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History of the city of Berlin

Berlin Mauer

Berlin’s historical epochs

Geschichte: Berlin, Cölln und Friedrichswerder

The medieval trading center

At the end of the 12th century, the city emerged from the two merchant settlements Berlin and Cölln, located on both sides of the Spree river in what is now the Mitte borough.  more

Geschichte: Ansicht des kurfürstlichen Schlosses

The electors’ residence

Administration and control of the Mark is given to the Burgrave of Nuremberg, the Hohenzollern Friedrich VI, initiating 500 years of Hohenzollern rule in Berlin.  more

Berlin und Cölln

The royal capital

On 18 January 1701 in Königsberg, the elector Friedrich III has himself crowned Friedrich I, King in Prussia. Berlin becomes the royal residence.  more

Historische Bilder: Spittelmarkt 1896

The imperial capital

Berlin becomes the capital of the German Reich. This boost in political status, industrialization, and the economic boom of the next few decades give rise to many new businesses in the city. Berlin becomes the empire’s political, economic, and scientific capital.  more

Philipp Scheidemann

The cosmopolitan city of the Weimar Republic

The Social Democratic politician Philipp Scheidemann proclaims the “German Republic” from a window of the Reichstag on 9 November 1918. The Social Democrat Friedrich Ebert becomes chancellor.  more

Berlin nach dem Krieg

Berlin after 1945

The Berlin garrison capitulates on May 2, six days before the end of the Second World War in Europe. Large parts of the city are in ruins.  more

Berlin Panorama (1)

The new Berlin

On 11 January, the House of Representatives elects the first all-Berlin Senate. In Bonn, the German Bundestag decides on 20 June to move the seat of government and parliament to the capital Berlin.  more

Related Content

John F. Kennedy in Berlin (1)

John F. Kennedy in Berlin

On 26 June 1963, then US President John F. Kennedy visited West Berlin to mark the 15th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift.  more

Berliner Mauer

Berlin Wall

All about the Building and Fall of the Berlin and the Wall Trail.  more


Museums in Berlin

Berlin's top museums with adresses, informations, opening hours and public transport.  more