Bosnia-Herzegovina: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Bosnia-Herzegovina.

  • Bosnia-Herzegovina is a small country in southeast Europe, created when Yugoslavia split up into several countries. It covers about 51,000 square km and has a population of 3.8 million.
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina was ruled by the Ottoman Empire from the 15th to the 19th centuries. After World War I, it became part of Yugoslavia, declaring its independence in 1992.

  • It is bordered by Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro.
  • The country is mostly mountainous and forested, and is landlocked except for a 20 km coastline on the Adriatic Sea.

Flag of Bosnia-Herzegovina

  • Bosnia-Herzegovina has become one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world. It has been voted a top mountain biking destination and is also popular for winter sports.
  • Medjugorje is Europe’s third most visited religious site. Mary, Mother of Jesus is said to have appeared there many times, and strange apparitions can often be seen in the sky.
  • Mostar is a popular tourist destination. Its most famous landmark is the Old Bridge, built in the 16th century, destroyed in the 1990s Bosnian War and rebuilt in 2004.
  • Sarajevo is the capital and largest city, with about 600,000 people. It was besieged for over 4 years during the Bosnian War of 1990s, one of the longest sieges of modern times.
  • The Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was killed in Sarajevo in 1914, leading to World War I.
  • It was also the first European city to have a network of electric trams, in 1885.
  • The Bosnian Pyramids are a cluster of hills about 210 metres in height. Some archaeologists believe they are man-made by people who lived in the area up to 14,000 years ago.
  • Bosnian cuisine is similar to Greek and Turkish food and uses many spices. Coffee drinking is part of daily life and Bosnia-Herzegovina is one of the top 10 coffee drinking countries in the world.

Germany: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Germany:

  • Germany is a country in Europe with borders with Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands.
  • It is over 350,000 sq km in size.

  • It has a North Sea coastline and a Baltic Sea coastline.
  • The River Rhine, the River Danube and the River Elbe all flow through Germany.
  • Germany’s capital is Berlin, and this is also the largest city in the country. Other cities include: Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, Essen, Dortmund and Bremen.
  • Germany has a population of over 80 million.
Flag of Germany
Flag of Germany
  • It is is key member state of the European Union.
  • Germany was defeated in both World War 1 and World War 2.
  • Following the death of Adolf Hitler and the fall of the Nazi Regime at the end of World War 2, Germany was split into Allied occupation zones which led to Germany being divided into West Germany and East Germany.
  • Berlin, located in East Germany, was also divided (by the Berlin Wall) into West Berlin and East Berlin.
  • The Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and Germany was reunified in 1990.
  • About 30% of Germany is covered in forest and about 30% is arable land.
  • The Berlin Zoo, which opened in 1844, is Germany’s oldest zoo.
  • Many global brands are based in Germany, including: Volkswagen, BMW, Adidas, Audi, Porsche, Bosch and Nivea.
  • Germany’s largest airports are Frankfurt Airport and Munich Airport.
  • Many famous scientists and inventors have come from Germany, including: Robert Koch (one of the founders of mircobiology), Johannes Gutenberg (inventor of movable type) and Hans Geiger (inventor of the Geiger counter).
  • Most people in Germany speak German, and two thirds of the population can also converse in another language as well.
  • German artists include: Hans Holbein, Peter Paul Rubens and Max Ernst.
  • Some of the world’s most well-known composers have come from Germany, including: Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johannes Brahms, Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss.
  • The Brothers Grimm, who popularized German folklore and fairy tales, were from Germany, as were the writers Hermann Hesse and Gunter Grass.
  • Sausages are really popular in Germany, and beer is the most popular alcoholic drink.
  • Many sports are played in Germany. The Bundesliga is the highest football (soccer) league in the country, and football is the most popular sport.
  • Germany has won the World Cup on 4 occasions, and players such as Franz Beckenbauer, Jurgen Klinsmann and Miroslav Klose have featured in the national side.
  • Michael Schumacher, born in Germany, is one of the best Formula 1 drivers of all time, and Sebastian Vettel won the F1 championship in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Portugal: Facts and Information

Here are some interesting facts about Portugal.

  • Portugal is the most westerly country in mainland Europe, and is bordered by Spain to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The country has a population of just over 10 million.

  • Lisbon is the capital and biggest city, with 2,800,000 people. Other major cities are Porto and Faro, and most people in Portugal live along the west and south coasts.
  • Portugal is one of the 20 most visited countries in the world, attracting over 13 million visitors each year. The Algarve is one of the most popular European destinations for British holidaymakers.

Flag of Portugal

  • The Portuguese Empire was one of the longest lasting modern European empires. Today, over 240 million people worldwide speak Portuguese as their first language.
  • The Anglo-Portuguese alliance was signed in 1373 and is still in effect today. Portugal has had its border with Spain since the 12th century, making it Europe’s oldest country.
  • Portugal is home to one of Europe’s oldest universities, established in 1290. The country has one of Europe’s’ largest casinos and one of the continent’s longest bridges, named after the explorer, Vasco da Gama.
  • During the 15th and 16th centuries, many explorers set off from Portugal to discover the world. In 1522, the explorer Magellan was the first to successfully sail around the whole world.
  • The city of Porto has been a major producer of the drink port since the 13th century. The city also gave its name to the country and today is a World Heritage Site.
  • One of the most powerful earthquakes in Europe damaged much of Lisbon in 1755, killing over 90,000 people. The ruins of the Carmo Convent still stand today to remind inhabitants of the damage.
  • Fado music is a type of folk music, sung in Lisbon and other areas. In 2011, the music genre was declared to be an intangible cultural heritage.

Barcelona: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Barcelona:

  • Barcelona is Spain‘s second largest city and one of the most popular destinations in Europe. It has a population of about 1.6 million and is located on the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Legend says that Hercules founded the city, although it was probably founded by the Romans in about 15 BC. It grew in size and became an independent city state in the 12th century.

  • The city is the capital of the Catalan region of Spain. Catalans have always been fiercely independent, and the region has often voted to be a separate country from the rest of Spain.
  • The architect Antoni Gaudi was one of Barcelona’s most famous residents. His distinctive Art Nouveau type buildings can be seen all over the city, including Park Guell and Casa Mila.
  • Gaudi’s best known work is the still unfinished church, Sagrada Familia. The church has spectacular religious carvings and the front door features a carved donkey, modeled on a real donkey.
  • The centre of Barcelona is the Gothic Quarter, with medieval and Roman buildings. The area has dozens of cafes and bars, including Les Quatre Gats, site of Picasso‘s first art exhibition.
  • Barcelona has some of the world’s best beaches. It also has one of Europe’s oldest banks and was the first city to win a gold medal for its architecture.
  • Las Ramblas is the city’s famous 2 km long boulevard, always busy with shoppers, vendors and tourists. The Portal de l’Àngel is said to be Spain’s busiest street.
  • Barcelona drivers are said to be some of the worst in the world, with an accident about every 19 seconds. However, the city has over 130 hectares set aside for pedestrians.
  • The 1992 Olympic Games were held in Bareclona, helping to revitalize the city. A song written by Freddie Mercury of the rock group Queen became the song of the games.