Bavarian craftsmanship - the astrological clock on the Old Town Hall in Munich
© AA Photo Library
800-700 BC Celtic tribes settle around the Rhineland.
AD 800 Franks overrun the territory; Charlemagne, the Frankish king, is crowned Holy Roman Emperor.
1273 Rudolf of Habsburg is elected king, founding the 600-year Habsburg dynasty.
1517 Martin Luther precipitates the Reformation.
1740 Frederick the Great is crowned king of Prussia.
1871 Franco-Prussian War ends with states united under the Prussian Kaiser Wilhelm and chancellor, Otto von Bismarck.
1914-19 Habsburg claims to the Balkans lead to World War I; the Treaty of Versailles demands huge war reparations and surrender of territories from defeated Germany.
1930 The Nazis gain power in elections.
1933 Adolf Hitler is made chancellor; under Hitler's dictatorship, millions of Jews and minorities are persecuted and killed.
1939 Hitler invades Poland; Britain and France declare war.
1945 Allied forces enter Berlin; Hitler kills himself.
1949 Western occupying powers create the Federal Republic of Germany; Russia forms the German Democratic Republic.
1961 The Berlin Wall is built.
1990 A year after the demolition of the wall, East and West Germany reunite; Germany leads support for a politically and economically integrated European Union.
1999 Government moves to Berlin. Parliament meets in the newly refurbished, glass-domed Reichstag.