There is just so much to learn about Germany, it’s impossible to learn it all! So instead, here are some interesting facts about Germany you might not have known!
1. Germans are the second biggest beer consumers in the world after the Czechs!
2. Therefore, I need to mention that in Bavaria, beer is considered food.
3. The youngest billionaire in Germany is the German Prince Albert II von Thurn und Taxis right here in Regensburg!
4. At the moment, Germany is Europe’s strongest economy
5. There are 1,300 breweries in Germany with over 5,000 different variations of beer.
6. During WWI, Germany was the first country to start using Daylight Savings
7. Apparently, Germany was one of the last countries to ban smoking indoors in restaurants and the workplace because government officials were afraid to imitate Nazi officials who looked down upon smoking.
8. There is over 300 different kinds of bread
9. The Wittelbachs ruled Bavaria for 738 years
10. 65% of the Autobahn doesn’t have a speed limit
11. The world’s first Green party was established in Germany in 1979-1980.
12. Oktoberfest is NOT in October. Its actually the last two weeks of September.
13. The first Oktoberfest was actually a wedding celebration for Prince Ludwig of Bavaria in 1810.
14. The Cologne Cathedral took 700 years to build and can hold 40,000 people
15. The first book to ever be printed was the Bible by Johannes Gutenberg in the 1450s and you can see it in Mainz, Germany
16. The longest word published in the German language is Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft (79 letters) which translates to something like “Danube steamboat shipping electricity main engine facility building sub clerk association”
17. In case you didn’t know, the Berlin Wall fell in 1989
18. The last Olympic games to be held in Germany was in Munich 1972 where the Israeli team was held hostage and then killed by terrorists
19. When JFK visited Berlin, he famously stated “Ich bin ein Berliner” which also translates to “I am a jelly donut” even though that’s not what was interpreted. Berliners knew he meant he was one of them.
20. Germans are the third most efficient country in the world to recycle after Switzerland and Austria
21. Germany has had multiple capitals – Aachen 794, Regensburg (seat of the Immerwaehrender Reichstag) from 1663-1803, Frankfurt-am-Main (site of the election & coronation of German emperors) 1152-1792, Nuremberg (seat of the Imperial Diet) 1536-1543, Berlin from 1871-1945 and again from 1990 to present and Bonn from 1949-1990.
22. The world’s tallest cathedral is in Ulm at 530 feet tall
23.The world’s largest fresco is at the Wurzburg Residence painted by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
24. Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany
25. The tradition of the Christmas tree came from Germany
26. The world’s two largest cuckoo clocks are in the in Schonach in the Black Forest
27. After Japan, Germany is the second largest exporter of cars in the world
28. German is spoken by over 100 million people worldwide
29. There are over 60 beer gardens just in Munich!
30. Germany has more zoos than any other country in the world at 400.
32. In the 4th grade, German kids are placed into Hauptschule, Realschule or Gymnasium, which determines if you will go to university or straight to the work force. Gymnasium is the highest level which leads to university.
33. The cuckoo clock was invented in the 17th century
34. The founders of Adidias and Puma are brothers
35. The Deutscher Fußball-Bund was found in 1900 in Leipzig
36. The most successful football team is Bayern Munich
37. Germany has more soccer clubs than anywhere else in the world
38. Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, has a Barbie doll modeled after her
39. The word Rindfleischetikettierungsueberwachungsaufgabenuebertragungsgesetz (law delegating beef label monitoring) was removed from the German language in 2014
40. Germany was once a cluster of small kingdoms, duchies and principalities which were unified as the kingdom of Prussia in 1871 which later became the Weimer Republic, then the Third Reich and in 1949 the nation divided into the Soviet-supported East Germany (German Democratic Republic) and the democratic West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany). On October 3rd 1990, East and West were reunited, finally forming the country of Germany we know today
42. Angela Merkel was ranked as the world’s second most powerful person
43. Many apartments come without a kitchen and you must buy and install a kitchen which fits, that can be taken apart and taken with you when you move
44. On the border between Germany and Austria, there is a town called Fucking (pronounced Fooking)
45. The world’s oldest monastery brewery is the Weltenburg Abbey founded in 1040 not far from Regensburg
46. There are more than 150 castles in Germany
47. Most Taxis and Buses are Mercedes
48. Europe’s largest train station is in Berlin
49. Aspirin was officially created in 1899 in Germany
50. X-rays were discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen
51. More than a quarter of Americans claim German ancestry
52. Germany has more then 2.5 million half-timbered houses
53. There are about 60 dialects of the German language
54. Berlin is nine times larger than Paris
57. Supposedly, Germany has fake bus stops for people who escape from nursing homes who suffer from Alzheimer’s because they tend to wander to the nearest bus stop so they can go home. When nurses find them, they let them know the bus will be late and have them sit inside. Soon the incident is forgotten
58. The bride is often “kidnapped” by friends before the wedding and the groom must hunt for her as she is taken to different taverns and the groom must buy drinks for his friends.
59. In 1516, a German Beer Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot) was passed which only allowed water, hops and barley in the beer. Later, with the discovery of yeast, it was incorporated into the law.
60. Germany is nicknamed the “Land of Poets & Thinkers”
61. In a pub, you order another beer with your thumb, not your index finger.
62. The world’s first airline was founded on in 1909, in Frankfurt. It is called DELAG, expanding as Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft which translates to German Airship Transport Corporation
63. Lufthansa is the largest airline in the world.
64. German is the official language in 5 countries: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein
65. Germany has the largest population in Europe with 81 million people
66. There is no punishment for someone who escapes from jail because it is a basic human instinct to be free
67. It is illegal to run out of fuel in on the Autobahn
68. Hamburgers got its name from the city of Hamburg, Germany
69. Germany abolished college tuition fees in 2014, even for international students
70. An average of 15 bombs, or 5,500 bombs per year are found in Germany left over from WWII.
71. Fanta originated in Germany during WWII since it was difficult to import Coca-Cola.
72. Chinese Checkers was invented in Germany in 1892 and was called “Stern-Halma”
73. Dachau Concentration Camp opened in 1933, 7 years before WWII officially started
74. There are over 1,000 types of sausages
75. The world’s largest walking four-legged robot comes from Furth im Wald called Drachenstich
76. Germans consumed more pork than any other meat
77. The highest mountain in Germany is the Zugspitze at roughly 10,000 feet
78. Bavaria was the first region in Europe to be precisely measured
79. The Grimm Brothers didn’t intend their stories to be for children, rather a scholarly project intended to identify the true spirit of the Germanic people
80. Only 71 percent of German men stand to take a pee. They’re known as Stehpinkler (standing pee-ers). The other 29 percent prefer to sit (the Sitzpinkler).
81. The coffee filter was created in Germany in 1908
82. Hugo Boss designed the Nazi uniforms
83. The word “Germany” dates back Julius Caesar, who dubbed the lands east of the Rhine River “Germania”.
84. Germany’s most popular snack is the Doner Kebab brought over by Turkish immigrants and was created in Berlin
85. The autobahn is a network of 8,026 miles making it the longest in the world and the most dense
86. Hitler did not come up with the idea of the Autobahn, he just enthusiastically supported the idea
87. Germany is the 8th largest producer of wine
88. Germany has one of the world’s lowest birth rates
89. Gummi Bears were invited in Germany
90. Germany is called the “Fatherland”
91. The trend of wearing Lederhosen and Dirndls to Oktoberfest has always been a must. However, in smaller regions, it is becoming a “rebirth of culture” with younger generations.
92. King Ludwig II only slept 11 days at the Neuschwanstein Castle
93. The Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland was inspired by the Neuschwanstein Castle
94. During WWI, Hitler’s life was spared by a British solider… wonder what life would have been like if he had died on the battlefield..
95. Hitler never visited a single concentration camp
96. 1.8 million gallons of beer is drunk at Oktoberfest
97. Munich is the most expensive city in Germany to live in
98. Oktoberfest has been canceled 24 times
99. A fine for stealing an Oktoberfest glass is $60.00
100. Many people pass out from drinking too much beer at Oktoberfest and are called “Bierleichen” or beer corpses.
If you’re interested in visiting Germany and are looking for more information, I highly recommend using the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide! Without these guides, I would be lost! This is my travel Bible!
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