Sunday, 6 September 2015

69 Fun Facts About Germany

Germany, the country of beer, sausages, and Oktoberfest is an interesting country no doubt. With so much going on there (or shall I say here!), it surely calls for an interesting facts post. So here’s not ten, or twenty, but sixty-nine (neunundsechzig!) fun facts about Germany! And if you manage to get through all that, check out my post on German Stereotypes! Enjoy!
  1. Germans are the second largest beer consumers in the world, after the Irish (of course).
  2. Beer is officially considered a food in Bavaria.
  3. Michael Ballack does not like beer.
  4. Germany is Europe’s largest economy.
  5. The most popular German surname (Nachname) is Müller.
  6. Chancellor Angela Merkel has a Barbie doll made after her.
  7. Historically, Germany was known as the Holy Roman Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia, and the Weimar Republic.
  8. 31% of the country has been kept with forests and woodlands, with Hesse having the most.
  9. There are over 300 kinds of bread in Germany.
  10. There are also bread museums.
  11. There are 35 dialects of the German language.
  12. The Wittelsbachs ruled Bavaria for 738 years.
  13. Munich is further north than any major US city (excluding Alaska).
  14. 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.
  15. Germany is the first country to adopt Daylight Saving Time (DST) in 1916.
  16. 2% of Germans do not own cell phones.
  17. Gummy bears were invented by a German.
  18. The balcony of the hotel Michael Jackson dangled his son over is in Berlin.
  19. While it is called Oktoberfest, it actually starts in Steptember.
  20. The first Oktoberfest was a wedding celebration for Prince Ludwig of Bavaria.
  21. 65% of the Autobahn (highway) has no speed limit.
  22.  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.”)
  23. The first printed book was in German.
  24. German is the third most commonly taught language worldwide.
  25. When JFK visited Berlin, he infamously said “Ich bin ein Berliner,” which also translates to “I am a jelly donut.”
  26. Hugo Boss designed the official uniforms for the Nazi Party and Hitler Youth. (I did an assignment on this for German class if anyone is interested in reading more about it)
  27. 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)
  28. Til Schweiger, sometimes known as the “German Brad Pitt,” is born one day after Pitt.
  29. The longest word published in the German language is Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft (79 letters). Try saying that five times fast. 
  30. Famous Bavarians include Pope Benedict XVI, Richard Wagner, Richard Straus, Thomas Mann, Levi Strauss, and Rudolf Diesel.
  31. The Berlin Wall fell in 1989 (the year I was born!).
  32. The world’s tallest cathedral is in Ulm.
  33. Berlin has the largest train station in Europe.
  34. Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany.
  35. German is spoken by more than 100 million people worldwide.
  36. There are over 150 castles in Germany.
  37. The Christmas tree (Tannenbaum) tradition came from Germany.
  38. Freiburg is the warmest German city.
  39. There are over 60 beer gardens in Munich.
  40. Germany has over 400 zoos, the most in the world.
  41. There are over 1,000 kinds of sausages in Germany.
  42. Germany borders 9 countries (Austria, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, Luxemburg, Holland, Czech Republic, and Poland).
  43. Berlin is nine times bigger than Paris.
  44. Most taxis in Germany are Mercedes.
  45. 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 (Gymnasium is the highest level).Why they’re so smart. Inventions and contributions to the world of arts:
    1. Albert Einstein, the most recognized scientist in the world, was German and born in Ulm.
    2. Einstein married his cousin.
    3. There is a rumour that Einstein failed his first University Entrance Exam (he didn’t).
    4. Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz created the first motor-driven vehicles
    5. Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, originally used for printing the Bible.
    6. Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovered the X-rays in 1895.
    7. The cuckoo clock is invented in Germany in the 17th century.
    8. Other notable German inventions include: the telephone, diesel engine, aspirin, fluorescent lamp, and the pregnancy test.
    9. There are 102 German Nobel laureates as of 2009.
    10. Adidas was founded by the Bavarian, Adolf “Adi”Dassler.
    11. His other brother, Rudolf Dassler founded Puma.
    12. Famous German composers include Beethoven, Schumann, Bach, Wagner, Strauss, and Handel.
    13. Famous philosophers include Nietzsche, Marx, Kant and Hegel.Facts about football:
      1. The Deutscher Fußball-Bund was found in 1900 in Leipzig.
      2. The Bayern Munich is the most successful team in the Bundesliga having won four times (1974, 1975, 1976, 2001)
      3. Nicknames for Bayern Munich include Der FCB, Die Bayern, Die Roten and FC Hollywood.
      4. 10% of Bayern’s shares are owned by Adidas.
      5. Franz Beckenbauer is nicknamed “Der Kaiser”
      6. The DFB won 3 times in 1954, 1974, 1990, and their wins are represented by the three stars on their logo.
      7. Rudi Voller told Michael Ballack to take his number 13.
      8. Ballack’s favourite cologne is “Romance” for men by Calvin Klein (Guys – take note).
      9. Mesut Ozil (of Turkish descent) recites verses of the Koran before kick-offs.
      10. Lukas Podolski paid a 5000 euro fine and admitted to being an “idiot” after slapping Ballack’s face during a qualifying win against Wales when Ballack shouted at him over a misplaced pass.
      11. There’s more soccer fan clubs in Germany than anywhere else in the world.
      Disclaimer: my blog is mainly for entertainment purposes, and not an encyclopedia. These fun facts came from information that my friends have told me, that I’ve witnessed, read, or stumbled upon on the internet. Some of these facts may be out of date and therefore, I do not suggest anyone quoting these facts for a research paper, or use in life or death situations. Danke.

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