Europe Places Travel Guide

Europe Places Travel Guide -> Germany -> Berlin Europe

Berlin: The Reichstag, House of the German Parliament
Photo: Berlin: The Reichstag, House of the German Parliament

Berlin Europe

Map of Berlin Surrounds: Berlin Map Weather for Today: Berlin Weather.

In Berlin and the rest of Germany, after being divided for so long, re-unification has truly begun to take root. The city still has some stark contrasts between east and west, but these are fast disappearing. The space between the walls has been utilised, the streets that were largely abandoned in the eastern sector for being too close to the wall have been reoccupied or in the process of doing so with new hi tech green buildings.

The eastern part of Berlin is the original part of the city, beginning with a trade post at a crossing of the River Spree in the 13th century. The river towns Colln and Berlin joined in 1307, forming the city of Berlin. The city was elevated to the status of capital in 1701, when the then ruler, prince elector Friedrich I, had himself crowned King of Prussia.

Berlin Architecture

In the Berlin central Mitte District, there are numerous historical buildings, rebuilt to their former glory before the war. These include the Brandenburger Tor, the St-Hedwigs-Kathedrale, the New Synagogue (Neue Synagoge) and a wonderful collection of museums and art galleries, such as the Pergamonmuseum and the Jewish Museum.

The western part of Berlin has the Kulturforum, a cultural centre for music, the arts and literature and a number of museums, all created after the last world war. Other western Berlin places of interest include the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Kirche, the Tiergarten and the Gemäldegalerie, an art gallery with some of the finest paintings from all the major art schools of Europe.

Unter Den Linden - This historical street runs from the Brandenburg Gate and the Tiergarten to where the former Stadtschloss royal palace stood, then to the Schlossbrücke (Palace Bridge) to Museum Island. Named for its Lime (Linden) trees, this has been Berlin’s most famous street since the 19th century.

Greater Berlin Surrounds

Potsdam, the capital city of the state of Brandenburg was also the residence of the kings of Prussia and later, the emperors of Germany. Sanssouci, with its palaces and parks has been made the largest World Heritage Site found in Germany.

Berlin History

The city of Berlin was made a city district in its own right, separating from the Brandenburg Province on April 1, 1888. In 1790 the Berlin region was expanded in 1920 to include Charlottenburg and other districts in the surrounds, making Greater Berlin (Groß Berlin).

After WWII, the city of Berlin was divided into east and west, with the western part being administered by the Western powers and the east becoming part of the Soviet occupation zone. Much of the city still reflects this time, the city having to be completely rebuilt in the late 1940s, 1950s and 60s.

Being divided by a wall to prevent people escaping the east for the ”decadent fascist” west, West Berlin became a symbolic flash point for the political divide between east and west.

Following unrest in places like Poland and Hungary, the Eastern Bloc’s pro Soviet governments began to crack, including that of East Germany. It gave permission for all GDR citizens to visit West Germany, including West Berlin. Thus began the fall of the wall, with people chipping away at the reinforced concrete and the government later using cranes and bulldozers to clear the rest.

With the re-unification, the city has undergone a dramatic change. Completely rebuilt grand heritage buildings are mixed amongst the older kitsch soviet style buildings and the new hi tech architectural showpiece green design buildings. This process is continuing, Berlin is now Germany’s largest city.

The diverse history of Berlin makes for interesting exploring. Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall, the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German History Museum), the rebuilt classic buildings, including the landmark Brandenburg Gate and the museums on Museum Island located in the city center on the Spree River make for great photos and places to visit.

Visiting Berlin

Berlin, before it was the thriving metropolis it is today, was originally made up of districts and with satellite towns in the surrounds. The city, shaped by events in history, destroyed in WWII. Today the western section is rebuilt with the eastern part in progress, the city is a modern cultural capital of Europe and a great place to visit.

Berlin has numerous excellent restaurants, coffee houses and places to eat, able to compete with anywhere in the world. The city’s modern museums and art galleries are complemented with great entertainment from Opera to world class movies. Public transport is reasonably priced, plentiful and needless to say, on time.

Germany Maps

Berlin and Surrounds Map Berlin Map - Map of Germany Germany Map.

Hotels in Germany

Accommodation is varied, from serviced apartments to luxury hotels. There is a wide range of accommodation styles to suit almost any budget, including villas.

Photo: Berlin: The Reichstag, House of the German Parliament

Search the Europe Places Guide

Custom Search

 The French Cathedral, next to the Konzerthaus and the German Cathedral in Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt
Photo: The French Cathedral, next to the Konzerthaus and the German Cathedral in Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt