The Federal Republic of Germany, as it’s officially named, is a nation comprised of 16 states: 13 area states + 3 city-states. Situated at the heart of Europe with the North Sea to the west and the Baltic Sea to the east, Germany is bordered by France and Benelux to the west, Denmark to the north, Poland and Czechia to the east, and Switzerland, Austria, and the Alps to the south. Europe’s east meets west in this historic land that has witnessed its fair share of turbulent times, fostering a deep appreciation for the value of peace and stability among its people.
Throughout history, the central region has been shaped by significant groups. Germanic tribes, such as the Franks and Saxons, once fiercely battled conquering Romans in this land. This was followed by centuries of rule by the Holy Roman Empire since the time of Charlemagne (800–1806). As Martin Luther initiated the rise of the 16-century Protestant Reformation when he challenged Catholic ideals, the Holy Roman Empire began its decline, though it continued its rule over several mostly smaller kingdoms dominated by the rivalry of the Hapsburg dynasty (Austria) entangled in conflicts for supremacy with rising Prussia, the predecessor of modern-day Germany.
In 1806, the Napoleonic era further left its mark on Germany, dissolving the Holy Roman Empire. Subsequently, in 1815, Austro-Prussian cooperation between the newly formed German Confederation occurred for a period, however, it was Prussia that ultimately emerged victorious over Hapsburg Austria and then France in the mid-19th century. This victory paved the way for the unification of Prussian nation-states in 1871, forming the German Reich. It is important to note that the term “Reich” refers to different historical periods and should not be confused with the dark era of Nazi Germany.
A perceived humiliating defeat of World War I exacerbated by the devastating impact of the Great Depression gave rise to communism, then to the emergence of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime. From 1933 to 1945, Germany experienced a dark chapter in its history, particularly during World War II, marked by racist and antisemitic laws, as well as unimaginable atrocities under Hitler’s Third Reich. The post-war era witnessed the division of Germany into the Soviet-controlled communist East and the NATO-aligned social capitalist West, with the Berlin Wall symbolizing the stark separation.
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent reunification of East and West Germany in 1990 marked the end of the Soviet Union, the Cold War, and the era of European communism. These historical turning points shaped the trajectory of modern Germany, bringing together a diverse population with deep-rooted regional identities, such as Prussian, Saxon, Hanoverian, Bavarian, Hessian, Baden, and Wurttembergish. As Germany navigates its way forward, its people continue to reflect on the ethical implications of their past while striving for a prosperous and united future.
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Regions & States of Germany
Bremen + Bremerhaven
AREA STATES (SOUTH)
Capital: Munich (München), Nuremburg, Bamberg, Würzburg, Dinkelsbühl, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Romantic Road, Füssen, Castle Road, Neuschwanstein Castle, German Alpine Road, Bad Tölz
Capital: Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Freiburg im Breisgau, Freiburg, Baden-Baden, Black Forest High Road, Tübingen, Schwäbisch Hall, Castle Road
Capital: Wiesbaden, Frankfurt, Hanau, Gelnhausen, Büdingen, Seligenstadt, Nidda, Michelstadt, Taunus, Odenwald, Spessart, Black Forest High Road, German Fairy Tale Road
AREA STATES (NORTH)
Capital: Kiel, Flensburg, Schleswig, Lübeck, Büsum, St. Peter-Ording, Husum, North Frisian Islands
Capital: Hanove, Hannover, Braunschweig, Hildesheim, Goslar, Osterode, Clausthal-Zellerfeld, German Fairy Tale Road (Bros Grimm), Frisian Islands
Capital: Schwerin, Kühlungsborn, Heiligendamm, Warnemünde, Rügen and Usedom Islands
Capital: Potsdam, Sanssouci Palace, the Spreewald biosphere
Capital: Magdeburg, Wernigerode, Halberstadt, Quedlinburg, Wittenberg, Eisleben, Romanesque Route (Straße der Romanik),
AREA STATES (CENTRAL)
Capital: Düsseldorf, Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Aachen, Monschau, German Fairy Tale Road (Bros Grimm)
Capital: Mainz, Trier, Cochem, Beilstein, Bernkastel-Kues, Mosel Valley, Rhine Gorge (from Bingen to Koblenz), German Wine Route (Weinstraße)
Capital: Saarbrücken, Mosel Valley
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