Berlin - A look into the Past

Berlin - A look into the Past
Brandenburg Gate

For the curious travellers, they might be interested in knowing a bit of history about Berlin. In order to equip those travellers with sufficient knowledge to relate the places of interest with the actual past, this article lets the reader dip their toes in the water to get a feel for the city.

Berlin might be known for being the capital of the European economic powerhouse Germany but that's only the tip of the iceberg. This thriving multi-cultural and diverse city has had a fair share in World History and in order to understand how that shaped the city what it is now, we will travel back in time.

After World War II, Berlin found itself at the epicenter of a divided Europe, with the city split into East and West Berlin.

Division of Berlin:

  • The Potsdam Conference in 1945 among the Allied powers led to the division of Germany into four occupation zones, each controlled by one of the Allies. Berlin, although located entirely within the Soviet zone, was also divided into four sectors.

Formation of East and West Germany:

  • In 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) were officially established. West Berlin became an isolated enclave within East Germany.

Building the Berlin Wall:

  • To stem the flow of East Germans seeking asylum in the West, the East German government, with Soviet support, erected the Berlin Wall on August 13, 1961. The wall physically and ideologically separated East and West Berlin for almost three decades.

Cold War Symbol:

  • The Berlin Wall became a symbol of the Cold War, representing the ideological divide between communism and democracy.
  • Checkpoint Charlie, a famous border crossing point between East and West Berlin, became an iconic symbol of the Cold War tensions.

Fall of the Berlin Wall:

  • A series of events in 1989, including political reforms in the Soviet Union and protests in East Germany, led to the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989.
  • The opening of the wall paved the way for the reunification of Germany in 1990.

Reunification and the Capital Shift:

  • On October 3, 1990, Germany was officially reunified, and Berlin once again became the capital of a unified Germany.

Post-Reunification

Techno Movement:

  • Berlin emerged as a global hub for electronic music, particularly during the techno movement of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The city's underground scene flourished, with clubs like Tresor gaining international acclaim

Cultural Diversity:

  • The reunification brought an influx of new talent and perspectives to Berlin. The city's music scene became more diverse, incorporating influences from different genres, cultures, and regions.

Club Culture and Nightlife:

  • Berlin's legendary nightlife, with its emphasis on inclusivity and experimentation, became a hallmark of the city's music culture. The 24/7 nature of Berlin's clubs contributed to a unique and dynamic atmosphere.
Sunset at Landwehrkanal. Shot on an iPhone

I hope this short history of the city was a good motivation to read a bit more about the city and get ready for your trip. Even if you don't delve further into the history, the image below is an example of its' past. Difference in street lights might not be observed when walking around, until you really notice it. The East uses sodium-vapor lamps which produce a yellower light, while the west uses fluorescent lamps, which produces a whiter light.

Difference in Street Lights in the East vs West as seen from Space

This Blog Post is the first in Berlin Series. I will share all aspects of exploring the city in different posts to allow readers to jump to their topic of interest directly without much hassle. Until next time, Ciao!

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