Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic
in western-central Europe. It consists of 16 constituent states, which retain limited
sovereignty, and covers an area of 357,021 square kilometres (137,847 sq mi) with
a largely temperate seasonal climate. Its capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany
is a major economic and political power and traditionally a leader in many cultural,
theoretical and technical fields.
Located in central Europe, Germany is made up of the North German Plain, the Central
German Uplands (Mittelgebirge), and the Southern German Highlands. The Bavarian
plateau in the southwest averages 1,600 ft (488 m) above sea level, but it reaches
9,721 ft (2,962 m) in the Zugspitze Mountains, the highest point in the country.
Germany's major rivers are the Danube, the Elbe, the Oder, the Weser, and the Rhine.
Germany is about the size of Montana.
Population: 80.62 millions
Largest city: Berlin Major
Government type: Federal Republic
Most of Germany has a temperate seasonal climate in which humid westerly winds predominate.
The country is situated in between the oceanic Western European and the continental
Eastern European climate. Rainfall occurs year-round, with no consistent dry season.
Winters are mild and summers tend to be warm: temperatures can exceed 30 °C (86
German culture began long before the rise of Germany as a nation-state and spanned
the entire German-speaking world. From its roots, culture in Germany has been shaped
by major intellectual and popular currents in Europe, both religious and secular.
Historically Germany has been called Das Land der Dichter und Denker (the country
of poets and thinkers).
The federated states are in charge of the cultural institutions. There are 240 subsidized
theatres, hundreds of symphonic orchestras, thousands of museums, and more than
25,000 libraries spread in Germany. These cultural opportunities are enjoyed by
many: there are over 91 million German museum visits every year; annually, 20 million
go to theatres and operas; 3.6 million per year listen to the symphonic orchestras.
The UNESCO inscribed 38 properties in Germany on the World Heritage List.
Over 99% of Germans aged 15 and above are estimated to be able to read and write.
Responsibility for educational supervision in Germany is primarily organised within
the individual federal states. A system of apprenticeship called Duale Ausbildung
("dual education") allows students in vocational training to learn in a company
as well as in a state-run vocational school. This successful model is highly regarded
and reproduced all around the world.
Academic education is open to most citizens and is increasingly common in Germany.
The dual education system that combines practical and theoretical learning, but
does not lead to an academic degree, is typical for Germany and is recognised as
a model for other countries.