Berlin – overall information
The capital city of Germany – Berlin – is one of the 16 states and one of the largest cities in the country. It’s also one of the liveliest cities of Western Europe, with its population around 3,5 millions of inhabitants, including people from all over the world. Some people say it’s difficult to find someone who was born and raised in Berlin due to its internationalism, which also makes it a very tolerant place for everyone. It’s been known for its rich history, beautiful architecture and a lovely nightlife – all of that draws the attention of thousands of tourists every year.
History of Berlin
The history of Berlin began in the Bronze Age, when it was firstly inhabited by primitive tribes. The city of Berlin was mentioned in local chronicles for the first time in the first half of the 13th century, and was vigorously developing throughout the next decades and centuries. It was the seat of the most important people in the country – electors and margraves, until 1701, when it became the capital city of Prussia thanks to the emperor, Frederick I of the Hohenzollern dynasty. In the next century, since 1864 it functioned as the capital city of the North German Confederation, and 7 years later – as the capital of united Germany. The history of Berlin in the next century is commonly associated with the Second World War and the fall of the Berlin Wall, and finally – in 1991 – it became the capital city of the Germany we know nowadays. The city went through many wars, political changes, ups and downs and all that has led to what we see today when we visit that place.
Berlin – where to go and what to see?
Whoever goes to Berlin will always find a suitable place for them to visit. It has many art museums, churches, palaces and other places of historical and cultural interest, also a lot of cafes, clubs, bars, eye-pleasing streets and parks. One of the most popular and most important landmarks in Berlin is the Brandenburg Gate, 18th-century neoclassical military monument. Firstly, it was a symbol of division during the Cold War, nowadays it’s a symbol of unity and peace.
Another must-see in Berlin is the Reichstag building (and since 1999, the meeting place of Bundestag – the German parliament). It’s located near the Brandenburg Gate and works not only as the main political centre of Germany, but also invites a lot of tourists, offering great views from a spectacular glass dome and restaurants.
The next landmark with an observation deck is the Berliner Fernsehturm, a 368 meters high TV tower, which makes it the tallest construction in Germany.
Not forgetting about art, Berlin also has some of the best world-renowned museums, such as: Pergamonmuseum (Pergamon Museum), Bode-Museum with art of Byzantium, Neues Museum (New Museum) with prehistoric finds, Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) with paintings of 19th century, Altes Museum (Old Museum) with Egyptian art and antiques. All of them are located in the northern half of an island in the Spree river, called the Museum Island (in German, Museumsinsel). The area is the most famous for the Pergamon Museum, which houses works of arts that come from ancient world: Greece, Middle East and also ancient Islamic art and architecture. What’s encouraging to come to that place, is that all those museums can be visited just with one ticket.
Berlin, as a city that was intensely developing in middle ages, has a really strong historical bond with religion and that’s why so many places of religious interest can be found there. One of the most impressive churches in Berlin is the Berliner Dom, built at the turn of the 20th century to express the power of Germany at that time. It’s located next to the Museum Island. Its eclectic form aesthetically refers to the Renaissance and Baroque.
The city of all charms
To sum up, Berlin is a charming city with a very rich history, a colorful now and a bright future – it’s impossible not to fall in love at the first sight while visiting this city, whether you’re planning a longer stay or just stopping off for a day. It’s a perfect place for people of all ages and interests. What is certain – no one is going to be bored in this city that never gets stuck in a rut.