Berlin The capital of Germany
Berlin is known for many things, some good, some great, and some rather troubling.It is known as the capital city of Germany now that the country has been reunited. For most of the Cold War, the capital of West Germany was located in Bonn.
Founded in the 13th century, Berlin has had an eventful history. Excavations from 2008 suggest that the city may be even older than was previously assumed: state archaeologists have discovered an oak beam that probably dates back to 1183.
Almost no other metropolis has experienced such frequent, radical change transforming the face of the city. Although Berlin saw steady growth in its importance, dazzling epochs alternated with darker eras. Nevertheless, the formerly divided city has succeeded in becoming a vibrant metropolis in the heart of Europe.
The Reichstag, the seat of the German parliament, is one of Berlin's most historic landmarks. The building, which is located close to the Brandenburg Gate, was renovated after German reunification and now features a striking glass dome.
The Brandenburg Gate, a monumental gate built in the eighteenth century as a symbol of peace, is Berlin's most famous landmark. During the Cold War, when the gate was located right near the border between East and West Berlin, it became a symbol of a divided city.
Granted UNESCO National Heritage Site status in the year 1999, Berlin's Museum Island was designed to be "a sanctuary of art and science". The island is home to no less than five of Berlin's major museums. The museums that make up Museum Island are located on the northern part of the Spreeinsel (Spree Island). Together this cluster of grand museum buildings form one of the world's greatest museum complexes.
The harmonious Gendarmenmarkt is known as one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. It was created at the end of the seventeenth century as a market place, the Linden Markt. The current name is derived from the Gens d'Armes, an elite Prussian mounted regiment that was quartered here from 1736 to 1773. In 1777, the square was redeveloped after plans by Georg Christian Unger.
One of the five marvelous museums that sit on Berlin's Museum Island, the Pergamon Museum is the newest and most popular. The museum is named after the Pergamon Altar, an enormous monument that occupies a whole room.
Berlin Wall Memorial
The Berlin Wall, which separated the city in an eastern and western part, was the defining symbol of the Cold War. Built by the goverment of the DDR to prevent East Germans from escaping to the West, most of the Berlin Wall has been demolished since the border between East and West Berlin opened in 1989.