The city of Berlin is one of the most fascinating places in Europe, both for its history and for its status as a cultural metropolis. Like no other German city, it bears the scars of recent German history and carries the hopes and promises of a united Germany. With its important role in the Weimar Republic, its sites of political decisions and destruction during the last World War, and the fact that for over forty years it served as the symbol for Germany’s division, it is an excellent place for anyone who wants to become familiar with German and European history.
As a consequence of Berlin’s symbolic function during the post-war era, government subsidies made possible a rich intellectual and artistic culture which the recent unification has intensified. Thus, Berlin impresses the visitor with dozens of theaters, a number of major orchestras, three opera houses, and countless internationally renowned museums. An excellent transportation system facilitates an acquaintance with Berlin’s cultural and intellectual riches. The many public parks and waterways increase the attraction of Berlin for those who like the outdoors. Its location at the heart of Europe makes Berlin an excellent and convenient base for exploring other European cities and regions.