1902 Encyclopedia > Germany > Geography of Germany - Introduction

(Part 1)



Germany occupies the greater portion of central Europe, and has but few lines of natural boundary. If by the designation Germany is meant the territory inhabited by Germans, this is considerably larger than the German empire constituted in 1871, the former having an area of about 340,000, and the latter of 208,000 English square miles. The present German empire extends from 47° 55´ to 55° 53´ N. lat., and from 5° 52´ to 22° 53´ E. long. The eastern provinces project so far that the extent of the German territory is much greater from S.W. to N.E. than in any other direction. Tilsit is 815 miles from Metz, whereas Hadersleben, in Schleswig, is only 540 miles from the Lake of Constance. The difference is time between the eastern and western points in 1 hour and 8 minutes. The empire is bounded on the S.E. and S. by Austria and Switzerland (from 1170 miles), on the S.W. by France (275 miles), on the W. by Luxembourg, Belgium, and Holland (together 512 miles0). The length of German coast on the North Sea or German Ocean is 300 miles, and on the Baltic 830 miles, the intervening land boundary on the north of Schleswig being only 53 miles. The eastern boundary is Russia (725 miles).

The total area of the empire, including rivers and lakes but not the "haffs" or lagoons on the Baltic, is 208,427 English square miles,1 which is about the 18th part of Europe, the 250th part of the whole dry land, and the 853d part of the whole surface of the globe.

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