Berlin Guide

Berlin Guide

How to spend a day in Berlin? Well, that depends a lot on your preferences, but everybody will have enough options to satisfy their wishes. Nevertheless, let us give you some suggestions to help you to find the places to be. In most cities it is relatively easy to point at the centre. Yet, this is a bit harder in Berlin. Partially because of the history of bombardments and divisions, partially because of the wide and spacious set-up of the city with its many parks, there are many areas that may compete for the interest of the traveller. Its attractions are situated in several parts: first of all there is the area around Brandenburger Tor and the Reichstag (Parliament), the main attractions. The Museuminsel and the Unter den Linden Boulevard are other important spots. When you just like to walk around and feel the charm of Berlin, you might go for Charlottenburg or Friedrichshain. In any case, you won’t be bored during your city break in Berlin.

History Berlin

Berlin has had a turbulent history. The exact date of the foundation of Berlin is unknown, but the city probably dates back to the 12th or 13th century. It gained its richness through its position as an East German trading centre and membership of the commercial Hanseatic League. In the 15th century, Berlin got in possession of the noble family of the Hohenzollerns, who rule about the Brandenburg area and Berlin for five hundred years. Berlin only started growing fast in the 18th century. Whilst the number of inhabitants is around 20,000 in 1700, this has risen to 170,000 by the end of the century.. Berlin became the royal residence of the Prussian king Friedrich, the most powerful of the German leaders. Over the years, the city becomes the political, economic and cultural centre of Prussia, which is the power behind the German unification in the 19th century. With its population of 1,000,000 inhabitants, Berlin was the centre of gravity of the German empire proudly proclaimed in Versailles in 1871.

After the intervention of the United States in 1917, Germany lost the First World War. Unfortunately, the foundations of the modern and tolerant Weimar Republic that followed were very instable, although Berlin experiences its cultural heyday in these years. Hitler rose to power and after winning the elections of 1933 became chancellor, the highest political office in Germany. Under the Nazis, Berlin was the capital of the Thousand Year Empire. At the end of the Second World War, Berlin was destroyed to a very large extent. The city was divided in four sectors: a Russian sector in the East and American, British and French sectors in the West. When relationships between the Russians and the West worsened, West Berlin was blocked by the Russians. Just as Germany split in two parts, the same happened to Berlin. At the height of the Cold War, in 1961, Eastern Germany built the Berlin Wall around the Western part of the city to prevent its citizens to flee from the communist state to the capitalist Western Germany. In the historic fall of 1989, communism collapsed all over Eastern Europe. The Berlin Wall fell on 9 November. After the German reunification on 3 October 1990, Berlin finally was one city again. Since 1999, it is also the seat of the German government. The new and modernised city is loved by Germans and foreigners alike as a true metropolis and trendsetting city. A lot of construction has been going and places as the new main train station (built for the World Cup of 2006), the dome of the Reichstag and the Sony Centre are seen as highlights of modern architecture.

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