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Living in Germany: Football culture, weird washing machine queries and 100 years of Tempelhof

Rachel Loxton
Rachel Loxton - [email protected]
Living in Germany: Football culture, weird washing machine queries and 100 years of Tempelhof
A cyclist in Berlin's Tempelhof field. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Monika Skolimowska

In our roundup we talk about looking forward to the atmosphere when Germany hosts the Euros next year, strange German articles about having sex on washing machines and the 100 year history of Tempelhof in Berlin.


Living in Germany is our weekly look at some of the news and talking points in Germany that you might not have heard about. Members can receive it directly to their inbox on Saturday.

The Euros in Germany are something to look forward to 

There’s a lot of gloomy news around at the moment, whether it’s the climate crisis getting worse, rising consumer prices or growing support for the far-right. Although these are important themes to cover, we are always happy to report on the good stuff, too. And this week that included the ticket ballot opening for Euro 2024. Yes, that’s right - Germany is hosting the Euros next year. On June 14th, Germany's national football team - die Mannschaft - will kick off the European Championships at home at the opening match in Munich. One month later, on July 14th, Berlin will host the final. Matches will also be held in Leipzig, Hamburg, Dortmund, Gelsenkirchen, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main and Stuttgart. It’s a great excuse to check out some of these places if you’re lucky enough to get tickets to a match. You can apply for tickets now, or wait until a future balloting slot.  

But it’s not just about attending the matches. Anyone who’s spent time in Germany during a large football tournament - except perhaps the World Cup in winter 2022 which was controversially held in Qatar - knows that the ‘Schland comes alive for soccer. So-called public viewings start popping up in tiny venues - like your local newsagent or Späti as they are known in Berlin - or in big outdoor screenings especially if the German team goes far.


You don’t even have to be a big football fan to enjoy the atmosphere; it’s inclusive and accepting of everyone. If you’re happy to sit and watch a game, then you’re part of it. It may only be the beginning of October but since we still have a long, dark winter to get through, an event like this bang in the middle of summer gives us something to look forward to. 

Tweet of the week

Only in Germany would a conservative-leaning newspaper write an article examining whether having sex on a washing machine could result in damage to the appliance.

Where is this?

Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Jan Woitas

Those of you familiar with the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt may recognise the Naumburg Cathedral here in the city of Naumburg. The centuries-old patron saints of the Dom, St. Peter and St. Paul, had to be removed in 2021 due to severe weathering. But now duplicates are being made to replace them, with the design for the figures chosen in a competition. In 2025, the figures made of shell limestone will be back on the east choir of the cathedral. But because it’s such a stunning building, it’s worth checking out before then. 


Did you know?

Berlin’s Tempelhofer Feld is a former airfield in the capital used for all kinds of leisure activities, including but by no means limited to jogging, skateboarding, rollerblading and flying kites. But did you know that the whole airport is celebrating its 100th birthday on October 8th? On this date in 1923, the first two planes took off there, one travelling to Königsberg in East Prussia and the other to Munich. Almost exactly 85 years later, on October 30th 2008, flight operations ended. Since then, the field has belonged to Berliners. But a debate rages on about whether the site, which is the size of New York's Central Park, should be kept exclusively for recreational use. Or whether, in view of the affordable housing shortage in Berlin, a housing development should be built - at least in part of it. Berliners rejected a development like this in a referendum in 2014. However, the Senate in Berlin is considering that plan once again.

There are other debates going on around Tempelhof. For instance, hundreds of containers built on the ground still house around 1,800 refugees. The city is still looking for permanent housing for many of the new arrivals. Meanwhile, experts say that the former airport building, which underwent reconstruction in the 1930s by the Nazis, is in need of renovation. Nevertheless, it is still used for several things including concerts, art exhibitions and culture. People are also able to visit the tower. 


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