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Welcome to the Germany Portal!
Willkommen im Deutschland-Portal!

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Location of Germany within Europe

Germany (German: Deutschland), 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 western part of the Soviet occupation zone, reduced by the newly established Oder-Neisse line. 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...

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Ludwigsburg Palace and the Blooming Baroque gardens seen from the south garden in June 2006. In the center and background is the Neuer Hauptbau and in particular the Marble Hall

Ludwigsburg Palace, nicknamed the "Versailles of Swabia", is a 452-room palace complex of 18 buildings located in Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Its total area, including the gardens, is 32 ha (79 acres) – the largest palatial estate in the country. The palace has four wings: the northern wing, the Alter Hauptbau, is the oldest and was used as a ducal residence; the east and west wings were used for court purposes and housing guests and courtiers; the southern wing, the Neuer Hauptbau, was built to house more court functions and was later used as a residence.

Eberhard Louis, Duke of Württemberg, appointed Philipp Joseph Jenisch to direct the work and construction began in 1704. In 1707, Jenisch was replaced with Johann Friedrich Nette, who completed the majority of the palace and surrounding gardens. Nette died in 1714, and Donato Giuseppe Frisoni finished much of the palace facades. In the final year of construction, Eberhard Louis died and the Neue Hauptbau's interiors were left incomplete. Charles Eugene's court architect, Philippe de La Guêpière, completed and refurbished parts of the New Hauptbau in the Rococo style, especially the palace theatre. Charles Eugene abandoned the palace for Stuttgart in 1775. Duke Frederick II, later King Frederick I, began using Ludwigsburg as his summer residence in the last years of Charles Eugene's reign. Frederick and his wife Charlotte, Princess Royal, resided at Ludwigsburg and employed Nikolaus Friedrich von Thouret to renovate the palace in the Neoclassical style. Thouret converted much of Ludwigsburg's interiors over the reign of Frederick and later life of Charlotte. As a result of each architect's work, Ludwigsburg is a combination of Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassical, and Empire style architecture. Read more...

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Bi Sparrenburg pano.jpg

Sparrenberg Castle in Bielefeld
Image credit: Daniel Schwen

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Germany news

7 August 2020 -
France and Germany end talks with the United States to reform the World Health Organization, after the former two's respective health ministries expressed opposition to the attempt from the United States at leading the talks, despite the United States having decided to leave the organization. (Reuters)
6 August 2020 - COVID-19 pandemic in Germany
The Robert Koch Institute reports 1,045 new cases in Germany during the last 24 hours. It is the first time since May 7 that new COVID-19 cases in the country surpass 1,000. (The New Indian Express)
1 August 2020 - Protests over responses to the COVID-19 pandemic
A demonstration against coronavirus restrictions attended by thousands of people in Berlin, Germany, is terminated by police over "non-respect of hygiene rules". Police say they launched legal action against the organisers. (Al Jazeera)
17 July 2020 -
Police in Germany arrest a gunman, nicknamed Rambo due to his acts, who disarmed four policemen and escaped in the Black Forest five days before. (BBC)

More Germany-related news in English can be found at Deutsche Welle and Der Spiegel.

Selected fare or cuisine

Saxon cuisine encompasses regional cooking traditions of Saxony. In general the cuisine is very hearty and features many peculiarities of Mid-Germany such as a great variety of sauces which accompany the main dish and the fashion to serve Klöße/Knödel as a side dish instead of potatoes, pasta or rice. Also much freshwater fish is used in Saxon cuisine, particularly carp and trout as is the case throughout Eastern Europe.

The rich history of the region did and still does influence the cuisine. In the blossoming and growing cities of Dresden and Leipzig an extravagant style of cuisine is cherished as exemplified by crab as an ingredient in Leipziger Allerlei. Other regions where the people had to work really hard to yield some harvest and were really poor like in the Erzgebirge peasant dishes play a major role and famous dishes originating there are e.g. potatoes with quark, potato soup or potato with bread and linseed oil. Also in the region Vogtland there were many peasants but they were wealthier and that's why in this region the Sunday roast is a tradition that is nowadays still lived up to. Read more...


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