54 Germany – Did You Know Facts
In this list of interesting facts about Germany, I’m sure you will find lost of travel news and things you didn’t know about Germany.
- Germans are the second largest beer consumers in the world, after the Irish
- Beer is officially considered a food in Bavaria.
- Michael Ballack does not like beer.
- Germany is Europe’s largest economy.
- The most popular German surname (Nachname) is Müller.
- Historically, Germany was known as the Holy Roman Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia, and the Weimar Republic.
- There are over 300 kinds of bread in Germany.
- There are also bread museums.
- There are 35 dialects of the German language.
- The Wittelsbachs ruled Bavaria for 738 years.
- Munich is further north than any major US city (excluding Alaska).
- German is the official language of 5 countries: Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. It is also spoken in Northern Italy and the French provinces of Alsace and Lorraine.
- Germany is the first country to adopt Daylight Saving Time (DST) in 1916.
- Gummy bears were invented by a German.
- The balcony of the hotel Michael Jackson dangled his son over is in Berlin.
- While it is called Oktoberfest, it actually starts in Steptember.
- The first Oktoberfest was a wedding celebration for Prince Ludwig of Bavaria.
- 65% of the Autobahn (highway) has no speed limit.
- The Cologne Cathedral took 632 years to build. (Bill Bryson in Neither Here Nor There (p. 88) wrote: “It is absolutely immense, over 500 feet long and more than 200 feet wide…It can hold 40,000 people. You can understand why it took 700 years to build – and that was with German workers. In Britain they would still be digging the foundations.”)
- The first printed book was in German.
- German is the third most commonly taught language worldwide.
- When JFK visited Berlin, he infamously said “Ich bin ein Berliner,” which also translates to “I am a jelly donut.”
- Hugo Boss designed the official uniforms for the Nazi Party and Hitler Youth.
- To ask for a beer in a pub, you would use your thumb to indicate “one” rather than your index finger (watch Inglorious Basterds for improper examples of ordering beer)
- Til Schweiger, sometimes known as the “German Brad Pitt,” is born one day after Pitt.
- The longest word published in the German language is Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft (79 letters).
- Famous Bavarians include Pope Benedict XVI, Richard Wagner, Richard Straus, Thomas Mann, Levi Strauss, and Rudolf Diesel.
- The Berlin Wall fell in 1989.
- The world’s tallest cathedral is in Ulm.
- Berlin has the largest train station in Europe.
- Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany.
- German is spoken by more than 100 million people worldwide.
- There are over 150 castles in Germany.
- The Christmas tree (Tannenbaum) tradition came from Germany.
- Freiburg is the warmest German city.
- There are over 60 beer gardens in Munich.
- Germany has over 400 zoos, the most in the world.
- There are over 1,000 kinds of sausages in Germany.
- Germany borders 9 countries (Austria, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, Luxemburg, Holland, Czech Republic, and Poland).
- Berlin is nine times bigger than Paris.
- Most taxis in Germany are Mercedes.
- In the 4th grade, German kids are placed into Hauptschule, Realschule or Gymnasium, which pretty much determines if you will go to university or straight to the work force.
Inventions by Germans:
- Albert Einstein, the most recognized scientist in the world, was German and born in Ulm.
2. Einstein married his cousin.
3. Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz created the first motor-driven vehicles.
4. Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, originally used for printing the Bible.
5. Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovered the X-rays in 1895.
6. The cuckoo clock is invented in Germany in the 17th century.
7. Other notable German inventions include: the telephone, diesel engine, aspirin, fluorescent lamp, and the pregnancy test.
8. There are 102 German Nobel laureates as of 2009.
9. Adidas was founded by the Bavarian, Adolf “Adi”Dassler.
10. His other brother, Rudolf Dassler founded Puma.
11. Famous German composers include Beethoven, Schumann, Bach, Wagner, Strauss, and Handel.
12. Famous philosophers include Nietzsche, Marx, Kant and Hegel.