Interesting Facts: Germany
Germany officially the Federal Republic of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic in western-central Europe.
Germany is the fifth largest country in Europe covering an area of 357,021 square kilometers (137,847 square miles).
Germany shares borders with nine European: Denmark in the north, Poland and the Czech Republic in the east, Switzerland (its only non-EU neighbor) and Austria in the south, France in the southwest and Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands in the west.
Official language is German.
The name for Germany in the German language is Deutschland.
Germany is the most populous member state in the European Union.In 2015 was estimated to have a population of 82,562,004.
Berlin, Germany’s capital and cultural center, dates to the 13th century.
Germany’s flag is gold, red and black.
Other major cities include Munich, Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart and Frankfurt.
The cities of Aachen, Regensburg, Frankfurt-am-Main, Nuremberg, Weimar, Bonn and Berlin have all been capitals of Germany.
Germany is abundant in dense forestation throughout the country, providing natural habitation for a wide array of animal life.
There are more forests in Germany than any other country west or south of Europe.
The world’s oldest brewery is located in Freising, Bavaria. It is the Weihenstephaner Brewery and has existed since 1040 when it began as a monastery brewery run by monks.
The most common wild animal in Germany is the red squirrel, found throughout all regions in the country. Also common throughout Germany are weasels, beavers, and badgers.
Germany also possess a variety of mountain ranges, from the Alps to the Eifel and Hunsr’ck mountain ranges found in the Rhineland.
Germany’s most popular sports are swimming, skiing, tennis and football (soccer).
The Zugspitze, at 2,962 m (9,718 ft) above sea level, is the highest peak of the Wetterstein Mountains as well as the highest mountain in Germany.
Germany is home to the oldest savings bank in the world, which was established in 1786 in Oldenburg.
Germany has had an unsettled history, including WWI, the Nazi regime and tension between East and West Germany (which were reunified in 1990).
Germany’s debt from WWI was equivalent to 96,000 tons of gold.
Germans are known for delicious food. Many of their dishes are popular around the world today, including black forest cake and sauerkraut, and sausage.
Germany made its final reparations payment from the WWI Treaty of Versailles in 2010.
Nazi Joseph Goebbels’ wife’s descendants are Germany’s richest family nowadays.
German-born Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl, which chronicles her and her family’s hiding from the Nazis for several years in Amsterdam during World War II, has sold over 300 million copies and been translated into 67 languages worldwide. She actually wrote her diary in an autograph book.
The tallest church in the world is in Germany – the Ulm Cathedral, at 530 feet tall.
Germany is sometimes known as ‘the land of poets and thinkers’ – Bach, Beethoven and Goethe were all German, alongside composers Händel, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Wagner and R. Strauss. Some of the world’s greatest German philosophers include Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Heidegger.
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist.He developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics).
The two biggest cuckoo clocks in the world are in Germany, in Schwarzwald and Schonach.
Germany is often referred to as Land der Dichter und Denker, which means country of poets and thinkers, because of the number of writers, inventors and scientists born there.
Germans have come up with some of the world’s most famous inventions, including the lightbulb, the automated calculator, and the automobile. Germans can also take credit for the discovery of insulin, aspirin as well as the invention of the pocket watch, the clarinet, television (partially), paraffin, gasoline and Diesel engines, the automobile engine, the differential gear, the motorcycle, the jet engine, the LCD screen, and the personal cassette player (later named the Walkman by Sony).
Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, Georg Friedrich Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach were all famous composers from Germany.
Germany is one of the world’s largest car producers, selling more than 3 million in 2014. In 2014, the top-selling car brands were Volkswagen, Mercedes, Audi, and BMW.
Munich’s Oktoberfest is the world’s biggest folk and beer festival. It officially starts the last week of September and lasts to the first Sunday in October. It dates back to 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig threw a party to celebrate his wedding to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on October 12.
Germany is the world’s largest exporter of goods and second only to Japan in the number of cars it manufactures.
Over 1,500 kinds of sausages are made in Germany.
The name “hamburger” actually came from Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany.
Germany’s motto is Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit which means Unity and Justice and Freedom.
Germany’s most famous cake is the schwarzwälder kirschtorte (Black Forest cake) which is a three-layer chocolate sponge cake filled with cream and cherries marinated in cherry schnapps.
There are approximately 20,000 wind turbines in Germany, making it one of the world’s largest producers of wind energy.
With over 14,000 distilleries, Germany’s Black Forest has the world’s highest density of spirit distilleries in the world.
Germany has over 150 castles. Walt Disney modeled the castles in the film Sleeping Beauty and later in Disneyland and Disneyworld on Bavaria’s “Mad” King Ludwig II’s Neuschwanstein Castle, which may be Germany’s most famous.
There are more than 5,700 museums in Germany.
Approximately 7 million liters of beer are served during Oktoberfest.
First publication, which could be called a magazine, was the German Erbauliche Monaths Unterredungen, released in the year 1663.
The youngest billionaire in the world is from Germany. He is worth an estimated $1.9 billion US.
Berlin’s Zoologischer Garten is the largest zoo in the world both in terms of number of species (1,500) and animal population (14,000). Germany boasts more than 400 registered zoos.
In 2014, Germany officially abolished college tuition fees, even for international students.
Approximately 25% of Americans have some German ancestry.
Germans discovered insulin.
Germany is the EU’s largest economy and lies fourth place in the world behind the US, China and Japan.
The population of Germany is in decline. It has fallen by 2 million in the last decade.
Germany is rated highly as a place to grow old – life expectancy in Germany is almost 81 years.
In Germany, there’s no punishment for a prisoner who tries to escape from jail because it is a basic human instinct to be free.
Germany is home to the oldest university – Heidelberg University. It was established in 1386.
In Germany, it is illegal to run out of fuel on highways.
Germans are second only to the Czechs in how much beer they drink.
Pillows are considered to be “passive weapons” in Germany.
There are more than 1,300 breweries in Germany. They make approximately 5,000 different kinds of beer.
Germany is home to Oktoberfest, the world’s biggest fair, held in Munich each year. It runs for 16 days and is famous for the beer and food served during the fair.