20th ESFC
Berlin, 14–19 August 2022
ESFC 2022 > Local Guide > About Berlin
20th European Symposium on Fluorine Chemistry
About Berlin
"Molecule Man" sculpture on the Spree riverBerlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. One of Germany’s sixteen constituent states, Berlin is surrounded by the State of Brandenburg and contiguous with Potsdam, Brandenburg’s capital. Berlin’s urban area, which has a population of around 4.5 million, is the second most populous urban area in Germany after the Ruhr.

Berlin straddles the banks of the Spree, which flows into the Havel (a tributary of the Elbe). Among the city’s main topographical features are the many lakes in the western and southeastern boroughs. About one-third of the city’s area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers, canals and lakes.

Then First documented in the 13th century and 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). Berlin in the 1920s was the third-largest municipality in the world. After World War II and its subsequent occupation by the victorious countries, the city was divided; West Berlin became a de facto exclave of West Germany, surrounded by the Berlin Wall (1961–1989) and East German territory. East Berlin was declared capital of East Germany, while Bonn became the West German capital. Following German reunification in 1990, Berlin once again became the capital of all of Germany.

Now Berlin is a world city of culture, politics, media and science. Its economy is based on high-tech firms and the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, research facilities, media corporations and convention venues. Significant industries also include IT, pharmaceuticals, biomedical engineering, clean tech, biotechnology, construction and electronics.

  • Reichstag buildingReichstag building
  • Berlin Cathedral on the Museum IslandBerlin Cathedral on the Museum Island
  • Altes Museum (old museum) on the Museum IslandAltes Museum (old museum) on the Museum Island
  • Bode Museum and Fernsehturm Berlin (Television Tower)Bode Museum and Fernsehturm Berlin (Television Tower)
Berlin contains three World Heritage Sites: Museum Island, the Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin, and the Berlin Modernism Housing Estates. Other landmarks include the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag building, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Berlin Wall Memorial, the East Side Gallery, the Berlin Victory Column, Berlin Cathedral and the Berlin Television Tower, the tallest structure in Germany. Berlin has numerous museums, galleries, libraries, orchestras, and sporting events. These include the Old National Gallery, the Bode Museum, the Pergamon Museum, the German Historical Museum, the Jewish Museum Berlin, the Natural History Museum, the Humboldt Forum, the Berlin State Library, the Berlin State Opera, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Berlin Marathon.
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