States of Germany: Saxony-Anhalt / Sachsen-Anhalt


Germany is a federal republic divided into 16 states. These states are called Bundesland(pl. Bundesländer) and each one of them has their fair share of places to visit and things to do. This series of posts titled “States of Germany” seeks to explore each state one by one and tell you a little bit about them. Feel free to post about things I have missed out on.


Saxony-Anhalt'’s location in Germany (left) and its coat of arms (right).

Saxony-Anhalt’’s location in Germany (left) and its coat of arms (right).

Last time, I posted about the state of Berlin. Our journey now continues into eastern Germany. This week, the state is Saxony-Anhalt which is located in north-eastern Germany. This deeply Prussian state is completely landlocked and borders four other German states: Brandenburg to the east, Lower Saxony to the west, Thuringia to the south and Saxony to the south-east. Also part of the former German Democratic Republic aka East Germany, this state used to be a border state between the two Germanys. The East German government partitioned the state in 1952. The state as it currently exists was formed in 1990 during the German Reunification. With a population of 2.2 million, Saxony-Anhalt is quite sparsely populated. Readers who have been reading my posts about German states would recall that most eastern states of the country are not as densely populated as their western counterparts but are rich in nature. Saxony-Anhalt is no exception. The capital of the state is the beautiful city of Magdeburg. The coat of arms of the state is a merger of the former coat of arms of the Prussian province of Saxony (top) and the free state of Anhalt (bottom). Continue reading

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States of Germany: Berlin


Germany is a federal republic divided into 16 states. These states are called Bundesland(pl. Bundesländer) and each one of them has their fair share of places to visit and things to do. This series of posts titled “States of Germany” seeks to explore each state one by one and tell you a little bit about them. Feel free to post about things I have missed out on.


Location of Berlin in Germany (left) and the state coat of arms (right).

Location of Berlin in Germany (left) and the state coat of arms (right).

After what seems to be a very long time, I am doing one of these posts again. Last time, I posted about the state of Brandenburg, which completely envelops Berlin. Berlin, which is my favorite state, also holds the distinction of being one of only three German city states: the other two being Hamburg and Bremen. It is also Germany’s largest city with a population of more than 3.5 million. Of course, Berlin is also Germany’s capital. The coat of arms of the city state is a bear with a five leaf crown on top. Continue reading

States of Germany: Brandenburg


Germany is a federal republic divided into 16 states. These states are called Bundesland(pl. Bundesländer) and each one of them has their fair share of places to visit and things to do. This series of posts titled “States of Germany” seeks to explore each state one by one and tell you a little bit about them. Feel free to post about things I have missed out on.


Brandenburg's location in Germany (left) and its coat of arms (right).

Brandenburg’s location in Germany (left) and its coat of arms (right).

This week, we continue our journey into eastern Germany and explore the state of Brandenburg. Brandenburg is the second of two German states completely enveloping another state; the first being Lower Saxony. Brandenburg completely envelops the city state of Berlin. It was also part of the former GDR (DDR in German) and – due to the GDR’s different system of administration – was constituted in 1990 after German reunification. The capital of Brandenburg is the beautiful city of Potsdam. The city has immense historical value and was important throughout German history. The city of Potsdam has a population of roughly 160,000 which is not bad for a state capital. The state of Brandenburg, on the other hand, is home to about 2.5 million people. The state seal is a March of Brandenburg (the name of the region during the times of the Holy Roman Empire) eagle on a white shield. Continue reading

States of Germany: Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania / Mecklenburg-Vorpommern


Germany is a federal republic divided into 16 states. These states are called Bundesland(pl. Bundesländer) and each one of them has their fair share of places to visit and things to do. This series of posts titled “States of Germany” seeks to explore each state one by one and tell you a little bit about them. Feel free to post about things I have missed out on.


Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's location in Germany (left) and its coat of arms (right).

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s location in Germany (left) and its coat of arms (right).

Last time we explored the German federal states state of Schleswig-Holstein. This week, we will check out the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. It holds the honor of being the first state I talk about which used to be part of the country formerly known as the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Yes, my blog is a status symbol now, deal with it. Needless to say, the GDR was quite undemocratic for a democratic republic. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania – I will hereby refer to it the German way by calling it Meck-Pomm – has one of the coolest state coat of arms; Harry Potter fans will appreciate this one specially. The coat of arms is divided into four parts: two parts make up the bull’s head of Mecklenburg on a field of yellow, and one part each is composed of the griffin of Pomerania and the eagle of Brandenburg to which the state has historical affiliations on fields of white. Very cool. Continue reading

States of Germany: Schleswig-Holstein


Germany is a federal republic divided into 16 states. These states are called Bundesland(pl. Bundesländer) and each one of them has their fair share of places to visit and things to do. This series of posts titled “States of Germany” seeks to explore each state one by one and tell you a little bit about them. Feel free to post about things I have missed out on.


Schleswig-Holstein's location in Germany (left) and its coat of arms (right).

Schleswig-Holstein’s location in Germany (left) and its coat of arms (right).

This week, I will post about the northernmost German state: Schleswig-Holstein. This state is known for its vast coastline with the North Sea on one side and the Baltic Sea on the other. Because of that, there is a significant nautical theme to the culture and way of life. The state comprises the historically German Holstein with the formerly Danish Southern Schleswig region. This is demonstrated in the state Coat of Arms as well which is halved with the blue Danish lions on a field of yellow on the left and the silver nettle leaf of Holstein on the right on a field of red. Legend has it that the lions used to face the other way but Otto von Bismarck had them switched around so that their bums wouldn’t be toward the Holstein side. Continue reading

States of Germany: Hamburg


Germany is a federal republic divided into 16 states. These states are called Bundesland(pl. Bundesländer) and each one of them has their fair share of places to visit and things to do. This series of posts titled “States of Germany” seeks to explore each state one by one and tell you a little bit about them. Feel free to post about things I have missed out on.


Location of Hamburg in Germany (left, with a red circle around it) and the state coat of arms (right).

Location of Hamburg in Germany (left, with a red circle around it) and the state coat of arms (right).

After my brief hiatus, I am back and my first post will be about the state of Hamburg. Hamburg holds the distinction of being one of the only two German city-states. Along with that Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city, the country’s main port and a vibrant social hub. The region which presently constitutes the city-state of Hamburg has been settled since the 9th century AD. For centuries, Hamburg sought to maintain its independence, uniqueness and determination. This is signified by the castle with a closed gate depicted on a field of red on the state’s coat of arms. Continue reading

States of Germany: Bremen


Germany is a federal republic divided into 16 states. These states are called Bundesland(pl. Bundesländer) and each one of them has their fair share of places to visit and things to do. This series of posts titled “States of Germany” seeks to explore each state one by one and tell you a little bit about them. Feel free to post about things I have missed out on.


Location of Bremen in Germany (left with the red circle around it) and the state coat of arms (right).

Location of Bremen in Germany (left with the red circle around it) and the state coat of arms (right).

This week we explore Bremen together. Bremen is the smallest of Germany’s states and is made up of the city of Bremen and the sea port enclave of Bremerhaven. Bremerhaven (literally meaning “Bremen’s Harbor”) is separated from Bremen by the state of Lower Saxony. Both of the aforementioned cities lie on the Weser River and Bremerhaven is situated where the river opens into the North Sea. Bremen is, as the German adage goes, klein aber fein (small but nice) and has a rich history through being part of the Hanseatic League which spanned all of Europe at its height and is still a source of pride for cities who used to be part of it. The state’s coat of arms dates back to 1366 and is a key on a red banner topped by a crown. Continue reading

States of Germany: Lower Saxony / Niedersachsen


Germany is a federal republic divided into 16 states. These states are called Bundesland(pl. Bundesländer) and each one of them has their fair share of places to visit and things to do. This series of posts titled “States of Germany” seeks to explore each state one by one and tell you a little bit about them. Feel free to post about things I have missed out on.


Lower Saxony's location in Germany (left) and its coat of arms (right).

Lower Saxony’s location in Germany (left) and its coat of arms (right).

The western state of Lower Saxony – called Niedersachsen in German – is located just north of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Lower Saxony is one of the two German states which completely surround another state. In this case, the state is Bremen. The state of Lower Saxony is a place of great natural and geographical shifts. The state has plains, a heath, mountains and the sea. Additionally, there are some really interesting cities as well. The present state of Lower Saxony was formed as a result of a merger between the former state of Hanover and several other smaller states. The coat of arms features a jumping white horse on a field of red.  Continue reading

States of Germany: North Rhine-Westphalia / Nordrhein-Westfalen


Germany is a federal republic divided into 16 states. These states are called Bundesland (pl. Bundesländer) and each one of them has their fair share of places to visit and things to do. This series of posts titled “States of Germany” seeks to explore each state one by one and tell you a little bit about them. Feel free to post about things I have missed out on.


The state of North Rhine Westphalia called Nordrhein-Westfalen in German is the place I call home and this is why the first post in this series is about this particular state. Referred to as NRW for short by most people, this state is the largest in terms of

population of all the German states. It is also considered the most multicultural and open-minded and has the largest

The location of NRW in Germany (left) and the state emblem of the state (right).

The location of NRW in Germany (left) and the state emblem of the state (right).

concentration of big cities in the country. NRW was formed post-World War 2 by the merger of the former Prussian administrative regions of the Rhineland, Westphalia and Lippe. This can be seen in the state emblem as well. The flowing river on the field of green signifies the Rhineland, the rearing horse Westphalia and the flower at the bottom, Lippe*. Continue reading