The name Germany is used in three senses: first, it refers to the region in Central Europe commonly regarded as constituting Germany, even when there was no central German state, as was the case for most of Germany’s history; second, it refers to the unified German state established in 1871 and existing until 1945; and third, since October 3, 1990, it refers to the united Germany, formed by the accession on this date of the German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany) to the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, or West Germany). The name Federal Republic of Germany refers to West Germany from its founding on May 23, 1949, until German unification on October 3, 1990. After this date, it refers to united Germany. For the sake of brevity and variety, the Federal Republic of Germany is often called simply the Federal Republic.
The Federal Republic of Germany consists of sixteen states (Laender; sing., Land ). Five of these Laender date from July 1990, when the territory of the German Democratic Republic was once again divided into Laender. For this reason, when discussing events since unification, Germans frequently refer to the territory of the former East Germany as the new or eastern Laender and call that of the former West Germany the old or western Laender. For the sake of convenience and variety, the text often follows this convention to distinguish eastern from western Germany.
Spellings of place-names used here are in most cases those approved by the United States Board on Geographic Names. Exceptions are the use of the conventional English names for a few important cities, rivers, and geographic regions.
The culture of Germany includes its philosophy, music, literature, cinema, language, art, architecture, cuisine, design, sports, and religion. Germany is well-known for some of its cultural celebrations such as Oktoberfest, its Christmas customs, and 38 UNESCO World Heritage sites. Germany’s oldest settlements originate from the Romans and today are some of the country’s urban centers.
These conditions, together with a more-than-abundant and well-distributed amount of rainfall, afford ideal conditions for raising crops. As throughout western Europe in general, however, Germany’s climate is subject to quick variations when the moderate westerly winds from the Atlantic Ocean collide with the cold air masses moving in from northeastern Europe. Whereas in the open coastlands near the North and Baltic seas the maritime component prevails, continental elements gain in importance moving toward the east and southeast.
The Euro sign € was adopted after the proposed ten was gradually reduced to two after the community survey. A Belgian by the name of Alain Billiet developed the sign. The € draw inspiration from the Greek epsilon (Є) which is a referral of the infancy of European civilization. The first letter stands for Europe and the two parallel lines signify euro stability.
The subdivision of the euro is divided into 100 cents. The Latin version of the Euro is used due to a larger number of languages used by different members together with Arabic numerals. However, from 2007 or 2008 depending on the member state, the current currency has a map depicting nations outside Eurozone for example Norway. Luc Luycx became the primary designer of all standard sides.