Germany: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1)

As a country, Germany is one of the most popular and also one of the most studied. However, even if you’ve been there, how much do you really know about it? With that in mind, here we present our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about Germany. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!

Number Fifteen: The Country’s Chancellor Has Her Own Barbie Doll. You probably know that the chancellor of Germany is Angela Merkel, but did you know she has her own Barbie? The doll features Merkel’s signature bob and sports a chic yet tasteful suit.

Number Fourteen: Germans Celebrate New Year’s Eve by Watching a British Comedy. It’s a New Year’s Eve tradition in the country to watch Dinner for One, which is a British comedy in the slapstick style that was made in 1963. The comedy stars Freddie Frinton and May Warden.

Number Thirteen: Its Fairy Tale King Lost His Teeth in His 20’s. Famously known as the Fairy Tale King, Bavaria’s “Mad” King Ludwig II began losing his teeth when he was just in his 20’s. It’s rumored that he holed himself up in his fairy tale-esque castles after he began losing his teeth out of embarrassment.

Number Twelve: In Germany, “Half Three” Is Really Half Past Two. Be careful if you ask a local for the time, because if they tell you “halb drei,” which translates to “half three,” they really mean it’s 2:30 p.m. This is because Germans tell the time according to the next hour, so “half three” means “halfway to three.”

Number Eleven: The Oktoberfest Doesn’t Start in October. In fact, it starts in September! However, don’t feel bad if you can’t get there right away because some beer halls in the country are open all summer.

Number Ten: It’s Home to the World’s Narrowest Street. The street is located in Reutlingen and is called Spreuerhofstrasse. The name is a mouthful, but at 31 cm wide, the street certainly is not.

Number Nine: They Removed Some Words From Their Language for Being Too Long. Ever heard of Rindfleischetikettierungsueberwachungsaufgabenuebertragungsgesetz? Well, it translates to “law delegating beef label monitoring,” and it used to be a German word until 2014. It was removed for pretty obvious reasons, but what’s a real mystery is why it was invented in the first place. Stay tuned for part two of our list of 15 things you didn’t know about Germany, coming soon!