With an area of 344.3 square miles, Berlin, Germany’s capital, is the largest city in the country. Berlin is also one of the densely populated cities in the European Union with a metropolitan population of more than six million people as of 2016. About 95% of the people living in Berlin are of German origin. Despite being infamous for the Berlin Wall of the late 20th century, Berlin is one of the most frequented cities in the European Union, attracting millions of visitors annually. Berlin is an important city both in the past and in modern times having played roles in two major world wars as well as in the Cold War.
History Of Berlin
Albert the Bear, the Margraviate of Brandenburg, founded Berlin in around 1157. Archaeological evidence shows signs of human habitation as early as the 9th millennium BC. German tribes such as Semnones and Burgundians built villages in modern day Berlin from around 500BC. People of Slavic origin settled in Berlin during the 6th century and are credited as the originators of the name “Berlin.” German merchants occupied Berlin during the 12th century when the town was slowly growing into an important city. Berlin was significantly destroyed by the Thirty Years’ War between 1618 and 1648. Recovery and growth for the city occurred in the 18th century when it became the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia under Frederick III.
Berlin’s location at the intersection of early trade routes made it one of the most important commercial centers of the time. After its establishment and the growth of the Prussian Empire, Berlin played an important political role as the capital of Prussia. Subsequent rulers after the Prussian kingdom made Berlin their political and administrative capital. The 19th-century industrial revolution saw the growth of the city into one of the most important economic, political, residential, and transport centers. The growth continued into the 20th century with new inventions in arts such as architecture, painting, and theater. Berlin was one of the leading cities in science, technology, film, arts, and humanities as well as higher education during the 20th century.
Division And Reunification Of Berlin
During the 20th century, Berlin played a key role in the politics of Germany. After the division of Germany into East and West Germany, Berlin was also divided into East and West Berlin. East Germany selected East Berlin as its capital. Berlin remained divided throughout the Cold War. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and the reunification of East and West Germany in 1990, Berlin was also reunified and re-established as the political capital of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Modern Role Of The Capital City Of Germany
Currently, Berlin serves as the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany with the seat of the President of Germany, whose official residence is Schloss Bellevue. The ministries and the Bundesrat are also located within the city. Berlin serves as one of the leading tourist destinations for its rich historical heritage and there many museums and other historical centers. Attractions in the city include the Berlin Fashion Week, Museum Island and the Jewish Museum. Berlin serves as the seat for several religious organizations including the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Berlin and the Cathedral of St. Boris. Several world-class educational institutions are located within the city such as the Humboldt University of Berlin and the Free University of Berlin. The city of Berlin also serves as a center for transport, communication, and entertainment.
What is the Capital of Germany?
Berlin, located in northeastern Germany, is the capital city and the most populous city of Germany.
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
Your MLA Citation
Your APA Citation
Your Chicago Citation
Your Harvard CitationRemember to italicize the title of this article in your Harvard citation.