While almost everybody can identify the German flag and is aware of German history from the past 100 years, there are a number of fascinating quirks and facts that get over looked. Besides being Europe’s most industrialized and populous country, Germany is famed for its achievements in technology, also producing a huge proportion of the most celebrated poets, composers, musicians, film directors and philosophers.
Also, was wissen Sie über Deutschland wissen?
- The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, is ranked as the most powerful female alive today and the second most powerful person in any Government worldwide. So much so, in 2009 Mattel produced an Angela Merkel Barbie doll.
- Germany is the EU’s largest economy. With a GDP (gross domestic product) of over €2.5 Billion, placing 4th behind the United States, China and Japan.
- Berlin holds the worlds largest zoo – the Zoologischer Garten, with a further 400 registered zoos throughout Germany – from wildlife parks, bird sanctuaries, animal reserves, safari parks and aquariums to zoological gardens and petting zoos.
- Germany is one of the world’s most prominent car manufacturers – selling around 5.9 million cars every year. The Volkswagen Golf and the Beetle are two of the best selling cars ever produced – with Germany boasting the automotive prowess of Mercedes, Volkswagen, Audi and BMW.
- Around two-thirds of the population are Christian, with an even split between Catholic and Protestant numbers. However, you will find a larger number of Protestants in the north and a larger number of Catholics in the south of Germany. There are around 4 million Muslims and 100,000 Jews.
- Viewing the 1963 “Dinner For One” British Comedy sketch is a traditional part of the German New Years Eve celebrations.
- Life expectancy in Germany is one year higher than the OEDC (Organisation for Economic Co-operation Development Country) average. 83 years old for women and 78 years old for men. Currently, over 26% of the population are over 60 years of age. Germany also ranks 3rd in the age watch index (out of 91 countries) for wellbeing of the elderly.
- Germany houses the worlds narrowest street – situated in Reutlingen. Called ‘Spreuerhofstrasse’, the street is only one foot (31 centimetres) wide at its narrowest point.
- There are over 300 kinds of bread manufactured in Germany.
- Should you ask a German the time, they tell it differently compared to what you would normally be used to. If told “halb zwölf” (translating as half twelve), the time is actually 11:30. Germans count the minutes until the turn of the next hour, rather than after.
- There is a museum located within Berlin dedicated solely to the “currywurst”, an extremely popular take on pork sausage drenched in a spicy sauce.
- The dialect spoken in vast parts of Northern Germany stems largely from Old Saxon. Many words hold the same roots – such as make (maken), knife (kniv) and sailing ship (sailschipp) among many others.
- Germany is a hugely popular filming location for action movies: Octopussy, Tomorrow Never Dies, Run Lola Run, Mission: Impossible III, The Three Musketeers, Hanna, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Target, The Odessa File and The Monuments Men are only a few examples.
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