european countryside

Where do German people live?

Germany is Europe’s most populous country. A glance at a map shows that its 82 million inhabitants live in a multitude of different towns & communities. The smallest hamlet Wiedenborstel, 60 km north of Hamburg in Schleswig-Holstein, has exactly 11 inhabitants; the area has 1.1 inhabitants per square km in contrast with 3,849 per square km in Berlin. The German average is 230. 

Of the ~4,500 municipalities that make up Germany, 30% are cities and towns, 70% are rural communities - but the large percentage of rural communities is deceptive, as the bulk of the population lives in urban and suburban environments. About 75% of Germans live in metropolitan regions.

By international comparison, Germany’s urban character is shaped by a system of many different-sized cities and metro regions. Although there are many large cities, only 4 have more than 1 million inhabitants (Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Cologne). The capital, Berlin, is not the only major urban center. The big picture from outer space offers proof. At night the glowing illuminations of several large urban areas are visible. Theoretically, an astronaut could pick out 81 large towns, 611 medium-sized towns, and 1,584 small towns. In the north, east and south, they’d be able to identify individual large metropolitan areas, characterized by small towns and villages. In the far west, Germany’s industrial area, most of the population is concentrated in huge conurbations of major economic regions along the Rhine, Ruhr and Main rivers, as well as in the southwest German agglomeration areas.

A classic rural population that lives permanently on the land is more of an exception. Nowadays, rural life is often found in the surrounding region or within reach of large cities, where about 40% of the jobs are located. 

Between 2000 and 2007 a total of 1.5 million people moved from eastern to western Germany. At the same time about 1 million moved from the western to the eastern states. That’s 120,000 - 140,000 people each year, equaling the population of a large west German city. The most popular destinations were Berlin and Saxony. While some parts of rural Germany are experiencing a steady po­pulation decline, communication networks are increasing between town and country. Germany has 11 metropolitan regions (#1 in Europe). As per a BBSR study, 4 of them are among Europe’s most important metropolitan regions: FrankfurtRhineMain, Rhine-Ruhr, Berlin, and Munich. Rhine-Ruhr and FrankfurtRhineMain score well as strong economic regions, Berlin as a political center, Munich as a center of science.

Inspiration Pins

It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned my Pinterest here. None of it’s my personal work but it’s what inspires me and I thought I’d share.

Escape — If you like generally breathtaking environments. Both photography and illustration. Lots of different genres and tones. 

Forest House — This board is great for fans of Gravity Falls, Howl’s Moving Castle, tree houses, European countryside, fantasy, and generally cozy or mystical stuff. Good for witchsona environments too. If you like this then you might also like my board of things I would buy.

Synthia —  Utopian futuristic city inspiration. “Synthia” is a cyborg character of mine. Great for fans of Splatoon, Urbance, Portal, Akira, solar punk, Analog On, and Sidera/Catfish Deluxe.

Minerals — I’d like the buildings in the Synthia universe to have these kinds of textures and shapes. Geometric yet organic. 

Exotic Plants and Flowers — Cool, strange, and beautiful plants.

Savory Dishes, Sweet Desserts, and Virgin Drinks

Webcomics

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Horror Rises From the Tomb (1973) is a Spanish gothic smorgasbord directed by Carlos Aured and written by and starring Paul Naschy, who excels in multiple roles. You get a little bit of everything here including ghosts, zombies, gratuitous nudity, gory slasher murders, roadside hillbilly justice, and a quasi-vampiric warlock big bad in the form of Naschy’s Alaric de Marnac.

The movie features some brilliant cinematography which showcases the wintry European countryside, complete with a forlorn, swampy lake and distant snow-capped mountains. It’s relatively rare to see snow in Eurohorror, but this is one of a handful of Naschy films that take place in the winter,  and it really does add a unique element of desolation and decay to the proceedings.

It’s funny, Naschy seems to be most well known for his werewolf films, but my favorites of his all fall outside that genre. I’d put this one near the top of my list, alongside Vengeance of the Zombies and The Hunchback of the Morgue.

More screenshots here.