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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. Germany is one of the largest European economies and the third largest economy in the world in real terms.
Herne is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, which in terms of population and economic output, the largest Federal State of Germany. It is located in the Ruhr area directly between the cities of Bochum and Gelsenkirchen. As of 2005 it had a population of 171,244 living within an area of 51.41 square kilometers and it had a population density of 3,332 residents per square kilometer. Like most other cities in the region Herne was a tiny village until the 19th century. When the mining of coal and the production of steel emerged, the villages of the Ruhr area became cities.
Herne includes the former settlements of Herne, Wanne and Eickel. The farms bearing these names were founded in the 11th and 12th centuries. In 1860 the first coal mine started operation. In the following thirty years the population increased twenty-fold. For the first time Herne was called a city. The same development occurred in Wanne and Eickel, which merged in 1926 to form the new city of Wanne-Eickel. In 1975 Wanne-Eickel, meanwhile as well a city with over 70,000 inhabitants, was incorporated into Herne.
A fair called Cranger Kirmes in the district Crange is held every August. It is the third largest fair in Germany with an average number of visitors of 3,500,000. Its origins can be traced back to the 15th century, when farmers started trading in horses on Saint Lawrence’s Day.
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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