museum with multimedia displays.
With 99.14 square kilometres (38.28 square miles), Sylt is the fourth-largest German island and the largest German island in the North Sea. Sylt is located from 9 to 16 kilometres (6–10 miles) off the mainland, to which it is connected by the Hindenburgdamm. Southeast of Sylt are the islands of Föhr and Amrum, to the north lies the Danish island of Rømø. The island of Sylt extends for 38 kilometres (24 miles) in a north-south direction. At its northern point at Königshafen, it is only 320 metres (1,050 feet) wide. Its greatest width, from the town of Westerland in the west to the eastern Nössespitze near Morsum, measures 12.6 kilometres (7.8 miles). On the western and northwestern shore, there is a 40-kilometre-long (25-mile) sandy beach. To the east of Sylt, is the Wadden Sea, which belongs to the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park and mostly falls dry during low tide
Not far from the city of Dresden is the Saxon Switzerland National Park, a sprawling park near the scenic Elbe Sandstone Mountains. The park crosses over into the Czech Republic, but the Czech side is known as the Bohemian Switzerland National Park. Saxon Switzerland National Park is home to the Elbe River as well as stunning rock formations, deep valleys and miles of hiking trails. Mountain biking and rock climbing are also popular pastimes within the national park.
The National Park is situated in the centre of a natural area of almost 710 km² (274 mi²). This region, called Saxon Switzerland is cultivated by humans in many places. Smaller towns and villages such as Bad Schandau or Königstein in the district of Sächsische Schweiz are part of this region.
The core area of the National Park has a quiescent area of 40% and is covered almost completely by woodland. The status of National Park, which grants the highest natural protection in Germany, was attributed in 1990. The park lies – in two geographically separate areas – within the district of Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge.
Schwerin Castle in the city of Schwerin is one of the most significant attractions in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The castle is situated on an island in the middle of the Schweriner See, adding to its unusual appeal. Built in the 14th century, Schwerin Castle is now a seat of government, and it is open for guided and self-guided tours. The castle is said to be haunted by the ghost of a creature called Petermännchen, and these legends bring in a number of curious visitors each year.
The definition of national Park is, in some cases, in conflict with tourism and recreation. One objective is to raise the inviolate area to 75%, which means limiting the areas of hiking and climbing.
The development of the network of paths in today’s national park took place in the first half of the 19th century and completed at the beginning of the 20th century. The historical route guides illustrate it thoroughly (e.g., Meinhold’s route guide). The first hiking restrictions were declared as early as in the 1980s (Thorwalder Wände ridge path). Today the National Park has a marked network of 400 km of hiking trails, numerous mountain restaurants, and some 50 km of cycling trails. It is compulsory to use marked routes in the National Park. Though visitors may use all paths outside the core zone, only marked trails are allowed within the core zone.
In Southern Bavaria, right up to the Austrian border, is the small mountain town of Berchtesgaden. Despite its size, Berchtesgaden played a significant role in the shaping of German history. Known throughout history for its salt mines, Berchtesgaden is now better known for being the summer retreat of Adolf Hitler. Most visitors come to see the Kehlsteinhaus, or Eagle’s Nest, at the top of Berchtesgaden. Even after the end of World War II, the structure was saved and now operates as a museum.
The Hotel Türken, which was near the Nazi buildings and was often used by the SS and then by the Generalmajor of the Police, was badly damaged in 1945. It was rebuilt in 1950 and reopened as a hotel before Christmas.Visitors can still explore the historic underground hallways and tunnels that had been used by the Nazis.
In 1972, local government reform united the then independent municipalities of Salzberg, Maria Gern and Au (consisting of Oberau and Unterau) under the administration of the town of Berchtesgaden. Another suggested reform uniting all remaining five municipalities in the Berchtesgaden valley (Bischofswiesen, Ramsau, Marktschellenberg and Schönau) failed to gain enough popular support; it passed in Berchtesgaden but failed everywhere else.
The first castle on the mountain was constructed in the early 11th century. Over the years the House of Hohenzollern split several times, but the castle remained in the Swabian branch, the dynastic seniors of the Franconian-Brandenburgian cadet branch that later acquired its own imperial throne. This castle was completely destroyed in 1423 after a ten-month siege by the free imperial cities of Swabia.
The second castle, a larger and sturdier structure, was constructed from 1454 to 1461, which served as a refuge for the Catholic Swabian Hohenzollerns, including during the Thirty Years’ War. By the end of the 18th century it was thought to have lost its strategic importance and gradually fell into disrepair, leading to the demolition of several dilapidated buildings.
The neo-Gothic Hohenzollern Castle is perched on a bluff overlooking two small towns at the foothills of the Swabian Alps. Constructed in the 19th century, the castle is the third to stand in the same spot over the last one thousand years. Hohenzollern Castle is situated with sweeping views over the landscape, and it boasts opulent rooms filled with stained glass windows and decorative frescoes. Family jewels and artifacts can be found in the Schatzkammer, or treasury.
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