Out of the most visited and traveled countries in the world, Germany occupies the first place. Occupying a place in the center and west of Europe, it has a very pivotal position. It has Denmark on its north, Poland and the Czech Republic bordering the east, Austria in the southeast, Switzerland in the southwest, France, Luxembourg, and Belgium occupy the west, and the Netherlands the northwest. It is surrounded by plains in the north and east, tall mountains in the south, and sandy hills in the west.
In 1815, the German Confederation was founded and Germany turned into a nation-state in 1871 when many German states came together to form the German Empire. Germany was the home of the Nazi regime, the center for Hitler’s rule. It was a part of both the World Wars, the second one being the deadliest of all time. Germany has an illustrious history – the devastation caused by World War II and its rise from the ashes, decades of partition, and the many years of the German Empire before it.
It is safe to say that Germany is very rich and diverse when it comes to tourism. The beautiful Rhine flows in from Switzerland, the central city of Berlin and its art, literature, and culture. The medieval castles increase Germany’s aesthetic beauty and hundreds of market areas and towns, churches and its unique cuisine are more tempting reasons to go visit this beautiful country. It’s balanced weather conditions almost all through the year make it possible to be the 7th country in tourism in the world.
History of Germany
Germany in Europe is one of the developed countries in the world. However, the country witnessed many ups and downs when it comes to the establishment. People who inhibited Germany first were called as “Celts”. The Germanic tribes soon replaced them but their origins are not known. On the other hand, clashes took place between the tribes and Romans who moved to Germany from northwards. The Germanic warrior Arminius (Hermann) and his troops defeated the Romans and they were forced to stay south of the Elbe River. At the same time, they formed a colony in northern Europe.
There were several dynasties that ruled Germany during Medieval periods. The Carolingian dynasty is the first that conquered the country and Charlemagne was crowned as the king by the Pope in 800. He made Aachen as the Frankish capital and ruled the country from 768 to 814. Charlemagne ruled the kingdom for less than a century. The Saxon dynasty then took over the control of Germany from 919 to 1024. Salians, a Frankish tribe then conquered Germany after the death of the last Saxon king in 1024 which lasted from 1024 to 1125. The Hohenstaufen dynasty (1138-1254) ruled Germany after the death of Henry V.
Germany after 1254
The Habsburg dynasty captured Germany after the fall of the Hohenstaufen dynasty and Rudolf I was elected as the successor in 1273 when Reich failed to get enough support. In the 14th century, Emperor Charles IV formed an imperial constitution, and people were allowed to elect their next king. A trading alliance called “Hanseatic League” was formed in order to boost trade and business. By the 15th century, Germany faced threats from Dutch and English companies. The thirty years war from 1618 to 1648 due to religious differences made the country into a disaster one.
Germany from 17th to 19th century
Prussia became stronger during the 17th century and it conquered Germany in 1813 after defecting Napoleon and French troops. Germany was split into 35 confederated states at the Vienna congress meeting. However, Otto Von Bismarck took the stage in Prussia to unify Germany due to the failure of French and German revolutions in 1848. Bismarck brought together a “small Germany’ and unified the country without Austria. By 1871, he made Berlin as the capital of Germany after winning a series of wars with neighboring countries such as Denmark and France.
The rise of Hitler and the beginning of World War II
Nazis came to power in 1930 and Hitler became the chancellor of Germany in 1933. He is the main person behind World War II and formed his own troops to fight other countries in Europe and other continents. However, he was defeated by the Soviet Union in 1941. WW II is officially coming to an end in Europe on May 8, 1945. In 1949, Germany was split into two countries West Germany and East Germany. A great wall was built in Berlin and demolished by people from both sides after 40 years (3rd October 1990) that became one nation.
Places to visit in Germany
- The Brandenburg Gate: Also famous as the Brandenburger Tor, this was built in 1791 for King Frederick Wilhelm II. This 26-meter-long monument has long been Berlin’s most famous monument and is inspired by the Acropolis in Athens. It is made in sandstone with a 4-horse chariot on top and has 6 columns. It also commemorates the breaking down of the Berlin Wall in 1999.
- Berlin Wall Memorial: The Berlin Wall Memorial is the remainder of the now broken-down Berlin Wall which once divided Berlin. After the fall of the 155-kilometer wall, only small parts of it remain. And as a part of the wall memorial, 1.4 km of it has been saved, to always remind the people of Berlin of their history.
- Kölner Dom: Also called the Cologne Cathedral, Kölner Dom towers over the banks of the Rhine. It is one of the largest cathedrals in Europe. It is so huge that its interior covers an area of 6,166 square meters and has 56 huge pillars. One also gets panoramic views from the South Towers and other things of historic and cultural importance.
- Neuschwanstein: Just out of a royal fairytale is the Neuschwanstein Castle, which can be considered as one of Europe’s most famous castles, in the old town of Füssen. It was brought into being by King Ludwig II of Bavaria from 1869-86 and this fortress has been an inspiration for the theme park castles made famous by Walt Disney.
There are varied tours available which make you admire this authentic medieval castle also give some breathtaking views of Germany. If you haven’t visited Germany then, you are depriving yourself of an unforgettable experience.