Berlin

Article

July 6, 2022

Berlin (German: Berlin) is the capital and one of the sixteen states of Germany. With a population of 3.5 million within the city limits, it is the largest city in the country, and the seventh most populated urban area in the European Union. Situated in northeastern Germany, it is the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan area, which includes 5 million people from over 190 nations. Located on the great European plain, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. About a third of the city's area is made up of forests, parks, gardens, rivers and lakes. Documented for the first time in the 13th century, Berlin was successively the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia (1701-1918), of the German Empire (1871-1918). 1918), the Weimar Republic (1919-1933) and the Third Reich (1933-1945). After World War II, the city was divided; East Berlin became the capital of East Germany, while West Berlin became an exclave of West Germany, surrounded by the Berlin Wall, between the years 1961-1989; the city of Bonn became the capital of West Germany. After German reunification in 1990, the city regained its status as the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany, hosting 147 foreign embassies. Berlin is a global city and one of the world's most influential centers of culture, politics, media and science. Its economy is primarily based on the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, media corporations and convention venues. Berlin also serves as a continental hub for air and rail transport and is a popular tourist destination. Significant industries include IT, pharmaceuticals, biomedical engineering, biotechnology, electronics, traffic engineering and renewable energy. The city serves as a major hub for continental transportation and is home to some of the most important universities, sporting events, orchestras and museums. The metropolis' rapid development has brought an international reputation to its festivals, contemporary architecture and nightlife, being a major tourist center and home to people from 180 different nations.

Etymology

All German place names ending in -ow, -itz and -in, of which there are many east of the River Elbe, are of Slavic origin (Germania Slavica). The name Berlin has its roots in the language of the Slavic inhabitants who lived in the region of present-day Berlin and may be related to the trunk of the ancient Polabian berl-/birl- ("swamp").

History

For the first time documented in the 13th century, Berlin was successively the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia (1701), the German Empire (1871-1918), the Republic of Veimar (1919-1932) and the Third Reich (1933-1945). After World War II, the city was divided. East Berlin became the capital of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), while West Berlin remained part of the Federal Republic of Germany (RFA). With German reunification in 1990, the city became the capital of all Germany.

Beginnings

In antiquity, the area where Berlin is located today began to be inhabited by different tribes who settled on the banks of the Spree and Havel rivers. In the 6th century, several Slavic tribes built fortifications in the present-day suburban areas of Spandau and Köpenick. Around the 11th century Albert, a Saxon warrior from the House of Ascanians, defeated the Slavic tribes and became the first Marquess of Brandenburg. At that time, immigrants from other regions, namely from the Rhine valley and Franconia, settled on the banks of the River Spree. The first Berlin historical document dates back to 1237, referring to the towns of Cölln and Berlin, located on either side of the river Spree, surrounding the site where Nikolaiviertel is now located. The two localities were allied in 1307, having formed a common municipality. With the death, in 1319, of the last