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Country in the Heart of Europe

RadtourGermany lies in the heart of Europe, extending from the North and Baltic Seas over the north German lowlands and mid-German mountain ranges (the Harz, for example, as well as the Thuringian, Franconian and Black Forests and the Spessart, Odenwald and Swabian Alb) all the way down to the Alps in the South, whence rises Germany’s highest peak, the 2,962-metre Zugspitze. The country’s main rivers are the Rhine, Danube, Elbe, Weser and Oder.

The colours of its flag are black, red and gold. The national anthem is the Deutschlandlied , or “Song of Germany”. The anthem’s text was written in 1841 by Hoffmann von Fallersleben and is sung to a melody composed by Joseph Haydn.

Germany is divided into 16 Federal States, with Berlin as national capital. Additional metropolises include Hamburg, Frankfurt, Cologne, Munich, Stuttgart and Leipzig.

The most populous country in Europe, Germany is home to 82.3 million inhabitants, 8.8 percent of whom come from abroad. At present, the average national birth rate is 1.37 children per woman, and since 1991, more deaths have been recorded than births.

Though Germany has no official state church, Christianity has left an indelible mark on the nation, which is today one third Evangelical and one third Catholic. Germany is a member of the European Union, and its national currency is the Euro.