Most Googled: Why are German roofs so steep?

Most Googled: Why are German roofs so steep?

A lot of people on the internet have some really interesting questions about Germany and, so far, we've investigated some of the more fascinating topics: From Hitler's penchant for Fanta and drinking traditions to the history of royalty and some academic quirks, we have delved into some interesting aspects of German history and culture.

However, some people have more mundane questions about Germany. Well, less interesting perhaps, but a little more useful or practical than those we have looked at before. Questions like, “What do people in Germany eat for breakfast?” or “Why are the roofs so steep in Germany?”

Well, if you have ever found yourself asking either of those two questions, you’re in luck, because today we are going to answer both.

What do Germans eat for breakfast?

German breakfasts are perhaps not as well-known as the traditional English breakfast (or fry-up) or the frankly quite horrendous American breakfast (in this author's opinion) of bacon, maple syrup and pancakes. This might be why so many people are intrigued as to what people eat after waking up in Germany.

Breakfast is considered one of the most important meals in Germany, which gives rise to the German proverb: Iss dein Frühstück wie ein Kaiser, Mittagessen wie ein König und Abendessen wie ein Bettler (eat breakfast like an emperor, lunch like a king and dinner like a pauper).

A typical German breakfast usually revolves around baked foods, which is reflected by the myriad number of bakeries found on street corners and at train and metro stations across the country. Bread or bread rolls are usually eaten with spreads such as butter, margarine, marmalade, honey or the ever-popular Nutella.

Sliced meats and cheeses are other popular bread toppings, as are eggs and quark (a mild, creamy dairy product halfway between yoghurt and cottage cheese). Muesli with milk or yoghurt, topped with fresh fruit, is also a popular accompaniment. All this is usually washed down by tea, coffee, orange juice or milk, depending on your preference.

Why are German roofs so steep?

On your trip to Germany, you may have noticed that a lot of houses have really steep roofs. In fact, so many people have noticed this that it’s one of the most googled questions about Germany.

The answer is actually pretty simple. Flat roofs can be at risk of collapsing in heavy snow, which can build up to a weight too heavy for the roof to bear. Steep roofs negate this, allowing the snow to fall straight off.

However, this poses another problem: since steep roofs would allow large clumps of heavy snow to slide off and potentially injure passersby. In order to combat this, therefore, ingenious German roof designers insert a small "fence" which breaks the snow into smaller clumps and allows melting snow to seep through.

The steep roofs also allow for more living or attic space in houses.

Now you know

So, there you have it, some of the internet’s most searched questions on Germany answered. Did we miss anything out? Of course, everyone has their own version of the perfect breakfast, so if you had something different in mind, let us know in the comments below!

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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