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Germany or the Federal Republic of Germany is located in Central Europe with Berlin as its capital city. The German language was once the lingua franca of central, eastern and northern Europe. It is a member state of the United Nations, NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G8, Group of 8, and the G4, Group of 4, nations, and is a founding member of the European Union. It is the European Union's most populous and most economically powerful member state.
Heidelberg is a scenic city in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, halfway between Stuttgart and Frankfurt. As of 2005, 140,000 people live within the city's 109 square kilometric area. The name Heidelberg is an adaptation of Heidelbeerenberg, the German for Blueberry Mountain. Heidelberg lies on the Neckar at the point where the river leaves its narrow, steep valley in the Odenwald to flow into the Rhine valley where, 20 kilometers Northwest of Heidelberg, it joins the Rhine at Mannheim.
Heidelberg was first mentioned in 1196. The old town, in German Altstadt, is long and narrow and is dominated by Heidelberg Castle which perches 80 metres above the Neckar on the steep, wooded hill of the Konigstuhl or King's chair or throne, mountain with the TV Tower, surrounded by a park.
In the past, Heidelberg was a centre for both science and the arts and today this tradition is carried on with many research centres located in or around the city. Its university is the oldest in Germany and was founded in 1386. Heidelberg's library was founded in 1421, which is the oldest public library in Germany. Its volumes were moved to the Vatican for safe keeping in 1623 and returned for the 600th anniversary in 1986 to the university in the church of Holy Spirit or Heiliggeist Church. It is home to one of Europe's oldest educational institutes, the Ruprecht Karls University or University of Heidelberg.
Heidleberg’s main attractions are The Bridge Monkey near the old Bridge Gate, the Catholic Jesuitenkirche, the Old bridge gate, the Untere Strase and Heidelberg at night.
Tourism in Germany has expanded since the end of World War II, and many tourists visit Germany to experience a sense of European history. The countryside exhibits a pastoral aura, while its cities exhibit both a modern and classical feel.

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