The German art and cultural history, whose roots go back to the time of the Celts, Teutons and Romans, has produced personalities that have shaped the style and epoch since the Middle Ages. Since Germany did not exist as a nation-state for a long time, German culture has defined itself for centuries primarily through the common language; Even after the founding of the empire in 1871, Germany was often understood as a cultural nation. The cultures of the Federal Republic of Germany, German-speaking Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, South Tyrol etc. all belong to the German language and cultural area.
German-speaking cultural workers pioneered new intellectual currents and developments in a wide variety of disciplines. Some of the most influential German artists are among the protagonists of Western civilization. In music and literature in particular, German personalities of international importance have emerged. These include well-known composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Johannes Brahms or Richard Wagner, as well as outstanding writers such as Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller and others.
According to hyperrestaurant, Germany has also produced outstanding personalities in the visual arts. Important German Renaissance artists include Albrecht Altdorfer, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Matthias Grünewald, Hans Holbein the Younger and, probably the most famous of them, Albrecht Dürer. The most important baroque masters from Germany are Johann Baptist Zimmermann, the Asam brothers and the one in Siegen Born but emigrated to Antwerp Peter Paul Rubens.
In addition to Caspar David Friedrich, important romantics are the artists Philipp Otto Runge and Carl Spitzweg.
Numerous important researchers and thinkers from all areas of modern science and philosophy also come from Germany. More than 100 Nobel Prize winners are assigned to the country. With their theories, Albert Einstein and Max Planck established important pillars of theoretical physics on which Werner Heisenberg and Max Born, for example, were able to build on. Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered and examined the X-rays named after him and Heinrich Hertz wrote important works on electromagnetic radiation, which are decisive for today’s telecommunications technology. The developments by Nikolaus Otto, Rudolf Diesel, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz revolutionized transport with the invention of the gasoline or diesel engine and the automobile.
In the individual regions and federal states, German customs are still lived in the form of various festivals and celebrations. The most popular German folk festival is the internationally known Oktoberfest in Munich.
Germany has also made a name for itself as a football nation with several world championship titles.
Although a great deal of historical building material was destroyed in Germany by the consequences of the Second World War, in addition to the remains of internationally important architectural monuments restored in the large cities, the old town areas of many German small towns in particular offer a picture of unique half-timbered architecture that is well worth seeing. Some of these interesting old town ensembles, such as the old town of Goslar, Bamberg, or Quedlinburg are under the special protection of the UNESCO world cultural heritage. The most internationally famous architectural monuments in Germany include Heidelberg Castle, Neuschwanstein Castle near Füssen and Dresden’s old town, known as Florence on the Elbe and rebuilt.
In addition to the numerous art and cultural monuments that are well worth seeing, Germany has an abundance of beautiful landscapes and different natural beauties, many of which are accessible in national parks, nature parks and biosphere reserves. A recommended selection of these scenic gems are:
- The Wadden Sea including the offshore islands on the German North Sea coast
- Holstein Switzerland
- The Mecklenburg Lake District
- The Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft including the island of Rügen
- The resin
- The Lüneburg Heath
- The Elbe Sandstone Mountains
- The Rheingau and the Rhine Valley between Bingen and Koblenz
- The Rhön Biosphere Reserve
- Franconian Switzerland
- The southern Black Forest
- The Swabian Alb
- The Allgäu with Lake Constance
- The Berchtesgaden National Park
Transport network in Germany
In Germany, road traffic replaced the railroad as the most important mode of transport in the second half of the 20th century. Germany has one of the densest and best-developed road networks in the world. In 2012, the federal trunk road network comprised 12,845 kilometers of motorways and 40,711 kilometers of federal roads as well as around 86,600 kilometers of state roads, 91,520 kilometers of district roads and communal roads. In order to reduce the dangers and stresses of road traffic and to increase the community income, pedestrian zones, traffic-calmed and speed-30 zones as well as strict speed controls have been set up in many German cities and communities.
In the metropolitan areas in particular, cycling is also playing an increasing role; its expansion is supported politically, for example by the cycling plan. Since the 1980s, cycle path networks have been created and expanded in cities and in the countryside, so that today the bicycle is once again playing an increasing role in local transport.
Germany’s rail network is around 38,500 kilometers long and is used by up to around 50,000 passenger and freight trains every day. The private railway company Deutsche Bahn AG organizes most of the rail traffic in Germany. Regional and long-distance trains operate largely according to the regular timetable. High-speed routes with a total length of around 2000 kilometers are available for ICE long-distance trains. Local public transport in large cities and metropolitan areas is served by comfortable underground and S-Bahn lines. In addition, and especially in rural areas, regular buses are in use. Therefore, a trip through Germany can easily be undertaken by public transport.
Germany has international airports in almost all major cities and metropolitan areas. The largest international airport is Frankfurt am Main Airport, which is centrally located in Germany and is also one of the most important airports in Europe.
The three strongest seaports in Germany are Hamburg, Wilhelmshaven and the Bremen ports. The JadeWeserPort in Wilhelmshaven is the only deep water port in Germany. The most important Baltic ports are Rostock, Lübeck and Kiel. Rostock-Warnemünde is the most frequented cruise port in Germany.
The most important shipping routes are the Lower Elbe and Lower Weser. The Kiel Canal is the most frequented artificial sea shipping route in the world.
There is a well-developed network of waterways for inland navigation. The most important navigable rivers are the Rhine, Main, Mosel, Weser and Elbe. Important inland canals are the Mittelland Canal, the Dortmund-Ems Canal, the Rhine-Herne Canal and the Elbe Lateral Canal. The Main-Danube Canal overcomes the main European watershed and thus enables a direct shipping route from the North and Baltic Seas to the Black Sea. The complex of the Duisburg-Ruhrorter Häfen is the most heavily handled inland port in Germany and is considered the largest inland port in Europe.