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German Association Fun Facts

Fun Facts

Did you know that...

  • The most popular German surname (Nachname) is Müller.
  • Historically, Germany was known as the Holy Roman Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia, and the Weimar Republic.
  • 31% of the country has been kept with forests and woodlands, with Hesse having the most.
  • There are over 300 kinds of bread in Germany.
  • There are 35 dialects of the German language.
  • 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.
  • Germany is the first country to adopt Daylight Saving Time (DST) in 1916.
  • 2% of Germans do not own cell phones.
  • Gummy bears were invented by a German.
  • 65% of the Autobahn (highway) has no speed limit.
  • 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.")
  • The first printed book was in German.
  • German is the third most commonly taught language worldwide.
  • When JFK visited Berlin, he infamously said "Ich bin ein Berliner," which also translates to "I am a jelly donut."
  • The longest word published in the German language is Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft, which means: Association for subordinate officials of the head office management of the Danube steamboat electrical services.
  • Famous Bavarians include Pope Benedict XVI, Richard Wagner, Richard Straus, Thomas Mann, Levi Strauss, and Rudolf Diesel.
  • The world's tallest cathedral is in Ulm.
  • Berlin has the largest train station in Europe.
  • German is spoken by more than 100 million people worldwide.
  • There are over 150 castles in Germany.
  • The Christmas tree (Tenenbaum) tradition came from Germany.
  • Germany has over 400 zoos, the most in the world.
  • There are over 1,000 kinds of sausages in Germany.
  • Germany borders 9 countries (Austria, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, Luxemburg, Holland, Czech Republic, and Poland).
  • Berlin is nine times bigger than Paris.
  • Taxis in Germany are Mercedes.
  • 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).