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 »
Berlin for low budget travelers - Apr 30, 2009, by erato
The famous TV Tower is situated on the Alexanderplatz with its total height of 365 m. There is a viewing platform and observation deck at 203 meters from where you can see the whole city and, if the weather is good, even farer. It is a... 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 »
Berlin - Jul 24, 2009, by Victoria
Berlin wissen sie wo das liegt ich weiß es im osten Deutschlands dort gibt es das Brandenburger Tor,Schlösser und viele Museun zubesichtigen auf jeden fall lohnt es sich dort hinzufahren... 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 »
More reviews you might be interested in
Klein Jasmund reviews - Germany
First, this was a 2.5 days weekend trip to Ruegen. Just to let you know that this will be no detailed description of the island itself... Well, to...
Weekend Trip to Jasmund National Park
Bruges reviews - France
I visited Bruges in 2007 while I was a Leonardo grant student in Lille. I remember that we were undecided about what Belgian town to visit, because...
Bruges, the most beautiful city in Belgium
Glasgow reviews - United Kingdom
It is advertised that Glasgow is a place of many cultures, what a pack of lies. If you are a foreigner and want to get into a nightclub, try and...
Bad club experience in Glasgow
Thira reviews - Greece
It is a fabulous volcanic island with an antique minoan city. Some people think Santorini is the home of the lost city of Atlantis... The quite...
What to see in Santorini
Amsterdam reviews - Netherlands
Biking in Amsterdam is not only a great experience, but it's also practical. There are many advantages relating about biking in Amsterdam First...
The Biking Amsterdam
Bicaz reviews - Romania
We arrived quite soon to the Bicaz Canyon (in Hungarian is Bekas szoros). I think this place is unique in Romania. The road cuts through the...
Excursion at the Bicaz Canyon (Cheile Bicazului)
Cockburn Town reviews - Turks And Caicos Islands
A cruise in the Caribbean is everyone’s dream. The services are excellent and you can’t expect anything but top quality accommodation...
East Caribbean Vacation
Honokaa reviews - Hawaii
The best place to stay in the whole Honokaa is definitely the Kalopa Homestead Guest House. It is very cozy very well equipped and feels almost...
Accomodation in Honokaa
Minneapolis reviews - Minnesota
Minneapolis is one of the places with the highest standard of living. Major companies like 3M or Northwest Airlines are headquartered in...
What to do in Minneapolis
Pismo Beach reviews - California
We started driving down towards the Paucific Number 1 way too late, but we still had enough time to see the beautiful coast line. It really is very...
Roadtrip on Pacific Number 1