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Deep in the heart of Europe, Germany has had a major impact on Continental history. From Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire to Otto von Bismarck's German Reich, Nazism and the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, no other nation has moulded Europe the way Germany has - for better or worse.

Germany's reunification in 1990 was the beginning of yet another chapter in it's complex history. Today, visitors can continue to experience the cultural, social and economic differences of the formerly seperate Germany's, enjoying there individual charms.

Not to be forgotten, though, is that Germany is a country of shear physical beauty both natural and created. Germany wears it's riches well; elegant big city charm, small picture-postcard towns, pagan inspired harvest festivals, a wealth of art and culture and the perennial pleasures of huge tracts of forest, delightful castles and fine wine and beer are all there for the savouring.

Regional characteristics, indeed, are a strong feature of German life. The imperial capital, Berlin, stands apart, as an island in the midst of the erstwhile German Democratic Republic where the liberalism of the West was pushed to it's extreme, sometimes decadent, always exciting.

Germany covers 357,000 sq km and can be divided from North to South into several geographical regions, including the Northern Lowlands, the Central Uplands (Germany's heartland), the Alpine Foothills and the Alps.

German weather can be variable. The most reliable weather is from May to October. Shoulder periods (late March to May and September to October) can bring fewer tourists and surprisingly pleasant weather.
Capital
Berlin
Language
German
Population
82.4 M
(July 2004)
Currency
euro (€)
Joined in 1999
Bordering Countries
Austria
Belgium
Czech Republic
Denmark
France
Luxembourg
Netherlands
Poland
Switzerland
Visa Requirements
EU Citizens do not need visas for visits up to 90 days
National Holidays 2005
Jan 1st, 6th
Mar 25th
May 1st
Aug 15th
Oct 3rd, 31st
Nov 1st, 3rd
Dec 25th, 26th
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