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Berlin

Berlin Aerial View

 

 

 

Location: Berlin

 

 

 

Description of Berlin

Berlin is the federal capital of the Federal Republic of Germany and at the same time one of its countries. The city of Berlin has approximately 3.6 million inhabitants the most populous with 892 square kilometers, the area's largest community of Germany. It is the center of Berlin / Brandenburg Metropolitan Region (about 6 million inhabitants) and the agglomeration Berlin (4.5 million inhabitants). The city ​​state consists of twelve districts, In addition to the rivers Spree and Havel are located in the city of smaller streams and numerous lakes and forests.

First documented in the 13th century, Berlin was barely a fishing village in the 18th century, Berlin grew to be one of the most important and biggest cities in the world by the 1920s, only to lose much of its importance and historic architecture as a result of World War II and German partition. With the German reunification in the year 1990 Berlin became again all German-German capital and in the consequence seat of the Federal Government, the Federal President, the Bundestag , the Federal Council as well as numerous Federal Ministries and embassies.

Among the major sectors in Berlin include the tourism , the creative and cultural industries , the biotechnology and healthcare industry with medical and pharmaceutical industries, information and communication technologies, the construction and property industry, trade, optoelectronics, energy technology and Trade fair and congress industry . The city is a European hub of rail and air traffic. Berlin is one of the emerging, international centers for innovative company founders and registers high annual growth rates in the number of employed persons.

Berlin is considered a cosmopolitan city of culture, politics, media and science. Berlin's universities, research institutions , sports events and museums enjoy an international reputation. The metropolis has the UNESCO title City of Design and is one of the most visited centers on the continent. Berlin's architecture, festivals, nightlife and diverse living conditions are known worldwide.

 

 

Travel Destinations in Berlin

Tiergarten

Once Tiergarden was the royal hunting ground. Tiergarten became a park in the 18th century. In the 19th century, a series of buildings, mostly department stores and banks, were erected on Potsdamer Platz. During World War II, many of these buildings were destroyed. The division of Berlin has changed the character of this area. The territory of the Tiergarten ended with the creation of the Kulturforum (Cultural Forum) and Hansavirtel. The area around Potsdamer Platz came to East Berlin and became wasteland. However, after reunification, this area has witnessed an exciting development. The Tiergarden with its government building in the Reichstag is the center of Germany’s political and financial center.

 

Reichstag (Berlin)

Platz der Republik
Bus: 100, 248, 257
Tel: 030- 2273 2152
Dome & Assembly Hall
Open: daily
Closed: Jan 1, Dec 24, 26, and 31


Potsdamer Platz (Berlin)

 

Tiergarten (Berlin)

Tiergarten, Bellevue
Bus: 100, 187, 200, 341

 

Kulturforum (Berlin)

Potsdamer Platz
Tel. 030- 2090 5555
Kunstgewerbemuseum, Gemaldegalerie
Open: Tue- Sun
Closed: first Tue after Easter, Oct 1, Dec 24, 25 and 31
Neue Nationalgalerie
Open: Tue- Sun

 

 

Unter der Linden

The area around Unter den Linden Street is one of the most attractive in Berlin. Its development began in the Baroque era with the establishment of Dorotheenstadt in the north and Friedrichstadt in the south. The Forum Fridericianum (later Bebelplatz) was surrounded by many beautiful buildings from the beginning of the 18th century. Unter den Linden has become one of the most impressive sights of the city. The bombings of the Second World War caused heavy damage, but the partial reconstruction of the East German government brought many historical buildings back to Berlin. This area is still home to the highest concentration of historic buildings in Berlin.

Unter der Linden is one of the most famous and beautiful streets of Berlin. From the old days, Unter den Linden was used as a route for members of the royal family when they left for the city to hunt in their hunting grounds. In the 17th century, the previously nameless street got its name in honor of the linden trees that were planted along its length.

Brandenburg Gate (Berlin)

Neue Wache (Berlin)

Unter den Linden (Berlin)

Zeughaus (Deutsches Historisches Museum) (Berlin)

Humboldt University (Humboldt Universitat) (Berlin)

 

Museum Island

The long island, which lies in the tributaries of the river Spree, is the cradle of Berlin. It was here that the first settlements appeared at the beginning of the XIII century is mentioned in documents relating to 1237, and its twin Berlin is mentioned several years later (1244). Now there are no traces of the Gothic and Renaissance of the city of Cologne: the castle was turned into a palace by building a palace of Brandenburg electors, which served as their residence since 1470 The imperial palace was rebuilt into a huge Stachchloss. Moreover, the Berlin Cathedral and many museums, which gave the island its modern name, are preserved here.

Altes Museum (Berlin)

Am Lustgarten
Tel. 030- 2090 5555
Bus: 100, 157, 348
Open: Tue- Sun

Pergamonmuseum (Berlin)

Bodestrasse 1-  3 (entrance from Am Kupfergraben)
Tel. 030- 2090 5555
Bus: 100, 147, 257, 348
Open: Tue- Sun
Closed: Jan 1, first Tue after Easter and Pentecost, Dec 24, 25 & 31

Berliner Dom (Berlin)

Am Lustgarten
Tel. 030- 2026 9119
Bus: 100, 157, 200, 348
Open: 9am- 8pm Mon- Sat, noon- 8pm Sun
Service: 10am & 6 pm Sun

 

 

East of the Center

This part of Berlin, owned by Mitte, is the historical center of Berlin. A settlement called Berlin was first established on the eastern bank of the River Spree in the 13th century. Together with his twin, Cologne, he turned into the modern city of Berlin. This area contains traces of the earliest history of Berlin, including the old surviving church (Marienkirche). In later centuries, it became a commercial and residential area, but the old city (around today's Nikolayevitel) survived until World War II. The GDR regime built huge apartment buildings and department stores to the north with a square, Marx-Engels-Forum, and built the Fernch turm (television tower). Their redevelopment was inconsistent - the buildings were conscientiously rebuilt, but were grouped in one place, and not in their original places. In this area there are still cozy stables and alleys, which are surrounded by post-war high-rise blocks.

Nikolaiviertel (Berlin)

Alexanderplatz Klosterstrasse
Bus: 100, 143, 148, 200, 348

Fernsehturm (Berlin)

Panoramastrasse
Bus: 100, 157
Open: daily

 

North of the Center

The area northwest of Alexanderplatz, formerly called Spandauer Vorstadt. It is a historic area that has become a lively area, lined with bars, cafes and designer shops. The southeastern part of the region is known as Scheunenviertel (barn quarter). In 1672, the Great Elector relocated barns, because of frequent fires, outside Berlin. Since then, he has become a refuge for Jews who fled from Russia and Eastern Europe. To the north is Prenzlauer Berg, a bohemian center in the 1990s, and now, after restructuring, is a beautiful and pleasant place to live and visit.

Centrum Judaicum & Neue Synagoge (Berlin)

Oranienburger Strasse 29 & 30
Tel. 030- 8802 8316
Bus: 157
Open: Sun- Thur
Closed: Jewish festivals

 

 

Kreuzberg

The evolution of Kreuzberg began at the end of the 19th century, when the working class lived here. After World War II, unrestored buildings were abandoned by those who could afford to move to other parts of Berlin, leaving dilapidated houses to artists, foreigners, the unemployed, and representatives of various subcultures. Kreuzberg is now an area of ​​contrasts, with luxurious apartments close to dilapidated buildings. Some parts of Kreuzberg are mostly Turkish, while others are inhabited by rich interns. The sights of the area - the wealth of restaurants and Turkish bazaars, as well as an interesting selection of nightclubs, cinemas, theaters and galleries.

Checkpoint Charlie (Berlin)

 

 

Kurfurstendamm

The eastern region of the Charlottenburg region, around the boulevard known as the Kurfürstendamm, was erected in the 19th century. Luxurious buildings were built along the Kurfürstendamm (Ku'damm), in the Breitscheidplatz and Wittenbergplatz areas became famous for their hotels and department stores. After World War II with the old center (Mitte) located in East Berlin, Charlottenburg became the center of West Berlin. Traces of wartime destruction were removed very quickly, and this area was transformed into the heart of West Berlin. Dozens of new headquarters and shopping centers were built here. The situation changed after the reunification of Berlin and, although many tourists are concentrating on the Mitte district, the heart of the city continues to beat around Kurfürstendamm.

Kaiser- Wilhelm Gedachtniskirche (Berlin)

Kurfurstendamm (Berlin)

Bus: 109, 119, 129, 219

 

Western Berlin

The area surrounding the castle Charlottenburg, is one of the most charming areas of the city, full of greenery and attractive buildings of the late XIX century. Originally it was a small quiet settlement called Lyutshov. It was only when Elector Frederick III (later King Frederick I) built a summer mansion for his wife. Then at the end of the 17th century this city acquired the modern name. Originally named Schloss Lietzburg, the palace was renamed Schloss Charlottenburg or Castle Charlottenburg (Schloss Charlottenburg) after the death of Queen Sophie Charlotte. By the 18th century, Charlottenburg had become a city and for many years was an independent administration, in which rich people live in elegant villas. It became officially part of Berlin in 1920, and, despite the Second World War and the subsequent division of the city, the central part of this area retained its historical appearance.

Schloss Charlottenburg (Berlin)

Spandauer Damm
Tel. 030- 3209 1400
Bus: 109, 110, 145, X- 26
Open: Tue- Sun

Charlottenburg Palace was built as a summer residence of the Elector Frederick III's wife Sophia Charlotte, hence the name of this magnificent building. Construction work of the Great Palace began in 1695. This was followed by palace theatre and tea house "Belvedere". Equestrian statue of Frederick the Great designed by Andreas Schluter  stands in front of the royal palace. Exquisite interiors of Charlottenburg Palace, characterized by a rich decor attracts thousands of tourists annually.

 

 

 

History of Berlin

The historically first association of Berlin took place in 1307 from the cities Cölln and Berlin. Cölln lay on the Spreeinsel, where today also the Museum Island and the cathedral are; Berlin was on the other side. Spandau was first mentioned in documents in 1197, which was not incorporated into Berlin until 1920. Köpenick was mentioned in 1209, Cölln in 1237 and finally Berlin in 1244.

The two important trade routes from the Elbe to the Oder and from Saxony and Bohemia intersected here. The river crossing was narrow as anywhere else in the wider area. From this crossroads, the whey market , Berlin could develop as a trading city.

In the following period, the cities separated by the Spree sought independence, bought estates and small settlements in the area, decided to merge and joined the Hanseatic League as Berlin-Cölln. Elector Frederick II ( Eisenentahn ) took the young city, however, the independence and made it against the will of the population to the residence of the Hohenzollern. The suburbs of Spandau, Georgen and Stralauer Vorstadt as well as the Köpenick and the Teltow suburbs played a major role in the supply. There were vineyards, dairies, sheep farms, wood markets and much more.

When he took office in 1640, Elector Friedrich Wilhelm, who was twenty years old, pursued the goal of reorganizing the city, which had been shattered by the Thirty Years' War, and repositioning it in Europe. A strong army and appropriate fortifications should form the foundation, which imposed heavy burdens on the councils, but above all on the subjects. Whole estates were rededicated, many houses torn down, the city wall given over to the elector, new city gates and fortifications built, and a moat created.

Under Frederick the Great these plants were decorated with colonnades or demolished. Boulevards emerged. It was tried to settle the many craftsmen needed in Berlin. The Brandenburg Gate got its present form, which fit better to the new self-confidence of the city than the old gate, which had been more the gate of a soldier king.

Despite the financial hardships of the post-war period after 1815, the ever-increasing population urgently required the creation of housing. Entire residential areas were rebuilt, new roads created according to development plans. The first railway stations were built for the railway, which has become increasingly important. With the founding of the empire in 1871, Prussia had reached its peak, and in 1888, the last German emperor and King of Prussia William II conquered the throne. The development of Berlin was now marked by technical inventions. Industrialization and reforms replace Prussian consciousness with German national feeling.

Until the First World War in 1914, the transport network, especially the subway, was expanded to connect the individual parts of the city. The following years were marked by hardships. The Russian Revolution of 1917 set in motion domestic political changes that ultimately led to the proclamation of the Republic in 1918.

The consequences of the lost war and conditions of the Treaty of Versailles, inflation and economic crisis contributed to the radicalization. In 1933, Reich President Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler Chancellor. In 1936, the "Third Reich" staged the Olympic Games in Berlin as a propaganda event. The Second World War began with the invasion of Poland in 1939, which led to the extensive destruction of Berlin from 1943 onwards.

Berlin was occupied after the German capitulation 1945 by the allied ones and divided in the consequence into four sectors. Due to the different views of the occupiers, no agreement on currency reform and political development could be found, which led to the formation of two camps: East and West, with the Soviet Union on the one side and the Allies France, USA, Great Britain on the other side. The economic division and political division became final with the foundation of the GDR and the entry into force of the Basic Law of 1949.

The two parts East and West experienced - influenced by the Cold War - different developments. West Berlin was market-economy oriented. East Berlin with planned socialist economy, which led to an uprising on 17 June 1953 and drove about one million people to flee to the West. The government responded by constructing the wall on August 13, 1961, preventing its people from entering the western part of the city. In 1989, the GDR was economically and politically at the end; on November 9, 1989, the wall was opened. In 1990 the border was lifted and on 3 October 1990 the city and both states were reunited. A few years later Berlin became the capital of Germany again.

 

Most famous sentences of the post-war history:

Ernst Reuter "You peoples of the world - look at this city"
John F. Kennedy "All free men, wherever they live, are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words: I am a Berliner! "
Ronald Reagan "Mister Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

 

 

 

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