Berlin City Guide > Photos: Berlin Potpourri
Berlin is Germany’s capital and largest city in area and population. It is both a city and one of Germany’s 16 states (Bundesländer). Home to about 3.4 million residents (4.4 million in the Berlin/Brandenburg metro area), Berlin has a history of upheaval and rebirth like no other European capital city. Most recently, following 40 years as a divided city, Berlin has been undergoing yet another major transformation since German reunification in 1990.
Reichstag, Berlin: The inscription above the columns says “To the German people” – who are enjoying the German national holiday on October 3. You can see the building's new glass dome at the top.Reichstag, Berlin
Holocaust Memorial in Berlin
The Memorial's official name in German is "Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas" ("Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe"). Surrounded by much controversy over its form and purpose, it took 16 years from the time the Holocaust Memorial was first proposed in 1989 until its completion in 2005. Gestapo headquarters once stood at the site. Located in Berlin's historic center, the Memorial opened officially on May 5, 2005.
After German reunification, planning began for this government building complex along a bend of the Spree River (Spreebogen) in Germany's new capital city. The buildings on the right now stand where there used to be a desolate no-man's land along the Berlin Wall. The white crosses (far left) commemorate people who were killed by East German border guards as they tried to escape across the river.
Siegessäule (Victory Column), Berlin
The shadow of the Victory Column (Siegessäule) as seen from the top of this Berlin landmark.
The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
The Brandenburg Gate (das Brandenburger Tor), Berlin’s best-known symbol, was designed and built by Carl Gotthard Langhans from 1788 to 1791. The four-horse “Quadriga” that stands on top was designed by Johann Gottfried Schadow in 1793 as the “Quadriga of Victory.” Like all modern quadrigas, it is based on the Triumphal Quadriga, a Roman or Greek sculpture that originally stood in the Hippodrome of Constantinople, a replica of which now stands at St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice.
Berliner Dom with TV tower
Popularly known as the Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom), this church on Museum Island is not actually a cathedral in the true sense of the word. It has been a Protestant church ever since its construction in 1905. It takes its name from the three other churches that have stood in this spot since 1451.
The East Side Gallery during its partial restoration in 2008/2009, with the infamous "Bruderkuss" in the foreground.
The French Dome (it's not a cathedral) towers above Berlin's Gendarmenmarkt square.