(Main source: CIA - The World Factbook 2016)
Country name (long form): Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland).
Total area: 357,021 km˛.
Coastline: 2,389 km.
Highest point: Zugspitze 2,963 m.
Population: 80.7 million (2016).
Religions: Protestant 34%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 3.7%, unaffiliated or other 28.3% .
As Europe's largest economy and most populous nation. European power struggles immersed the country in two devastating World Wars in the first half of the 20th century and left the country occupied by the victorious Allied powers of the US, UK, France, and the Soviet Union in 1945. With the advent of the Cold War, two German states were formed in 1949: the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The decline of the USSR and the end of the Cold War allowed for German unification in 1990. Since then, Germany has expended considerable funds to bring eastern productivity and wages up to western standards. In 1999, Germany and 11 other EU countries introduced a common European currency, the euro.
18 January 1871 (German Empire unification); divided into four zones of occupation (UK, US, USSR, and later, France) in 1945 following World War II; Federal Republic of Germany (FRG or West Germany) proclaimed 23 May 1949 and included the former UK, US, and French zones; German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany) proclaimed 7 October 1949 and included the former USSR zone; unification of West Germany and East Germany took place 3 October 1990; all four powers formally relinquished rights 15 March 1991.
Temperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm foehn wind.
Lowlands in north, uplands in center, Bavarian Alps in south.
Economy - overview
Germany's affluent and technologically powerful economy has turned in a weak performance throughout much of the 1990s and early 2000s. The modernization and integration of the eastern German economy was a costly problem, with annual transfers from west to east amounting to roughly $70 billion. Structural rigidities in the labor market - including strict regulations on laying off workers and the setting of wages on a national basis - have made unemployment a chronic problem.
Today, Germany is the Europe's largest economy.
Alte Oper Frankfurt (opera house), in Frankfurt, Germany. The original building, in Italian Renaissance style, was opened by Kaiser Wilhelm I in 1880. It was destroyed in 1944, during WW2. In the late 1970s, it was completely rebuilt. Today, it is used as a conference hall. Pictures of Germany►
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