Jun
15
2014
1

Why does the oldest Italian brand of coffee have a German name?

Hausbrandt Coffee (photo by Hausbrandt Trieste 1892 S.p.A. - CC-BY-SA)The oldest name-brand Italian coffee is “Hausbrandt” and dates from 1892. For German speakers, “Hausbrandt” suggest an old-fashioned spelling of “Hausbrand,” a word that can mean either fuel for a house oven or stove, or one for the burning of a house. It could also suggest the product of a private distillery, the product of [more...]

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Nov
19
2011
2

Would you trade IQ points for a hot body image?

brain-xrayGEWIS, a German social research organization, conducts weekly surveys of the German population. For a fee, GEWIS will add other people’s questions to their survey. Earlier this month, the Frankfurter Neue Press commissioned GEWIS to ask women whether they would trade some of their intelligence for a hotter body. According to this survey, a massive [more...]

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Dec
05
2010
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Why are there so many “Bad” places in Germany (and are there any good ones)?

bad-emsThere are a surprising number of placenames in Germany with the prefix “Bad”: Bad Kreuznach, Bad Orb, Bad Ems, Bad Godesberg to name just a few; also since 1991, Bad Wildbad (previously just Wildbad), which would seem to be bad coming and going. More surprising is that the residents of these Bad places are rather [more...]

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May
19
2010
1

What was the smallest independent principality in Germany after the Congress of Vienna?

homburg-castle-in-1770The principality of Hessen-Homburg could have been the scene for a real life 19th century operetta, if there had been more romantic adventures in the castle. Yes, it had a very nice little castle, one nice enough for Kaiser Wilhelm II to use later as summer residence; and it had a casino before Monte Carlo [more...]

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May
16
2010
3

Who ruled Germany in the 19th century?

berlin-parliament-victory-columnFor the first few years of the 19th century, it looked as though Napoleon would rule Germany, maybe establishing a French Empire in Europe. When the century began, France already had control over the German area west of the Rhine. In 1801 the Kaiser and the Holy Roman Empire signed the Peace Treaty of Lunéville, [more...]

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May
04
2010
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What is a “house law?”

golden-bullHouse law is not really an English expression, rather just a literal translation of the German Hausgesetz. Nonetheless, it is understandable if one thinks of an old fashioned household in which “Father’s word was law”. In the German expression, the house was a noble one, like the House of Windsor in England. Ruling noble houses [more...]

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Apr
06
2010
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Who ruled Germany in the 18th century?

germany-historic-mapIn 1700, there was no king in Germany, which was part of the Holy Roman Empire, but only loosely ruled by the Emperor in Vienna, under whom only the ruler of Bohemia was recognized as “king”. The following year, however, Friederich, Duke of Prussia, got the Emperor’s secret permission to be crowned as “King in [more...]

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Jun
20
2009
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What is Germany’s National Anthem?

Flag of Germany - courtesy Will Palmer - CC-BYDas Deutschlandlied (The Song of Germany), has been used as the national anthem of Germany since 1922. It is mostly known by the opening words of the first stanza, “Deutschland über alles” (Germany above all), but this has never been its title.  In 1841, when August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben wrote the poem, it was [more...]

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Jun
19
2009
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What is Munich city profile?

Frauenkirche, Munich - courtesy th0mi - CC-BYMunich (German: München) is the capital city of Bavaria. Munich is the third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg. 1158 is generally considered to be the foundation date, which is the earliest date the city is documented. In 1175 Munich was officially granted city status. Following the start of World War I, life [more...]

Jun
19
2009
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What are the key facts about Germany?

Bodensee, Germany (photo by Thai Jasmine - CC-BY, flag by Pumbaa80 - PD)East and West Germany reunited in 1990, creating a large and powerful state. Germany is at the center of the social, political and industrial activity of Europe. Germany lies near the center of Europe, with coastlines on the North Sea (at its northwest) and on the Baltic Sea (at its northeast). Between 1949 and 1990, [more...]

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