Berlin has a long tradition as the capital of Prussia and was chosen in 1871 to be the capital of the newly formed German Reich (Empire). It was divided by the Allied Occupying Powers into four occupation sectors in 1945. The Eastern (Soviet) Sector became the capital of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). The three Western Sectors became known as “West Berlin” and remained surrounded by the GDR. Since German reunification in 1990, the united Berlin has 3.6 million inhabitants in 12 districts and has been reinstated as the capital of Germany. It’s also the largest German city in population and is a state of Germany (one of three “city-states”). Among its landmarks are the “Kurfürstendamm”, (elegant shopping boulevard), the “Siegessäule” (Victory Column commemorating the German victory over France in 1871), the Brandenburg Gate with its Quadriga (Four Horsemen), and the historic “Reichstag” (Parliament Building).
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