26 interesting facts about Germany
Germany is a wonderful place for a walking or cycling holiday thanks to a varied landscape – from beautiful pastures to majestic mountains and dramatic gorges – a wealth of historic attractions and many food and drink gems. Here we reveal more great things about this European destination.
What is Germany known for:
1. Let’s start with beer! There are at least 1,300 beer breweries in Germany – and they make around 5,000 types of beer.
2. The world’s oldest brewery is Weihenstephaner Brewery in Freising, Bavaria. It has been brewing since 1040.
3. The huge beer festival called Oktoberfest, (held annually in Munich) actually starts in September.
4. Unsurprisingly, Germans are the world's second biggest beer drinkers after the Czechs.
5. Germany loves its sausages and there are around 1,000 different types to try. (Perhaps not on just one holiday though!).
6. Stollen, the traditional Christmas cake, was invented in Germany. Read 12 reasons to visit Germany in winter.
7. Another festive tradition, the Christmas tree (Tannenbaum), originated in Germany.
8. Arguably the world’s best-known scientist Albert Einstein (1879 to 1955) was born in Ulm in Germany.
9. German biologist Ernst Haeckel coined the term “ecology” in 1866.
10. Classical music has been widely dominated by German-speaking composers, including Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Händel, Mendelssohn, Schumann, R. Strauss and Wagner.
11. Around a quarter of Americans claim at least partial German ancestry.
12. Germany: the first country in the world to adopt Daylight Saving Time (summer time) in 1916 during World War I.
13. The Danube is Europe's second-longest river and passes through Germany.
14. The highest point in Germany is the summit of Zugspitze at 2,962 m above sea level. You can gaze at this mountain on a walk holiday through Bavaria.
Visit stunning Saxon Switzerland.
15. Saxon Switzerland is an area of Germany. It is around the Elbe valley south-east of Dresden in Saxony. Visit the area and fabulous mountains on a Saxon and Bohemian Switzerland walking holiday
16. Drachenfels in North Rhine-Westphalia is the world’s original – and first nature reserve. It was created in 1836.
17. Lake Constance (known as Bodensee in German) is bordered by three countries Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Explore Lake Constance Cycle Path on the Classic Lake Constance cycle path.
18. The Guinness Book of Records rates the Fairy Grottoes (Feengrotten) in Saalfeld, Thuringia, as the world's most colourful caves.
Fairytale castles on the Ludwig Way.
19. The King Ludwig Way, through Upper Bavaria, is one of Germany’s most walked long-distance trails.
20. Ulm Cathedral, in Ulm in the south of Germany, is the world’s tallest church at 161.53m (530ft).
21. The Wurzburg Residence – a palace in Würzburg – has the world's largest fresco ceiling at 677 m². It was painted by Venetian Giovanni Battista Tiepolo in the 1700s.
The famous Berlin Wall.[/caption]
22. The Berlin Wall, which divided the east and west of the city, fell in 1989.
23. The German Autobahn is the oldest motorway network in the world. The first section was completed in 1932.
24. The Autobhan has another claim to fame: It is also the only one in Europe to have no general speed limit.
25. Goseck circle in Saxony-Anhalt is Europe’s oldest sun observatory. It was built 7,000 years ago.
26. Germany is home to the world’s largest zoo, Berlin's Zoologischer Garten. It is home to the most number of species and the largest animal population.
** This is an updated version of a post originally published in November 2016 **