Does Germany have …?

Does Germany have bears? Does Germany have a royal family? We answer often-googled questions about our country.

What Internet users want to know about Germany.
What Internet users want to know about Germany. iStockphoto

Why does Germany have so many names?

The French call it "Allemagne", the Poles "Niemcy", the Finns "Saksa" and the English "Germany". Hardly any other country has as many names as does Germany. One reason for this is its geographic location in the middle of Europe. Germany borders on neighbouring countries with different languages. As a result, the respective names for Germany don’t match.

Does Germany have a royal family?

The monarchy was abolished in Germany after the First World War. The nobility was also deprived of its constitutional privileges. But there are descendants of the royal dynasty: the House of Hohenzollern, descendants of the last German Emperor Wilhelm II.

Die Monarchie in Deutschland

Does Germany have bears?

At present no bears live in Germany, at least not in the wild. However, after wolves have returned in recent years, the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation says that even wild brown bears could become indigenous to German forests again. The brown bear has been considered extinct in Germany since 1835. But in May 2006, a young bear that crossed into Bavaria from Italy made headlines. The bear, named "Bruno", was considered dangerous because he had apparently lost all fear of people. After unsuccessful attempts to catch him, he was shot by hunters.

Why do German students knock on their tables?

At German universities there is the custom that students knock on their tables at the end of a lecture. One attempt at an explanation: students often used to have had only one free hand because they had to hold a pen or their notebook in the other. Because clapping their hands together was therefore impossible, they resorted instead to knocking as a form of applause.

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