Interesting Facts about Top 6 German Speaking Countries

Interesting Facts about Top 6 German Speaking Countries

As a German language learner, the first question that pops up in mind is- apart from Germany, which are the other German speaking countries? German is one of the top ten commonly spoken languages in the world. The top 6 German speaking countries in Europe are Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.

Here are some interesting facts about the top 6 German speaking countries of the world:

Germany – The first of the top 6 German speaking countries

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  • There are more than 80 million German speakers in the country.
  • There are over 20000 castles in Germany.
  • Germany has the highest recycling rate in the world.
  • Germany was the first country in the world to adopt Daylight saving time.
  • There are over 1200 breweries in Germany. They produce around 5000 brands of beer.
  • Berlin Hauptbahnhof is the biggest train station in Europe.
  • There are 300 different types of breads in Germany.
  • The world’s first commercially successful electric tram built in 1881, was the Gross-Lichterfelde Tramway near Berlin.
  • The world’s largest cuckoo clock is in Triberg-Schonach. The pendulum is 8 meters long and the cuckoo weighs 330 pounds.
  • The narrowest street in the world, Spreuerhofstraße, is in Reutlingen. It is 31 cm wide at its narrowest point.
  • The Germans launched the first magazine, Erbauliche Monaths Unterredungen, in 1663.

Austria – The second largest German speaking country

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  • Austria has around 8 million German speakers.
  • Almost 1/4th of the entire population lives in Vienna, the capital of Austria.
  • Vienna is the ‘European capital of classical music’.
  • Tiergarten Schönbrunn in Vienna, founded in 1752, is the oldest zoo in the world.
  • Austria was the first country to introduce postcards.
  • It is Europe’s no. 1 organic farming country. It is also the first country in the world to register the first organic farm.
  • The world’s largest emerald (2860 carats) is on display in Vienna.
  • St. Peter Stiftskeller, located in Salzburg, is the oldest operating restaurant in the Central Europe.
  • The Austrians created Red Bull Energy Drink.
  • The largest ice cave in the world, Eisriesenwelt, is in Austria.
  • Krimml Waterfalls (total height- 380 meters) is the highest waterfall in Central Europe.

Switzerland – Third among the 6 German speaking countries

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  • Switzerland has around 4.6 million German speakers.
  • There are over 1500 lakes in Switzerland.
  • Switzerland is also known as Confoederatio Helvetica in Latin. Hence, the abbreviation CH is used in banking codes.
  • Switzerland and Vatican city are the only countries in the world to have a square flag.
  • The world’s largest particle physics center, CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), is located near Geneva.
  • Swiss company, Nestlé, launched Nescafe in 1938. They were the first to come up with the concept of instant coffee.
  • Gotthard Tunnel is the world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel. It is 57 km long and is located under the Alps.
  • Switzerland is one of the leading exporters of chocolate. That is to say, it produces the most chocolate in the world.
  • According to surveys, the Swiss have the second longest life expectancy in the world.
  • It is illegal to have just one pet in Switzerland. Therefore, the people must own the pets in pairs.
  • Sonnenberg tunnel in Lucerne was the largest nuclear fallout shelter in the world.

Luxembourg

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  • Luxembourg has approximately 4,00,000 German speakers.
  • Radio Television Luxembourg Group is the largest television production and radio company in Europe.
  • Firstly, Luxembourg has the lowest rate of unemployment in Europe.
  • In addition, it offers the second highest minimum wage in the world (€1,923 per month).
  • Luxembourg’s prime minister, Xavier Bettel, was the first EU leader to marry a same-sex partner.
  • Luxembourg has the highest rate of car ownership in the world.
  • It has the largest GDP (gross domestic product) per capita in the world.
  • This country’s petrol is one of the cheapest in the European Union.
  • Restaurant Chiggeri in Luxembourg has the world’s largest wine list (over 2200 choices).
  • Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in the world.
  • About 43% of the country’s residents are immigrants.

Belgium

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  • Belgium has approximately 75,000 German speakers.
  • Brussels International Airport has the highest number of chocolate sales in the world.
  • Belgium holds the world record for the longest period without a government.
  • The word “spa” originated from the Belgian city Spa.
  • Antwerp is the diamond capital of the world.
  • Belgians built the first stock exchange building in the world in Bruges.
  • Belgians invented French fries.
  • The largest sand sculpture festival, Disney Sand Magic, takes place in Belgium.
  • On an average, there are 30 different types of waffles and 10 types of potatoes in a Belgian supermarket.
  • Every single Belgian beer has its own special matching glass.
  • The Coast Tram in Belgium is the longest tram line in the world. It is 68 km long.

Liechtenstein

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  • Liechtenstein has approximately 35,000 German speakers.
  • Due to bad weather, Swiss Army Troops accidentally invaded Liechtenstein in 2007.
  • Liechtenstein and Haiti unknowingly developed identical national flags. Liechtenstein added the crown to their flag a year later.
  • It is the only country to have won medals at the Winter Olympic Games. However, never at the Summer Olympic Games.
  • The crime rate in Liechtenstein is low. According to a survey, the last murder occurred around 2007.
  • It is the world’s leading manufacturer and exporter of false teeth.
  • There is no airport in this country.
  • Liechtenstein is one of the two doubly landlocked nations in the world. In short, it is surrounded by 2 countries, Austria and Switzerland.
  • Every year on the National Day, the Royal Family invites all the residents of the country to party in the garden of Vaduz Castle.
  • Few years ago, one could rent the entire country of Liechtenstein for $70,000 a night.
  • Gampriner Seele is the only lake in this tiny country. It was created in 1927, when the Rhine river got flooded.

Roaming in these countries is a lot easier if you know basic German language words. Click here to get to know a few German words related to food and travel.

If you enjoyed reading this article, also read about the 15 Beautiful Castles in Germany.

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