Germany is a country in the heart of Europe with a leading presence worldwide. Today, Germany is one of the most prosperous and influential nations in the world, with great culture and exciting places to visit.
The history of Germany dates back 2,000 years, beginning with the conquest of the region by the Roman Empire in the 1st century AD. Over the centuries, various Germanic tribes and kingdoms emerged, eventually forming the Holy Roman Empire in 962 AD. The Empire lasted until 1806 and was a major cultural and political force in Europe throughout the Middle Ages.
In the 19th century, Germany began to emerge as a unified nation-state, centered on Prussia, culminating in the creation of the German Empire in 1871, which was one of the most powerful nations in the world until its defeat in World War I. After the war, Germany experienced a period of political and economic instability, exploited by the Nazi party, leading to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the outbreak of World War II.
World War II saw the rise and fall of Nazi Germany, a regime that left its dark mark in the world. Nazi Germany’s aggressive expansionist policies, combined with a toxic ideology of racial superiority, led to atrocities, devastating destruction, and the loss of millions of lives during this dark chapter of history.
After the war, the surrender of Nazi Germany and the reshaping of the geopolitical landscape, the Allies divided Berlin and the rest of Germany into four occupation zones. The western sectors, controlled by France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, merged in 1949 to form the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Soviet Zone became the German Democratic Republic. East Germany chose East Berlin as its capital, while West Germany chose Bonn as its temporary capital.
West Germany was established as a federal parliamentary democracy with a “social market economy” and received reconstruction aid under the US Marshall Plan, and in 1955 joined NATO.
East Germany was formed as an Eastern Bloc communist state under political and military control by the Soviet Union through occupation forces and the Warsaw Pact. Democratic processes were absent from the state and political power was exercised by the Socialist Unity Party, supported by the Stasi, a massive secret service.
This division lasted until 1990, when Germany reunified and then took an active role in the European Union, signing the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 and the Lisbon Treaty in 2007, as one of the founding members of the Eurozone.
Germans are a diverse and dynamic ethnic group with a unique blend of traditions and modern values. They are known for their hard-working nature, discipline and efficiency, and they attach great importance to the education system and career. Germans are reserved and formal in social interactions, but polite and friendly. Germans have a rich cultural heritage, with contributions in areas such as music, philosophy and literature.
Germany is a country with a rich cultural heritage and is home to some of Europe’s most iconic landmarks and attractions.
Berlin – The capital city of Germany is a hub of culture, history, and politics. The Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, and the Reichstag are just a few of the city’s many landmarks.
Munich is the lively capital of Bavaria that combines tradition with the modern element. Among the attractions are the bustling Marienplatz square in the heart of the city, the impressive Nymphenburg Palace with its beautiful gardens.
Oktoberfest is a world famous beer festival that takes place every year in Munich and is one of the most popular events in the country.
The fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle is one of Germany’s most popular tourist destinations. Built in the picturesque Bavarian Alps, this fairytale castle inspired Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle. The interior is equally opulent, including the luxurious Throne Room and the King’s bedroom, but the seats available for entry are quite limited and photography is prohibited.
Construction began in 1869 by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, but was never completed.
Louis chose to pay for the palace from his personal wealth and extensive borrowing rather than Bavarian public funds. Nevertheless, Louis’ megalomania, ill-advised military operations, and waste of personal and state wealth contributed to his characterization as insane. The king was deposed in 1886 and he and his doctor were found dead in the lake the next day. His death was ruled a suicide by drowning, but that is disputed.
The castle was opened to the public shortly after his death. More than 1.3 million people visit it annually.
The route of the so-called Romantic Road, 350 kilometers long, crosses picturesque towns and medieval villages. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, with its well-preserved medieval walls and charming wooden houses, is a highlight along the way. Other stops include Augsburg, Dinkelsbühl and Füssen, each with its own unique charm and architectural treasures.
The breathtakingly beautiful Berchtesgaden National Park will fascinate nature lovers. The stunning Königssee is a crystal clear lake surrounded by majestic mountains that can be explored by boat. The iconic St. Bartholomew’s Church is located on one of its banks, and at its end, after a short hike, is the smaller but even more enchanting Obersee.
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