The 16 Länder
The Basic Law underlines the special role played by federalism and the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Article 20 (1)
The Federal Republic of Germany is a democratic and social federal state.
Except as otherwise provided or permitted by this Basic Law, the exercise of state powers and the discharge of state functions is a matter for the Länder.
The Länder are varied and distinctive in both organizational and cultural terms.
The following is a brief introduction to the 16 Länder:
An inventive spirit and vigour, hard work and thrift – that’s the Baden-Württembergers’ recipe for success.
The Bavarians’ pronounced sense of belonging to their state is rooted in their history, which goes back more than a thousand years.
Berlin – the divided city. That was the status quo after the 1948 blockade and the construction of the Wall in 1961.
In days gone by Brandenburg was the heart of Prussia; now it is a region fit for the future in a united Europe, with Berlin at its centre.
The "Free Hanseatic City of Bremen", encompassing Bremen and Bremerhaven, has been shaped by seafaring, trade and port activities.
Hamburg is Germany’s gateway to the world, the country’s largest maritime port and most important focal point for foreign trade.
Located right in the heart of the country, Hesse has one of the healthiest economies of all the German federal states.
In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, once known as the "state of castles and cottages", the landscape has a clear influence on the local people.
When West and East Germany were still divided, Lower Saxony was the federal state with the longest stretch (550 km) of the border separating the two states.
Rhineland Palatinate lies at the centre of Europe, right at the heart of that continent striving for ever-closer integration.
Saarland is a pioneer among the German federal states when it comes to progress towards a united Europe.
Saxony’s international historical reputation never stemmed primarily from military might, but was rooted instead in the peaceful development of trade, the economy, intellectual prowess and splendour.
The Free State of Saxony
Saxony-Anhalt, the federal state on the banks of the Elbe and Saale rivers, lies at the very heart of German history.
Schleswig-Holstein, lying between the North Sea and the Baltic, constitutes a link between the European Union, Scandinavia and the other states surrounding the Baltic Sea.