Lower Saxony is a German state situated in northwestern Germany. It is the second-largest state by land area, with 47,624 km2, fourth-largest in population among the 16 Länder federated as the Federal Republic of Germany. In rural areas, Northern Low Saxon and Saterland Frisian are still spoken, but the number of speakers is declining. Lower Saxony borders on the North Sea, the states of Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and North Rhine-Westphalia, the Netherlands. Furthermore, the state of Bremen forms two enclaves within Lower Saxony, one being the city of Bremen, the other, its seaport city of Bremerhaven. In fact, Lower Saxony borders more neighbours than any other single Bundesland; the state's principal cities include the state capital Hanover, Braunschweig, Lüneburg, Osnabrück, Hildesheim, Wolfenbüttel, Göttingen. The northwestern area of Lower Saxony, which lies on the coast of the North Sea, is called East Frisia and the seven East Frisian Islands offshore are popular with tourists.
In the extreme west of Lower Saxony is the Emsland, a traditionally poor and sparsely populated area, once dominated by inaccessible swamps. The northern half of Lower Saxony known as the North German Plains, is invariably flat except for the gentle hills around the Bremen geestland. Towards the south and southwest lie the northern parts of the German Central Uplands: the Weser Uplands and the Harz mountains. Between these two lie the Lower Saxon Hills, a range of low ridges. Thus, Lower Saxony is the only Bundesland that encompasses both mountainous areas. Lower Saxony's major cities and economic centres are situated in its central and southern parts, namely Hanover, Osnabrück, Salzgitter, Göttingen. Oldenburg, near the northwestern coastline, is another economic centre; the region in the northeast is called the Lüneburg Heath, the largest heathland area of Germany and in medieval times wealthy due to salt mining and salt trade, as well as to a lesser degree the exploitation of its peat bogs until about the 1960s.
To the north, the Elbe River separates Lower Saxony from Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg. The banks just south of the Elbe are known as Altes Land. Due to its gentle local climate and fertile soil, it is the state's largest area of fruit farming, its chief produce being apples. Most of the state's territory was part of the historic Kingdom of Hanover, it was created by the merger of the State of Hanover with three smaller states on 1 November 1946. Lower Saxony has a natural boundary in the north in the North Sea and the lower and middle reaches of the River Elbe, although parts of the city of Hamburg lie south of the Elbe; the state and city of Bremen is an enclave surrounded by Lower Saxony. The Bremen/Oldenburg Metropolitan Region is a cooperative body for the enclave area. To the southeast, the state border runs through the Harz, low mountains that are part of the German Central Uplands; the northeast and west of the state, which form three-quarters of its land area, belong to the North German Plain, while the south is in the Lower Saxon Hills, including the Weser Uplands, Leine Uplands, Schaumburg Land, Brunswick Land, Untereichsfeld and Lappwald.
In northeast, Lower Saxony is Lüneburg Heath. The heath is dominated by the poor, sandy soils of the geest, whilst in the central east and southeast in the loess börde zone, productive soils with high natural fertility occur. Under these conditions—with loam and sand-containing soils—the land is well-developed agriculturally. In the west lie the County of Bentheim, Osnabrück Land, Oldenburg Land, Oldenburg Münsterland, on the coast East Frisia; the state is dominated by several large rivers running northwards through the state: the Ems, Weser and Elbe. The highest mountain in Lower Saxony is the Wurmberg in the Harz. For other significant elevations see: List of hills in Lower Saxony. Most of the mountains and hills are found in the southeastern part of the state; the lowest point in the state, at about 2.5 m below sea level, is a depression near Freepsum in East Frisia. The state's economy and infrastructure are centred on the cities and towns of Hanover, Celle, Wolfsburg and Salzgitter. Together with Göttingen in southern Lower Saxony, they form the core of the Hannover–Braunschweig–Göttingen–Wolfsburg Metropolitan Region.
Lower Saxony has clear regional divisions that manifest themselves geographically, as well as and culturally. In the regions that used to be independent the heartlands of the former states of Brunswick, Hanover and Schaumburg-Lippe, a marked local regional awareness exists. By contrast, the areas surrounding the Hanseatic cities of Bremen and Hamburg are much more oriented towards those centres. Sometimes and transition areas happen between the various regions of Lower Saxony. Several of the regions listed here are part of other, larger regions, that are included in the list. Just under 20% of the land area of Lower Saxony is designated as nature parks, i.e.: Dümmer, Elbhöhen-Wendland, Elm-Lappwald, Harz, Lüneburger Heide, Münden, Terra.vita, Solling-Vogler, Lake Steinhude, Südheide, Weser Uplands, Wildeshausen Geest, Bourtanger Moor-Bargerveen. L
A gymnasium is a type of school with a strong emphasis on academic learning, providing advanced secondary education in some parts of Europe comparable to British grammar schools, sixth form colleges and US preparatory high schools. In its current meaning, it refers to secondary schools focused on preparing students to enter a university for advanced academic study. Before the 20th century, the system of gymnasiums was a widespread feature of educational system throughout many countries of central, north and south Europe; the word "γυμνάσιον" was first used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual education of young men. The latter meaning of a place of intellectual education persisted in many European languages, whereas in English the meaning of a place for physical education was retained instead, more familiarly in the shortened form gym; the gymnasium is a secondary school. They are thus meant for the more academically minded students, who are sifted out at about the age of 10–13.
In addition to the usual curriculum, students of a gymnasium study Latin and Ancient Greek. Some gymnasiums provide general education; the four traditional branches are: humanities education modern languages mathematical-scientific education economical and social-scientific education Curricula differ from school to school but include language, informatics, chemistry, geography, music, philosophy, civics/citizenship, social sciences, several foreign languages. Schools concentrate not only on academic subjects, but on producing well-rounded individuals, so physical education and religion or ethics are compulsory in non-denominational schools which are prevalent. For example, the German constitution guarantees the separation of church and state, so although religion or ethics classes are compulsory, students may choose to study a specific religion or none at all. Today, a number of other areas of specialization exist, such as gymnasiums specializing in economics, technology or domestic sciences.
In some countries, there is a notion of progymnasium, equivalent to beginning classes of the full gymnasium, with the rights to continue education in a gymnasium. Here, the prefix pro- is equivalent to pre-, indicating that this curriculum precedes normal gymnasium studies. In the German-speaking, the Central-European, the Nordic, the Benelux and the Baltic countries, this meaning for "gymnasium", a secondary school preparing the student for higher education at a university, has been the same at least since the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century; the term was derived from the classical Greek word "gymnasion", applied to an exercising ground in ancient Athens. Here teachers gathered and gave instruction between the hours devoted to physical exercises and sports, thus the term became associated with and came to mean an institution of learning; this use of the term did not prevail among the Romans, but was revived during the Renaissance in Italy, from there passed into the Netherlands and Germany during the 15th century.
In 1538, Johannes Sturm founded at Strasbourg the school which became the model of the modern German gymnasium. In 1812, a Prussian regulation ordered that all schools which had the right to send their students to the university should bear the name of gymnasia. By the 20th century, this practice was followed in the entire Austrian-Hungarian and Russian Empires. In the modern era, many countries which have gymnasiums were once part of these three empires. In Albania a gymnasium education takes three years following a compulsory nine-year elementary education and ending with a final aptitude test called Albanian: Matura Shtetërore; the final test is standardized at the state level and serves as an entrance qualification for universities. These can be either private; the subjects taught are mathematics, Albanian language, one to three foreign languages, geography, computer science, the natural sciences, history of art, philosophy, physical education and the social sciences. The gymnasium is viewed as a destination for the best performing students and as the type of school that serves to prepare students for university, while other students go to technical/vocational schools.
Therefore, gymnasiums base their admittance criteria on an entrance exam, elementary school grades or some combination of the two. In Austria the Gymnasium has two stages, from the age of 11 to 14, from 15 to 18, concluding with Matura. Three types existed; the Humanistisches Gymnasium focuses on Latin. The Neusprachliches Gymnasium puts its focus on spoken languages; the usual combination is English and Latin. The Realgymnasium puts its focus on science. In the last couple of decades more autonomy was granted to schools and various types were developed, focusing on sports, music or economics, for example. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, gymnázium is a typ
Angela Dorothea Merkel is a German politician serving as Chancellor of Germany since 2005. She served as the leader of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union from 2000 to 2018. Merkel has been described as the de facto leader of the European Union, the most powerful woman in the world, by many commentators as the leader of the Free World. Merkel was born in Hamburg in then-West Germany and moved to East Germany as an infant when her father, a Lutheran clergyman, received a pastorate in Perleberg, she obtained a doctorate in quantum chemistry in 1986 and worked as a research scientist until 1989. Merkel entered politics in the wake of the Revolutions of 1989, served as a deputy spokesperson for the first democratically elected East German Government headed by Lothar de Maizière in 1990. Following German reunification in 1990, Merkel was elected to the Bundestag for the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has been reelected since; as the protégée of Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Merkel was appointed as the Federal Minister for Women and Youth in Kohl's government in 1991, became the Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in 1994.
After her party lost the federal election in 1998, Merkel was elected Secretary-General of the CDU before becoming the party's first female leader two years in the aftermath of a donations scandal that toppled Wolfgang Schäuble. Following the 2005 federal election, Merkel was appointed Germany's first female chancellor at the head of a grand coalition consisting of the CDU, its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union, the Social Democratic Party of Germany. In the 2009 federal election the CDU obtained the largest share of the vote, Merkel was able to form a coalition government with the Free Democratic Party. At the 2013 federal election, Merkel's CDU won a landslide victory with 41.5% of the vote and formed a second grand coalition with the SPD, after the FDP lost all of its representation in the Bundestag. After the 2017 federal election the CDU was again the largest party, she was reelected to her fourth term on 14 March 2018. In 2007, Merkel was President of the European Council and played a central role in the negotiation of the Treaty of Lisbon and the Berlin Declaration.
One of Merkel's consistent priorities has been to strengthen transatlantic economic relations. Merkel played a crucial role in managing the financial crisis at the European and international level, she has been referred to as "the decider." In domestic policy, health care reform, problems concerning future energy development and more her government's approach to the ongoing migrant crisis have been major issues during her Chancellorship. On 26 March 2014, Merkel became the longest-serving incumbent head of government in the European Union and she is the senior G7 leader. In October 2018, Merkel announced that she would not seek reelection as leader of the CDU at the party convention in December 2018 and as Chancellor in 2021. Merkel was born Angela Dorothea Kasner in 1954, in Hamburg, West Germany, the daughter of Horst Kasner, a Lutheran pastor and a native of Berlin, his wife Herlind, born in Danzig, a teacher of English and Latin, she has two younger siblings, Marcus Kasner, a physicist, Irene Kasner, an occupational therapist.
In her childhood and youth, Merkel was known among her peers by the nickname "Kasi", derived from her last name Kasner. Merkel is of Polish descent, her paternal grandfather, Ludwik Kasner, was a German policeman of Polish ethnicity, who had taken part in Poland's struggle for independence in the early 20th century. He married Merkel's grandmother Margarethe, a German from Berlin, relocated to her hometown where he worked in the police. In 1930, they Germanized the Polish name Kaźmierczak to Kasner. Merkel's maternal grandparents were the Danzig politician Willi Jentzsch, Gertrud Alma née Drange, a daughter of the city clerk of Elbing Emil Drange. Since the mid 1990s, Merkel has publicly mentioned her Polish heritage on several occasions and described herself as a quarter Polish, but her Polish roots became better known as a result of a 2013 biography. Religion played a key role in the Kasner family's migration from West Germany to East Germany. Merkel's paternal grandfather was Catholic but the entire family converted to Lutheranism during the childhood of her father, who studied Lutheran theology in Heidelberg and Hamburg.
In 1954, when Angela was just three months old, her father received a pastorate at the church in Quitzow, in East Germany. The family moved to Templin and Merkel grew up in the countryside 90 km north of East Berlin. In 1968, Merkel joined the Free German Youth, the official communist youth movement sponsored by the ruling Marxist–Leninist Socialist Unity Party of Germany. Membership was nominally voluntary, but those who did not join found it difficult to gain admission to higher education, she did not participate in the secular coming of age ceremony Jugendweihe, common in East Germany. Instead, she was confirmed. During this time, she participated in several compulsory courses on Marxism-Leninism with her grades only being regarded as "sufficient". At the Academy of Sciences, she became a member of its FDJ secretariat. According to her former colleagues, she propagated Marxism as the secretary for "Agitation and Propaganda". However, Merkel has denied this claim and stated that she was secretary for culture, which involved activities like obtaining theatre tickets and organising talks by visiting Soviet
Gifhorn (German pronunciation: ] is a town and capital of the district of Gifhorn in the east of Lower Saxony, Germany. It has a population of about 42,000 and is influenced by the small distance to the more industrial and commercially important cities nearby and Wolfsburg. Further, Gifhorn is part of the Hanover-Brunswick-Göttingen-Wolfsburg Metropolitan Region; the Municipality Gifhorn includes the villages of Gamsen, Gifhorn, Kästorf, Neubokel and Winkel. The oldest verifiable source attests the existence of the city in the year 1196. Gifhorn is home to the International Wind- and Watermill Museum, which contains a comprehensive collection and working replicas of the world's most common windmills. Gifhorn lies at the confluence of the Rivers Aller. Gifhorn is situated about 20 km north of about 15 km west of Wolfsburg. In the city, the Bundesstraße 4 and 188 meet. At the northern end of the city, the Lüneburg Heath starts. Gifhorn was first mentioned in 1196, it was located at the crossing of two important merchant routes: The salt street being a main trading route for salt between Lüneburg and Brunswick, the grain street transporting grain between Celle and Magdeburg.
Schools in Gifhorn include the Humboldt Gymnasium, the Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium, Fritz-Reuter-Realschule, Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Realschule, Albert-Schweitzer-Hauptschule and the Berufsbildenden Schulen I and II. Alfred-Teves-Schule, called Volksschule Süd between 1954 and 1958, was open between 1954 and 2010; the Gifhorn rail station is in the southern part of the town. In the city, the Bundesstraße 4 and 188 meet. Gifhorn is twinned with: Dumfries, Scotland Gardelegen, Germany Glanford, North Lincolnshire, England Hallsberg, Sweden Korsun-Shevchenkivskyi, Ukraine Xanthi, Greece Złotów, Poland Glocken-Palast, or The Bells Palace, is a monument and large building in Gifhorn, it was completed after 16 years of construction. Its cornerstone was laid by former Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev in 1996, it was built as a centre to promote cultural exchange across Europe, following the fall of the Iron Curtain. The Bells Palace will host events and exhibitions celebrating peace and cultural diversity. Heinrich Decimator, author of a universal dictionary Thorsten Heins, manager Anna Montanaro, musical actress and actress Kay-Sölve Richter and newsreader Katharina Marie Schubert and film actress Fabian Klos, footballer Senta-Sofia Delliponti and singer Bjarne Thoelke, footballer Gifhorn travel guide from Wikivoyage Official website International museum of mills
YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. Three former PayPal employees—Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, Jawed Karim—created the service in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion. YouTube allows users to upload, rate, add to playlists, comment on videos, subscribe to other users, it offers a wide variety of corporate media videos. Available content includes video clips, TV show clips, music videos and documentary films, audio recordings, movie trailers, live streams, other content such as video blogging, short original videos, educational videos. Most of the content on YouTube is uploaded by individuals, but media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Hulu offer some of their material via YouTube as part of the YouTube partnership program. Unregistered users can only watch videos on the site, while registered users are permitted to upload an unlimited number of videos and add comments to videos. Videos deemed inappropriate are available only to registered users affirming themselves to be at least 18 years old.
YouTube and its creators earn advertising revenue from Google AdSense, a program which targets ads according to site content and audience. The vast majority of its videos are free to view, but there are exceptions, including subscription-based premium channels, film rentals, as well as YouTube Music and YouTube Premium, subscription services offering premium and ad-free music streaming, ad-free access to all content, including exclusive content commissioned from notable personalities; as of February 2017, there were more than 400 hours of content uploaded to YouTube each minute, one billion hours of content being watched on YouTube every day. As of August 2018, the website is ranked as the second-most popular site in the world, according to Alexa Internet. YouTube has faced criticism over aspects of its operations, including its handling of copyrighted content contained within uploaded videos, its recommendation algorithms perpetuating videos that promote conspiracy theories and falsehoods, hosting videos ostensibly targeting children but containing violent and/or sexually suggestive content involving popular characters, videos of minors attracting pedophilic activities in their comment sections, fluctuating policies on the types of content, eligible to be monetized with advertising.
YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal. Hurley had studied design at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Chen and Karim studied computer science together at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. According to a story, repeated in the media and Chen developed the idea for YouTube during the early months of 2005, after they had experienced difficulty sharing videos, shot at a dinner party at Chen's apartment in San Francisco. Karim did not attend the party and denied that it had occurred, but Chen commented that the idea that YouTube was founded after a dinner party "was very strengthened by marketing ideas around creating a story, digestible". Karim said the inspiration for YouTube first came from Janet Jackson's role in the 2004 Super Bowl incident, when her breast was exposed during her performance, from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Karim could not find video clips of either event online, which led to the idea of a video sharing site.
Hurley and Chen said that the original idea for YouTube was a video version of an online dating service, had been influenced by the website Hot or Not. Difficulty in finding enough dating videos led to a change of plans, with the site's founders deciding to accept uploads of any type of video. YouTube began as a venture capital-funded technology startup from an $11.5 million investment by Sequoia Capital and an $8 million investment from Artis Capital Management between November 2005 and April 2006. YouTube's early headquarters were situated above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California; the domain name www.youtube.com was activated on February 14, 2005, the website was developed over the subsequent months. The first YouTube video, titled Me at the zoo, shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo; the video was uploaded on April 23, 2005, can still be viewed on the site. YouTube offered the public a beta test of the site in May 2005; the first video to reach one million views was a Nike advertisement featuring Ronaldinho in November 2005.
Following a $3.5 million investment from Sequoia Capital in November, the site launched on December 15, 2005, by which time the site was receiving 8 million views a day. The site grew and, in July 2006, the company announced that more than 65,000 new videos were being uploaded every day, that the site was receiving 100 million video views per day. According to data published by market research company comScore, YouTube is the dominant provider of online video in the United States, with a market share of around 43% and more than 14 billion views of videos in May 2010. In May 2011, 48 hours of new videos were uploaded to the site every minute, which increased to 60 hours every minute in January 2012, 100 hours every minute in May 2013, 300 hours every minute in November 2014, 400 hours every minute in February 2017; as of January 2012, the site had 800 million unique users a month. It is estimated that in 2007 YouTube consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet in 2000. According to third-party web analytics providers and SimilarWeb, YouTube is the second-most visited website in the world, as of December 2016.
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well