Interesting facts about Germany

germany flag

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.

berlin

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.

forest germany

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.

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.

the zugspitze highest mountain in germany

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.

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.

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).

albert einstein

 

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).

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.

oktoberfest

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 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.

Black Forest cake

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.

neuschwanstein castle

First publication, which could be called a magazine, was the German Erbauliche Monaths Unterredungen, released in the year 1663.

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.

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.

In Germany, it is illegal to run out of fuel on highways.

Pillows are considered to be “passive weapons” in Germany.

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