Germany is one of the largest European countries with an area of 357,385 km2. It borders in the north with Denmark, in the east with Poland and the Czech Republic, in the south with Austria and Switzerland, and in the west with France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. Germany is also the country with the largest population in Europe, not counting Russia.
At the same time, Germany is one of the most economically developed countries in Europe and the world, largely determining the policies of the entire European Union. A federal structure with a decentralized structure and a number of large cities avoids the concentration of all institutions in one city; that is why the capital Berlin does not dominate the rest, such as Moscow in Russia, London in the UK or Paris in France.
Undoubtedly, the financial capital of Germany is Frankfurt, which is known for its skyscrapers and one of the busiest airports in the world. Regarding tradition, the largest city in southern Germany and the capital of Bavaria, Munich is famous for its beer traditions and the annual Oktoberfest beer festival. In the southwest in the region of Baden-Württemberg, winemaking is common.
The symbol of the country’s economic development is world-famous German cars – without exaggeration, national pride. Companies such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and Volkswagen (VW) are known worldwide for their quality, safety and style. Another symbol of German quality is the autobahns laid back in the 30s throughout the country, on which there are no speed limits.
The country is also famous for its level of education – German universities, for example, in Heidelberg, Berlin, Tübingen, Marburg, Hamburg, or the Munich Technical University do not need a special presentation.
Germany is a federal republic consisting of 16 states (lands). The federal parliament (Bundestag) is elected every 4 years in a rather complex system, including direct and proportional representatives. Parliament elects the Chancellor (Bundeskanzler, currently Angela Merkel), who will be the head of government, at the first meeting.
The formal head of state is the President (Bundespräsident, currently Joachim Gauck), who takes almost no part in daily political decisions and mainly performs representative functions.
Federal states are represented at the federal level by the Bundesrat Federal Council. Many federal laws were passed by the council. This state of affairs may lead to a situation in which the Council and the Parliament contradict each other if the ruling parties are different parties.
The two strongest parties are the Christian Democratic Party (Christlich Demokratische Union (CDU)) and the Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD)). Thanks to the proportional voting system, small parties can also be represented in parliament.
The north of Germany is washed by the North and Baltic seas. The landscape, especially along the coast of the North Sea, is very gentle, the climate is harsh, with strong winds, rains and cool air. The islands of the North Sea near the coast are very picturesque, but despite this, mostly the Germans themselves go there. Thanks to its size and position in central Europe, Germany boasts a variety of landscapes. The climate of the country is mild and humid, most of the countryside is covered with forests.
If we talk about forests, the Black Forest and the Bavarian Forest are declared a national heritage, and they will gradually be returned to the wild. Today, wild animals, despite their number, behave very modestly, so you can not meet them. The most dangerous animal in German forests is the wild boar, especially the females that breed. Wild boars are used to people; they often take out garbage bins in villages and on the outskirts of cities.