Berlin, in the north east of the country, is the historic capital of a united Germany. From 1945 Berlin (and Germany) was divided between east and west until the infamous Berlin Wall was torn down in 1989. Relive the dramatic moments of the Berlin Airlift and German Reunification at the Brandenburg Gate, visit the incomparable art of the Museuminsel, the State Opera House, St Hedwig's Cathedral (1747-1773) or the Gothic Church of St Nicholas (late 14th-early 15th century). Wander among the shops and cafes of the Kurfurstendamm and Unter den Linden, two of the city's historic boulevards. Venerable Humboldt Universitat nurtured some of Germany's greatest thinkers, including Hegel, Einstein, the Brothers Grimm, and Karl Marx. Visit Spandau Zitadelle, a medieval fortress surrounded by placid waters, where the 13th-century Juliusturm Tower guards long-dead stories of past glories.
Founded around 1230, Berlin prospered as a member of the Hanseatic League. Later it became part of Brandenberg which itself became the kingdom of Prussia. Berlin continued to grow throughout the 18th century and after the Napoleonic Wars the city became a lively cultural centre. In 1871 Berlin became the capital of the unified German Empire and during the following decades the city grew into a major industrial centre.
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