Berlin is the capital and the largest city of Germany as well as one of its 16 states. With a population of approximately 3.6 million people, Berlin is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union.
It is the centre of the Berlin-Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, which has about 6 million residents.
Berlin is a world city of culture, politics, media and science. Is home to 138 museums and more than 400 art galleries. The ensemble on the Museum Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is situated in the northern part of the Spree Island between the Spree and the Kupfergraben.
As early as 1841 it was designated a "district dedicated to art and antiquities" by a royal decree. Subsequently, the Altes Museum was built in the Lustgarten. The Neues Museum, which displays the bust of Queen Nefertiti, Alte Nationalgalerie, Pergamon Museum, and Bode Museum were built there.
First documented in the 13th century and situated at the crossing of two important historic trade routes, Berlin became the capital of the Margraviate of Brandenburg (1417–1701), the Kingdom of Prussia (1701–1918), the German Empire (1871–1918), the Weimar Republic (1919–1933) and the Third Reich (1933–1945).
After World War II, the city was divided; East Berlin became the capital of East Germany while West Berlin became a de facto West German exclave, surrounded by the Berlin Wall (1961–1989) and East Germany territory. Following German reunification in 1990, Berlin once again became the capital of a unified Germany.