One of the world’s most visited cities, London has something for everyone, from history to culture, art, grand museums, dazzling architecture, royalty, diversity and irrepressible pizazz.
London attractions, such as Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, London Zoo and the London Dungeon, to name just a few are mentioned on these pages. `London for fun` is the ultimate and complete tourist guide to London attractions and sightseeing, providing up-to-date information on London attractions, parks, markets, theatres, hotels, museums and galleries in London.
|About||Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic in west-central Europe. The country consists of 16 states, and its capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 square kilometres (137,847 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With 81.8 million inhabitants, it is the most populous member state in the European Union. Germany is one of the major political and economic powers of the European continent and a historic leader in many theoretical and technical fields.A region named Germania, inhabited by several Germanic peoples, was documented before AD 100. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward and established successor kingdoms throughout much of Europe. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire.During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation while southern and western parts remained dominated by Roman Catholic denominations, with the two factions clashing in the Thirty Years’ War, marking the beginning of the Catholic–Protestant divide that has characterized German society ever since. Occupied during the Napoleonic Wars, the rise of Pan-Germanism inside the German Confederation resulted in the unification of most of the German states in 1871 into the German Empire, which was Prussian dominated.
After the German Revolution of 1918–1919 and the subsequent military surrender in World War I, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic in 1918, and some of its territory partitioned in the Treaty of Versailles. Despite its lead in many scientific and artistic fields at this time, amidst the Great Depression, the Third Reich was proclaimed in 1933. The latter period was marked by Fascism and World War II. After 1945, Germany was divided by allied occupation, and evolved into two states, East Germany and West Germany. In 1990 the country was reunified.
Germany was a founding member of the European Community in 1957, which became the EU in 1993. It is part of the Schengen Area and since 1999 a member of the euro area. Germany is a great power and member of the United Nations, NATO, the G8, the G20, the OECD and the Council of Europe, and took a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2011–2012 term.
Germany has the world’s fourth largest economy by nominal GDP and the fifth largest by purchasing power parity. Germany is the third largest exporter and third largest importer of goods. The country has developed a very high standard of living and features a comprehensive system of social security; the country has the world’s oldest universal health care system.
|Languages spoken||English, German, Irish, French, Russian|
|Climate||Highest and lowest ever recorded temperatures at the Germany Observatory are 34.1°C and 17.°C, respectively.|
|Best Time||Any time|
|By Air||Major Airports – Frankfurt Airport & Berlin Brandenburg Airport|
|History||The concept of Germany as a distinct region in central Europe can be traced to Roman commander Julius Caesar, who referred to the unconquered area east of the Rhine as Germania, thus distinguishing it from Gaul (France), which he had conquered. The victory of the Germanic tribes in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest (AD 9) prevented annexation by the Roman Empire. Following the fall of the Roman Empire, the Franks conquered the other West Germanic tribes. When the Frankish Empire was divided among Charlemagne’s heirs in 843, the eastern part became East Francia. In 962, Otto I became the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, the medieval German state.In the High Middle Ages, the dukes and princes of the empire gained power at the expense of the emperors. Martin Luther led the Protestant Reformation against the Catholic Church after 1517, as the northern states became Protestant, while the southern states remained Catholic. The two parts of the Holy Roman Empire clashed in the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648), which was ruinous to the twenty million civilians. 1648 marked the effective end of the Holy Roman Empire and the beginning of the modern nation-state system, with Germany divided into numerous independent states, such as Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony.
After the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815), feudalism fell away and liberalism and nationalism clashed with reaction. The 1848 March Revolution failed. The Industrial Revolution modernized the German economy, led to the rapid growth of cities and to the emergence of the Socialist movement in Germany. Prussia, with its capital Berlin, grew in power. German universities became world-class centers for science and the humanities, while music and the arts flourished. Unification was achieved with the formation of the German Empire in 1871 under the leadership of Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. The Reichstag, an elected parliament, had only a limited role in the imperial government.
By 1900, Germany’s economy matched Britain’s, allowing colonial expansion and a naval race. Germany led the Central Powers in the First World War (1914–1918) against France, Great Britain, Russia and (by 1917) the United States. Defeated and partly occupied, Germany was forced to pay war reparations by the Treaty of Versailles and was stripped of its colonies as well as Polish areas and Alsace-Lorraine. The German Revolution of 1918–19 deposed the emperor and the kings, leading to the establishment of the Weimar Republic, an unstable parliamentary democracy.
In the early 1930s, the worldwide Great Depression hit Germany hard, as unemployment soared and people lost confidence in the government. In 1933, the Nazis under Adolf Hitler came to power and established a totalitarian regime. Political opponents were killed or imprisoned. Nazi Germany’s aggressive foreign policy took control of Austria and parts of Czechoslovakia, and its invasion of Poland initiated the Second World War. After forming a pact with the Soviet Union in 1939, Hitler’s blitzkrieg swept nearly all of Western Europe. The systematic genocide program known as The Holocaust killed six million Jews in Germany and German-occupied areas, as well as five million Poles, Romanies, Slavs, Soviets, and others. In 1941, however, the German invasion of the Soviet Union failed, and after the United States entered the war, Britain became the base for massive Anglo-American bombings of German cities. Germany fought the war on multiple fronts through 1942–1943. Following the Allied invasion of Normandy (June 1944), the German army was pushed back on all fronts until the final collapse in May 1945.
Under occupation by the Allies, German territories were split off, denazification took place, and the Cold War resulted in the division of the country into democratic West Germany and communist East Germany. Millions of ethnic Germans fled from Communist areas into West Germany, which experienced rapid economic expansion, and became the dominant economy in Western Europe. West Germany was rearmed in the 1950s under the auspices of NATO, but without access to nuclear weapons. The Franco-German friendship became the basis for the political integration of Western Europe in the European Union.
In 1989, the Eastern bloc collapsed and East Germany was reunited with West Germany in 1990. In 1998–1999, Germany was one of the founding countries of the Eurozone. Germany remains one of the economic powerhouses of Europe, contributing about one quarter of the Eurozone’s annual gross domestic product.