What to see in Berlin, Germany
Berlin was immortalized in the film 'Cabaret' but the years after WWI represent just one colorful phase. Berlin is a very old city and many of its first buildings such as the Nicolaikirche and Marienkirche, both built between 1230 and 1292, can still be seen in the Nicolaiviertel area. Berlin was a trading hub in the 13th century and a recent excavation at the Pertriplatz uncovered an oak beam that dates to 1192, suggesting an earlier town.
Berlin grew from the fusion of two earlier settlements, Berlin and Cölln which were separated by the Spree River. At the midpoint of the next century, Berlin joined the Hanseatic League, a merchant association that regulated trade relations. At the end of the 15th century, Berlin’s population was about 8300 with 1100 buildings, including the first town hall, which was built on the site of the current Town Hall. 500 years of Hohenzollern reign had begun in Berlin and was commemorated in 1411 by initiating the building of what is now Berlin’s City Palace on an island in the Spree. Berlin’s importance rose until, in 1871, it was the capital of the German Reich and the nexus of business, politics and science. In 1879, the word’s first electric railway was demonstrated at an exhibition and in 1882 the Kurfürstendamm, a splendid promenade that is still enjoyed, was built.
The 20th century saw the building of the U-Bahn, still the speediest form of transport throughout Berlin and another city favorite, the Kaufhaus des Westens a department store at the Wittenbergplatz. Berlin’s population was now over 2 million, which was hard to sustain during WWI; poverty and starvation led to political unrest and labor strikes. The rise of Hitler and the National Socialist party ended the long history of democracy in Berlin. By the end of WWII Berlin’s Jewish population was reduced from about 160,000 to 1,400 by emigration and death in concentration camps.
The Wannsee Conference was held in 1942 nearby Berlin to discuss “final solution of the Jewish question,” in a house that is now a memorial. In 1940 Berlin experienced Allied bombing that damaged and destroyed many historic sites, including the original Sportpalais, site of the 1936 Olympics. The German Resistance to Hitler and the Third Reich is memorialized at the Bendlerblock and at the Plötzensee Memorial Center where many dissenters were executed in 1945. In April, Berlin surrendered to Allied Forces and on May 8, 1945 a treaty was signed in the Berlin suburb of Karlshorst, in a barracks that is now a memorial.The city was subsequently divided into East and West Berlin, supervised by the USSR and the US, respectively. This division was physically embodied by erecting the Berlin wall which created a border between the two factions, friends and families. At the end of 1989 reunification efforts resulted in a new law that would allow travel between East and West Germany. On November 9, 1989 thousands of East Berliners went to Bornholmer Strasse to celebrate the opening of the border. The Berlin wall was later dismantled, small portions of it were sold as mementos. In recent years, Berlin has become a completely unified vibrant modern city.
Things about Berlin you may be interested in
Read about Berlin in our travel-guide
What to do in GermanyYou must see the Berlin Bundestag
Recommended Berlin Guide
Another incredible fact is that this city, in this seemingly liberal age, caters to people of any gender and to people with various gender preferences for that matter. In fact, Nolledorfplatz or otherwise known as the “Pink Village” and the Motzstrass are only a few of the havens for people with alternative lifestyles. These places are home to all sorts of lesbian and gay cultural events, museums and information centers. Moreover, the Pink Village holds a Lesbian and Gay men's Fair locally known as the Lesbisch-Schwules Stedfast every third and fourth week of June.... Read more »
Recent reviews for Berlin
Places to visit free in Berlin - Apr 30, 2009, by erato
Berlin Sightseeing Berlin is one of the busiest capitals in Europe and still we, visitors must admit that it’s one of the most beautiful ones as well. city on its own is amazing, full of parks; Unequally among the European capitals... Read more »
What to do in Germany - Mar 7, 2008, by lindamura
Population: Aprox. 80Mio Major Airports: Franfurt (FRA), Munich (MUC), Berlin (BER, BML, TXL), Hamburg (HAM). When to Go: Typically the months of May-September are good to visit as the temperatures are not too cold. In the summer it's... Read more »
Was gibt es in Berlin zu tun - Jun 15, 2009, by mary
Wo liegt Berlin? Berlin ist die Hauptstadt Deutschlands und liegt im Nordosten des Landes. Ca. 3,4 Millionen Einwohner hat Berlin. Die Durchschnittstemperatur ist 8,9 Grad. Im Jahr kommen ca. 17 Millionen Turisten nach Berlin, also mehr... Read more »
Useful info about Berlin - May 1, 2009, by erato
One fact about Berlin, Germany: the 70% of the city stands of forest. So Berlin is one of the cleanest and most beautiful cities of the world, with a lot of parks and threes even in the center, what gives an unbeatable, calm and comfortable... Read more »
What you have to know about Berlin - Apr 30, 2009, by cipristb
Berlin City is the largest city of Germany with 3.4 million inhabitants and an area of 892 square km so the city became the capital of the country. Berlin had the first time the status of the capital in 1871 and this status was maintained... Read more »
More reviews you might be interested in
Angra Dos Reis reviews - Brazil
Situated just 90 km from Rio and in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Angra dos Reis is most widely known as the gateway to an island paradise. This...
The beaches of Angra dos Reis
Sancti Spiritus reviews - Cuba
Sancti Spíritus is a little old town near Trinidad built on the banks of the Río Yayabo. Although it does not have great touristic or...
One day stop in Sankti Spiritus
Kalambaka reviews - Greece
There were a few organized trips from which we could choose during our stay. The first we chose was the trip to the Meteoras. The Meteora is a...
Meteora experiences in Geece
Biharugra reviews - Hungary
Today I visited very nice calm place in Hungary called Biharugra. Biharugra is a village in Békés County in the Southern Great Plain...
Short visit in Biharugra
Debrecen reviews - Hungary
On a Sunday we decided to visit the Zoo in Debrecen with some friends and colleagues from the university. We had a GPS so we found the Zoo easily....
A trip to the Debrecen Zoo
Aspen reviews - Colorado
One of North America’s premier resorts, Aspen Snowmass is located on one of the four renowned peaks of Aspen area, a Rocky Mountain massif...
Winter sports at Aspen Snowmass, CO
San Francisco reviews - California
San Francisco generally is considered one of the most charming cities in the US, and I totally agree with that. It's a very popular tourist...
Hong Kong reviews - China
A varied array of cultures and traditions, exotic cuisines, one of the largest emerging business markets, Asia is where you are. Asia a...
Asia, the land of mysteries
Arosa reviews - Switzerland
Arosa is a small mountain resort in Switzerland. It was discovered in 1883 as a health resort, but after a few years it became a winter resort. It...
Snowboard and ski in Arosa
Sankt Anton Am Arlberg reviews - Austria
There are few places in the world that can compare to the beauty and alpine splendor of Arlberg. This modern resort is where you can get some of...
Skiing in Austria? It's Arlberg