Berlin Germany History and Attractions
Located in eastern Germany, otherwise surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, the capital city-state Berlin is a city of rich history and diverse populace. For decades the city has been a major tourist attraction to travelers and holidaymakers from around the globe and due to this there are a large variety of places to rest; let's look at some of history, attractions and the boutique hotels Berlin Germany offers the visitor.
Berlin existed as a small town for centuries before it became, for a while, the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia, from whence it began to grow into a major city. An even bigger shake-up was the Industrial Revolution, which turned the city into the major railway hub of Germany. More recent history has seen less pleasant evolutions, with the city divided for decades in the aftermath of World War II by the eponymous Berlin wall. Since the fall of the wall in 1989, however, Berlin was reunited and joined other major capital cities on the world stage.
The dramatic politics of Berlin's recent history have made its seat of power, the Reichstag building, a premier tourist attraction. Over 200 years old, the building has suffered the rough and tumble time of empires not unwounded, having been ravaged by fire in 1933 and heavily structurally damaged in the endgame of World War II; nonetheless, it still stands, fully repaired and now boasting an artistic glass dome, part of renovations completed in 1999. The glass dome is one of Berlin's most recognizable landmarks, open to the public who are able to climb to its summit via a spiral staircase, should they tire of the sauna back at the hotel.
The Brandenburger gate is another key attraction, originally marking the main entrance to the city. Designed in the epic style of Athen's Acropolis, it is now the only remainder of the old city wall. For years during Germany's division it served as a symbol for said division, but since the reunification it has come to be seen as a symbol of freedom, with the Pariser Platz, a square lying in the gate's shadow on the east side, once again filling with people.
The Berlin Wall itself still exists in some form; mainly, a just-short-of-a-mile-long stretch now known as the 'East Side Gallery' which boasts over a hundred paintings. Although most of the wall was demolished when its need for existence became pointless, this section at least remains intact as a memorial. Other parts of the wall are still visible at the Memorial and Documentation center, where its destruction began and at other key points along its length, such as close to Checkpoint Charlie, the scene of a famous Cold War face off between American and Soviet tanks.
For those of a less historical or political inclination, Berlin boasts an impressive zoo. Currently, it contains at least 15,000 separate animals of over 1,400 species, including some rare and endangered species, such as pandas and rare varieties of birds. For children, a petting zoo allows them to get close to the animals. Berlin also has plenty of shopping centers, such as at Potsdamer Platz, a square that was completely shattered in the Second World War but rebuilt in time for the millennium, or the daring-in-its-time Europa Center, which, although shadowed now by many other marts, remains historical for introducing mall-based shopping to Germany. Further information on places to shop in Germany is readily available should you desire to indulge consumerism instead of relaxing on the roof terrace of one of the boutique hotels Berlin Germany has to offer.
Whatever your plans, a traveler in Berlin should not miss the Gendarmenmarkt, one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. It is flanked by the Konzerthaus, home of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra and a French and a German cathedral, which have over time come to resemble each other almost identically. The square and its buildings offer a quiet alternative to the city's elsewhere rush.
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