Introduction to Germany

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007 at 12:00 am

Germany castleGermany is a country in located in Central Europe. The country is the largest economy in Europe and the third largest in the world behind the US and Japan. Germany is also the country with the largest population in the whole of Europe and is known as the world’s largest exporter of goods.

Germany is ranked fifth in the world in terms of purchasing power parity. The export of goods is one of the main factors of this country’s wealth and fuels its economy. Included in the list of its exports are cars, machinery, and chemical goods. Germany is also a world leader in terms of generating electricity from windpower and has become the main exporter of wind turbines.

Germany covers an area of 357,021 sq. km (137,850 sq. mi.), with its land making up 349,223 sq. km. (134,835 sq. mi.) and water 7,798 sq. km. (3,010 sq. mi.) of the total territory. The highest point in the country is found in the Alps which is the Zugspitze, towering at about 2,962 m (9,718 ft). The lowest point on the other hand is theWilstermarsch at 3.54 metres (11.6 ft) below sea level.

Germany also has some of Europe’s major rivers. The major river waterways such as the Rhine, Danube and Elbe helps in giving Germany access to move goods in and out of the country to its European neighbors. Because of its central location, Germany is able to share its borders with more European countries than any other country on the continent with Denmark in the north, Poland and the Czech Republic in the east, Austria and Switzerland in the south, France and Luxembourg in the south-west and Belgium and the Netherlands in the north-west.

Most areas in Germany enjoys a cool, temperate climate which is moderated by the North Atlantic Drift, which is the northern extension of the Gulf Stream. The climate in the west part of Germany tends to be oceanic with rainfall that can occur all year round and mostly during summer. Winters in this part of the country are mild and summers tend to be cool with temperatures that can sometimes exceed 30 °C (86 °F) for long periods of time. In the east portion of Germany, the climate tend to be more continental. Winters in this area can be very cold and the summers can be very warm.

Wine is produced in many parts of Germany. Due to its location up north, Germany has been able to produce outstanding quality wines that are quite unlike any other in Europe. Yet this country is still better known abroad for its cheap, sweet, low-quality mass-produced wines such as Liebfraumilch.

Much of the wines are usually produced around rivers, mainly the Rhine and its tributaries, in areas that are often sheltered by mountains. The rivers provide significant microclimate effects to keep the temperature suitable for excellent wine production. The soil around this area is predominantly slate which can absorb the sun’s heat and retain it overnight.