Germany is made up of sixteen Länder (singular Land, colloquially called Bundesland, for "federated state") which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries. Often referred to in English by German speakers as "states", the term "Land" (with an uppercase 'L') is used in the official English version of the Basic Law and in UK parliamentary proceedings. However, it is sometimes translated as "federal states" in other publications.
Although the term Land applies to all states, some are also described as "states" in German. Each of the states of Bavaria, Saxony, and Thuringia officially describes itself as a "state" (Staat) and more specifically as a "free state" (Freistaat).
Berlin and Hamburg are frequently called Stadtstaaten (city-states), also the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, which includes both the city of Bremen and Bremerhaven. The remaining 13 states are called Flächenländer (literally: area states).
Gengenbach is a town in the district of Ortenau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany and a popular tourist destination on the western edge of the Black Forest with about 11,000 inhabitants. Gengenbach is well known for its traditional Alemanic "fasnacht", ("Fasend"), a kind of historically influenced celebration of carnival, where tradition is followed, from wearing costumes with carved wooden masks to clapping with a "Ratsche" (a traditional-classic wooden "sound-producing" toy). Gengenbach also boasts a picturesque, traditional, medieval town centre ("Altstadt"). The traditional town Gengenbach is the proud owner of the world's biggest advent calendar. The 24 windows of the 18th century town hall represent the 24 "windows" of an Advent calendar. The town also hosts a department of the The Graduate School of Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, part of the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg. The nearest cities in the region are Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Baden-Baden and Strasbourg/France. Gengenbach is twinned with the town of Obernai, Alsace, France.