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Berlin Information

Berlin, featuring a population of over three million people, is the capital of Germany. Berlin stands as Germany's largest city in regards to its geographical area and is the second biggest with reference to population. Acting as the seventh most populous metropolis in the European Union, Berlin is situated on the River Spree and highlights a temperate climate with distinct seasons. Roughly, thirty percent of Berlin is comprised of natural attributes such as meandering rivers, lush parks, wooded groves, gleaming lakes, and exquisite gardens.

Berlin emerged as an important city during the thirteenth century. In the mid-fifteenth century, ruler Frederick II named Berlin the capital of his nation. Succeeding members of his family, the Hohenzollerns, reigned in Berlin until the end of World War I. In 1701, with the crowning of Frederick I as king, Berlin became the official capital of Prussia. As a result, Berlin began to expand rapidly. In the mid-eighteenth century, Frederick II, known as Frederick the Great, placed Berlin on the map as the cultural and philosophical leader in the Enlightenment.

The nineteenth century brought radical changes to Berlin in the form of the Industrial Revolution. The city experienced an explosion of growth in both population and economy. Its central location made it the prime rail center for all of Germany. Economic prosperity led to the incorporation of outlying suburbs and Berlin was named the capital of the German Empire during its formation.

The conclusion of World War II brought the commencement of a new government, the Weimar Republic to Germany. In conjunction, Berlin absorbed many suburban towns and villages to become a major metropolis, both geographically and population-wise. Berlin achieved worldwide renown for its role in the Bauhaus movement and other arts and cultural related activities. The Weimar Republic ended when Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933; this led to the Nazis decimating the Jewish population of Berlin.

At the cessation of World War II, the Allies divided Berlin into four distinct districts, which eventually coalesced into East and West Berlin as Cold War tensions escalated. In 1961, East Germany constructed the building of the Berlin Wall, dividing the great city into two disparate divisions. The Berlin Wall was demolished in 1989, and Berlin eventually was reunified.

Today Berlin stands as a world famous city, renowned for its arts, media, technology, and science industries. It acts as an important center for transportation with hubs for both air and rail. Many eminent theaters, museums, universities, and research facilities call Berlin home.

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