Population: 80.5 million
Size: 357,121 square kilometres
Language: German – Hallo!
National holiday: 3rd October, German Unity Day
Germany has all four seasons. Winter can often be biting cold whilst in summer the thermometers can climb to over 35 degrees in some regions. The Kaiserstuhl region in the far south west enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Even in the deepest winter the temperatures rarely drop below zero. That is thanks to the position of the western Upper Rhine Graben.
Summer 2003 is considered to have been the “summer of the century”. It hadn’t been that warm in Europe in 500 years. People in Germany were sweating for several days as the temperatures went above 40 degrees Celsius!
Many Germans believe that the island Helgoland was exchanged for the African island Zanzibar in the 19th century. That is not quite right. In July 1890 the Germans and British signed the “Contract about colonies and Helgoland”. According to the contract Helgoland, which since 1807 had belonged to Britain, was returned to Germany, but it was not exchanged for Zanzibar! Zanzibar was at the time a free sultanate and not a German colony. Germany had simply rented a narrow area of coastline on the mainland opposite the island and saw itself as a protective force for Zanzibar. In the contract of 1890 Germany relinquished exactly that protectorate to England.