Germany(German: Deutschland, German pronunciation: [ˈdɔʏtʃlant]), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.
Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,578 square kilometres (138,062 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying entirely in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a very decentralised country. Its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport.
In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic. The Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to World War II, and the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American, British, and French occupation zones, and East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone. Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990.
Today, Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor. It is a great power with a strong economy. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993. Read more...
Anniversaries for September 20
Did you know...
Did you know ...
- ... that writer Brigitte Kronauer, who won the Georg Büchner Prize, the Jean Paul Prize, and the Thomas Mann Prize, was described as both "a master of spite" and having "great kindness"?
- ... that Leo Frobenius announced the discovery of the lost city of Atlantis during his Fourth German Inner Africa Research Expedition?
- ... that Ulrike Sonntag, a soprano at the Staatsoper Stuttgart and an academic voice teacher in Stuttgart, recorded an oratorio by Fanny Hensel and psalm settings by Lili Boulanger?
- ... that the 1805 Treaty of Potsdam committed Prussia to joining the War of the Third Coalition, but was effectively ended by the Battle of Austerlitz less than a month later?
- ... that lieder singer and voice teacher Franziska Martienssen-Lohmann's textbook for singers was recommended for general readers interested in "the human instrument"?
- ... that the myth of the clean Wehrmacht persisted in Germany until the 1990s, when it was eroded by the Wehrmacht Exhibition?
- ... that the Empress Elisabeth Bridge, a chain bridge over the Elbe that opened in 1855, was named in honor of the newly married Elisabeth of Austria?
- ... that Ernst Dammann, an early member of the Nazi Party, was a founding figure of African studies in East Germany – together with Walter Markov, a communist who spent much of the Nazi era in prison?
Selected cuisine -
served with fried potatoes (Bratkartoffeln) and Sauerkraut
at a Bavarian restaurant in Chiang Mai
Schweinshaxe (German pronunciation: [ˈʃvaɪns.haksə]), in German cuisine, is a roasted ham hock (or “pork knuckle”). The ham hock is the end of the pig's leg, just above the ankle and below the meaty ham portion. It is especially popular in Bavaria as Schweinshaxn [ˈʃvaɪns.haksn̩] or Sauhax(n) [ˈsaohaks(n̩)]. A variation of this dish is known in parts of Germany as Eisbein, in which the ham hock is pickled and usually slightly boiled.
Schweinshaxe is one of the formerly typical peasant foods, in which recipes were composed which made inexpensive cuts of meat delicious (see, for beef, the popular Sauerbraten). Such inexpensive cuts usually require long periods of preparation. The meat is usually marinated for days, in the case of big cuts up to a week. The Schweinshaxe is then roasted at low temperatures, typically—depending on size—for two to three hours. Read more...
Select [►] to view subcategories