Berlin is the capital city of Germany and one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.5 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city and is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union. Located in northeastern Germany on the River Spree(Dell 1691P battery), it is the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, which has 6 million residents from over 180 nations. Due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. Around one third of the city's area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers and lakes.
First documented in the 13th century, Berlin was the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia (1701–1918), the German Empire (1871–1918) (Dell 310-6321 battery), the Weimar Republic (1919–1933) and the Third Reich (1933–1945). Berlin in the 1920s was the third largest municipality in the world. After World War II, the city became divided into East Berlin—the capital of East Germany—and West Berlin, a West German exclave surrounded by the Berlin Wall from 1961–1989. Following German reunification in 1990, the city regained its status as the capital of Germany, hosting 147 foreign embassies(Dell 312-0068 battery).
Berlin is a world city of culture, politics, media, and science. Its economy is primarily based on the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, media corporations, and convention venues. Berlin also serves as a continental hub for air and rail transport, and is a popular tourist destination. Significant industries include IT, pharmaceuticals, biomedical engineering, biotechnology, electronics, traffic engineering, and renewable energy(Dell 312-0078 battery).
Berlin is home to renowned universities, research institutes, orchestras, museums, and celebrities, as well as host of many sporting events. Its urban settings and historical legacy have made it a popular location for international film productions. The city is well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, contemporary arts, public transportation networks and a high quality of living(Dell 312-0079 battery).
Main article: History of Berlin
The origin of the name Berlin is unknown, but it may have its roots in the language of West Slavic inhabitants of the area of today's Berlin, and be related to the Old Polabian stem berl-/birl- ("swamp"). Folk etymology connects it to the German Bär, a bear, and a bear appears in the coat of arms of the city(Dell 312-0305 battery).
Map of Berlin in 1688
The earliest evidence of settlements in the area of today's Berlin are a wooden beam dated from approximately 1192 and leftovers of wooden houseparts dated to 1174 found in a 2012 digging in Berlin Mitte. The first written records of towns in the area of present-day Berlin date from the late 12th century. Spandau is first mentioned in 1197 and Köpenick in 1209, although these areas did not join Berlin until 1920. (Dell 312-0326 battery) The central part of Berlin can be traced back to two towns. Cölln on the Fischerinsel is first mentioned in a 1237 document, and Berlin, across the Spree in what is now called the Nikolaiviertel, is referenced in a document from 1244. The former (1237) is considered to be the founding date of the city. The two towns over time formed close economic and social ties and eventually merged in 1307 and came to be known as Berlin(Dell 312-0518 battery).
In 1435, Frederick I became the elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, which he ruled until 1440. His successor, Frederick II Irontooth, established Berlin as capital of the margraviate, and subsequent members of the Hohenzollern family ruled until 1918 in Berlin, first as electors of Brandenburg, then as kings of Prussia, and eventually as German emperors(Dell 312-0566 battery). In 1448, citizens rebelled in the "Berlin Indignation" against the construction of a new royal palace by Frederick II Irontooth. This protest was not successful, however, and the citizenry lost many of its political and economic privileges. In 1451 Berlin became the royal residence of the Brandenburg electors, and Berlin had to give up its status as a free Hanseatic city. In 1539, the electors and the city officially became Lutheran. (Dell 312-0585 battery)
17th to 19th centuries
Frederick the Great (1712–1786) was one of Europe's enlightened monarchs.
The Thirty Years' War between 1618 and 1648 devastated Berlin. One third of its houses were damaged or destroyed, and the city lost half of its population. Frederick William, known as the "Great Elector", who had succeeded his father George William as ruler in 1640, initiated a policy of promoting immigration and religious tolerance. With the Edict of Potsdam in 1685(Dell 312-0831 battery), Frederick William offered asylum to the French Huguenots. More than 15,000 Huguenots went to Brandenburg, of whom 6,000 settled in Berlin. By 1700, approximately 20 percent of Berlin's residents were French, and their cultural influence on the city was immense. Many other immigrants came from Bohemia, Poland, and Salzburg.
Berlin became the capital of the German Empire in 1871 and expanded rapidly in the following years. (Unter den Linden in 1900) (Dell BAT30WL battery)
With the coronation of Frederick I in 1701 as king (in Königsberg), Berlin became the new capital of the Kingdom of Prussia (instead of Königsberg); this was a successful attempt to centralize the capital in the very outspread Prussian Kingdom, and it was the first time the city began to grow. In 1740, Frederick II, known as Frederick the Great (1740–1786), came to power. Under the rule of Frederick II Berlin became a center of the Enlightenment. (Dell D6400 battery) Following France's victory in the War of the Fourth Coalition, Napoleon Bonaparte marched into Berlin in 1806, but granted self-government to the city. In 1815 the city became part of the new Province of Brandenburg.
The Industrial Revolution transformed Berlin during the 19th century; the city's economy and population expanded dramatically, and it became the main rail hub and economic center of Germany. (Dell HF674 battery) Additional suburbs soon developed and increased the area and population of Berlin. In 1861, outlying suburbs including Wedding, Moabit, and several others were incorporated into Berlin. In 1871, Berlin became capital of the newly founded German Empire. On 1 April 1881 it became a city district separate from Brandenburg.
Berlin in ruins after World War II (Potsdamer Platz, 1945) (Dell N3010 battery).
At the end of World War I in 1918, a republic was proclaimed in Berlin. In 1920, the Greater Berlin Act incorporated dozens of suburban cities, villages, and estates around Berlin into an expanded city. This new area encompassed Spandau and Charlottenburg in the west, as well as several other areas that are now major municipalities. After this expansion, Berlin had a population of around four million(Dell Inspiron N4010 battery). During the Weimar era, Berlin became internationally renowned as a center of cultural transformation, at the heart of the Roaring Twenties.
On 30 January 1933, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party came to power. Nazi rule destroyed Berlin's Jewish community, which had numbered 170,000 before 1933. After Kristallnacht in 1938, thousands of the city's Jews were imprisoned in the nearby Sachsenhausen concentration camp or, in early 1943(Dell INSPIRON 1100 battery), were shipped to death camps, such as Auschwitz. During World War II, large parts of Berlin were destroyed in the 1943–45 air raids and during the Battle of Berlin. Among the hundreds of thousands who died during the Battle for Berlin, an estimated 125,000 were civilians. After the end of the war in Europe in 1945, Berlin received large numbers of refugees from the Eastern provinces(Dell Inspiron 1200 battery). The victorious powers divided the city into four sectors, analogous to the occupation zones into which Germany was divided. The sectors of the Western Allies (the United States, the United Kingdom and France) formed West Berlin, while the Soviet sector formed East Berlin.
The Berlin Wall in 1986, painted on the western side. People crossing the so-called "death strip" on the eastern side were at risk of being shot(Dell Inspiron 1420 battery).
All four Allies shared administrative responsibilities for Berlin. However, in 1948, when the Western Allies extended the currency reform in the Western zones of Germany to the three western sectors of Berlin, the Soviet Union imposed a blockade on the access routes to and from West Berlin, which lay entirely inside Soviet-controlled territory. The Berlin airlift, conducted by the three western Allies(Dell Inspiron 1464 battery), overcame this blockade by supplying food and other supplies to the city from 24 June 1948 to 11 May 1949. In 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany was founded in West Germany and eventually included all of the American, British, and French zones, excluding those three countries' zones in Berlin, while the Marxist-Leninist German Democratic Republic was proclaimed in East Germany(Dell Inspiron 1564 battery). West Berlin officially remained an occupied city, but as a corpus separatum it politically was very closely aligned with Federal Republic of Germany despite Berlin's geographic location within East Germany. West Berlin issued its own postage stamps, which were often the same as West German postage stamps but with the additional word "Berlin" added. Airline service to West Berlin was granted only to American, British, and French airlines(Dell Inspiron 1764 battery).
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
The founding of the two German states increased Cold War tensions. West Berlin was surrounded by East German territory and East Germany proclaimed East Berlin (described as "Berlin") as its capital, a move that was not recognized by the western powers. Although only half the size and population of West Berlin, East Berlin included most of the historic center of the city. The West German government, meanwhile, established itself provisionally in Bonn. (Dell Inspiron 1520 battery)
As a result of the political and economical tensions brought on by the Cold War, on 13 August 1961, East Germany began building of the Berlin Wall between East and West Berlin and similar barriers around West Berlin, and events escalated to a tank standoff at Checkpoint Charlie on 27 October 1961. West Berlin was now de facto a part of West Germany with a unique legal status, while East Berlin was de facto a part of East Germany(Dell Inspiron 1521 battery).
Berlin Mitte skyline in the 21st century. Landmarks from left to right: Reichstag, TV tower at Alexanderplatz, Berliner Dom, City hall, Brandenburg Gate
Berlin was completely divided. Although it was possible for Westerners to pass from one to the other (but only through strictly controlled checkpoints) for most Easterners, travel to West Berlin or West Germany was no longer possible(Dell inspiron 1525 battery). In 1971, a Four-Power agreement guaranteed access to and from West Berlin by car or train through East Germany and ended the potential for harassment or closure of the routes.
In 1989, with the end of the Cold War and pressure from the East German population, the Berlin Wall fell on 9 November 1989 and was subsequently mostly demolished, with little of its physical structure remaining today; (Dell inspiron 1526 battery) the East Side Gallery in Friedrichshain near the Oberbaumbrücke over the Spree preserves a portion of the Wall.
On 3 October 1990, the two parts of Germany were reunified as the Federal Republic of Germany, and Berlin again became the official German capital. In June 1991, the German Parliament, the Bundestag, voted the Hauptstadtbeschluss to move the seat of the (West) German capital back from Bonn to Berlin, which was completed in 1999(Dell Inspiron 1720 battery).
Natural and built environment
Berlin is situated in northeastern Germany, approximately 60 km (37 mi) west of the Polish border, in an area of low-lying marshy woodlands with a mainly flat topography, part of the vast Northern European Plain which stretches all the way from northern France to western Russia. The Berlin–Warsaw Urstromtal (ice age glacial valley), between the low Barnim Plateau to the north and the Teltow Plateau to the south(Dell Inspiron 2000 battery), was formed by meltwater flowing from ice sheets at the end of the last Weichselian glaciation. The Spree follows this valley now. In Spandau, Berlin's westernmost borough, the Spree empties into the river Havel, which flows from north to south through western Berlin. The course of the Havel is more like a chain of lakes, the largest being the Tegeler See and Großer Wannsee. A series of lakes also feeds into the upper Spree, which flows through the Großer Müggelsee in eastern Berlin. (Dell INSPIRON 2600 battery)
View over central Berlin. Unter den Linden in foreground and skyscrapers of Potsdamer Platz up to the right.
Substantial parts of present-day Berlin extend onto the low plateaus on both sides of the Spree Valley. Large parts of the boroughs Reinickendorf and Pankow lie on the Barnim Plateau, while most of the boroughs Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Tempelhof-Schöneberg, and Neukölln lie on the Teltow Plateau(Dell INSPIRON 3800 battery).
The borough of Spandau lies partly within the Berlin Glacial Valley and partly on the Nauen Plain, which stretches to the west of Berlin. The highest elevations in Berlin are the Teufelsberg and the Müggelberge in the city's outskirts, and in the centre the Kreuzberg. While the latter measures 66 m (217 ft) above sea level, the former have both an elevation of about 115 m (377 ft) (Dell INSPIRON 4000 battery). The Teufelsberg is in fact an artificial hill composed of a pile of rubble from the ruins of World War II.
The outskirts of Berlin are covered with woodlands and numerous lakes
Berlin has a temperate oceanic climate according to the Köppen climate classification system.
Summers are warm and sometimes humid with average high temperatures of 22–25 °C (72–77 °F) and lows of 12–14 °C (54–57 °F). Winters are relatively cold with average high temperatures of 3 °C (37 °F) and lows of -2 to 0 °C (28 to 32 °F). Spring and autumn are generally chilly to mild(Dell Inspiron 5000 battery). Berlin's built-up area creates a microclimate, with heat stored by the city's buildings. Temperatures can be 4 °C (7 °F) higher in the city than in the surrounding areas.
Annual precipitation is 570 millimeters (22 in) with moderate rainfall throughout the year. Light snowfall mainly occurs from December through March, but snow cover does not usually remain for long. The recent winter of 2009/2010 was an exception as there was a permanent snow cover from late December till early March(Dell INSPIRON 500M battery).
Berlin along the Spree river and the Fernsehturm by night
Berlin's history has left the city with a highly eclectic array of architecture and buildings. The city's appearance today is predominantly shaped by the key role it played in Germany's history in the 20th century. Each of the national governments based in Berlin—the 1871 German Empire, the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, East Germany, and now the reunified Germany(Dell INSPIRON 5100 battery)—initiated ambitious (re-) construction programs, with each adding its own distinctive style to the city's architecture. Berlin was devastated by bombing raids during World War II, and many of the buildings that had remained after the war were demolished in the 1950s and 1960s in both West and East Berlin. Much of this demolition was initiated by municipal architecture programs to build new residential or business quarters and main roads(Dell INSPIRON 510M battery).
The eastern parts of Berlin have many Plattenbauten, reminders of Eastern Bloc ambitions to create complete residential areas that had fixed ratios of shops, kindergartens and schools to the number of inhabitants.
View over Tiergarten with Berlin Victory Column
The Fernsehturm (TV tower) at Alexanderplatz in Mitte is among the tallest structures in the European Union at 368 meters (1,207 ft). Built in 1969, it is visible throughout most of the central districts of Berlin(Dell INSPIRON 6000 battery). The city can be viewed from its 204 m (669 ft) high observation floor. Starting here the Karl-Marx-Allee heads east, an avenue lined by monumental residential buildings, designed in the Socialist Classicism Style of the Joseph Stalin era. Adjacent to this area is the Rotes Rathaus (City Hall), with its distinctive red-brick architecture. In front of it is the Neptunbrunnen, a fountain featuring a mythological group of Tritons(Dell INSPIRON 600M battery), personifications of the four main Prussian rivers and Neptune on top of it.
The Brandenburg Gate.
The East Side Gallery is an open-air exhibition of art painted directly on the last existing portions of the Berlin Wall. It is the largest remaining evidence of the city's historical division. It has recently undergone a restoration.
The Brandenburg Gate is an iconic landmark of Berlin and Germany. It also appears on German euro coins (10 cent, 20 cent, and 50 cent). The Reichstag building is the traditional seat of the German Parliament(Dell Inspiron 6400 battery), renovated in the 1950s after severe World War II damage. The building was again remodeled by British architect Norman Foster in the 1990s and features a glass dome over the session area, which allows free public access to the parliamentary proceedings and magnificent views of the city(Dell INSPIRON 7000 battery).
Potsdamer Platz at night.
The Gendarmenmarkt, a neoclassical square in Berlin whose name dates back to the quarters of the famous Gens d'armes regiment located here in the 18th century, is bordered by two similarly designed cathedrals, the Französischer Dom with its observation platform and the Deutscher Dom. The Konzerthaus (Concert Hall), home of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, stands between the two cathedrals(Dell INSPIRON 700M battery).
The Museum Island in the River Spree houses five museums built from 1830 to 1930 and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Restoration and the construction of a main entrance to all museums, as well as the reconstruction of the Stadtschloss on the same island is costing over 2 billion Euros since reunification. Also located on the island and adjacent to the Lustgarten and palace is Berlin Cathedral(Dell Inspiron 710m battery), emperor William II's ambitious attempt to create a Protestant counterpart to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. A large crypt houses the remains of some of the earlier Prussian royal family. The church is now owned by the Protestant umbrella Union of Evangelical Churches (UEK). Like many other buildings, it suffered extensive damage during the Second World War and had to be restored(Dell INSPIRON 8200 battery). Berlin's best preserved medieval Church of St. Mary's is the 1st preaching venue – Memorial Church being the 2nd – of the Bishop of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia (EKBO), a Protestant regional church body. St. Hedwig's Cathedral is Berlin's Roman Catholic cathedral.
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is the 2nd preaching venue of the Bishop of the Regional Protestant Church (EKBO) (Dell INSPIRON 8600 battery).
Unter den Linden is a tree-lined east–west avenue from the Brandenburg Gate to the site of the former Berliner Stadtschloss, and was once Berlin's premier promenade. Many Classical buildings line the street and part of Humboldt University is located there. Friedrichstraße was Berlin's legendary street during the Roaring Twenties. It combines 20th-century traditions with the modern architecture of today's Berlin(Dell INSPIRON 9100 battery).
Potsdamer Platz is an entire quarter built from scratch after 1995 after the Wall came down. To the west of Potsdamer Platz is the Kulturforum, which houses the Gemäldegalerie, and is flanked by the Neue Nationalgalerie and the Berliner Philharmonie. The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, a Holocaust memorial, is situated to the north. (Dell INSPIRON 9200 battery)
The area around Hackescher Markt is home to the fashionable culture, with countless clothing outlets, clubs, bars, and galleries. This includes the Hackesche Höfe, a conglomeration of buildings around several courtyards, reconstructed around 1996. Oranienburger Straße and the nearby New Synagogue were the center of Jewish culture before 1933. Although the New Synagogue is still an anchor for Jewish history and culture(Dell INSPIRON 9300 battery), Oranienburger straße and surrounding areas are increasingly known for the shopping and nightlife.
Schloss Charlottenburg is the largest existing palace in Berlin.
The Straße des 17. Juni, connecting the Brandenburg Gate and Ernst-Reuter-Platz, serves as central East-West-Axis. Its name commemorates the uprisings in East Berlin of 17 June 1953. Approximately half-way from the Brandenburg Gate is the Großer Stern, a circular traffic island on which the Siegessäule (Victory Column) is situated(Dell Inspiron 9400 battery). This monument, built to commemorate Prussia's victories, was relocated 1938–39 from its previous position in front of the Reichstag.
The Kurfürstendamm is home to some of Berlin's luxurious stores with the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at its eastern end on Breitscheidplatz. The church was destroyed in the Second World War and left in ruins. Nearby on Tauentzienstraße is KaDeWe, claimed to be continental Europe's largest department store. The Rathaus Schöneberg, where John F. Kennedy made his famous "Ich bin ein Berliner!" speech, is situated in Tempelhof-Schöneberg(Dell Inspiron E1505 battery).
West of the center, Schloss Bellevue is the residence of the German President. Schloss Charlottenburg, which was burnt out in the Second World War and largely destroyed, has been rebuilt and is the largest surviving historical palace in Berlin.
The Funkturm Berlin is a 150 m (490 ft) tall lattice radio tower at the fair area, built between 1924 and 1926(Dell Inspiron E1705 battery). It is the only observation tower which stands on insulators, and has a restaurant 55 m (180 ft) and an observation deck 126 m (413 ft) above ground, which is reachable by a windowed elevator.
The Reichstag is the seat of the German parliament.
Berlin is the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany. The President of Germany, whose functions are mainly ceremonial under the German constitution, has his official residence in Schloss Bellevue. Berlin is the seat of the German executive, housed in the Chancellery, the Bundeskanzleramt(Dell Inspiron Mini 9 battery).
Facing the Chancellery is the Bundestag, the German Parliament, housed in the renovated Reichstag building since the government moved back to Berlin in 1998. The Bundesrat ("federal council", performing the function of an upper house) is the representation of the Federal States (Bundesländer) of Germany and has its seat at the former Prussian House of Lords. Though most of the ministries are seated in Berlin(Dell Latitude D400 battery), some of them, as well as some minor departments, are seated in Bonn, the former capital of West Germany. Discussions to move the remaining branches continue.
Mayor since 2001, Klaus Wowereit
The city and state parliament is the House of Representatives (Abgeordnetenhaus), which currently has 141 seats. Berlin's executive body is the Senate of Berlin (Senat von Berlin). The Senate of Berlin consists of the Governing Mayor (Regierender Bürgermeister) and up to eight senators holding ministerial positions(Dell STUDIO 1450 battery), one of them holding the official title "Mayor" (Bürgermeister) as deputy to the Governing Mayor. The Social Democratic Party (SPD) and The Left (Die Linke) took control of the city government after the 2001 state election and won another term in the 2006 state election. After the 2011 state election, there is a coalition of the Social Democratic Party with the Christian Democratic Union, and for the first time ever, the Pirate Party won seats in a state parliament in Germany(Dell Vostro 1400 battery).
The Governing Mayor is simultaneously Lord Mayor of the city (Oberbürgermeister der Stadt) and Prime Minister of the Federal State (Ministerpräsident des Bundeslandes). The office of Berlin's Governing Mayor is in the Rotes Rathaus (Red City Hall). Since 2001 this office has been held by Klaus Wowereit of the SPD. (Dell Vostro 1500 battery)
The total annual state budget of Berlin in 2007 exceeded €20.5 ($28.7) billion including a budget surplus of €80 ($112) million. The figures indicate the first surplus in the history of the city state. Due to increasing growth rates and tax revenues, the Senate of Berlin calculates an increasing budget surplus in 2008. The total budget includes an estimated amount of €5.5 ($7.7) bn, which is directly financed by either the German government or the German Bundesländer. (Dell XPS GEN 2 battery) Mainly due to reunification-related expenditures, Berlin as a German state has accumulated more debt than any other city in Germany, with the most current estimate being €60 ($84)bn in December 2007. In 2011, the very high level of public sector debt prompted the Stabilitätsrat von Bund und Ländern (Council for Fiscal Stability of the Federal and Local States) to declare a possible fiscal emergency for the city. (Dell XPS M1210 battery)
Since German reunification on 3 October 1990, Berlin has been one of the three city states, together with Hamburg and Bremen, among the present 16 states of Germany.
Main article: Boroughs and localities of Berlin
Map of Berlin's twelve boroughs and their localities.
Berlin is subdivided into twelve boroughs (Bezirke), down from 23 boroughs before Berlin's 2001 administrative reform. Each borough contains a number of localities (Ortsteile), which often have historic roots in older municipalities that predate the formation of Greater Berlin on 1 October(Dell XPS M1330 battery) 1920 and became urbanized and incorporated into the city. Many residents strongly identify with their localities or boroughs. At present Berlin consists of 96 localities, which are commonly made up of several city neighborhoods—called Kiez in the Berlin dialect—representing small residential areas(Dell XPS 1340 battery).
Each borough is governed by a borough council (Bezirksamt) consisting of five councilors (Bezirksstadträte) and a borough mayor (Bezirksbürgermeister). The borough council is elected by the borough assembly (Bezirksverordnetenversammlung). The boroughs of Berlin are not independent municipalities, however. The power of borough governments is limited and subordinate to the Senate of Berlin. The borough mayors form the council of mayors (Rat der Bürgermeister), led by the city's governing mayor, which advises the senate(Dell XPS M1530 battery).
The localities have no local government bodies, and the administrative duties of the former locality representative, the Ortsvorsteher, were taken over by the borough mayors.
Berlin maintains official partnerships with 17 cities. Town twinning between Berlin and other cities began with Los Angeles in 1967. East Berlin's partnerships were canceled at the time of German reunification and later partially reestablished(Dell XPS M170 battery). West Berlin's partnerships had previously been restricted to the borough level. During the Cold War era, the partnerships had reflected the different power blocs, with West Berlin partnering with capitals in the West, and East Berlin mostly partnering with cities from the Warsaw Pact and its allies.
There are several joint projects with many other cities, such as Belgrade, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Johannesburg, Shanghai, Seoul, Sofia, Sydney, and Vienna(Dell XPS M1710 battery). Berlin participates in international city associations such as the Union of the Capitals of the European Union, Eurocities, Network of European Cities of Culture, Metropolis, Summit Conference of the World's Major Cities, Conference of the World's Capital Cities. Berlin's official sister cities are:
The economy of Berlin is dominated by the service sector. The ICC is part of the city's exhibition and congress center(Dell XPS M1730 battery).
Main article: Economy of Berlin
In 2009, the nominal GDP of the citystate Berlin experienced a growth rate of 1.7% (−3.5% in Germany) and totaled €90.1 (~$117) billion. Berlin's economy is dominated by the service sector, with around 80% of all companies doing business in services. The unemployment rate reached a 15-year low in September 2011 and stood at 12.7% (German average: 6.6%).(Dell XPS M2010 battery)
Fast-growing economic sectors in Berlin include communications, life sciences, and transportation, particularly services that use information and communication technologies, as well as media and music, advertising and design, biotechnology, environmental services, and medical engineering. (Dell Latitude E5400 battery)
The Science and Business Park of Berlin-Adlershof is among the 15 largest technology parks worldwide. Research and development have high economic significance for the city, and the Berlin–Brandenburg region ranks among the top-three innovative regions in the EU.
Air Berlin is headquartered in Berlin.
Siemens, a Fortune Global 500 company and one of the 30 German DAX companies, is headquartered in Berlin(Dell Latitude E5500 battery). The state-owned railway, Deutsche Bahn, has its headquarters in Berlin as well. Many German and international companies have business or service centres in the city.
Among the 20 largest employers in Berlin are the Deutsche Bahn, the hospital provider, Charité, the local public transport provider, BVG, and the service provider, Dussmann and the Piepenbrock Group. Daimler manufactures cars, and BMW builds motorcycles in Berlin. Bayer Health Care and Berlin Chemie are major pharmaceutical companies headquartered in the city(Dell Latitude E6400 battery). The second largest German airline Air Berlin is also headquartered in Berlin.
Berlin has 781 hotels with over 125 thousand beds as of June 2012. The city recorded 20.8 million overnight hotel stays and 9.1 million hotel guests in 2010. In the first half of 2012, there was an increase of over 10% compared to the same period the year before. Berlin has a yearly total of about 135 million day visitors, which puts it in third place among the most-visited city destinations in the European Union(Dell Latitude E6500 battery).
Berlin is among the top three convention cities in the world and is home to Europe's biggest convention center, the Internationales Congress Centrum (ICC). Several large-scale trade fairs like the IFA, Grüne Woche ("Green Week"), InnoTrans, Artforum and the ITB are held annually in the city, attracting a significant number of business visitors(Dell Inspiron Mini 12 battery).
Industries that do business in the creative arts and entertainment are an important and sizable sector of the economy of Berlin. The creative arts sector comprises music, film, advertising, architecture, art, design, fashion, performing arts, publishing, R&D, software, TV, radio, and video games. Around 22,600 creative enterprises, predominantly SMEs, generated over 18,6 billion Euro in total revenue(Dell XPS M140 battery). Berlin's creative industries have contributed an estimated 20% of Berlin's gross domestic product in 2005.
Berlin Hauptbahnhof is the largest grade-separated rail station in Europe.
Berlin's transport infrastructure is highly complex, providing a diverse range of urban mobility. A total of 979 bridges cross 197 kilometres of inner-city waterways. 5,334 kilometres (3,314 miles) of roads run through Berlin, of which 73 kilometres (45 miles) are motorways ("Autobahn"). In 2006, 1.416 million motor vehicles were registered in the city. (Dell XPS 13 battery) With 358 cars per 1000 residents in 2008 (570/1000 in Germany), Berlin as a German state and as a major European city has one of the lowest numbers of cars per capita.
Long-distance rail lines connect Berlin with all of the major cities of Germany and with many cities in neighbouring European countries. Regional rail lines provide access to the surrounding regions of Brandenburg and to the Baltic Sea. The Berlin Hauptbahnhof is the largest grade-separated railway station in Europe. (Dell XPS 16 battery) Deutsche Bahn runs trains to domestic destinations like Hamburg, Munich, Cologne and others. It also runs an airport express rail service, as well as trains to several international destinations.
The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe and the Deutsche Bahn manage several dense urban public transport systems.
Tegel International Airport (left). The new Berlin Brandenburg Airport starts operation on 27 October 2013(Dell XPS 1640 battery)
Berlin has two commercial airports. Tegel Airport (TXL), which lies within the city limits, and Schönefeld Airport (SXF), which is situated just outside Berlin's south-eastern border in the state of Brandenburg. Both airports together handled 24 million passengers in 2011. In 2011, 88 airlines served 164 destinations in 54 countries from Berlin. Tegel Airport is the European hub of Air Berlin, whereas Schönefeld services mainly low-cost airline travel(Dell XPS 1645 battery).
Berlin's airport authority planned to transfer all of Berlin's air traffic in 2012 to a newly built airport at Schönefeld, to be renamed Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER). Due to technical difficulties, the opening has been delayed till 27 October 2013.
Main article: Cycling in Berlin
Berlin is well known for its highly developed bike (cycle) lane system. It is estimated that Berlin has 710 bicycles per 1000 residents. Around 500,000 daily bike riders accounted for 13% of total traffic in 2009. (Dell XPS 1647 battery) Cyclists have access to 620 kilometres (390 miles) of bicycle paths including approximately 150 kilometres (93 miles) of mandatory bicycle paths, 190 kilometres (of 120 miles) of off-road bicycle routes, 60 kilometres (37 miles) of bicycle lanes on roads, 70 kilometres (43 miles) of shared bus lanes which are also open to cyclists, 100 kilometres (62 miles) of combined pedestrian/bike paths and 50 kilometres (31 miles) of marked bicycle lanes on roadside pavements (or sidewalks) (Dell Latitude 131L battery).
Berlin's energy is mainly supplied by the Swedish firm Vattenfall, which relies more heavily than other electricity producers on lignite as an energy source. Because burning lignite produces harmful emissions, Vattenfall has announced its commitment to transitioning to cleaner sources, such as renewable energy. (Dell Latitude C400 battery) In the former West Berlin, electricity was supplied chiefly by thermal power stations. To facilitate buffering during load peaks, accumulators were installed during the 1980s at some of these power stations. These were connected by static inverters to the power grid and were loaded during times of low energy consumption and unloaded during periods of high consumption(Dell Latitude C500 battery).
In 1993 the power grid connections to the surrounding areas, which had been cut in 1951, were restored. In the western districts of Berlin, nearly all power lines are underground cables; only a 380 kV and a 110 kV line, which run from Reuter substation to the urban Autobahn, use overhead lines. The Berlin 380-kV electric line was built when West Berlin's electrical grid was not connected to those of East or West Germany(Dell Latitude C510 battery). This has now become the backbone of the city's energy grid.
Car maker Daimler AG and the electric utility, RWE AG, are going to begin a joint electric car and charging station test project in Berlin called "E-Mobility Berlin."
Berlin has a rich history of discoveries in medicine and innovations in medical technology. The modern history of medicine has been significantly influenced by scientists from Berlin. Rudolf Virchow was the founder of cellular pathology, while Robert Koch developed vaccines for anthrax, cholera, and tuberculosis(Dell Latitude C540 battery).
The Charité hospital complex is the largest university hospital in Europe, tracing back its origins to the year 1710. The Charité is spread over four sites and comprises 3,300 beds, around 14,000 staff, 8,000 students, and more than 60 operating theatres, and has a turnover of over one billion euros annually. It is a joint institution of the Free University of Berlin and the Humboldt University of Berlin, including a wide range of institutes and specialized medical centers(Dell Latitude C600 battery).
Among them are the German Heart Center, one of the most renowned transplantation centers, the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine and the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics. The scientific research at these institutions is complemented by many research departments of companies such as Siemens, Schering and Debis(Dell Latitude C610 battery).
Main articles: Demographics of Berlin, Berlin population statistics, Turks in Berlin, Arabs in Berlin, and Vietnamese community of Berlin
Berlin's population 1880–2007.
As of March 2010, the city-state of Berlin had a population of 3,440,441 registered inhabitants in an area of 891.82 square kilometers (344.33 sq mi). The city's population density was 3,848 inhabitants per km² (9,966/sq mi). The urban area of Berlin stretches beyond the city limits and comprises about 3.7 million people(Dell Latitude C640 battery), while the metropolitan area of the Berlin-Brandenburg region is home to about 4.3 million in an area of 5,370 km2 (2,070 sq mi). In 2004, The Larger Urban Zone was home to over 4.9 million people in an area of 17,385 km².
National and international migration into the city has a long history. In 1685, following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in France, the city responded with the Edict of Potsdam, which guaranteed religious freedom and tax-free status to French Huguenot refugees for ten years(Dell Latitude C800 battery). The Greater Berlin Act in 1920 incorporated many suburbs and surrounding cities of Berlin. It formed most of the territory that comprises modern Berlin. The act increased the area of Berlin from 66 km2 (25 sq mi) to 883 km2 (341 sq mi) and the population from 1.9 million to 4 million.
Active immigration and asylum politics in West Berlin triggered waves of immigration in the 1960s and 1970s. Currently, Berlin is home to about 250,000 Turks (especially in Kreuzberg, Neukölln and Wedding, a locality in the borough of Mitte), (Dell Latitude C810 battery) making it the largest Turkish community outside of Turkey.
In the 1990s the Aussiedlergesetze enabled immigration to Germany of some residents from the former Soviet Union. Today ethnic Germans from countries of the former Soviet Union make up the largest portion of the Russian-speaking community. The current decade experiences an increasing influx from various Western countries. Especially young EU-Europeans are settling in the city. Additionally, Berlin has seen a rise of African immigrants during the last two decades. (Dell Latitude C840 battery)
In December 2010, 457,806 residents (13.5% of the population) were of foreign nationality, originating from 190 different countries. The largest groups of foreign nationals are those from Turkey (104,556), Poland (40,988), Serbia (19,230), Italy (15,842), Russia (15,332), France (13,262), Vietnam (13,199), the United States (12,733), Bosnia and Herzegovina (10,198), the United Kingdom (10,191) (Dell Latitude CPI battery), Croatia (10,104), and Israel (estimated 10,000). An estimated 394,000 citizens (12.2%) are descendants of international migrants and have either become naturalized German citizens or obtained citizenship by virtue of birth in Germany. All in all, about 25%–30% of the population is of foreign origin
More than 60% of Berlin residents have no registered religious affiliation and Berlin has been described as the atheist capital of Europe(Dell Latitude CPX battery). The largest denominations as of 2010 are the Protestant regional church body of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia (EKBO) (a church of united administration comprising mostly Lutheran, and few Reformed and United Protestant congregations; EKBO is a member of the umbrellas Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and Union Evangelischer Kirchen (UEK)) with 18.7% of the population, (Dell Latitude D410 battery)and the Roman Catholic Church with 9.1% of registered members. About 2.7% of the population identify with other Christian denominations (mostly Eastern Orthodox) and 8.1% are Muslims. 0.9% of Berliners belong to other religions. Approximately 80% of the 12,000 registered Jews (0.3%; real number of Jewish people is estimated to be up to 50,000) (Dell Latitude D420 battery) now residing in Berlin have come from the former Soviet Union. Additionally, Berlin is considered to be one of the fastest growing Jewish communities in the world due to Russian, Israeli and German Jewish immigrants, whose ancestors fled Germany during the Holocaust.
Berliner Dom, held by a congregation and the Protestant umbrella UEK.
Berlin is seat of the Roman Catholic archbishop of Berlin and also EKBO's elected chairperson is titled bishop of EKBO. Furthermore Berlin is seat of Orthodox cathedrals, such as the Cathedral of St. Boris the Baptist(Dell Latitude D430 battery), one of the two seats of the Bulgarian Orthodox Diocese of Western and Central Europe, and the Resurrection of Christ Cathedral of the Diocese of Berlin (Patriarchate of Moscow).
The faithful of the different religions and denominations maintain many places of worship in Berlin. The Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church has eight parishes of different sizes in Berlin. There are 36 Baptist congregations (within Union of Evangelical Free Church Congregations in Germany) (Dell Latitude D500 battery), 29 New Apostolic Churches, 15 United Methodist churches, eight Free Evangelical Congregations, six congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an Old Catholic church and an Anglican church in Berlin.
Berlin has 76 mosques, eleven synagogues, and two Buddhist temples. There are also a number of humanist and atheist groups in the city(Dell Latitude D505 battery).