General Facts

Picture postcards at a souvenir shop

The Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland) has nine direct neighbours: Denmark to the north, the Netherlands and Belgium to the northwest, France and Luxembourg to the west, Austria and Switzerland to the south, and the Czech Republic and Poland to the east.

The Federal Republic of Germany was founded in 1949 as a parliamentary democracy. Its constitution guarantees each and every citizen the freedom of faith, conscience and religious or ideological belief, as well as equality before the law. Some 82 million people live in Germany, including seven million people from countries around the world. German is the official language, with dialects as varied as the regions and landscapes. Additionally, many other languages can be heard in multicultural Germany.

Capital city and federal states

Berlin is the country's capital city and seat of government. As a federal republic, Germany is divided into 16 federal states. Each state is responsible for setting its own policies and laws in specific fields, such as education and culture. However, the Federal Government is responsible for areas like foreign affairs, defence, the interior, justice, finance, etc.

The 16 federal states are: Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia.