, Around Germany The climate in Germany is moderate. Sharp changes in temperature are rare. In the winter, the average temperature ranges between 1.5°C (35°F) in the lowlands and –6°C (20°F) in the mountains. In summer, average temperatures range from 18°C (68°F) to 22°C (76°F). The Alps At the opposite end of the country, on its border with Austria and Switzerland, Germany touches the spectacular peaks of the Alps. Here you will find the Zugspitze, Germany's highest peak (2,962 meters). In winter, it offers fantastic skiing, snowboarding and sledding; in summer, the mountains are a hiker's and biker's paradise. Some of Germany's most famous castles are located in this region. Maybe you've heard of Neuschwanstein castle, built by Bavaria’s King Ludwig II in 1868. It looks like something straight out of a fairytale (it was the primary inspiration for Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida) and it is one of the great tourist attractions in Germany. Germany’s Alpine foothills are home to some of the country’s most exquisite lakes, such as the Chiemsee and the Koenigssee in Bavaria, and Lake Constance (Bodensee) in Baden-Wuettemburg. The Rhine river flows all the way from the Swiss Alps to the North Sea, and is one of the world's busiest waterways. It is especially famous for its romantic scenery along the stretch where it snakes through the mountains between the town of Ruedesheim and the city of Bonn. The Black Forest, which lies in the southwest corner of Germany, is known for its deep valleys, dark evergreens and delicious foods, such as the ham and chocolate-cherry cake. Today, people come to the Black Forest to relax at lakeside resorts and to enjoy winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. The region was named for its dense forests, which really do look black in gloomy weather. • Most German cities buildings are older than in the U.S. • In historic sections of German cities you will find narrow and crooked streets paved with cobblestones. • Some German cities may have tall, modern buildings like the ones in America. Berlin • Berlin, which became the German capital in 1990, is a place where wide boulevards and grand old monuments mingle with some of the most spectacular modern buildings to be found anywhere in the world. • Berlin's best-known symbol, the Brandenburg Gate, towers over the city center. • Between 1961 and 1989, the city of Berlin was divided into two halves by a massive concrete barrier called the Berlin Wall. Like the rest of Germany, which was once split into two states with two different governments, West Berlin and East Berlin were governed separately. Berlin became one city again when Germany was unified on October 3, 1990. In a few places, traces of the Berlin Wall remain. • Hamburg, Germany's second-largest city, sits on the Elbe river near the North and Baltic seas. Every day huge ships leave Hamburg's harbors to transport goods made in Germany around the world. • Munich, the capital of Bavaria, is a major center for the arts and a great place to explore European history. The city also enjoys a reputation for being a playground for the wealthy and glamorous. Munich is also famous for its film and art scenes: You can see medieval paintings at a gallery called the Old Pinakothek, learn how BMWs are made during a visit to Germany's outstanding technical museum, the Deutsches Museum, or check out the lifestyle of the Bavarian kings at the extravagant Nymphenburg castle on the city’s outskirts. Each fall, millions of people from around the world visit Munich's Oktoberfest, a traditional celebration featuring Bavarian food, music, & games. • Frankfurt has been a busy center of trade and commerce for hundreds of years. • Dresden’s history dates to the 13th century, but its most beautiful landmarks were built in the early 18th century. • In the 19th century, many of Germany's best-known painters, sculptors, musicians and writers lived in Dresden. • Two of the biggest attractions in Köln (Cologne) are alliterative: Karneval (carnival) and Kunst (art). Each year in February, the city celebrates carnival as a week-long street festival, with colorful parades, outlandish costumes and live music. • The city is also famous for its majestic gothic cathedral, the Dom, a massive stone building with two 515-foot-tall spires. The largest cathedral in northern Europe, it has sections that date to the 13th century. • Leipzig and its surroundings form one of the fastest-growing economic regions in Europe, thanks chiefly to the city’s trade fair grounds, which host more than 30 fairs of all kinds and attract roughly 1.4 million visitors each year. • Germany is famous for sausage! • The German word for sausage is wurst. • Famous types of wurst include: – Leberwurst (liver sausage) – Blutwurst (blood sausage) – Bratwurst (spicy pork sausage) – Mettwurst (ground pork sausage) • There are approximately 200 kinds of bread and 30 kinds of rolls in the German-speaking world. – Weißbrot (white bread) – Graubrot (wheat/rye mixture) – Schwarzbrot (rye bread) – Pumpernickel (heavy, dark bread) • The German Frankfurter is thinner than an American hot dog and usually served in pairs. They are not served on buns. Instead, they are accompanied by a slice of bread or a roll. • Sauerkraut, of one Germany’s best-known foods was developed to preserve cabbage & prevent it from spoiling. • German children typically begin school when they are six years old. To celebrate a child’s first day of school, parents or friends give the child a Schultuete, a big colorful cardboard cone filled with candy and school items such as a pencil case and a Fueller (fountain pen). Most German children learn to write with a Fueller. • The school system in Germany is very different from that in the United States. Every child attends Grundschule (elementary school) from first through fourth grades. After the fourth grade, children, their parents and their teachers choose the track the children will pursue for their schooling. Almost half go to Gymnasium (college preparatory school) for grades 5 to 12 (it has just recently been shortened from 13 to 12 grades). The school day starts at about 8:00 a.m., with lessons until a short recess period around 10:00 a.m. The school day ends around 2:00 p.m. Students go home for a hot meal at lunch (Mittagessen), which tends to be the biggest meal of the day. Although students get out of school earlier in Germany than they do in the U.S., they get a lot of homework. In some states in Germany, kids also have school on Saturdays! German classes are very similar to American classes in the way they are taught, but some of the subjects differ. Children study math, science, literature, music and arts, history and geography. They also have gym classes. In grade 3, they start foreign language study. All students learn English, but in grades 5 and 7 they can take up additional languages such as French, Latin, Spanish or Russian. German children have shorter summer vacations than American children: just six weeks. It is common for families to travel during vacation, mostly to other European countries. More and more visit America, too. Since the summer vacation is relatively short, German students get a two-week break in December and January, another two-week vacation at Easter and a further week off in fall. In addition, children do not go to school on many religious and national holidays. Usually, German students have 220 school days per year, while American students have 180. • German is the official language in 3 countries: Germany Austria Liechenstein • Switzerland has 4 official languages. • German is one of those official languages. • The first writing in German dates from the 8th century. • Low German and High German are two different forms of German. • High German is the standard German used today. • High German is called High German because it was developed in the higher, southern part of the country. • Two of the most important developments in the history of the German language were: 1.) Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of movable type for printing in 1440. 2.) Martin Luther’s translation of the Bible into High German in the 16th century. Can you guess the meanings of the following words? Amerika America Appetit Appetite Eisberg Eisberg Iceberg Review • The Black Forest and the Bavarian Alps are located in the Southwestern Corner of Germany. • The Rhine River is an important river in Europe. • The capital of Germany is Berlin. Review • Germany was divided into West Germany and East Germany in 1945. Why were they divided? • West Germany was occupied by England, France, and the U.S. West Germany was democratic. • East Germany was occupied by the Soviet Union. East Germany was communist. Review • German is the only official language in Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein. • German is one of four official languages in Switzerland. Review • Writing developed in Germany in the 8th century. • The four Germanic languages include: German, Dutch, Flemish, and English. • The German spoken in Germany today is called High German. It is called High German because it developed in the higher regions of Southern Germany. Review • These two events were important to the history of the German language: 1.) Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of movable type for printing in 1440. 2.) Martin Luther’s translation of the Bible into High German in the 16th century. Review • Famous German “essen” includes: Wurst (sausage) Sauerkraut Brot (bread) das Ende!