Culture of germany
Germany's contributions to the world's cultural heritage are numerous, and the country is often known as das Land der Dichter und Denker (The Land of Poets and Thinkers). Germany was the birthplace of composers such as Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, Schumann and Wagner; poets such as Goethe and Schiller as well as Heine; philosophers including Kant, Hegel, Marx and Nietzsche, theologians like Luther and Bonhoeffer, authors including Hermann Hesse and Grass; scientists including Einstein, Born, Planck, Heisenberg, Hertz and Bunsen; and engineers such as Otto, Daimler, Benz, Diesel and Linde. There are also numerous fine artists from Germany such as the Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer, the surrealist Max Ernst, the expressionist Franz Marc, the conceptual artist Joseph Beuys or the neo expressionist Georg Baselitz.
The German language was once the lingua franca of central, eastern and northern Europe, and remains one of the most popular foreign languages taught worldwide, after English and French. Many important historical figures, though not citizens of Germany in the modern sense, were nevertheless seen as Germans in the sense that they were immersed in the German culture, for example Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Kafka and Copernicus.
Since about 1970 Germany has once again had a thriving popular culture, now increasingly being led by its new old capital Berlin, and a self-confident music and art culture. Germany is also well known for its many opera houses.