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Sunday, 18 December 2011

Autobahn

Autobahn is the German word for a major high-speed road usually linking one or more cities and towns, similar to motorway or freeway in English-speaking countries.


The German Weimar Republic built the first autobahns in the 1920s on a limited scale.

Shortly after the 1933 Nazi takeover, Hitler enthusiastically embraced an ambitious autobahn construction project and soon over 100,000 laborers were working at construction sites all over Germany. These autobahns formed the first high-speed road network in the world.

Kraftwerk's song "Autobahn" was a 1974 hit single. The album version is 22 minutes long and it was intended to reproduce a journey on the motorway. Band member Ralf Hutter recorded the passing cars in the background by dangling a microphone out of his old grey Volkswagen window as it traveled down an autobahn. However, these recordings were not suitable for the song, so they recreated the car sounds using synthesizers.

Many autobahns in Germany have no speed limit, though there is a speed recommendation of 130 km (80.8 mi) per hour. Drivers going faster than 130km/h can be made responsible for an accident that they are involved in.

A national speed limit was imposed on the Autobahn in Germany because of the 1973 oil crisis on November 24, 1973. The speed limit lasted only four months.

Driving on a German autobahn is free for cars. Trucks do have to pay a toll of about a twelve cents (-,12€) per kilometer.

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