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State of Berlin
State flag of Berlin
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Country flag
Coat of arms of the state of Berlin
State coat of arms
Basic data
Language : German
Form of government : parliamentary republic , partially sovereign member state of a federal state
Postcodes : 10115-14199
Telephone code : 030
License plate : B.
Community key : 11 0 00 000
Gross Domestic Product (GDP): € 153.3 billion (2019)
GDP per capita : 41,967 € (2019)
Debt : € 57.175 billion (June 30, 2020)
ISO 3166-2 : DE-BE
Address of the Governing Mayor and the Senate of Berlin : Berlin City Hall
Rathausstrasse  15
10178 Berlin
Residents : 3,669,491 (December 31, 2019)
Proportion of foreigners : 20.6% (December 31, 2019)
Migration background share : 35.0% (December 31, 2019)
Unemployment rate : 10.1% (November 2020)
Population density : 4,115 inhabitants per km²
(rank: 1st as a country , 3rd as a municipality )
Metropolitan Area Population : 6,117,535 (December 31, 2017)
Geographic location : 52 ° 31 '  N , 13 ° 24'  E Coordinates: 52 ° 31 '  N , 13 ° 24'  E
Area : 891.68 km²
(rank: 14th as a country , 1st as a municipality )
• of which water surface: 59.69 km² (6.7%)
• Forest area: 163.64 km² (18.4%)
Height: 29.5– 115  m above sea level NHN
City structure: 12 districts, 97 districts
Governing Mayor : Michael Müller ( SPD )
President of the House of Representatives : Ralf Wieland ( SPD )
Ruling parties : SPD , Left and Greens
Distribution of seats (160) in the House of Representatives since the 2016 election :

  • SPD
  • 38
  • CDU
  • 31
  • left
  • 27
  • Green
  • 27
  • AfD
  • 22nd
  • FDP
  • 12
  • Others
  • 03
    Last parliamentary election : 18th September 2016
    Next parliamentary election : 2021
    Federal Council voting weight : 4th
    View from the Victory Column onto Straße des 17. Juni towards Berlin Mitte (Oct. 2013)
    View from the Victory Column , the Strasse des 17. Juni along the direction of Berlin-Mitte , 2013

    Berlin (  [ bɛɐ̯ˈliːn ] ) is the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany and one of its states . The city has approximately 3.7 million inhabitants the most populous with 892 square kilometers, the area's largest community of Germany. It is also the most populous city in the European Union . Around 4.5 million people live in its urban agglomeration , and a good six million in the Berlin / Brandenburg metropolitan region . The city-state consists of twelve districts . In addition to the rivers Spree and Havel, there are also smaller rivers and numerous lakes and forests in the urban area . Please click to listen!Play

    First mentioned in a document in 1237, Berlin has been the residence and capital of Brandenburg , Prussia and Germany throughout its history . After the end of World War II , the city was divided by the victorious powers in 1945 : East Berlin served as the capital of the German Democratic Republic from 1949 , while West Berlin was closely linked to the old Federal Republic of Germany. With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and German reunification in 1990, the two halves of the city grew together again and Berlin regained its role as the German capital. Since 1999, the city has also been the seat of the Federal Government , the Federal President , the Bundestag , the Bundesrat and numerous federal ministries and embassies .

    Among the major sectors in Berlin include the tourism , the creative and cultural industries , the biotechnology and healthcare industry with medical and pharmaceutical industries, information and communication technologies, the construction and property industry, trade, optoelectronics, energy technology and Exhibition and congress industry . The city is a European hub for rail and air transport. Berlin is one of the up-and-coming international centers for innovative company founders and records high annual growth rates in the number of people in employment.

    Berlin is known as a metropolis of culture , politics , media and science . The universities and research institutions , sporting events and museums in Berlin enjoy an international reputation. The metropolis bears the UNESCO title City of Design and is one of the most visited centers on the continent. Berlin's architecture, festivals, nightlife and diverse living conditions are known worldwide.



    Location of Berlin in Germany and the European Union

    Berlin's distinctive reference point, the Red City Hall , has the geographical position : 52 ° 31 ′ 7 ″ north latitude, 13 ° 24 ′ 30 ″ east longitude, the center of the city is around two kilometers south of it in Kreuzberg ( 52 ° 30 ′ 10, 4 "  N , 13 ° 24 '15.1"  E ). The largest expansion of the urban area in east-west direction is around 45 kilometers, in north-south direction around 38 kilometers. The area of ​​Berlin is almost 892 km². The city is located in the northeast of the Federal Republic of Germany and is completely surrounded by the state of Brandenburg .

    The historical center is located at the narrowest and therefore most easily accessible point of the Warsaw- Berlin glacial valley , which crosses Berlin from the southeast to the northwest and is traversed by the Spree in an east-west direction. The north-eastern part of Berlin lies on the Barnim plateau , almost half of the urban area in the south-western area is on the Teltow plateau . The westernmost district , Spandau , is spread across the Berlin glacial valley, the Brandenburg-Potsdamer Havel area and the Zehdenick-Spandau Havel lowlands . The landscape of Berlin was created in the Ice Age during the most recent glaciation phase, the Vistula Ice Age . About 20,000 years ago the area of ​​Berlin was covered by the Scandinavian ice sheet ( glacier ) several hundred meters thick . When the glacier melted back, the Berlin glacial valley was formed around 18,000 years ago.

    Waters and elevations

    Expansion of the urban space from the center to the north

    Berlin has numerous rivers and lakes. The Spree flows into the Havel in Spandau , which flows through the west of Berlin in a north-south direction. Berlin tributaries of the Spree are the Panke , Dahme , Wuhle and Erpe . The course of the river Havel, actually a glacial channel , often resembles a lake landscape; the largest bulges are the Tegeler See and the Große Wannsee . The Tegeler Fließ and Bäke brooks that flow into the Havel are partly located in Berlin . The largest lake in Berlin is the Große Müggelsee in Treptow-Köpenick .

    In Berlin, 13  water protection areas on an area of ​​around 212 km² are designated by water protection area ordinances. In relation to the total city area of ​​around 890 km², around a quarter of the city area is designated as water protection areas.

    The highest elevations in Berlin are the highest natural ground elevation of the Great Müggelberg ( 115  m above sea level. NHN ) in the district of Treptow-Koepenick , incurred from construction waste Arkenberge ( 122  m above sea level. NHN ) in the district of Pankow , who made rubble of World War II heaped Teufelsberg ( 120  m above sea level ) in the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district and the Ahrensfeld mountains ( 114  m above sea level ) in the Wuhletal landscape park in the Marzahn-Hellersdorf district . The lowest point in Berlin is at ( 28.1  m above sea level ) on the Spektesee in the Spandau district.

    Forests and parks

    The Great Zoo , 2006

    In addition to extensive forest areas in the west and south-east of the urban area ( Berlin Forests ), Berlin has many large parks. Since almost all streets are lined with trees, Berlin is considered a particularly green city. In Berlin there are around 440,000 street trees, including 153,000 linden trees , 82,000 maple trees , 35,000 oaks , 25,000 plane trees and 21,000 chestnuts . The more than 2500 public green, recreation and parks have a total area of ​​over 5500  hectares and offer a wide range of leisure and recreational opportunities. The largest complex in Berlin, now known as a park , is the Tempelhofer Park , which was built on the former Tempelhof Airport .

    The Große Tiergarten is located in the center of the city . It is the oldest and, at 210 hectares, the second largest and most important park in Berlin, and was designed over the course of more than 500 years. Originally an extensive forest area in front of the city gates, used by the Prussian aristocracy as a hunting and riding area, this was gradually enclosed by the urban development. Today it stretches from the Zoo train station to the Brandenburg Gate and borders directly on the government district . Several major roads cut through the Tiergarten, including Strasse des 17. Juni as an east-west axis. They cross at the Großer Stern , in the middle of which the Victory Column has stood since 1939 . The Großer Tiergarten has the shape of a natural park landscape : Characteristic are the wide lawns with small watercourses and clusters of trees as well as the lakes with small islands and numerous bridges and avenues. Areas such as the English Garden , the Luiseninsel and the Rosengarten add jewelery gardening accents in some places.

    Botanical garden in Lichterfelde

    In addition to the Tiergarten, Treptower Park in southeast Berlin is one of the city's most important parks. It was laid out from 1876 to 1882 by the first Berlin horticultural director Gustav Meyer . The vast garden landscape along the Spree is one of the most popular excursion destinations for Berliners, not least because of the Zenner restaurant, which was built by Carl Ferdinand Langhans as an inn on the Spree in 1821/1822 .

    A specialty among the parks is the botanical garden . Located in the southwest of the city, it is used as a recreational park in addition to its scientific purpose (it belongs to the Free University of Berlin ). The previous facility had existed since 1697 on the site of today's Kleist Park in Schöneberg . From 1897 the new park was built in Dahlem and Groß-Lichterfelde . According to the Greater Berlin Act of 1920 and the regional reform of 1938 , the Botanical Garden is now located in the Lichterfelde district . With an area of ​​over 43 hectares, it is the fourth largest botanical garden in the world. It includes around 22,000 different plant species. The 25 meter high, 30 meter wide and 60 meter long Large Tropical House is the tallest greenhouse in the world.

    Other parks in Berlin are the palace gardens in Charlottenburg , Glienicke and on Pfaueninsel (the last two are UNESCO World Heritage Sites ), the historic Lustgarten , Viktoriapark , Rudolph-Wilde-Park and Schillerpark and the numerous large public gardens . The Federal Horticultural Show took place in the Britz Garden in 1985 , and the Berlin Garden Show in 1987 in today's Gardens of the World . In 2017 the International Horticultural Exhibition took place there. The Mauerpark on the former death strip of the Berlin Wall , the Schöneberger Südgelände nature reserve , the Görlitzer Park and the Spreebogenpark are among the younger parks in Berlin.

    Zoos and protected areas

    Berlin - Jiao Qing - 2020.jpg
    Zoological garden in the Tiergarten district , the world's most species-rich zoo and the only zoo in Germany with panda bears

    Berlin has several zoological facilities : the zoological garden and aquarium and the zoo . The zoological garden, which opened in 1844 on the then city limits of Charlottenburg , is the oldest zoo in Germany and at the same time the most species-rich in the world (around 15,000 animals in 1,500 species). The much younger zoo owes its creation to the division of Germany after 1945: because the zoological garden was in the British sector of the city, the GDR capital lacked its own zoo. In 1954, a zoo was opened in Friedrichsfelde on the grounds of the Friedrichsfelde Palace Park . With 160  hectares, it is the largest landscape animal park in Europe.

    In Berlin there are 43 nature reserves (as of 2018) with a total area of ​​2668 hectares, which corresponds to around 3.0 percent of the state's area. In addition, there are 56 protected  landscape areas , which take up another 14 percent of the country's area. In addition, the districts of Pankow and Reinickendorf have an area share of 5.4 percent in the transnational, 75,000 hectare Barnim Nature Park .


    The city is located in the temperate climate zone at the transition from the maritime to the continental climate. Since the beginning of the 20th century, mean annual temperatures have fluctuated - with an upward trend - between 7 ° C and 11 ° C. The average annual temperature in Berlin-Dahlem is 9.5 ° C and the average annual rainfall is 591 mm. The warmest months are July and August with an average of 19.1 and 18.2 ° C, respectively, the coldest is January with an average of 0.6 ° C. The previous maximum temperature in Berlin of 38.6 ° C was measured on July 16, 2007 at the Kaniswall station . Most of the precipitation falls in August with an average of 64 mm, the lowest in April with an average of 33 mm (all mean values ​​from 1981 to 2010 from the German Weather Service ).

    With regard to the wind speeds and the wind direction distribution, a two-part maximum is recorded. According to this, north-west and south-west winds are most frequently observed in Berlin, which are associated with higher speeds, especially in winter, and mostly transports maritime , well-mixed and clean sea air. The second maximum from the south-east and east is often indicative of high-pressure weather conditions of continental air masses, which can lead to relatively hot or cold days depending on the season.

    Climate diagram
    J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
    Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
    Source: DWD, data: 1971–2000
    Monthly average temperatures and precipitation for Berlin
    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 2.9 4.2 8.5 13.2 18.9 21.6 23.7 23.6 18.8 13.4 7.1 4.4 O 13.4
    Min. Temperature (° C) −1.9 −1.5 1.3 4.2 9.0 12.3 14.3 14.1 10.6 6.4 2.2 −0.4 O 5.9
    Precipitation ( mm ) 42.3 33.3 40.5 37.1 53.8 68.7 55.5 58.2 45.1 37.3 43.6 55.3 Σ 570.7
    Rainy days ( d ) 10.0 8.0 9.1 7.8 8.9 9.8 8.4 7.9 7.8 7.6 9.6 11.4 Σ 106.3
    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    Source: DWD, data: 1971–2000

    The small height differences within the city actually result in a more homogeneous urban climate , but the dense development in the city and the district centers leads to sometimes significant temperature differences compared to large inner-city open spaces and above all to the extensive agricultural areas in the surrounding area. Temperature differences of up to 10 ° C are measured, especially on summer nights. Overall, however, Berlin benefits from its large proportion of green space in this context as well: More than 40 percent of the urban area is green; In 2012 “439,971 trees lined the streets”. The large number of smaller open spaces, but especially the inner-city green areas such as the Große Tiergarten , the Grunewald and the former Tempelhof Airport with the directly adjacent Hasenheide create a cooling effect and are therefore also referred to as "cold islands".

    City structure

    The Pankow Town Hall (left) is the seat of the District Mayor of the Pankow District

    The administration of the State of Berlin is carried out by the Senate of Berlin (the main administration) and the twelve district administrations. The main administration takes on the tasks of the city as a whole and comprises the senate administrations, the subordinate authorities (special authorities) and non-legal institutions as well as the own operations under their supervision.

    Since Berlin is a unified municipality , the districts are not independent municipalities , but in terms of population they are comparable to larger rural districts in large states . The districts are subject to district supervision by the Senate. In each district there is a district council assembly (BVV). This elects the district office, consisting of the district mayor and four city ​​councilors , according to party proporz . The district mayor is provided by the largest parliamentary group or a larger counting community of several parliamentary groups. District mayors and city councilors, despite their quasi-political election, have the status of election officials . The mayors of the districts form the Council of Mayors , chaired by the Governing Mayor , which advises the Senate.

    The structure and tasks of the Berlin administration result from the General Competence Act (AZG). The structure and tasks of the Berlin district administration are specified in more detail in the District Administration Act (BezVwG). Since 1990 an administrative reform has been carried out in Berlin in partial steps .

    The administrative structures and authorities of the city-state are currently (as of 2016/17) classified both within Berlin and throughout Germany as working too slowly and in need of modernization.

    According to the Berlin constitution, Berlin is divided into twelve districts. These in turn are divided into 97 districts (as of 2020), with the state constitution only dividing them into districts. The districts do not represent administrative units, but form the basis of official location information and therefore also have administrative boundaries.

    With the Greater Berlin Act in 1920, eight cities, 59 rural communities and 27 manor districts were combined. The new Greater Berlin originally comprised 20 districts with 94 districts at the time, which, with unchanged border lines, corresponded to the previous structures. Of these 20 districts, twelve were in West Berlin and eight in East Berlin after the city was divided.

    On the occasion of the creation of new development areas on the eastern edge of the city - without incorporation - the number of districts in East Berlin was increased to eleven by spin-offs between 1979 and 1986. The division in West Berlin remained unchanged (except for an area swap in 1945 , when the eastern part of Groß Glienicke came to Berlin in exchange for West Staaken and became the 95th district).

    In 1990, the reunified Berlin initially had 23 districts, the number of which was finally reduced to twelve in 2001 through district mergers as part of a regional reform. The number and layout of the districts have also changed several times over the past few decades.

    Bezirk Mitte Bezirk Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Bezirk Pankow Bezirk Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf Bezirk Spandau Bezirk Steglitz-Zehlendorf Bezirk Tempelhof-Schöneberg Bezirk Neukölln Bezirk Treptow-Köpenick Bezirk Marzahn-Hellersdorf Bezirk Lichtenberg Bezirk Reinickendorf Brandenburg
    The twelve districts of Berlin
    Key data for the districts of Berlin on December 31, 2019
    No. District of Berlin Residents
    in km²
    per km²
    1. centerBerlin center 385,748 0039.47 09,733
    2. Friedrichshain-KreuzbergBerlin Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg 290.386 0020.34 14,246
    3. PankowBerlin Pankow 409.335 0103.07 03,956
    4th Charlottenburg-WilmersdorfBerlin Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf 343,592 0064.72 05,289
    5. SpandauBerlin Spandau 245.197 0091.87 02,656
    6th Steglitz-ZehlendorfBerlin Steglitz-Zehlendorf 310,071 0102.56 03,010
    7th Tempelhof-SchönebergBerlin Tempelhof-Schöneberg 350.984 0053.10 06,622
    8th. NeuköllnBerlin Neukölln 329.917 0044.93 07,338
    9. Treptow-KoepenickBerlin Treptow-Koepenick 273,689 0168.42 01,610
    10. Marzahn-HellersdorfBerlin Marzahn-Hellersdorf 269,967 0061.78 04,347
    11. LichtenbergBerlin Lichtenberg 294.201 0052.12 05,592
    12. ReinickendorfBerlin Reinickendorf 266,408 0089.31 02,970
    Berlin State of Berlin (total) 3,669,491 0891.68 04,088
    1. The population for Berlin as a whole comes from the population update based on the 2011 census (this is the official population for Berlin), while the district numbers from the city's population register. The total of the residents of the districts can therefore differ from the population for the entire city.


    Name formation and first settlements

    The name Berlin is probably derived from the Slavic term br'lo or berlo with the meanings 'swamp, morass, moist place' or 'dry place in a wetland' as well as the common suffix -in in Slavic place names . This is particularly supported by the fact that the name repeatedly appears in documents with an article (“der Berlin”).

    The city name can neither be traced back to the alleged founder of the city, Albrecht the Bear , nor to the Berlin heraldic animal . This is a talking coat of arms with which an attempt is made to depict the city name in a German interpretation. The heraldic animal is therefore derived from the city name, not the other way around.

    Margraviate and Electorate

    Reconstructed plan of Berlin and Kölln around 1230 (created by KF von Klöden in the 19th century)

    The town of Kölln , located on the Spree island , was first mentioned in a document in 1237. In 1244 (old) Berlin was mentioned, which is located on the northeast bank of the Spree. Recent archaeological finds show that there were suburban settlements on both sides of the Spree as early as the second half of the 12th century. In 1280 the first provable Brandenburg state parliament took place in Berlin. This points to an early top position, as can also be seen in the land book of Charles IV (1375), when Berlin with Stendal , Prenzlau and Frankfurt / Oder are shown as the cities with the highest tax revenue. The two cities of Berlin and Kölln got a joint town hall in 1307.

    Berlin shared the fate of Brandenburg among the Ascanians (1157–1320), Wittelsbachers (1323–1373) and Luxemburgers (1373–1415). In 1257, the Margrave of Brandenburg was the only electoral college entitled to vote for a king for the first time. The exact rules were laid down with the Golden Bull in 1356 ; since then Brandenburg was considered an electorate. After the German King Sigismund of Luxemburg enfeoffed Friedrich I of Hohenzollern with the Mark Brandenburg in 1415, this family ruled Berlin as margraves and elector of Brandenburg until 1918 and from 1701 also as kings in and of Prussia .

    From the 14th century Berlin was a member of the Hanseatic League. In 1518 Berlin formally withdrew from the Hanseatic League or was excluded from it.

    In 1448, residents of Berlin revolted against the construction of the new palace by Elector Friedrich II. ("Eisenzahn") in " Berlin displeasure " . This protest was unsuccessful, however, and the city forfeited many of its now possessed political and economic freedoms. In 1486, Elector Johann Cicero declared Berlin the main residence of the Brandenburg Electorate.

    Electoral residence city of Berlin and Cologne around 1645 (copper engraving by Matthäus Merian )

    The Reformation was introduced in Berlin and Kölln in 1539 under Elector Joachim II , without any major disputes. The Thirty Years' War between 1618 and 1648 had disastrous consequences for Berlin: a third of the houses were damaged and the population halved. Friedrich Wilhelm , known as the Great Elector, took over the business of government from his father in 1640. He started a policy of immigration and religious tolerance. From the following year on, the suburbs of Friedrichswerder , Dorotheenstadt and Friedrichstadt were founded .

    In 1671, 50 Jewish families from Austria were given a home in Berlin. With the Edict of Potsdam in 1685, Friedrich Wilhelm invited the French Huguenots to Brandenburg. Over 15,000 French came, 6,000 of whom settled in Berlin. By 1700, 20 percent of Berlin's residents were French and their cultural influence was great. Many immigrants also came from Bohemia , Poland and Salzburg . From 1658 to 1683 the twin cities of Berlin-Cölln were expanded into a fortress with a total of 13 bastions .

    Prussia and the German Empire

    The Berlin Palace , the main residence of the Prussian kings since 1702 and the German Kaiser from 1871 (picture around 1900)

    With the coronation of Frederick I as king in Prussia in 1701, Berlin achieved the status of the Prussian capital, which became official on January 17, 1709 through the edict to form the Royal Residence Berlin by amalgamating the cities of Berlin, Kölln, Friedrichswerder, Dorotheenstadt and Friedrichstadt. The population of Berlin rose to around 55,000. Soon afterwards, new suburbs emerged , which enlarged Berlin.

    After the defeat of Prussia in 1806 against the armies of Napoleon , King Friedrich Wilhelm III left. Berlin towards Königsberg . Authorities and wealthy families moved away from Berlin. French troops occupied the city from 1806 to 1808. Under the reformer Freiherr vom und zum Stein , the new Berlin city order was passed in 1808 , which led to the first freely elected city ​​council . A mayor was elected to head the new administration . The swearing-in of the new city administration, called magistrate , took place in the Berlin City Hall .

    The formation of a Berlin university, proposed by Wilhelm von Humboldt , played an important role in the reforms of schools and academic institutions . The new university (1810) quickly developed into the intellectual center of Berlin and soon became widely famous. Further reforms such as the introduction of a trade tax, the trade police law (with the abolition of the guild regulations), passed under State Chancellor Karl August von Hardenberg , the civil equality of Jews and the renewal of the army led to a new growth spurt in Berlin. Above all, they laid the basis for the later industrial development in the city. The king returned to Berlin at the end of 1809. On May 28, 1813, death sentences were carried out for the last time in Prussia by burning at the stake in Jungfernheide .

    In the following decades, up to around 1850, new factories were established outside the city walls, in which the immigrants found employment as workers or day laborers. As a result, the number of residents doubled due to immigration from the eastern parts of the country. Important companies such as Borsig , Siemens or AEG emerged and soon led to Berlin being considered an industrial city. This was accompanied by the political rise of the Berlin labor movement , which developed into one of the strongest in the world.

    Unter den Linden at the corner of Friedrichstrasse , around 1900

    As a result of the March Revolution , the king made numerous concessions. In 1850, a new city constitution and municipal code were adopted, according to which the freedom of the press and freedom of assembly were repealed, a new three-class right to vote was introduced and the powers of city councilors were severely restricted. The rights of the police chief Hinckeldey against it were strengthened. During his tenure until 1856, he took care of the development of the city's infrastructure (especially city cleaning, waterworks, water pipes, and the construction of bathing and washing facilities).

    In 1861 Moabit and Wedding as well as the Tempelhofer , Schöneberger , Spandauer and other suburbs were incorporated. The expansion of the city was regulated by the Hobrecht Plan from 1862 . The block development with an eaves height of 22 meters characterizes many Berlin districts. The rapid increase in population, building speculation and poverty resulted in precarious living conditions in the tenements of the emerging workers' quarters with their narrow, multi-tiered backyards typical of Berlin.

    When the Prussian Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck agreed to form a small German nation-state on January 18, 1871, Berlin became the capital of the German Empire (until 1945). After the emergence of the empire , the founding period followed , in which Germany became a world power and Berlin became a world city . Berlin first became a city ​​of millions in 1877 and exceeded the two-million-inhabitant limit for the first time in 1905. The four decades of peace ended with the beginning of World War I in 1914. After Germany's defeat in 1918, Kaiser Wilhelm II never returned to Berlin. He fled to the Netherlands .

    Weimar Republic and Greater Berlin

    After the end of the First World War , the Republic was proclaimed in Berlin on November 9, 1918 . In the months after the November Revolution there were several clashes, some of them bloody, between the government and its voluntary corps and revolutionary workers. The January uprising rocked the city in early 1919, followed by a general strike two months later . During the March fighting in Berlin , field guns, mortars and airplanes with bombs were used against the population on the orders of the Social Democratic Reichswehr Minister Gustav Noske . A total of 1200 people died in Lichtenberg from March 3rd to 16th.

    In 1920 there was a bloodbath before the Reichstag and later the Kapp Putsch . In the second half of the year, however, with the founding of Greater Berlin, the largest incorporation in the city's history followed, which went hand in hand with a great breakthrough for the future and in which Berlin, which existed until then, united with several surrounding cities and rural communities as well as numerous manor districts to what is today "Berlin" is understood. The enlarged city had around four million inhabitants and was the largest city in continental Europe in the 1920s and the third largest city in the world after London and New York . In the years that followed, the city experienced a heyday of art, culture, science and technology and, due to the incorporation of the industrially rich suburbs, became the largest industrial city in Europe in the statistics in 1920. This era was later also known as the " Golden Twenties ", which then came to an abrupt end with the global economic crisis at the end of the decade, also in Berlin.

    National Socialism

    After the " seizure of power " by the National Socialists in 1933, Berlin initially gained in importance again as the capital of the Third Reich , mainly due to the centralization that was associated with the " Gleichschaltung " of the state governments. Adolf Hitler and Albert Speer developed architectural concepts for the reconstruction of the city to become the “ World Capital Germania ”, but these were never realized.

    The Nazi regime destroyed Berlin's Jewish community , which before 1933 had around 160,000 members. After the November pogroms of 1938 , thousands of Berlin Jews were deported to the nearby Sachsenhausen concentration camp . Around 50,000 of the 66,000 Jews still living in Berlin were deported to ghettos and labor camps in Litzmannstadt , Minsk , Kaunas , Riga , Piaski or Theresienstadt from 1941 onwards. Many died there under the adverse living conditions, others were later deported to extermination camps such as Auschwitz and murdered during the Holocaust .

    During the Second World War , Berlin was first attacked by British bombers on August 25, 1940 . The Allied air raids increased massively from 1943, with large parts of Berlin being destroyed. The Battle of Berlin in 1945 led to further destruction. Almost half of all buildings were destroyed, only a quarter of all apartments remained undamaged. Of 226 bridges, only 98 were left.

    divided town

    Map of the divided city

    After the city was captured by the Red Army and the Wehrmacht's unconditional surrender on May 8, 1945, Berlin was divided into four sectors in July 1945 in accordance with the London Protocols - according to the division of Germany into occupation zones. The sectors of the USA , Great Britain , France and the Soviet Union emerged . Neither the Yalta Conference nor the Potsdam Agreement provided for a formal division into western and eastern sectors ( West Berlin and East Berlin ). This grouping arose in 1945/46, among other things, due to the common interest of the Western Allies .

    Berlin Wall , seen from Kreuzberg , 1986

    The Soviet military administration in Germany created a magistrate for Berlin on May 19, 1945 . It consisted of an independent mayor, four deputies and 16 city councilors. For Greater Berlin , however, all four victorious powers retained overall responsibility . The increasing political differences between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union led to an economic blockade in West Berlin after a currency reform in the Western sectors in 1948/1949 , which the Western Allies overcame with the " Berlin Airlift ".

    Bornholmer Strasse , 1989: After the fall of the Berlin Wall , visitors from the GDR were greeted by a welcoming trellis.

    With the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany in western Germany and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in eastern Germany in 1949, the Cold War also solidified in Berlin. While the Federal Republic established its seat of government in Bonn , the GDR proclaimed Berlin as its capital. Since 1949 West Berlin was de facto a state of the Federal Republic with a special legal position and East Berlin was de facto part of the GDR. The East-West conflict culminated in the Berlin crisis and led to the construction of the Berlin Wall by the GDR on August 13, 1961.

    The east and west of the city have been separated from each other since then. The transition was only possible at certain checkpoints, but no longer for residents of the GDR and East Berlin and until 1972 only in exceptional cases for residents of West Berlin who were not only in possession of a Berlin ID card.

    In 1972 the four power agreement on Berlin came into force. While the Soviet Union only applied the four-power status to West Berlin, the Western powers underlined their view of the four-power status of the whole of Berlin in a note to the United Nations in 1975 . The problem of the controversial status of Berlin is also known as the Berlin question .

    In 1989 there was a political change in the GDR , the wall was opened on November 9th.

    Reunited city

    Reunification of Germany and Berlin

    On October 3, 1990, the two German states were reunified through the accession of the GDR to the Federal Republic of Germany , and Berlin became the capital city by means of a unification treaty . In 1994, the troops of the former occupying powers finally withdrew from Berlin.

    On June 20, 1991 the Bundestag decided with the capital city resolution after a controversial public discussion that the city should be the seat of the German federal government and the Bundestag. In 1994, on the initiative of Richard von Weizsäcker, Bellevue Palace became the first official residence of the Federal President . In the period that followed, the office of the Federal President was established in the immediate vicinity. In 1999 the government and parliament resumed their work in Berlin. In 2001 the new Federal Chancellery was inaugurated and the then Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder moved in. The majority of the foreign missions in Germany relocated to Berlin in the following years.

    As of January 1, 2001, the number of districts was reduced from 23 to 12 in order to enable more efficient administration and planning.


    Population development

    Population pyramid of Berlin (DE-2010-12-31) .svg
    Population pyramid of Berlin 2010
    The agglomeration of Berlin has around 4.5 million inhabitants

    On December 31, 2019, Berlin had a total of 3,669,491 inhabitants, making it the most populous city in Germany. Berlin is the largest city in the European Union in terms of inhabitants within the administrative boundaries . The agglomeration of Berlin has a good 4.5 million inhabitants (December 31, 2015) , the metropolitan region of Berlin / Brandenburg , which includes both federal states, has a good 6 million inhabitants.

    Population development
    from 1220 to 2018
    from 1871 to 2018
    from 1220 to 2018 in logarithmic representation

    Up until the middle of the 17th century the Berlin area was only sparsely populated; the Thirty Years' War had halved the population of Berlin again. But after Elector Friedrich Wilhelm took over government from his father in 1640, he brought many Huguenots from France to the region. Thus, the population of around 6,000 rose by 1,648 to around 57,000 in 1709. The population grew steadily, so Berlin in 1747 for the city and in 1877 the metropolis was.

    The increase in population in the Berlin area had accelerated as a result of the industrialization that began after the Prussian reforms . Only 40% of Berliners in the last quarter of the 19th century were born in Berlin. In 1900, over 20% of the 1.9 million Berliners came from the Prussian provinces of Brandenburg , East and West Prussia 9%, Silesia 7%, Pomerania 6%, Poznan 5% and Saxony 4%. Immigration from other regions of Germany was rather low at 3–4% and from abroad at a good 1.5%. The proportion of Berliners with German as their mother tongue was over 98% in 1895. With the Greater Berlin Act of 1920, the population rose to almost four million through the incorporation of previously independent cities and villages. In the 1920s and 1930s, Berlin was the second largest city in the world in terms of area after Los Angeles and the third largest city in the world in terms of population after New York City and London . The number of inhabitants exceeded the four million mark in the 1920s and peaked at 4.48 million in 1942 (at that time, however, only a theoretical value).

    The number fell again due to the Second World War and has remained relatively constant between 3.0 and 3.5 million inhabitants since then. Moving to West Berlin between 1957 and 1990 gave young men from the Federal Republic the opportunity to evade compulsory military service in the Federal Armed Forces because the Federal Republic's military legislation did not apply there. The number of arrivals and departures has been between 100,000 and 145,000 annually since 1991. The often-cited claim from 2007 that 1.7 million Berliners left the city after reunification (since 1991), 1.8 million people moved here and thus ensured an extensive exchange of population, is based on a mere addition of all immigration and of all moves and exaggerates the real population fluctuation . Berlin has always had a spatial population movement that is well above average in Germany . In 2014 alone, 317,151 people moved to Berlin, at the same time 275,259 residents moved from the city, which results in a positive migration balance of 41,892.

    Population groups

    15 largest groups by nationality of residents who are legally registered with their main residence in Berlin on June 30, 2020
    Residents by
    German citizens
    by origin
    GermanyGermany Germany 2,984,036 2,435,531
    TurkeyTurkey Turkey 98,814 83,707
    PolandPoland Poland 55,593 57.507
    SyriaSyria Syria 40,574 5,306
    ItalyItaly Italy 31,355 8,530
    BulgariaBulgaria Bulgaria 30,645 4,935
    RussiaRussia Russia 26,913 33,303
    RomaniaRomania Romania 24 463 5,227
    United StatesUnited States United States 22,175 10,231
    SerbiaSerbia Serbia 20 154 9,188
    FranceFrance France 19,590 8,966
    VietnamVietnam Vietnam 19,475 11,277
    United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom 16.092 8,141
    SpainSpain Spain 14,840 4,689
    GreeceGreece Greece 14,458 4,958

    Berlin has been an immigration area for Germans from German-speaking countries since the end of the 17th century at the latest. The gain in migration compared to the rest of Germany was around 18,000 people in 2009. Around 70% of the population of Berlin, around 2,500,000 inhabitants, descends on both sides from Germans who have German-speaking parents and ancestors.

    In addition to the 2.4 million Germans without a migration background, around 780,000 immigrants and 542,000 Germans with a migration background live in Berlin.

    In the decades after 1945 many guest workers came to West Berlin from southern Europe and Turkey, and contract workers mainly from Vietnam to East Berlin. Since the 1980s, many Russian-German repatriates and, since reunification, finally Jews from Eastern Europe, especially Ukraine and Russia , and later from Israel , made their way. Citizens from around 190 countries live in the city.

    At the end of June 2020, almost one eighth of a million German citizens with origins outside Germany but from the European Union were living in Berlin, almost half of whom are of Polish descent. In addition, around 8,000 German citizens of UK descent live in Berlin. Around 27,000 come from the former Yugoslavia , 80,000 from the former Soviet Union , including 33,000 from Russia , 20,000 from Kazakhstan and 10,000 from Ukraine . Around 190,000 come from Islamic countries , 84,000 of them from Turkey, 10,000 from Iran, 55,000 from Arab countries, of which 22,000 from Lebanon and 5,000 from Syria . A little more than 10,000 each are from Vietnam or the United States . 75,000 Berliners cannot be clearly assigned to an area of ​​origin.

    At the end of June 2020, more than three quarters of a million foreigners were living in Berlin, including more than a quarter of a million foreigners from the European Union in Berlin, of which around a fifth each were Poles. Another fifth of the foreign Berliners are citizens of states of the former Soviet Union, one fifth are citizens of states of the former Yugoslavia and about a third are citizens of Islamic countries. Of these, around 100,000 are foreign citizens of Berlin or Turkey or Arab countries, among the latter more than 40,000 Syrians . Around 22,000 of the foreign Berliners are American citizens .

    According to a study from 2015, there is a particularly high proportion of young academics among the large numbers of Europeans who immigrate to the city, at 24.3% , especially among the French, Spanish and Italians.

    Kreuzberg and Neukölln are focal points of the German-Turkish population. With around 180,000 citizens of Turkish origin, Berlin is one of the largest Turkish communities outside of Turkey. In addition, around 70,000 Afro-Germans live in Berlin.

    There are more than 25 groups, each with more than 10,000 people, who have a migration background.

    It is estimated that between 100,000 and 250,000 unregistered immigrants live in Berlin, mainly from Africa, Asia, the Balkans and Latin America . Because of the difficulties in uniformly defining the migration background and recording it in surveys, the actual proportion of people with a migration background could deviate to a relevant extent from the figures mentioned.

    Berlin wants to take in additional asylum seekers over and above the allocated quota and for this purpose is organizing itself with other municipalities in the city network “Solidarity City” and in the association “Cities Safe Haven”.


    The official language in Berlin is German . Berlinisch (colloquially also: Berlinerisch) is a so-called balancing dialect that emerged in Berlin as an urban center over the centuries from various linguistic influences. From a linguistic point of view , Berlinic is actually a Metrolect , an urban mixture of languages ​​that is not only of regional origin, but also arose from a mixture of dialects from different origins. As substrate there is used the low German obtained by migration from other regions, and the influence of the East Middle was gradually superimposed. However, there were certain forms that were perceived as “specifically Berlin-based” such as det 'wat' loofen 'koofen (in contrast to standard German ,' what 'ran' bought ).

    Advertising poster in Berlin, 1912

    Berlinisch took numerous words and expressions from other languages ​​and dialects such as French (settlement of Huguenots after the Thirty Years' War ), Yiddish (Jewish refugees since the 16th, but especially in the 19th and 20th centuries) and Silesian / Polish (after the conquest of Silesia and the Polish partitions at the end of the 18th century). Berlinisch is spoken in Berlin and the surrounding area, and it only contains common (proverb) words or pronounced ironic expressions, the so-called " Berolinisms ".

    In the area around Berlin as well as in the districts that were villages without significant contact with the capital until their incorporation, dialects of East Low German were originally spoken in Brandenburg . Since the end of the 19th century, Berlin, as a growing metropolis, had an increasingly linguistic impact on the surrounding area and the colloquial language of Berlin replaced the local dialects or at least changed them considerably. In fact, today's Brandenburg is a variety of the Berlin metro ect.

    In history, Berlinish was the language of the common people, and the educated class mostly used perfect standard German . Many new Berliners adopted parts of Berlin, but the constant use was considered to be rather "crude". In the GDR, this attitude changed in part, so that Berlinerisch was sometimes cultivated in educated circles. As a result, the centers of increased use are mostly in the former eastern districts , the old western working-class districts and the surrounding area. The language in Berlin is still influenced by waves of immigrants and media-influenced language habits, which means that the colloquial language used is constantly developing.

    Religions and worldviews

    World religions in Berlin (as of 2017)

    The 2011 census found that 21.6% of Berlin’s population belonged to the Evangelical Church , 9.6% to the Catholic Church , 1.5% to an Orthodox Church and 0.7% to an Evangelical Free Church . Overall, 37.4% of the population described themselves as Christians, 9.0% considered themselves to be of another religion or belief, 23.4% did not feel they belonged to one and 30.2% did not provide any information. According to a calculation from the census figures for people with a migration background, the proportion of Muslims in Berlin in 2011 was 7.6 percent (around 249,200 people), close to the figure published by the State Statistical Office for 2009 (around 249,000), whereas the BAMF -Study Muslim life in Germany assumed around 279,800 Muslims in Berlin in 2008 (6.9 percent of around 4,055,100 Muslims in the Federal Republic of Germany).

    In 2019, 14.4% of the population were Protestant and 8.3% Catholic . According to studies, 250,000 to 300,000 (7-9%) people were assigned to Islamic faiths in 2018.

    Several humanistic and other associations of non-religious people are represented in Berlin . The Humanist Association of Germany , whose Berlin regional association had around 7,800 members in 2012, and the Humanist Academy of Germany have their headquarters in Berlin. In 1982, the school subject Humanistic Life Studies was introduced in the western part of Berlin , with almost 62,650 students taking part in 2017.

    Due to the different developments during the division of Germany, there are east-west differences in the creed, especially in the Protestant Church, which has dominated Berlin since the Reformation. At the end of 2018, in some parts of the western part of the city, over 30% of the German residents were Protestant or Catholic, while in some of the newly built areas in the GDR it was less than 20%. From 2010 to 2017 the number of Catholics rose continuously from 330,000 to 340,000. As of December 31, 2019, however, the number had already decreased to 312,346.

    Christian Stäblein is the bishop of the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia . Archbishop of Berlin and Metropolitan of the Berlin Church Province has been Heiner Koch since 2015 . The state of Berlin annually pays the Evangelical Church 8,146,910 euros and the Roman Catholic Church 2,860,000 euro state subsidies (as of 2009).

    The independent Evangelical Lutheran Church , which is represented in the city with eight parishes, mostly emerged from the Evangelical Lutheran Church that was established in 1830 . These parishes belong to the Berlin-Brandenburg church district , which is headed by Superintendent Peter Brückmann, Wedding .

    A Russian Orthodox and a Bulgarian Orthodox bishop are also based in Berlin, most of the other Orthodox and ancient oriental national churches are also represented with parishes.

    The Anglican Community or the Church of England has a so-called "Chaplaincy" (parish), St. George's Anglican / Episcopal Church. The community has its church in Westend on Preußenallee . There is also an Old Catholic community in Wilmersdorf , which was a guest in the Alt-Schöneberg village church , but has had its own house church near Bundesplatz since 2010 . The old Catholic and Anglican congregations are in church fellowship and celebrate joint services in St. Mary's Church .

    There have been Baptists in Berlin since the middle of the 19th century, and with their 36 congregations they form the largest free church in the city. Among other things, there are also 29 congregations of the New Apostolic Church . There are six wards in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints . The oldest Berlin Mennonite congregation has existed since 1887.

    Berlin has been the seat of the Central Council of Jews in Germany since 1999 . The Jewish Community of Berlin , the largest Jewish community in Germany, has over 12,000 members. There are over eleven synagogues , several Buddhist temples, seven mosques and 91 Islamic prayer rooms in the city. Baha'i have been in Berlin since 1907 and regularly take part in the interreligious dialogue in Berlin.


    Honorary citizens are listed in the list of honorary citizens of Berlin , personalities born in the city are listed in the list of sons and daughters of Berlin , biographies of people with a clear connection to Berlin are collected in the Person (Berlin) category . The members of the Berlin state governments since 1948 can be found in the lists of Governing Mayors of Berlin and List of Senators of Berlin . Different city originals are summarized under Berlin originals .


    German capital

    In 1991, after reunification, the German Bundestag decided in the so-called “ Capital City Resolution ” that Berlin, as the federal capital, should also become the seat of the Bundestag and the federal government . The Berlin / Bonn Act is a consequence of the capital city resolution of June 20, 1991, in which Berlin was also designated as the seat of government .

    The first official residence of the Federal President has been in Bellevue Palace in Berlin since 1994 . In 1999, most of the federal government moved from Bonn to Berlin. The Bundestag (in the Reichstag building ), the Bundesrat and the federal government have since started operations in the federal capital. The Federal Chancellery was inaugurated in 2001 and Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder moved in for the first time . The newly established headquarters of the Federal Intelligence Service was moved into in November 2018.

    Of the 14 federal ministries currently in the 17th German Federal Cabinet , eight have their headquarters in Berlin. These include the Foreign Office and the Federal Ministries of Finance ; for families, seniors, women and youth ; for work and social affairs ; of the interior ; of Justice and Consumer Protection ; for business and energy ; for traffic and digital infrastructure . The other six federal ministries have their headquarters in the federal city of Bonn . All ministries, including those in the capital, have a second seat in the other city.

    The federal ministries for education and research are in Berlin ; for food and agriculture ; for health ; for the environment, nature conservation, construction and reactor safety ; the defense and for Economic Cooperation and Development represented with a second seat. Around two thirds of the ministry employees, around 12,600 civil servants and collective bargaining employees (as of 2018), work in Berlin.

    158 states have their German embassies in Berlin , while the 16 federal states are represented by state representations. Many of the diplomatic missions are located in the Tiergarten district .

    As the seat of government of the state with the largest economy in Europe, Berlin is one of the most influential and sought-after centers of European politics. Party headquarters, trade unions, foundations, associations and corporate lobby groups are based there so that they can exert their influence on the decision-making processes in parliament and government. State visits and receptions at all political levels as well as state acts and socially significant celebrations shape the annual political calendar of Berlin. The Federal Law Gazette, on the other hand, is still published in Bonn today, and not a single federal court has its seat in Berlin.

    State of Berlin

    From 1808 to 1935 and from 1945 to 1948, the Prussian state capital Berlin was administered by a magistrate headed by a mayor . In the period from 1935 to 1945 there was no magistrate according to the German municipal code. From 1948 until reunification in 1990, the divided city had a magistrate in East Berlin and a senate in West Berlin.

    Today's Berlin ( country appendix code BE ) has only been a German state under constitutional law since reunification . This includes exactly the city ​​of Berlin . In addition to the Berlin state constitution of 1950, the German constitution also declared the state of Berlin to be a member state of the Federal Republic of Germany , but due to the reservations of the Allies , this was ineffective under international law . In fact, with some restrictions , West Berlin had been part of the Federal Republic of Germany since 1949, while the same had no factual effect for East Berlin, which was formally included . Article 3 of the Unification Treaty stipulates the permanent legal opinion of the Federal Republic that the Basic Law already applied in West Berlin before reunification.

    The state of Berlin is divided into twelve districts . The state parliament of the country's legislative power is to the Constitution of Berlin , the Berlin House of Representatives . It currently includes members of the SPD , CDU , Left , Alliance 90 / The Greens , AfD and FDP .

    The Berlin Senate , consisting of the governing mayor and ten senators, forms the state government . The governing mayor is also the head of the state and the city and has been responsible for the Senate Administration for Science and Research since 2016. The senate administrations correspond to the ministries in large states and are currently (as of 2017) constituted as follows: Senate Administration for Finance, Senate Administration for Integration, Labor and Social Affairs, Senate Administration for Education, Youth and Family, Senate Administration for Health, Care and Equal Opportunities, Senate Administration for the Interior and Sport, Senate Department for Justice, Consumer Protection and Anti-Discrimination, Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing, Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Enterprises, Senate Department for Culture and Europe, and the Senate Department for Environment, Transport and Climate Protection. The Berlin Senate has been headed by the SPD since 2001 . Since then, the party Die Linke has mostly been involved, but in some cases the CDU and Alliance 90 / The Greens have also been involved .

    After the election to the House of Representatives on September 18, 2011, the Senate was formed by the SPD and CDU under the leadership of Klaus Wowereit (SPD) as Governing Mayor. After Wowereit's resignation, Senate Müller I formed the new red-black government on December 11, 2014. Since 2016, the Senate Müller II in Berlin has been the first red-red-green state government in Germany to be led by the SPD.

    The expenditure of the state of Berlin in 2012 amounted to 22.5 billion euros. The total debt of the State of Berlin in 2013 was around 59.8 billion euros or 57.72% of the gross domestic product . For the overall budget in 2012, the state received around 3.2 billion euros from the state financial equalization scheme and around 2.4 billion euros in supplementary federal allocations. The European Union will contribute around 850 million euros to the budget for the 2014–2020 period. In 2018, Berlin topped the list of four recipient countries with 4.4 billion euros in grants from the state financial equalization scheme.

    Coat of arms and flags

    State symbol of Berlin (for free use, not to be confused with the official coat of arms )

    The Berlin coat of arms shows in a silver (white) shield a red-armored and red-tongued, upright black bear , the so-called Berlin bear . A golden five-leaf crown of leaves rests on the shield, the headband of which is laid out as masonry with a closed gate in the middle. The origin of the bear as a heraldic animal is unclear, there is no document or documents on this. There are several theories why city officials chose the bear. One of them says that the Berliners thought of Albrecht the Bear , the founder of the Mark Brandenburg . Another is based on the onomatopoeic interpretation of the city's name. The bear is first seen on a seal from 1280. For several centuries, the bear had to share the seal and coat of arms images with the Brandenburg and Prussian eagles . It was not until the 20th century that the Berlin bear was finally able to assert itself against the eagles as the city's emblem.

    Standard flagging (viewing direction to the state service building):
    European flag Federal flag Country flag

    The Berlin state flag shows the Berlin bear against a white background, with a red stripe at the top and bottom of the flag. It has been run by Berlin since 1911, with minor stylistic changes, and blew over the Rotes Rathaus for the first time in 1913. Before that, Berlin carried a flag in the colors black, red and white, which was exchanged for the bear flag due to constant confusion with the flag of the German Empire that was later created. The national symbol is the bear shield without a foliage crown in three colors. It is provided by the Senate Department for the Interior and Sports to enable private individuals, companies and non-sovereign institutions to document their ties to Berlin with a symbol. The Berlin districts have their own coats of arms. As a connecting element of all Berlin districts with the city of Berlin, but also with each other, rests on the shields a three-tower wall crown, the central tower of which is covered with the Berlin coat of arms (silver).

    Town twinning

    The State of Berlin maintains the following city ​​partnerships :

    United StatesUnited States Los Angeles , USA (1967) Paris , France (1987) Madrid , Spain (1988) Istanbul , Turkey (1989) Warsaw , Poland (1991) Moscow , Russia (1991) Budapest , Hungary (1991) Brussels , Belgium (1992) Jakarta , Indonesia (1993) Tashkent , Uzbekistan (1993) Mexico City , Mexico (1993) Beijing , China (1994) Tokyo , Japan (1994) Buenos Aires , Argentina (1994) Prague , Czech Republic (1995) Windhoek , Namibia (2000) London , Great Britain (2000)
    China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China 
    Czech RepublicCzech Republic 
    United KingdomUnited Kingdom 

    The individual Berlin districts maintain other partnerships, often with a single district in other large cities.

    Police and fire brigade

    " Berlin Police " is the official name of the police of the state of Berlin . The state police are divided into five local and one supra- regional directorates as well as the state criminal investigation office.

    The Authority Berlin Police employs around 23,000 staff , including around 16,000 in the police service and about 3,000 in administration. The total expenditure for internal security and the police in Berlin amounts to around 1.1 billion euros per year.

    The staff of the Federal Police Directorate in Berlin , based in Oberschöneweide, reports to the Federal Ministry of the Interior . The staff is responsible for the states of Berlin and Brandenburg and has around 3,700 employees (as of 2017).

    The Berlin fire brigade was founded in 1851, making it the first professional fire brigade in Germany. With around 4,050 employees (as of 2016) and 34 professional fire stations, it is also the largest municipal fire service in Germany. It is supported by 58 volunteer fire brigades with around 1,400 active volunteer members and, if necessary, by the Technical Relief Organization (THW).


    Berlin has numerous courts as well as active and former prisons. The Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial is located on the site of the former central remand prison of the Ministry for State Security of the GDR in the Berlin district of Lichtenberg .



    Technology and start-up center WISTA in Adlershof

    The economic output in Berlin is growing rapidly. Between 2009 and 2019, the gross domestic product rose by an annual average of 4.5%, compared to 3.5% nationwide. In 2019, the nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of the state of Berlin was 153.29 billion euros. In terms of nominal GDP, Berlin is the largest urban economy in Germany and the fourth largest within the European Union. In 2019, the GDP per capita in the state of Berlin was 41,967 euros.

    The number of people in employment in Berlin was around 2.064 million in 2019. That was 2.4% more than in the previous year.

    Berlin is an international service location and is considered a cosmopolitan city with a high quality of life .

    The most important branches of industry in Berlin are the creative and cultural industries, tourism, biotechnology, medical technology, pharmaceutical industry, media / information and communication technology, construction, retail, traffic systems technology, optics and energy technology. Around 80 percent of Berlin's total economic output is provided by the service sector.

    Course of the wealth rate for income in Berlin compared to Germany as a whole and the new federal states.

    The main location factors of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region include the renowned university and research landscape, the cultural attractiveness of the metropolis, a large number of academically trained employees, the proximity to the seat of government of the Federal Republic of Germany, access to venture capitalists and the highly differentiated local transport infrastructure medical supplies. In various international studies and rankings, the quality of life in Berlin is also rated as very above average.

    One of the biggest problem areas in Berlin's economy is the low birth rate by international standards and the high degree of childlessness in large parts of the population. In the medium and long term, this could lead to an increasing shortage of skilled workers and a loss of innovative ability. In the future atlas 2019 , the city of Berlin was ranked 93rd out of 402 districts, municipal associations and independent cities in Germany. According to the report, Berlin's greatest strength is the city's high level of dynamism, while the comparatively low level of added value is its greatest weakness.


    BahnTower at Potsdamer Platz (v 3rd skyscraper. L.), Headquarters of Deutsche Bahn AG

    Of the 30 German companies listed in the DAX , Delivery Hero  SE, Deutsche Wohnen  SE and Siemens  AG (shared with Munich) have nominal headquarters in Berlin. Berlin is currently the city with the second most DAX companies in Germany after Munich. Deutsche Bahn  AG, with its Berlin headquarters, ranks 232 among the top-selling companies in the world ( Fortune Global 500 ) in 2020. Of the 50 MDAX companies, HelloFresh  SE, Rocket Internet  SE and Zalando  SE will have their headquarters in Berlin in 2020 . In the same year, two other Berlin companies were listed on the SDAX . Furthermore, the real estate companies Aroundtown (MDAX) and ADO Properties (SDAX) each have their operational headquarters in Berlin, despite their legal headquarters in Luxembourg .

    After the year 2000, Berlin recorded a very above-average number of start-ups in a German and European comparison. New companies have been established in a variety of industries. Both German and international young entrepreneurs realized their business models in Berlin. In 2015, 41,400 companies were created. In relation to 10,000 inhabitants, there were 29 new businesses in Berlin (national average: four). Due to the dynamism of newly created companies, Berlin is counted among the ten outstanding start-up locations worldwide.

    The 15 largest companies represented in Berlin by employees in 2016:

    in Berlin
    01. Deutsche Bahn Berlin 20,780 Transport / logistics
    02. Charité Berlin 17,083 health
    03. Vivantes Berlin 15,467 health
    04th Berlin transport company Berlin 14,417 traffic
    05. Siemens Berlin / Munich 11,600 Electrical engineering
    06th Deutsche Post DHL Bonn 10,000 logistics
    07th Daimler Stuttgart 08,800 automobile
    08th. Deutsche Telekom Bonn 08,030 telecommunications
    09. German Red Cross Berlin 07,500 Social
    10. Zalando Berlin 06,700 Digital economy
    11. Counter builder Berlin 06,567 Building management
    12. Dussmann Berlin 06,100 Building management
    13. Securitas security services Dusseldorf 05,993 Security services
    14th Edeka Hamburg 05,900 retail trade
    15th Kaufland Neckarsulm 05,800 retail trade


    Bikini-Haus in Charlottenburg, in the background the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and the zoo window

    Berlin is one of the most popular centers for national and international city ​​tourism . In 2016, around 31 million overnight stays in Berlin accommodation providers were counted with over 12.7 million guests. Compared to 2001 (11.3 million overnight stays by 4.9 million guests), this represents an increase of around 250%. This makes the city a preferred travel destination within Europe after London and Paris .

    In 2015, the Berlin accommodation landscape consisted of 814 accommodations with a bed capacity of around 136,000 and an average occupancy of 60.5%. The length of stay of the hotel guests is on average 2.4 days. International guests make up about 40% of the number of visitors. Visitors from the United Kingdom , Italy , the Netherlands , Spain and the United States are in the top group. The main attractions are architecture, historical sites, museums, festivals, shopping, nightlife and major events that attract several hundred thousand visitors each year.

    Due to the positive development, the tourism industry in Berlin has become an important pillar of the regional economy. In addition to the hotel and catering industry, retailers also benefit greatly from Berlin tourists.

    Exhibition and congress industry

    Main entrance of the Berlin exhibition center and the radio tower in Westend

    Berlin is one of the world's most popular trade fair and congress locations with the highest turnover. In 2011 around 115,700 events with around 9.7 million participants were held. According to ICCA statistics, based on the number of congresses with international participation in 2015, Berlin is listed in first place of all congress cities.

    The exhibition center in the Westend district of the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district around the radio tower was opened in 1921 with an automobile exhibition, at that time in a single exhibition hall, and has a hall exhibition area of ​​160,000 square meters and an open area of ​​around 100,000 square meters. The operator is the 99% city-own event organizer, Messe Berlin .

    A large number of internationally relevant leading trade fairs are established on the Berlin exhibition grounds (Berlin ExpoCenter City) and at the Berlin ExpoCenter Airport in Brandenburg. These include a. the consumer electronics fair IFA , the tourism exchange ITB , the aerospace show ILA Berlin Air Show , the rail traffic fair InnoTrans , the agricultural show Green Week , the food fair Fruit Logistica and the trade fair for erotic & adult entertainment Venus Berlin . The European Film Market takes place during the Berlinale in the Martin-Gropius-Bau .

    The congress industry, which includes international, national and local conferences, information events and business meetings of all kinds, is another branch of Berlin’s economy. A large number of hotels are set up for conferences and thus generate an important part of their annual turnover. The ICC , which has been closed since 2014, was the largest conference center in Europe.

    Health economy

    Headquarters of the Pharmaceuticals Division of Bayer AG in Wedding

    With a gross value added of 10.7 billion euros in 2009 or a value added share of over 13% in the overall urban economy, the healthcare industry is one of Berlin's growth engines. It includes the health and social services, the pharmaceutical industry, specialist, retail and wholesale trade and medical technology. The health and social services have by far the largest share (66 percent) of gross value added.

    A total of 226,000 people, that is 14% of the workforce in Berlin, are employed in the health industry. 79% of them work in the health and social sector and just under 6% each in manufacturing and retail.

    The Berlin / Brandenburg metropolitan region is one of the leading locations for biotechnology in Europe. Around 200 small and medium-sized biotechnology companies and over 20 pharmaceutical companies with around 3700 employees are active in production, research and development in Berlin-Brandenburg.

    Creative industries

    Berlin is one of the leading locations for the information and creative industries in Europe. The economic sector includes the book and press market, software development, telecommunications services, the advertising market, market research, the film and broadcasting industry, the art market, the music industry, the architecture industry, the design industry and the market for performing arts .

    The creative and cultural industry is an important location and economic factor in Berlin and is growing continuously. In 2017, over 41,000 mostly small and medium-sized companies with around 202,000 employees generated sales of 25.7 billion euros and thus achieved a share of over 15% of the total turnover of the Berlin economy. The software / games / information and communication technology sector, the book and press market, and the film and broadcasting industries represented the largest sales drivers.

    The textile and fashion industry also has an important location in Berlin. In total, there are over 2,500 companies in Berlin with more than 22,000 employees in the fashion industry (as of 2017). Its flagship event is the annual January and July Berlin Fashion Week along with a variety of fashion fairs such as Premium, the Panorama or the Zalando fair Bread & Butter .

    In Europe, Berlin is one of the leading centers of the Internet industry. In terms of investments in start-up companies , Berlin is even the leader in Europe: in 2015, young Berlin companies received more than 2.1 billion euros in investments. In the European city ranking, the metropolis took first place ahead of London , Stockholm and Paris .


    Axel Springer SE headquarters in Kreuzberg

    A large number of television broadcasters, radio stations, publishers, film companies, music labels, print media, advertising agencies, producers of computer games, press services, social networks and internet media are based in Berlin.

    More than 20 news agencies from all over the world have offices in the city, including a. dpa , Thomson Reuters , AFP and ANSA . The public broadcaster rbb and the private broadcasters TV Berlin and Welt are based in Berlin. Most German national broadcasters such as Das Erste , ZDF and RTL operate studios and editorial buildings. TV producers like MTV or Deutsche Welle have branches in the city. More than 30 radio stations with local and national coverage broadcast their programs from Berlin.

    With 151 publishers in 2016, Berlin is one of the most important publishing locations in Europe. Axel Springer SE is one of the largest European media groups in terms of sales . The education and science publishers Walter de Gruyter , Cornelsen Verlag and the internationally active Springer Nature Group are based in the city. The important public publishers include a. the Berliner Verlag , the Aufbau-Verlag and the Suhrkamp Verlag .

    In no other German-speaking city appear more daily newspapers and their internet portals. The picture and the world are among the most widely read national daily newspapers . The taz should also be mentioned here, probably the largest newspaper operated as a cooperative . Handelsblatt Global is one of the few media brands published in English . Appearing daily local newspapers and their Internet offshoots are the Berliner Zeitung , the Berliner Morgenpost and Der Tagesspiegel . There is also in Berlin, the local tabloids BZ and Berliner Kurier and city magazines like the tip , the Zitty and the English Exberliner . The magazines produced in Berlin include a. the Focus , Cicero and Capital .

    Due to the high concentration of producers from the media and entertainment industry in the city, Berlin was one of ten media locations with the highest turnover in the world in 2014.


    Motorcycle from the BMW plant in Berlin

    The industrial sector, which includes 333 companies with around 79,300 employees, generated sales of 23.5 billion euros in 2017. The top-selling producers in the manufacturing sector are manufacturers of chemical products (8.2 billion), the food industry (2.3 billion), mechanical and plant engineering companies (2.1 billion) and the electrical engineering industry (4.5 billion).

    Founded in Berlin in 1847, Siemens operates an important location in Siemensstadt and produces gas turbines for the international market in the Mitte district. The Mercedes-Benz plant in Berlin, founded in 1902 by today's Daimler AG, is one of the largest industrial employers in Berlin with around 2500 employees. A wide variety of vehicles are manufactured in the Marienfelde plant.

    The BMW plant in Spandau, opened in 1969, employs around 2000 people. Around 700 motorcycles for the world market are manufactured in the plant every day.

    Stadler Rail , a Swiss manufacturer of rail vehicles, operates a plant in Pankow with around 1200 employees. In Tempelhof, the baked goods manufacturer Bahlsen and Procter & Gamble produce goods for the German and European market. In Reinickendorf, the Berlin food manufacturer Freiberger Lebensmittel operates one of the largest pizza factories in Europe.

    Trade and finance

    Hackesche Höfe retail location

    Berlin is one of the top-selling locations for stationary retail in Europe. From international retail chains that operate prestigious showcase stores in Berlin , to a large number of shopping centers, to individual store concepts in lively neighborhoods, all forms of retail are represented in the city. In 2014 there were 65 shopping centers in Berlin. The KaDeWe is one of the most famous retail businesses .

    The Berlin Stock Exchange, founded in 1695, is a regional exchange and is located in the Ludwig-Erhard-Haus . The exchange's annual turnover in 2017 was around 56 billion euros. 48 credit institutions and 25 financial service providers took part in trading. Berlin is also Germany's top-selling location for real estate trading. In 2015, Berlin plots and real estate worth 8 billion euros were traded.

    After the year 2000, Berlin developed into an important location for electronic commerce companies. The most successful dealers include a. Zalando , Auto1 and kfzteile24 .

    The main banks based in Berlin include a. the German Credit Bank (DKB), a 100% subsidiary of Bayerische Landesbank and the Berliner Sparkasse , a public financial institution. The Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe , which comprises more than 600 decentralized companies in Germany in the field of financial services, is also based in the city. The Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) is the central funding institute of the State of Berlin. The largest private banking institutions include Berlin Hyp , Weberbank , Quirin Privatbank and N26 .

    Since around 2015, Berlin has been the city with the largest number of private venture capital companies in Germany. Around a quarter of all investment companies in the country are based there.

    Carbon footprint

    According to the State Statistics Office, Berlin emits a total of around 20 million tons of CO 2 per year (as of 2016). Compared to the other city states of Hamburg (8.2 CO 2  t / capita) and Bremen (19.9 CO 2  t / capita), Berlin emits relatively little carbon dioxide at 4.5 t per capita per year.

    Berlin aims to become a climate-neutral city by 2050. In this context, Berlin adopted an energy and climate protection program 2030 (BEK 2030) in 2017 and is developing a Solarcity master plan .

    In March 2019, in a study by the Berlin University of Applied Sciences as part of the “PV2City” project, the distribution of the solar roof area potential in the Berlin building stock was evaluated and examined in detail. According to the Berlin Energy and Climate Protection Program 2030 (BEK 2030), "a quarter of Berlin's electricity supply can be covered by solar energy as quickly as possible."

    The Berlin local bus fleet is to be electrified by 2030.


    Development of the modal split in Berlin
    Modes of transport 2008 /% 2013 /%
    Foot traffic 32 31
    Motorized private transport 33 30th
    Public transport 24 27
    Bicycle traffic 11 13

    Public transport

    In international long-distance traffic, Berlin is an important hub, especially for trains between Western and Eastern Europe . In 2006, the main train station was opened as the central train station and, in connection with it, the north-south long-distance railway tunnel , the Gesundbrunnen and Südkreuz long-distance stations and the Potsdamer Platz (underground), Jungfernheide and Lichterfelde Ost regional stations . So that the received regional and long-distance transport of the train in accordance with the so-called mushroom concept in addition to the scale in east-west direction rail an underground regional and long-distance connections in a north-south direction. The change between the north-south long-distance railway tunnel and the light rail takes place at the main station. Since then, trains reaching Berlin from the south have mostly been running on the new north-south route from Lichterfelde Ost via Südkreuz, Potsdamer Platz, Hauptbahnhof via the flyover to Gesundbrunnen or west via Jungfernheide to Spandau .

    Inner-city public transport is served by 16 S-Bahn lines (operated by S-Bahn Berlin GmbH) as well as nine underground , 22 tram , 150 bus and six ferry lines (all operated by BVG ). The city ​​center is traversed in an east-west direction by the viaduct railway , which is used in parallel by the S-Bahn, regional and long-distance trains. It connects the Ostbahnhof with the Charlottenburg train station and passes through the Zoologischer Garten , Hauptbahnhof , Friedrichstraße and Alexanderplatz train stations . In the north-south direction, the underground lines U9 and U6 take over most of the passenger traffic, supplemented by the underground north-south route of the S-Bahn. This S-Bahn line crosses the Stadtbahn at Friedrichstrasse station. The rail traffic is completed by the circular railway that surrounds the city center. All other lines touch these routes . The accessibility of the stations is largely guaranteed.

    Subway train of the U1 line on the Oberbaum Bridge between Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg

    The city ​​bus network is divided into express buses (letter X), metro buses (letter M) and omnibuses (with three-digit numbers). In the same way, some of the tram lines (two-digit number) are highlighted as MetroTram by placing an M in front of them. Night buses have an N in front of the line number as the line name, metro lines (both buses and trams) also run at night. On the nights before Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, almost all S-Bahn and U-Bahn lines also run continuously, with the S-Bahn sometimes with a different route. The long distance bus services to German and European destinations is the central bus station handled at the radio tower (ZOB). Located opposite the exhibition center, it can be reached directly via the Berlin city ring ( A 100 ) and connected to local public transport by bus, underground and S-Bahn lines.

    In 2008 around 3,100 companies were active in the Berlin taxi industry, over three quarters of them with just one vehicle. Berlin had around 7,600 taxis in January 2012, making it the city with the most taxis in Germany. In Berlin there is no color approval and no restrictions on the admission of licenses .

    S- and U-Bahn lines Berlin.svg
    S-Bahn and U-Bahn lines in Berlin, central the Ringbahn
    Berlin subway to Kaulsdorf-Nord (series F74) .jpg
    U-Bahn train of the series F74 of the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe

    Road traffic

    Overview map of the Berlin road network

    In 2012, 324 cars were registered for every 1000 inhabitants, in 2008 it was 319. Compared with other German cities, Berlin has the lowest car density.

    The city center is surrounded from the west by a motorway semicircle ( A 100 - Berliner Stadtring), which in the long term is to be completed into a ring and represents a pure city ​​motorway . The so-called section BA 16 of the A 100 is under construction (status: 2018). The A 100 at the radio tower triangle is the busiest section of the motorway in Germany. The A 10 motorway ( E 55  - Berliner Ring) runs around Berlin .

    Several sections of the autobahn lead from the A 100 within the city towards the Berliner Ring. The A 111 ( E 26 ) leads to the northwest in the direction of Hamburg and Rostock . The A 113 in a south-east direction (to Dresden and Cottbus ) starts at the Neukölln triangle and leads to the Schönefelder Kreuz (A 10) and connects the Berlin Brandenburg Airport, which is currently under construction, to the motorway network. The A 115 ( E 51 ) extends to the southwest (towards Hanover and Leipzig ). Its northern, straight section is known as AVUS .

    In addition, there is the A 114 in the north of the city from the Prenzlauer Promenade in the Pankow district to the A 10 in the direction of Stettin . The former A 104 , only a few kilometers long , which connects the Berlin city ring (A 100) to the south with the Steglitz district in the south-west of the city , has now been downgraded to an autostraße . The A 103 (west bypass), on which the federal highway 1 runs, connects the Berlin city ring - from a connection further east - to the southwest with the Steglitzer roundabout in the direction of Potsdam .

    The historical center of Berlin is enclosed by the inner city ring. The federal highways B 1 , B 2 , B 5 , B 96 , B 96a , B 101 , B 109 and B 158 also run through Berlin .

    The streets of Berlin are numbered according to two different house numbering systems. The circular horseshoe numbering was used until 1929, and since then the zigzag orientation numbering . Since numerous Berlin streets were renamed not least because of the political upheavals and these changes were often used from 1929 to introduce orientation numbering in the street in question, orientation numbering can also be found in many older streets.

    Bicycle traffic

    In Berlin there are cycle paths and cycle lanes on busy streets , some quieter streets have been marked as cycle streets . Around 1.5 million journeys are made every day by bicycle as the main means of transport. That is why Berlin is one of the major cities in Europe with an above-average number of bicycle users.

    The share of bicycle traffic in the total volume of traffic in Berlin has more than doubled since 1992. In 1992 around 7% of all trips were made by bicycle, in 2009 it was around 15%. The average distance traveled by bike is 3.7 kilometers. The cycle lanes were expanded from a total of 50 kilometers in 2004 to 191 kilometers in 2014. In June 2016, the initiative for a bicycle referendum submitted 105,425 signatures for an application for a referendum. In June 2018, the Berlin Mobility Act was passed, which took over the main goals of the initiative in favor of cycling.

    Lead through Berlin on regional tourist cycle routes such as the Berlin-Copenhagen Cycle Route , the bicycle path Berlin Usedom , the bike path Berlin-Leipzig , the European Bicycle Route R1 , the D network route D11 and D network route D3 (Europe route). The Berlin Wall Trail runs along the former course of the Berlin Wall . Several thousand rental bikes can be rented in the city center by phone or (mobile) internet. In some areas of the city, bicycle taxis operate for tourist use .

    Air traffic

    Location of the Berlin airports

    The Tegel Airport ( IATA airport code : TXL) was the last in service Airport on the city of Berlin. In 2016, around 21.3 million passengers were handled there. Tegel Airport was closed to regular flight operations on November 8, 2020.

    Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), located just outside the city limits, belongs to the Schönefeld community . The formerly independent Schönefeld Airport location integrated into it was the second international airport in the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region and handled around 11.7 million passengers in 2016. Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) has been built on the Schönefeld airport area, which has been extended to the south, since 2006 and opened on October 31, 2020 after numerous postponements.

    Inland shipping

    Westhafen in Moabit (north basin with BEHALA administration building)
    Inland waterways in Berlin

    Berlin lies in the center of the federal waterway area east. The city is developed on the water side in several ways, three waterways are available for inland navigation to and from Berlin . The connection via the Havel , Elbe-Havel Canal and Mittelland Canal to the Elbe and North Sea or Weser and Rhine is of the greatest importance. In addition, the Havel-Oder waterway connects Berlin with the lower Oder and the Baltic Sea . The Spree-Oder waterway as a connection across the Spree to the Upper Oder and Silesia is also limited and less frequented .

    Three public port facilities can be used for handling goods : the port of Neukölln , the south port of Spandau and the west port . The latter is located in Moabit on the northern edge of Berlin city center and is the largest and most important of all three ports. The facilities at the Westhafen and Südhafen Spandau also enable goods to be handled between barges, railways and trucks. The ports are operated by BEHALA . The Osthafen is now used as a media location and has lost its port function .


    Glienicke Bridge , which connects Wannsee (right) with Potsdam (left)

    Berlin has a large number of bridges and overpasses in its urban area due to its exposed location on rivers and canals and due to its unusually large territory. Officially there are 916 bridges in Berlin. Of these, 732 connect public roads, the remaining 184 paths and roads in green spaces. Depending on the definition and understanding, other structures in Berlin are counted as bridges. There are 564 bridges over all types of water and 300 elevated viaducts of the subway . The highest number comes from a publication by the Senate, which in 1993 gave the number as 2100 (including the viaducts).

    The oldest Berlin Spree crossings are Jungfern- , Mühlendamm- , Rathaus- and Roßstraßenbrücke , whereby today's buildings are more recent. The longest bridge in the city, at over 930 meters, is the Rudolf-Wissell-Brücke , while the Oberbaumbrücke , a landmark of the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district , and the Glienicker Brücke , on the 1962–1986 international exchange of agents between the United States and the Soviet Union took place, are among the most famous bridges in Berlin.

    Water supply

    Berlin's water supply is ensured by the nine Beelitzhof , Friedrichshagen , Kaulsdorf , Kladow, Spandau , Stolpe, Tegel, Tiefwerder and Wuhlheide waterworks , which are operated by the Berliner Wasserbetriebe ( AöR ). After reunification, the city's water consumption decreased significantly, especially in the eastern part of the city. Due to the lower groundwater abstraction, there was a significant rise in the groundwater level in large parts of the glacial valley. This caused waterlogging damage to buildings, especially in the vicinity of the waterworks. An average of 585,000 m³ of drinking water is provided and around 602,000 m³ of wastewater is discharged every day. The wastewater reaches six large wastewater treatment plants via the approximately 9500 km long canal system.

    power supply

    The municipal electricity works for the power supply of Berlin were founded in 1884. After a ten-year phase of municipal management by the city at the beginning of the First World War, the newly founded operating company Bewag took over the lease contract for the electricity network in 1924 . In the 1920s, the Berlin power grid experienced its greatest expansion phase: between 1922 and 1933, the proportion of connected apartments rose from 11 to 76%. Until 1997, when Berlin sold its shares, the state held the majority of the shares in Bewag. In 2003 it was completely bought up by the Vattenfall Group. With the founding of the Berliner Stadtwerke in 2014, Berlin again has its own municipal energy provider, which is to support the goal of climate neutrality in Berlin by 2050 by building its own solar and wind power plants. In March 2019 it will be announced that the Senate Department for Finance has completed the procedure for awarding the power grid license, which has been going on for years, and has decided on the municipal applicant Landesbetrieb Berlin Energie ( Berlin Energie for short ). The previous operator Vattenfall wants to have the decision examined.

    During the time of the division of Germany , the power supply of West Berlin was cut off from the power grid of the surrounding area. The power supply had to located within the city limits thermal power plants such as the power plant Reuter West , the power plant Wilmersdorf and other done. To buffer the load peaks, accumulators were installed in some of these power plants from the 1980s , which were connected to the power grid via converters and were charged during off-peak times and discharged during off-peak times. In 1993 the line connection with the surrounding area, which was interrupted in 1951, was restored. With a few exceptions, all power lines in the western districts of Berlin are underground cables. The underground cable section of the 380 kV cable diagonal between the Reuter and Marzahn substations is the longest 380 kV underground cable in Germany.

    Power plants in Berlin and the surrounding area

    In 2014, the electricity license of the current network operator Stromnetz Berlin GmbH (a Vattenfall subsidiary ) expired after a 20-year term. The State of Berlin is currently conducting a licensing procedure for the electricity and gas sectors. Eight interested parties had registered for the electricity sector, of which three remained in the second procedural letter: in addition to the previous operator, a state-owned company for remunicipalising the electricity network and a cooperative that wants to operate the electricity network in citizen hands. A referendum on remunicipalising Berlin's energy supply failed in 2013.

    The electricity production in Berlin is primarily based on the use of coal and natural gas . The contribution of hard coal use to net electricity generation was 45% in 2009 and was thus well above the national average of 18%. The use of natural gas is also above average: its share was 42% and was thus also above the national average of 13%. In the German federal states, natural gas therefore only has a more important share of electricity generation in Rhineland-Palatinate - there it was 69% in the same year. Lignite contributed 9% to production and was well below the national average of 24%. The contribution from renewable energies is also below average : their share was 3% in contrast to the nationwide average of 17%.

    The final energy consumption has remained relatively constant over the course of time and amounted to around 267.8 petajoules in 2010  . Consumption was 7.4% higher than in the previous year, but it increased only slightly compared to 1990, namely by 2.4%. The final energy consumption per inhabitant in the country in 2010 was 77.4  gigajoules . At 1.3%, the increase in this share compared to 1990 is less than the increase in total final energy consumption in the country. Converted to sectors, it shows that the area “Gew. v. Stones and Erden, otherwise. Mining and manufacturing industry ”has the lowest share of final energy consumption with 6.3%. With 24.6%, the transport sector requires almost four times as much energy. The largest share, however, is attributable to the “households, trade, trade and services and other consumers” sector with 69.1%.

    science and education


    Berlin looks back on more than 200 years of scientific history. 40 Nobel Prize winners taught and worked at the city's institutes and universities. A large number of internationally active scientific and research institutions are currently concentrated in Berlin . As a university city, Berlin is one of the world's most respected educational locations.

    Around 180,000 students were enrolled at 42 universities and colleges in Berlin in the 2016/17 winter semester, including four art colleges . This means that the city has the largest number of students in Germany. In the global environment, Berlin is one of the world's cities with very advantageous study conditions.

    The four Berlin universities together provide around 110,000 students. The Humboldt University of Berlin, founded by Wilhelm von Humboldt in the course of the Prussian reforms and opened in 1809 (formerly: Berlin University ) currently has around 34,200 students. The Free University of Berlin has around 36,000, the Technical University of Berlin around 34,000 and the Berlin University of the Arts around 4,500 students. The Beuth University of Applied Sciences has over 12,000 students, the Berlin University of Technology and Economics has over 13,000 enrolled and around 7,200 students study at the Charité .

    The medical faculties of the Free University and the Humboldt University were merged in 2003 to form the Charité  - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Since then it has been the largest medical faculty in Europe with its four locations.

    As part of the Excellence Initiative , the Free University of Berlin and the Humboldt University of Berlin were positively assessed in the third funding line. The “International Network University” concept for the future of Freie Universität, which was awarded in 2007, was confirmed in the 2012 evaluation. The Humboldt University was successful in 2012 with its “Education through Science” concept. Both universities are thus among the eleven German elite universities .

    With the announcement of the results of the Excellence Strategy on July 19, 2019, Freie Universität, Humboldt-Universität, Technische Universität and Charité - Universitätsmedizin as institutions of the Berlin University Alliance together belong to the eleven German Universities of Excellence .

    The European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) has the right to award doctorates and is one of the leading business schools in Germany and Europe. The Steinbeis University Berlin , the ESCP Europe Campus Berlin and the International Psychoanalytic University Berlin (IPU) also have the right to award doctorates and thus have university status . The branches of other private teaching institutes include a. the Mediadesign Hochschule , the SRH Fernhochschule - The Mobile University , the Games Academy and the SAE Institute .


    Supercomputer in the Konrad Zuse Institute

    Berlin has been the most research-intensive region in Germany since 2012. Around 1.8 billion euros in public funds are invested in science and research in Berlin every year.

    Over 60,000 employees teach, research and work at over 70 non-university publicly funded research institutions. The large national research organizations Fraunhofer Society , Helmholtz Association , Leibniz Association and Max Planck Society are also represented by several institutes, as are various federal ministries with a total of eight research institutes. Most of the scientific institutions are concentrated at the locations in Buch , Charlottenburg , Dahlem and Mitte as well as at the science and business location Adlershof . The State of Berlin is a “corporate sponsoring member” of the Max Planck Society.

    The International Mathematical Union , a world association for mathematics that awards the globally renowned Fields Medal every four years , is based in Berlin.

    Child care and school system

    In Berlin, from the age of one, every child has a legal right to daily half-day support of up to seven hours in a day care center or day care center. Crèche places have been free of charge since August 2018. Around 46% of the under three year olds in the city and around 95% of the 3 to 6 year olds were cared for in daycare centers in 2016.

    Berlin has a six-year primary school and, since 2010, a subsequent two-tier high school system with integrated secondary schools and grammar schools . In the 2015/16 school year there were almost 340,000 students at 799 general education schools in Berlin, including 138 private schools . The country has 433 elementary schools and 165 integrated secondary schools, as well as 113 grammar schools, 10 Waldorf schools and 77 special schools .

    In January February 2004, the House of Representatives passed a new school law with the following major reforms. Shortening of the school time up to the Abitur (general higher education entrance qualification) from thirteen to twelve years , the middle school leaving certificate in the tenth grade and a written examination to obtain the secondary school leaving certificate . This exam is also taken at high schools. The central high school diploma was introduced in the subjects of German , mathematics and foreign languages . At thirteen high schools with a “ high-speed program ”, it is possible to take the Abitur a year earlier, that is, after the new school law came into force after eleven years.

    A total of 38,633 apprentices were in vocational training in 2016 , 9,355 of them in skilled trades . The most popular apprenticeships in Berlin in that year were office management clerk (2,572) followed by retail clerk (2,251). 18,273 apprentices acquired a professional qualification.


    State library at the Kulturforum in Tiergarten

    The Berlin State Library, with over ten million publications, is the largest academic universal library in the German-speaking area. Other large academic libraries are the University Library of the Free University , the University Library of the Humboldt University and the Central Library of the TU and UdK . The America Memorial Library belongs to the Central and State Library of Berlin .

    With its holdings (approx. 400,000 volumes on European art history from late antiquity to the present, around 1,400 international journals), the Berlin Art Library of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin is one of the most important art-historical special libraries in Germany.

    There is at least one district library in every Berlin district, and further branches are located in the districts. The Libraries in the District (BIST) funding program (2007–2015) also ensured the local population was supplied with books, magazines and media.


    Dance revue in the Friedrichstadt-Palast

    Berlin is an outstanding art and cultural center and has the reputation of a European metropolis . As a production site for various branches of the creative industry, the city is an international attraction for cultural workers.

    Renowned institutions of high culture, daily events in the popular arts and a constantly changing scene shape the cultural landscape of Berlin.

    The most important institutions of the city include a. the German Film Academy , which annually awards the German Film Prize in Berlin. The European Film Academy , founded in 1988, is also based in Berlin.


    See also: List of songs about Berlin

    Berlin has three opera houses: the Staatsoper Unter den Linden , the Deutsche Oper and the Komische Oper . There are also several orchestras in Berlin: the internationally renowned Berliner Philharmoniker , the Staatskapelle Berlin , the Konzerthausorchester Berlin , the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin , the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin , the Rundfunkchor Berlin , the Schöneberger Sängerknaben and the RIAS Chamber Choir . These ensembles perform in the Konzerthaus Berlin , the Berlin Philharmonie and in other halls in Germany or on tours around the world.

    The Berlin Choir Association unites 236 amateur choirs with over 10,000 members. The Sing-Akademie zu Berlin has existed as the cradle of civil music cultivation in Berlin since 1791.

    Paul Lincke and Walter Kollo should be mentioned here as composers .

    The music scene in Berlin is very diverse. The most successful artists and bands who have worked or are working in Berlin include: a. Herbert von Karajan , Daniel Barenboim , Sir Simon Rattle , Kirill Petrenko , Kurt Sanderling , Nina Hagen , Thomas Quasthoff , Tangerine Dream , Max Raabe , Paul van Dyk , Harald Juhnke , Ton Steine ​​Scherben , Einstürzende Neubauten , Reinhard Mey , Roland Kaiser , Die Doctors , Rammstein , Helga Hahnemann , Frank Zander , Seeed , Sido and the Comedian Harmonists .

    With the Berlin Waldbühne and the Kindl-Bühne Wuhlheide , two open-air stages are regularly used for music events.


    Berlinale , annual film festival in February

    Several thousand events with a wide variety of cultural orientations take place in Berlin every month. The International Film Festival is held in February . The A category festival, also known as the Berlinale , is the largest public festival in the world and one of the most important international film festivals. The competition closes with the award of the Golden and Silver Bears .

    Throughout the year, Berlin is the venue for other international festivals, some of which take place under the organizational umbrella of the Berliner Festspiele . At the Berlin Theatertreffen , the most remarkable German-language theater productions of a season are presented. Other festivals are the Literature Festival , Tanztage Berlin, Tanz im August, Young Euro Classic and the Berlin Biennale .

    Parades, parades, and outdoor concerts are also established events on the city's calendar of events. The Carnival of Cultures , the Christopher Street Day Berlin, the Berlin Carnival Parade and the Berlin Myfest are among the most famous.

    The Berlin Jazz Festival has been held since 1964. With pop culture, there is a series of events for a wide variety of music styles. The Lollapalooza Festival has been taking place in Berlin since 2015 .

    The Festival of Lights Berlin is one of the most famous light art festivals worldwide.

    No other European metropolis has a comparable number of Christmas markets set up at Christmas time . More than 80 Christmas markets take place in Berlin every year. The New Year's Eve celebration at the Brandenburg Gate is one of the most popular on the continent.


    Numerous theater stages shape the cultural landscape of the metropolis. The best known are the Berliner Ensemble , the Volksbühne on Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz , the Schaubühne on Lehniner Platz , the German Theater , the Maxim-Gorki-Theater , the Renaissance Theater and the youth theaters Grips-Theater and Theater an der Parkaue .

    The Theater des Westens and the Theater am Potsdamer Platz primarily offer musicals. Large-scale revues are shown in the Friedrichstadt-Palast . The winter garden where the International Burlesque Festival takes place every year and the chameleon are famous for their variety show .

    Stages like the Wühlmäuse , the Distel or the Quatsch Comedy Club are known for cabaret and satirical entertainment programs. The Radialsystem V has made a name for itself with dance and performance pieces.


    Berlin has a large number of museums. In 1841 appointed a royal order, the Spree and Kupfergraben umflossene Museum Island in the northern part of the Spree Island into a "of art and archeology consecrated District". The Old Museum at the Lustgarten had already been built there , followed by several museums such as the New Museum , the Old National Gallery , today's Bode Museum and the Pergamon Museum . These museums are primarily famous for their exhibits from ancient times . In 1999 the Museum Island was added to the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage .

    Outside the Museum Island museums are of different subject areas: The Natural History Museum is the world with over 30 million objects and the highest dinosaur skeleton in the world one of the most important natural history museums. In the German Museum of Technology in Berlin , exhibits and experiments on the subject of technology are exhibited on 25,000 m². The Gemäldegalerie and Neue Nationalgalerie are art museums in the Kulturforum , the Bauhaus Archive is an architecture museum. The German Historical Museum in the armory on Unter den Linden illustrates 2000 years of German history. The Jewish Museum shows an equally long period of Jewish-German history in a permanent exhibition.

    The Grunewald hunting lodge houses a collection of paintings from the 15th to 19th centuries. The research and memorial site Normannenstrasse and the memorial site Berlin-Hohenschönhausen are located in Lichtenberg on the site of the former GDR Ministry for State Security . The Wall Museum at Checkpoint Charlie shows stories and events about the Berlin Wall. The “ Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe ” is located near Potsdamer Platz .

    The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, jointly supported by the federal government and all federal states, has its headquarters in Berlin . The Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg also maintains important locations here. Both manage, preserve, maintain and supplement the cultural assets of the former state of Prussia in their internationally significant institutions .

    The Stadtmuseum Berlin Foundation unites other traditional museums in Berlin. The foundation, established in 1995, is the largest city history museum in Germany. As the state museum for culture and history of Berlin, it is essentially the result of the union of the Märkisches Museum (founded in 1874) and the Berlin Museum (founded in 1962). The wide range of the various collections, some of which were founded in the 19th century, document all areas of the development of Berlin from the first traces of human settlement in the Stone Age to the present.

    Buildings (selection)

    The Brandenburg Gate , built between 1788 and 1791, is Berlin's landmark and symbol of the defeat of German division. It is modeled on the Propylaea on the Acropolis in Athens and is crowned by a quadriga with the goddess of victory Victoria . The gate is the western end of the boulevard Unter den Linden , which up to the over the Spree canal leading Schloßbrücke draws. Beyond the bridge, on the Spree Island , there are the Lustgarten , the Museum Island, the Berlin Cathedral and the Humboldt Forum . To the north of the Spree , across from the museums, was Monbijou Castle , the remains of which were completely cleared after the Second World War.

    In this area lie with in 1743 in the style of Palladian built Staatsoper Unter den Linden , the crown prince - and the Prinzessinnenpalais who built from 1774 to 1780, often "dresser" called Old Library , as well as the 1706, designed by Andreas Schlüter completed baroque armory five magnificent buildings from the 18th century directly on the boulevard Unter den Linden. Then there is the Prince Heinrich Palace , which was also built at the time and now serves the Humboldt University, and the neo-classical Neue Wache . To the south of the opera is the St. Hedwig's Cathedral , built between 1747 and 1773 , the main church of the Catholic Archdiocese of Berlin . The French Cathedral on Gendarmenmarkt was the center of the French quarter in the 17th century. The Gendarmenmarkt is also home to the theater by Karl Friedrich Schinkel , which is now used as a concert hall, and the German Cathedral as a counterpart to the French Cathedral, also by Carl von Gontard .

    East of the two arms of the Spree, which flow around the Spree island, is Alexanderplatz with many shops and restaurants, very close to it the 368 meter high television tower  - the tallest building in Germany  -, the Gothic St. Mary's Church and the Red Town Hall and the town hall .

    On the occasion of the 750th anniversary of Berlin in 1987, the destroyed Nikolaiviertel was rebuilt in clichéd style based on its historical form. The Nikolaikirche in the center is the oldest church in Berlin. Not far away behind the town house near the ruins of the Gray Monastery is the baroque Parochial Church .

    The Oranienburgerstraße was the center of pre-World War II Jewish district. Associated with its reconstruction in 1995 was, among other things, the restoration of the New Synagogue , which was completed in 1866 and which today serves as a center for the study and preservation of Jewish culture. The baroque Sophienkirche has also been preserved in the Spandau suburb .

    View over the boulevard Unter den Linden to Potsdamer Platz

    The Potsdamer Platz is a traffic hub in central Berlin. It had developed in the 19th century in front of the Potsdamer Tor , at which an arterial road started. In 1923 the history of broadcasting in Germany began in the nearby Vox-Haus . Until 1940 Potsdamer Platz was one of the busiest squares in Europe. In 1961 it was divided by the Berlin Wall and the area fell into disrepair. For some years now, the earlier course of the Berlin Wall has been marked by paving stones set into the ground. With the rebuilding of Potsdamer Platz after 1990, which gave space to a large number of shops and restaurants, the square became a lively business location again. Similar to the square itself, the area adjacent to the east in the Mitte district, where the government district with the Reich Chancellery and the Reich President's Palace was located before the war , has been structurally completely changed. Numerous baroque buildings such as the Dreifaltigkeitskirche or the Prinz-Albrecht-Palais , to name just a few, no longer exist today.

    The Reichstag building , built between 1884 and 1894, is located to the north near the Brandenburg Gate . It was badly damaged by fire on February 27, 1933 and was again badly damaged in World War II. The building has been used by the German Bundestag since 1973 and has been its seat since 1999. Two million people walk through its glass dome every year. The Reichstag is now the second most popular tourist magnet in the republic, after Cologne Cathedral .

    The Bellevue Palace lies further west on the northern edge of the Tiergarten between the Spree and the Victory Column . The classical three-wing complex was built between 1785 and 1786 and is now the official residence of the Federal President. The most famous shopping promenade in Berlin is the Kurfürstendamm with its numerous hotels, shops and restaurants. The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which was destroyed in the Second World War, was built between 1891 and 1895. It marks the eastern end of the boulevard. The ruined tower was preserved as a memorial. The eastern extension of Kurfürstendamm is Tauentzienstrasse , where the KaDeWe ( Kaufhaus des Westens ) is the largest department store on the European continent and the Europa Center , built between 1963 and 1965 . The 22-storey building houses many shops, restaurants, offices and an observation deck. This part of the city around Tauentzienstrasse and Kurfürstendamm is known as City West .

    Borsigturm in Berlin-Tegel from 1922, the oldest high-rise building in Berlin

    The 150-meter-high radio tower is located in Charlottenburg. It was built between 1924 and 1926 on the occasion of the 3rd German Radio Exhibition and very quickly became one of Berlin's landmarks. Other Structures of West Berlin are the Charlottenburg lock (begun 1695), a baroque representational the Hohenzollern with significant collection of paintings citadel Spandau and the at Havel and Glienicke Bridge preferred Glienicke . The brothers Wilhelm and Alexander von Humboldt grew up in Tegel Castle (also called 'Humboldt Castle'), which was also remodeled in the classicism style by Karl Friedrich Schinkel .

    In the Prenzlauer Berg district there are many residential buildings from the Wilhelminian era and lively streets such as Kastanienallee .

    After the destruction in World War II, ambitious construction projects were pushed ahead in divided Berlin. In the eastern part of the city, today's Karl-Marx-Allee was built in the representative style of socialist classicism . It runs from Alexanderplatz via Strausberger Platz to Frankfurter Tor . The twin towers were built based on the double domes of the Gendarmenmarkt under the German architect Hermann Henselmann .

    Modern architecture was promoted in the western part of the city . Well -known architects such as Walter Gropius , Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer presented their designs at the international building exhibition Interbau in 1957 . The building projects were realized in the Hansaviertel . The congress hall with the self-supporting roof structure was built in 1957 as a contribution of the United States to Interbau.

    A specialty of Berlin are the gas lanterns for illuminating the streets that have been preserved in large parts of the city . In total, there are over 44,000 gas lamps in operation in Berlin, more than in any other city in the world. In the Tiergarten, near the S-Bahn station of the same name , there is an open-air gas lantern museum.


    In 2016 there were around 2,400 sports clubs in Berlin, in which around 640,000 active people devoted themselves to popular sport . In 2015, 73 Berlin teams were represented in the various first German national leagues and 70 teams in the second national leagues. Some clubs are active in the field of professional sports. The most prominent representatives here include Hertha BSC and 1. FC Union Berlin ( soccer ), Alba Berlin ( basketball ), the Eisbären Berlin ( ice hockey ), the Füchse Berlin ( handball ), the Berlin Recycling Volleys ( volleyball ). and the Wasserfreunde Spandau 04 ( water polo ).

    In its history, Berlin has hosted international sports competitions several times. In 1936 the Summer Olympics were held in the city. During the soccer world championship in 1974 three games of the first final round were played in Berlin. In 2006, the preliminary round, a quarter-final and the final of the World Cup took place in the Olympic Stadium. In 2009 the World Athletics Championships were also held there.

    Berlin Marathon 2016

    Every year one of the world's largest marathons , the final of the DFB Cup and the athletics event ISTAF take place in Berlin. The Berlin E-Prix , an automobile race of the FIA Formula E Championship , has been held in Berlin since 2015 .

    Large public TV broadcasts take place every two years for the European and World Cup , with tens of thousands of viewers watching the football matches on big screens. The venue, the Fan Mile , is located on Strasse des 17. Juni .

    In Berlin, the current world records (as of 2018) were set in the marathon ( Eliud Kipchoge ), 100 and 200 meter run (both Usain Bolt ).

    The German Olympic Sports Confederation operates the Olympic Training Center in Berlin, one of 19 Olympic training centers. Around 500 national team athletes from over 30 Olympic sports form the competitive sports contingent. Well-known Olympians from Berlin or those living in Berlin are Franziska van Almsick , Christoph and Robert Harting , Katarina Witt and Claudia Pechstein .

    The largest sports facilities in the city include the Olympic Stadium with 74,649 seats, the An der Alten Försterei stadium with around 22,000 seats, the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark with 19,000 seats, the Mercedes-Benz Arena with a maximum of 17,000 seats, the Velodrom with a maximum of 17,000 seats 12,000 seats and the Max-Schmeling-Halle with up to 11,900 seats.


    About 18% of Berlin's urban area is forested. The Berlin Forestry Administration looks after the largest urban forest area in Germany with around 29,000 hectares. The largest forests include the Grunewald , which is traversed by the Grunewald chain of lakes and bordered by the Havel in the west, and the Spandau Forest in the far north-west. The 273 hectare Wannsee is a bulge of the Havel . With him, Zehlendorf has a much-visited local recreation area that is best known for the Wannsee lido .

    In the southeast of Berlin, the Müggelsee with the Müggelberge and the Müggelsee lido in Rahnsdorf form a large local recreation area. On the western slopes of the Little Müggelbergs the new one was until 1961 Müggelturm built. It offers a view of the surrounding lakes and forests and the city skyline. Not far from there is the Wuhlheide , a forest area with the former Volkspark Wuhlheide and the leisure and recreation center (FEZ), the Berlin-Brandenburg model park and the Berlin Park Railway .

    In the more urban areas of the city, numerous beach bars have established themselves on the river and lake landscapes of the Spree and Havel . The 20 green main routes linking the trails much of the parks, green spaces, surrounding regional park and Berlin's waterways. One of the most popular geocaches in Germany is also located in Berlin : "Lego - one is too many" with 8760 favorite points (as of 2017).

    Berlin is also known worldwide for its nightlife . The high number of students in the city, a large creative music scene, many young party tourists, but also the vacancy rate, which was particularly widespread after the fall of the Berlin Wall, were partly responsible for the development of the club landscape. In this context, former clubs such as the Kunsthaus Tacheles or the E-Werk and existing nightclubs such as the Tresor , the Watergate , the KitKatClub , the Club der Visionaere , the Berghain , the Salon zur Wilden Renate and the Kater Blau (status: 2018).


    There are around 5000 cafes, bars and restaurants in Berlin (as of 2018). Top gastronomy in Berlin has developed successfully since the early 2000s. In 2020, the Michelin Guide listed the Rutz from head chef Marco Müller, one restaurant with three Michelin stars , five restaurants with two and 17 restaurants with one star.


    Typical Berlin dishes include Kasseler , pork knuckle and liver “Berlin style” or currywurst , meatballs and the snack variant of the doner kebab . The potato is in Berlin in their various preparation forms a ubiquitous food supplement, which Schrippe and the pancakes are berlin typical pastries. Berlin also has a long brewing tradition . The most common type of beer is the Pilsener , while the Berliner Weisse is as typical as the as Fassbrause called effervescent drink . The Futschi is a traditional mixed drink .

    Berlin in art


    Berlin is the location and location of many German and international film productions
    Kino Babylon in Mitte

    Berlin played a special role as a production location in film history . In its heyday, in the years after 1920, the Berlin film industry was famous for its style and genre-defining cinema films. Many productions were made in the Babelsberg studios . After 1945 and 1990, however, the position of film within the German culture support system became very weak. As a result, the film rarely caught up with international standards. Although the city is currently one of the largest film production locations in Germany, it is difficult for the films made there to attract audiences in the domestic and European markets.

    The following selection of films are set in Berlin or are about the metropolis:


    David Bowie , 1976
    Bono from the band U2 , 1992

    Since the development of Berlin into a metropolis of millions at the end of the 19th century, a large number of songs have emerged in popular culture that depict Berlin and life in the city, often in their contemporary context.

    One of the early pieces of music is Berliner Luft , which Paul Lincke wrote in 1899 for the operetta Frau Luna and which is sometimes played as an unofficial national anthem . Other well-known songs are the Pack die Badehose ein (1951) sung by Conny Froboess or the homesickness for Kurfürstendamm (1963) interpreted by Hildegard Knef .

    The division of Berlin led to very different songs about the city until 1990. While the moods of the 1970s and 1980s were expressed in West Berlin songs, for example in songs by Rio Reiser , the Gebrüder Blatt Schuss or Ideal , pieces by the band City , such as B. Wall to Wall (1987), reflecting the East Berlin zeitgeist .

    International musicians such as Leonard Cohen , David Bowie , Iggy Pop , Lou Reed or Band U2 sang over Berlin or produced their albums in the city. The Hansa recording studios were an important point of contact for many artists to make their music recordings.


    An artist group from EL Kirchner , 1926

    From 1893 the nationally significant Great Berlin Art Exhibition took place every year. With the advent of the Berlin Secession in 1898, which shaped impressionism in painting, Berlin established itself as an outstanding center of the visual arts in Germany.

    With the move of the Expressionist artist group "Brücke" to Berlin, the metropolis' art scene gained world renown. After 1933 and 1945, however, the connection to the international art world no longer succeeded.

    It was only at the beginning of the 21st century that the city's importance for the visual arts increased again significantly. Since then, a large number of recognized artists have lived and worked in the city. The location within Germany also plays an important role in the art market thanks to the very high number of over 300 galleries in the world .


    Numerous successful writers, philosophers, dramaturges, historians, critics, humorists and screenwriters live and work in Berlin. The most recognized writers in the past and present include a. Moses Mendelssohn , Wilhelm von Humboldt , Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel , Theodor Mommsen , Georg Simmel , Alfred Kerr , Alfred Döblin , Christian Morgenstern , Joachim Ringelnatz , Kurt Tucholsky , Walter Benjamin , Bertolt Brecht , Vladimir Nabokov , Erich Kästner , Christopher Isherwood , Robert Jungk , Günter Grass , Heiner Müller , Christa Wolf , Wolfgang Kohlhaase , Heinrich August Winkler , Herta Müller , Max Goldt , Jonathan Franzen and Maxim Biller .

    See also

    Portal: Berlin  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Berlin


    arranged alphabetically by author

    • Udo Arnold : Prussia and Berlin. Relations between the province and the capital. Verlag Nordostdeutsches Kulturwerk, Lüneburg 1981, ISBN 3-922296-21-1 .
    • Michael Bienert : Literary Berlin: 100 poets, writers and publicists; Places of residence, work and works. 3rd edition. Verlag Jena 1800, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-931911-18-8 .
    • Horst Bosetzky , Jan Eik: The Berlin Lexicon. Jaron Verlag, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-932202-57-0 .
    • Christian Härtel : Berlin. A short story. In cooperation with the Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz , bebra-Verlag, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-89809-041-8 (English, Italian and Spanish editions).
    • Jacob Hein: Instructions for use for Berlin. Completely revised new edition. Piper, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-492-27576-7 .
    • Joachim Herrmann u. a. (Ed.): Berlin. Results of the local history inventory (=  values ​​of our homeland . Vol. 49/50). Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-05-000379-0 .
    • Stefan Krätke: Berlin - city in the globalization process. In: Geographical Rundschau. 56 (4), 2004, ISSN  0016-7460 , pp. 20-25.
    • Heinz Kullnick: Berliner and Berliner by choice . Persons and personalities in Berlin from 1640–1914. Hayn, Berlin 1961.
    • Kurt Pomplun : Berlin houses - history and stories (=  Berlin kaleidoscope. Vol. 14). 2nd edition Hessling, Berlin 1975, ISBN 3-7769-0119-5 .
    • Wolfgang Ribbe (Ed.): History of Berlin. 2 vols. 3rd edition Berlin 2002 (publications of the Historical Commission in Berlin, standard work on the occasion of the 750th anniversary of Berlin).
    • Bodo Rollka (ed.): Berlin biographical lexicon. 2nd edition Haude & Spener, 2003.
    • Jutta Rosenkranz (Ed.): Berlin in poetry - poems from 250 years. 2nd edition, Husum Druck und Verlagsgesellschaft, Husum 2006, ISBN 3-89876-264-5 .
    • Uwe Schaper (Ed.) In connection with the Landesarchiv Berlin: Berlinische Lebensbilder. Historical Commission to Berlin, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1987 ff. (Status 2015: 10 thematic individual volumes).
    • Reimer Wulf (photos), Karl Kessler (texts): Above the roofs of the New Berlin. Herbig, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-7766-2403-5 (aerial photo documentation).

    Web links

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    Individual evidence

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    This article was added to the list of articles worth reading on March 25, 2006 in this version .