Germany Facts For Kids

Germany Facts

Germany means ‘genuine, of the same parents’ and is called Deutschland in Germany. Its capital is Berlin and the official language is German. Amazingly it borders nine countries, more than any other European country and covers 134,838 square miles (349,223 square kilometres). Its population was 82,652,256 in July 2014, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Here we cover some fun facts about Germany.

Nature

Even though it’s heavily populated, 31% of the country is covered with forests and woodlands and gorgeous mountain tops.

Black Forest

Germany’s famous nature reserve, the Black Forest is near the Swiss border, which is a mountainous region of pines and fir trees, with wolves, wildcats, boar, ibex, wild pig, fox, deer and other large mammals.

Black Forest Wolves from Web

The source of the famous Danube River is in the Black Forest and it’s one of Europe’s longest rivers. There are 97 nature reserves in Germany, now those would be cool to visit. The government works really hard to protect the country’s wildlife but many species are at risk of extinction, including species of whales, beavers and minks.

Danube from Web

History

Humans settled in northern Europe about 10,000 years ago, after the last Ice Age. The first language similar to modern German was about 5,000 years ago. It took thousands of years before Germany was actually created.

Early Germany was a made up of a whole lot of small states ruled by dukes and kings. In 1871 it was all united by Otto von Bismarck.

In the 19th century, Germany battled with other European countries to create colonies in Africa and Asia.  This led to World War I in 1914 and Germany lost the war to Britain, France and the United States.

Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party came to power in 1933, as they promised to make Germany great again. Hitler started World War II.

After World War II, Germany divided into West and East which started a 44 year clash between the Soviet Union and Western powers, called the Cold War. In 1989, East Germany opened its borders, the Cold War ended and East and West Germany were pulled together again in 1990. People from many foreign countries streamed into Germany.

People and Culture

Germany has been called the “Land of Poets and Thinkers” especially for its famous composers like Bach, Brahms, Schumann, Wagner and Beethoven. Over 100 Germans have been awarded the Nobel Prize including Albert Einstein who was born in Germany.

Beethoven free image

On special occasions, like the annual Oktoberfest Germans wear traditional costumes. This festival began in October 1810 when Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese got married.  They invited the whole town of Munich to a party. Every year since then, people celebrate the occasion with the Oktoberfest with a lot of music and dancing.

oktoberfest

Economy

Germany is known for it’s cars, trucks, boats and electronics. Some of the most famous cars that come out of Germany are BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Volkswagen. they sure like their cars here! Germany has important natural resources including copper, nickel, natural gas, uranium and coal.

Mercedes

German Foods

If you like sausages then Germany is the place to go. They’ve got over 1,000 varieties. They are also famous for the cheese, sauerkraut and bread.

A large meal is normally eaten at lunch time and a smaller meal in the evening. Their breakfasts are made up of cold meats, rolls, jam and cheese. Sounds yummy!

According to the Food Lover’s Companion, The name “hamburger” comes from the seaport town of Hamburg, Germany, where it is thought that 19th-century sailors brought back the idea of raw shredded beef (known today as beef tartar) after trading with the Baltic provinces of Russia! So now you know where the hamburger comes from.

Hamburger, beef cheese burger with tomato

Sport

There are more football, or soccer to some, fan clubs in Germany than anywhere else in the world. Germany produces brilliant world athletes. They enjoy skiing, cycling, boating, and tennis.

german-soccer

Some Interesting Facts about Germany

  • Germany has a major famous highway called the autobahn. It has no speed limit and cars like Porsche and BMW sports cars travel at 150 mph (250 kph). That is one speedy highway.
  • The working week in Germany includes Saturday.  Oh no, that’s not cool.
  • When answering the phone, Germans first say their surname. That would be quite funny!
  • Germany has over 400 zoos, the most in the world! Wow, lots of animals to see!