BERLIN (/bɜːrˈlɪn, ˌbɜːr-/ , German: ( listen )) is the
capital and the largest city of
Germany as well as one of its 16
constituent states . With a population of approximately 3.7 million,
Berlin is the second most populous city proper in the European Union
and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union.
Located in northeastern
Germany on the banks of the rivers
Havel , it is the centre of the Berlin-
Brandenburg Metropolitan Region
, which has roughly 6 million residents from more than 180 nations
, making it the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union.
Due to its location in the
European Plain ,
Berlin is influenced by a
temperate seasonal climate. Around one-third of the city's area is
composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers, canals and lakes.
First documented in the 13th century and situated at the crossing of
two important historic trade routes ,
Berlin became the capital of
Margraviate of Brandenburg (1417–1701), the Kingdom of Prussia
German Empire (1871–1918), the
(1919–1933) and the
Third Reich (1933–1945).
Berlin in the 1920s
was the third largest municipality in the world. After World War II
and its subsequent occupation by the victorious countries, the city
East Berlin was declared capital of East
Germany , while
West Berlin became a de facto West German exclave , surrounded by the
Berlin Wall (1961–1989) and East German territory. Following German
reunification in 1990,
Berlin once again became the capital of all of
Berlin is a world city of culture, politics, media and science.
Its economy is based on high-tech firms and the service sector,
encompassing a diverse range of creative industries , research
facilities, media corporations and convention venues.
as a continental hub for air and rail traffic and has a highly complex
public transportation network. The metropolis is a popular tourist
destination . Significant industries also include IT ,
pharmaceuticals, biomedical engineering, clean tech, biotechnology ,
construction and electronics.
Berlin is home to world renowned universities, orchestras,
museums, entertainment venues and is host to many sporting events.
Its urban setting has made it a sought-after location for
international film productions . The city is well known for its
festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, contemporary arts and a
high quality of living . Since the 2000s
Berlin has seen the
emergence of a cosmopolitan entrepreneurial scene .
* 1 History
* 1.1 Etymology
* 1.2 12th to 16th centuries
* 1.3 17th to 19th centuries
* 1.4 20th to 21st centuries
* 2 Geography
* 2.2 Climate
* 2.3 Cityscape
* 3 Demographics
* 3.1 Immigration
* 3.2 Languages
* 3.3 Religion
* 4 Government
* 4.1 City state
* 4.2 Boroughs
* 4.3 Twin towns – sister cities
* 5 Economy
* 5.1 Companies
* 5.2 Tourism and conventions
* 5.4 Media
* 6 Infrastructure
* 6.1 Transport
* 6.2 Energy
* 6.3 Health
* 6.4 Telecommunication
* 7 Education
* 7.1 Higher education
* 7.2 Research
* 8 Culture
* 8.1 Galleries and museums
* 8.2 Nightlife and festivals
* 8.4 Cuisine
* 8.5 Recreation
* 8.6 Sports
* 9 See also
* 10 Notes
* 11 References
* 12 External links
History of Berlin and
Timeline of Berlin
Berlin has its roots in the language of West Slavic
inhabitants of the area of today's Berlin, and may be related to the
Old Polabian stem _berl-_/_birl-_ ("swamp"). All German place names
ending on _-ow_, _-itz_ and _-in_, of which there are many east of the
Elbe , are of Slavic origin (
Germania Slavica ). There are many
boroughs of Slavic origin in the city: Berlin-Karow , Berlin-Malchow ,
Pankow , Berlin-
Spandau (earlier: _Spandow_), Berlin-
Kladow , Berlin-
Steglitz , Berlin-
Lankwitz , Berlin-
Berlin-Buckow , Berlin-
Rudow , Berlin-
Schmöckwitz , Berlin-
Marzahn and Berlin-
Köpenick . Since the
_Ber-_ at the beginning sounds like the German word _Bär_ (bear), a
bear appears in the coat of arms of the city. It is therefore a
canting arm .
12TH TO 16TH CENTURIES
Berlin in 1688
The earliest evidence of settlements in the area of today's Berlin
are a wooden rod dated from approximately 1192 and leftovers of
wooden houseparts dated to 1174 found in a 2012 excavation in Berlin
Mitte. The first written records of towns in the area of present-day
Berlin date from the late 12th century.
Spandau is first mentioned in
Köpenick in 1209, although these areas did not join Berlin
until 1920. The central part of
Berlin can be traced back to two
Cölln on the
Fischerinsel is first mentioned in a 1237
document, and Berlin, across the
Spree in what is now called the
Nikolaiviertel , is referenced in a document from 1244. 1237 is
considered the founding date of the city. The two towns over time
formed close economic and social ties, and profited from the staple
right on the two important trade routes _
Via Imperii _ and from Bruges
Novgorod . In 1307, they formed an alliance with a common external
policy, their internal administrations still being separated.
In 1415 Frederick I became the elector of the Margraviate of
Brandenburg , which he ruled until 1440. During the 15th century, his
successors established Berlin-
Cölln as capital of the margraviate,
and subsequent members of the
Hohenzollern family ruled in Berlin
until 1918, first as electors of Brandenburg, then as kings of
Prussia, and eventually as German emperors . In 1443 Frederick II
Irontooth started the construction of a new royal palace in the twin
city Berlin-Cölln. The protests of the town citizens against the
building culminated in 1448, in the "
Berlin Indignation" ("Berliner
Unwille"). This protest was not successful and the citizenry lost
many of its political and economic privileges. After the royal palace
was finished in 1451, it gradually came into use. From 1470, with the
new elector Albrecht III Achilles , Berlin-
Cölln became the new royal
residence. Officially, the Berlin-
Cölln palace became permanent
residence of the
Brandenburg electors of the Hohenzollerns from 1486,
when John Cicero came to power. Berlin-Cölln, however, had to give
up its status as a free Hanseatic city. In 1539, the electors and the
city officially became
17TH TO 19TH CENTURIES
Frederick the Great (1712–1786) was one of Europe's
enlightened monarchs .
The Thirty Years\' War between 1618 and 1648 devastated Berlin. One
third of its houses were damaged or destroyed, and the city lost half
of its population. Frederick William , known as the "Great Elector",
who had succeeded his father George William as ruler in 1640,
initiated a policy of promoting immigration and religious tolerance.
Edict of Potsdam in 1685, Frederick William offered asylum to
the French Huguenots . By 1700, approximately 30 percent of Berlin's
residents were French, because of the
Huguenot immigration. Many
other immigrants came from
Poland , and Salzburg .
Berlin became the capital of the
German Empire in 1871 and expanded
rapidly in the following years. (
Unter den Linden
Unter den Linden in 1900)
Since 1618 the
Margraviate of Brandenburg had been in personal union
Duchy of Prussia . In 1701 the dual state formed the Kingdom
Prussia , as
Frederick III, Elector of Brandenburg crowned himself
as king Frederick I in
Berlin became the capital of the new
Kingdom , replacing
Königsberg . This was a successful attempt to
centralise the capital in the very far-flung state, and it was the
first time the city began to grow. In 1709,
Berlin merged with the
four cities of Cölln, Friedrichswerder, Friedrichstadt and
Dorotheenstadt under the name Berlin, "Haupt- und Residenzstadt
In 1740 Frederick II, known as
Frederick the Great (1740–1786),
came to power. Under the rule of Frederick II,
Berlin became a center
of the Enlightenment , but also, was briefly occupied during the Seven
Years\' War by the Russian army. Following France's victory in the
War of the Fourth Coalition
War of the Fourth Coalition ,
Napoleon Bonaparte marched into Berlin
in 1806, but granted self-government to the city. In 1815 the city
became part of the new
Province of Brandenburg .
Industrial Revolution transformed
Berlin during the 19th century;
the city's economy and population expanded dramatically, and it became
the main railway hub and economic centre of Germany. Additional
suburbs soon developed and increased the area and population of
Berlin. In 1861 neighbouring suburbs including Wedding ,
several others were incorporated into Berlin. In 1871
capital of the newly founded
German Empire . In 1881 it became a city
district separate from Brandenburg.
20TH TO 21ST CENTURIES
West Berlin and
East Berlin See also:
_ Street, Berlin_ (1913) by
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
In the early 20th century,
Berlin had become a fertile ground for the
German Expressionist movement. In fields such as architecture ,
painting and cinema new forms of artistic styles were invented. At the
end of the
First World War
First World War in 1918, a republic was proclaimed by
Philipp Scheidemann at the
Reichstag building . In 1920 the Greater
Berlin Act incorporated dozens of suburban cities, villages and
Berlin into an expanded city. The act increased the
Berlin from 66 to 883 km2 (25 to 341 sq mi). The population
almost doubled and
Berlin had a population of around four million.
Weimar era ,
Berlin underwent political unrest due to
economic uncertainties, but also became a renowned centre of the
Roaring Twenties . The metropolis experienced its heyday as a major
world capital and was known for its leadership roles in science,
technology, arts, the humanities, city planning, film, higher
education, government and industries.
Albert Einstein rose to public
prominence during his years in Berlin, being awarded the Nobel Prize
for Physics in 1921.
Berlin in ruins after the Second World War
Potsdamer Platz , 1945)
Adolf Hitler and the
Nazi Party came to power . NSDAP rule
diminished Berlin's Jewish community from 160,000 (one-third of all
Jews in the country) to about 80,000 as a result of emigration between
1933 and 1939. After
Kristallnacht in 1938, thousands of the city's
Jews were imprisoned in the nearby
Sachsenhausen concentration camp .
Starting in early 1943, many were shipped to death camps , such as
Auschwitz . During World War II, large parts of
Berlin were destroyed
in the 1943–45 air raids and during the
Battle of Berlin . Around
125,000 civilians were killed. After the end of the war in Europe in
Berlin received large numbers of refugees from the Eastern
provinces. The victorious powers divided the city into four sectors,
analogous to the occupation zones into which
Germany was divided. The
sectors of the Western Allies (the United States, the United Kingdom
and France) formed
West Berlin , while the Soviet sector formed East
Berlin . The
Berlin Wall (painted on the western side) was a
barrier that divided the city from 1961 to 1989.
All four Allies shared administrative responsibilities for Berlin.
However, in 1948, when the Western Allies extended the currency reform
in the Western zones of
Germany to the three western sectors of
Soviet Union imposed a blockade on the access routes to
and from West Berlin, which lay entirely inside Soviet-controlled
Berlin airlift , conducted by the three western Allies,
overcame this blockade by supplying food and other supplies to the
city from June 1948 to May 1949. In 1949 the Federal Republic of
Germany was founded in West
Germany and eventually included all of the
American, British and French zones, excluding those three countries'
zones in Berlin, while the
Marxist-Leninist German Democratic Republic
was proclaimed in East Germany.
West Berlin officially remained an
occupied city, but it politically was aligned with the Federal
Germany despite West Berlin's geographic isolation.
Airline service to
West Berlin was granted only to American, British
and French airlines. The fall of the
Berlin Wall on 9 November
1989. On 3 October 1990 , the
German reunification process was
The founding of the two German states increased
Cold War tensions.
West Berlin was surrounded by East German territory, and East Germany
proclaimed the Eastern part as its capital, a move that was not
recognised by the western powers.
East Berlin included most of the
historic centre of the city. The West German government established
Bonn . In 1961 East
Germany began the building of the
Berlin Wall between East and West Berlin, and events escalated to a
tank standoff at
Checkpoint Charlie .
West Berlin was now de facto a
part of West
Germany with a unique legal status, while
East Berlin was
de facto a part of East Germany.
John F. Kennedy gave his "_Ich bin
ein Berliner _" – speech in 1963 underlining the US support for the
Western part of the city.
Berlin was completely divided. Although it
was possible for Westerners to pass from one to the other side through
strictly controlled checkpoints, for most Easterners travel to West
Berlin or West
Germany was prohibited by the government of East
Germany. In 1971, a Four-Power agreement guaranteed access to and from
West Berlin by car or train through East Germany.
In 1989, with the end of the
Cold War and pressure from the East
German population, the
Berlin Wall fell on 9 November and was
subsequently mostly demolished. Today, the
East Side Gallery preserves
a large portion of the wall. On 3 October 1990, the two parts of
Germany were reunified as the Federal Republic of
Germany and Berlin
again became the official German capital. In 1991, the German
Bundestag , voted to move the seat of the German
Bonn to Berlin, which was completed in 1999. On 18 June
1994 soldiers from the United States,
France and Britain marched in a
parade which was part of the ceremonies to mark the final withdrawal
of foreign troops allowing a reunified
Berlin . Berlin\'s 2001
administrative reform merged several districts. The number of boroughs
was reduced from 23 to 12. In 2006, the FIFA World Cup Final was held
Geography of Berlin
Mitte landmarks from
left to right (seen from Victory Column ):
Reichstag building ,
Fernsehturm , Cathedral , City Hall ,
Brandenburg Gate ,
Mitte , the historical center: Unter den Linden
boulevard in the foreground, high-rise buildings of
Potsdamer Platz up
to the right
Aerial view towards northeast over central
Berlin is situated in northeastern
Germany , in an area of low-lying
marshy woodlands with a mainly flat topography , part of the vast
European Plain which stretches all the way from northern
France to western
Russia . The _Berliner Urstromtal_ (an ice age
glacial valley ), between the low
Barnim Plateau to the north and the
Teltow Plateau to the south, was formed by meltwater flowing from ice
sheets at the end of the last
Weichselian glaciation . The Spree
follows this valley now. In Spandau, a borough in the west of Berlin,
Spree empties into the river
Havel , which flows from north to
south through western Berlin. The course of the
Havel is more like a
chain of lakes, the largest being the Tegeler See and the Großer
Wannsee . A series of lakes also feeds into the upper Spree, which
flows through the Großer
Müggelsee in eastern Berlin.
Substantial parts of present-day
Berlin extend onto the low plateaus
on both sides of the
Spree Valley. Large parts of the boroughs
Pankow lie on the Barnim Plateau, while most of the
Tempelhof-Schöneberg , and
Neukölln lie on the Teltow Plateau.
The borough of
Spandau lies partly within the
Berlin Glacial Valley
and partly on the Nauen Plain, which stretches to the west of Berlin.
Since 2015, the highest elevation in
Berlin is found on the Arkenberge
hills in Pankow, at 122 metres (400 feet). Through the dumping of
construction debris, they surpassed
Teufelsberg (120.1 m or 394 ft), a
hill made of rubble from the ruins of the Second World War. The
highest natural elevation is found on the
Müggelberge at 114.7 metres
(376 feet), and the lowest at the Spektesee in Spandau, at 28.1 metres
The outskirts of
Berlin are covered with woodlands and numerous
Berlin has a Maritime temperate climate (_Cfb_) according to the
Köppen climate classification system. There are significant
influences of mild continental climate due to its inland position,
with frosts being common in winter and there being larger temperature
differences between seasons than typical for many oceanic climates.
Berlin is classified as a temperate continental climate
(_Dc_) under the Trewartha climate scheme .
Summers are warm and sometimes humid with average high temperatures
of 22–25 °C (72–77 °F) and lows of 12–14 °C (54–57 °F).
Winters are cool with average high temperatures of 3 °C (37 °F) and
lows of −2 to 0 °C (28 to 32 °F). Spring and autumn are generally
chilly to mild. Berlin's built-up area creates a microclimate, with
heat stored by the city\'s buildings and pavement . Temperatures can
be 4 °C (7 °F) higher in the city than in the surrounding areas.
Annual precipitation is 570 millimeters (22 in) with moderate
rainfall throughout the year. Snowfall mainly occurs from December
CLIMATE DATA FOR BERLIN- TEMPELHOF (1971–2000), EXTREMES (1876–
2015) (SOURCE: DWD)
RECORD HIGH °C (°F)
AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F)
DAILY MEAN °C (°F)
AVERAGE LOW °C (°F)
RECORD LOW °C (°F)
AVERAGE RAINFALL MM (INCHES)
AVERAGE RAINY DAYS (≥ 1.0 MM)
MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS
World Meteorological Organization (UN), HKO
Typically dense cityscape of core Berlin:
Berlin's history has left the city with a polycentric organization
and a highly eclectic array of architecture and buildings. The city's
appearance today is predominantly shaped by the key role it played in
Germany's history in the 20th century. Each of the national
governments based in
Berlin – the Kingdom of Prussia, the 1871
German Empire, the
Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, East Germany, and
now the reunified
Germany – initiated ambitious reconstruction
programs, with each adding its own distinctive style to the city's
Berlin was devastated by bombing raids , fires and street battles
during World War II, and many of the buildings that had remained after
the war were demolished in the post-war period in both West and East
Berlin. Much of this demolition was initiated by municipal
architecture programs to build new residential or business quarters
and main roads. Many ornaments of pre-war buildings were destroyed
following modernist dogmas . While in both systems and in reunified
Berlin, various important heritage monuments were also (partly)
reconstructed , including the _Forum Fridericianum_ with e.g., the
State Opera (1955),
Charlottenburg Palace (1957), the main monuments
Gendarmenmarkt (1980s), Kommandantur (2003) and the project to
reconstruct the baroque façades of the City Palace . A number of new
buildings are inspired by historical predecessors or the general
classical style of Berlin, such as
Hotel Adlon .
Clusters of high-rise buildings emerge at disperse locations, e.g.
Potsdamer Platz ,
City West , and
Alexanderplatz , the latter two
representing the previous centers of West and East Berlin,
respectively, and the former representing the new
Berlin of the 21st
century built upon the previous no-man's land of the
Berlin has three of the top 40 tallest buildings in Germany.
Berlin See also: List of sights in
List of tallest buildings in Berlin A mixed-use
Kreuzberg . The 'blockrand' structure of the 1862
Hobrecht-Plan is typical for Berlin.
The Fernsehturm (TV tower) at
Mitte is among the
tallest structures in the
European Union at 368 m (1,207 ft). Built in
1969, it is visible throughout most of the central districts of
Berlin. The city can be viewed from its 204 m (669 ft) high
observation floor. Starting here the
Karl-Marx-Allee heads east, an
avenue lined by monumental residential buildings, designed in the
Socialist Classicism style. Adjacent to this area is the Rotes Rathaus
(City Hall), with its distinctive red-brick architecture. In front of
it is the
Neptunbrunnen , a fountain featuring a mythological group of
Tritons , personifications of the four main Prussian rivers and
Neptune on top of it. The
Brandenburg Gate , icon of
Brandenburg Gate is an iconic landmark of
Berlin and Germany; it
stands as a symbol of eventful European history and of unity and
Reichstag building is the traditional seat of the German
Parliament. It was remodelled by British architect Norman Foster in
the 1990s and features a glass dome over the session area, which
allows free public access to the parliamentary proceedings and
magnificent views of the city.
East Side Gallery is an open-air exhibition of art painted
directly on the last existing portions of the
Berlin Wall. It is the
largest remaining evidence of the city's historical division.
Gendarmenmarkt is a neoclassical square in Berlin, the name of
which derives from the headquarters of the famous Gens d'armes
regiment located here in the 18th century. It is bordered by two
similarly designed cathedrals, the
Französischer Dom with its
observation platform and the
Deutscher Dom . The Konzerthaus (Concert
Hall), home of the
Berlin Symphony Orchestra, stands between the two
Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Museum Island in the River
Spree houses five museums built from
1830 to 1930 and is a
UNESCO World Heritage site. Restoration and the
construction of a main entrance to all museums, as well as the
reconstruction of the Stadtschloss is continuing. Also located on
the island and adjacent to the
Lustgarten and palace is Berlin
Cathedral , emperor William II's ambitious attempt to create a
Protestant counterpart to St. Peter\'s Basilica in Rome. A large crypt
houses the remains of some of the earlier Prussian royal family. St.
Hedwig\'s Cathedral is Berlin's Roman Catholic cathedral.
Potsdamer Platz, Kollhoff Tower at the center and headquarters of
Deutsche Bahn to the right.
Unter den Linden
Unter den Linden is a tree-lined east–west avenue from the
Brandenburg Gate to the site of the former Berliner Stadtschloss, and
was once Berlin's premier promenade. Many Classical buildings line the
street and part of
Humboldt University is located there.
Friedrichstraße was Berlin's legendary street during the Golden
Twenties . It combines 20th-century traditions with the modern
architecture of today's Berlin.
Unter den Linden
Unter den Linden boulevard with
Berlin Cathedral and
Fernsehturm Berlin at night.
Potsdamer Platz is an entire quarter built from scratch after 1995
after the Wall came down. To the west of
Potsdamer Platz is the
Kulturforum, which houses the Gemäldegalerie , and is flanked by the
Neue Nationalgalerie and the
Berliner Philharmonie . The Memorial to
the Murdered Jews of Europe , a
Holocaust memorial, is situated to the
The area around
Hackescher Markt is home to fashionable culture, with
countless clothing outlets, clubs, bars, and galleries. This includes
Hackesche Höfe , a conglomeration of buildings around several
courtyards, reconstructed around 1996. The nearby New Synagogue is the
center of Jewish culture.
Charlottenburg Palace is the largest
existing palace in Berlin.
Straße des 17. Juni , connecting the
Brandenburg Gate and
Ernst-Reuter-Platz, serves as the central east-west axis. Its name
commemorates the uprisings in
East Berlin of 17 June 1953 .
Approximately halfway from the
Brandenburg Gate is the Großer Stern,
a circular traffic island on which the
Siegessäule (Victory Column)
is situated. This monument, built to commemorate Prussia's victories,
was relocated in 1938–39 from its previous position in front of the
Kurfürstendamm is home to some of Berlin's luxurious stores with
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at its eastern end on
Breitscheidplatz . The church was destroyed in the Second World War
and left in ruins. Nearby on Tauentzienstraße is
KaDeWe , claimed to
be continental Europe's largest department store. The Rathaus
Schöneberg , where
John F. Kennedy made his famous "Ich bin ein
Berliner !" speech, is situated in
West of the center, Bellevue Palace is the residence of the German
Charlottenburg Palace , which was burnt out in the Second
World War, is the largest historical palace in Berlin.
Funkturm Berlin is a 150 m (490 ft) tall lattice radio tower in
the fairground area, built between 1924 and 1926. It is the only
observation tower which stands on insulators and has a restaurant 55 m
(180 ft) and an observation deck 126 m (413 ft) above ground, which is
reachable by a windowed elevator.
Oberbaumbrücke is Berlin's most iconic bridge, crossing the
Spree . It was a former East-West border crossing and connects
the boroughs of
Kreuzberg . It was completed in a
brick gothic style in 1896. The center portion has been reconstructed
with a steel frame after having been destroyed in 1945. The bridge has
an upper deck for the
Berlin U-Bahn line U1 .
Demographics of Berlin People in
On 31 December 2015 the city-state of
Berlin had a population of
3,520,031 registered inhabitants in an area of 891.85 km2 (344.35 sq
mi). The city's population density was 4,048 inhabitants per km2.
Berlin is the second most populous city proper in the EU. The urban
Berlin comprised about 4.1 million people in 2014 in an area
of 1,347 km2 (520 sq mi), making it the seventh most populous urban
area in the
European Union . The urban agglomeration of the
metropolis was home to about 4.5 million in an area of 5,370 km2
(2,070 sq mi). As of 2014 the functional urban area was home to about
5 million people in an area of approximately 15,000 km2 (5,792 sq mi).
The entire Berlin-
Brandenburg capital region has a population of more
than 6 million in an area of 30,370 km2 (11,726 sq mi).
In 2014, the city state
Berlin had 37.368 live births (+6,6%), a
record number since 1991. The number of deaths was 32.314. Almost 2.0
million households were counted in the city. 54 percent of them were
single-person households. More than 337.000 families with children
under the age of 18 lived in Berlin. In 2014 the German capital
registered a migration surplus of approximately 40.000 people.
Berlin's population 1880–2012
National and international migration into the city has a long
history. In 1685, following the revocation of the
Edict of Nantes in
France, the city responded with the
Edict of Potsdam , which
guaranteed religious freedom and tax-free status to French Huguenot
refugees for ten years. The
Greater Berlin Act in 1920 incorporated
many suburbs and surrounding cities of Berlin. It formed most of the
territory that comprises modern
Berlin and increased the population
from 1.9 million to 4 million.
Resident population as of 2016 Germans without MH (68.6%) Germans
with MH (13.0%) Foreign nationals (18.4%)
Active immigration and asylum politics in
West Berlin triggered waves
of immigration in the 1960s and 1970s. Currently,
Berlin is home to
about 200,000 Turks , making it the largest Turkish community outside
of Turkey. In the 1990s the _Aussiedlergesetze_ enabled immigration to
Germany of some residents from the former
Soviet Union . Today ethnic
Germans from countries of the former
Soviet Union make up the largest
portion of the Russian-speaking community. The last decade
experienced an influx from various Western countries and some African
regions. A portion of the African immigrants have settled in the
Afrikanisches Viertel . Young Germans, EU-Europeans and Israelis have
also settled in the city.
THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it . (June
RESIDENT FOREIGN NATIONALS (2016)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In December 2016, there were 676,741 registered residents of foreign
nationality and another 474,991 German citizens with a "migration
background" _(Migrationshintergrund, MH)_, meaning they or one of
their parents immigrated to
Germany after 1955. Foreign residents of
Berlin originate from approximately 190 different countries. 48
percent of the residents under the age of 15 have migration
Berlin in 2009 was estimated to have 100,000 to 250,000
non-registered inhabitants. Boroughs of
Berlin with a significant
number of migrants or foreign born population are
Mitte , Neukölln
There are more than 20 non-indigenous communities with a population
of at least 10,000 people, including Turkish , Polish, Russian,
Lebanese, Palestinian, Serbian, Italian, Bosnian, Vietnamese ,
American, Romanian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Chinese, Austrian, Ukrainian,
French, British, Spanish, Israeli, Thai, Iranian, Egyptian and Syrian
German language and
German is the official and predominant spoken language in Berlin. It
is a West Germanic language that derives most of its vocabulary from
the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. German is
one of 24 languages of the European Union, and one of the three
working languages of the
European Commission .
Berlinerisch or Berlinisch is not a dialect linguistically, but has
Lausitzisch-neumärkisch dialects . It is spoken in Berlin
and the surrounding metropolitan area . It originates from a Mark
Brandenburgish variant. The dialect is now seen more as a sociolect ,
largely through increased immigration and trends among the educated
population to speak standard German in everyday life.
The most-commonly-spoken foreign languages in
Berlin are Turkish,
English, Russian, Arabic, Polish, Kurdish, Serbo-Croatian, Italian,
Vietnamese, and French. Turkish, Arabic, Kurdish, Serbo-Croatian are
heard more often in the western part, due to the large Middle Eastern
and former-Yugoslavian communities. English, Vietnamese, Russian, and
Polish have more native speakers in East Berlin.
Religion in Berlin
RELIGION IN BERLIN – 2010
Berlin Cathedral , held by the EKD
More than 60% of
Berlin residents have no registered religious
affiliation. The largest denomination in 2010 was the Protestant
regional church body – the Evangelical Church of
Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia (EKBO) – a
United church .
EKBO is a member of the Evangelical Church in
Germany (EKD) and Union
Evangelischer Kirchen (UEK) , and accounts for 18.7% of the local
population. The Roman
Catholic Church has 9.1% of residents
registered as its members. About 2.7% of the population identify with
other Christian denominations (mostly Eastern Orthodox , but also
various Protestants). _ The Sunni Şehitlik mosque_ in Berlin
In 2009 estimated 249.000 Muslims resided in Berlin, making up 7,2%
of the population. About a year later calculations based on census
data for migrants from 21 countries of origin brought a similar number
Muslim migrants in
Berlin (about 257,700 in May 2011). According
to that 7,8% of Berlin´s 3,292,365 inhabitants were
In 2016 the number of Muslims was estimated at about 350.000 people
which portrays 9,5% of the city population. Between 1992 and 2011 the
Muslim population almost doubled.
About 0.9% of Berliners belong to other religions. Of the estimated
population of 30,000–45,000 Jewish residents, approximately 12,000
are registered members of religious organizations.
Berlin is the seat of the Roman Catholic archbishop of
EKBO 's elected chairperson is titled the bishop of EKBO. Furthermore,
Berlin is the seat of many Orthodox cathedrals, such as the Cathedral
of St. Boris the Baptist, one of the two seats of the Bulgarian
Orthodox Diocese of Western and Central Europe, and the Resurrection
of Christ Cathedral of the Diocese of
Berlin (Patriarchate of Moscow).
The faithful of the different religions and denominations maintain
many places of worship in
The Independent Evangelical
Lutheran Church has eight parishes of different sizes in Berlin.
There are 36
Baptist congregations (within Union of Evangelical Free
Church Congregations in
Germany ), 29 New Apostolic Churches , 15
United Methodist churches, eight Free Evangelical Congregations, four
Churches of Christ, Scientist (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 11th), six
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , an
Old Catholic church, and an
Anglican church in Berlin.
Berlin has more than 80 mosques, 11 synagogues, and two Buddhist
temples, in addition to a number of humanist and atheist groups.
Politics of Berlin and
Rotes Rathaus , seat of the Senate and Governing Mayor of Berlin
Since the reunification on 3 October 1990,
Berlin has been one of the
three city states in
Germany among the present 16 states of Germany.
The House of Representatives (_Abgeordnetenhaus_) functions as the
city and state parliament, which currently has 141 seats. Berlin's
executive body is the
Senate of Berlin (_Senat von Berlin_). The
Senate consists of the Governing Mayor (_Regierender Bürgermeister_)
and up to eight senators holding ministerial positions, one of them
holding the title of "Mayor" (_Bürgermeister_) as deputy to the
Governing Mayor. The total annual state budget of
Berlin in 2015
exceeded €24.5 ($30.0) billion including a budget surplus of €205
The Social Democratic Party (SPD) and The Left (Die Linke) took
control of the city government after the 2001 state election and won
another term in the 2006 state election . Since the 2016 state
election , there has been a coalition between the Social Democratic
Party, the Greens and the Left Party.
The Governing Mayor is simultaneously Lord Mayor of the City of
Berlin (_Oberbürgermeister der Stadt_) and Minister President of the
Federal State of
Berlin (_Ministerpräsident des Bundeslandes_). The
office of the Governing Mayor is located in the
Rotes Rathaus (Red
City Hall) . Since 2014 this office has been held by Michael Müller
of the Social Democrats.
Boroughs and neighborhoods of Berlin Berlin\'s
twelve boroughs and their 96 neighborhoods
Berlin is subdivided into 12 boroughs or districts (_Bezirke_). Each
borough is made up by a number of subdistricts or neighborhoods
(_Ortsteile_), which have historic roots in much older municipalities
that predate the formation of Greater
Berlin on 1 October 1920. These
subdistricts became urbanized and incorporated into the city later on.
Many residents strongly identify with their neighbourhoods,
colloquially called _
Kiez _ . At present,
Berlin consists of 96
subdistricts, which are commonly made up of several smaller
residential areas or quarters.
Each borough is governed by a borough council (_Bezirksamt_)
consisting of five councilors (_Bezirksstadträte_) including the
borough's mayor (_Bezirksbürgermeister_). The council is elected by
the borough assembly (_Bezirksverordnetenversammlung_). However, the
individual boroughs are not independent municipalities, but
subordinate to the Senate of Berlin. The borough's mayors make up the
council of mayors (_Rat der Bürgermeister_), which is led by the
city's Governing Mayor and advises the Senate. The neighborhoods have
no local government bodies.
TWIN TOWNS – SISTER CITIES
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in
Berlin maintains official partnerships with 17 cities. Town twinning
Berlin and other cities began with its sister city Los Angeles
in 1967. East Berlin's partnerships were canceled at the time of
German reunification but later partially reestablished. West Berlin's
partnerships had previously been restricted to the borough level.
Cold War era, the partnerships had reflected the different
power blocs, with
West Berlin partnering with capitals in the Western
East Berlin mostly partnering with cities from the Warsaw
Pact and its allies.
There are several joint projects with many other cities, such as
São Paulo ,
Helsinki , Johannesburg
Sydney , New
Berlin participates in international city associations
such as the Union of the Capitals of the European Union, Eurocities,
Network of European Cities of Culture, Metropolis, Summit Conference
of the World's Major Cities, and Conference of the World's Capital
Cities. Berlin's official sister cities are:
Los Angeles , United States
Paris , France
Madrid , Spain
Istanbul , Turkey
Moscow , Russia
Brussels , Belgium
Tashkent , Uzbekistan
Mexico City , Mexico
Jakarta , Indonesia
Beijing , China
Tokyo , Japan
Buenos Aires , Argentina
Windhoek , Namibia
London , United Kingdom
Berlin is the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany. The
Germany , whose functions are mainly ceremonial under the
German constitution , has their official residence in Bellevue Palace
Berlin is the seat of the German executive , housed in the
Chancellery , the _Bundeskanzleramt_. Facing the Chancellery is the
Bundestag , the German Parliament, housed in the renovated Reichstag
building since the government's relocation to
Berlin in 1998. The
Bundesrat ("federal council", performing the function of an upper
house) is the representation of the Federal States (_Bundesländer_)
Germany and has its seat at the former
Prussian House of Lords .
The total annual federal budget managed by the German government
exceeded €310 ($375) billion in 2013.
Reichstag , seat of the
The Italian embassy
The Federal Ministry of Finance
The relocation of the federal government and
mostly completed in 1999, however some ministries as well as some
minor departments stayed in the federal city
Bonn , the former capital
of West Germany. Discussions about moving the remaining ministries and
Berlin continue. The ministries and departments of
Defence , Justice and Consumer Protection , Finance , Interior ,
Foreign , Economic Affairs and Energy , Labour and Social Affairs ,
Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth , Environment, Nature
Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety , Food and Agriculture ,
Economic Cooperation and Development , Health , Transport and Digital
Infrastructure and Education and Research are based in the capital.
Berlin hosts in total 158 foreign embassies as well as the
headquarters of many think tanks, trade unions, non-profit
organizations, lobbying groups, and professional associations. Due to
the influence and international partnerships of the Federal Republic
of Germany, the capital city has become a significant centre of German
and European affairs. Frequent official visits, and diplomatic
consultations among governmental representatives and national leaders
are common in contemporary Berlin.
Economy of Berlin
Berlin is a
UNESCO "City of
Design" and recognized for its creative industries and startup
In 2015 the nominal GDP of the citystate
Berlin totaled €124.16
(~$142) billion compared to €117.75 in 2014, an increase of about
5.4%. Berlin's economy is dominated by the service sector, with around
84% of all companies doing business in services. In 2015, the total
labour force in
Berlin was 1.85 million. The unemployment rate reached
a 24-year low in November 2015 and stood at 10.0% . From 2012–2015
Berlin, as a German state, had the highest annual employment growth
rate. Around 130,000 jobs were added in this period.
Important economic sectors in
Berlin include life sciences,
transportation, information and communication technologies, media and
music, advertising and design, biotechnology, environmental services,
construction, e-commerce, retail, hotel business, and medical
Research and development
Research and development have economic significance for the city.
Several major corporations like Volkswagen, Pfizer, and SAP operate
innovation laboratories in the city. The Science and Business Park in
Adlershof is the largest technology park in
Germany measured by
revenue. Within the
Berlin has become a center for
business relocation and international investments .
Air Berlin is headquartered in Berlin.
Many German and international companies have business or service
centers in the city. For several years
Berlin has been recognized as a
major center of business founders . In 2015
Berlin generated the most
venture capital for young startup companies in Europe.
Among the 10 largest employers in
Berlin are the City-State of
Deutsche Bahn , the hospital provider
Charité and Vivantes,
the Federal Government of Germany, the local public transport provider
Deutsche Telekom . The two largest banks
headquartered in the capital are _Investitionsbank Berlin_ and
Landesbank Berlin .
Daimler manufactures cars, and BMW builds motorcycles in Berlin.
Bayer Health Care and _
Berlin Chemie_ are major pharmaceutical
companies in the city. The second largest German airline
Air Berlin is
based there as well.
Siemens , a Global 500 and
DAX -listed company is partly
headquartered in Berlin. The national railway operator
Deutsche Bahn ,
DAX -listed firms Axel Springer SE and
Zalando , and the SDAX
Rocket Internet have their main headquarters in the
central districts. Among the largest international corporations who
operate a German or European headquarter in
Berlin are Bombardier
Gazprom Germania ,
Pfizer and Total S.A.
TOURISM AND CONVENTIONS
Sights in Berlin The
Berlin Fashion Week .
IFA is the world's leading trade show for consumer electronics.
Berlin had 788 hotels with 134,399 beds in 2014. The city recorded
28.7 million overnight hotel stays and 11.9 million hotel guests in
2014. Tourism figures have more than doubled within the last ten
Berlin has become the third most-visited city destination in
Europe. The largest visitor groups are from Germany, the United
Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy,
Spain and the United States.
According to figures from the International Congress and Convention
Association in 2015
Berlin became the leading organizer of conferences
in the world hosting 195 international meetings. Some of these
congress events take place on venues such as CityCube
Berlin or the
Berlin Congress Center (bcc).
Messe Berlin (also known as
Berlin ExpoCenter City) is the main
convention organizing company in the city. Its main exhibition area
covers more than 160,000 square metres (1,722,226 square feet).
Several large-scale trade fairs like the consumer electronics trade
fair IFA , the
ILA Berlin Air Show , the
Berlin Fashion Week
(including the _Premium Berlin_ and the _Panorama Berlin_), the Green
Week , the _Fruit Logistica_, the transport fair
InnoTrans , the
tourism fair ITB and the adult entertainment and erotic fair Venus are
held annually in the city, attracting a significant number of business
List of films set in Berlin The European Film
Academy (logo pictured) was founded in Berlin.
The creative arts and entertainment business is an important and
sizable sector of the economy of Berlin. The sector comprises music,
film, advertising, architecture, art, design, fashion , performing
arts , publishing, R"> Headquarter of the Axel Springer SE
Berlin is home to numerous magazine, newspaper, book and
scientific/academic publishers, as well as their associated service
industries. In addition around 20 news agencies, more than 90 regional
daily newspapers and their websites, as well as the
Berlin offices of
more than 22 national publications such as
Der Spiegel , and Die Zeit
re-enforce the capital's position as Germany's epicenter for
influential debate. Therefore, many international journalists,
bloggers and writers live and work in the city.
Berlin is the central location to several international and regional
television and radio stations. The public broadcaster RBB has its
Berlin as well as the commercial broadcasters MTV
Europe , VIVA , and N24 . German international public broadcaster
Deutsche Welle has its TV production unit in Berlin, and most national
German broadcasters have a studio in the city including
ZDF and RTL .
Berlin has Germany's largest number of daily newspapers, with
numerous local broadsheets (_
Berliner Morgenpost _, _Berliner Zeitung
Der Tagesspiegel _), and three major tabloids , as well as
national dailies of varying sizes, each with a different political
affiliation, such as _
Die Welt _, _
Neues Deutschland _, and _Die
Tageszeitung _. The _
Exberliner _, a monthly magazine, is Berlin's
English-language periodical and
La Gazette de Berlin a French-language
Berlin is also the headquarter of major German-language publishing
Walter de Gruyter
Walter de Gruyter , Springer , the Ullstein Verlagsgruppe
Suhrkamp and Cornelsen are all based in Berlin.
Each of which publish books, periodicals, and multimedia products.
Transport in Berlin Road
Berlin Hauptbahnhof is
the largest grade-separated railway station in Europe.
Berlin's transport infrastructure is highly complex, providing a
diverse range of urban mobility. A total of 979 bridges cross 197 km
(122 mi) of inner-city waterways. 5,422 km (3,369 mi) of roads run
through Berlin, of which 77 km (48 mi) are motorways ("
In 2013, 1.344 million motor vehicles were registered in the city.
With 377 cars per 1000 residents in 2013 (570/1000 in Germany), Berlin
as a Western global city has one of the lowest numbers of cars per
capita. In 2012 around 7600 mostly beige colored taxicabs were in
service. Since 2011 a number of app based e-car and e-scooter sharing
services have evolved. Rail
Long-distance rail lines connect
Berlin with all of the major cities
Germany and with many cities in neighboring European countries.
Regional rail lines of the
Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg provide
access to the surrounding regions of
Brandenburg and to the Baltic Sea
Berlin Hauptbahnhof is the largest grade-separated railway
station in Europe.
Deutsche Bahn runs high speed ICE trains to
domestic destinations like
Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main and others. It also runs an SXF airport express rail
service, as well as trains to several international destinations like
Amsterdam . Public
Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe and the
Deutsche Bahn manage several
extensive urban public transport systems.
STATIONS / LINES / NET LENGTH
OPERATOR / NOTES
166 / 15 / 327 km (203 mi)
DB / Mainly overground rapid transit rail system with suburban
173 / 10 / 146 km (91 mi)
BVG / Mainly underground rail system / 24h-service on weekends
404 / 22 / 189 km (117 mi)
BVG / Operates predominantly in eastern boroughs
3227 / 151 / 1,626 km (1,010 mi)
BVG / Extensive services in all boroughs / 62 Night Lines
BVG / All modes of transport can be accessed with a single ticket
Airports Flights departing from
Berlin serve 163 destinations
around the globe.
Berlin has two commercial international airports.
Tegel Airport (TXL)
is situated within the city limits.
Schönefeld Airport (SXF) is
located just outside Berlin's south-eastern border in the state of
Brandenburg. Both airports together handled 29.5 million passengers in
2015. In 2014, 67 airlines served 163 destinations in 50 countries
Tegel Airport is an important transfer hub for Air
Berlin as well as a focus city for
Schönefeld serves as an important destination for airlines like
Germania , easyJet and
Berlin Brandenburg Airport
Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), currently under
construction, will replace
Tegel as single commercial airport of
Berlin. The airport is going to integrate Schönefeld (SXF)
facilities and is scheduled to open not before autumn 2017. The BER
will have an initial capacity of around 35 million passengers per
year. As of 2016 , plans for further expansion bringing the terminal
capacity to approximately 50 million per year are in development.
Cycling Main article:
Cycling in Berlin
Berlin is well known for its highly developed bicycle lane system.
It is estimated that
Berlin has 710 bicycles per 1000 residents.
Around 500,000 daily bike riders accounted for 13% of total traffic in
2010. Cyclists have access to 620 km (385 mi) of bicycle paths
including approximately 150 km (93 mi) of mandatory bicycle paths, 190
km (118 mi) of off-road bicycle routes, 60 km (37 mi) of bicycle lanes
on roads, 70 km (43 mi) of shared bus lanes which are also open to
cyclists, 100 km (62 mi) of combined pedestrian/bike paths and 50 km
(31 mi) of marked bicycle lanes on roadside pavements (or sidewalks).
Riders are allowed to carry their bicycles on
Regionalbahn , S-Bahn
and U-Bahn trains, on trams, and on night buses if a bike ticket is
Power plant Heizkraftwerk
Berlin's two largest energy provider for private households are the
Vattenfall and the Berlin-based company
GASAG . Both
offer electric power and natural gas supply. Some of the city´s
electric energy is imported from nearby power plants in southern
As of 2015 the five largest power plants measured by capacity are
the Heizkraftwerk Reuter West, the Heizkraftwerk Lichterfelde, the
Heizkraftwerk Mitte, the Heizkraftwerk Wilmersdorf, and the
Heizkraftwerk Charlottenburg. All of these power stations generate
electricity and useful heat at the same time to facilitate buffering
during load peaks.
In 1993 the power grid connections in the Berlin-
region were renewed. In most of the inner districts of
lines are underground cables; only a 380 kV and a 110 kV line, which
run from Reuter substation to the urban
Autobahn , use overhead lines.
Berlin 380-kV electric line is the backbone of the city's energy
Charité university hospital
Berlin has a long history of discoveries in medicine and innovations
in medical technology. The modern history of medicine has been
significantly influenced by scientists from Berlin.
Rudolf Virchow was
the founder of cellular pathology, while
Robert Koch developed
vaccines for anthrax, cholera, and tuberculosis.
Charité complex (Universitätsklinik Charité) is the largest
university hospital in Europe, tracing back its origins to the year
Charité is spread over four sites and comprises 3,300 beds,
around 14,000 staff, 7,000 students, and more than 60 operating
theaters, and it has a turnover of over one billion euros annually.
Charité is a joint institution of the Freie Universität Berlin
Humboldt University of
Berlin , including a wide range of
institutes and specialized medical centers.
Among them are the German Heart Center, one of the most renowned
transplantation centers, the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular
Medicine and the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics. The
scientific research at these institutions is complemented by many
research departments of companies such as
Siemens and Bayer. The World
Health Summit and several international health related conventions are
held annually in Berlin.
Students at the St. Oberholz café in
Mitte using Wi-Fi
The digital television standard in
DVB-T . This
system transmits compressed digital audio , digital video and other
data in an
MPEG transport stream . The transmission standard is
scheduled to be replaced by
DVB-T2 in 2017.
Berlin has installed several hundred free public
Wireless LAN sites
across the capital since 2016. The wireless networks are concentrated
mostly in central districts; 650 hotspots (325 indoor and 325 outdoor
access points) are installed.
Deutsche Bahn is planning to introduce
Wi-Fi services in long distance and regional trains in 2017.
UMTS (3G) and LTE (4G) networks of the three major cellular
T-Mobile and O2 enable the use of mobile
broadband applications citywide.
The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute develops mobile and
stationary broadband communication networks and multimedia systems.
Focal points are photonic components and systems , fiber optic sensor
systems, and image signal processing and transmission . Future
applications for broadband networks are developed as well.
Education in Berlin The
Humboldt University of
Berlin . 40 Nobel Prize winners are affiliated with the Berlin-based
Berlin has 878 schools that teach 340,658 children in 13,727 classes
and 56,787 trainees in businesses and elsewhere. The city has a
6-year primary education program. After completing primary school,
students continue to the Sekundarschule (a comprehensive school) or
Gymnasium (college preparatory school).
Berlin has a special bilingual
school program embedded in the "Europaschule" in which children are
taught the curriculum in German and a foreign language, starting in
primary school and continuing in high school. Nine major European
languages can be chosen as foreign languages in 29 schools.
Französisches Gymnasium Berlin , which was founded in 1689 to
teach the children of
Huguenot refugees, offers (German/French)
John F. Kennedy School , a bilingual
German–American public school located in Zehlendorf , is
particularly popular with children of diplomats and the
English-speaking expatriate community. Four schools teach
Classical Greek . Two of them are state schools (Steglitzer Gymnasium
Steglitz and Goethe-Gymnasium in
Wilmersdorf ), one is Protestant
Evangelisches Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster in Wilmersdorf), and one
is Jesuit (
Canisius-Kolleg in the "Embassy Quarter" in Tiergarten ).
Universities and research institutions in Berlin
The Free University is one of Germany's eleven "Universities of
Brandenburg capital region is one of the most prolific
centres of higher education and research in
Germany and Europe.
Historically, 40 Nobel Prize winners are affiliated with the
The city has four public research universities and more than 30
private, professional, and technical colleges _(Hochschulen)_,
offering a wide range of disciplines. A record number of 175,651
students were enrolled in the winter term of 2015/16. Among them
around 18% have an international background.
The three largest universities combined have approximately 100,000
enrolled students. There are the Humboldt Universität zu
Berlin)_ with 33,000 students, the Freie Universität
University of Berlin, FU Berlin)_ with about 33,000 students, and the
Berlin _(TU Berlin)_ with 33,000 students. The
FU and the HU are part of the German Universities Excellence
Initiative . The Universität der Künste _(UdK)_ has about 4,000
Berlin School of Economics and Law has an enrollment of
about 10,000 students and the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft
(University of Applied Sciences for Engineering and Economics) of
about 13.000 students.
The Science and Technology Park in
Adlershof is home to several
new businesses and research institutes.
The city has a high density of internationally renowned research
institutions, such as the
Fraunhofer Society , the Leibniz Association
, the Helmholtz Association , and the
Max Planck Society , which are
independent of, or only loosely connected to its universities. In
2012, around 65,000 professional scientists were working in research
and development in the city.
Berlin is one of the knowledge and innovation communities (KIC) of
European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). The KIC is
based at the Centre for
Entrepreneurship at TU
Berlin and has a focus
in the development of IT industries. It partners with major
multinational companies such as Siemens, Deutsche Telekom, and SAP.
One of Europe's successful research, business and technology clusters
is based at
Berlin-Adlershof , with more than 1,000
affiliated firms, university departments and scientific institutions.
In addition to the libraries that are affiliated with the various
Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin is a major research
library. Its two main locations are on Potsdamer Straße and on Unter
den Linden . There are also 86 public libraries in the city.
ResearchGate , a global social networking site for scientists, is
based in Berlin.
Culture in Berlin The
Alte Nationalgalerie is
part of the
Museum Island , a
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site The
Berlinale is the largest international spectator film festival.
Berlin is known for its numerous cultural institutions, many of which
enjoy international reputation. The diversity and vivacity of the
metropolis led to a trendsetting atmosphere. An innovative music,
dance and art scene has developed in the 21st century.
Young people, international artists and entrepreneurs continued to
settle in the city and made
Berlin a popular entertainment center in
The expanding cultural performance of the city was underscored by the
relocation of the
Universal Music Group who decided to move their
headquarters to the banks of the River Spree. In 2005,
named "City of Design" by
GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS
List of museums and galleries in Berlin The Jewish
Museum presents two millennia of German–Jewish history
As of 2011
Berlin is home to 138 museums and more than 400 art
galleries. The ensemble on the
Museum Island is a
Heritage Site and is situated in the northern part of the
Spree and the Kupfergraben. As early as 1841 it was
designated a "district dedicated to art and antiquities" by a royal
decree. Subsequently, the
Altes Museum was built in the Lustgarten.
Neues Museum , which displays the bust of Queen Nefertiti , Alte
Pergamon Museum , and
Bode Museum were built there.
Apart from the Museum Island, there are many additional museums in
the city. The Gemäldegalerie (
Painting Gallery) focuses on the
paintings of the "old masters" from the 13th to the 18th centuries,
Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery, built by Ludwig
Mies van der Rohe ) specializes in 20th-century European painting. The
Hamburger Bahnhof , located in
Moabit , exhibits a major collection of
modern and contemporary art. The expanded Deutsches Historisches
Museum re-opened in the
Zeughaus with an overview of German history
spanning more than a millennium. The
Bauhaus Archive is a museum of
20th century design from the famous
Bauhaus school. The
Ishtar Gate of Babylon at the
The Jewish Museum has a standing exhibition on two millennia of
German-Jewish history. The German Museum of Technology in Kreuzberg
has a large collection of historical technical artifacts. The Museum
für Naturkunde exhibits natural history near
Berlin Hauptbahnhof . It
has the largest mounted dinosaur in the world (a
Well-preserved specimens of
Tyrannosaurus Rex and the early bird
Archaeopteryx are at display as well.
In Dahlem , there are several museums of world art and culture, such
Museum of Asian Art , the Ethnological Museum , the Museum of
European Cultures , as well as the
Allied Museum . The Brücke Museum
features one of the largest collection of works by artist of the early
20th-century expressionist movement. In
Lichtenberg , on the grounds
of the former East German Ministry for State Security , is the Stasi
Museum . The site of
Checkpoint Charlie , one of the most renowned
crossing points of the
Berlin Wall, is still preserved. A private
museum venture exhibits a comprehensive documentation of detailed
plans and strategies devised by people who tried to flee from the
Beate Uhse Erotic Museum claims to be the world's largest
The cityscape of
Berlin displays large quantities of urban street art
. It has become a significant part of the city's cultural heritage
and has its roots in the graffiti scene of
Kreuzberg of the 1980s.
Berlin Wall itself has become one of the largest open-air
canvasses in the world. The leftover stretch along the
Spree river in
Friedrichshain remains as the
East Side Gallery .
Berlin today is
consistently rated as an important world city for street art culture.
NIGHTLIFE AND FESTIVALS
French Cathedral during the annual Festival of Lights
Berlin's nightlife has been celebrated as one of the most diverse and
vibrant of its kind. In the 1970s and 80s the
Kreuzberg was a
centre for punk music and culture. The _SOUND_ and the _Dschungel_
gained notoriety. Throughout the 1990s, people in their 20s from all
over the world, particularly those in Western and
Central Europe ,
made Berlin's club scene a premier nightlife venue. After the fall of
Berlin Wall in 1989, many historic buildings in Mitte, the former
city centre of East Berlin, were illegally occupied and re-built by
young squatters and became a fertile ground for underground and
counterculture gatherings. The central boroughs are home to many
nightclubs, including the Watergate,
KitKatClub and several other locations are known for their
sexually uninhibited parties.
Clubs are not required to close at a fixed time during the weekends,
and many parties last well into the morning, or even all weekend. The
_Berghain_ features the well-known _Panorama Bar_, a bar that opens
its shades at daybreak, allowing party-goers a panorama view of Berlin
after dancing through the night. The _Weekend Club_ near
Alexanderplatz features a roof terrace that allows partying at night.
Several venues have become a popular stage for the Neo-Burlesque
Berlin has a long history of gay culture, and is an important
birthplace of the LGBT rights movement . Same-sex bars and dance halls
operated freely as early as the 1880s, and the first gay magazine,
_Der Eigene_, started in 1896. By the 1920s, gays and lesbians had an
unprecedented visibility. Today, in addition to a positive
atmosphere in the wider club scene, the city again has a huge number
of queer clubs and festivals. The most famous and largest are Berlin
Pride , the
Christopher Street Day , the Lesbian and Gay City
Festival in Berlin-Schöneberg, the
Kreuzberg Pride and
Film Festival (Berlinale) with around
500,000 admissions is considered to be the largest publicly attended
film festival in the world. The Karneval der Kulturen (_Carnival of
Cultures_), a multi-ethnic street parade, is celebrated every
Berlin is also well known for the cultural
Berliner Festspiele , which includes the jazz festival
JazzFest Berlin . Several technology and media art festivals and
conferences are held in the city, including
Transmediale and Chaos
Communication Congress . The annual
Berlin Festival focuses on indie
rock, electronic music and synthpop and is part of the International
Berlin Music Week. Every year
Berlin hosts one of the largest New
Year's Eve celebrations in the world, attended by well over a million
people. The focal point is the
Brandenburg Gate, where midnight
fireworks are centred, but various private fireworks displays take
place throughout the entire city. Partygoers in
Germany often toast
the New Year with a glass of sparkling wine .
Music in Berlin
Simon Rattle conducting the
Berlin is home to 44 theaters and stages. The Deutsches Theater in
Mitte was built in 1849–50 and has operated almost continuously
since then. The
Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz was built in
1913–14, though the company had been founded in 1890. The Berliner
Ensemble , famous for performing the works of
Bertolt Brecht , was
established in 1949. The
Schaubühne was founded in 1962 and moved to
the building of the former Universum Cinema on
1981. With a seating capacity of 1,895 and a stage floor of 2,854
square metres (30,720 square feet), the
Mitte is the largest show palace in Europe. Dance show at
Berlin has three major opera houses : the
Deutsche Oper , the Berlin
State Opera , and the
Komische Oper . The
Berlin State Opera on Unter
den Linden opened in 1742 and is the oldest of the three. Its current
musical director is
Daniel Barenboim . The
Komische Oper has
traditionally specialized in operettas and is located at Unter den
Linden as well. The
Deutsche Oper opened in 1912 in Charlottenburg.
The city's main venue for musical theater performances are the
Potsdamer Platz and
Theater des Westens (built in 1895).
Contemporary dance can be seen at the _Radialsystem V_. The Tempodrom
is host to concerts and circus inspired entertainment. It also houses
a multi-sensory spa experience. The
Mitte has a
vibrant program of variety and music events.
There are seven symphony orchestras in Berlin. The Berlin
Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the preeminent orchestras in the
world; it is housed in the
Berliner Philharmonie near Potsdamer Platz
on a street named for the orchestra's longest-serving conductor,
Herbert von Karajan . The current principal conductor is Simon Rattle
Konzerthausorchester Berlin was founded in 1952 as the
orchestra for East Berlin. Its current principal conductor is Ivan
Fischer . The
Haus der Kulturen der Welt presents various exhibitions
dealing with intercultural issues and stages world music and
conferences. The _Kookaburra_ and the _Quatsch Comedy Club_ are known
for satire and stand-up comedy shows.
German cuisine The
Currywurst Museum .
The cuisine and culinary offerings of
Berlin vary greatly. Twelve
Berlin have been included in the
Michelin Guide of
2015, which ranks the city at the top for the number of restaurants
having this distinction in Germany.
Berlin is well known for its
offerings of vegetarian and vegan cuisine and is home to an
innovative entrepreneurial food scene promoting cosmopolitan flavors,
local and sustainable ingredients, pop-up street food markets, supper
clubs, as well as food festivals, such as
Berlin Food Week.
Many local foods originated from north German culinary traditions and
include rustic and hearty dishes with pork, goose, fish, peas, beans,
cucumbers, or potatoes. Typical Berliner fare include popular street
food like the _
Currywurst _ (which gained popularity with post-war
construction workers rebuilding the city), _Buletten _ and the
_Berliner _ doughnut, known in
Berlin as _Pfannkuchen_. German
bakeries offering a variety of breads and pastries are widespread. One
of Europe's largest delicatessen markets is found at the
KaDeWe , and
among the world’s largest chocolate stores is _Fassbender ">
Elephant Gate at
Berlin Victory Column in
Berlin , the older of two zoos in the city, was
founded in 1844. It is the most visited zoo in Europe and presents the
most diverse range of species in the world. It was the home of the
captive-born celebrity polar bear Knut . The city's other zoo,
Friedrichsfelde , was founded in 1955.
Berlin\'s Botanischer Garten includes the Botanic Museum Berlin. With
an area of 43 hectares (110 acres) and around 22,000 different plant
species, it is one of the largest and most diverse collections of
botanical life in the world. Other gardens in the city include the
Britzer Garten , and the Gärten der Welt (Gardens of the World) in
Neues Palais in the former royal gardens of
The Tiergarten , located in Mitte, is Berlin's largest park and was
Peter Joseph Lenné . In Kreuzberg, the Viktoriapark
provides a viewing point over the southern part of inner-city Berlin.
Treptower Park , beside the
Treptow , features a large Soviet
War Memorial . The Volkspark in
Friedrichshain , which opened in 1848,
is the oldest park in the city, with monuments, a summer outdoor
cinema and several sports areas.
Potsdam is situated on the southwestern periphery of Berlin. The city
was a residence of the Prussian kings and the German Kaiser , until
1918. The area around
Potsdam in particular
Sanssouci is known for a
series of interconnected lakes and cultural landmarks. The Palaces and
Berlin are the largest
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site in
Berlin is also well known for its numerous cafés, street musicians,
beach bars along the
Spree River, flea markets, boutique shops and pop
up stores , which are a source for recreation and leisure.
Sport in Berlin and
Football in Berlin The
Olympiastadion hosted the
1936 Summer Olympics and the 2006 FIFA World
Cup Final The
Berlin Marathon is the current world record
Berlin has established a high-profile as a host city of major
international sporting events. The city hosted the 1936 Summer
Olympics and was the host city for the
2006 FIFA World Cup final. The
IAAF World Championships in Athletics was held in the Olympiastadion
in 2009. The city hosted the
Euroleague Final Four in 2009
and 2016 . and was one of the hosts of the FIBA
EuroBasket 2015 . In
Berlin became the venue for the UEFA Champions League Final .
Berlin Marathon – a course that holds the most top-10
world record runs – and the ISTAF are well-established athletic
events in the city. The
Köpenick is one of the biggest
skate and BMX parks in Europe. A Fan Fest at
Brandenburg Gate, which
attracts several hundred-thousand spectators, has become popular
during international football competitions, like the UEFA European
In 2013 around 600,000 Berliners were registered in one of the more
than 2,300 sport and fitness clubs. The city of
Berlin operates more
than 60 public indoor and outdoor swimming pools.
Berlin is the
largest Olympic training centre in Germany. About 500 top athletes
(15% of all German top athletes) are based there. Forty-seven elite
athletes participated in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Berliners would
achieve seven gold, twelve silver and three bronze medals.
Several professional clubs representing the most important spectator
team sports in
Germany have their base in Berlin:
1. FC Union Berlin
Stadion An der Alten Försterei
European Union portal
* List of quotes featuring Berlin
List of fiction set in Berlin
List of songs about Berlin
List of people from Berlin
List of honorary citizens of Berlin
* List of video games set in
List of films set in Berlin
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