Berlin is the capital of Germany. With a population of more than 3.5 million and with 892 square kilometers it is the largest city in Germany. In the past Berlin was the capital of Brandenburg, Prussia and the German Reich and from 1949 the eastern part of the city was the capital of the German Democratic Republic. Today Berlin is the seat of the Federal Government.
Berlin is a world city of culture, politics, the media and sciences.
The Neo-Renaissance styled Reichstag lies in the district of Tiergarten in Berlin and accommodated both the Reichstag of the German Emperor and the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic. After heavily damaged in the Second World War, the Reichstag was restored and modernized in the 1960s and was once again fundamentally reconfigured from 1991 to 1999. Today it is seat of the German Government.
The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin is an triumphal gate that stands on the west flank of the Berlin square in the center of Berlin. It was built between 1789 and 1793 by order of the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm II and designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans. On top of the gate is a sculpture of a Quadriga designed by the sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow. The Brandenburg Gate was directly on the border between East and West Berlin and today it is a symbol of Germanys reunification.
The Berlin Wall was created by the postwar order of the Allies and divided the city of Berlin. At the beginning of August 1961 the political leadership of the Soviet Union and the GDR government (a few days later) decided to built the wall as part of the inner German border. During the division of Germany, the Berlin Wall was a locked border system of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). It completely enclosed all three western parts of Berlin. The Berlin Wall was opened on the evening of 9 November 1989 in the wake of the political change that led to the unity of Germany.
The Museum Island lies in the center of Berlin on the north side of the Spree island. It is one of the most outstanding museum complexes of the world. In more than 100 years a remarkeable ensamble of museums was built. Since 1999 parts of the Museum Island are included in the UNESCO world heritage.
The Berlin Cathedral lies in the center of Berlin in the northern part of the Spree Island / Museum Island. It is one of the largest Protestant churches in Germany and the largest church in Berlin. It was build between 1894 and 1905 in High Renaissance and Baroque style. Numerous members of the House of Hohenzollern lie in the crypt of the cathedral.
With an area of over 43 hectares and about 22,000 different plants, the Botanical Garden Berlin is the largest botanical garden in Germany. The garden belongs to the Free University of Berlin and next to it is the Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem with a half million visitors every year.
The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is located in Berlin Charlottenburg on the Breitscheidplatz. It is a protestant church that got destroyed in the Second World War and its ruins formed a landmark of Western Berlin. Today it is a museum and memorial to peace.
The most famous street in Berlin, "Unter den Linden" is the central boulevard in Berlin Mitte. It leads from the Pariser Platz the the east side of the Brandenburg Gate, where the new building of the "Akademie der Künste" and the famous Hotel Adlon are located The street carries the main part of traffic from the City West (Kurfürstendamm, Breitscheidplatz and Tauentzienstraße) to the center of the old Berlin around the Alexanderplatz and connects numerous important facilities and sights.
The Alexanderplatz lies in the north-east of the historic center of Berlin. It is a rectangular square that goes back to the square in front of the King's Gate, and in 1805 it was named after the Russian tsar Alexander I. In Berlin they usually only call it "Alex". With more than 360,000 visitors every day, the Alexanderplatz is the fourth most populous place in Europe. According to a study, this is the most visited area in Berlin. It is a popular starting point for tourists who can reach many sights such as the television tower, the Nikolaiviertel and the Red Town Hall.
The Holocaust memorial is the monument to the murdered Jews of Europe. It lies in the historical center of Berlin and recalls the approximately 6 million Jews who were murdered under the rule of Adolf Hitler and the national socialists. The memorial was designed by Peter Eisenman and was built between 2003 and 2005. It consists of 2711 concrete stelae on a 19,000 m² area near the Brandenburg Gate.