Berlin is the capital of Germany and one of the sixteen German states. It is located in the north east of the country, a mere 70 km from the Polish border. The rivers Spree, Havel, Panke and Wuhle flow through the city.
Berlin is a world city and cultural and artistic centre. It is influential in the political arena of the European Union and in 2006 was chosen as UNESCO Creative City.
PLACES OF INTEREST
- Berlin Wall: Remnants of the famous wall which not only divided the city of Berlin but also two diametrically opposed ideologies. In Mühlenstrasse we can see a stretch of about a kilometre of this relic of the past. Checkpoint Charlie is also still in good condition, which used to be an entry point into East Berlin for foreigners and a place of escape for some East Germans. Next to Checkpoint Charlie is a museum dedicated to the history of the wall and to those who tried to cross it.
- Brandenburg Gate: Iconic landmark located a few metres from the wall in no man’s land that lay between the wall and the barracks and watchtowers of the East German Police (Volkspolizei); today it is a symbol of a unified country.
- Reichstag: Since 1999 the building serves once again as Germany’s seat of Parliament, called the Bundestag. In its reconstruction only the exterior walls were left; the interior is totally new. Its glass dome is open to the public and provides wonderful views of the city, especially at night.
- Siegessäule (Victory Column): Monument 69m high located in the Tiergarten which commemorates three German victories of the 19th century. It is crowned by a statue of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. From the top you can get a privileged view of the city.
- Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche: Church located in the centre of west Berlin which was badly damaged in a bombing raid during the Second World War and is now a memorial hall.
- PotsdamerPlatz: In the heart of West Berlin which in the 1920swas one of the most popular places in Europe.
- Unter den Linden (Under the Linden Trees) is the city’s most prestigious boulevard. It begins in PariserPlatz on the western side of the Brandenburg Gate, location of the Academy of Arts, the famous Hotel Adlon and the French and United States embassies. From the square the Unter den Linden runs 1.5 km east to the Schlossbrücke bridge, which serves as a link to the Museum Island and downtown East Berlin.
- Friedrichstraßee: Old cultural, economic and commercial centre of Berlin. Currently regaining its importance in the city.
- Alexanderplatz: Grand square in the centre of former East Berlin where the communist government has left its most indelible mark. The vicinity is full of grand monuments and buildings, squares and shops of all kind, including the Rotes Rathaus and the Berlin protestant cathedral (Berliner Dom); both buildings have a unique architecture.