UsefulNotes/TheBerlinRepublic has sixteen states. The actual [[UsefulNotes/{{Germany}} German]] plural is (Bundes)Länder, but that's not very Wiki friendly.

Many of the current German states are very different from their namesakes as they existed in the [[UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany Imperial]] and/or [[UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic Weimar]] eras, when UsefulNotes/{{Prussia}} made up most of Germany. After UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, the Allies first broke up Prussia into smaller units, then merged small states to larger continuous units within the four zones of occupation. (If you go back before the 19th century, you'll need a bigger scorecard: there were ''[[UsefulNotes/AllTheLittleGermanies hundreds]]'' of tiny principalities and duchies, almost all of which were for practical purposes completely independent autocracies.[[note]]There were a few dozen cities that were run on old-style republican lines. By the end of the Napoleonic wars, only four were left: Frankfurt, Lübeck, Bremen and Hamburg.[[/note]])

Then the Allies split up, and the [[UsefulNotes/WestGermany two]] [[UsefulNotes/EastGermany Germanies]] were formed. The differences between then and now are that in the West what is now known as Baden-Württemberg was originally three separate states until their merger in 1952, and Saarland was a French protectorate until 1956, while in the East, the states were broken into districts and were only restored - with slightly different borders - upon reunification. A very few mostly tiny territorial adjustments have since taken place, but despite earnest efforts by different sides, no wholesale redrawing of borders has occurred and neither have proposals to merge or split up states.

Still, regional and local identities based on historic territories, some of them going back to the UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire, abound.

The political terminology of Germany may be a bit confusing for strangers (especially Americans), so here is some help on how to talk correctly about it.
* Germany as a whole:
** The word ''Bund'' (Federation) is mostly used in contexts that focus on the relationship between the federal government and the governments of the Länder and referring to federal agencies. When there still was military conscription, the armed forces (''Bundeswehr'') was colloquially referred to as ''der Bund''.
** ''Staat'' (State) is often used as a synonym for "government". The term is somewhat ambiguous, as it can also refer to Länder. Note that the official German word for nationality is ''Staatsangehörigkeit'' (roughly: "state membership") and in its citizenship aspect it is ''Staatsbürgerschaft'' ("state citizenship"). In the Federal Republic of Germany, both can only be German, not e. g. Bavarian or Hessian.
** The word ''Nation'' is mostly used in historical context for the ''Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation'' (Holy Roman Empire of German Nation). Occasionally it crops up in colloquial use, for instance football striker Gerd Müller was known as the ''Bomber der Nation''.
** The word ''Republik'' can be used, but sometimes you have to make clear that you are not referring to the UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic or the GDR. The word ''Bundesrepublik'' (federal republic) tends to be unambiguous.
** ''Land'' on its own is usually avoided because of ambiguities towards federal states.
** From the Enlightenment until UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, the word ''Reich'' (Empire, a cognate to "realm", so to speak) is used; this is also true for the UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic in spite of its republican nature. For most of legal history, ''Reich'' and ''Bund'' were interchangeable.
* The (Bundes-)Länder: ''Land'' is the most common and neutral word, often in the form of ''Bundesland'' to fully eliminate ambiguities. Using ''Staat'' is complicated.
** The states of ''Bayern'' (Bavaria), ''Sachsen'' (Saxony) and ''Thüringen'' (Thuringia) bear the title ''Freistaat'' (free state), meaning nothing else but having a pre-war legacy when almost any state of the UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic was either called ''Freistaat'' or ''Volksstaat'' (literally "people's state", not yet bearing communist connotations) in contrast to the cookie-cutter states than came to prominence after the war under Allied occupation that are universally named ''Land [insert random state name here]''.
** Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen are collectively known as the three ''Stadtstaaten'' (city-states). Hamburg and Bremen, befitting republics that predate the Weimar Republic, jealously guard the official titles they gave themselves after UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars: Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (''Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg'') and Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (''Freie Hansestadt Bremen''). Berlin, which only became a political entity of its own due to the Allied occupation of 1945 and the dissolution of the former Free State of Prussia in 1947, is merely called a ''Land''.
** Other than that, the title has absolutely no meaning, but it is technically possible to call them states. In German, some officials and agencies of a ''Land'' can have the prefix ''Staats-'' in their official title (e. g. the ''Staatsministerium'' of Baden-Württemberg is the office of the ''Minsterpräsident''), while some of those of a ''Freistaat'' may contain the prefix ''Land-'' (e. g. the legislature of Saxony is called the ''Landtag''). In English it is not uncommon to call the ''Länder'' states, as their relationship to the central government is similar enough to that in other federal republics like the United States.

This entry also covers the other major cities of Germany that aren't {{UsefulNotes/Berlin}} or {{UsefulNotes/Bonn}}.

In German language order

->'''Capital (and largest city):''' Stuttgart\\
'''Area:''' 35,752km
'''Population (2012):''' 10,569,111

What is now known as Baden-Württemberg was actually three states -- Württemberg-Hohenzollern, (South) Baden, and Württemberg-Baden -- until their merger in 1952. Notable for precision mechanics, some famous universities, and [[BreadEggsMilkSquick banning Muslim female teachers from wearing headscarves]]. Used to be ruled consistently by the CDU (which often won absolute majorities), but in Spring 2011 it became the first state to have a ''Ministerpräsident'' from the Green Party.

Baden-Württemberg is noted for innovative businessmen, scientists, and engineers, and also for very thick accents. One of their business slogans some time ago was "Wir können alles. Außer Hochdeutsch" ("We can do anything. Except [speak] [[UsefulNotes/GermanLanguage Standard German]].")[[note]]According to the German-language chapter of Wiki/{{Wikipedia}}, the ad agency behind the slogan first offered it to Saxony, which declined.[[/note]]

(Alemannic) Badeners and (Swabian) Württembergers tend to regard themselves as totally different people. There is also the small territory of Hohenzollern which used to belong to Prussia and contains the eponymous castle, which was the ancestral seat of the same-named royal family.

One of the state's best-known geographic features is the Black Forest (Schwarzwald), home of ''Kirschwasser'' (known as ''kirsch'' in English), ''Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte'' (a type of rich cake, made with ''Kirschwasser'') and cuckoo clocks. The latter were falsely credited to Switzerland by Orson Welles in the film ''Film/TheThirdMan''.
* '''Stuttgart:''' State capital and former capital of the Kingdom of Württemberg. Where the four-wheeled automobile was invented, it is the home of Porsche and Mercedes. More recently the city gained attention for its train station to be rebuilt. [[note]]Due to the RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement, let's just say you're welcome to google "Stuttgart 21".[[/note]]
* '''Freiburg im Breisgau:''' Literally, "free castle". Notable for its university, having the warmest regular temperature in Germany, and being a bastion of Catholicism and in more recent times the Green Party, having been under UsefulNotes/{{Austria}}n rule until 1805. It already featured in Creator/JohnLeCarre's ''The Little Drummer Girl''.
* '''Heidelberg:''' Home of the oldest university in the country, Heidelberg was the capital of the Palatinate until the French burnt it down in one of Louis XIV's wars. The town is also strongly associated with the 19th-century image of boisterous German student life, thanks in large part to Wilhelm Meyer-Foerster's play ''Alt-Heidelberg'' (which was adapted into the operetta ''The Student Prince''). Popular with American tourists and servicemen, at least in part because the town hosted the US Army, Europe HQ until 2013.
* '''Karlsruhe:''' Translates to "Karl's resting place". Former capital of Baden (grand duchy, then republic), now seat of the Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional Court), the national high judiciary. Karlsruhe is a planned city with a hybrid radial/grid pattern reminiscent of UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC (both being designed in the 18th century under the principles of the Enlightenment). Karlsruhe is also noted for the "Karlsruhe model" of transportation, a form of light rail in which trams run underground in the city center, at street level in other places, and on intercity tracks for nearly a hundred kilometers in every direction outside of the city, has become increasingly popular elsewhere (for instance, it's the model for the [[UsefulNotes/NorthEastEngland Tyne & Wear Metro]]).
* '''Mannheim:''' In its heyday a modern fortress-city, it became the new capital of the Palatinate after the sacking of Heidelberg. Was an important centre for music and theatre in the 18th century -- Friedrich Schiller's first plays were first performed at the city theatre, and Music/WolfgangAmadeusMozart met his wife here. In the course of territorial redistributions during the wars of the French Revolution the city was allotted to Baden. Also nicknamed "the city where the streets have no names" because its inner city has a chessboard-like grid and its blocks are labeled by a letter and a number.
* '''Tübingen:''' Another university town, with about one in three of its population being a student. Also notable for its population having the youngest average age of any German city (a spry 39)
* '''Ulm:''' During the UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire Ulm was the largest free city by area, and its minster (the largest church) features the tallest Gothic steeple in the world. UsefulNotes/AlbertEinstein was born here. Neu-Ulm is just across the state-line in Bavaria but much smaller.

!Bayern (Bavaria)
->'''Capital (and largest city):''' Munich\\
'''Area:''' 70,549km
'''Population (2012):''' 12,519,571

Formally known as "Freistaat Bayern" ("Free State of Bavaria"). Home to Lederhosen, the real ''{{Oktoberfest}}'' and a certain [[UsefulNotes/ThePope Joseph Ratzinger]].

Historically a state on its own, it's been joked that it's not part of Germany[[note]]Though not to the separatist ''Bayernpartei''[[/note]]. Many [=NGOs=] have a separate branch in Bavaria, and the place has its own CDU, the CSU, which has run Bavaria almost without interruption (there was an SPD-led government 1954-57) since ''1946'' -- usually with electoral ''majorities''.

A not inconsiderable part of the state only became Bavarian during the UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution and UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars (Bavarian rulers were made kings by Napoleon). The inhabitants of these regions are sometimes jokingly called "Beutebayern" (booty Bavarians) and retain distinct regional identities. After UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, many German emigrants from Czechoslovakia settled here, and thus in political rhetoric it is customary to speak of the "four tribes" of Bavaria -- Bavarians, Franconians, Swabians and Sudeten Germans.

BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke, or in English, Bavarian Motor Works), of course, comes from here.

Also home of one of Germany's [[EiffelTowerEffect most well-known tourist attractions]], Neuschwanstein Castle, build by King UsefulNotes/LudwigIIOfBavaria.
* '''[[UsefulNotes/{{Munich}} München (Munich)]]'''
* '''Augsburg:''' The largest city in Bavarian Swabia, a former Free City founded by the Romans and named after the Emperor UsefulNotes/{{Augustus}} (Augusta Vindelicorum). Augsburg was home to the wealthy Fugger family (financiers to Emperor Charles V), important to the Protestant movement for the Augsburg Confession, which set in stone the tenets of the Lutheran Church, and other things, many of which happened at the Imperial Diets that were held here. Creator/BertoltBrecht came from here and spoke with a noticeable Augsburg accent all his life.
* '''Bayreuth:''' Former capital of a principality ruled by a branch of the Hohenzollerns, later home to Music/RichardWagner and the festival he founded. In 2011, its (actually very young) university gained attention for a plagiarism affair about then defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (who, turns out, was heir to an old Franconian noble family and married to a great-great granddaughter of UsefulNotes/OttoVonBismarck...''very'' bad form...).
* '''Coburg:''' Former capital of the (Thuringian) duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and home to the ruling house of Belgium and the United Kingdom (now renamed "Windsor", after said branch's favorite castle in Berkshire, in response to anti-German sentiments at the wake of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI), this town by referendum opted to join Bavaria, not the new Thuringia in 1920 (which came into Soviet influence later in the century).
* '''Erlangen''' Described as Bavaria's smallest city, it houses a university founded in the 18th century and some industry. Unusually for that part of Germany the town centre is built according to a rectangular planned grid. It belonged to the Margraviate of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, ruled by a side-branch of the Hohenzollern family, and was completely rebuilt at the beginning of the 18th century to house Huguenot refugees from Louis XIV's France. Erlangen hosts the most important German comics convention, the Comic Salon, every even-numbered year. Due in part to the aforementioned grid which is nowadays mostly one way streets (for cars), Erlangen is one of the most bike friendly cities of Germany, fighting with Münster for the number one spot. After a controversial 2016 ballot measure, Erlangen is set to build a light rail line (locally known as "Stadt Umland Bahn") to neighboring Nuremberg and Herzogenaurach (the city of Adidas and Puma). Music/{{JBO}} is from here, which they mention about twice in every song.
* '''Ingolstadt:''' An old university town (among whose famous fictional alumni was a certain [[Literature/{{Frankenstein}} Victor Frankenstein]]). Adam Weishaupt, lecturer in philosophy and church law, founded the ''[[TheIlluminati Illuminatenorden]]'' here in 1776, but was dissolved in 1785 by order of the Bavarian government. Also home to Audi, a sub-chapter of Volkswagen that provided a certain [[Film/IRobot Will Smith movie]] with a CoolCar prototype.
* '''Nürnberg (Nuremberg):''' The former Free City, the de facto capital of the Franconia region, is home to artist Albrecht Dürer, shoemaker and poet Hans Sachs, and [[BreadEggsMilkSquick Julius Streicher]]. Historically one of the major centers of German economy, being on a major trade route and mining region, Nürnberg was home to several banking institutions (including Fuggers and Welsers, who moved from Augsburg), and in the 16th century, was said to have citizens eating better than the King of Scotland.[[note]]Mind you, Scotland ''was'' a bit of a backwater then, but not ''that'' much...[[/note]] It has also long been a center for innovation -- the world's first watches appeared here around 1510, and the first German railway was built in 1835 leading to neighboring Fürth (Henry Kissinger's native town). UsefulNotes/WorldWarII buffs may also remember it as the site where the Nazis held their rallies, one of which enacted the infamous Race Laws, and where the victorious Allies later held their war crimes trials, chosen both because of its pristine (read: undestroyed) courthouse and to serve as a symbolic KarmicDeath to Nazism. On a lighter note, it's also world famous for its Christmas market. ''[[Music/RichardWagner The Mastersingers of Nuremberg]]'', ''Film/TriumphOfTheWill'', and ''JudgmentAtNuremberg'' are set here. Nuremberg also shares its university with nearby Erlangen. Served by the UsefulNotes/NurembergUBahn. One of only three cities in Germany to have both a "real" U-Bahn, a Straßenbahn ''and'' an S-Bahn. The other two are Berlin and Munich. Hamburg has an U-Bahn and a S-Bahn but no Straßenbahn.

->'''Area:''' 892km
'''Population (2012):''' 3,415,091

''For more information, see the above entry.''

The capital and largest city of the modern German nation.

Until 1990, The eastern half was capital of UsefulNotes/EastGermany, while the other half, due to its ambiguous legal status, couldn't vote in West German elections (although its citizens, like Chancellor Willy Brandt, could stand elsewhere) and had 20 non-voting representatives in the Bundestag instead). Starting 1956, it did issue license plates in the standard (then-)West German format (B; sometimes Germans use these as a shorthand for city names in other places, like Internet forums, incidentally).

->'''Capital:''' Potsdam\\
'''Area:''' 29,479km
'''Population (2012):''' 2,449,511

Entirely surrounding Berlin, it was recreated in 1990, having been broken up by East Germany.

Historically the Margraviate of Brandenburg, it was an important part - one of the seven original Electorats - of the Holy Roman Empire and became the nucleus of Prussia; until UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, Brandenburg also extended beyond the Oder. The southeastern corner of the state, ''Niederlausitz'' ("Lower Lusatia"), is home to the Sorbs, a Slavic minority with a language of their own (Sorbian, not to be confused with Serbian; it's closely related to Polish, Czech, and Slovak).

Before it became the core of the kingdom of Prussia, Brandenburg was considered one of the poorer regions of Germany, nicknamed ''des Heiligen Reiches Streusandbüchse'' ("the blotting-sand box of the Holy Empire") because to visitors it seemed to consist of little but woods, swamps and sandy ground. Until the 20th century Berlin was Brandenburg's largest city, then it became a political entity of its own.
* '''Potsdam:''' The state capital, Potsdam was a town turned into a park city by the rulers of Brandenburg amidst woods and lakes, and was a favored residence of Prussian royalty, who built several palaces there, amongst which was the one where [[UsefulNotes/HarryTruman Truman]], [[UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill Churchill]] (and later [[UsefulNotes/ClementAttlee Attlee]]) and [[UsefulNotes/JosefStalin Stalin]] held the Potsdam Conference, talking over the fate of post-WWII Germany and how to wind up the war against Japan. Potsdam is also home to the oldest large-scale film studios in the world, Babelsberg Studios, where ''Film/{{Metropolis}}'' and ''Film/VForVendetta'' were filmed.
* '''Brandenburg an der Havel:''' Originally a Slavic fortified town, later the site of a medieval cathedral which gave its name to the margraviate. Birthplace of Creator/{{Loriot}}.
* '''Cottbus:''' Known as "Chósebuz" in Sorbian, Cottbus is Brandenburg's second-largest city and center of Lower Lusatia.
* '''Frankfurt an der Oder:''' Not to be confused with the bigger and more important one in Hesse, Frankfurt an der Oder unsuccessfully applied to become Brandenburg's capital, and is divided by the Oder river from its eastern suburb, now the Polish city of Slubice. Brandenburg is home to an old university, which in 1810 was moved to Breslau (now Wroclaw) but which was founded anew in 1991. The dramatist Heinrich von Kleist was born here. And the boxer Henry Maske as well.
* '''Oranienburg:''' Just north of Berlin, it is home to a rather charming palace. Also home to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

->'''Area:''' 408km
'''Population (2012):''' 660,999

One of the city-states of Germany, Freie Hansestadt Bremen ("Free Hanseatic City of Bremen"), as it is formally known, is actually two separate areas -- Bremen proper and the port city of Bremerhaven. Unlike Berlin, which only became a city-state after dismemberment of Prussia at the end of World War II, Bremen and Hamburg were autonomous and self-ruled ''Reichsstädte'', even during the Holy Roman Empire, and thus have a republican tradition going back to the middle ages. From 1945 to 1949, Bremen was an American enclave in the British zone of occupation as the American forces used Bremerhaven as their main port.

With "Literature/TheBremenTownMusicians", this city even has its own FairyTale. Well, sort of, considering that [[spoiler:the protagonists, who went on a journey to Bremen, actually never arrive there. (Don't worry, nothing bad happened to them, they just changed their plans.)]] At Bremen's town hall, there is a neat statue of those four intrepid animals.

->'''Area:''' 755km
'''Population (2013):''' 1,751,775

Formally known as Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg ("Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg"), Hamburg is the second-largest German city. Its citizens are called Hamburgers, the word for the food item actually coming via the city's name.

Best known for its parks, being a major port and the Reeperbahn. The latter, a famous red-light district and the largest in Europe, was where Music/TheBeatles had their first gigs before they were global sensations. It (Hamburg, not the Reeperbahn) is also the seat of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, aka the International Maritime Court.

As the largest seaport in Germany (and, according to the slogan, "Gateway to the World"), Hamburg has been considered the nation's most cosmopolitan city for centuries. It also has a long tradition of welcoming religious refugees, at least when Hamburgers believed they could help increase trade and industry. Thus the 16th century saw the immigration of Dutch Protestants, in the 17th, that of Sephardic Jews from Iberia and Huguenots from France, and in the 18th, exiles from Revolutionary France. Since Elizabethan times there has also been an English community after some Merchant Adventurers set up the ''English Court'' (closed by the French during UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars), giving Hamburg a strong Anglophile tradition. Its proximity to Hannover, which was [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfHanover ruled by the same king as Britain for over 120 years]], reinforced the cultural connection in the 18th-19th centuries. After World War II, Hamburg was taken by the British, and it still celebrates a "British Day" on 5-6 September, complete with their own take on the Proms. For a city well-known for its business edge, Hamburg hasn't lost its cultural life -- it has the oldest civic opera in Germany, which boasted Händel, Telemann, and Mahler in its staff.

Hamburg was a major setting in ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies'' and ''Backbeat'', and was the original starting point of Creator/JulesVerne's ''Voyage to the Centre of the Earth''.

!Hessen (Hesse)
->'''Capital:''' Wiesbaden\\
'''Largest City:''' Frankfurt am Main\\
'''Area:''' 21,100km
'''Population (2012):''' 6,016,481

Hessen is the source of an alternative name for [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burlap Burlap]]. Many of the German "mercenaries" who fought for the British during the UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution were from Hesse, and thus the Americans called all such German troops "Hessians" even if they weren't actually from the Hessian states.[[note]]In reality, they weren't mercenaries, either; most of them were actually regular soldiers in the army of some German prince or other whom the British paid to "lend" some regiments--a common practice at the time. Some of "Hessians" weren't even "rent-a-regiments" like this; they were Hanoverians, serving in the army of the Elector of Hannover, who happened to be the same person as George III of Great Britain; these however did not serve in America, but in the defence of Gibraltar.[[/note]] Home to Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and thus often associated with fairy tales to some degree.
* '''Wiesbaden:''' State capital, former capital of Nassau, and home to the US 1st Armored Division, it's on the opposite side of the Rhine to Mainz, another state capital. Famous for its spas -- it does have "baden" (baths) in its name after all. This is also the first city to get nuked in ''Film/TheDayAfter''.
* '''Frankfurt am Main''': Largest city of the state and the center of German (and continental European) finance,[[note]]The center of all European finance is of course the City of UsefulNotes/{{London}}[[/note]] being home to both a stock exchange and the European Central Bank. The city was also the last coronation site of Holy Roman emperors from the 16th century onwards, and was host to the national convention amidst the [[UsefulNotes/RevolutionsOf1848 abortive republican revolution of 1848-1849]]. Frankfurt is also the only German city with a true skyline, and its airport is the country's largest. Frankfurt was an independent city-state until the war of 1866 when it was conquered and annexed by Prussia. It lost out on becoming (temporary) capital of Germany against Bonn in 1949, in part because Frankfurt was too important and the politicians deciding the issue wanted to avoid a "final" decision on a capital other than Berlin and partly because Konrad Adenauer had a house near Bonn, which ultimately won.
* '''Darmstadt:''' Former capital of the Grand Duchy of Hesse and one of the centers of Art Nouveau (''Jugendstil'') in Germany. Seat of a technical university with a physics institute specializing in heavy elements (element 110 is called Darmstadtium). Butt of many toilet-humour puns ("Darm" is German for "intestines").
* '''Fulda:''' One of the oldest cathedral cities in Germany; St. Boniface, the "Apostle of the Germans" is buried here. Very Catholic.
* '''Kassel:''' Largest city in Northern Hesse and home to the Creator/TheBrothersGrimm. The ''documenta'', one of the world's most important exhibition of contemporary art, has been held here every four, later five years since 1955.
* '''Limburg:''' A cathedral town on the Lahn river which got into the headlines due to the extravagant amount of money spent on the refurbishing of his residence by bishop Tebartz-van Elst, who was forced to resign from office in 2014.
* '''Nassau:''' In the former principality of that name, the original home of the House of Orange. Also the birthplace of the Prussian reformer Karl Freiherr vom und zum Stein.

->'''Capital:''' Schwerin\\
'''Largest City:''' Rostock\\
'''Area:''' 23,174km
'''Population (2009):''' 1,652,000

Formerly in UsefulNotes/EastGermany, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern [[note]]although Vorpommern has always been translated as "Western Pomerania", the more accurate name would be '''Hither Pomerania''' or '''Cispomerania''', both were formerly used as variant names in English[[/note]] is the result of the merger between the former Grand Duchies of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz, along with majority of western half of the Prussian province of Pomerania. "Majority" is the keyword here, since the historically Western Pomeranian cities of Stettin, Swinemünde, and Pölitz were given to Poland after UsefulNotes/WorldWarII and were promptly renamed Szczecin, Świnoujście, and Police, respectively.

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern contains the remains of Germany's long Baltic coastline; despite this, it is still a premier holiday destination thanks to Rügen and the charming seaside towns which contain marvelous examples of Brick Gothic architecture. Much of Vorpommern was part of Sweden from the UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar to the Napoleonic Wars, including Greifswald, Stralsund and Germany's biggest island, the aformentioned Rügen. Both Germany's current heads of state come from the state, with [[UsefulNotes/TheChancellorsOfGermany Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel]] raised in northern Brandenburg near the border with M-V, and has represented the district Stralsund-Nordvorpommern-Rügen in the Bundestag since reunification; and [[UsefulNotes/ThePresidentsofGermany Federal President Joachim Gauck]], a former Lutheran pastor born and raised in Rostock who later became an anti-communist activist during the UsefulNotes/HoleInFlag revolutions, and later becoming head of the government agency responsible for investigating the crimes of UsefulNotes/TheStasi after German Reunification.

Like most of Germany east of the Elbe, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern used to be populated by various Slavic nations until the Germans moved in during the Middle Ages, intermingling with locals and making it culturally their own. Of these regions Mecklenburg is perhaps the one that took the greatest pride in its Slavic roots. Its ducal house was that of the princes of the Obotrites; George III's consort Charlotte[[note]]Which is why some Americans and Canadians might find the name familiar: the former because Charlotte, NC was named for the Queen, and Mecklenburg County in which it sits was named for her House; the latter because some islands off the coast of British Columbia were named Queen Charlotte Islands after the queen, although it was recently renamed into ''Haida Gwaii'' as a reconciliatory gesture towards the local Native American residents.[[/note]] and Prussian Queen Louise both came from this house, specifically its Mecklenburg-Strelitz branch.
* '''Schwerin:''' State capital, best-known for its castle, which once housed the Schwerin branch of the Dukes of Mecklenburg, and now host of the state parliament.
* '''Rostock:''' Largest city in the state, home to one of the world's oldest universities, and a member of the UsefulNotes/HanseaticLeague. The most notable resident was aircraft designer Ernst Heinkel, the most famous son of the town was Field Marshal Blücher.
* '''Greifswald:''' Hanseatic City, seat of an old university and birthplace of the Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich.
* '''Neubrandenburg:''' New Brandenburg in German. Basically what a city-sized Renaissance fair would look like, with its Medieval Brick Gothic architecure relatively preserved and complete with its own city walls.
* '''Neustrelitz:''' Capital of the old Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, on which the town is full of Baroque architecture.
* '''Peenemünde:''' The town where the Nazis tested their V-2 rockets, on which the technology used would become instrumental in developing the Saturn family rockets used by NASA; consequently, this is where the world's first CCTV system was used for the purpose of guarding the missiles.
* '''Stralsund:''' Old Hanseatic City, famous for resisting against Wallenstein in a siege during the Thirty Years War.
* '''Wismar:''' Yet another old Hanseatic port city which was a Swedish semi-enclave in Mecklenburg from the Thirty Years War until 1903, this one became famous as ''Film/{{Nosferatu}}'' was filmed there; along with Lübeck, the city also served as the basis for the film's fictional setting of ''Wisborg''. Ironically, while the Creator/WernerHerzog homage was explicitly set in Wismar, he filmed his version in the Netherlands as a stand-in due to the city being part of UsefulNotes/EastGermany at that time.

!Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony)
->'''Capital (and largest city):''' Hanover\\
'''Area:''' 47,62km
'''Population (2012):''' 7,774,253

When "the Saxons" are mentioned in regard to DarkAgeEurope (as in the Anglo-Saxons), this is the centre of where they are from (however, the ancient Saxon lands also included Westphalia, Hamburg and Bremen, and extended as far north as Holstein). The later Kingdom and current state of Saxony (whose inhabitants are also called Saxons) is located in an entirely different part of Germany (the former margravate of Meissen); however, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Saxony form a belt running northwest-southeast across northern Germany. VW is based in the Lower Saxon city of Wolfsburg.

The duchy, then electorate, then kingdom, then Prussian province of Hannover was integrated into this Land (that's where [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfHanover George I]] came from)
Also home to the Scorpions.

Contains Ostfriesen, the ButtMonkey of many German Jokes.
-> "''Why do all East Frisians have flat heads? Because the toilet seats always fall on them while they drink out of the toilet bowl.''"

Fun fact for nerds: Creator/JRRTolkien's ancestors moved from Niedersachsen to England in the 18th century. Their ancestral name "Tollkühn'" means "foolhardy" in the local dialect. There are still a fair number of Tolkiens (and variants) running around the area.
* '''Hannover (Hanover):''' Spelt with one "n" in English, Hannover is home to philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (honoured in the name of a popular biscuit produced by the local Bahlsen factory), Dadaist artist/writer Kurt Schwitters, [[BreadEggsMilkSquick and serial killer Haarmann]]. Noted for being the one place in Germany "without an accent," the local [[UsefulNotes/GermanDialects dialect]] being indistinguishable from Standard German. Also reputed to be boring. This leads to an old joke: "To learn true Standard German, you must go to Hannover. The problem is...[[PlaceWorseThanDeath you'd be in Hannover]]."
* '''Bodenwerder:''' A small place on the Weser River, home to [[TheMunchausen Hieronymus Freiherr von Münchhausen]].
* '''Braunschweig (Brunswick):''' Braunschweig was the capital of the same-named Duchy. The Low German form of its name was used by the Guelph branch that ruled in Britain as the House of Hanover (officially the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg, hence the name of the Canadian province of New Brunswick as well as other "New Brunswick"s in North America, e.g. the town in New Jersey where the main campus of Rutgers is). Brunswick was the first city in Germany where football was played according to the Association Rules ("Soccer"). Although [[UsefulNotes/GermanPeculiarities most German towns and regions have associated forms of sausage]], Braunschweig lends its name to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braunschweiger a particularly internationally famous form of liver sausage]]. Braunschweig is also home to the most successful UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball team[[note]] For reasons of sponsorship called "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Yorker_Lions New Yorker Lions]]"[[/note]] in Germany - half the national team plays for them.
* '''Göttingen:''' Seat of a very famous university founded in 1737 by George II of Hanover and Great Britain. Many famous scholars and scientists lived, learned and taught here, including Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (mathematician and writer of aphorisms), Carl Friedrich Gauss (mathematician and inventor of an early electric telegraph), Philipp Reis (builder of the first telephone), and many others. In 1837 seven professors protested against King Ernst August abolishing the Hanoverian constitution and were subsequently relieved of their post -- among their ranks were [[Creator/TheBrothersGrimm brothers Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm]].
* '''Hameln (Hamelin):''' A small town known almost exclusively for [[Literature/ThePiedPiperOfHamelin a certain (fictional) musician who passed through there]].
* '''Wilhelmshaven:''' The main port of the German Navy on the North Sea was founded in the 19th century as a Prussian enclave in the Duchy of Oldenburg. Sailors gave it the uncomplimentary nickname "Schlicktaun" (mud town). After World War II it became a major tanker port.
* '''Wolfsburg:''' One of the youngest cities of Germany, founded only in the 1930s to house the workers of the Volkswagen plant - the city's original name being literally just ''Stadt des KDF-Wagens bei Fallersleben''[[note]]City of the Strength-Through-Joy-Car near Fallersleben[[/note]]. To this day the only thing most people associate the place with is VW - German carspotters consider any non-VW product with a WOB license plate worthy of a picture - and in a way it is still a company with a city in it and not the other way round. Fallersleben, a now annexed suburb is also the home of Hoffman von Fallersleben (no, not [[BlueBlood that kind of von]]) who wrote the German national anthem
!Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia)
->'''Capital:''' Düsseldorf\\
'''Largest City:''' Cologne\\
'''Area:''' 34,084km
'''Population (2012):''' 17,554,329

Nordrhein-Westfalen is the most populous and, arguably, richest state in Germany. Although the Rhine-Ruhr Area is a massive conurbation (over 10 million residents), 52% of the state is actually agricultural.

North-Rhine-Westphalia was created by fusing three territories belonging to the British zone of occupation: the northern part of the Prussian province of Rhineland (the silver river on green in the state arms), the Prussian province of Westphalia (the white Saxon horse on red), and the former principality of Lippe (red rose on white). In order to get Lippe to join, its capital Detmold was made the seat of administration of the north-eastern district (''Bezirk'') of the new state, known as ''Ostwestfalen-Lippe'' (East Westphalia-Lippe). The divide between Rhineland and Westphalia is still considered important, even though the Ruhr Area contains both Rhenish and Westphalian cities and even though both the Rhineland and Westphalia are divided into deeply Catholic and deeply Protestant areas. As the Cologne-bases comedian Jürgen Becker quipped, in the Rhineland the Protestants are more Catholic than those in Westphalia, while Westphalian Catholics are more Protestant than their Rhenish brethren. Which may account for the fact that Carnival in the Catholic parts of Westphalia is considered staid and a little boring compared to that in the Rhineland (especially Cologne and Düsseldorf).

Lippe considers itself as something apart from Westphalia these days, even though it is situated within the bounds of historic Westphalia, the western subdivision of early medieval Saxony. However, the principality of Lippe maintained its independence after UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars (when most of Westphalia, apart from those territories that now belong to Lower Saxony, became part of Prussia) and is also one of the few regions of Germany where Calvinism predominates (while the rest of Westphalia was divided into Catholic and Lutheran areas). Westphalians retaliate by making jokes about the Lippers' tightfistedness, which are very similar to the jokes told about Scots by the English or Dutchmen by Belgians. The Peace of Westphalia that ended the UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar and invented the modern concept of the sovereign state was signed here after a five-year PeaceConference; specifically, it consisted of two treaties, those of Münster and Osnabrück (now part of Niedersachsen).

The Rhineland part of North-Rhine-Westphalia consists of the former territories of various minor duchies and counties, the larger part of Electorate and Archbishopric of Cologne, and the former Free Imperial Cities of Cologne and Aachen. A lot of people in the Rhineland and Westphalia like to stress that their mentality is different from the [[UsefulNotes/{{Prussia}} Prussian]] one and that they only became part of that state in 1815. This does not apply as much to those parts of the state that had been part of the monarchy since before the Margraviate of Brandenburg became the Kingdom of Prussia, e. g. the area around Wesel on the Lower Rhine and the counties of Mark (with Bochum) and Minden-Ravensberg (Most of what is today the Northern part of Ostwestfalen, Bielefeld, Herford, Minden-Lübbecke).
* '''Düsseldorf:''' The state capital and home to the world's largest digital clock. Two of its most famous natives are Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII, and fashion designer Claudia Schiffer. Close by is the Neandertal (Old Spelling: Neanderthal) where some very well-known prehistoric human fossils were found. ''Manga/{{Monster}}'' is also set in the city (most likely due to the fact that the city has one of the largest Japanese communities in Europe), as is ''Series/AufWiedersehenPet'' (first series).
* '''Aachen:''' Also known as "Aken" in Dutch, "Aix-la-Chapelle" in French, "Akwizgran" in Polish, and "Oche" in the local dialect, there seems to be a different name for Aachen in every language but English (which uses the Standard German version--except in older works, which might use the French). An old Imperial city, Aachen was a famous spa town since Roman times, was the favourite residence of Charlemagne, and site of coronation of most Holy Roman emperors until the 16th century. Sitting directly on the Dutch and Belgian borders, Aachen was the first city to be taken by the US Army in 1944. Nowadays tries to "break free" of the weight of all that history by wholeheartedly embracing the future, i.e. toting the banners of RWTH Aachen University as though the school already owns half the place. It's essentially supposed to be (and is advertised as) a German counterpart to MIT or the Russian MIPT -- while considered the best of all German universities in the various engineering fields and one of the best in the hard sciences, it's not quite there yet.
* '''Bielefeld:''' [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bielefeld_Conspiracy Does not exist]]... or so the internet would like you to believe. In fact, the rumor of its non-existence is almost the only thing mentioned about it [[https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Bielefeld on its Wikivoyage page]]. The pharma watchdog group in ''Film/TheConstantGardener'' is based on a real-life one based in Bielefeld.
* '''UsefulNotes/{{Bonn}}:''' An otherwise quiet city simply known as the birthplace of Music/LudwigVanBeethoven until 1949, when it was made "temporary" capital of UsefulNotes/WestGermany (a move partly influenced by being near Rhöndorf, the place where then-Chancellor Konrad Adenauer lived).
* '''Köln (Cologne):''' The largest city in the state, and whose English (originally French) name is the namesake of the perfume (the city still produces Eau de Cologne). Köln is famous for its carnival, intense rivalry with Düsseldorf, a large gay population and, above all, its cathedral, which largely survived Allied bombing at the end of World War II (most likely because the bombers used its tall twin spires for navigation), and home to what is claimed to be the bones of the ThreeWiseMen, enshrined in a gilded box behind the high altar. It is home to several institutions of higher education, including one of the largest universities in Europe, the Universität zu Köln (University of Cologne), which at times sports about 60,000 students alone. The city has its own dialect, Kölsch, which shares the same name as that of a local beer (thus jokes that Kölsch is the only language one can drink). ''[[Series/AlarmFuerCobra11 Alarm für Cobra 11]]'' is set in and around Köln, and is the host of the [=GamesCom=], the successor of the Leipziger Games Convention. Köln is also home to Konrad Adenauer, first [[UsefulNotes/TheChancellorsOfGermany Chancellor of West Germany]], who served as mayor during the UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic.
* '''Münster:''' Centre of the rural Münsterland, deeply Catholic (although it briefly had an Anabaptist semi-communist regime in the 16th century), and said to be the most bicycle-friendly city in Germany (which the people in Erlangen, a 100 000 people town close to Nuremberg would close for themselves). It has one of the largest universities with over 40,000 students. All in all, Münster has over 50,000 students and 30,000 pupils, meaning that more than 25% of the population are either attending school or university.
* '''Ruhrgebiet (Ruhr Area)''': A conurbation of eleven cities -- Bochum, Bottrop, Dortmund, Duisburg, Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Hagen, Hamm, Herne, Mülheim an der Ruhr, and Oberhausen -- as well as a few smaller towns within the districts of Ennepe-Ruhr, Recklinghausen, Unna and Wesel (Phew! Forgot anyone?). Once the nexus of West Germany's coal mining industry, the Ruhr Area is currently seeking to redefine itself after mining went into decline through luring in newer industries and tourism: old [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasometer_Oberhausen gasometers]] or [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Zollverein_Schacht_12.jpg pit heads]] are treated as [[EiffelTowerEffect the Ruhr Area's answer to the Eiffel Tower or the Brandenburg Gate.]] Also, home of two famous [[TheRival (of course rivaling)]] football teams: ''Borussia Dortmund'' and ''Schalke 04'' (named after a district of Gelsenkirchen). The webcomic ''Webcomic/UnionOfHeroes'' is set in Dortmund. Essen and the Ruhr Area served as a cultural capital of Europe in 2010.
* '''Wuppertal:''' A hotbed of Protestant work ethic surrounded by Roman Catholic regions, Wuppertal is home to Friedrich Engels and the poet Else Lasker-Schüler, and is famous for the ''Wuppertaler Schwebebahn'', a unique suspended monorail system still in operation since 1901.

!Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate)
->'''Capital (and largest city):''' Mainz\\
'''Area:''' 19,853km
'''Population (2012):''' 3,990,278

Formerly the northern part of the French Zone of Occupation, Rheinland-Pfalz consists of territories that, before UsefulNotes/WorldWarII belonged to Prussia (Rhineland), Bavaria (Palatinate) and Hesse (Rheinhessen). Bordering France, Luxemburg and Belgium. Much agriculture and viticulture, offering a wide variety of and many good vines.
* '''Mainz:''' Formerly commonly translated as its French name "Mayence", Mainz is the state capital and home to one of the biggest [[UsefulNotes/GermanTVStations German TV stations, ZDF]]. Also home of UsefulNotes/JohannesGutenberg, inventor of the printing press. Until 1803 the chief of the ecclesiastical states of the Holy Roman Empire and seat of the Prince-Archbishop and Elector of Mainz, the "Primate of Germany".
* '''Kaiserslautern:''' Home to many US soldiers serving at Ramstein and especially famous [[UsefulNotes/AssociationFootball for its football club]]. West Germany couldn't have won its first World Cup title in 1954 without its fair share of guys from "Lautern".
* '''Ludwigshafen:''' One of the few major German cities founded in the 19th century, it was built on the opposite bank of the Rhine from Mannheim. Former Chancellor Helmut Kohl is from here, and the chemical company BASF is situated in Ludwigshafen.
* '''Nürburg:''' Known more for its famous racecourse, the Nürburgring (especially its northern section); the town itself is a nearby village and castle, surrounded by the 'ring.
* '''Ramstein and Spangdahlem:''' Hosts of large US Air Bases.
* '''Trier:''' Formerly commonly known by its French name "Treves", though pronounced "Treevz". Trier is ''the'' oldest city in Germany, founded around 16 BCE, which once served as a provincial capital of the Roman Empire. Until 1803 one of the ecclesiastical states of the UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire and seat of the Prince-Archbishop and Elector of Trier. Birthplace of Creator/KarlMarx.
* '''Worms:''' Another old cathedral city on the Rhine. In the ''Literature/{{Nibelungenlied}}'', this is where the Burgundian kings lived. The city is famous for a 1521 imperial assembly where Martin Luther defended his reforms, the [[NeverTrustATitle Diet of Worms]] (a diet being such an assembly).

->'''Capital (and largest city):''' Saarbrücken\\
'''Area:''' 2,570km
'''Population (2012):''' 994,287

After the war, Saarland was actually placed under French control, but was handed back in 1957 (it had been under de facto French administration from 1920 to 1935). Smallest of the non-city states, French is the most common foreign language here. Tried to qualify for the 1954 World Cup, and came second in their group... to the West Germans. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_Honecker Erich Honecker]], head of state of the GDR for most of its existence, was born and raised here.
* '''Saarbrücken:''' The capital and largest city.

!Sachsen (Saxony)
->'''Capital:''' Dresden\\
'''Largest City:''' Leipzig\\
'''Area:''' 18,416km
'''Population (2012):''' 4,050,204

Formally known as Freistaat Sachsen (Free State of Saxony), the state is a former East German territory, and both the Left and Neo-Nazi NPD does well there[[note]]5% isn't exactly a stellar performance for the latter, yet for the party to enter the state Landtag with some members...[[/note]]. Until 1918 it was one of the four kingdoms of the German Empire. The easternmost part, Oberlausitz (Upper Lusatia), is home to the Sorbs, a Slavic minority speaking a language of their own, and includes the only part of the former Prussian province of Silesia that did not become Polish after UsefulNotes/WorldWarII.
* '''Dresden:''' State capital and largest city. Infamous as the target of a controversial Allied air raid in 1945 with a high civilian death toll (albeit recent evidence not only dials down the death toll to at least 25,000, in contrast to 200,000 as propagandized by the Nazis -- basically inflating the count by a power of 10 -- but also shows that the raid was justified by the existence of actual military targets), which is still commemorated annually (and, sadly, attracts a lot of Neo-Nazis). Having been part of East Germany, it took some decades longer than elsewhere to rebuild several famous sites that got bombed during the war. This is especially true for sites like the Semperoper and even more so for its Church Of Our Lady (Frauenkirche).
* '''Bautzen:''' Also known as "Budysin" in Sorbian, Bautzen, the center of Upper Lusatia, gained a sad notoriety after World War II as the site of a Soviet internment camp. It is also home to an old prison colloquially known as ''Gelbes Elend'' ("Yellow Misery"), where many political prisoners were kept under the Nazis, the Soviets, and the East Germans. Also known for its mustard.
* '''Chemnitz:''' The third-largest city in the state, renamed Karl-Marx-Stadt during the East German era despite having no proof that Marx has ever visited it. Home to a famous skating club that produced some of Germany's most famous ice skaters, like Katarina Witt and the skating pair of Robin Szolkowy and Aliona Savchenko.
* '''Görlitz:''' Germany's easternmost city... or half of a city, as it lies directly on the Neisse/Nysa river, with its eastern half claimed by Poland as Zgorzelec. (Despite appearances, the names are pronounced pretty similarly. [[UsefulNotes/{{Poland}} Polish is a strange language]].)
* '''Leipzig:''' Largest city in Saxony. Traditional host to the "Games Convention", now the "Games Convention Online". Leipzig places great importance on its city center. Has a long history as a judicial center, serving as the site for the German High Court under from 1879 to 1945, and current seat of the Federal Administrative Court. Also a major trading center since the Middle Ages, Leipzig is home of one of Germany's oldest universities and as a musical center. The ''Thomanerchor'', the boys' choir of St. Thomas' church, is the oldest in Germany and was led by Music/JohannSebastianBach for a long time, while the ''Gewandhausorchester'' has been conducted by the likes of Music/FelixMendelssohn and Kurt Masur. Music/RichardWagner was born here. It's been here where [[UsefulNotes/HoleInFlag the protests against the Honecker regime]] really kickstarted.
* '''Meißen:''' Known for its medieval cathedral and porcelain manufacture (the first in the Western world, although its products are usually referred to as "Dresden china" in English).
* '''Zwickau:''' Saxony's automobile assembly center. Built Auto Union cars in the city during the interwar years. Auto Union would eventually evolve into Audi, long after the company left for Ingolstadt. During East German rule, it became the manufacturing center for the infamous [[AllegedCar Trabant]]. Today, Audi has a superficial relationship with the city, as parent company Volkswagen currently has a factory there.

!Sachsen-Anhalt (Saxony-Anhalt)
->'''Capital (and largest city):''' Magdeburg\\
'''Area:''' 20,448km
'''Population (2012):''' 2,259,393

Formed after World War 2 by the union of the Prussian province of Saxony and the Duchy of Anhalt. The historic area known as Obersachsen (Upper Saxony) and later just Saxony, which encompasses most of what is now Sachsen and Sachsen-Anhalt, is for the most part former Slavic territory settled by Germans during the high middle ages. Up until the Napoleonic Wars most of it belonged to the electorate (later kingdom) of Saxony, which found itself on the losing side and lost about half its territory to Prussia in 1815. Saxony eventually recouped some of its former territories thanks to the modification of borders of 1990.

Sachsen-Anhalt made up much of the Western border of East Germany. Continues to receive bad press for high unemployment and high concentration of Neo-Nazis; decried as the typical post-reunification un-success story. Also the location of Bitterfeld, once touted as "The Most Polluted Area in East Germany."
* '''Magdeburg:''' State capital and largest city, which gave its name to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magdeburg_rights the eponymous Rights]], which set city privileges. History buffs may remember Magdeburg from the siege by Tilly during the UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar. Has a very large gothic cathedral. The city was mostly bombed to rubble during the tail end of World War II, requiring much rebuilding. Curious mixture of architectural styles, ranging from medieval churches to some surviving Weimar-era housing to Soviet-style Plattenbau neighbourhoods. Capital of the United States of Europe in the ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' series, rebuilt following Tilly's sacking.
* '''Halle (an der Saale):''' Was briefly considered for state capital after reunification, but was passed over in favor of Magdeburg. Operates the largest regional airport in cooperation with Leipzig. German-British composer Georg Friedrich Händel/Music/GeorgeFredericHandel (the guy who wrote the ''Messiah'') was born in Halle, as was the longest-serving foreign minister of modern Germany, Hans-Dietrich Genscher. Halle also has a famous university which absorbed the older university of nearby ''Wittenberg''. Martin Luther taught in Wittenberg; Doctor Faustus, contrary to what Christopher Marlowe said, did not.
* '''Dessau:''' Officially known as "Dessau-Roßlau" after a 2007 merger with a neighboring town across the Elbe. The capital of the Duchy of Anhalt, it is currently Saxony-Anhalt's third largest city. Once hosted to the famous Bauhaus school, the building that housed it still exists as a foundation of design.
* '''Wittenberg:''' Officially "Lutherstadt Wittenberg", the town is where the Lutheran movement began when a disgruntled Augustinian monk named Martin Luther posted his "95 Theses" on the doors of the town church, criticizing the Church for its mismanagement and corruption. Ironically, as a legacy of Communist rule, many of its inhabitants now consider themselves atheist.

->'''Capital (and largest city):''' Kiel\\
'''Area:''' 15,763km
'''Population (2012):''' 2,806,531

Formerly Anglicized as "Sleswick-Holstein". Home of the famous Schleswig-Holstein question, a dispute over the relations of two duchies with Denmark and the German Confederation. Well and truly entering the farcical territory, this dispute was finally resolved by force of arms in favour of the Germans, but not before nearly tearing the [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfWindsor British royal family apart]] ([[UsefulNotes/QueenVictoria the Queen]] and her eldest daughter Victoria, wife of the German Crown Prince, were pro-German, but Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, married to the Danish princess Alexandra, favoured Denmark; this seriously affected European politics, as it created no small amount of antagonism between the younger Victoria's son Wilhelm II and his British cousins). [[UsefulNotes/TheViscountPalmerston Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston]], better known as Lord Palmerston and British "[[UsefulNotes/TheMenOfDowningStreet Prime Minister]]" on two occasions (the title had not entered official use yet -- this was the subject of a ''Series/{{QI}}'' question):

-->"Only three people understood the Schleswig-Holstein Question. The first was Albert, the Prince Consort, and he is dead; the second is a German professor, and he is in an asylum; and the third was myself - and I have forgotten it."

Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost state and part of the Jutland peninsula, with the rest taken by Danish Jutland. Danish flags are not uncommon, as the land was both German and Danish; the question has much to do with how the King of Denmark[[note]]Since the Middle Ages, the Danish royal house is a branch of the German house of Oldenburg or Schleswig-Holstein, other branches of which ruled in the duchy of Oldenburg and, since Peter III, in Russia. UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfWindsor will technically be part of this House upon the death of Elizabeth II, as her husband, Prince Philip, is a member, and [[LineageComesFromTheFather house membership passes through the male line]]; however, nobody except royalty nerds really care.[[/note]] was also the Duke of Schleswig and Holstein and had a seat in the Holy Roman Empire as the latter. In the late Middle Ages Lübeck (then a free city) was the second-largest city in Germany and later the capital of the UsefulNotes/HanseaticLeague that controlled most trade on the Baltic Sea. Even today, Schleswig-Holstein has many cultural similarities with Denmark and Sweden, arguably even much more than other German states. This, however, is partly due to the considerable cultural influence of Northern Germany in particular on Scandinavia. Transport is a major function of the area. A canal goes between the Baltic and North Sea saving hundreds of miles going around Jutland.

The name of the canal depends on who you ask. Baltic Canal, Kieler Canal and Nord-Ostsee-Kanal are common names.

Apart from standard High German, Schleswig-Holstein has three more official languages: Low German, Frisian (spoken on the North Sea coast) and Danish. The Danish minority on the northern border has a special status, most notably in that the "Südschleswiger Wählerbund" (SSW), the South Schleswig Electors' Association, is exempt in state elections from the German law that admits only parties that receive at least 5% of the national vote or receive majority of votes in a constituency to state and federal parliaments. The SSW thus usually has one representative in the Landtag in Kiel. A similar status applies to the German-speaking minority in Northern Schleswig, which became part of Denmark due to a referendum after UsefulNotes/WorldWarI.

One other oddity of Schleswig-Holstein history is the region of Dithmarschen, which in the middle ages was a republic of self-governing farmers. In 1500 they managed to defend their independence against the army of the Danish king and the Holstein nobility in the battle of Hemmingstedt, capturing the original Dannebrog. However, the Danish tried again later and succeeded in conquering Dithmarschen and bringing home their "holy flag" in 1559.
* '''Kiel:''' State capital and largest city, Kiel is a port city, and thus played a part in the end of World War I -- the German Navy was ordered on what was essentially a suicide mission, but refused to leave. It has the largest shipyard in Germany, which produces many of Germany's modern ships and submarines. Germany does some rather good diesel U-boats, in fact (they sell them around the world -- and occasionally donate them to the UsefulNotes/IsraelisWithInfraredMissiles, whom some claim has equipped them with [[NukeEm nuclear warheads]]). Also famous for the Kieler Woche (Kiel's Week) festival every year. A large presentation and parade of all kinds of ships, from modern military ones to old or reconstructed ones, often from around the world. Holds an annual festival, which incorporates a winnable wedding-engaged couples can enter to have their wedding as part of it.
* '''Lübeck:''' Formerly the Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck, its old town was largely destroyed in one of the Royal Air Force's first major air raids in World War II. Lübeck was [[JustTheFirstCitizen "Primus inter pares"]] (first among equals) in the Hanseatic League of medieval Baltic seaport cities and got filthily rich during that time - something which is still evidenced by its old town and a beautiful Hanse museum that was opened in TheNewTens. Childhood home of writing brothers Heinrich and Thomas Mann, and residence of Nobel Prize winner Günter Grass until his death. Already saddled with a reputation of a DyingTown by the time of the Mann brothers (Buddenbrooks is best understood with the slow decline of Lübeck from one the richest cities in the world to a backwater in mind), Lübeck took several hits in the years afterwards. First it was stripped of its Free and Hanseatic city state (within Germany) status by ThoseWackyNazis, then it was bombed by the Allies - even though Hitler hated the town - and after the war the border between East and West Germany was right at the outskirts of town, actually annexing some minor suburbs to the East. Still, Lübeck managed to scrape by more or less and actually restored much of its beautiful old town - until TheGreatPoliticsMessUp, when not only did Lübeck lose an extra subsidy for being so close to the "iron curtain", it also had to compete with East German towns that were ''now'' getting subsidies instead. Add to that a total collapse of shipbuilding (one of the major industries up to that point) and you now have a beautiful town that lives on its glorious past and tourism but has not much besides that.
* '''Flensburg:''' The northernmost German city on the mainland (Westerland on Sylt is further north still) is known in Germany mainly for being the country's main entry port for rum, largest concentration of Danes in Germany, Beate Uhse (who opened Germany's first sex shop), the Flensburger brewery, and the central registry for traffic violations in Germany. If you have too many "points (''Punkte'') in Flensburg", you'll lose your driver's license. Interesting note: Flensburg is part of a region/sub-peninsula of S-W called ''Angeln'', which is where the "Angles" of the UsefulNotes/AngloSaxons came from, and is therefore the place England and English are named after. It was the site of the German government in the last few days of Nazi Germany as it was the location of the navy headquarters and Admiral Doenitz, who was appointed the president of Germany by now-dead Hitler, did not bother to relocate elsewhere (not that he could, as most of Germany was already being occupied by Allied forces).
* '''Neumünster:''' The fourth and smallest major city of Schleswig-Holstein, being famous for absolutely... nothing. It has no famous sights, no famous citizens, no important industry, never was even remotely involved in any historical events, and never shows up in fiction either.

!Thüringen (Thuringia)
->'''Capital (and largest city):''' Erfurt\\
'''Area:''' 16,171km
'''Population (2012):''' 2,170,460

Thuringia was formed in 1920 from eight minor monarchies (a grand duchy, three duchies, and four principalities), though one eventually chose not to enter the new state (see Coburg above for more details). Thuringia was occupied by US forces in 1945, but was soon traded in for West Berlin.

Known as the "[[GhibliHills Green Heart of Germany]]," the Thuringian landscape is dominated by mountains and forests which provide a sanctuary for wildlife, not to mention a handful of hiking trails and places catering for tourists looking for active leisure. Economy is once described as a combination of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt (a combination of manufacturing and agriculture). Has recently produced a lot of world-class athletes excelling in winter sports -- in fact, half of Germany's Winter Olympic gold medalists hail from here.

In legend, the [[UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire Holy Roman Emperor]] Frederick [[BadAssBeard Barbarossa]] is asleep [[KingInTheMountain in the Kyffhäuser mountains]] near the village of Tilleda in this state.
* '''Erfurt:''' The state capital and home to the third-oldest university in Germany; Martin Luther studied and received his master's degree here.
* '''Jena:''' Home of another famous university, where around 1800 Schiller, Hegel, Fichte, the Schlegels and other luminaries of the day were to be found. Also famous for a decisive battle of UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars in 1806 fought around the town and nearby Auerstadt; they say that Hegel finished his masterpiece ''The Phenomenology of Spirit'', at the height of the battle. The Carl Zeiss firm is famous for its optical instruments and an early model of having employees participate in the business profits.
* '''Weimar:''' Former capital of the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar, famous for the ''Weimarer Klassik'', an era in the late 18th and early 19th century when [[Creator/JohannWolfgangVonGoethe Goethe]], Schiller, Wieland and Herder all lived at the "muses' court" of duke Charles August and his mother Anna Amalia (after whom the famous library is known). Goethe for a time served as the duke's minister and the director of the Weimar theater. Later Friedrich Nietzsche lived here and in 1918/19 the ''Deutsche Nationalversammlung'' (German National Convention) framed the constitution of the [[UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic new republic]] in this city. The former concentration camp of Buchenwald is nearby.
* '''Eisenach:''' East Germany's westernmost city, near the border with Hesse. If Zwickau is Saxony's automobile manufacturing center, then this is the Thuringian version. Formerly the location of the factory where all pre-World War II BMW cars were made,[[note]]Bavarian engine and motorcycle manufacturer BMW got into the car business by buying Dixi-Werke, an Eisenach-based car company[[/note]] it became famous for making the Wartburg automobile brand. After reunification, the factory was closed down while Opel built a brand new factory nearby to promote employment in the city. Eisenach is also where [[PachelbelsCanonProgression Johann Pachelbel (him of the Canon)]] once served as organist, and was a setting in the ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' series. Music/JohannSebastianBach was born and grew up here in this state. Eisenach is also the town nearest to the famous Wartburg Castle, home of St. Elizabeth and Bl. Louis of Thuringia, where Martin Luther wrote much of his German translation of Literature/TheBible, the site of the famous Wartburg Festival for German unity in 1817, and where Music/RichardWagner set his opera ''[[Theatre/{{Tannhaeuser}} Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf der Wartburg]]''.