Die Bundesländer Deutschlands Schlossplatz und das Neue Schloss, Stuttgart Baden-Württemberg Hauptstadt: Stuttgart. Beitritt zum Bund (joined fed.): 1949. Baden-Württemberg is one of Germany's most prosperous states with automakers DaimlerChrysler AG and Porsche centered around Stuttgart, precision engineering in the Schwarzwald (Black Forest), oil refining around Karlsruhe, and industry in Mannheim and Heidelberg. Das Schloss Neuschwanstein Bayern (Bavaria) Hauptstadt: München (Munich). Beitritt zum Bund (joined fed.): 1949. Bayern is the largest German Bundesland. The ”Freistaat Bayern (Free State of Bavaria)" is also Germany's oldest political entity with a history going back to at least the 6th century. Germany's tallest peak, the Zugspitze, is located in the Bavarian Alps. Bayern is also home to the world famous castle Neuschwanstein. Regensburg Neuschwanstein Bayern München Das Haus von Albrecht Dürer, Nürnberg Reichstag (Parliament) Berlin Hauptstadt: Berlin. Beitritt zum Bund (joined fed.): 1990. Berlin is one of three city-states in Germany and for decades was a symbol of its division. However, since the reunification, Berlin is now a dynamic capital city. Berlin has once again become Germany's main cultural, artistic, and political center and has grown to become the largest city in Germany, a thriving metropolis. Schloss Sanssouci, Potsdam Brandenburg Hauptstadt: Potsdam. Beitritt zum Bund (joined fed.): 1990. Brandenburg, one of Germany's most thinly populated states (2.5 million), surrounds Berlin. Because of its small population, there have been proposals to merge Berlin and Brandenburg into one state, with Potsdam as the capital, but a 1996 referendum rejected that idea. Brandenburg is also known for its wellpreserved natural environment and its ambitious natural protection policies which began in the 1990s. Town Musicians of Bremen Bremen Hauptstadt: Bremen. Beitritt zum Bund (joined fed.): 1949. Bremen is one of Germany's three city-states and the second oldest city republic still in existence. In 1358 Bremen became a member of the Hanseatic League (Hanse) and therefore found its beginnings. It is in truth, two cities, Bremen and Bremerhaven, that form this state. Bremen is also the smallest of the Bundesländer. Hamburg Hauptstadt: Hamburg. Beitritt zum Bund (joined fed.): 1949. Hamburg is one of Germany's three city-states, the second largest city, and the country's biggest sea port, used for all types of transportation and trading. Hamburg is also a major tourist destination for both domestic and overseas visitors. Frankfurt am Main Hessen Hauptstadt: Wiesbaden. Beitritt zum Bund (joined fed.): 1949. Hessen is home to the Rhein-Main region of business and industry. The state's largest city, Frankfurt am Main, has often been called Germany's "secret capital" because of its banking, transportation industry, and general economic power. The state of Hessen was created in 1945/46 by combining parts of two historic political entities, Hessen-Darmstadt and Hessen-Nassau. Mecklenburg Lake District Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Hauptstadt: Schwerin Beitritt zum Bund (joined fed.): 1990. The Baltic Sea coastline and its islands (such as Rügen) and the Mecklenburg Lake District are very popular with tourists, making Mecklenburg-Vorpommern one of Germany’s leading tourist destinations. Also found here are the Universities of Rostock (est. 1419) and Greifswald (est. 1456), which are among the oldest in Europe. Herrenhäuser Gärten, Hannover Niedersachsen Hauptstadt: Hannover Beitritt zum Bund (joined fed.): 1949. The northwestern portion of Niedersachsen is a part of Friesland (Frisia) and lies on the coast of the North Sea, including the East Frisian Islands. Agriculture and mining have always been very important economic factors in Niedersachsen, as well as manufacturing, specifically the auto maker Volkswagen. Historisches Rathaus, Münster Nordrhein-Westfalen Hauptstadt: Düsseldorf Beitritt zum Bund (joined fed.): 1949. In terms of population, with 18 + million inhabitants, and economic output, contributing to about 22% of Germany’s GDP, Nordrhein-Westfalen is the largest Bundesland in Germany. It is the leading industrial region and also a major base for culture and media. The former Ruhrgebiet (Ruhr area) that was once the center of German industry is now a cultural scene as well. Mainz Cathedral Rheinland-Pfalz Hauptstadt: Mainz Beitritt zum Bund (joined fed.): 1949. Rheinland-Pfalz is Germany's leading producer of wine, in terms of grape cultivation as well as wine export. 65% to 70% of the whole production output of wine grapes in Germany have their origin within this Bundesland. Saarschleife (Bend in the Saar River) Saarland Hauptstadt: Saarbrücken. Beitritt zum Bund (joined fed.): 1957. Saarland is Germany's smallest (not including the city-states) and newest Bundesland. Named for the Saar River, Saarland was part of France until 1957. It was the only state to join the Bundesrepublik between its formation in 1949 and the German reunification in 1990. Brühlsche Terrasse, Dresden Sachsen Hauptstadt: Dresden. Beitritt zum Bund (joined fed.): 1990. Sachsen has the most vibrant economy among the former DDR (East Germany) states, with its growth around 4.0% in 2006, making it the fastest growing region in Germany. Nonetheless, unemployment remains high, and investment is scarce. Magdeburg Sachsen-Anhalt Hauptstadt: Magdeburg. Beitritt zum Bund (joined fed.): 1990. Sachsen-Anhalt is famous for its fertile soil, namely in the Magdeburger Börde area, which is claimed to be the best soil in all of Germany and therefore, the food industry has an important role here. The industrial sector, specifically the chemical industry, is also important, as well as the numerous wind-farms throughout the state that help to produce wind-turbine energy. Kiel Rathaus Schleswig-Holstein Hauptstadt: Kiel. Beitritt zum Bund (joined fed.): 1949. The two parts of Germany's northernmost state were first united in 1386, but since the 19th century they have changed hands between Denmark, Austria, and Germany. Der Nord-Ostsee-Kanal (Kiel Canal) is an important link for shipping between the Baltic and North Seas. Goethe and Schiller statue, Weimar Thüringen Hauptstadt: Erfurt. Beitritt zum Bund (joined fed.): 1990. Until 1945, Thuringia's capital was Weimar, a city closely identified with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and of course, the Weimar Republik after WWI. Because Thüringen lies in the geographical center of Germany and because of the large areas of forest, Thüringen is often known as the “grüne Herz Deutschlands” (the green heart of Germany).