The Federal Republic of Germany is a federal state. Its 16 federal states, known as Länder, not only have their own political competences, but also contribute to Germany’s diversity. Profiles of the 16 Länder provide a tour through the Republic.

Germany is a diverse country – from the Alps in the south to the wide sandy beaches of the Baltic and North Seas, and from the Rhine Valley in the west to the soft plains and lake landscapes in the east. Germany’s regional mentalities, cultures and economies are just as varied as its landscape. Federalism in Germany is much more than just a principle of state organisation. It reflects a decentralised cultural and economic structure deeply rooted in the nation’s history. The strong position of the Länder is enshrined in Germany’s constitution, the Basic Law. On the following topic pages you will find information about Germany’s federal states that will allow you to explore the nation’s diversity.