Germany


Basic Facts

Germany is in central Europe, at 50 degrees latitude, and 10
degrees longitude. It is bordered by Denmark, The Netherlands,
Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Austria, Czechs
Republic, And Poland. The capitol of Germany is Berlin.
The population of Germany is 81,264,000. The estimated
population for Germany in the year 2000 is 82,583,000. Germany
is smaller than Texas, or about 4 1/2% of the size of the U.S.A.
The German flag has black, red, and gold, horizontal stripes
without any symbols on it. In 1950 when Germany was divided,
West Germany\'s flag was black, red, and dark gold, with no
symbols. East Germany\'s flag was black, red and, yellow with a
coat of arms symbol in the middle. After Germany became
reunited, the flag was changed to black, red, and gold stripes,
with no symbols on it. These colors have been associated with
German unity since the 1800\'s.

The Land

In Germany some interesting places are: The Rhine River,the
Olympic Stadium in Munich, the Bavarian Alps where the
Newschwanstein Castle is, the Black Forest, the Harz Mountains,
and Berlin.
There are many natural resources in Germany. Germany is
bordered by the North and Baltic Seas. These have busy shipping
ports. There are also four main rivers in Germany. In the West
is the Rhine River, the Danube is in the South, the Oder is in
the East, and the Elbe and the Weser Rivers are in the north.
The soil in Germany varies. The North German plains has
soil that is soft and fertile. Much of the rest of Germany has
rocky soil.
The minerals in Germany are: Coal, potash, lignite, iron,
and uranium. There are mines in Germany but are mainly coal.
There is a large variety of plants in Germany. They range
from crops in the large German plain to fir and spruce trees in
the Black Forest.
They have the same kinds of domestic animals we do, and as
well as forest animals. In the North German Plain which is
mostly farm area, there are sheep, cattle, horses, hogs, poultry,
and dairy cows.
There are five different land regions in Germany. The first
is the North German Plain. It is the largest land region, and is
low and nearly flat. The southern edge of this area has very
fertile soil. There are many farms here, and many people here
and in cities such as Bonn, and Cologne.
The second land region is The Central Highlands. This area
is a series of plateaus that range from almost flat to
mountainous. There are steep, narrow valleys, and the Rhine
River runs through this area. It is one of the most beautiful
sights in Germany.
The South German Hills, have long parallel ridges that go
from southwest to northeast. Sheep are raised here, and the
lowlands between the ridges have some of the best farm lands in
Germany.
The fourth land region in Germany is The Black Forest. Many
old German legends and fairy tails take place here. The Black
Forest gets it\'s name from the thick forests of dark fir and
spruce trees that are on the mountainsides.
The fifth land region is the Bavarian Alps. It is part of
the largest mountain system in Europe, the Alps. They rise more
than 6,000 feet, and Zugspitze is the highest point in Germany at
9,721 feet. This region has many lakes formed by ancient
glaciers, and mountain streams flow into the Danube River.

The People

The money that is used in Germany is the Deutsche Mark. The
Deutsche Mark comes in a variety of colors. For example, the
twenty marks is blue, and the one hundred marks in green. There
are also coins.
Education is very important in Germany. They have a public
education system that is controlled by the individual states.
All children must go to school for 9 or 10 years. After
elementary school there are schools to choose from. The Gymnasium
is a traditional junior and senior high school that prepares
students for the university. Intermediate schools have academic
subjects and job training, and Hauptschulen are vocational
schools which mainly have job training. Comprehensive schools
combine all three types of schools. Germany has many
universities and technical colleges. The University of Heidelberg
was founded in 1386, and is the oldest University in Germany.
The main sports played in Germany are soccer, gymnastics,
tennis, horse back riding, and some snow sports like ice skating,
and skiing. Other recreation is biking, camping, and hiking.
The holidays celebrated in Germany are the same ones as the
United States, such as Christmas, Easter, and Mother\'s Day. On
November 1, they celebrate All Saints\' Day instead of Halloween
on