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Culture & the media

Vibrant Nation of Culture

Germany’s reputation as a great European cultural nation is based on famous names, its very vibrant art scene, and cosmopolitan diversity.
Ben Becker Theaterschauspieler
© picture alliance/Geisler-Fotopress

Germany sees itself as one of the great European cultural nations. A unique feature here is the federal structure of culture, which has resulted in extraordinary variety in terms of cultural outlets and their sponsors. The emphasis of the country’s federal tradition was important to the fathers and mothers of the Basic Law The Basic Law The Basic Law determines that Germany is a constitutional state: All state authorities are subject to judicial control. Section 1 of the Basic Law is of particular relevance. It stipulates that respect for human dignity is the most important aspect of the constitution: “Human dignity shall be… Read more › . Not only the Federal Republic of Germany founded in 1949, but also the Germany that was reunified in 1990 has consciously upheld the federal traditions and left the federal states Federal states Germany is a federal state. Both the central federal government and the 16 federal states have independent areas of jurisdiction. The government in Berlin is responsible for foreign policy, European policy, defense, justice, employment, social affairs, tax and health. The federal states are… Read more › firmly responsible for cultural policy. One of the effects of Germany having arisen from many small and medium-sized states and free cities, there are, amongst other things, around 142 theatres and 130 professional orchestras Orchestras There are around 130 German professional orchestras, first and foremost among them the Berlin- Philharmonic, the Berlin Staatskapelle,  the Gewandhausorchester, the Bamberg Symphonic and the Munich Philharmonic Read more › (which are in some instances paired with public radio stations). In addition, more than 7,200 museums and exhibition venues form an unprecedented gallery scene.

Steady growth: companies in the cultural and creative sectors

Source: BMWi

From Bach to Bauhaus

Germany’s reputation as a major cultural nation rests on the great names of the past, such as Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms in music, Goethe, Schiller, and Thomas Mann in literature. In the 1920s, the Bauhaus Bauhaus Bauhaus (1919–1933) is considered to be the most famous art, design and architecture college of Classic Modernism. Founded by Walter Gropius it was located in Weimar and later in Dessau. Bauhaus artists and architects created a new, clear, contemporary formal language, much of which still exerts an… Read more › movement succeeded in developing a defining, pioneering formal idiom that still resonates worldwide today. Moreover, there are exceptional examples of contemporary artistic positions in all genres of art – in particular in painting with artists such as Gerhard Richter, Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer and Rosemarie, as well as in photography with Andreas Gursky, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Candida Höfer.

Cultural production has increasingly embraced outside influences on the basis of its own traditions and developed a new narrative. Young artists from migratory backgrounds have found expressive means, both poetic and musical, to respond to the encounter and fusion of different cultural backgrounds. The work done at the Maxim-Gorki- Theater Theater With 140 public theaters and some 220  private theaters, Germany is a theater giant. The best-known venues include Thalia Theater in Hamburg, the Berlin Ensemble and Munich‘s Kammerspiele→ buehnenverein.de Read more › in Berlin Berlin Once a year, during the Berlinale film festival, the world of the silver screen focuses its attention on Berlin. And the city’s inhabitants are used to global interest. After all, the people of Berlin have lived in a capital city since 1458. However, there is also a shady side to the city’s history… Read more › , for example, as well as a large part of contemporary musical culture and literary production are representative of post-migratory art.

Gross value added by sector, 2018, in billion €

Source: BMWi

International events

The Berlin Berlin Once a year, during the Berlinale film festival, the world of the silver screen focuses its attention on Berlin. And the city’s inhabitants are used to global interest. After all, the people of Berlin have lived in a capital city since 1458. However, there is also a shady side to the city’s history… Read more › Film Festival, the International Frankfurt Book Fair Frankfurt Book Fair The International Frankfurt Book Fair has taken place every autumn since 1949 and is the outstanding annual international book trade get-together. The highpoint of every book fair is the award-giving ceremony for the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, which has been won by the likes of Margaret… Read more › , the Bayreuth Festival, the Berlin Theatertreffen, Rock am Ring, and the Ruhr Triennale are among the most important cultural events in Germany.

In Germany, there are a total of 46 monuments listed under UNESCO protection – in Europe only Italy has more World Heritage sites. The Humboldt Forum, which will open in the rebuilt Berlin Palace, will form a new cultural centre in the capital. Characterised by cosmopolitanism, it will enable an international exchange of knowledge and intercultural dialogue.

Worldwide, the Goethe Institute provides access to the German language and culture in 159 branches in 98 countries.