Berlin
Capital: Berlin
Area: 889 km2
Population: 3.5
million

Berlin is the capital city of Germany, and is one of the sixteen
states of Germany. It has a population of 3.4 million people, and is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the eighth most populous urban area in the European Union. Located in northeastern Germany, it is the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg Metropolitan Area, comprising 5 million people from over 190 nations. Geographically embedded in the European Plains, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. Around one third of the city's territory is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers and lakes.

First documented in the 13th century, Berlin was successively the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia (1701–1918), the German Empire (1871–1918), the Weimar Republic (1919–1933) and the Third Reich (1933–1945). Berlin in the 1920s was the third largest municipality in the world. After World War II, the city was divided; East Berlin became the capital of East Germany while West Berlin became a de facto West German exclave, surrounded by the Berlin Wall (1961–1989). Following German reunification in 1990, the city regained its status as the capital of all Germany hosting 147 foreign embassies.

Berlin is a world city of culture, politics, media, and science.
Its economy is primarily based on the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, media corporations, congress and convention venues. Berlin serves as a continental hub for air and rail transport, and is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the EU. Significant industries include IT, pharmaceuticals, biomedical engineering, biotechnology, optoelectronics, traffic engineering, and renewable energy.

The metropolis is home to renowned universities, research institutes, sporting events, orchestras, museums and personalities. The urban and historical legacy has made it a popular setting for international film productions. The city is recognized for its festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, contemporary arts, public transportation networks and a high quality of living. Berlin has evolved into a global focal point for young individuals and artists attracted by a liberal lifestyle and modern zeitgeist.

Berlin, from an historical aspect has a tremendously interesting past. Today it is a
fascinating, exciting city offering year-round events, cultural happenings, museums,
galleries, and prides itself in being known as the meeting place for science, economics and politics. Naturally, sports events are held here, specifically world class championships. Shopping boulevards are throughout the city as well as an abundance of restaurants, cafes, bars and beer gardens. With about 3,400,000 inhabitants, Berlin is the largest City in Germany. It is 38 kilometres long and 45 kilometres wide and covers an area of 889 square kilometres.


Yesterday capital of Prussia and cultural centre of the Golden Twenties, today the gateway to eastern Europe - Berlin is once again making a new beginning. One can sense the fresh vibrancy everywhere, on the boulevards, in the art and flea markets, in the 300 trendy night-spots and the 7,000 pubs and restaurants. Night entertainment offers more than one can possible take in. Berlin has more than 60 stages, one dozen concert halls and especially the treat of the Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper and Komische Oper, a trio of fantastic opera houses. Art-lovers are also spoilt for choice at no fewer than 170 excellent museums. Berlin is proud to boast of famous architects as Schinkel and Schlüter whose imprint is noticeable on the cityscape. Since the fall of the wall, many architects from around the world took up the challenge of reconstruction. The Potsdamer Platz is a fine example of the high-rise futuristic spirit of modern Berlin. Visitors will find castles surrounded by lovely gardens, classic style buildings mixed with contemporary flair. Night entertainment offers more than one can possible take in. Berlin has more than 60 stages, one dozen concert halls and especially the treat of the Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper and Komische Oper, a trio of fantastic opera houses.

Compared to other European cities, Berlin with its less than 800 years is considered a rather young city, but its history is unique. The two founding towns Cölln and Berlin affiliated in 1307 for a union. After riots, elector Friedrich II. declared the twin town his residence in 1451.  In 1701, after elector Friedrich III had coronated himself as king Friedrich I in Prussia, Berlin rose to a Royal Capital and Residence Town. Numerous well-known buildings were designed then, his grandson Friedrich II (1740–1786) continued with the architectural redesign of the city, assisted by the famous architect Knobelsdorff. 1806–08 Napoleon's troups occupied the city; after the victory of Leipzig the Quadriga, which was annexed by Napoleon, was returned to the Brandenburg Gate in 1814.
 
Geographical position

Berlin lies on the north-south axis between Copenhagen and Vienna in the centre of Europe. Paris, Madrid, Rome, Brussels, Prague and Moscow are all within easy reach of the city which is the gateway between East and West. With about 3,400,000 inhabitants, Berlin is the largest City in Germany. It is 38 kilometres long and 45 kilometres wide and covers an area of 889 square kilometres.

Berlin has developed a highly complex transportation infrastructure providing very diverse modes of urban mobility. 979 bridges cross 197 kilometers of innercity waterways, 5,334 kilometers (3,314 mi) of roads run through Berlin, of which 73 kilometers (45 mi) are motorways ("Autobahn"). In 2006, 1.416 million motor vehicles, were registered in the city.[56] With 358 cars per 1000 inhabitants in 2008 (570/1000 in Germany), Berlin as a German state and as a major European city has one of the lowest numbers of cars per capita.

Long-distance rail lines connect Berlin with all of the major cities of Germany and with many cities in neighboring European countries. Regional rail lines provide access to the surrounding regions of Brandenburg and to the Baltic Sea. The Berlin Hauptbahnhof is the largest crossing station in Europe. Deutsche Bahn runs trains to domestic destinations like Nuremberg, Hamburg, Freiburg and more. It also runs the Airport express, as well as trains to international destinations like Moscow, Vienna, and Salzburg.

Berlin is known for its highly developed bike lane system. It is estimated, there are 710 bicycles per 1000 inhabitants. Around 500,000 daily riders accounting for 13% of total traffic in 2008. The Senate of Berlin aims to increase the number to 15% of city traffic by the year 2010. Riders have access to 620 km (390 mi) of bike paths including approx. 150 km (93 mi) mandatory bicycle paths, 190 km (120 mi) off-road bicycle routes, 60 km (37 mi) of bike lanes on the roads, 70 km (43 mi) of shared bus lanes which are also open to bicyclists, 100 km (62 mi) of combined pedestrian/bike paths and 50 km (31 mi) of marked bike lanes on the sidewalks.[The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe and the Deutsche Bahn manage several dense urban public transport systems.