Visiting a new country or a certain place is all about expanding your horizons, so my next Travel Trivia post here is going to be all about Germany. Let’s learn something new about the land of industry and lederhosen:
- The Federal Republic of Germany is one of the largest countries in Europe – its population is about 81 million and it is the 7th largest by area. Despite that, 1/3 of Germany is still somehow covered in forests and woodland.
- Germany in the form of a nation exists since the 19th century, when the Prussian leader Otto von Bismarck united the German speaking lands into the Second reich, which Adolf Hitler later tried to emulate with his Third Reich. More on Germany’s history here.
- German is Germany’s official language and also the language spoken by the most native speakers in Europe.
- It is one of the stranger languages, as it allows the formation of long compound words such as Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft, the longest word ever published, acc. to the Guinness world records book from 1996. It means the Association for Subordinate Officials of the Main Maintenance Building of the Danube Steam Shipping Electrical Services, which was allegedly an organisation in Vienna, Austria, before the 1st World War, although it is not entirely clear whether it actually existed.
- Furthermore, German can be quite tricky: in 1963 the U.S. president J. F. Kennedy visited Berlin and gave a famously blundered speech, where he said “I am a jelly doughnut” instead of “I am a citizen of Berlin” and I bet the Germans had a good laugh about it. Ich bin
einBerliner… You can check it out here.
- There are over 2100 castles, 300 types of bread, 1000 versions of sausages and 1500 kinds of beer in Germany.
- On a related note, beer is considered food in Bavaria, Germany’s largest state – Germany consists of 16 largely autonomous states.
- However, they also gave us books, as press printing was invented there. The first book ever printed was the Bible in 1455, by J. Gutenberg.
- Additionally, the first magazine, Kepler‘s laws of planetary motion, the Christmas tree (Tannenbaum), telescopes, heroin, clarinets, many poets and writers like F. Schiller, H.Heine and B. Brecht, bacteriology, SIM cards and SMSs all came from Germany, as well as of course the Nazis and the Holocaust.
- German’s capital city changed 7 times, finally settling in Berlin, which used to be divided by the Berlin wall from 1961 until 1989.
Now you know a bit more Germany, the country where people love to wear Tracht, the traditional German costumes, which include lederhosen (leather pants). These days it has mostly been replaced by Dirndl dresses, the stereotypical industrial made versions, particularly in Austria, where some people wear them even in everyday life.
The facts I shared this time were probably not as exciting as in the previous Travel Trivia posts, but Germany is known for their ordnung und disziplin (order and discipline) approach to life after all. Their history is pretty bizarre though, particularly the World War eras, and their engineering feats are more than worth a look if you’re looking for some more interesting reading. 🙂