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Berlin Travel Guide

Berlin is the capital and largest city in Germany. It is best known for its historical associations as the German capital, for its internationality, street art, museums, and palaces. Berlin has evolved into a global focal point for young individuals and artists attracted by liberal lifestyle and modern zeitgeist.

As of 2009, Berlin has a population of 3.4 million in the city itself and 4.9 million in the metropolitan area, making it the second most populous city in Germany. About 13.9% of the population were of foreign nationality, originating from 195 foreign countries while 11.7% of the population are descendants of international migrants and have either become naturalized German citizens or obtain German citizenship by birth. The largest foreign national groups are those from Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Italy, Russia, United States, France, Vietnam, Chinese, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the United Kingdom.

Berlin has an Oceanic climate which features a temperate climate. Summers are warm, with an average temperature of 65 degrees F (18 degrees C) while winters are cold with an average temperature of 31 degrees F (-6 degrees C). Spring and autumn are generally chilly to mild. Annual precipitation is 22 inches (570 mm) with moderate rainfall throughout the year. A light snowfall may occur from December through March.

Berlin is a huge city and plenty of historical landmarks for tourists to go see. The Berlin Wall was constructed in 1961 by the German Democratic Republic that separated the city of West Berlin from East Germany. It was officially referred to as the 'Anti-Fascist Protection Wall' implying that West Germany had not been fully de-Nazified. The Berlin Wall fell in November 9, 1989 but was not torn down immediately from its entirety. A large stretch of the intact wall can be found on the east of the city center and was preserved as a gallery.

Of course, Berlin doesn't attempt to hide the less savory parts of its history. A visit to the Topography of Terror provides interesting but depressing insights into the activities of the Gestapo during the Nazi period. This outdoor museum had its first exhibition in 1987, as part of Berlin's 750th anniversary. The preserved section of the Berlin Wall can also be seen at the Topography of Terror.

The Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) is the biggest and most impressive church in Berlin. It is the parish church of the Evangelical congregation, one of the largest denominations in Berlin. The church was built during 19th and 20th century (also known as 'the turn of the century') as a symbol of imperial power.

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