A lot had changed in the country of Germany after Hitler and World War I. With its regal castles, quaint villages and modern infrastructure, nobody can deny that architecture is a big aspect in the progress of the country. A trip to Germany is indeed a soul- stirring journey that will not only captivate your sight and ears, but also a pleasurable experience for your taste buds with their plethora of gastronomic dishes done in the German way. Get ready to get lost in the wonders of spirited people, majestic sceneries of nature, palate teasers and the mixture of civilizations that is reflected by its kaleidoscopic culture.
Interesting and Important Facts About Germany
- Germany is made up of the North German Plain, the Central German Uplands (Mittelgebirge), and the Southern German Highlands. The Bavarian plateau in the southwest averages 1,600 ft (488 m) above sea level, but it reaches 9,721 ft (2,962 m) in the Zugspitze Mountains, the highest point in the country.
- Germany is a major economic and political power of the European continent and a historic leader in many cultural, theoretical and technical fields. After the United States, Germany is the second most popular migration destination in the world.
- Germany has the world’s fourth-largest economy by nominal GDP and the fifth-largest by purchasing power parity. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world’s third-largest exporter and third-largest importer of goods. It is a developed country with a very high standard of living, featuring comprehensive social security that includes the world’s oldest universal health care system.
- Germany’s land area was over 50% larger during the Second Reich (1871-1918) and included most of present-day Poland and parts of Lithuania.
- Germany has nearly 700 zoological gardens, wildlife parks, aquariums, bird parks, animal reserves, or safari parks, including 414 registered zoos (more than the USA) ! 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).
- The Fairy Grottoes (Feengrotten) in Saalfeld, Thuringia, are the world’s most colourful caves, according to the Guinness Book of Records.
- There are some 2.5 million half-timbered houses in Allemagne, by far the highest number of any country worldwide.
- The Lake Constance region, where Germany borders Austria and Switzerland, is a holiday paradise set around one of Europe’s largest lakes. The most popular excursion is to the Flower Island of Mainau, famous for its magnificent park and gardens surrounding the baroque family residence of Count Bernadotte. Discover an oasis of natural beauty, harmony and relaxation.
- The Romantic Road whisks you away on a journey of approximately 400km from Würzburg to Füssen in the Allgä This ‘grandfather’ of Germany’s scenic routes – now more than 60 years old – is a highlight that attracts visitors from all over the world.
- The ultimate fairytale castle, Neuschwanstein is situated on a rugged hill near Füssen in southwest Bavaria. It was the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty castles in the Disneyland parks.
- The Alpine Ibex is a species of wild goat that lives in the mountains of the European Alps. Ibexes are strictly herbivorous and survive on a diet of grass, moss, flowers, leaves and twigs. If leaves and shoots are out of reach, Ibexes often stand on their rear legs to reach this food.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts About Germany
- The Christmas tree (Tannenbaum) tradition came from Germany.
- German people are the second biggest consumers of beer in the world (after the Czechs), with an average of 107 litres per person per year in 2010 (or 0.30 l per day).
- Germany was the first country in the world to adopt Daylight saving time (DST, a.k.a. summer time) in 1916, in the midst of WWI.
- In 2006, the world’s youngest billionnaire is the German Prince Albert II von Thurn und Taxis, with net worth is estimated at around $1.9 billion (USD).
- As of 2012, German athletes have won a total of 1662 Olympic medals (summer and winter combined from 1896 to 2012), i.e. more than any other country in the world except the USA.
- 2% of Germans do not own cell phones.
- Gummy bears were invented by a German.
- The longest word published in the German language is Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft (79 letters). Try saying that five times fast.
- To ask for a beer in a pub, you would use your thumb to indicate “one” rather than your index finger
- Most taxis in Germany are Mercedes.
- The most popular German surname (Nachname) is Müller.
- Adidas was founded by the Bavarian, Adolf “Adi”His other brother, Rudolf Dassler founded Puma.
Historical and Cultural Facts About Germany
- The Celts are believed to have been the first inhabitants of Germany. They were followed by German tribes at the end of the 2nd century B.C. German invasions destroyed the declining Roman Empire in the 4th and 5th centuries A.D.
- Construction of the Cologne Cathedral began in 1248 and took, with interruptions, more than 600 years to complete. It is dedicated to the saints Peter and Mary and is the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Cologne.
- The Berlin Wall (German: Berliner Mauer) was a barrier that existed between 1961 and 1990,constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off (by land) West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin until it was opened in 1989.
- Germany’s predilection for world dominance has not come without a price. In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles held the country accountable for 132 billion gold marks. This amount was later dropped to 50 billion. Some of this was paid with loans from New York banks, and the rest was paid off with goods like coal and lumber. Germany made the last interest payment on its World War I reparation debt on October 3, 2010. Many historians contend that this crushing debt destroyed the German economy with inflation and contributed indirectly to the rise of the Third Reich.
- The Oktoberfest in Munich is the largest Volksfest in the world with over 6 million visitors annually. Despite the name, the Oktoberfest starts at the end of September until the first weekend in October. An important part of Bavarian culture, the festival has been held since 1810. Visitors enjoy a wide variety of traditional fare such as Hendl, Schweinebraten, Würstl, Knödel and large quantities of German beer.
- In many respects, Germans can be considered the masters of planning.This is a culture that prizes forward thinking and knowing what they will be doing at a specific time on a specific day.Careful planning, in one’s business and personal life, provides a sense of security.Rules and regulations allow people to know what is expected and plan their life accordingly.
- Greetings are formal.A quick, firm handshake is the traditional greeting.Titles are very important and denote respect. Use a person’s title and their surname until invited to use their first name. You should say Herr or Frau and the person’s title and their surname.
- Germans love their meat – and sauerbraten (meaning ‘sour’ or ‘pickled’ roast) is a pot roast that’s regarded as one of the country’s national dishes. It can be made from many different meats (originally horse), which are marinated in wine, vinegar, spices, herbs and seasoning for up to 10 days. Schweinenbraten is a delicious roast pork dish, usually served with braised cabbage or sauerkraut and dumplings (knoedel), and washed down with a pilsner beer.
- A German tradition of decorating trees and bushes with Easter eggs is known as the Ostereierbaum, or Easter egg tree. A notable example is the Saalfelder Ostereierbaum (Saalfeld Easter egg tree) in Saalfeld, Thuringia.
- A dirndl [ˈdɪʁndl̩] is a type of traditional dress worn in Germany – especially Bavaria – Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria and South Tyrol, based on the historical costume of Alpine peasants. Dresses that are loosely based on the dirndl are known as Landhausmode (“country-inspired fashion”).A dirndl skirt generally describes a light circular cut dress, gathered at the waist, that falls below the knee.