Germany is in Western and Central Europe, with Denmark bordering to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria to the southeast, Switzerland to the south-southwest, France, Luxembourg and Belgium lie to the west, and the Netherlands to the northwest. Germany is also bordered by the North Sea and, at the north-northeast, by the Baltic Sea. With Switzerland and Austria, Germany also shares a border on the fresh-water Lake Constance, the third largest lake in Central Europe.

By size, Germany is the seventh-largest European country and from north to south the topography varies quite dramatically.

Rhine Valley  at Lorelei
The Lorelei is a large rock on the Rhine river in Germany.

There are 14 national parks in Germany include the Jasmund National Park, the Vorpommern Lagoon Area National Park, the Müritz National Park, the Wadden Sea National Parks, the Harz National Park, the Hainich National Park, the Black Forest National Park, the Saxon Switzerland National Park, the Bavarian Forest National Park and the Berchtesgaden National Park. In addition, there are 14 Biosphere Reserves, as well as 98 nature parks.

The largest nature reserve in Germany, with 3,750 square kilometres (1,450 sq mi) is the Nature Park of the Central and Northern Black Forest and the smallest is Siebengebirge with an area of 48 square kilometres (19 sq mi).

The Feldberg, the highest mountain in the Black Forests, southeast of Freiburg

The UNESCO Bliesgau Biosphere Reserve is known for its swathes of orchids, beautiful riverside meadows and beech forests, as well as being a habitat for rare animal species. 

The Bliesgau biosphere reserve is home to half of Germany’s native orchid species

The biosphere reserve is a habitat for 80 per cent of the Saarland’s population of little owls, which are an endangered species. UNESCO-Upper Lusatian Moorland Biosphere Reserve.

Little owls also like the Bliesgau

The Upper Lusatian Moorland Biosphere Reserve is  one of the largest areas of pondland in Germany. Over 350 ponds are nestled amongst dune forests, river meadows, heaths and stark expanses of farmland, offering a wide range of habitats for rare plants and animals. Many species, some of them endangered, thrive here, including the otter, white stork and white-tailed eagle.

Closeup of White-tailed Eagle calling

The coat of arms of Germany displays a black eagle with red feet, beak and tongue on a yellow field, blazoned: Or, an eagle displayed sable beaked langued and membered gules. This is the Bundesadler or «Federal Eagle», formerly the Reichsadler or «Imperial Eagle».

The Feldberg, the highest mountain in the Black Forests, southeast of Freiburg
Black Eagle Symbol of German Coat of Arms

Breeds Originating in Germany

The German Shepherd (German: Deutscher Schäferhund) is a breed of large-sized working dog that originated in Germany.

The Black Forest Horse, also called the Black Forest cold blood is a rare draft horse breed originating in southern GermanyBlack Forest Horse

Developed in Germany, today a major center of breeding is the Marbach stud

Taurus cattle are an advanced form of Heck cattle, an attempt of breeding back the aurochs, the wild ancestor of domestic cattle.

Taurus bull ″Lamarck″ in the Lippeaue reserve in North-Rhine Westphalia.

Despite its name, the Alaska Rabbit originates in Germany…



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