Germany - geography
Germany - Geography, Landscape
The whole of northern Germany is a lowland area, which consists of moraine
and meltwater deposits. The coastal area facing the North Sea consists for the
most part of sand surfaces, dunes and marsh areas. Along the coast are the East
Frisian and North Frisian Islands.
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The rivers Elbe, Weser and Ems flow into the North Sea. The Baltic coast is
characterized by headlands and lagoons, the so-called Haffer, as well as the
islands of Fehmarn and Rügen. On Rügen, the limestone subsoil can be seen
in the large cliffs at Stubbenkammer. The land behind consists of ridges of
end moraines, sandy plains and meltwater valleys as well as a large number of
lakes. South of Hamburg is the large heathland Lüneburg Heath.
|The German Länder
The whole of central Germany is characterized by the Hercynian mountains in a
strongly divided landscape. These ancient mountains were largely worn down and
were covered primarily in the Triassic by sediments.
During the alpine folding, the landscape was broken up and there were
hurricanes and burial depressions. The largest of these, the Rhingraven, is
surrounded by the Rhine Slate Mountains,
ie. Eifel, Hunsrück, Westerwald and Taunus.
The river Main is surrounded by the volcanic mountains Vogelsberg and Rhön as
well as by the mountain range Odenwald. Further east are the Harz Mountains,
the Thuringian Forest and the Fichtelgebirge Mountains, which continue into
the Ore Mountains and the Bohemian Forest on the Czech border.
South of the Main are streaks of cuestan landscapes: Fränkische
Alb and Schwäbische Alb, and furthest to the SW horsten Schwarzwald, which
borders the burial ground in the upper Rhindal. Loose soil is widespread here,
as in the southern edge of the northern German lowlands.
The Bavarian plateau country is bounded on the north by the Danube and the
tributaries Lech, Isar and Inn. The furthest south reaches the Alps into
Germany, and here lies the country's highest point, the Zugspitze (2962 m).
Germany has a temperate climate; the western and northern part coastal
climate, the eastern and southern part mainland climate. The average temperature
for July varies between 16 and 19 °C, while the winter temperature in the
western parts is slightly above 0 °C and in the east and south slightly below 0
°C. Precipitation in the lowlands is 500-800 mm per year, in central Germany
1000-1400 mm and furthest south 1900 mm. The Rhine Valley is the warmest area
and also the poorest in precipitation with 400-500 mm.
Apart from Russia, Germany is the most populous country in Europe. The
population density is 230 residents per. km2 with large regional
differences. The largest concentration is found in the Rhin-Ruhr area. From
the Ruhr area runs a zone of high population density
over Hanover, Braunschweig, Magdeburg, Halle and Leipzig to the area
around Dresden, Chemnitz and Zwickau.
Do you know how many people there are in Germany? Check this site to see
population pyramid and resident density about this country.
Furthermore, there are densely populated areas
around Hamburg, Berlin and Munich. The sparsely populated areas are to
the north and northeast as well as to the far south and in the mountainous areas
of central Germany. Since the 1960's, there had been a declining population in
the GDR; the decline has continued after reunification as many have moved from
east to west.
In 1996-2006, the annual population growth was almost 0.5%; part of this low
growth was even due to immigration, as the natural growth was negative. The
mortality rate exceeded the birth rate by 0.1%. approximately 85% of the population
lived in cities, and 83 cities had more than 100,000 residents. The largest
are still Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Essen and Dortmund.
Within Germany's borders, there are three national minorities: the Danes
(50,000) and the Frisians (20,000) in Schleswig-Holstein and the Sorbs (60,000),
a Slavic people to the southeast in Brandenburg and Saxony. In 2004, approximately 6.7
million non-Germans in Germany, ie. 8.1% of the country's population are
foreigners, a large proportion of whom originally came as guest workers.
In 2004, there were also more than 500,000 refugees. The largest group of
foreigners are the Turks (1.7 million), the second largest people from the
former Yugoslavia (736,000). Furthermore, there are more than 548,000 Italians,
316,000 Greeks, 300,000 Poles and approximately 3 mio. from a number of other
Most of the foreign descent live in the western states. In the eastern
states, it was especially Vietnamese and Mozambicans who came to the country in
the communist era. A special ethnic group are the so-called People's Germans or Aussiedler,
ie. descendants of previously emigrated Germans in Eastern Europe, who under
German law are German citizens. After the break-up in Eastern Europe, they have
come from the former Soviet Union, Poland and Romania in particular (1988-2006
about 3 million).
Germany has since the late 1800's. has been one of the world's leading
industrial nations. After the USA and Japan, the country has the largest gross
domestic product and ranks in terms of income per capita. per capita among the
top ten. Germany has a large and varied range of industrial products, and
especially the country's large exports of quality products are characteristic.
After the United States and Japan, Germany is the country with the largest
foreign trade. Among other things. however, the high cost level and lack of
manpower in information technology has from the late 1900-t. caused many
companies to move production abroad. Productivity in the new states in the east
is still only in the 2000's. call; the average income of employees is less than 1/3 of
what it is in the old West Germany.
The most important task in business since the reunification has been to
create a balance between the old and the new states. The large, inefficient
state-owned enterprises in the east have for the most part been closed down,
often in connection with acquisitions from West German companies. Some of the
industries that were in the east before World War II, such as car production,
have to some extent returned to their old areas. However, not enough replacement
jobs have been created for the many who have been laid off.
The farm, which was decorated in a Soviet pattern with giant collective farms
or state farms, has slowly been transformed into smaller, private units,
although problems with property conditions have delayed the process
drastically. The large farms are still a characteristic feature of the
east. Lack of environmental measures in connection with the overexploitation of
natural resources has created overwhelming environmental problems in large parts
of the former East Germany.
These problems are making it difficult to speed up production in this part of
Germany. Enormous sums have been transferred from west to east since
reunification, but the eastern states still contribute less to total production
than their share of the population would suggest.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing. Agriculture employs 2-3% and
contributes 1.5% to GDP. In the northern German lowlands, mixed uses with a wide
range of crops and cattle and pig breeding are predominant. At the transition to
the Central German mountain country, loose soils are cultivated on the loose
soils, among other things. wheat, rye, barley, oats, maize, sugar and fodder
beet as well as potatoes and other vegetables. Apart from poultry farming, which
takes place all over the country, there is not much livestock production here.
In the Central German mountain country, the main emphasis is on livestock
production. In addition to pig and sheep breeding, dairy cattle and beef cattle
in particular play a role. Forage plants, potatoes and rye are grown. In this
region, the utilization of the large forests for timber production is also
In southern Germany, agriculture has roughly the same composition as in the
north. In the Bavarian Alps, the emphasis is on cattle farming.
About half of the farms in the former West Germany are part-time farms, and
95% of the farms have an adjoining less than 50 ha. The ones that have done best
are the large farms in northern Germany, but also a number of small farms in
southern Germany due to the cultivation of specialty crops such as wine, hops
and tobacco, which do not require such large areas.
In the former East Germany, the number of people employed in agriculture has
been sharply reduced after reunification. Agriculture is heavily subsidized, and
in many parts of Germany small farmers have to supplement their income with work
outside the agricultural industry.
Almost 1/3 of Germany's forest cover and about half
is state forest. The growth in the forest corresponds to approximately 2/3 of
Germany's demand for wood. As in other EU countries, efforts are underway to
increase forest area.
German fishing underwent major structural changes in the late 1900's. The
fleet has thus been heavily cut. The most important catch areas today are the
North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean west of the British Isles and
the waters around Greenland. The most important fishing ports are Bremen,
Bremerhaven and Cuxhaven on the North Sea and Sassnitz on the Baltic Sea. The
annual catch is 295,000 t.
Tourism. Germany is a popular holiday destination; more than 69
million guests annually landed. But since the Germans themselves like to holiday
abroad, approximately twice as much money outside the country's borders as the
approximately 57 billion DKK, the country's tourism brings in.
Industry. The German industry was based on the coal and iron ore
deposits on the river Ruhr and south and southeast of it. From the
mid-1800's. there was an explosive growth in this area. While iron had until then
been extracted using charcoal from the large forest areas, it was possible to
convert some of the coal into coke as a substitute for charcoal.
The domestic ore deposits quickly became insufficient, so Germany has since
had to import iron ore, e.g. from Sweden, France and Australia. It was thus the
coal that became decisive for the growth of the Ruhr area into one of Europe's
most important industrial areas. Since then, a large number of other industries
developed, including in southern East Germany and in Silesia in present-day
Poland, and Germany was transformed into one of the world's leading industrial
World War II destroyed large parts of the industry, and the industrial areas
east of the Oder were lost, and the bonds that had been built between the
industries in the different parts of Germany were broken. West Germany quickly
rose to prominence and was among the founders of the European Coal and Steel
Community and the European Community.
East Germany became part of the Eastern European COMECON, where each country
had to specialize and be built after the Soviet model. East Germany was to focus
on the machinery and transport industries, the fine mechanical and optical
industries, and the chemical industry; at the same time, the country was to
enter into heavy-industrial cooperation, and an iron and steel plant was
established in Eisenhüttenstadt based on ore from the Soviet Union and coal from
The majority of the companies passed to the state in so-called VEB (Volkseigener
Betrieb ' publicly owned companies'), and the economy was
organized as a command or planned economy. Many of the companies that had been
located in the East moved their production to West Germany.
After the reunification, all state-owned companies were handed over to
the Treuhandanstalt, which was to sell the companies to private individuals or
possibly close the unprofitable. The transition to a market economy has led to
extensive rationalisations and environmental measures which, as a result of has
had the closure of companies and a sharp reduction in the need for labor.
German industry is in many fields among the foremost in the world. This
applies, for example, to the metal industry (iron, steel, aluminum), the
chemical industry (synthetic fibers, plastics, synthetic rubber, fertilizers,
pharmaceutical products) and the electrotechnical industry (television sets,
washing machines, measuring equipment, etc.). Germany occupies a leading
position in mechanical engineering. The car industry is the largest in the world
after the USA and Japan.
Germany has only extraction of a few raw materials. The most important are
coal and lignite as well as salts, while iron ore is mined to a lesser extent
and oil and natural gas are extracted. Many other ores have today been mined or
mined only to a modest extent, eg copper, uranium, lead, zinc, manganese.
The traditional industrial centers are the port cities on the North Sea and
the Baltic Sea, the Ruhr area, the Saarland, Berlin, southern Thuringia and
Saxony. The old heavy industry areas have been in a structural crisis since the
late 1900's. In northern Germany, the Ruhr area and the Saarland, new jobs in
high technology and service industries have emerged. Thuringia and Saxony are
former industrial areas in the GDR and are therefore affected by the crisis that
is raging throughout the former East Germany.
Compared to Central and Northern Germany until the 1960's and 1970's, southern
Germany was only slightly industrialized. However, this has changed. Modern
industries and high-tech companies are today more widespread in the south than
in the north. Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg have the lowest unemployment rates
in 2006, and incomes here are above the national average.
After a slow start, Germany has gained a strong foothold in the computer
industry, and the country has a leading position in the aerospace industry and
the high-tech areas of the armaments industry.
The main domestic energy raw materials are hard coal and lignite. The most
important coal area is in the Ruhr area, where quarrying has taken place for
centuries. The mines have become fewer and larger, and the quarry has moved ever
further north with gravity today around the river Lippe. Another important coal
area is located in the Saarland around Saarbrücken.
Lignite mining takes place mainly in Lower Lusatia in southeastern Germany
around the city of Cottbus as well as in the Leipzig area and in the Rhine area
west of Cologne. Lignite is mined in contrast to hard coal in large open pits,
which entail extensive changes to the landscape with deep holes, often many
square kilometers in size.
After reunification, lignite mining has decreased significantly, but it still
plays a role in energy supply. Coal production in the Ruhr area has also been
curtailed, but efforts are being made to keep it at current levels in order to
reduce dependence on imported energy raw materials.
In 2006, Germany had 18 active nuclear power plants, accounting for approximately 1/3 of
the power supply. According to a government decision from 2002, the expansion of
the nuclear power sector has stopped and all German nuclear power plants must be
phased out by 2020. In total energy consumption, coal accounts for 25%, oil 35%,
natural gas 15% and nuclear power 10%. Water, wind and solar energy cover
Germany's oil pipelines run from Wilhelmshaven and Rotterdam on the North
Sea, from Trieste, Genoa and Fos-sur-Mer on the Mediterranean, and from Schwedt
an der Oder, where the oil pipeline from Russia reaches Germany.
The largest oil refineries are located at Ingolstadt in Bavaria and on the
Rhine. The German natural gas network is widely branched, but with the greatest
density in the western part.
The German transport network is well developed. The road and motorway network
is still under development, and major works are underway in the new Länder to
bring the standard here up to par with that in the West. Most of the road
connections that were disconnected during the partition of Germany have been
Huge investments are also being made in the railway network. The East German
railway network was very dilapidated, and a total rebuild has been necessary for
the new trains to travel on the East German railway lines. Since 1991, two new
north-south lines have been arranged for the new high-speed trains, the ICE
trains. In Berlin, a new, large central railway station, the Lehrter Bahnhof,
was inaugurated in 2006. Here, trains from all corners of the world meet.
River and canal traffic are of great importance in Germany, where the most
important waterway is the Rhine. Since the interwar years, there has been a
canal connection between the Ruhr area and Berlin along the Mittelland Canal,
and in the mid-1990's a canal connection was established between the Rhine
tributary Main and the Danube.
The canal network is more than 2000 km. Duisburg on the Rhine is the world's
largest river port, and Hamburg at the mouth of the Elbe is among the leading
ports in the world. Other major ports are
Wilhelmshaven, Bremerhaven, Lübeck, Travemünde and Rostock.
Domestic air traffic is of minor importance, while Germany plays a
significant role in international air traffic with Frankfurt am Main as one of
Europe's most important airports; in addition, there are international airports
in Cologne-Bonn, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Hanover, Leipzig, Munich, Nuremberg,
Stuttgart and Berlin (Schönefeld and Tegel).
Germany - language
Dominant is German, which is also the official language. Of bilingual
minorities, Danish (approximately 50,000) and Frisian (approximately 12,000)
are spoken south of the Danish-German border and the West Slavic
language Sorbian (approximately 20,000) in Lausitz southeast of Berlin.
As an immigrant language is spoken Serbo-Croatian, Arabic and Turkish -
more than 3 million people live there. Turks in Germany; in addition, a number
of Slavic languages are spoken by ethnic Germans who have immigrated from the
East since 1989, especially Russia (so-called Spätaussiedler), but
who, due to the family's stay abroad for many generations, usually only speak a
As a spoken language, regional languages and dialects are widely used, the
latter in the south significantly more than in the north.
AAAAAAAAAAAAA about Germany.
|The very different names of the European languages
for Germany and Germans are egl. names of ancient Germanic
neighboring tribes. However, the Slavic nemec, borrowed
from Hungarian and Romanian, originally means 'dumb', ie. 'one who
does not speak our language'. The term diutisc 'folk-', of
oldhty. diota 'folk', cf. also eng. Dutch 'Dutch', is first found in
a report from 786 to Pope Hadrian I on two synods held in
England. First synod decisions were read out at the beginning of the
next synod tam latine quam theodisce, quo omnes intellegere
potuissent 'in Latin and in the vernacular so that everyone
could understand them'.
||of oldhty. diutisc ' folke- '
||after the Germans
||after the commoners
||after the Saxons
||by nemoj 'dumb'
||after the sweeps
||after the tribe Vagoth, mentioned in Jordanes
||Voki (ecij) a
|1 Designations from the spoken language: