Nestled between The Alps, the North Sea and Baltic sea, lies Germany. Known for Hitler, Nazi and Berlin Wall, not many know that Germany formed the central part of Roman Empire. Shocked, huh? Most people think that Rome was the heart of the great Roman Empire. But no, it was Germany.
Rest of the world views Germans and their motherland with scrutinizing eyes.
So let us now read some unknown facts about Germany and its citizens
15. Publishing Industry
Germany is one of the leading reading nation. Nearly 94,000 books are published every year. It is a place where the International Frankfurt Book Fair is more important than any other event. Being the birthplace of Gutenberg press, it does not come as a surprise. The first known book was printed in German. Also, Germans printed the first ever known magazine, Erbauliche Monaths-Unterredungen.
14. Climate and Energy Policy
Germany is a leader in Climate and energy policy. They made a decision in 2011 to decommission all the nuclear power plants by 2022. At that time more than 18% of the country’s electricity was being generated by these nuclear power plants. They agreed upon replacing it with renewable. Currently, one-third of the country is powered by renewable energy.
Seeing that word, one may think that it is something related to some kind of machinery, given that we are reading about Germany. But Freikoerperkultur means free body culture, aka, nudism. Don’t freak but going completely nude in public is part of German culture. Spending summer in the parks of Berlin and Munich brings the chance of encountering a middle-aged, bronzed German wearing only a hat and reading a tabloid. This is often considered as a sign of being a true German.
Germans know the importance of culture and they value it. Not just in words, but by conducting more cultural activities than anywhere else in the world. The country has 6200 museums, 820 theaters, 130 professional orchestras and 8800 libraries. It might be the only country in the world where people prefer exhibitions over soccer.
11. LGBT community
The high tolerance and strict laws against discrimination towards LGBT community makes this society a safe haven for LGBT people. Berlin is the third largest gay city with 300,000 gay and lesbian residents. There are even laws that allow the same sex couples to adopt children.
It is not known to many, but Germany is the largest music market in Europe and the third largest in the world. German classical music is the most performed music at the classical music concerts. Germany boasts to be the birth place of two very renowned music composers; Bach and Beethoven. Bach was a classical composer who was known for his daring but signature innovations. Beethoven is a wonder of the entire music world. He was a deaf composer, acclaimed for his innovations in vocals and instruments bringing new life into classical and romantic music.
9. Hike your way through
This country boasts 200,000 kilometers of hike trails, all through its forests, mountains, river banks and coasts. From pastures filled with blooming flowers to forest covered mountains, one has a variety of terrains to choose from. Have a weekend? Go for a leisurely walk. Have an extended holiday? Try one of the narrowing winding path among the wilderness. The famous hiking trails are in Brandenburg, Bavaria, Saxon Switzerland and regions around Rhine and Moselle.
Germany is the land of fairytales. It would be hard to believe unless one sees the numerous castles dotting the landscape of this country. Estimations are that there are about 25,000 castles, not counting the partially ruined, still standing ones. Medieval hilltop fortresses, coated Renaissance castles and nineteenth century Romanesque revival palaces, you find it all here. The most famous one is Neuschwanstein in Bavaria. This castle is thought to be the inspiration for the famous Walt Disney castle. Most of these castles are now museums, restaurants and hotels. Very few are still occupied by the descendants.
As one must have guessed, it’s carnival time. All must have heard about the famous Rio de Janeiro carnival. The German equivalent is in par with that. But what makes it more special is the host country is a complete bureaucratic country. This is one occasion when the Germans let their hair down. On Rose Monday Parade in Northwest Germany, up to 2 million visitors show up in costumes and throng the streets of Cologne and Dusseldorf. In Southern Germany during Fasching and Fastnacht, people wear traditional dresses and devil or wild beast masks and celebrate the day. Irrespective of the place where it is celebrated, everything goes back to normal on Ash Wednesday.
Germany is well known for being a bureaucratic country and they have very good reasons for being the same. There are abundance of laws, controlling every aspect of life of its citizens. This over regulation results in unyielding and inflexible people. But it makes them one of the most efficient people in the world. Unlike many other countries, crossing the road when the pedestrian signal is red is frowned upon here. If caught by police, one may even get fined. Every house is supposed to maintain four garbage cans; for paper, plastic, organic and general waste. Failing to do so, people may end up giving fines. To control the social chaos, there are separate government offices for that known as Ordnungsamt, meaning “office of order”.
5. Baking Bread
Most of us consider bread as a part of a meal or even as just an ingredient for sandwiches. But for Germans it’s more than just part of a meal. It’s the part of their culture. They have wide variety of breads that differs from region to region. From dark heavy rye bread in north to lighter wheat bread in south, there are allegedly 1500 varieties of bread. On an average 87 kilograms of bread is consumed per person an year in Germany. Of course, this adds to their waistline. But culture is culture.
4. Automobile Industry
Germans are known for their expertise in machinery. Germany is the home for many great car manufacturers like Benz, Audi and BMW. While rest of the world spend time drooling over their premium automobiles, these people prefer trains for transportation. Deutsche Bahn operates majority of the trains. This high speed ICE, linking major tours and cities, traverses six million people, about 1,138,000 tons of freight and 26,000 train trips per day. But nevertheless, you will always be on time.
“Wir fahr’n fahr’n fahr’n auf der Autobahn”..
No, neither you read wrong nor did I write in wrong. Yeah, your guess is right. It is German. The translation in English is “We drive drive drive on the Autobahn” But what is Autobahn? According to Wiki, “The Autobahn is the federal controlled-access highway system in Germany. The official German term is Bundesautobahn (plural Bundesautobahnen, abbreviated BAB), which translates as “federal motorway”. Well, in simple words, it is a highway in Germany with a relaxed speed limit. Not just a normal highway, but a highway, 12,993 km in length. The popular belief is that there is no maximum speed limit for speed. But, the maximum speed limit varies according to weather conditions and the demographics of the area.
Is it some kind of dress or food? Nein!!(No!!) It means sausages. After beer, the most important food item of Germans are sausages. Any public events, let it be cultural or sports, it is incomplete without wurst. It is easy to get decent sausages for $2 even in central Berlin. Thüringr Bratwurst to Weisswurst, each region has its own wurst, which they are proud of, as they are of their beer.
The most important thing that makes Germany famous is Beer. Barley, hops and water are part of their everyday life. Germans eat, drink and breathe beer. They have the highest recorded consumption of beer next to Czech Republic. It is estimated that they have 1300 breweries and 5000 brew brands. Deutsche Reinheitsgebot are German brew laws, that came into existence in 1516, states that only barley, hops and water should be used. An average German drinks 140 litres of beer per year. There are many drinking songs, mostly about beer that are sung by Germans.
A visit to Germany is never perfect without attending the authentic German beer fest. The beer festival is the time when Germans show off their love and expertise in beer making.There are numerous beer fests that are conducted in Germany. The earliest one is supposed to have been conducted in the 1030s. The famous one being Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest is conducted from last weekend of September to first Sunday of October. It lasts up to 16 days. Free entrance and free flowing beer attract people from all around the world. This largest fair has celebrated brews of all hues and flavors since 1810. Other famous ones are Stuttgart, Frühlingfest, and Schützenfet.
Well now you know that Germany is not just Hilter, Berlin wall and world wars. It is an extraordinary country with tremendous respect for culture, tradition and humanity. What are you waiting for? Catch the next flight for Germany.