Saturday, June 26, 2010

Welcome to Berlin!

  • Berlin is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the European Union.
  • The name Berlin is of unknown origin, but may be related to the Old Polabian, an West Slavic language. The word "berl" means "swamp".
  • The famous Brandenburg Gate is an iconic landmark of Berlin and Germany. It also appears on German euro coins.
  • In 1963 at the "Rathaus Schöneberg" (city hall of Schöneberg), former president of the US, John F. Kennedy, made his famous "Ich bin ein Berliner!" speech ("I am a citizen of Berlin").
  • Berlin maintains official partnerships with 17 cities. Town twinning between Berlin and other cities began with Los Angeles in 1967.
  • Young Germans and international artists continue to settle in the city, and Berlin has established itself as a center of youth and popular culture in Europe. Signs of this expanding role was the 2003 announcement that the annual "Popkomm", Europe's largest music industry convention, would move to Berlin after 15 years in Cologne.
  • There are seven symphony orchestras in Berlin - The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the preeminent orchestras in the world.
  • Berlin is an important center in the European and German film industry. It is home to more than one thousand film and television production companies, 270 movie theaters, and around 300 national and international co-productions are filmed in the region every year.
  • Berlin's Botanical Garden includes the Botanic Museum Berlin. With an area of 43 hectares (110 acres) and around 22,000 different plant species it is one of the largest and most diverse gardens in the world.
  • Typical Berliner dishes include a "Currywurst" (spiced sausage) which was invented in Berlin in 1949.
  • Berlin has established a high profile reputation as a host city of international sporting events. Berlin hosted the 1936 Olympics and was the host city for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final (Soccer).

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