Germany is a country in Western Europe with a beautiful landscape of forests, rivers, mountains and North sea beaches. Germany has been popular destination for a long time. The country derives its name from the Latin word “Germania”, which was used to describe barbarian tribes in north-eastern Gaul. German people refer to their motherland as Deutshland, which derives its name from the high German word meaning “of the people”.

With its rich 2 millennia-long histories, deep ties to the WWII, scenic natural beauty, delicious food and efficient manpower, there is not an end to the things Germany is famous for.

Here is a countdown of 15 things that the country is famous for.

 

15.Autobahn

The Autobahn is the federally controlled highway system in Germany. It is officially called Bundesautobahn (BAB). The highway is famous all over the world because of the fact that it has no mandated speed limit for a special class of vehicle. Speed limits are only mandated for the areas that are urbanized, sub-standard, accident-prone or are under construction. On speed unrestricted stretches, the advisory speed signs of 130km/hr apply. It has a total length of 12,949 km and ranks amongst the longest highway systems in the world. The construction of the highway is generally accredited to the country’s infamous dictator, Adolf Hitler- built as a way to quickly move military units. Autobahn is extremely well-maintained,  which is also the reason for the smooth sailing of vehicles on it. 

14.Beer

With over 1,300 breweries and more than 5,000 different brands of beer. Germany is a beer drinker’s paradise. Germany is ranked 3rd in the world on the consumption of beer right after Czech and Irishmen. Germany even has a law about which ingredients may be used in the production of the beverage!

13.Bread

Bread, beer or sausages, nobody does it better than Germany. To the Germans, bread is more than just a part of their daily meal; it is a part of their culture. Every region of the country has its own variety of bread. There are more than 1,500 varieties of bread baked in Germany, dark, white, sweet, savory, crunchy, soft, plain, or with all types of seeds- name it and you have it.

12.Why so serious?

One of the few things that come to mind on talking about Germany are the weird unpronounceable names and an even weirder sense of humor. German people are rightfully stereotyped to be the most serious creatures you will ever encounter. They are serious about everything, their food, clothes, country, work, laws, and even fun. As a result of this Germans are often come off as being a little standoffish and cold. But, take the time, get to know them and they will fill you up with their world class beer.

11. Laws and Bureaucracy

Germany has an abundance of laws controlling almost every aspect of life. While this may make the Germans inflexible and stringent, it’s what gives them the reputation of being extremely efficient and punctual. These many laws need as many bureaucrats to ensure their efficient execution. Bureaucracy is the engine of German efficiency. It helps keep the country running and people out of trouble. It ensures that people reach their goals legally and with no incident. On the other hand, it is also the cause of endless paperwork and red-tapping. Armies of conscientious civil servants make sure the rules are followed. Bureaucracy is Germany’s pride and joy. When in Germany, you can not escape bureaucracy, period!

10.Castles

Germany is home to over 25,000 castles that still stands tall and beautiful. To visit a German castle is like stepping into a Disney Princess movie, where mighty castles sit atop high mountain peaks, narrating the story of knights, dukes, blonde-haired princesses, merry celebrations and devastation of wars. The most photographed building in Germany and the most popular castle in Europe, Neuschwanstein Castle is the best and most beautiful castle of all. Nestled among Bavarian Alps, this fairy tale castle also served as the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle.  Some other beautiful castles of the country are Hohenzollern Castle, Burg Eltz, Heidelberg Castle, and Schwerin Castle.

9. Sausages

Unless you like potatoes, German food is a hell for vegetarians. Meat is mainstay the cuisine and sausages or Wurst, as the call it, holds a special place in German’s hearts. It is a large roast made of pork, beef or veal which is flavored in different ways depending on the region. There are over 1,500 varieties of sausages produced in Germany.

8. Football

Football or Soccer is the national sport of Germany and the most popular national pastime. The German Football Association consists of more than 26,000 clubs and 178,000 teams. There are more football fan clubs in Germany than any other country. Football is a religion in the country. Germans are crazy for the game, so much that the fans of different clubs literally hate each other. And, man are they good! The German football league, the Bundesliga attracts international superstars and is followed by many people outside of the Germany. The country’s national team is strong in international contests and has won four FIFA world cups and are the current holders of the trophy. They are also the second most successful team in the game after Brazil (5 Times winner). Popular footballers Manuel Neuer, Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller, Jerome Boateng, Marco Reus, Mesut Özil, Philipp Lahm, Mats Hummel, and Ilkay Gündogan all hail from Germany.

7.Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is one of the world’s largest beer festival and traveling funfair. It is held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It is a 16-18 day’s long festivals running from mid or late September to the first week of October. It is attended by 6 million people from around the world. It is an important part of Bavarian culture, having being held since 1810. During the event, a large quantity of Oktoberfest Beer is consumed. Visitors are also offered numerous other attractions such as amusement rides, side stalls, and games. Stalls offer traditional German food such as Hendl(roast chicken), Schweinebraten (roast pork), Würstl (sausages),  Brezen (pretzels), Knödel (potato or bread dumplings), Käsespätzle (cheese noodles), along with Bavarian delicacies as Obatzda (a spicy cheese-butter spread) and Weißwurst (a white sausage).

6. Cars

Germany with its German cars is one of the leading automobile havens in the world. Audi, Ford, Volkswagen, Porsche, Maybach, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, are all gifts of the German automobile industry to the world. Germany also houses a few car museums and factory tours for the car enthusiasts. The car factories officials take you through a fully guided tour of their unit answering all your questions and giving you insights about their brand. German cars truly are the icing on a cake for Germany.

 

5.Historical Figures and Philosophers

Germany is famous as the motherland of some of the Greatest historical figures, philosophers and scientists of the world. Germany is the land that produced the world’s most notorious dictator Adolf Hitler as well as the great philosopher Karl Marx. Albert Einstien, the scientist who enlightened the world with his Theory of Relativity; Anne Frank, the famous writer; Rudolf Diesel, the inventor of diesel engines; Charles Bukowski, the great poet; Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of printing press, Bruce Willis, Christopher Waltz, Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven and the list goes on and on and on. Believe it or not people, they are all Germans. 

4. German- The language

The German language is the official language of Germany and Austria. It is also widely spoken in Switzerland, South Tyrol, and Liechtenstein.It derives most of its vocabulary from Germanic branch of Indo-European language, Latin, and Greek. It is the second most widely spoken language after English and is the first language of about 95 million people in the world. It is also the 3rd most widely taught foreign language after Spanish and French. It is the 2nd most commonly used scientific language and 3rd most widely used language in websites. Such is the power of the German language.

3.Berlin

The capital city of Germany has witnessed many tragedies, controversy, war, loss and victory since the dawn of its existence. It is the most populous and the largest city in the country.   Around 1/3 of the city is covered by forests, parks, gardens, rivers and lakes. It is also the center for culture, politics, media, and science, and is home to world-renowned universities, museums, castles, orchestras, entertainment venues and sporting events. After the WWII, the city was divided by the infamous Berlin Wall into halves; East and West Berlin. The wall was later demolished and the city was reunified in 1990. The wall is one of the most popular tourist destination of the city. The “Brandenburg Gate” in the city is the most iconic monument of the country. “Reichstag”, the seat of the German Parliament is also located in Berlin. Some other noted tourist destinations in the city are the “Unter Den Linden”, “Gendarmenmarkt”, “Berlin Zoological Park”, ” Nikolai Quarter”, and “Grunewald Forest”.

2. Holocaust and Nazi Germany

The word is derived from Greek words “holos” meaning whole and “kaustos” meaning burned. Since 1945, the word has taken on a horrible new meaning; the mass murder of more than 6 million European Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals, during the Nazi regime. Racial purity and spatial expansion of the country were Hitler’s twin goal. According to him, Jewish were an inferior race and a threat to Germany’s racial purity. They had to be “cleansed” and for that, he developed a “final solution”, i.e. the Holocaust. In 1939, the German army invaded Poland and triggered the WWII. All the Polish Jews were forced into state-of-the-art Ghettos where they were kept in pitiable conditions awaiting their deaths. Mentally ill and disabled people were also gassed in the so-called Euthanasia program. Later in 1940-41, Hitler expanded the “final solution” to Denmark, Netherlands, Belguim, Luxemburg and France. The least useful people: the sick, old and weak were also gassed in concentration camps. Jews were deported from all over the continent and killed ruthlessly.

entrance to a concentration camp with the slogan “work sets you free” written in German.
Piles of shoes of dead prisoners found at the Dachau concentration camp.

1.The Great Dictator

Adolf Hitler, the German Dictator, is almost synonymous with the name of the country he so rigorously led. He was Germany’s Chancellor from 1933  to 1945. He first joined German politics in 1919 through the German Worker’s Party. Later, through his powerful and charismatic oratory, he wooed the citizens of the country and promoted his Pan-Germanism, anti-Semantic, and anti-communism propaganda. His Nazi party quickly rose to power and aimed to eliminate Jews from Germany and counter the injustice of the post-WWI on Germany. His six years in power resulted in the rapid economic recovery and even more rapid death of Jewish people. His hatred for Jewish people and his invasion of Poland in September 1939, was what lead to the WWII in Europe. In the year 1945, as Hitler witnessed Germany gradually losing the war, fearing capture he committed suicide along with his wife Eva Braun in the Fuhrerbunker. Even after more than 50 years of his death, Adolf Hitler’s name has been inked in the History of the country and is autobiography “Mein Kampf” has become one of all time best-sellers.

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