Berlin City Overview
Berlin’s flair is unique. It results from the diverse neighborhoods, the modern life in Germany’s capital city, the historical places, the Berlin snout and the multitude of cultural, entertainment and leisure activities.
Berlin is also a city with a lot of historical charm. The former East Berlin in particular offers numerous sights, including the magnificent architecture of the Museum Island or the famous avenue “Unter den Linden”. The Tiergarten, the green lung of the city, is just as impressive.
After moving the seat of government from Bonn to Berlin, companies from other parts of Germany and from all over Europe invested in the new, old capital. The most important branches of industry include electrical engineering, the production and processing industry and information technology.
Berlin has a surprisingly unpreussian-casual attitude to life and an extremely lively nightlife, especially on and around the famous Kurfürstendamm. In today’s Berlin you can find almost everything – from rustic beer gardens, beer halls and old pubs from the time of the Russian occupation to stylish bars and Latin American nightclubs.
In 2019 Berlin celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Area code: (0) 30
Population: 3,748,148 (2018)
City History of Berlin
Few cities in the world have undergone such profound changes as Berlin in the past 100 years. Many visitors, some of whom still remember the pictures of the fall of the Wall in 1989, are moved by the tangible history of the city.
Berlin’s fate was sealed in many ways when it became the capital of the German Empire in 1871. Berlin had previously been a relatively humble city in the political, industrial and economic heart of the empire. The city went through a rapid development over the next decades. In 1877 Berlin had become a thriving metropolis with a population of 1 million – Berlin’s Belle Époque had begun.
In 1903 Berlin had become the world’s largest city of tenements and was proud of its subway, flourishing cultural scene and huge department stores. These happy days ended abruptly with the First World War. There were famines and strikes in the German capital. In 1918, the oppressed Emperor Wilhelm II abdicated and went to the Netherlands, the armistice was signed and the federal government handed over to the Social Democrats.
The post-war period in Berlin was shaped by political instability, economic turbulence and miserable living conditions. With false promises for a better future, the Nazis won over the voters. 1933 and the following years became the darkest days in Germany’s history.
During the Second World War, large parts of Berlin were destroyed. The destroyed city was divided into four sectors by the occupying powers of Great Britain, France, the United States and the Soviet Union after the war . The dispute between the victorious powers over the post-war order of the city brought an end to the common administration and led to an increasing alienation of the Soviet Union. The infamous Berlin Wall was built in 1962 to prevent residents from escaping from Soviet-controlled East Berlin to the West. The German capital had become the center of the Cold War.
Berlin had not only become a pawn between the East and the West, it also lost its status as the capital. The West German government relocated to Bonn.
When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, it marked the reunification of Germany. Optimism prevailed and the new, old capital Berlin became Europe’s largest construction site. The scars are still visible today, but Berlin has developed into a modern metropolis and an important player in the European Union. In recent years, Berlin has also become known as a center for techno and club music.
The Cold War and historical events in November 1989, when the Berlin Wall was torn down by people who had been oppressed by it for so long, seem like a distant memory today. Everything is about the future.
Between 1993 and 1998, a new Berlin emerged from the largest construction project in Europe since the Second World War with a forest of cranes that covered the once lifeless city center of the former divided city. The British star architect Lord Foster equipped the Reichstag, the German parliament building, with an impressive glass dome, which should symbolize the new transparency of German politics. It stands for a nation that has nothing to hide and has freed itself from the horrors of the past.