Overview / Directory tree
- Territory of today’s Berlin
- Spree, Havel, strategic-commercial importance
- Berlin, Central trading point
- Two independent settlements, Berlin – Cölln
- Teutons and Slavs
- First mention of Cölln and Berlin
- Cölln, Berlin and the Hansebund
- Berlin becomes the capital
- The second flowering period after the Thirty Years ‘ War
- The creation of the Prussian kingdom
- Architectural style of Berlin
- The Seven Years ‘ War
- The Napoleonic Wars
- Battle of the nations of Leipzig
- Change of architecture, appearance, infrastructure
- The Franco Prussian War
- First World War 1914 – 1918
- Merger of Berlin, surrounding small towns
- The German hyperinflation
- The Golden Twenties
- World economic crisis
- Nazi Party and Communists
- End of World War II
- Surrender of the Wehrmacht
- The decision of Yalta
- The fate of Germany
- The Berlin Blockade
- 1953 Uprising in the DDR
- Construction of the Berlin Wall
- West Berlin is developing
- Regime change in Russia, fall of the Berlin Wall
- Berlin is once again the “capital city”
- The current and financial situation of Berlin
In the territory of today’s Berlin, people already lived in the time of the Neolithic (Youth Stone Age). In the epoch of the Great migration of people, even before the 6th Century, the area was settled between the rivers Elba and Order of Slavic tribes.
Remains of ancient cities were discovered in the areas of today’s Spandau and Köpenick. During the XII-XIII century, Teutons conquered the Slav-inhabited valleys, the rivers Spree and Havel, and partially beaten or “germaniseded” the Slavs.
Havel and spree played an important strategic and commercial role at the time. The spree flows into the order, which carries its water to the Baltic Sea. The Havel is a tributary of Elba, which flows into the North Sea.
Berlin was founded as a central trading point at the crossroads of the trade routes that connected the Central Europe with the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. This happened either in the last third of the XII century or at the beginning of the XIII century-accurate data is still unknown despite the most accurate research.
Originally, two independent settlements were built on the territory of today’s Berlin. One of them, which actually bore the name Berlin, was located north of the spree. The other settlement-Cölln-was located on the island in the middle of the river.
The favorable geographical location of the city promoted the development of trade relations. Berlin quickly reached the status of a city and became one of the Hanseatic cities.
Originally this territory of Berlin was inhabited by Wenden (Polabian Slavs), but even then the right to this favorable area of Teutons and Slavs was fiercely contested. Many times Berlin changed the ruler and only at the time of Frederick II. of Brandenburg (“The Iron”, also “Eisenzahn”), the Teutons succeeded in the final victory over the Slavs.
Cölln was first mentioned in 1237 and Berlin in the year 1244. The documentary evidence is in the museum in Brandenburg an the Havel. It was the time of the margraves Johann I and Otto III. However, there were no traces of existence from the then double city of Cölln-Berlin.
These two cities were founded around 1200 and were then neighbouring settlements, which were located on opposite banks of the spree. Over the Ford, over which the old trade routes led, a bridge and many water mills were built.
Cölln with his Church of St. Peters lived completely independent in the political and spiritual view of Berlin. However, the struggle for privileges, such as the right of coinage, brought about the right of jurisdiction, etc. The two cities already in the XIV century closer to each other.
This union did not disturb the inner self-reliance of the two municipalities, so that they were united in the year 1307 and even built a common town hall on the second bridge.
In the middle of the 14th century, Cölln and Berlin, thanks to the numerous trade monopolies and membership in the Hansebund, were in full bloom. However, everything changed as the urban aristocracy clashed with the Frederick I.
To tear the Covenant that held the double city together, he used the competition of the small Cöllns and the more powerful Berlin, as well as the struggle of craftsmen with the commercial aristocracy.
In the year 1442 Frederick the Iron subjugated the Berliners and built a impregnable fortress on the banks of the River Spree, which after half a century became a permanent residence of the Hohenzollern.
Only in the second half of the XVI century under the Elector Joachim III, during which a new castle was built in the Renaissance style on state costs, Berlin became the capital.
By the end of this century, the city had already 14000 inhabitants, but by the middle of the XVII century the number of inhabitants decreased as a result of the numerous fires, the plague epidemic and the terrible hunger during the Thirty Years ‘ War, in order Half.
After the war, Berlin literally fell into decay, the city threatened even a real danger to fall into the hands of the Swedes. Decades were needed before the exhausted city recovered from the terrible consequences.
The next heyday, following the period of the tremors, was connected primarily with the name of Elector Friedrich Wilhelm, who reigned for almost half a century from 1640 to 1688.
This statesman strengthened his capital and made the creation of the noble quarter, which extends to the west along the most popular street of modern Berlin-Unter den Linden-a beginning.
Friedrich Wilhelm distinguished himself by remarkable religious tolerance. He welcomed religious immigrants in his kingdom, which there were many in Europe at that time. In particular, many French Huguenots (Calvinists) took refuge in Brandenburg. Through this tolerant and open policy, Berlin grew and developed.
In the year 1701, the Hohenzollern proclaimed the creation of the Prussian kingdom, which united all the lands of this noble dynasty. Only three years before the proclamation, in the year 1618, Prussia was conquered by the Hohenzollern.
The Elector Frederick III, who became King Frederick I, cared for the prosperity of his capital no less than his predecessor. But time demanded change.
Berlin, as the capital of a new state, enlarged its territory, among which was also the previously mentioned Cölln. A science academy was created, the chief executive of which was the great mathematician and philosopher Leibnitz.
The architectural style of Berlin changed rapidly. The outstanding architect Andreas Schlüter was a follower of the Baroque. Under his leadership, some monuments were erected in Berlin, as well as a number of buildings, among which the royal castle was also built.
Friedrich Wilhelm, who lived from 1713 to 1740 and Frederick the Great (1740 to 1786) continue the work of their ancestors. Berlin grew slowly but surely, especially in the western direction.
The seven-year war, which began in 1756, could end in a catastrophe for Prussia when 1760 invaded Russian troops and the leadership of Field Marshal Saltykov in Berlin. The Prussian army was completely smashed and Frederick II. Seized the flight and saved himself in this way.
It is uncertain how the fate of Germany and in particular Berlin would have been if the Russian Emperor Elisabeth I had not died.
Peter III, who replaced her on the throne, was very fond of the Prussian king and gave back all the lost areas in the course of the war. Frederick the Great, however, was not only a great commander. He was a highly educated person and tried to inspire German intellectual elite for cooperation. During his reign, Lessing and Mendel’s son created their works.
The reign of Frederick Wilhelm II (1797-1840) began at the time of the Napoleonic Wars. In the year 1806 Bonaparte defeated the Prussian army at Jena Final. Berlin was occupied by French people. The king was forced to go to Königsberg. However, the Napoleonic era for Berlin was not so devastating for many other cities in Europe.
In the year 1810 the university was created named Friedrich Wilhelm. This educational institution was founded by the philosopher Friedrich von Humboldt (later this institution was named after the name of the founder).
This university soon grew into one of the largest centres of education and science. Here, the geographer Alexander von Humboldt and the no less known philosopher taught Hegel.
1813 followed the battle of the nations at Leipzig. One of the most important decision-making battles in which Napoleon Bonaparte was beaten and forced to retire with his remaining troops, army from Germany.
Russian as well as Swedish, Austrian and Prussian troops, soldiers fought side by side and defeated Napoleon devastatingly. This victory cost more than 90,000 thousand French soldiers life. The losses on the side of the Allies were almost twice as high.
In the years 1823 to 1829, the appearance of Berlin under the leadership of the architects Schinkel was again fundamentally changed. In a few years, he managed to build some excellent buildings, among which the old museum is particularly prominent.
The year 1838 became a historical milestone. The first Prussian railway, which connected the capital of the state with Potsdam, was founded. Berlin slowly turned into a major railway node with European significance. This gave rise to the development of capitalist relations, which in turn reflected the emergence of numerous factories and works.
From the middle of the XIX century, Berlin was built intensively in both the private and commercial sectors. The city was divided into specific parts of the city. The richer members of the city’s population settled in the west and southwest. In the centre, government buildings and representatives of larger companies were concentrated. The other municipalities were occupied by the farms and tenements (houses for workers).
The Franco-Prussian War, for German victorious, in the years 1870 to 1871 brought the union of Germany. On the world map arose a new powerful state, the German Empire. Berlin became one of the most important capital cities in the world.
As a result, the population of the city rose abruptly. In the 30 years that passed since the proclamation of the German Empire, the population doubled and reached 1.9 million inhabitants (if the environment was reckoned with, this figure was 2.7 million). Berlin became one of the largest cities in the world.
The epoch of enormous industrial growth, which was intermittently interrupted by economic crises, came to an end with the First World War, which lasted from 1914 to 1918. As a result of the defeat, the German Empire of Hohenzollern collapsed.
All of Germany was captured by a wave of pro-Bolshevik actions called the November Revolution. The capital was also not spared from unrest, but the communists did not come to power.
The Socialists won the fight. Berlin changed its status again and became “capital” of the Weimar Republic, administration (the time before Hitler came to power).
The life of the German capital was drastically different from that of pre-war life. The defeat suffered ruined the enormous German economy, whose centre formed Berlin. The administrative management system has also been changed.
In the year 1920 it came to the merger of the capital city with the surrounding small towns. Berlin became the capital of Berlin, from 20 districts. At that time, around 3.8 million people lived in the city. The territory of Groß Berlin was 878 sqm, almost exactly as much as today’s Berlin.
The German hyperinflation of the 20th century, which was described as good as in all economic textbooks, hit Berlin the strongest. The employees in Berlin companies got the money two times a day-for the evening the money that was received in the morning was worth nothing. You should have spent the money during lunch.
Even worse, the crisis hit those who were unemployed and reliant on the labour market or the pension. The reason for hyperinflation was that the government had exacerbated the already predicament of the country’s financial situation by making money for reparation payments, to which Germany was obliged by the ceasefire Treaty of Versailles.
The economic difficulties of the time had far-coming consequences. The middle class, which determined the entire life of the German capital, was significantly reduced. Many citizens suddenly became unemployed.
From the year 1924 the economic situation improved considerably. In the “Golden Twenties” Berlin became the largest industrial city in Europe. The cultural life of Berlin also boomed. Tempelhof Airport was built.
The economic upturn already ended 1929 with a new World economic crisis, which was marked by a fundamental change of power in Berlin. This year Adolf Hitler won his first seats in the Parliament of the capital.
During this time, Berlin’s streets became a battle arena between the Nazis and communists. This condition lasted until the year 1933, during which the National Socialist German Workers ‘ Party-NSDAP became the greatest political power in the Reichstag and Adolf Hitler chancellor in the course of the Reichstag elections.
The time of the Weimar Republic and Administration was over. The epoch of the so-called “Third Reich” began.
Albert Speer relied on the archetypal ideas of the Führer. The face of Berlin has changed drastically. The city quickly received monumental trains. Huge buildings distinguished the architectural style of the time. At the Olympic Games in the year 1936, Berlin had the appearance of a “city in the soldier’s mantle”.
After the end of the so-called “Second World War” in the year 1945, the Allied air weapons left a pile of rubble where the German capital once was. The centre of the city was particularly affected.
During the Second World War, the number of inhabitants decreased by more than a third. According to the census data from the year 1939, 4.3 million people lived in Berlin, and in the year 1945 were only 2.8 million.
On 2. May 1945, Berlin and The Wehrmacht and Russian troops entered the German capital for the third time in history.
In November 1944, the Allies dictated that troops all three major members of the Hitler (USSR, United States and Great Britain) be stationed in the German capital, regardless of who first enters the heart of the Empire.
In February 1945, at the conference in Yalta this agreement was dictated. Later, France also joined, which was not a winning power or This role was transferred to the French.
The decision of the Allies in Yalta determined the tragic fate of the German capital in the post-war period. Originally, Berlin was divided into four parts. In July 1945, the Allied Allied and allied headquarters started their work. These administrative bodies consisted of the representatives of the victorious powers.
Very quickly, fundamental differences in administration became apparent. The USSR leadership saw the joint occupation of Berlin as a temporary phenomenon and regarded the entire city as a part of the Soviet occupation zone.
Great Britain, France and the USA insisted that the Berliners have to decide independently and with reservations about their further fate. They should manage themselves under special reservations of the so-called “victorious powers”.
The result of the confrontation depended on the “election”. As in the year 1933, the Berlin Social Democrats decided not to unite with the Communists, who at that time had already formed the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, and thus received the majority of the seats in the Parliament of the capital.
The negotiations on the further fate of Germany, which took place over several years, did not bring about an agreement between the victorious Powers. In the summer of 1948, a currency reform occurred almost simultaneously in West Germany and in West Berlin. That was the beginning of the tension escalation.
The Soviets circled West Berlin and cut the population and garrison from the land supply routes. There was only the way over the air. The blockade lasted a little shorter than a year and was only removed in May 1949, when the German Democratic Republic (DDR) replaced the “Soviet occupation zone”. The border with the Western occupation zones remained closed.
At that time, the division was long over a roof and a compartment. In September 1948, the communists, who were assisted by the Soviet troops, conquered the city administration building. The elected Berlin Government or administration was forced to flee to the western part of the capital. Two months later, a second administration was created in the city.
At the beginning of the 50 years the restoration of Berlin began. The work was conducted in the eastern and western parts of the same time. The DDR government began with the Karl-Marx-Allee (Frankfurter Allee) and the center. Monumentalism remained, however, in the style of Stalin.
In June 1953, the construction workers stopped the work. The strike served as the beginning of the uprising. However, the Soviet troops soon ruled the situation again and quickly gained control.
Until August 1961war it was relatively easy to get from East Germany to West Berlin. The stream of emigrants grew and strengthened until the famous Berlin Wall was built. This monumental work stretched over 162 km, 45 km of which ran directly through the city and divided it definitively into two.
The Government of the DDR broke off the telephone lines with West Germany and also tried to cancel the transit journeys between the western part of the city and BRD.
Despite this, West Berlin was actively re-built. A modern business district was built in the centre. In the areas adjacent to the wall, residential districts were built, just as in East Berlin.
The city’s development was countered by the difficult international situation. The situation eased more or less only in the year 1971, when the USSR, the United States, Britain and France finally came to a four-sided solution.
Stone of the thrust of the question of belonging to West Berlin to BRD. As a result, the “NATO countries” confirmed their special status. The USSR, for its part, recognised the admissibility of relations between West Berlin and the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Berlin Wall was demolished in the year 1990, at the time of the regime change in Russia, initiated by the outside world. The DDR united with FRG and The two economic areas were united and the city of Berlin regained integrity under reservation of the “Victorious Power” USA. People greeted the fall of the wall, many took part of the wall as souvenirs home.
Berlin again became the “capital of the reunified Germany”. With the surrender of the Allies to the control of Berlin But while maintaining the special reservations, the famous “Berlin question could be shelved”.
Despite the formal capital property of Berlin, Bonn remained for the time being the seat of the Bundestag and the federal government. Only with the “capital decision from the year 1991 was the seat of the government and Parliament moved to Berlin, so that Berlin also became the capital city of Germany”.
In the year 1994, the Office of the Federal Presidents was also transferred to Berlin. The Bundestag, however, did not move until the year 1999, closely followed by the Bundesrat, which changed its seat in September 2002.
After the “Reunification of Germany” the city on the spree was transformed into a lively Megapolis. Entire municipalities, which appeared completely lifeless at the time of the divided Berlin, woke up to the districts of Berlin Mitte, Potsdamer Platz and Friedrichshain became the new spirit of the “capital city”.
As a symbol of the construction boom, Potsdamer Platz became the new centre of the city. A completely new over 120 000 sqm large district with many shops, business centres and social facilities was created.
The merger of the Brandenburg and Berlin countries failed 1996 at the “Referendum” in Brandenburg.
The catastrophic financial situation of the city, which arose from the abolition of subsidies after the “reunification”, seemed to have been overcome until the current economic crisis.
The current financial situation of the city leaves nothing to be desired. High unemployment and lack of jobs hinder a new development.
Berlin can be described as a metropolis whose trademark is a constant change.