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Berlin, Germany's capital city, is located in the northeastern part of the country, surrounded by the federal state of Brandenburg. The local area is mainly comprised of plateaus and low-lying regions with abundant marshes and woodlands. By size and population, Berlin is the largest city in Germany and serves as the country's headquarters. Besides that, state governing offices, parliament, and the president also reside in the city. From the historical point of view, the most significant events shaping Berlin's face occurred in the last century. During the Second World War, due to raids and bombings, several historical and cultural monuments were ruined. After the war, Berlin and the entirety of Germany were divided between the east and west, which lasted until 1990. A significant number of monuments from that period can be found across the city. Among them belongs the Berlin Wall, the Brandenburg Gate, and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Nowadays, Berlin is among the world-leading cities in culture, politics, media, science, and technology.
Berlin, Germany's capital city, is home to the country's government, parliament, and president. In relatively recent years, Berlin was divided by a wall into the east and west half until 1989. Thus, West Berlin had to develop a new central area. For the last decades, efforts have been made to blend the two halves, as well as the modern with the traditional. Among the famous sights in the city, one may find the aforementioned Berlin Wall. The wall separated East Berlin, ruled by communists, and the western part, under the influence of the Allies. A physical representation of the Cold War, Berlin Wall separated not only different regimes and political directions but a significant number of families and friends. Reportedly, 171 people were killed trying to get "over, under, or around" the wall. In 1989, the people of East Berlin were free to cross the wall, and by 1990, Germany was unified. In today's time, the Berlin Wall can be seen in various parts of the town, commemorating the toll of war on people's lives, as well as the value of peace. Brandenburg Gate reportedly belongs among the most iconic attractions in Berlin. Similarly to the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate became a symbol of Berlin's Cold War division between the east and west. Historically, the neo-classical building is Berlin's only city gate surviving the Second World War. In close proximity to the Brandenburg Gate, a Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe can be found. The memorial also organizes various exhibitions to honor the victims of the Holocaust.
Besides the historical sites directly connected to the Second World War and following the Cold War, other attractions also contribute to Berlin's touristic popularity. One particular draw is the German Reichstag Building. German Reichstag is the primary place of parliament meetings and negotiations. Atop the historic Reichstag building, a modern glass dome with a panoramic view of the city characterizes the structure. Reichstag is open to visitors for tours. Museum Island is an area where five of Berlin's notable museums—The Pergamon Museum, The Neues Museum, The Bode Museum, The In the Alte Nationalgalerie, and The Altes Museum—can be found. Thus, Museum Island is an attraction for visitors seeking to discover Berlin's cultural and historical heritage.
Concerning Berlin's greenspaces, an equivalent of New York's Central Park is Berlin's Tiergarten. Tiergarten is a city park located near the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate, covering a surface of approximately 210 hectares. The park is formed by forested grounds intertwined with walking and cycling trails that may appeal to joggers, skaters, and cyclists. On the edge of the park, a Victory Column (Siegessäule) can be found, providing expansive views of the city. Located in close proximity to the park is Bellevue Palace, where Germany's president resides.
Berlin is located in the eastern part of Germany, surrounded by the federal state of Brandenburg. The city, situated in the Northern European Plain, is in an area of marshy woodland landscape dominated by sandy pine and mixed birch woods. Springwater and lakes primarily constitute the adjacent territory. Significant parts of today's Berlin stretch across the plateaus of Spree Valley, where Spree flows directly through the city. Berlin is located at a mean elevation of approximately 35 m above sea level, with the highest peak in the area being Kreuzberg, at an altitude of 66 m. Aside from being the country's capital, Berlin is the largest city within Germany's borders, not only in terms of the surface but also in population.
Berlin is located within the region with diverse springs, water flows, and lakes. In the city itself, a considerable number of lakes, beaches, and water attractions can be encountered. Müggelsee, Wannsee, the rivers Spree, Havel, and Landwehr Canal are among the prominent water areas within city borders. Swimming, boating, and stand-up paddling can be experienced in various parts of the city. Apart from water attractions, Berlin has several green spaces and parks to offer. In the western part of the city territory, the Spandau Forest, one of Berlin's most extensive forests, occupies an expanse of land. In comparison to other forests in Berlin, the Spandau Forest is home to the most wildlife inhabitants. Animals such as fallow deer, mouflon, wild sheep, roe deer, and wild boars populate the forest area.
Berlin is located in the continental climate area, with only mild influences from the Atlantic Ocean. The alteration of four seasons throughout the year is typical of such climatic conditions. The warmest month in Berlin is July, with an average daily temperature of 25°C, while January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of 3°C. October tends to be the driest month in Berlin, with an average of 35 mm of rainfall. The most precipitation falls during June, with an average of 71 mm.
The area of Berlin has been inhabited since prehistoric times, with the earliest excavations dating back to the 9th millennium BC. Over time, several different tribes, such as Lusatians and later Germanic people, settled in the territory. However, around 500 AD, Germanic tribes left. Berlin's adjacent area, Brandenburg, has been inhabited by Slavs since approximately the 7th century, yet no traces of the Slavic population were found in the city center of Berlin.
Berlin as a city was founded in the 13th century, and by the 15th century, it became the capital city of Margraviate of Brandenburg. However, in the 17th century, the elector of Brandenburg was crowned the Prussian King. Thus, with Berlin as its capital, Brandenburg became part of the Prussian Kingdom. Brandenburg and Berlin assumed a central position within Prussia, which resulted in the significant development of the city and its adjacent area and in population increase. The general development of Prussia during the following 18th and 19th centuries allowed the kingdom to become a founding stone of the German Empire, established in 1871. The empire fell in 1918 after its defeat in the First World War. Nevertheless, Berlin was at that time a major city with a predominant role in science, music, museums, higher education, government, diplomacy, and military affairs.
After World War I, inflation and mass unemployment took place in Germany. During that time, Hitler came to power, and by 1933, communists, social democrats, labor unionists, and German Jews were deprived of their rights as citizens and were persecuted. These reasons, combined with attacks on neighboring countries, caused the Second World War. Several bombings and attacks on the country's capital, Berlin, demanded thousands of civilian victims. After Hitler's death in 1945, Berlin was divided into the eastern half under the rule of the Soviet Union. The western half belonged to the Allies; namely, the USA, assuming the southern part; the UK, getting the central region; and France, with the northern area of Berlin. The differences between the West and East climaxed in the form of the Cold War. The Soviet Union erected the Berlin Wall, physically dividing East and West Berlin. However, the whole city was located in the Soviet occupation Zone, with West Berlin as an island surrounded by the communist regime. For West Berlin's population to survive, airplanes landed in the western part of the city every few minutes, bringing food and supplies from the USA, UK, France, and other allied countries. In the meantime, several uprisings took place in East Berlin. However, communism started deteriorating in multiple Soviet countries, which ultimately led to the fall of Soviet rule in Germany in 1989. The Berlin Wall fell after the 28-year-long division of the city.
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