The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Cergy is a commune in the northwestern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 27.8 km from the center of Paris, in the "new town" of Cergy-Pontoise, created in the 1960s, of which it is the central and most populated commune. Although neighboring Pontoise is the official préfecture of the Val-d'Oise département, the préfecture building and administration, as well as the department council, are located inside the commune of Cergy, regarded as the de facto capital of Val-d'Oise; the sous-préfecture building and administration, on the other hand, are located inside the commune of Pontoise. The name Cergy comes from Medieval Latin Sergiacum, meaning "estate of Sergius", a Gallo-Roman landowner. Cergy is the chief town of two cantons: Cergy-1 and Cergy-2. Columbia, United States. Erkrath, Germany. Liaoyang, People's Republic of China. Porto Novo, Benin. Tres Cantos, Spain West Lancashire, United Kingdom. Cergy is informally twinned with a village in Palestine and a village in Senegal; when Cergy was selected to become the center of a "new town", it was only a village.
The commune had only 2,895 inhabitants in 1968. It started to develop quickly, exceeding 10,000 inhabitants in the mid-1970s and 20,000 in the early-1980s, it is in this decade that its growth was most spectacular, since the city exceeded 48,000 inhabitants in 1990. The increase continued since, but at a notably slower pace. However, on 1 January 2000, the commune lost a portion of its territory to the adjacent commune of Courdimanche; the official census figures have thus been revised downward from the 1999 official 54,781 to 54,719, the land area from 11.68 km2 to 11.65 km². Port Cergy is a marina on the River Oise at pk 9; the site comprises recreational yachts as well as a boating school. The marina can hold 103 ships ranging 5 to 22m long and; the northern part of the site is reserved for restaurants and shops and have been built around a small bain. Ham is a small village to the south of Cergy; the village used to be part of the Sergentery and commune of Neuville-sur-Oise but has since been amalgamated in the commune of Cergy.
On its territory is the outdoor leisure centre'Base de Loisirs de Cergy-Neuville'. Cergy is served by three stations on Paris RER line A and on the Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare suburban rail line: Cergy – Préfecture, Cergy – Saint-Christophe, Cergy – Le Haut. Cergy is served by direct buses from Charles de Gaulle Airport; the bus company STIVO provides 17 lines of buses to travel within the agglomeration of Cergy. Secondary schools: Junior high schools: Gérard Philipe, La Justice, Les Explorateurs, Les Touleuses, Moulin à Vent Senior high schools/sixth-form colleges: Lycée polyvalent Galilée and Lycée polyvalent Jules VerneLycée Alfred Kastler de Cergy-Pontoise is in neighboring Pontoise. Tertiary education: Cergy-Pontoise University ESSEC Business School ENSEA École Nationale Supérieure de l'Électronique et de ses Applications ITIN, IT-Institute EISTI, École internationale des sciences du traitement de l'information Web site of Professional Bachelor’s degree in International Trade and International Tourism Known as being a violent city in the past, with a criminal rate of 137.62 incidents per 1000 inhabitants, Cergy-Pontoise has experienced a significant decrease of violence in the past years.
Reaching, in the year of 2008, a rate of 9,87 criminal incidents per 1000 inhabitants, still a high criminal rate. The town was used as a filming location for Henri Verneuil's film I... comme Icare released in 1979, starring Yves Montand. The EDF-GDF tower designed by architect Renzo Moro is the building from which the shots were fired to assassinate president Marc Jarry; the country that the movie depicts is not named, although the United States is suggested. The filmmakers chose the modern and innovative architecture of the new city to avoid depicting any particular country. Communes of the Val-d'Oise department Official website Mérimée database – Cultural heritage Port Cergy
Nanterre is a commune in the Hauts-de-Seine department, the western suburbs of Paris. It is located some 11 km north-west of the centre of Paris. Nanterre serves as both the capital of the Hauts-de-Seine department and seat of the eponymous arrondissement; the eastern part of Nanterre, bordering the communes of Courbevoie and Puteaux, contains a small part of the La Défense business district of Paris and some of the tallest buildings in the Paris region. Because the headquarters of many major corporations are located in La Défense, the court of Nanterre is well known in the media for the number of high-profile lawsuits and trials that take place in it; the city of Nanterre includes the Paris West University Nanterre La Défense, one of the largest universities in the Paris region. The name of Nanterre originated before the Roman conquest of Gaul; the Romans recorded the name as Nemetodorum. It is composed of the Celtic word nemeto meaning "shrine" or "sacred place" and the Celtic word duron "hard, enduring".
The sacred place referred to is believed to have been a famous shrine. Inhabitants of Nanterre are called Nanterriens, they are called "Nanterroises" and "Nanterrois". The sacred shrine of antiquity, referred to etymologically had been placed by tradition in Mont-Valérien. However, archeological discoveries made between 1994 and 2005 found a Gallic necropolis, dated to the third century BC, call into debate both the exact location of the pre-Roman capital of the Parisii and the initial site of Lutetia, the Roman era Paris; the large necropolis, as well as working people's homes from some time in the ancient era, is near the bank of the Seine, in the northwest of Nanterre, might be the sacred place, being referred to etymologically. Lutetia is mentioned by Julius Caesar in 50 BCE, reporting an assembly in Lutetia in 53 BC between himself, commander of the Roman Legions, local Gallic leaders. Although this had been thought to be Île de la Cité since Caesar mentions an island, the river at Nanterre follows two channels around an island.
In 52 BC, the Parisii took up arms with the Gallic war leader Vercingetorix, were defeated by Titus Labienus, one of Caesar's legates. Caesar mentions in his Commentarii that the Parisii destroyed the bridges and set fire to Lutetia before the arrival of the Roman forces; the archeological work in Nanterre has suggested over 15 hectares of pre-Roman or Roman era construction. These archeologic findings may be an indication that Nanterre was the closest pre-Roman settlement to the City's modern centre. Sainte Genevieve, patron saint of Paris, was born in Nanterre ca. 419–422. On 27 March 2002, Richard Durn, a disgruntled local activist and killed eight town councilors and 14 others were wounded in what the French press dubbed the Nanterre massacre. On 28 March, the murderer killed himself by jumping from the 4th floor of the Quai des orfèvres, in Paris, while he was questioned by two policemen about the reason for his killing in the Nanterre City Hall. Nanterre is divided into two cantons: Canton of Nanterre-1 Canton of Nanterre-2 Nanterre is served by three stations on RER line A: Nanterre – Préfecture, Nanterre – Université, Nanterre – Ville.
Nanterre – Université station is an interchange station on the Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare suburban rail line. Société Générale has its headquarters in the Tours Société Générale in La Nanterre; the company moved into the building in 1995. Faurecia, the sixth-largest automotive parts supplier, has its headquarters in Nanterre. Groupe du Louvre and subsidiary Louvre Hôtels have their head office in Village 5 in La Défense and Nanterre. Senior high schools include: Lycée Joliot-Curie de Nanterre Lycée professionnel Louise-Michel Lycée professionnel Paul-Langevin Lycée professionnel Claude-Chappe The basketball club Nanterre 92 plays at Palais des Sports Maurice Thorez; the rugby union club Racing 92 opened the new Paris La Défense Arena in October 2017 and played their first game in the new facility in December 2017. It has a capacity of 32,000 for 40,000 for concerts; the venue opened as U Arena, but received its current name in June 2018 through a sponsorship deal with Paris La Défense, the company that manages the La Défense business district.
Nanterre is twinned with: La Défense business district. List of tallest structures in Paris Communes of the Hauts-de-Seine department INSEE Official website Université Paris 10 Nanterre Nanterre students News coverage of March 2006 University occupation Pictures of Nanterre Nanterre Cathedral gallery of pictures
In many countries, Kilometre Zero or similar terms in other languages is a particular location from which distances are traditionally measured. They were markers where drivers could set their odometers to follow the directions in early guide books. One such marker is the Milliarium Aureum of the Roman Empire, believed to be the literal origin for the maxim that "all roads lead to Rome". Argentina marks Kilometre Zero with a monolith in Plaza Congreso in Buenos Aires; the work of the brothers Máximo and José Fioravanti, the structure was placed on the north side of Plaza Lorea on October 2, 1935. An image of Our Lady of Luján appears on the monolith's north face, a relief map of Argentina is on the south face, plaques in honor of José de San Martín are west, on its eastern side, the date of the decree and the name of the relevant authorities. Highways in Australia are built and maintained by the states and territories. In the state of New South Wales, highway distances were traditionally measured from a sandstone obelisk in Macquarie Place in Sydney, designed by Francis Greenway in 1818.
The obelisk lists the distances to various locations in New South Wales at the time. For the railway, it is located at platform 1 of Sydney Central Station; the General Post Office building in Melbourne traditionally serves this purpose in Victoria. In Western Australia, road distances are measured from Point Zero, by the old Treasury Building on the corner of Cathedral Avenue and St George's Terrace in Perth; the Byzantine Empire had an arched building, the Milion of Constantinople, as the starting-place for the measurement of distances for all the roads leading to the other cities. In the 1960s, some fragments were discovered and erected in its original location, now in the district of Eminönü, Turkey; the kilometre zero marker of the eastern origin of the Trans-Canada Highway is located in St. John's, Newfoundland. Coordinates: 47°33′39.78″N 52°42′44.33″W Altitude: 14.02 m The western origin of the Trans-Canada Highway in Victoria, British Columbia, is located on the southern end of Vancouver Island.
Mile zero of the Trans Canada Trail is located adjacent to the Railway Coastal Museum in St. John's, Newfoundland. Coordinates: 47°33′14.0″N 52°42′50.5″W Altitude: 4.5 m Mile zero for the Alaska Highway is located in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. All national distances from Santiago originate at the Km. 0 plaque, located at the Plaza de Armas main square in downtown Santiago. Chile's Autopista Central – Eje Norte-Sur has its Kilometre Zero at the intersection with the Alameda del Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins, the capital's main avenue. China Railway's 0 km is located at the entrance to the Fengtai Yard on the Jingguang Line just outside Beijing; this point was the start of the line. There is no ceremonial plaque; the kilometre zero point for highways is located at Tiananmen Square, just outside the Zhengyangmen Gate. It is marked with a plaque in the ground, with the four cardinal points, four animals, "Zero Point of Highways, China" in English and Chinese. Cuba's Kilometre Zero is located in its capital Havana in El Capitolio.
Embedded in the floor in the centre of the main hall is a replica 25 carat diamond, which marks Kilometre Zero for Cuba. The original diamond, said to have belonged to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and have been sold to the Cuban state by a Turkish merchant, was stolen on 25 March 1946 and mysteriously returned to the President, Ramón Grau San Martín, on 2 June 1946, it was replaced in El Capitolio by a replica in 1973. Copenhagen Town hall square is the zero point. DR-1, DR-2, DR-3 all depart from Kilometre Zero from Santo Domingo's Parque de Independencia. Kilometre Zero in Egypt is located at the Attaba Square Post Office in 1st of Abdel Khaliq Sarwat Pasha Street, Cairo. Kilometre Zero in Ethiopia is in Addis Ababa, in front of St. George's Cathedral; the point was designated by Emperor Haile Selassie in 1930. Kilometre Zero of Finland is located at the Erottaja square in central Helsinki. Kilometre Zero of French national highways located in Paris on the square facing the main entrance of Notre-Dame is considered the official centre of Paris.
48.8534°N 2.3488°E / 48.8534. 52.510788°N 13.398964°E / 52.510788. Distances from London to most parts of the country are measured in miles from the original site of Charing Cross, on the southern side of Trafalgar Square. In Scotland, distances from Edinburgh are measured from the GPO building in Princes Street. See also: London Stone, Hicks Hall, St Mary-le-Bow, a church from which the distance of the original London to Lewes road is measured. In ancient Greece, distances were measured from the altar of twelve gods, located in the ancient agora of Athens. So, that altar can be considered the first kilometre zero in human history. Nowadays, the kilometre zero for Greek high
Le Blanc-Mesnil is a commune in the northeastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 12.6 km from the center of Paris, between Charles de Gaulle Airport and le Bourget Airport. The name Le Blanc-Mesnil was recorded for the first time in the 11th century as Mansionile Blaun; this name is a compound of Medieval Latin Mansionile, meaning "little houses", from Latin mansio, of Germanic blanch, meaning "glossy, white", which gave French blanc and English blank. The name is interpreted by some as a reference to the houses of Le Blanc-Mesnil which were whitened due to the flour dust coming from the windmills located there in ancient times. One researcher, thinks that blanc had the meaning of "free" in Old French, so the name would mean "free mesnil, free village" because the villagers had been freed from serfdom. None of these interpretations is certain. Bondy Aulnay-sous-Bois Drancy Le Bourget Dugny Bonneuil-en-France in Val Gonesse. On 2 December 1792, a third of the territory of Aulnay was detached and became the commune of Le Blanc-Mesnil.
Parc d'activité du Coudray Zone industrielle de la Molette in Blanc-Mesnil and Drancy. It includes Centre Albert Einstein, created in 1987. Parc Modus Garonor Pont-Yblon Centre d'affaires international Paris Nord II Carré des Aviateurs Espace Descartes, for tourism business. Three hotels three stars, a Novotel hotel. Several French companies have their world headquarters such as Forclum and Sicli; the following political parties have a permanent base in Blanc-Mesnil: Parti Communiste Français Parti Socialiste Union for French Democracy Union for a Popular Movement Groupe des Verts Le Blanc-Mesnil is served by Le Blanc-Mesnil station on Paris RER line B. Le Blanc-Mesnil is served by Drancy station on Paris RER line B; this station, although administratively located on the territory of the neighboring commune of Drancy, is the closest from the town center of Le Blanc-Mesnil and is thus used by people in Le Blanc-Mesnil. The bus company provides 17 lines of buses to travel within the city. Ideally placed at the junction between the A1 and the A3.
2.5 km from Le Bourget airport, 7 km from Charles de Gaulle Airport and 4.5 km from Parc des Expositions de Villepinte, you will be ideally place to get to Parc Astérix and Disneyland as well as the centre of Paris and the Stade de France. Catholic churches: Église Notre-Dame, Église Saint-Charles, Église Sainte-Thérèse. Evangelic churches: Charisma église chrétienne The commune has the following schools: four preschools in the south, seven preschools in the centre of town, six preschools in the north, it has four elementary schools in the south, six elementary schools in the centre, six elementary schools in the north. Junior high schools: Collège Aimé et Eugénie Cotton Collège Descartes Collège Marcel Cachin Collège Nelson MandelaSenior high schools: Lycée Jean Moulin Lycée professionnel Aristide Briand Lycée Wolfgang Amadeus MozartThe Médiathèque Edouard Glissant/Bibliothèque Jacques Prévert serves as the municipal library. Jacques-Duclos Park Vineyards produces Clos blanc-mesnilois, a Chardonnay Vegetal wall of Forum culturel by Patrick Blanc Place de l'eau Jardin de Montillet Square Stalingrad Blanc-Mesnil Sports, founded in 2005, is the city's sport club.
Le Blanc-Mesnil is twinned with: Sandwell in the West Midlands region of the United Kingdom, Peterhof in Russia, Debre Berhan in Ethiopia, Beni Douala in Algeria. For fifteen years, twinning between le Blanc-Mesnil and Debre Berhan has been based on the development: water sanitation, construction of roads. In a rare spirit, that of a collaboration of equal to equal. Jérémy Abadie, footballer Amara Baby, footballer Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, hockey player Jonathan Biabiany, BMS Football Jean-Felix Dorothee, footballer Abdou Doumbia, footballer Morgaro Gomis, footballer Raphaël Guerreiro, footballer Sylvie Guillem, star dancer at Paris Opera Patrick Hernandez, famous singer of Born to Be Alive Mickael Marolany,footballer Fabien Marsaud, known as Grand Corps Malade, slam poet Fabrice N'Sakala, footballer Moussa Sissoko, footballer Ludovic Sylvestre, footballer Tristan Valentin, road bicycle racer Élisabeth Vonarburg, writer of science-fiction Communes of the Seine-Saint-Denis department INSEE Le Blanc-Mesnil et son passé, Ernest Soitel, 1969.
Histoire anecdotique de Blanc-Mesnil, Albert Galicier, 1973. Le Blanc-Mesnil des temps modernes: 1935-1985, 1986. Le Blanc-Mesnil, Pierre Bourgeade, Gilles Smadja, Jean-Pierre Vallorani, Françoise Vasseur, 1992. Le Blanc-Mesnil: citoyens de demain, Patrick Laigre et Jocelyne Héquet, 1993. Le Blanc-Mesnil: 2000 regards, Photographies de Luc Choquer, François Crignon, Erwan Guillard, 1999. Le Blanc-Mesnil, Christian Massart, 2005. Twinning between Le Blanc-Mesnil and Debré-Berhan. Official website Forum culturel Blog du Forum culturel
Pietrasanta is a town and comune on the coast of northern Tuscany in Italy, in the province of Lucca. Pietrasanta is part of Versilia, on the last foothills of the Apuan Alps, about 32 kilometres north of Pisa; the town is located 3 kilometres off the coast, where the frazione of Marina di Pietrasanta is located. The town has Roman origins and part of the Roman wall still exists; the medieval town was founded in 1255 upon the pre-existing "Rocca di Sala" fortress of the Lombards by Luca Guiscardo da Pietrasanta, from whom it got its name. Pietrasanta was at its height a part of the Republic of Genoa; the town is first mentioned in 1331 in records of Genoa, when it became a part of the Lucca along with the river port of Motrone, was held until 1430. At that time it passed back to Genoa until 1484, when it was annexed to the Medici held seigniory of Florence. In 1494, Charles VIII of France took control of the town, it remained a Luccan town again until Pope Leo X, a member of the Medici family, gave Pietrasanta back to his family.
The town suffered a long period of decline during the 17th and 18th centuries due to malaria. In 1841, Grand Duke Leopold II of Tuscany promoted several reconstruction projects; the town became the capital of the Capitanato di Pietrasanta, which included the towns of Forte dei Marmi and Stazzema. The town joined the newly unified Italian Kingdom in 1861. Cathedral of St. Martin. Sant'Agostino, Romanesque style former church, now seat of art exhibitions, it includes remnants of 14th-15th centuries frescoes. The Gothic Civic Tower. Column and Fountain of the Marzocco. Palazzo Panichi Carli. Palazzo Moroni, home to the local Archaeological Museum; the area, like most of Tuscany in general, has long enjoyed the patronage of artists. Pietrasanta grew to importance during the 15th century due to its connection with marble. Michelangelo was the first sculptor to recognize the beauty of the local stone. Eugenio Barsanti, together with Felice Matteucci invented the first version of the internal combustion engine in 1853 Ottavio Barsanti, New Zealand missionary and writer born in Pietrasanta Fernando Botero, Colombian painter and sculptor, lives in the commune Julia Vance, Norwegian Sculptor, lives in the commune Hanneke Beaumont, Dutch-born sculptor, lives in the commune Romano Cagnoni, Italian photographer, lives in the commune Giosuè Carducci and teacher.
He was best known for his opera Anton and Dorisse Silvia Gemignani, Olympic triathlete Kathleen Jones, English biographer and poet, lives in the commune Robert Kubica, Polish F1 driver, lives in the commune Leonardo Massoni, footballer Igor Mitoraj, Polish sculptor, lived in the commune David Philippaerts, Grand Prix motocross world champion Diego Romanini, race car driver Luca Tesconi, Olympic sport shooter Nicola Vizzoni, Olympic hammer thrower Pietrasanta is twinned with Écaussinnes, Belgium Grenzach-Wyhlen, Germany Villeparisis, France Zduńska Wola, Poland Montgomery, USA Utsunomiya, Japan Official website Pietrasanta Portal Video Introduction to Pietrasanta Downtown accommodation Ask for the Pietrasanta newsletter about Marble and Tourism
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