Berlin — The City
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.5 million people, Berlin is Germany’s largest city and is the second most populous city proper and the eighth most populous urban area in the European Union. Located in northeastern Germany, it is the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, which has 5.9 million residents from over 190 nations. Located in the European Plains, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. Around one third of the city’s area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers and lakes.
First documented in the 13th century, Berlin was the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia (1701–1918), the German Empire (1871–1918), the Weimar Republic (1919–1933) and the Third Reich (1933–1945). Berlin in the 1920s was the third largest municipality in the world. After World War II, the city became divided into East Berlin—the capital of East Germany—and West Berlin, a West German exclave surrounded by the Berlin Wall (1961–1989). Following German reunification in 1990, the city regained its status as the capital of Germany, hosting 147 foreign embassies.
Berlin is a world city of culture, politics, media, and science. Its economy is primarily based on the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, media corporations, and convention venues. Berlin also serves as a continental hub for air and rail transport, and is a popular tourist destination. Significant industries include IT, pharmaceuticals, biomedical engineering, biotechnology, electronics, traffic engineering, and renewable energy.
Berlin is home to renowned universities, research institutes, orchestras, museums, and celebrities, as well as host of many sporting events. Its urban settings and historical legacy have made it a popular location for international film productions. The city is well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, contemporary arts, public transportation networks and a high quality of living.
The Humboldt University of Berlin is Berlin‘s oldest university, founded in 1810 as the University of Berlin by the liberal Prussian educational reformer and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt, whose university model has strongly influenced other European and Western universities. From 1828 it was known as the Frederick William University, and later (unofficially) also as the Universität unter den Linden after its location. In 1949, it changed its name to Humboldt-Universität in honour of both its founder Wilhelm and his brother, geographer Alexander von Humboldt.
After the unification of East and West Germany, the university was radically restructured and all professors had to reapply for their positions. The faculty was largely replaced with West German professors, among them the historian Heinrich August Winkler. Today, Humboldt University is a state university with a large number of students (37,145 in 2003, among them more than 4,662 foreign students) after the model of West German universities, and like its counterpart Free University of Berlin.
Its main building is located in the centre of Berlin at the boulevard Unter den Linden. The building was erected on order by King Frederick II for his younger brother Prince Henry of Prussia. Most institutes are located in the centre, around the main building, except the natural science institutes, which are located at Adlershof in the south of Berlin. Further, the university continues its tradition of a book sale at the university gates facing Bebelplatz.
Famous alumni, professors, and lecturers include (40 Nobel Prizes):
- Michelle Bachelet (1951- ), Pediatrician and epidemiologist, President of the Republic of Chile
- Otto von Bismarck (1815–1898), first German chancellor
- Max Born (1882–1970), physicist, Nobel Prize for physics in 1954
- Gottlieb Burckhardt (1836-1907), psychiatrist, first physician to perform modern psychosurgery (1888)
- Zakir Hussain (1897-1969),third president of India
- W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963), African-American activist and scholar
- Paul Ehrlich (1854–1915), physician, Nobel Prize for medicine in 1908
- Albert Einstein (1879–1955), physicist, Nobel Prize for physics in 1921
- Friedrich Engels (1820–1895), journalist and philosopher
- Hermann Emil Fischer (1852–1919), founder of modern biochemistry, Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1902
- Werner Forßmann (1904–1979), physician, Nobel Prize for medicine in 1956
- James Franck (1882–1964), physicist, Nobel Prize for physics in 1925
- Fritz Haber (1868–1934), chemist, Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1918
- Otto Hahn (1879–1968), chemist, Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1944
- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831), philosopher
- Werner Heisenberg (1901–1976), physicist, Nobel Prize for physics in 1932
- Gustav Hertz (1887–1975), physicist, Nobel Prize for physics in 1925
- Jacobus Henricus van ‘t Hoff (1852–1911), chemist, Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1901
- Robert Koch (1843–1910), physician, Nobel Prize for medicine in 1905
- Albrecht Kossel (1853–1927), physician, Nobel Prize for medicine in 1910
- Max von Laue (1879–1960), physicist, Nobel Prize for physics in 1914
- Wassily Leontief (1905–1999), economist, Nobel Prize for economics in 1973
- Theodor Mommsen (1817–1903), historian, Nobel Prize for literature in 1902
- Max Planck (1858–1947), physicist, Nobel Prize for physics in 1918
- Bernhard Schlink (1944- ), writer, Der Vorleser (The Reader)
- Erwin Schrödinger (1887–1961), physicist, Nobel Prize for physics in 1933
- Hans Spemann (1869–1941), biologist, Nobel Prize for biology in 1935
- Wilhelm Wien (1864–1928), physicist, Nobel Prize for physics in 1911
- Richard Willstätter (1872–1942), chemist, Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1915
Tegel Airport — Former West Berlin’s Door to the World
How I’ll be getting to Berlin, my apartment, and Humboldt….