There is no traveler heading to Europe, who would not consider visiting Germany. As one of the most powerful countries in the world, many fascinating facts and amusing attractions are making it the unique destination it is now. If you have ever wanted to discover what charms Germany hides, in the following text you will find some interesting things, which may convince you to visit it. Traveling to Germany, you will either be able to experience these aspects yourself (some we do not recommend :)) or see how they affected today’s Germany and the daily lives of its inhabitants.
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1. German chocolate cake takes its name from the man Sam German not from Germany itself
German chocolate cake is made from chocolate, coconut, and pecan, and, in fact, is not German. The name comes not from the country, but from Sam German, an American who in 1852 invented the sweet chocolate baking style for Baker’s chocolate company. The company named it after him, but “German Chocolate” didn’t become wide-known until 1957, when the Texas housewife sent her now-legendary cake recipe to a newspaper in Dallas. The recipe was so popular that sales of German chocolate grew by 73 percent in one year, and newspapers across the country reprinted it. Due to the poor control over the recipe, Germany is the one who received the final credit for the discovery of this beautiful cake.
2. The narrowest street is in Reutlingen, and it is only 31 cm long!
The narrowest street is located in Reutlingen, Germany. It is called Spreuerhofstrasse and has 31 cm (1 ft 0.2 in) at its narrowest point and 50 cm (1 ft 7.68 in) at its widest. The street was last measured in 2006.
3. There’s no punishment for prisoners trying to escape from jail
German law states that the basic human instinct is to be free and therefore prisoners have the right to escape from prison. However, they rarely go unpunished, as they are still liable if they cause property damage or inflict bodily harm during their escape.
4. Munich’s beer festival Oktoberfest actually starts in September
Despite its name, the traditional German event Oktoberfest begins on the third weekend of September and ends on the first Sunday of October. It is because the festival is a celebration of the beginning of the harvest. Elements of the festivities include drinking beer, traditional German clothing, parades, rides, music, and… even more beer. The Germans are big beer drinkers (they drink 104 liters per capita every year), and they value beer culture so much that in Bavaria beer is considered a dish.
5. Berlin Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the world
One of the largest zoos in the world, Berlin Zoo is a majestic attraction visited by tourists both from Europe and the world. It is one of the oldest and best-known in Germany and contains more than 1,500 species (some of which are endangered) and houses more than 14,000 animals.
6. Whatever you do, don’t toast with water
If you are ever found in a German company, it would be a big mistake to toast with water. That means you wish death to your drinking friends, and you definitely wouldn’t want to do that.
7. Berlin has more bridges than Venice
The famous Italian “city of bridges“, Venice, has 435 bridges. You may be surprised that Berlin has more than double that – 960. The country has 59.8 square kilometers of water reservoirs and about 180 kilometers of waterways. Combined with the surrounding state of Brandenburg, they create the largest European inland waterway network. In the capital, buses, trams, and subways create the most modern transport system in the world. Public transport travels for more than 8000 km on a daily basis, which would be enough to round the whole planet.
8. It’s illegal to run out of fuel on the German Autobahn
Although not banned, drivers are allowed to stop on the legendary highway only for emergencies, and an empty gas tank is not one of them. Drivers can be fined and their licenses can be revoked for up to six months if they do. Walking or running on the highway is also illegal and is punishable by a fine of around 90 euros.
9. Germany’s capital has changed seven times
Influenced by many historical events, Germany has changed its capital several times, so the seven cities were at one time or another the capitals of the German territory. They are Aachen, Magdeburg, Mainz, Cologne, Trier, Speyer, and Nuremberg, and nowadays Berlin is the capital of the country.
10. Germany is one of the strongest countries when it comes to culture
Germany is a very cultural place, with 6,200 museums, 820 theaters, 130 professional orchestras, and 8,800 libraries. It has more museums, halls and art galleries than any other country in Europe (and they are not just in big cities). German citizens visit exhibitions more than they attend football matches. Additionally, after Istanbul, the country has the largest shopping mall in Europe, located in Berlin and called KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens) and it spans more than 60,000 square meters.
11. It’s bad luck to wish someone “Happy Birthday” in advance
There is a saying that speaks beautifully about the German mentality: “Du sollst den Tag nicht vor dem Abend loben”, or “One should not praise the day before night”. Which means don’t be sure of something until it happens, because that way you may cause it not to happened at all. So, wishing someone a happy birthday early can mean they won’t have it, or more precisely, that they will die.
12. The famous drink Fanta originated in Germany during the Second World War
Due to the trade embargo, it was difficult to import syrup for the production of Coca-Cola from America, so the director of the factory in Germany decided to make his own product using the ingredients he had at his disposal, and that is how the Fanta drink was born.
13. Former US President Donald Trump is German by origin
Although he is proud of American citizenship, Donald´s Trump grandfather was German and came from the small town of Bobenheim am Berg in the Palatinate region, located in southwestern Germany.
14. Hugo Boss designed uniforms for Hitler’s army
Although it is difficult today to connect the luxurious brand with military uniforms and accessories, the beginnings of Hugo Boss in Germany were precisely in the design and manufacture of uniforms for the SS and SA during World War II.
15. Germany is credited with several important inventions
A lot of things that we use every day are invented in Germany, including an X-ray machine, paraffin, a pocket watch, an aspirin, a clarinet, gummy bears, a cuckoo clock, a diesel engine, a calculator, a telephone, LCD screen, and pregnancy test. Also, the world-famous brands Adidas and Puma originated in Germany, launched by brothers Adolf Dassler and Rudolph Dassler.
Ready to visit Germany?
If you would like to visit the fascinating attractions of Germany, you should keep in mind that you will need the necessary documentation to enter the country. If you come from a territory that is outside of the European Union you should apply for a Visa. With our site, Passport Photo Online, you can create photos for your German visa fast and easily, and be free to focus on planning your breathtaking trip.
Domagoj has completed a Master’s degree in Project Management in Croatia and wants to continue his career in the field of marketing and management. He follows new technology innovations, loves to travel, and discover the charms of our planet through people, food, and music.