Germany is a member of the European Union (EU) with one of the strongest economies in the world. It is the most populated country in the region with around 80 million residents. With an area of 357,022 square kilometers, it is the fifth largest country in EU bordered by nine countries, such as Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland. Its capital city is Berlin and the official language is German.
There is more to explore in this sausage-crazed country than just Oktoberfest, Beethoven, Hitler, and Pretzels. Here are some of the fascinating things about Germany.
1. The richest nation in European Union and the 4th in the world
Out of the 27 countries included in the European Union, Germany is considered to have the largest economy. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Economic Outlook Database released in 2019, it had a GDP of $3.84 trillion. An interesting fact about Germany is that this country is currently ranked 4th on the richest country in the world list, with Japan at No. 3, China at No.2, and the United States occupying the top spot.
2. Germany invented the first true and practical automobile
The concept of self-propelled machines had been tried many times since the time of Leonardo da Vinci. However, in 1885, Carl Benz invented and patented the first practical 3-wheeled automobile. It was powered by an internal combustion engine and he called it the “Motorwagen.” Mercedes-Benz, the car company he built with Gottlieb Daimler, Wilhelm Maybach, and Emil Jellinek in 1926, still exists up to this day.
3. Each year, about 800 million Currywursts are consumed by Germans
Currywurst is a type of sausage in Germany. It became so popular with its citizens that a museum was built because of it and was designated with its own official holiday. It originated in a Berlin district during World War II. A woman named Herta Heuwer created a spicy dish with sliced pork sausage mixed with ketchup and curry powder. It became a staple snack in Germany up to this day.
4. It owns one of the most powerful passports in the world
German passport holders enjoy the convenience of owning the third of the most powerful passports in the world. According to the Henley Passport Index, they can travel visa-free to 189 global destinations, an interesting fact about Germany. Germany tied the rank with South Korea, Singapore coming at No. 2, and Japan topping the list.
5. Prostitution in Germany is legal
While prostitution is a big no-no to most countries in different parts of the world, it is legal and regulated in Germany. It is considered a huge franchise business in the country as more red-light districts and brothels are being established not only in the major cities but in smaller towns as well. Providing sex is now regarded as a legitimate job.
6. It is one of the largest automakers in the world
With Volkswagen bringing in the biggest numbers in car production before 2019 ended, Germany earned a spot in one of the world’s top automakers. Other top-selling brands of automobile in the country are Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. Global surveys often ranked German cars as one of the top 3 most preferred cars by car enthusiasts.
7. The world’s tallest church is in Germany
The Ulm Minster, a Lutheran Church, is the world’s tallest church, a fun Germany fact. It measures at an amazing 161.5 meters or 530 feet. It is often mistaken for a Cathedral because of its massive size even if a Bishop never resided there. Churchgoing vertigo sufferers in Germany will have a hard time climbing the spiral staircase in the church spire if they want to see a stunning view of the city of Ulm.
8. Escaping prison is legal in German law
Oddly, the law in Germany protects the basic human rights of the prisoner when it comes to jailbreak. Unlike most countries that punish escapees with additional incarceration years after they have been recovered, German law recognizes the right of its prisoners to seek freedom. However, it does not mean they go totally unpunished. These prisoners are liable for the damage of property incurred and harm given to anyone during the escape.
9. Germany offers free college education
All public universities in Germany do not require its students to pay tuition fees except for small miscellaneous fees. Law makers in 2014 decided that it is socially unjust for its citizens to pay to acquire higher education. In 16 different states in the country, everyone can study in college for free. Even international students can apply for admission.
10. It is home to some of the world’s most popular inventions
German inventors are credited for several things that most people in the world are enjoying today. Here are just some of the most popular ones: light bulb, insulin, pocket watch, automated calculator, automobile, motorcycle, gasoline and diesel engines, LCD screen, refrigerator, MP3 player, and partly the television, an interesting fact about Germany.
11. About 65% of Germany’s Legendary Autobahn do not have a speed limit
German’s Autobahn, the model of modern expressways, is popularly known for not having a federally mandated speed limit for certain vehicles. It is not out of the ordinary if there are cars speeding at 200 kilometers per hour. However, it is only for the 65% of the total length of the Autobahn. There is a recommended speed limit on some accident-prone and highly populated areas.
12. Numerous famous people are traced with German roots
An interesting fact about Germany is that this country has produced famous people whose names were often mentioned in school and whose works were thoroughly analyzed. Albert Einstein, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Gutenberg, Grimm Brothers, Anne Frank, and Adolf Hitler are just some of them.
13. It is a global leader in recycling and using renewable energy
Germany has made sure that its citizens would enjoy a cleaner environment by making policies to help in the ongoing problem with climate change. The government shared the responsibility to achieve a greener earth with its people by teaching them the importance of recycling. One third of the nation today is using renewable energy for its source of power. By 2022, the country will no longer use any of its nuclear power plants as they started decommissioning those plants back in 2011.
The high level of employment in Germany is due to the country’s successful exporting of goods and services to other nations. While its economy can be vulnerable if there would be future disputes in global trade, it is still expected to grow more in the coming years. The World Bank estimated that Germany will continue to be a major economic powerhouse not only in Europe but in the whole world.
I hope that this article on Germany facts was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Country Facts Page!