With 81 million people, Germany
has the largest population in the European Union. The cities of Aachen, Regensburg, Frankfurt-am-Main, Nuremberg, Weimar, Bonn and Berlin have all been capitals of Germany
. Berlin is 9 times bigger than Paris and has more bridges than Venice.
lets get into it
- Germany was the first country in the world to adopt Daylight saving time – DST, also known as summer time. This occured in 1916 in the midst of WWI and was put in place to conserve energy.
- The capital of Berlin has more bridges than Venice – Berlin boasts 960 bridges and 59.8 square kilometres of water consisting of lakes and around 180 kilometres of navigable waterways. Combined with its surrounding state Brandenburg, it houses Europe's largest inland water network.
- Prison escape is not punishable by law in Germany – German law maintains that it’s a basic human instinct to be free and therefore, prisoners have the right to escape jail. Escapes, however, rarely go unpunished because prisoners are held liable if they cause damage to property or inflict bodily harm against any individual upon their breakout.
- It’s illegal to run out of fuel in the German Autobahn – although not forbidden, motorists are only allowed to stop in the legendary highway for emergencies and having an empty tank of gas is not. Drivers can be fined and also have their licenses suspended for up to six months. Walking or running in the highway system is also illegal and is punishable by a fine of around EUR 90.
- Germany has legal say on what babies can be named – German law ban names that don’t denote a gender or use a family name as a first name. In 2014, the most popular children's names were Sophie/Sofie for a girl and Maximilian for a boy.
- Fanta originated in Germany as a result of the Second World War – due to a trade embargo that prevented importing Coca-Cola syrup into Germany, the head of Coca-Cola in the country decided to create a domestic product for the market using available ‘leftover’ products like whey and apple pomace. It’s the second oldest brand of the Coca-Cola Company and its second most popular drink outside of the United States. It’s consumed 130 million times every day around the world.
- College education in Germany is free even for internationals – tuition fees for bachelor’s degrees in public universities was abolished in 2014 due to politicians thinking that having to pay for higher education as ‘socially unjust’.
- Over 800 million currywurst are eaten in Germany each year – currywurst is a sausage served with a spicy sauce, and is a street food that has become a cult classic in Germany. About 7 million currywurst are eated in Berlin alone. There's even a museum in Berlin dedicated to the popular snack.
- Germany was once a cluster of small kingdoms, duchies and principalities – which were unified as the German Reich (Deutsches Reich) in 1871. Later it became the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich (National Socialism), and in 1949 the nation divided into the Soviet-supported East Germany (German Democratic Republic) and the democratic West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany). On October 3rd 1990, East and West were reunited.
- German remains the language with the most native speakers in Europe – besides Germany having the largest population in the EU, the German language was once the lingua franca of central, eastern and northern Europe.
- Germany's capital centre has shifted seven times – these cities have all at one time or another been capitals of modern-day German territory: Aachen (during the Carolingian Empire), Regensburg, Frankfurt-am-Main, Nuremberg, Berlin, Weimar (unofficially, during unrest in Berlin), Bonn (and East Berlin), and, since 1990, Berlin again.
- Germany is sometimes known as ‘the land of poets and thinkers' – or das land de dichter und denker; Bach, Beethoven and Goethe were all German, alongside composers Händel, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Wagner and R. Strauss. Some of the world's greatest German philosophers include Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Heidegger.
- Munich is the second most punctual large airport in the world – out of the category of large airports, only Tokyo is more punctual, according to an OAG report.
- Germany boasts some of world's most famous inventions – you can thank the Germans for the light bulb, the automated calculator, and the automobile. That's not all – the Germans are also credited for the discovery of insulin, the invention of the clarinet, the pocket watch, television (partly), paraffin, petrol/gasoline & Diesel engines, the automobile engine, differential gear and other important devices, the motorcycle, the jet engine, the LCD screen and the Walkman.
- Germany has the largest population in the EU but it's in decline – the population of Germany is around 80.9 million, with 3.4 million people living in the capital Berlin. Yet two out of five households are single-person households. Germany also has one of the lowest birthrates in the world, and the government expects the population to drop to 67 million by 2060. On average, German women give birth to their first child at 29 years old and statistically have 1.4 children, with about a third being single mothers.