Berlin is the capital of Germany and also a federal state. With about three and a half million inhabitants, Berlin is the largest German city as well as the largest city in the European Union. It is located in the east of Germany and is surrounded on all sides by the state of Brandenburg. South of Berlin lies the Brandenburg capital of Potsdam.
Berlin was founded almost 800 years ago. It became the capital of Prussia and from 1871 also of Germany. The city spread quickly at that time because many factories were built and therefore more and more people moved to the city to work and live. So that people could get to work faster, the first suburban and subway trains in Germany were built in Berlin at that time.
During the Second World War, much of Berlin was destroyed. The victors divided Berlin up: The west was occupied by Great Britain, France and the USA, the east by the Soviet Union. Because more and more people fled from East to West Berlin, the Berlin Wall was built in 1961. Thus, the inhabitants of the two parts of the city lived separated from each other for 28 years, until the fall of the Wall in 1989. Soon after, Berlin became the capital again.