The Capital Of Germany
Nearly no other metropolis in Europe has experienced such a frequent, radical change transformed the face of Berlin. Although Berlin saw steady growth in its importance, dazzling epochs alternated with darker eras. Nevertheless, the formerly divided city has succeeded in becoming a vibrant metropolis in the heart of Europe.
By around 1650 (just after the Thirty Years War), Coelln was the site of an important castle, of the Elector of Brandenburg. In the next century, Brandenburg became Prussia, a powerful independent state and Berlin became the capital of this state. Its main buildings were extended westwards from the castle, along the Unter den Linden. Berlin grew bigger and was enclosed by a new wall, the gate at the western end of the avenue (Unter den Linden), the Brandenburg Gate. Berlin's importance grew with Germany's growing importance, and in 1871 it became the capital of a new united Germany. This proved the trigger for a massive program of building to the west of Berlin. At this time, although the walls had been demolished, the Brandenburg Gate still remained standing, and this effectively marked the western limit of the city. The new areas in the west were brought into the city when Greater Berlin was created in 1920.