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Курсовик The Helmut Kohl era as one of the most dramatic periods in the history of Germany. The Germany's territory, culture, population, economics, government, money, communications and education. Tourism in Germany: by car, by bus, by train, air travel.

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Тип работы: Курсовик. Предмет: Ин. языки. Добавлен: 18.07.2009. Сдан: 2009. Уникальность по antiplagiat.ru: --.

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31

Contents

    Introduction 2
    1. Germany: general information
    3
      1.1 The history of Germany 3
      1.2 Germany land 5
      1.3 Culture & population 7
      1.4 Germany's economics & government 9
      1.5 German's Money & Costs 11
      1.6 German's communications & education 12
    2. Tourism in Germany 14
      2.1 Germany by car 14
      2.2 Discover Germany by Bus 15
      2.3 Air travel 15
      2.4 Travel by train 16
      2.5 Castles & Palaces 17
      2.6 Metropolises 18
    Conclusion 31
    Literature
    33

Introduction

Germany wears its riches well: elegant big-city charm, picture-postcard small towns, pagan-inspired harvest festivals, a wealth of art and culture and the perennial pleasures of huge tracts of forest, delightful castles and fine wine and beer are all there for the enjoying.

Germany's reunification in 1990 was the beginning of yet another chapter in Germany's complex history. No visitor will remain untouched by this country's past and the way it affects the nation today.

The full country name is Federal Republic of Germany, it's total area - 357,030 sq km. The major industries in Germany: motor vehicles, engineering, chemicals, iron, steel, coal, electronics, environmental technology, food, clothing.

Germany is popular among the tourists. The German climate is variable so it's best to be prepared for all types of weather throughout the year. That said, the most reliable weather is from May to October. This coincides, naturally enough, with the standard tourist season (except for skiing). The shoulder periods can bring fewer tourists and surprisingly pleasant weather. There is no special rainy season.

1. Germany: general information

1.1 The history of Germany

Germany's hill-and-trough history kicked in early: from the time that everyone's favourite fossils, the Neanderthals, left their jaw-jutting remains in the Neander Valley near Dusseldorf, this joint has been in the thick of it. All of Europe's great empires got their paws into Germany, but none was ever able to count all its inhabitants as faithful subjects. Different pockets of fierce resistance met the Roman legions (50 BC to the 5th century AD), the Frankish conqueror, Charlemagne (up to the early 9th century), and Otto the Great's Holy Roman Empire (from late in the 10th century). By the time the house of Habsburg, ruling from Vienna, took control in the 13th century it was little more than a conglomerate of German-speaking states run by parochial princes.

The Habsburgs muddled on until the devastating Thirty Years War (1618-48), sparked by ongoing religious and nationalist conflicts. Europe had been simmering ever since 1517 when Martin Luther tacked 95 suggestions for improved service to his local church door in Wittenburg. It took a bloody good stoush to settle everyone down and secure the rights of both Protestants and Catholics. Germany lost a third of its population in the process. Local princes assumed complete sovereignty over a patchwork of some 300 states, which made it all too easy for Napoleon to come along in the early 19th century and start adding them to his scrapbook. The French never quite managed to subdue Prussia, which became the centre of German resistance. It was Prussia that led the 1813 war that put an end to Napoleon's German aspirations in a decisive battle at Leipzig. In 1866 Otto von Bismarck, chancellor of Prussia, annexed most of Germany, consolidating his position as biggest wig in Europe with a resounding victory over France in 1871. The Prussian king, Wilhelm I, was instated as Kaiser and a united Germany hit the world stage for the first time.

Wilhelm II dismissed Bismarck in 1890, lingered long enough to lead Germany into WWI, then snuck off to Holland in 1918 when he realised war wasn't going to end in a ticker-tape parade. Germany struggled with civil unrest and a disastrous peace, uniting only in dislike of the reigning Weimar Republic. Then came Adolf Hitler, an Austrian drifter and German army veteran who was able to turn general disaffection into a focussed lunacy. In 1933 his National Socialist German Worker's (or Nazi) Party assumed ultimate authority over Germany. Extravagant military spending and blase border bending gave way to outright aggression, WWII, and the unrivalled horror of the Holocaust. Even the Germans were surprised by the success of their initial invasions, but by 1943 a litany of heavy losses set the tone for the sluggish march to 1945's unconditional surrender.

Postwar Germany was divided up between the Allies, with Britain, France and the USA consolidating the western portion into the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Soviet zone transmogrifying into the communist German Democratic Republic. This formula for division was repeated in Berlin. West Germany received massive injections of US capital, attracting many workers from the miserable economic conditions in the East until some bright spark had the idea of building a wall around West Berlin and sealing the rest of the border. The Cold War's icy eye focussed on Berlin. Over the next 25 years West Germany became one of the world's most prosperous nations while its communist Siamese sibling suffered. The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe has no more poignant symbol than the opening of the Berlin frontier. That was one of world history's better parties at the Berlin Wall in late 1989.

As a result of the reunification of Germany, the Helmut Kohl era was recorded as one of the most dramatic periods in the country's history. After 16 years, however, it came to an end when a coalition of Social Democrats and Greens took office in 1998. Two years later, an investigation was launched which uncovered that Kohl and his conservative Christian Democratic Union party had operated a slush-fund in defiance of the German constitution.

Today's united Germany has its problems, but the social dislocation which was widely forecast has been minimal. Although the euphoria of reunification has subsided, and there is some resentment and disaffection from both sides, Germany is working towards true unity in typically sedulous fashion. The extreme right wing, although insidious and occasionally violent, is politically weak. Germany has absorbed the majority of refugees from the former Yugoslavia, and these and other immigrants are targets of renewed racist attacks.

1.2 Germany land

The Habsburgs muddled on until the devastating Thirty Years War (1618-48), sparked by ongoing religious and nationalist conflicts. Europe had been simmering ever since 1517 when Martin Luther tacked 95 suggestions for improved service to his local church door in Wittenburg. It took a bloody good stoush to settle everyone down and secure the rights of both Protestants and Catholics. Germany lost a third of its population in the process. Local princes assumed complete sovereignty over a patchwork of some 300 states, which made it all too easy for Napoleon to come along in the early 19th century and start adding them to his scrapbook. The French never quite managed to subdue Prussia, which became the centre of German resistance. It was Prussia that led the 1813 war that put an end to Napoleon's German aspirations in a decisive battle at Leipzig. In 1866 Otto von Bismarck, chancellor of Prussia, annexed most of Germany, consolidating his position as biggest wig in Europe with a resounding victory over France in 1871. The Prussian king, Wilhelm I, was instated as Kaiser and a united Germany hit the world stage for the first time.

Wilhelm II dismissed Bismarck in 1890, lingered long enough to lead Germany into WWI, then snuck off to Holland in 1918 when he realised war wasn't going to end in a ticker-tape parade. Germany struggled with civil unrest and a disastrous peace, uniting only in dislike of the reigning Weimar Republic. Then came Adolf Hitler, an Austrian drifter and German army veteran who was able to turn general disaffection into a focussed lunacy. In 1933 his National Socialist German Worker's (or Nazi) Party assumed ultimate authority over Germany. Extravagant military spending and blase border bending gave way to outright aggression, WWII, and the unrivalled horror of the Holocaust. Even the Germans were surprised by the success of their initial invasions, but by 1943 a litany of heavy losses set the tone for the sluggish march to 1945's unconditional surrender.

Postwar Germany was divided up between the Allies, with Britain, France and the USA consolidating the western portion into the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Soviet zone transmogrifying into the communist German Democratic Republic. This formula for division was repeated in Berlin. West Germany received massive injections of US capital, attracting many workers from the miserable economic conditions in the East until some bright spark had the idea of building a wall around West Berlin and sealing the rest of the border. The Cold War's icy eye focussed on Berlin. Over the next 25 years West Germany became one of the world's most prosperous nations while its communist Siamese sibling suffered. The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe has no more poignant symbol than the opening of the Berlin frontier. That was one of world history's better parties at the Berlin Wall in late 1989.

As a result of the reunification of Germany, the Helmut Kohl era was recorded as one of the most dramatic periods in the country's history. After 16 years, however, it came to an end when a coalition of Social Democrats and Greens took office in 1998. Two years later, an investigation was launched which uncovered that Kohl and his conservative Christian Democratic Union party had operated a slush-fund in defiance of the German constitution.

Today's united Germany has its problems, but the social dislocation which was widely forecast has been minimal. Although the euphoria of reunification has subsided, and there is some resentment and disaffection from both sides, Germany is working towards true unity in typically sedulous fashion. The extreme right wing, although insidious and occasionally violent, is politically weak. Germany has absorbed the majority of refugees from the former Yugoslavia, and these and other immigrants are targets of renewed racist attacks.

1.3 Culture and population

Unsurprisingly for a country whose land has so often been at history's crux, the moods and preoccupations of Germany's people are reflected in a rich artistic heritage: from the claustrophobic beauty of its cathedrals to classical films from the silent era of cinema, from the most influential philosophers (try Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche and Marx for starters) to some of the world's great physicists (Einstein and Planck), from the cream of classical composers (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Handel and Wagner) to contemporary industrial-grunge music and Krautrock, from the genius of Goethe to the revolutionary theatre of Brecht, Germany has it all. The scope of German art is such that it could be the focus of an entire visit.

Arguably the finest artist Germany has produced, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a poet, dramatist, painter, scientist and philosopher. His greatest work, the drama Faust, is a masterful epic of all that went before him, as the archetypal human strives for meaning. The ghost of Goethe inhabits the soul of Germany. Germany has also been endowed with many exceptional visual artists. The gothic sculpture of Peter Vischer and his sons, the renaissance portraiture of Albrecht Durer and the baroque architecture of Balthasar Neumann are all magnificent examples in their fields. A steadfast commitment to excellence in artistry persists in more recent forms, with Germany a notable producer of excellent and challenging cinema from Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Werner Herzog, among others.

Germany's artistic diet, rich though it is, has nothing on its food. This is traditionally a meat-and-potatoes kind of country. Though vegetarian and health-conscious restaurants are starting to sprout, it's best to stop counting calories and cholesterol levels while in Germany. The assault begins with a good German breakfast: rolls, jam, cheese, cold meats, hard-boiled egg and coffee or tea. To be fair, many Germans have switched to lighter breakfasts like cornflakes or muesli, but visitors can still be served the traditional cut meat and jam. Lunch is the main meal of the day, but breakfast is so big you'd be forgiven for just picking up a midday bratwurst from the ubiquitous Imbiss (takeaway-food stand). Dinner is allegedly a lighter meal, but this can still mean a plate full of sausages and dumplings. (Light eaters may want to opt for international cuisine from Germany's immigrant communities.) Beer is the national beverage and it's one cultural phenomenon that must be adequately explored. The beer is excellent and relatively cheap. Each region and brewery produces beer with a distinctive taste and body. Impromptu visits to small breweries are better than adding your bulk to the already crowded festivals like Munich's Oktoberfest. In winter, you can experience the glorious haze induced by Gluhwein, a hot, spicy mulled wine guaranteed to take the chill away.

Despite their penchant for continual improvement and modernisation, upholding cultural traditions is dear to the German heart. Many hunters still wear green, master chimney sweeps get around in pitch-black suits and top hats, some Bavarian women don the Dirndl (skirt and blouse), while their menfolk occasionally find suitable occasions to wear typical Bavarian Lederhosen (leather shorts), a Loden (short jacket) and felt hat. In everyday life, Germans are fairly formal, although more so in the Protestant-dominated north than the beer-swilling south. In eastern Germany many older people are relatively unused to tourists, so it's best to err towards deference. Except with very close friends, older Germans still use Herr and Frau in daily discussion. The transition from the formal Sie address to the informal du is generally mutually agreed and sealed with a toast and a handshake. You don't have to worry so much with people under about 40; in fact, exaggerated politeness will probably be laughed off as beginner's Deutsch.

The German population is overwhelmingly urban. In 1994 Germany had 39 cities with more than 200,000 residents, and 12 metropolises with more than 500,000 residents. Three of Germany's federal states are city-states: Berlin, Bremen, and Hamburg. Berlin is the capital and largest city. Germany's population density is highest in the northwest, especially in North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen), which includes Germany's old industrial heartland, the Ruhr Valley, and a number of large cities. Population density is lower in the former East Germany and in the more rural states of Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), and Bavaria.

Characteristic of Germany, throughout its history, has been the lack of clearly defined geographic boundaries, particularly on the great lowland of northern Europe; both the area occupied by the German peoples and the boundaries of the German state (at such times as it existed) have fluctuated constantly. The German people appear to have originated on the coastal region of the Baltic Sea and in the Baltic islands in the Bronze and early Iron ages. From about 500 BC they began to move southward, crushing and absorbing the existing Celtic kingdoms; from 58 BC onward they clashed along the line of the Rhine and Danube rivers with the power of Rome. With the fall of the Roman Empire, German peoples, predominantly under Frankish tribal leadership, closely settled a large area west of the Rhine River in what is still German territory; they also penetrated deeply into Belgium and areas that later became France. The Merovingian and Carolingian empires knew no distinction between what are now France and western Germany; it is understandable that Charlemagne is recognized as an important figure in the history of both countries.

1.4 Germany's economics and government

Germany's economic development was based on an alliance of industrial business people with the Prussian aristocracy who controlled much of the land. It emphasized the production of coal and steel, machines and machine tools, chemicals, electronic equipment, ships, and, later, motor vehicles. Well-organized business, labor, and farm associations in league with the government produced a distinctive “organized capitalism,” different from the less regulated capitalism of Britain and the United States. This strong economy carried the country into two world wars and, despite Allied bombing from 1942 to 1945, survived largely intact. After World War II ended in 1945, the Western powers saw the need to build up European economies in order to resist the threatened encroachment of the Soviet Union and Communism. To this end, the U.S. government in 1947 initiated the European Recovery Program, commonly called the Marshall Plan, which offered generous investment loans to all European countries that had been devastated by the war. Under the stewardship of economics minister Ludwig Erhard, the Marshall Plan helped launch a 20-year economic expansion in West Germany that raised living standards and industrial production far above prewar levels.

West Germany's economic achievement was impressive; the gross national product (GNP) rose by 8 percent per year from 1951 to 1961, or at a per capita rate double that of Britain or the United States and nearly double that of France. At the same time exports trebled. This period of exceptional growth was undoubtedly an outstanding event in the economic history of both West Germany and Europe. Yet the postwar advance of the West German economy did not follow an unbroken line; there were occasional checks, as, for example, the one following the oil crisis of 1973-74. However, the upward trend was always resumed. At the moment of economic unification on July 1, 1990, the economy was riding high on a cycle of business expansion that had lasted since the early 1980s. West Germany's gross domestic product (GDP) had increased at current prices by more than 70 percent since 1983; it was by far the highest of all the 12 EC countries, constituting one-quarter of the community's total. The country ranked fourth in the world for GDP, following the United States, Japan, and the U.S.S.R., and it was a leader in world trade. All this was achieved while maintaining the customarily low rate of inflation. West Germany was thus well prepared to sustain the economic shocks of unification with the much weaker economy of former East Germany, even though these proved to be considerably more severe than anticipated.

Germany possesses the world's third most technologically powerful economy after the US and Japan, but structural market rigidities - including the substantial non-wage costs of hiring new workers - have made unemployment a long-term, not just a cyclical, problem. Germany's aging population, combined with high unemployment, has pushed social security outlays to a level exceeding contributions from workers. The modernization and integration of the eastern German economy remains a costly long-term problem, with annual transfers from western Germany amounting to roughly $70 billion. Growth picked up to 3% in 2000, largely due to recovering global demand; newly passed business and income tax cuts are expected to keep growth strong in 2001. Corporate restructuring and growing capital markets are transforming the German economy to meet the challenges of European economic integration and globalization in general.

The Basic Law has many affinities with the constitutions in the Anglo-American democracies and its predecessor, the Weimar Constitution (upon which it drew heavily). The parliamentary form of government incorporated many features of the British system, but, since West Germany, unlike Great Britain, was to be a federation, many political structures were drawn from the models of the United States and other federative governments. In reaction to the unitary state of the Nazi era, the Basic Law gave the states considerable autonomy, much of which has been eroded by constitutional amendments, fiscal developments, and a political insistence on uniform living conditions throughout the Federal Republic. In addition to federalism, the Basic Law has two other features similar to the Constitution of the United States: (1) its formal declaration of the principles of human rights and of bases for the government of the people and (2) the strongly independent position of the courts, especially in the right of the Federal Constitutional Court to declare a law unconstitutional and void.

1.5 German's money and costs

Currency: euro (EUR), formerly Deutschmark (DM)

Budget: US$5-9

Mid-range: US$10-20

Top-end: US$25+

Lodging

Budget: US$20-50

Mid-range: US$50-100

Top-end: US$100

It's easy to spend lots of money in Germany. If you've got some sort of rail pass and restrict yourself to cheap takeaways or prepare your own food, it's possible to get by on less than US$50 a day. Those with more capacious wallets, wishing to eat at mid-range restaurants most days, to travel freely by public transport and to stay in mid-range hotels with fluffy duvets should count on dropping at least US$100 a day.

All the major international brands of plastic - MasterCard, Visa and American Express - are becoming more widely accepted, especially at major hotels, petrol stations and department stores. Don't assume that you'll be able to use your card to pay for meals; inquire first. ATMs are ubiquitous throughout Germany and you should have no problem accessing your credit or debit account back home. Foreign currency, including travellers cheques, can be exchanged at banks and special exchange shops in large towns.

At restaurants, the service charge is always included in bills and tipping isn't compulsory, though it is appreciated. Germans are used to rounding up prices as tips, but rounding up in euros can be too generous. Taxi drivers expect a small tip of around 10%.

1.6 German's communications and education

Germany has one of the world's most technologically advanced telecommunications systems; as a result of intensive capital expenditures since reunification, the formerly backward system of the eastern part of the country has been modernized and integrated with that of the western part domestic: Germany is served by an extensive system of automatic telephone exchanges connected by modern networks of fiber-optic cable, coaxial cable, microwave radio relay, and a domestic satellite system; cellular telephone service is widely available and includes roaming service to many foreign countries international: satellite earth stations - 14 Intelsat (12 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean), 1 Eutelsat, 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region), 2 Intersputnik (1 Atlantic Ocean region and 1 Indian Ocean region); 7 submarine cable connections; 2 HF radiotelephone communication centers; tropospheric scatter links.

German school attendance in Germany is free and mandatory from age 6 to age 14, after which most children either continue in secondary schools or participate in vocational education until the age of 18. Kindergarten is not part of the public school system, although before unification East Germany had a nearly universal system of childcare facilities. Under the treaty of unification, the East German public education system was required to conform to the model in use in West Germany. Education in Germany is under the jurisdiction of the individual state governments, which results in a great deal of variety. Most states in the former West Germany have a three-track system that begins with four years of Grundschule (primary school), attended by all children between the ages of 6 and 9.

2. Tourism in Germany

All German cities have developed an excellent network of surface and underground transportation. With buses, subways and rapid-transit railways, destinations can be reached quickly and easily at a reasonable price.

2.1 Germany by car

If you are traveling by car, an ultra-modern and efficient freeway network awaits you. Over 700 restaurants, gas stations, motels and kiosks are open day and night to travelers driving across the approximately 11,000 km freeway network of the Federal Republic.

Maximum Speeds:

For cars without trailers traveling outside city limits, a maximum speed of 100 km/hr applies. Within city limits, the speed is 50 km/hr. City limits are clearly marked by signs. On freeways, a speed of 130 km/hr is recommended. Cars with trailers (i.e. campers) may drive at a maximum of 80 km/hr on roads and freeways.

Important rules:

According to the law, seat belts must be worn by all passengers in the car. For children under 4 years of age, child seats are required, and children under 12 years of age must use child seat cushions. Motorcyclists must drive with a helmet. The blood alcohol limit is.05. Before beginning their journey, it is a good idea for tourists to purchase information about traveling by car in Germany from the automobile clubs.

Like arteries, Germany's autobahns link its pulsating economic centres. Day and night you can drive on 11,000 kilometres of open road - with no tolls and often with no official speed limit - unlike anywhere else in the world. But it is better, really, to take your time - and keep to the guideline of 130 kilometres per hour (approx. 80 mph). Enjoy the clean environment; take advantage of the perfect road transport connections and of the individual products and services on offer at the more than 700 filling stations and service areas along the way.

2.2 Discover Germany by Bus

Touring Germany by bus: a comfortable way of travelling. Enjoy your trip in comfortable seats without having to care about the traffic. Conscientious and well trained drivers will do the driving for you. Whether you choose a package tour, a long distance tour on a public service bus or an intercity trip by public transportation: a journey by bus will guarantee comfortable travelling. Enjoy and experience towns and landscapes in a relaxing way. Lean back and enjoy the view of diverse landscapes from large bus windows or visit one of Germany?s famous towns.

Get on and relax - once you are comfortably seated, your well-earned holidays will begin. Besides, you have chosen an environmentally friendly way of travelling.

Internationaler Bustouristik Verband e.V. (RDA), the international federation of bus tour operators, has set up a list of operators offering bus journeys. The list is set up according to the Lands of the Federal Republik of Germany and is available here. Here you will find numerous journeys based on particular themes, sightseeing tours and club tours. It is also possible to set up your own journey in cooperation with the operator. Deutsche Touring GmbH offers attractive journeys on public service buses along Germany?s touristic holiday routes.

Regional and urban public transportation operators and associations offer a rich network of short distance bus trips.

2.3 Air travel

Over 100 international airlines offer flights into Germany. Deutsche Lufthansa offers the most frequent and most versatile flights together with their Star Alliance partners. They have coordinated a global route network and flight plans which connect Germany with 700 destinations worldwide.

International travel

Lufthansa is one of the world's leading airlines and provides connections to Germany from more than 300 airports in 100 countries. Thanks to the Star Alliance, the world's first multilateral airline cooperation, passengers can travel to Germany from more than 800 airports worldwide. Coordinated flight schedules guarantee your comfort and help keep waiting times short. In Germany, Lufthansa flies to 28 airports: Cologne Cathedral is just 40 minutes by air from the Frankfurt Messeturm, and the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin is 65 minutes away. As well as eighteen international airports, Germany also has numerous domestic airports, such as Munster and Augsburg. This means you can travel quickly between any of Germany's larger towns - from Westerland on the North Sea island of Sylt to Munich in the South, and from Cologne in the West to Dresden in the East.

2.4 Travel by train

The railway system enables everyone to travel comfortably to their destination. There are good connections to both distant and local areas. Airports (Berlin Schonefeld, Dusseldorf, Munich and Stuttgart) are also merged into this system. There are 60 different connections to the neighboring European countries that originate daily in Germany. The customs clearance usually takes place on the train once it has left the station. Information regarding the Deutsche Bahn AG can be obtained in all travel agencies as well as by calling the federal German phone number: +49 (0) 18 05-99 66 33. A European bus service completes the railway system. It offers special connections on particularly interesting routes to tourists. Information regarding the bus system is also available in each travel agency.

2.5 Castles & Palaces

Although the walls of Germany?s castles are centuries old, they are nowhere near to being withdrawn from the public gaze. Set high above adjacent towns dating back to the Middle Ages and often in romantic landscapes, they make an extremely dynamic impression as tourist attractions. Sustained by the enormous interest shown in their mostly turbulent histories, colourful festivities and feasts are re-enacted within their ruins, which stunningly and authentically revive and recreate the Middle Ages. You can experience the spectacle of jousting, minerals and real banquets. Country markets with traditional skills and crafts, fancy-dress pursuits and street theatre are popular, and form a link to the myths and legends which every castle accumulates.



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