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Geography of Germany

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Geography of Germany
Relief Map of Germany.svg
RegionWestern Europe
Coordinates51°00′N 10°00′E / 51.00°N 10.00°E / 51.00; 10.00
AreaRanked 62nd
 • Total357,022 km2 (137,847 sq mi)
 • Land97.66%
 • Water2.34%
Coastline2,389 km (1,484 mi)
Borders3,714 km (2,307 mi)

Border lengths included

Highest pointZugspitze,
2,962.06 m (9,718 ft)
Lowest point- 3.54 m[citation needed]
Longest riverRhine,
1,230 km (764 mi)
Largest lakeLake Constance
536 km2 (207 sq mi)[1]
Terrainlowlands in north; uplands in center; Alps in south
Natural Resourcescoal, lignite, natural gas, iron ore, copper, nickel, uranium, potash, salt, construction materials, timber, arable land
Natural Hazardsflooding,earthquake in Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg. landslide

The location of Germany. The countries in white are other members of the European Union.
The location of Germany. The countries in white are other members of the European Union.
General map of Germany
General map of Germany

Germany is a country in west-central Europe, that stretches from the Alps, across the North European Plain to the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Germany has the second largest population in Europe (after the European part of Russia) and is seventh largest in area. The territory of Germany covers 357,021 km2 (137,847 sq mi), consisting of 349,223 km2 (134,836 sq mi) of land and 7,798 km2 (3,011 sq mi) of waters.

Elevation ranges from the mountains of the Alps (highest point: the Zugspitze at 2,962 metres (9,718 ft)) in the south to the shores of the North Sea (Nordsee) in the northwest and the Baltic Sea (Ostsee) in the northeast. Between lie the forested uplands of central Germany and the low-lying lands of northern Germany (lowest point: Neuendorf-Sachsenbande at 3.54 metres (11.6 ft) below sea level), traversed by some of Europe's major rivers such as the Rhine, Danube and Elbe.[2]

Germany shares borders with nine European countries, second only to Russia: Denmark in the north, Poland and the Czech Republic in the east, Switzerland (its only non-EU neighbor) and Austria in the south, France in the southwest and Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands in the west. Germany's position in Europe, including bordering countries, have put it at a significant disadvantage in numerous wars, including World War I and World War II.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Geography Now! Germany
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  • ✪ The STATES Of Germany Explained
  • ✪ World Geography 1-4 Germany


Alright! Lederhosen, schnitzel, beer, bratwurst, order, bread and beer, complicated history, beer, no humor, EDM, and gummy bears that will kind of like give you diarrhea but it's like worth it. Ugh! Those are such horrible stereotypes that every German is so sick and tired of hearing. Want a gummy bear? ♫♫♫ ♫ It's time to learn Geography! NOW!!! ♫ Hey everyone, I'm your host Barby. So we've conquered Belgium's castle, jump through Denmark's lagoon dance to France's force and now we've made it to the final boss of the EU, Kingpin Germany! Level one! Begin! ♫ Political Geography ♫ Ha, you know why I'm smiling! Yep, Germany has a lot of territorial anomalies. We'll get into that in a little bit but first, Germany is located in central Western Europe bordered by nine other countries, (Don't forget little Luxembourg!) with small coasts on the North and Baltic Seas which they own about 50 small islands. Now Germany like, the US, is a Federal Republic which has 16 smaller states or Bundesländer, each with its own constitution, three of which are cities, the capital Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen which is actually kind of like two cities including Bremerhaven on the coast but they kind of act like one entity. Pfffhhh! Fun side note: Lower Saxony is actually geographically situated further north than regular Saxony. Now let's jump into the fun stuff. Now we already discussed the Jungholz quadripoint and the Vennbahn railway enclaves with Belgium and Austria. However, there's a few more. The entire town of Büsingen am Hochrhein is surrounded by Switzerland where a part of Konstanz is cut off by the Rhine river and surrounded by Switzerland, however immediately across the river, a small patch of empty land on the German side actually belongs to Switzerland. Finally they split the island of Usedom with Poland in the north. Germany is interesting because every state in the country has its own distinct culture, dialect, history, food, and traditions. I mean Bavarians will be quite drastically different from Schleswig-Holsteiners, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern will be different from Saarland. This all has to do with ancient and recent history. Basically, in the quickest way I can summarize this, Germanic tribes, Roman Wars, Charlemagne, three kingdoms, this guy marries an Italian, creating a whole new mess called the Holy Roman Empire made of about 300 smaller separate kingdoms, states and dukedoms which had nothing to do with Romans, Teutonic knights, Brandenburgs became Prussia, Hapsburgs became Austrians, Lithuanians and Poles made their own thing, whereas the Hungarians join the Austrians. Wars, wars, battles, battles, Napoleon comes over and messes everything up, and finally German nationalism surges and in 1871, Otto von Bismarck creates the first proto-German unified state, and they're all like; "Oh dang, we came late to this game, we gotta scramble for some colonies," and that's how all of these countries at one point spoke German. Oh and also keep in mind like 300 years before this, a German banking company obtained colonial rights to Venezuela for like 20 years. They were looking for the lost city of El Dorado. So technically, you can kind of see Germans colonized the Americas, but it wasn't like a nationalized conquest thing. Fast-foward even more and then you get World War I, the monarchy ends, Treaty of Versailles, they lose land, Nazis come in, World War II, Germany splits in two for about 40 years, and then finally... we get the Germany we have today. East Germany consisting of these states is today still quite different from the rest of Germany as it was first occupied and influenced by the Soviet Union. They are generally not as well off economically as a rest of the country as you can still see the blocky Soviet-style buildings brought throughout the regions. In fact, the city of Berlin was split in half and the west side was actually an enclave of West Germany only accessible by train and highway. You can even see from a satellite image to divide. East Berlin still uses the yellowish tinted sulfur vapor lightbulbs, where as the West still uses fluorescent and Mercury arc white tinted light bulbs. And the funny thing is, although Berlin is the largest city in Germany, the busiest airports are actually Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf, with Berlin-Tegel ranking at number four. Otherwise, some top notable landmarks and spots would be the Brandenburg Gate, the Valhalla, Cologne Cathedral, the Ulm Minster Church, the tallest in the world, the Berlin Victory Column, and hundreds and hundreds of castles all over. The most notable one probably being Neuschwanstein, the concept behind Disney's Cinderella Castle. Germany also has over 400 zoos, more than any other country in the world, and of course, everybody knows about the autobahn, the highway system in which if you see this sign, it means there's no speed limit, and it's like that for a huge portion of the roadway. And no wonder, considering how fast and wide those cultivated countrysides can get. Time for level two! ♫Physical Geography♫ Okay think of it this way, in Germany, the more down you go, the more up you move. Basically, Germany lies on the Atlantic shelf in the North that starts with the mudflats in the North Sea. Seriously this island right here is accessible only for a few hours by foot until the tide comes in and floods everything. Then everything just kind of creeps up into the Alps and the south by Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, with the highest mountain, Zugspitze, located right along the border with Austria. Kinda like France, Germany is filled with a vast irrigating network of rivers like the Spree, Elbe, Wesel, Rhine and of course the mighty Danube that starts here. About a third of the land is arable and another third is woodland, and after a millennia of civilization, Germans have cultivated the crap out of their country! Most agriculture of course happens in the north flat plains and the central regions of the country, which is by the way kind of like Europe's tornado alley, due to it's position sandwich between the Arctic blasts of Scandinavia and the moist warm jet streams of the Mediterranean below, Germany can be an atmosphere at war zone in the summer. There are more tornadoes on average in Germany than any other country in Europe. Speaking of flat farmland, Germany is the world's largest rye and hop producer. Germans abso-freaking-lutely love their bread! There are over 300 different kinds of bread in the country more types than any other country in the world and almost every meal incorporate some kind of slice or small bun or Brötchen of bread. "Bist du gluten-free?" "Nein!" Germans are heavy meat eaters, specifically in pork, they basically know every possible way to cook a pig. Over 50 different types of sausage exist, alongside Schnitzels, Rouladen, Sauerbraten, Schweinshaxe, and a big party, you might find Spanferkel. Beer reign supreme all over, as the third largest consumers of beer after the Czech Republic, (Even their president has no problem with public intoxication) and Austria. Germany is world- renowned for their beer which by the way, follows the Reinheitsgebot rule in which they're only allowed to use water, hops, malt, and sometimes yeast. Nonetheless, about 1,300 breweries exist pumping out over 5,000 brands. The oldest continuously existing brewery in the world started by Benedictine monks in 1040 AD can be found here. Germany takes the environment very seriously and for the past two decades, has been going on a major Green Revolution. As of today they have the largest installed solar power capacity and green infrastructure practices like home installed turbines and solar panels. I've seen a huge surgeons in the past 10 years. Forests dominate the southern regions where the landscape gets hillier and mountainous, the most famous one being the Black Forest or the Schwarzwald in Baden-Württemberg. Deer, bears, bore, foxes, badgers and the national animal the eagle can be found thriving in these parts. Nonetheless, economically, Germany is known mostly for their exceptional engineering and industry production. Companies we've all heard of like Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi, Telekom, Nivea, DHL, Bosch. "Adidas!" "Puma!" "ADIDAS!" "PUMA!" Yeah, its kind of like the whole "Biscoto/Bolacha"-thing from Brazil. Remember? Well we have mudflats, tornadoes, pork, beer, mountains. All that's missing is people! Level 3! ♫Demographics♫ Fun little side note: In Germany, this is three, not this. Now, if the EU was a family, Germany would kind of be like the dad who got out of rehab, reconciled with his wife and kids, and taking his new life very seriously as he's haunted by the demons of his past everyday. First of all, the country has about 82 million people and is the most populated in the EU, second-most in Europe after Russia and has the fourth largest nominal GDP in the world. About 80 % of the country identifies as ethnically German, 12 % other Europeans, mostly Polish, Italian, Dutch, and so on, Turks make up about 3.5 %, Asian at 2 %, and the rest are made up of other groups like Africans and Americans. Also they use the euro, they use the C&F type outlets and they drive on the right side of the road. Germany is without a doubt a global powerhouse. It is the strongest economy in the EU and makes up about sixteen percent of the union's population. It's the third largest exporter and importer of goods in the world, and after the United States, Germany is also the second most popular global migration destination. Germany experiences a high standard of living, tuition free universities, (If you can accept that is) a mostly government-subsidized universal healthcare system. About a quarter is to privatize and state pension for retirement at age 65. Now when it comes to language, things get a little tricky. Each state kind of has their own type of German, however to get by most Germans learn how to speak "Hochdeutsch" or "High German" which is the standard dialect. The European Charter however protects the minority languages of Frisian, Danish, Romani, Sorbian, which is like a Slavic base language used along the Czech- Polish border, and Plattdeutsch, or "Low German" which has similarities to Dutch and typically used by the Amish and Mennonite communities across the world. In terms of regional distinction, though, Germany is kind of divided into five cultural areas. Rhineland, East and Middle Germany, North Germany, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. Rhineland is on the west side and has a culture somewhat more influenced by France, more Catholic, carnival celebrations are huge out here. East and Middle Germany was the part that used to be its own country for 40 years as it was influenced by the Soviets. (Sorbians can also be found here too.) Northern Germany has a coastal sea culture that identifies closer with Denmark and the Netherlands. They're also known for being kind of quiet and reserved. Baden-Württemberg has an interesting Swabian culture where they speak a dialect so thick that only about 40 % of it is intelligible to other Germans. And then you have Bavaria, which is where the Americanized perpetuated stereotypes about Germany came from with lederhosen, dirndls, half-timber beer houses, and cuckoo clocks. For the record, Germans are sick of those stereotypes, it's like saying all Americans are cowboys with guns and horses. Speaking of stereotypes, some of the stereotypes in Germany include things like Saxons being very indecisive, Berliners are always bragging about themselves, Swabians are stingy, Bavarians drink too much, Hessians talk too much Holsteiners don't talk enough, and so on. Words differ from regions to. For For example, in High German you would say "Auf Wiedersehen!" But in Bavarian, you would say "Pfiat di Gott." In Kölsch, you would say "Tschüss." And in Rhineland, you might say "Adjus." And there's so many compound words to get really long and complicated like -- Ughhhh! This is because many words are "mehrdeutig" or ambiguous words that are kind of elongated to give up an extensive meaning. Germans have very vivid imaginations and make up words for everything. Like my favorite word: "Backpfeifengesicht". Not this time! By the way, for the record, this letter makes a double S sound, however spelling reformers have tried to decrease the usage of this letter in recent years which has led to some protests. Germans also love dubbing everything from foreign media into German. Some like this, some don't, but either way, it's here to stay. About 60 % of the country identified at least nominally as "Christians" split between Protestants and Catholics. Germany with even the birthplace of the Protestant Reformation, split from the Catholic Church by Martin Luther. Otherwise, the rest are mostly agnostic or irreligious with a noticeable community of Muslims, mostly from the huge Turkish and Middle Eastern communities at about 5 %, as well as a few Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus rounding up the remainder 1 %. To kinda get a feel of what it's like to be German, you kinda have to understand where they've come from. After World War II, they've kind of had a LOT of work to do. However it wasn't until the mid fifties and early sixties that the "Wirtschaftswunder" or economic wonder happened to which almost everybody got to work. Basically, this guy envisioned and implemented a social market economy combined with free market capitalism alongside socialist policies that established fair competition in a welfare state. GDP increased by 80 %, investment by 120 %, labor forces were utilized to the maximum. Things started to get better. In Germany, all children are corralled into general public schools until age 10 when they are given the option to enroll in three different types of middle schools. Gymnasium, geared towards focusing on higher linguistic mathematic and science fields for universities. Realschule, a middle ground type of school. And Hauptschule, a school that is geared towards helping kids that seem to show promise in specific vocation or trades. Germany also has the largest music market in the EU and the third in the world after the U.S. and Japan. They love preserving their heritage and culture through music and art. In fact, there around a 130 national orchestras, mostly supported by public money, and artists get up 50 % reduction in health insurance through a special type of offer in the legal system. One thing that still kind of supposedly maintained itself in Germany is the mindset of "Vergangenheitsbewältigung" Totally butchered that! Which kind of translates to a lingering sense of guilt from the past. Germans have reportedly some of the lowest levels of national pride and unless if you're at a soccer game, chances are, you almost never see anyone holding a German flag or waiting it in any kind of like patriotic setting. It's weird, but it's kind of how things are. "YOU MONSTER!" They've made great strides to move on from the past. Nazi flags and "Mein Kampf" are incredibly illegal items to own in Germany. They even have a rule. The Volksverhetzung, which basically says: you cannot talk trash by denying the past atrocities. Some people say this infringes on free speech. Others say it's good because it solidified truths. Otherwise, some notable Germans throughout history includes Charlemagne, although he was a Frank, but eh- I guess it kinda counts. Albrecht Dürer, Caspar David Friedrich, Gutenberg, Bach, Beethoven, Carl Benz, Albert Einstein, although Americans like to claim that he moved to the US and became an American, Johannes Kepler, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Michael Schumacher, Alexander von Humboldt, and of course, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, co-founded Marxism... *cough cough* But one thing Germans do best would have to be diplomacy. To this day, the German passport holds the most visa-free nations out of any other country in the world just beating Sweden. Therefore, you can kinda conclude that Germany kind of knows how to relate to people. Let's find out how in the final round! Level four! ♫Friend Zone♫ Germany knows how to make friends. They have over 220 diplomatic missions abroad and over 350 honorary councils and have an incredibly high position of authority in the EU. The closest African friend would probably Namibia. As a former German colony way back in the 19th century, Namibia held on relations and to this day, German is still a recognized language in Namibia. Germans have been supporting and sharing ties both economically and ideology for over a century. India and South Korea are really close friends in Asia. India supported both East and West Germany during the Cold War and after reunification they were like "Woohoo! Even better!" And Germany is to South Korea what Japan is to France. They love to piggy-back off each others ideas and cultures, especially in the automotive industry. Many South Koreans were sent to Germany after the Korean War to work abroad and study and Germans have been growing fascination with visiting South Korea. The U.S. is probably the closest ally outside of the EU. About 30 % of Americans claim German heritage and after World War II, the Marshall Plan allow the U.S. to give post-war aid to Germany, which helped kickstart the economic recovery. Germany was a key figure in the formation of the State of Israel after World War II which after the Holocaust, left an obligation to invest in the building up of a Jewish community. Turkey is probably the closest Middle-Eastern ally as the Turks make up the largest Asian demographic in Germany, although many of them may or may not also identify as Kurds, but since Kurds don't have a state of their own they usually go into Turkish passports when immigrating and are documented as such. They're best friends however would probably be... literally all their neighbors! The thing is, think Germany is kinda like Bosnia-Herzegovina in which by default, they kind of get friends based off of the regional alliances. Bavarians get along with Austrians, Baden-Württembergs get along with Switzerland, East Germany had good relations with the Slavic countries, the Rhine States love Belgium, Luxembourg and France, and the northside loves the Netherlands and Denmark. France, though, is kinda like the trophy wife of Germany, as the two have had an angry start, but then eventually fell in love and work together beautifully. France is like the beautiful flashy spokesperson for the EU that stands in the spotlight as Germany stand in the background managing all the money and logistical work. In conclusion, although Germanic people have existed for thousands of years and actually unified German state didn't appear until kinda recently, and the brief time that they've been around, they've kind of gone through some of the most intense world revolutionizing historical events possibly imagine, yet they come out working hard and building the way up to become a world superpower. You got to give it to them. There's something about the Germans. and with that, final boss level complete! Stay tuned! Another African state Germany has ties to, Ghana is coming up next!



Germany is in Western and Central Europe, bordering Denmark in the north, Poland and the Czech Republic in the east, Austria and Switzerland in the south, France and Luxembourg in the south-west, and Belgium and the Netherlands in the north-west. It lies mostly between latitudes 47° and 55° N (the tip of Sylt is just north of 55°), and longitudes and 16° E. The territory covers 357,021 km2 (137,847 sq mi), consisting of 349,223 km2 (134,836 sq mi) of land and 7,798 km2 (3,011 sq mi) of water. It is the seventh largest country by area in Europe and the 63rd largest in the world.[2]

Extreme points

Zugspitze is the highest elevation in Germany
Zugspitze is the highest elevation in Germany

Maritime claims

  • Continental shelf: 200 m (660 ft) depth or to the depth of exploitation
  • Exclusive economic zone: 200 nmi (370.4 km; 230.2 mi). The exact EEZ is due to conventions with neighbouring states.
  • Territorial sea: 12 nmi (22.2 km; 13.8 mi)

Physical geography

Topographic map of Germany
Topographic map of Germany

The northern third of the country lies in the North European Plain, with flat terrain crossed by northward-flowing watercourses (Elbe, Ems, Weser, Oder). Wetlands and marshy conditions are found close to the Dutch border and along the Frisian coast. Sandy Mecklenburg in the northeast has many glacier-formed lakes dating to the last glacial period.

Moving south, central Germany features rough and somewhat patternless hilly and mountainous countryside, some of it formed by ancient volcanic activity. The Rhine valley cuts through the western part of this region. The central uplands continue east and north as far as the Saale and merge with the Ore Mountains on the border with the Czech Republic. Upland regions include the Eifel, Hunsrück and Palatine Forest west of the Rhine, the Taunus hills north of Frankfurt, the Vogelsberg massif, the Rhön, and the Thüringer Wald. South of Berlin, the east-central part of the country is more like the low northern areas, with sandy soil and river wetlands such as the Spreewald region.

Southern Germany's landforms are defined by various linear hill and mountain ranges like the two adjacent ranges of the Swabian and Franconian Alb (reaching approximately from the source of the Danube in the southwest of Baden-Württemberg, south of Stuttgart, across Swabia into Central Franconia and to the valley of the river Main) and the Bavarian Forest along the border between Bavaria and the Czech Republic. The Alps on the southern border are the highest mountains, but relatively little Alpine terrain lies within Germany (in southeastern Swabia and Upper Bavaria) compared to Switzerland and Austria. The Black Forest, on the southwestern border with France, separates the Rhine from the headwaters of the Danube on its eastern slopes.


Summer coastal climate on the island of Sylt in Schleswig-Holstein

The North-South difference in Germany, between N 55:03 (at List on Sylt) and N 47:16 (around Oberstdorf, Bavaria) equals almost eight Latitudes (or 889 km), but this can't largely be seen in different average temperatures. There is sooner a stronger West-East temperature factor instead. This is explained by the North's flat and open landscapes and its closeness to the sea, and South's higher terrain, larger distance from the sea, and the Alps. These mountains prevent much of the usually warmer Mediterranean air to blow up into southern Germany. And north of the Alps and the Carpathians, the farther away from the Atlantic Ocean with for its Latitudes warm current, known as the Gulfstream - and the closer to Russia's and Siberia's extremely cold winter winds, one gets, the local climate becomes colder, even at the same Latitude and altitude. Even if Siberian winter winds are not dominating, when they do hit Germany, temperatures can in extreme cases fall to -30 C and below during the nights, and this has an effect on the average temperatures of November to March. Although rare, when such cold air reaches Germany, the Eastern parts becomes more affected compared to the Western parts. These factors results in, that Hamburg in the North has the same annual average temperature as Munich in the South has. The annual average temperature in Hamburg is +9.5 C and +9.7 in Munich[3] whilst Berlin has an annual average temperature of +9.9 C.[4]

The warmest area in Germany is the area bordering to France and west of the Schwarzwald hills. Roughly between Karlsruhe in the north, and down to the Swiss border. Whilst the coldest area (except for mountain peaks) is found in the southeastern parts of eastern Germany, around Dresden and Görlitz; roughly just two Latitudes higher. But the difference at annual average base, isn't extreme. Freiburg im Breisgau (located a little south of Karlsruhe) has an average annual temperature of +11.4 C, Görlitz has an equal value of +8.8 C. A difference of 2.6 degree C.[5] Colder meteorological stations in Germany can be found, but mainly at notably higher altitudes.

Germany's climate is temperate and marine, with cold, cloudy winters and warm summers and in the south occasional warm föhn wind. The greater part of Germany lies in the cool/temperate climatic zone in which humid westerly winds predominate. In the northwest and the north, the climate is oceanic and rain falls all the year round. Winters there are relatively mild and summers comparatively cool. In the east, the climate shows clear continental features; winters can be very cold for long periods, and summers can become very warm. Dry periods are often recorded.

In the centre and the south, there is a transitional climate which may be predominantly oceanic or continental, according to the general weather situation. Winters are cool and summers warm, though maximum temperatures can exceed 30 °C (86 °F) for several days in a row during heat waves. The warmest regions of Germany can be found in the south-west (see rhine rift, German Wine Route and Palatinate). Here summers can be hot with many days exceeding 30 °C (86 °F). Sometimes, minimum temperatures do not drop below 20 °C (68 °F), which is relatively rare in other regions.[6][7]

Land use

Alpine scenery in Bavaria
Alpine scenery in Bavaria

Germany covers a total of 357,021 km2 (137,847 sq mi), of which 5,157 km2 (1,991 sq mi) is irrigated land and 8,350 km2 (3,220 sq mi) is covered by water, the largest lakes being Lake Constance (total area of 536 km2 (207 sq mi), with 62% of the shore being German; international borders are not defined on the lake itself), Müritz (117 km2 or 45 sq mi) and Chiemsee (80 km2 or 31 sq mi). The majority of Germany is covered by either arable land (33.95%); permanent crops cover 0.57% of the land.

Germany has a total of 2,389 km (1,484 mi) of coastline, and borders totaling 3,714 km (2,308 mi) (clockwise from north: Denmark 140 km (87 mi), Poland 467 km (290 mi), Czech Republic 704 km (437 mi),[8] Austria 801 km (498 mi), Switzerland 348 km (216 mi), France 418 km (260 mi), Luxembourg 128 km (80 mi), Belgium 133 km (83 mi), Netherlands 575 km (357 mi)). The German-Austrian border crosses itself near Jungholz. The border with Belgium includes 5 German exclaves because the Vennbahn railway is on Belgian territory crossing in and out of Germany.


The major German rivers
The major German rivers

The main rivers in Germany are:

  • the Rhine (Rhein in German) with a German section extending 865 km (537 mi) (main tributaries including the Neckar, the Main and the Moselle (Mosel));
  • the Elbe with a German section of 727 km (452 mi) (also drains into the North Sea); and
  • the Danube (Donau) with a German length of 687 km (427 mi).

Further important rivers include the Saale and the Main in central Germany, the Neckar in the southwest, the Weser in the North and the Oder at the eastern border.


Show caves in Germany
Show caves in Germany

Throughout the Karst rocks many caves were formed especially in the valley of the Hönne. The biggest culture cave of Europe is located in Balve.

Natural resources


The eagle is a protected bird of prey
Current issues
  • Emissions from coal-burning utilities and industries contribute to air pollution; acid rain, resulting from sulphur dioxide emissions, is damaging forests in Germany; pollution in the Baltic Sea from raw sewage and industrial effluents from rivers in eastern Germany; hazardous waste disposal; government (under Chancellor Schröder, SPD) announced intent to end the use of nuclear power for producing electricity; government working to meet EU commitment to identify nature preservation areas in line with the EU's Flora, Fauna, and Habitat directive. Germany's last glacier is disappearing.[citation needed]
International agreements
Natural hazards

Flora and fauna

Deer are widespread species

Phytogeographically, Germany is shared between the Atlantic European and Central European provinces of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. The territory of Germany can be subdivided into two ecoregions: European-Mediterranean montane mixed forests and Northeast-Atlantic shelf marine.[9] The majority of Germany is covered by either arable land (33%) or forestry and woodland (31%). Only 15% is covered by permanent pastures.

Plants and animals are those generally common to middle Europe. Beeches, oaks, and other deciduous trees constitute one-third of the forests; conifers are increasing as a result of reforestation. Spruce and fir trees predominate in the upper mountains, while pine and larch are found in sandy soil. There are many species of ferns, flowers, fungi, and mosses. Fish abound in the rivers and the North Sea. Wild animals include deer, wild boar, mouflon, fox, badger, hare, and small numbers of beaver. Various migratory birds cross Germany in the spring and autumn.

The national parks in Germany include the Wadden Sea National Parks, the Jasmund National Park, the Vorpommern Lagoon Area National Park, the Müritz National Park, the Lower Oder Valley National Park, the Harz National Park, the Saxon Switzerland National Park and the Bavarian Forest National Park.

Germany is known for its many zoological gardens, wildlife parks, aquaria, and bird parks.[10] More than 400 registered zoos and animal parks operate in Germany, which is believed to be the largest number in any single country of the world.[11] The Zoologischer Garten Berlin is the oldest zoo in Germany and presents the most comprehensive collection of species in the world.[12]

Human geography


Population density
Population density

With an estimated 81.8 million inhabitants in January 2010, Germany is the most populous country in the European Union and ranks as the 15th largest country in the world in terms of population. Its population density stands at 229.4 inhabitants per square kilometre (594/sq mi). The United Nations Population Fund lists Germany as host to the third-highest number of international migrants worldwide,[13] around 20% of Germany´s population do not hold a German passport or are descendants of immigrants.

Administrative divisions

Germany comprises sixteen states that are collectively referred to as Länder.[14] Each state has its own state constitution[15] and is largely autonomous in regard to its internal organisation. Due to differences in size and population the subdivision of these states varies, especially between city states (Stadtstaaten) and states with larger territories (Flächenländer). For regional administrative purposes five states, namely Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony, consist of a total of 22 Government Districts (Regierungsbezirke). As of 2009 Germany is divided into 403 districts (Kreise) on municipal level, these consist of 301 rural districts and 102 urban districts.[16]

State Capital Area (km²) Population
Baden-Württemberg Stuttgart 35,752 10,717,000
Bavaria Munich 70,549 12,444,000
Berlin Berlin 892 3,400,000
Brandenburg Potsdam 29,477 2,568,000
Bremen Bremen 404 663,000
Hamburg Hamburg 755 1,735,000
Hesse Wiesbaden 21,115 6,098,000
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Schwerin 23,174 1,720,000
Lower Saxony Hanover 47,618 8,001,000
North Rhine-Westphalia Düsseldorf 34,043 18,075,000
Rhineland-Palatinate Mainz 19,847 4,061,000
Saarland Saarbrücken 2,569 1,056,000
Saxony Dresden 18,416 4,296,000
Saxony-Anhalt Magdeburg 20,445 2,494,000
Schleswig-Holstein Kiel 15,763 2,829,000
Thuringia Erfurt 16,172 2,355,000


Germany has a number of large cities; the most populous are: Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, and Stuttgart. The largest conurbation is the Rhine-Ruhr region (12 million), including Düsseldorf (the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia), Cologne, Essen, Dortmund, Duisburg, and Bochum.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Germany". CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. November 14, 2006. Archived from the original on September 30, 2006. Retrieved November 29, 2006.
  3. ^ See "HAMBURG-FUHLS.(FLUGWEWA)", "HAMBURG-NEUWIEDENTHAL" and "HAMBURG-WANDSBEK" (for Hamburg)- altitudes are 3,11 and 18 meters; and "MUENCHEN-STADT (WST)" for Munich - altitude is 515 meters, at [1]
  4. ^ See "BERLIN-TEMP. (WST)" (altitude 48 meters) at [2]
  5. ^ See "FREIBURG I.BR. (AWST)" (altitude 236 meters) and "GOERLITZ (WEWA)" (altitude 238 meters) at [3]
  6. ^ German Climate Handbuch Deutschland. Retrieved November 30, 2006.
  7. ^ "German Climate and Weather". World Travels. Globe Media Ltd. 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2006.
  8. ^ "CIA – The World Factbook – Germany". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. April 26, 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-26.
  9. ^ List of Ecoregions: Terrestrial Ecoregions WWF. Retrieved 21 November 2000.
  10. ^ List of famous Zoological gardens in European countries Retrieved 17 October 2008.
  11. ^ Some interesting zoo facts Retrieved 17 October 2008.
  12. ^ (in German)Tierstatistik 2008, Zoo Berlin. Retrieved 19 November 2009. Archived June 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "International Migration 2006" (PDF). UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  14. ^ The individual denomination is either Land [state], Freistaat [free state] or Freie (und) Hansestadt [free (and) Hanseatic city].
    "The Federal States". Bundesrat of Germany. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
    "Amtliche Bezeichnung der Bundesländer" [Official denomination of federated states] (PDF; download file „Englisch“). (in German). Federal Foreign Office. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  15. ^ "Example for state constitution: "Constitution of the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia"". Landtag (state assembly) of North Rhine-Westphalia. Archived from the original on 17 January 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
  16. ^ "Kreisfreie Städte und Landkreise nach Fläche und Bevölkerung 31.12.2009" (in German). Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland. October 2010. Archived from the original (XLS) on April 28, 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011.

External links

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