Berlin is the capital of Germany and home to a rich history. The city was first documented in the 13th century, but at the time, was not an important city. Because of its location, over the years, Berlin became one of the most important cities in the area. Between 1701 and 1945, Berlin was the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia, The German Empire, The Weimer Republic and the Third Reich. After WWII, Berlin was divided into East and West (see Berlin: The Wall), and West Berlin, contained entirely in East Germany, was surrounded by the Berlin Wall from 1961-1989. After German Reunification in 1990, the city of Berlin again became the capital city of Germany.
Today Berlin is a meeting of old and new. In the midst of the modern city stand many structures that are a daily reminder, both to residents and visitors, of the city's past.
Potsdamer Platz marks the point where the road from Potsdam passed through the old city wall of Berlin at the Potsdam Gate, which was severely damaged during WWII and later demolished when the Berlin wall was built.
|A small section of the old city wall of Berlin still exists near Klosterstrasse|
|The Spree River looking towards the Berlin Dome|
One block from the Holocaust Museum stands Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, one of the most well-known landmarks of Germany. The gate, which should not be confused with the Brandenburg Gate in Potsdam, was rebuilt in the late 18th century as a neoclassical triumphal arch. The gate was commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia. It was damaged during WWII and was inaccesible in postwar Germany because it was directly next to the Berlin Wall (click here for a photo of the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin wall shortly before it fell in 1989). The gate was fully restored between 2000 and 2002.
|Berlin's Brandenburg Gate|
|Note the height of the Brandenburg Gate|
|Sidewalk Chalk Artist near the Brandenburg Gate|
|Hotel Adlon on the Pariser Platz|
|The Oberbaum Bridge is a double-decker bridge crossing the Spree River on Oberbaum Strasse.|
|East Berlin Ampelmann character in front of an Ampelmann Store|
|Sign in front of an Ampelmann store showing the pedestrian traffic signals in several countries|
|Statue of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia from 1740-1786|