Berlin is the capital city and one of the sixteen states of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is the heart of the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region, located in northeastern Germany. With a population of 3.4 million, Berlin is the country’s largest city, and the second most populous city (within city limits) in the European Union. Berlin is located in eastern Germany, about 110 kilometers (65 miles) west of the border with Poland.
Berlin has regarded itself as a city of knowledge and culture since the days of Friedrich the Great in the 18th century. The political and cultural developments of the 19th and 20th century are visible throughout Berlin’s cityscape, reflecting both the history of architecture and various approaches to dealing with the consequences of war and destruction.
The infamous Berlin Wall divided the city for 28 years until it was torn down amidst waves of euphoria on November 9, 1989. Berlin became the German capital once again in July 1990. As befits a new capital, the city has undergone a major face-lift. More than $120 billion was invested in new streets, buildings, and railways.