The central European country known to the English speaking world as Germany, or Deutschland to the locals, is a land rich in local wonders. It overflows with physical beauty, from its forests, to its rivers, and all the way up to the Alps. The landscape is dotted with magnificently spired castles, and its villages overseen by half timbered homes, making this magical country appear like a fairy tale has just come to life. The culinary landscape is equally as impressive, specializing in rich and filling meats, veggies, and cheeses, as well as decadent desserts, and beers that are drooled over throughout the world.
For the kids and parents out there that are curious to learn more about Germany, we’re here to give you the facts, and nothing but. Today we are discussing some fun tidbits of knowledge about the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Germany’s official name). If you plan on visiting Germany and would like to learn some basics of the language, this article on the best ways to learn German, along with this course on German for travelers will have you making new German friends in no time!
Fun Facts for Kids
This is what you came here for, right? The following facts about Germany are in no particular order, which may upset any Germans that might read this, as they are notoriously organized people. So just dive right in, and get to learning about Germany! If you’re dying to visit, but are worried about safety, this course on traveling abroad safely will keep you safe and happy overseas.
- The population of Germany is about 82 million people, and is the most crowded country in the European Union. A whopping 3 and a half million people live in the capital and largest city, Berlin. The life expectancy of German men is about 73 years, and for German women, 80 years. More than 99% of the population can read and write.
- The major language spoken in Germany is…(drumroll)…German! It is an unusual language spoken not only in Germany, but in neighboring Austria, as well. It has some words you may recognize that sound like English because they do borrow some words from it, but it also borrows from many other languages, as well, including Greek and French. Most of their letters look like the ones we use, but with a few exceptions: three of their vowels have umlauts (ä, ö, and ü), and they also have a special “s”, called the “Eszett”, which looks like this: ß. Also when pronouncing German words, make sure to say the “w”s like “v”s. If you want to learn some basic German quickly, this course on German in a weekend will get you started real quick.
- Germany is broken up into 16 states, and some of the more famous ones are Saxony, Bavaria, and Brandenberg, each with their own head of government, history, and type of cooking.
- There are more than 150 castles in the country, and many of them have been converted to hotels, so if you end up visiting Germany, try to stay where a king and queen once lived.
- In the 17th century the cuckoo clock was invented in Germany. It’s not quite known who invented it, but what is considered to be the first ones was owned by a man named August van Sachsen, and the clocks are closely associated with the Black Forest. There are a few different stories about the first cuckoo clocks, and if you’re interested, it may be fun to try to find out more about those stories.
- Speaking of the Black Forest, this mountain range found in Southwest Germany, in the the Baden-Württemberg state, is where the story of Hansel and Gretel took place. There are many rivers and small towns to visit, and the landscape is quite beautiful.
- Germany is home to some of the oldest and most beautiful churches and cathedrals in the world. The cathedral in the city of Cologne (Köln), took 632 years to construct. Construction started way back in 1248, and ended in 1880. Work on the church was halted in 1473, and started back up again 400 years later!
- Of all the delicious (and filling) foods the Germans are known for eating and making, their sausages may be the most famous. More than 1,200 varieties of this meaty mixture are found here, and some of the more famous ones include the frankfurter, and the similar sounding bockwurst, bratwurst, and knockwurst (“wurst” is German for sausage).
- Two of Germany’s more famous contributions to culture include yodeling and lederhosen. Yodeling is done in many rural parts of the world, but most famously in Germany, and is a funny sounding way of singing, changing quickly from very low sounds to very high ones. Lederhosen are short leather breeches that are incorrectly thought of as Germany’s national costume, but is actually a form of work and leisure-wear for middle class German men.
- We’ll end our roundup of German facts with a list of some of the more famous folks from Deutschland. Composers Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are all German. So are famous geniuses Albert Einstein and Max Planck, movable print inventor Johannes Gutenburg, reformer Martin Luther, philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche, and fairy tail authors the Grimm Brothers, among many, many more impressive Germans.
Hopefully our kid-friendly facts about Germany got you excited about this intriguing country. Going all the way to Europe takes a lot of planning and costs a lot of money, so if you want to plan a trip in the future, be patient, because it will probably take a while to put together. If you do end up going to Germany, or any other new and exciting places, make sure to take lots of pictures, and this course on travel photography will help you document your adventure forever.