35 facts about Germany

The country

  • Germany’s territory covers about 137,850 sqm (slightly bigger than Montana).
  • The biggest city is the capital Berlin with 3.4 mill inhabitants (Hamburg: 1.74 mill, Munich: 1.26 mill).
  • Germany consists of 16 states, 3 of which are city states (Hamburg, Berlin, Bremen).
  • Germany shares borders with Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland.
  • One of the world’s top exporters, with the main exports being cars, machines and chemical products.
  • 18 is the universal age of consent.
  • There are 9 to 13 holidays (varies from state to state).
  • Employees get 20 to 30 days paid vacation per year.
  • The population growth rate is -0.033 - more of a decline rate.
  • 34% of the population are Protestants and also 34% are Catholics.

Innovations

  • Johannes Gutenberg developed a technique to print with movable type around 1450.
  • Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit developed precise thermometers and the scale still used in the US.
  • Robert Koch discovered the anthrax bacillus (1877) and the tuberculosis bacillus (1882) for which he was awarded a Nobel Prize.
  • Karl Benz built the first automobile in 1886.
  • Emil Berliner’s patent for a gramophone was granted in 1887.
  • Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovered X-rays in 1895 and was awarded the very first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901.
  • Karl Ferdinand Braun developed the cathode-ray tube in 1897.
  • Rudolf Diesel built the first diesel engine in 1897.
  • Melitta Bentz didn’t enjoy coffee grounds in her cup. So in 1908 she develops the coffee filter.
  • Konrad Zuse invented the first programmable computer (the Z3) in 1941.

Oddities

  • The state Hesse has a death penalty in its constitution, but Federal Law prevents its use.
  • The biggest festival is called Oktoberfest, but starts in September.
  • The price for a liter beer at the Oktoberfest 2007 will be 7.70 to 8.00 Euros.
  • There are about 300 sorts of bread and over 1500 sorts of sausage in Germany - but not one decent barbeque sauce.
  • Everyone who owns a tv has to pay 17.03 Euros per month for public tv.
  • Prices of books are set by the publisher, not the retailer.
  • Germans are the World Heavyweight Champions of recycling.
  • Why heavyweight? Because they have the fattest asses in all of Europe.
  • Germans are known for their “Bratwurst”. But their favorite fast food is the Doener Kebap.
  • During WWII the Germans couldn’t get Coca Cola syrup. So, the threw together everything juicy they could find and called it Fanta.

The Autobahn

(since you’re always asking)

  • Germany has an autobahn network of more than 7600 miles.
  • 65% of the autobahn has no speed limit.
  • Autobahns may only be used by powered vehicles that have a maximum speed exceeding 60 km/h.
  • If you get caught running out of gas on an autobahn, you get fined.
  • No, the Autobahn wasn’t Hitler’s idea.

“To the English I say this: be grateful for the Germans. Were it not for them, you would be the most hated people in Europe.”
(Simon Munnery, Attention Scum)

I just received an email from a reader, who informed me that the “Germans are the fattest Europeans” study has used the wrong data. I read it up and, although my ass backs the story up, it indeed might be wrong.

Revised fact: Germans are one of the fattest nations in Europe. Another title I didn’t win. I feel so inadequate. (Thanks to Johta for the tip ;-))


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15 Comments

Comment by A rossmann
2007-05-17 09:06:10

According to this website…it really was Hitlers idea. Here in Germany is is also the accepted true history…sorry!http://www.hitler.org/artifacts/autobahn/

Comment by Tobsy
2007-05-17 15:16:39

Like sharoz wrote, the Autobahn is older. Hitler just used it to get a lot of unemployed people working, so he’d look like the man who battled unemployment extremely effective.

Wikipedia on the Autobahn

 
 
Comment by sharoz
2007-05-17 11:56:54

Well, Hitler didn’t invented the Autobahn. In fact there was the AVUS in Berlin, which is still in use. And it was planned and build long before the 3rd Reich was declared. in fact even before the first WW.
But he pushed the idea forward, it was a way to get people to work and an enhancement for the infrastructure.

 
Comment by hans
2007-05-19 00:45:21

we are the fattest in europe!

 
Comment by SEO Expert Blog
2007-05-19 17:17:22

Simon Munnery’s quote is simply great :-D

 
Comment by schwedenkrone
2007-05-25 01:16:26

i would not cite a website called hitler.org but there some nice things found on the site. it is not easy to get hitler speeches in the web.

 
Comment by schwedenkrone
2007-05-25 01:17:55

and obviously it it not very scientific.

 
Comment by das brian
2007-05-28 05:07:48

Munich has great bier halls. Mmm bier. Americans, don’t be afraid of the 8 euro liters during Oktoberfest, it is the greatest beer in the world, and during Oktoberfest they double the alcohol content. Delicious. I say ‘Ja!’ to der alkohol!

 
Comment by rafbuff
2007-05-29 22:29:22

great German inventions seem to stop in 1941. Worth mentioning is probably the contributions to television tv

http://www.dpma.de/infos/galerie/erfindergalerie/e_fernsehen.html

and the invention of mp3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karlheinz_Brandenburg

not trying to demote the importance of Autobahns and Beer :)

Here is some more

http://inventors.about.com/od/germaninventors/German_Inventors.htm

Comment by Tobsy
2007-05-29 22:39:57

Oh, damn. I totally forgot the mp3. Thanks for reminding me :-).

 
 
Comment by website copywriter
2007-05-30 10:20:40

Fanta, cool, I didn’t know that. :)

 
Comment by racquel
2007-05-31 06:15:13

I love to travel and I always try to find out about the history of the places I see. I like trivias, too. So thanks for the info. I’ll keep those in mind when I visit Germany :)

 
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