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Car Hire Germany - Germany in Brief

Deep in the heart of Europe, Germany has had a seminal impact on continental history. From Emperor Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire to Otto von Bismarck's German Reich, Nazism and the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, no other nation has had an impact in Europe in the way Germany has - for better or worse.

Germany's reunification in 1990 was the beginning of yet another chapter in it's complex history. The integration following 40 years of cultural, social and economical divide is now proceeding apace.

Aside from it's determining role in twentieth century history, Germany is also the land of fairy tale castles, thick dark forests, legends collected by the Brothers Grimm, perfectly preserved timber-framed wooden towns and jovial locals swilling from huge foaming mugs of beer. There is some truth to these stereotypes, most stem from the southern part of the country, particularly the predominantly rural and Catholic Bavaria, which stands apart from the urbanized Protestant north which engineered the union of the nation last century.

Regional characteristics are a strong feature of German life, there are many leftovers from the days when the country was a political patchwork, and as some historical provinces have vanished from the map, others have merged. For example Hamburg and Bremen retain their age old status as free cities. The imperial capital, Berlin, also stands apart, as an island in the midst of the erstwhile GDR where the liberalism of the West was pushed to its extreme, sometimes decadent, always exciting. In polar opposition to it is the Rhineland, where the great river's majestic sweep has spawned a particularly rich fund of legends and folklore, and where the locals are imbued with a Mediterranean sense of fun. The small towns and rural areas, are in many ways the ones which best encapsulate the feel and appearance of Germany as it was before the war and the onset of foreign influences which were an inevitable consequence of defeat.

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