Berlin is the capital of Germany and its largest city

November 27, 2012 9:24 am

Berlin is the capital of Germany and its largest city. About 3.4 million people live in Berlin.
Berlin grew along the Spree River. An island in the river was settled first, nearly 800 years ago. Today, Berlin spreads out from the river on a plain dotted with lakes, woods, and parks. Many museums are on the island in the Spree.
A wide avenue bordered by linden trees runs through the city. This street is called Unter den Linden (Under the Lindens). The Brandenburg Gate, a Berlin landmark, stands at one end of Unter den Linden. Germany’s lawmakers meet at the Reichstag, or parliament, near the Brandenburg Gate.
DESTROYED AND DIVIDED
Berlin was heavily bombed during World War II (1939-1945). Large parts of the city were destroyed. Much of Berlin had to be rebuilt after the war.
Germany was defeated in World War II. Afterward, it was divided into two countries: East Germany and West Germany. Berlin was also divided. East Berlin became the capital of Communist East Germany. West Berlin was part of democratic West Germany, even though the city was surrounded by East Germany.
From the late 1940s to the end of the 1980s, Berlin was at the center of conflicts between Communist countries and Western democracies. This period of conflict is known as the Cold War.
In 1961, a wall went up in Berlin. The Berlin Wall kept East Germans from leaving their country for West Germany. The Berlin Wall stayed up until 1989, when Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe. People tore down the wall, and the two parts of Berlin were united again. Germany became one country again in 1990, and Berlin became its capital.
A THRIVING CITY
If you visited Berlin, you’d see many modern buildings. Berlin became an exciting, growing city once again, after the two Germanys were reunited. Berlin has many theaters, museums, concert halls, and opera houses. It is a center of government and industry.
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