Berlin

Brief History

Schlosspark ( Palace Park) in Berlin , GermanyThe city of Berlin lies on the banks of the Spree River in Germany. Berlin was founded in the 12th century by merchants who had chosen to settle on an important crossing point of the Spree River. Another trading post soon developed and the two villages, which later became two towns, became known as Berlin and Colln.  As the towns grew they eventually merged to form the City of Berlin. The city prospered and  for centuries became an important trading post for the area . In the 18th century, as the city began to produce its own goods such as porcelain and paper , people began flocking to Berlin in search of work. At the same time the textile trade was also beginning to  flourish, following the introduction of spinning machines from England. All in all the city was on an uphill path. In the 1800's Berlin built it's first iron foundry and soon became famous for building locomotives. As industry boomed, so too did the Arts. Artists, philospophers and musicians added an interesting backdrop to the very industrialised city. Unfortunately for the Berliners, industrialisation came at a price, with many people losing jobs to the power of machinery. In 1848 people took their anger to the streets in protest against unemployment. This would be the start of many such battles in Berlin. 

Things You May Not Know About Berlin

In 1933 over 25,000 books were gathered by the Third Reich and burnt in a bonfire at the Opernplatz (now known as Bebelplatz). Gobbels left it to the National Socialist students to throw the "un-German" literature into the flames whilst he watched on.

One of the most bizarre attempts at escaping over the Berlin Wall was by a local butcher who strapped hams, roasts and meats around his body before making a  run for it. The meat functioned as a primitive bullet proof vest and was so tough it absorbed the bullets fired at him, without him receiving a single wound. Doesn't say much about his meat! 

Checkpoint Charlie was opened by the US military police at Friedrichstrasse in 1961 and was the only crossing point for foreigners between East & West Berlin

Important Links To Berlin

German National Tourist Board

 

Official Guide To Berlin

S Bahn Berlin (Rail Services)