TOP-50 interesting facts about Germany and Germans
Germany is a country in Central Europe that shares many similarities with its neighbours. But at the same time, it is a unique country with its own customs, history and culture. In this article, we have collected 50 fascinating facts about this country and its people that will help you form a first impression and plan your holiday in Germany in an interesting way.
50 most amazing facts about Germans and Germany
So, let’s begin our journey through the history, traditions and sights of this amazing country.
1. The first humans on the territory of Germany appeared 500,000-600,000 years ago. This is the age of the Heidelberg man.
2. Germanic tribes settled these lands in the 1st millennium BC. For a long time they were rivals of Rome.
3. The Germanic king Otto I became the first Holy Roman Emperor.
4. The Hanseatic League, which united the northern cities of Germany, was for a long time the most powerful trading organisation in Europe.
5. It was here that book printing was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century.
6. In the 18th century, Germany became the birthplace of philosophy. The great philosophers Kant and Fichte lived and worked here.
7. The first centralised state on these lands appeared only in 1815. It was called the German Union and united 38 states.
8. Germany is the only country in the world that unleashed two world wars at once – the First and the Second.
9. The final unification of the country took place in 1990, when the GDR and FRG became a single state.
10. Modern Germany is divided into 16 federal states, each with its own laws and regulations.
11. It is home to 83 million people, making Germany the first most populous country in the European Union.
12. Germany is now one of the most popular countries for tourists, even though there are no warm seas or palm trees. More than 40 million tourists come to the country every year.
13. Berlin is not only the capital of Germany, but also one of the largest metropolises in Europe. By area, it is 8 times bigger than Paris.
14. Now the country ranks first in the EU in terms of contribution to the economy of the Union and fifth in the world in terms of GDP.
15. One of the symbols of Germany are medieval castles. There are more than 2 thousand of them, and many of them resemble fairy-tale palaces. Neuschwanstein Castle is considered the most popular among tourists.
16. Another symbol of the country is the famous cathedral in Cologne. This Gothic cathedral was built for more than 700 years, it was considered the tallest building in the world for four years, and now it can accommodate 40 thousand people.
17. Sans Souci Palace in Potsdam, built in the Rococo style, was the summer residence of King Frederick the Great. Now it is an important tourist attraction.
18. There are more than 400 zoos in the country. The largest and most famous among them is the Berlin Zoo. It was founded in 1844 and now occupies an area of 35 hectares.
19. In the city of Reutlingen, there is one of the narrowest streets in the world. Its width is only 31 centimetres.
20. Germany is famous for its parks for family holidays. Among the most popular are Europa-Park and Lego-land. To create the latter, 50 million real Lego pieces were used.
21. The Bavarian Oktoberfest, which is held every autumn, is considered the most popular folk festival in the world. It is visited by more than 6 million tourists every year.
Character and customs of Germans
22. The main character traits of Germans are punctuality, discipline, law-abidingness, pedantry and pragmatism. These traits are so strong that they have become the hallmark of the nation.
23. Germans value personal space and never flaunt family relationships.
24. An invitation to visit in Germany is a symbol of great respect, but coming uninvited, even to relatives, is considered bad form.
25. To make the family strong, the bride and groom before the wedding plant a rose bush and saw a log together.
26. In Germany, the tradition of kidnapping the bride at the wedding is still alive. Only now the groom’s friends steal her to the nearest beer bar. The groom must not only find the bride, but also pay all the expenses of the kidnappers.
27. For Germans, rationalism and frugality are in order, so they are responsible for the birth of a child. German families have children only after they are firmly on their feet. For them, career comes first, then children.
28. Almost every family has a nanny, because according to German laws, it is forbidden to leave a child under 9 years old alone and unsupervised.
29. Germans are very fond of pork sausages. There are more than 1.5 thousand types of sausages in the country, and they are served as a separate dish or as an appetiser.
30. Germans also love other meat dishes. Every festive table is sure to have a schnitzel, steak, cutlets or Schnellklops – a quick chop.
31. In Bavaria, beer is recognised as a food, not a drink. In total, more than 2 thousand kinds of beer are brewed in the country. The country ranks 2nd in the world after Ireland in terms of beer consumption.
32. In Germany, there is still a tradition of fortune-telling on molten lead. On New Year’s Eve, special figures made of lead appear in shops. They are melted over a spoon and lead is poured into water. By the formed figure, one guesses about the future.
33. Germans have no omen about the even number of flowers in a bouquet, it does not matter. But with the colour it is important not to make a mistake, because white is considered a symbol of death.
34. Germans love to give gifts. But there is an unspoken rule that the price of a gift should not exceed 20 euros, except for special occasions. This is done so that the giver does not consider himself a debtor.
35. Schools in Germany set the start date of the new school year themselves. As a rule, classes start as early as August.
36. Germans like to gather in small groups, companies of like-minded people. As a rule, such groups choose a certain bar for their meetings, where the owners set special discounts for them and reserve their table.
37. The national German dance is the Landler. It is a cheerful and even mischievous pair dance, which is loved to be performed at folk festivals.
38. The Germans also have such a dance as the Schuplattler. This is a kind of landler, which used to be danced exclusively by men. In fact, in addition to stomping, clapping on the thighs and other noise, this dance includes such a movement as a kick on the buttocks of the partner.
Fines in Germany
39. One of the main features of German life is considered to be strict obedience to rules and laws, the so-called ordung. Violators of these rules may face heavy fines.
40. A fine is imposed for throwing rubbish on the streets. For example, for thrown chewing gum you can be fined 75 euros, and for a cigarette butt – 50. Fines await those who do not sort rubbish correctly.
41. Even bigger fines await those who litter in nature. There its size can be up to 1000 euros, because Germans are very sensitive to the environment.
42. Dog owners should also be careful. The usual fine for not cleaning up dog faeces is 10 euros, but in some corners, such as Bavaria, its size jumps to 150 euros.
43. There are some curious fines in Germany. So on some beaches it is forbidden to build high sand castles. The violator can be fined for 1000 euros.
44. In some states, there is a system of fines for indecent gestures. For example, a person can be fined 150 euros for sticking out his tongue and 400 euros for using his middle finger.
45. But no one is punished for trying to escape in Germany, because the desire for freedom is considered to be the main human instinct here.
46. The symbol of the country is the German Shepherd Dog, a breed bred only in the late XIX century from the dogs of local shepherds.
47. Another symbol of the country is the dachshund, a breed that was designed to hunt foxes in narrow dens. Hence, the strange squat and elongated silhouette of these dogs with powerful but short legs.
48. The Baltic island of Rügen is considered the largest in Germany. It is home to the Jasmund National Park, famous for its white chalk cliffs.
49. The second-longest river in Western Europe, the Rhine, flows through Germany. And the longest river, the Danube, originates in the mountains of southern Germany.
50. The most popular forest area of the country for tourists is the Black Forest. It is a very dense coniferous forest, nicknamed the Black Forest. It is located in the south-west of the country.
Friends, if you know any more interesting facts about Germans and Germany, please share them in the comments. This country is full of amazing stories, culture and traditions, and many people would be glad to learn something new. We will be very grateful to you!