By Kelli Drummer-Avendano
Germany is the seventh-largest country in Europe and is home to about eighty-one million people. It’s a member of the European Union and has one of the largest economies in the world, but there’s so much more to Germany than beer and wiener schnitzel. Read on to discover more about this remarkable country.
- Germany is 137, 988 square miles, or about the size of Montana. Surprisingly, forests cover about one-third of that land, and there are over ninety billion young and old trees growing in those forests.
- Around 20,000 castles decorate the German landscape; some are in ruins, but others now house museums, hotels, or cultural centers. Some of the more famous castles you may have heard of include Heidelberg, Neuschwanstein, and Hohenzollern.
- Germany is also home to the narrowest street in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The street, which is only one foot wide at its narrowest point, is called Spreuerhofstrasse, and you can see it for yourself when you visit the city of Reutlingen.
- The word Tannenbaum means fir tree, and the tradition of decorating a Christmas tree in your home originated in Germany around the sixteenth century.
- Germany is second only to the United States when it comes to immigration. Approximately twelve million people living in Germany were born in another country. They make up 4.9 percent of the world’s total immigration population.
- You can visit one of more than 6,000 museums when you take a trip to Germany. You’ll have a wide variety to choose from, but be sure to check out the New National Gallery in Berlin, which is considered one of the most visually stunning museums in the world.
- You probably won’t get a speeding ticket, as there are no speed limits on seventy percent of German highways. However, a suggested speed limit of 130 kilometers per hour (about eighty-one miles per hour) is posted.
- In Germany, if prisoners try to escape from jail, they can’t be penalized in any way, as freedom is considered a natural human instinct.