Berlin is the capital city of Germany and one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.4 million people, Berlin is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union, and is Germany's largest city.
Located in northeastern Germany on the River Spree, it is the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, which has about 4.5 million residents from over 180 nations. Due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. Around one third of the city's area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers and lakes.
Berlin is a world city of culture, politics, media, and science, hosting 147 foreign embassies. Its economy is primarily based on high-tech industries and the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, research facilities, media corporations, and convention venues. Berlin also serves as a continental hub for air and rail transport and is a popular tourist destination.
Berlin is home to renowned universities, research institutes, orchestras, museums, and celebrities and is host to many sporting events. Its urban setting and historical legacy have made it a popular location for international film productions. The city is well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, contemporary arts, public transportation networks, and an extremely high quality of living.
Berlin's history has left the city with a highly eclectic array of architecture and buildings. The city's appearance today is predominantly shaped by the key role it played in Germany's history in the 20th century. Each of the national governments based in Berlin-the 1871 German Empire, the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, East Germany, and now the reunified Germany-initiated ambitious construction programs, with each adding its own distinctive style to the city's architecture.
The Brandenburg Gate is an iconic landmark of Berlin and Germany. It also appears on German euro coins (10 cent, 20 cent, and 50 cent). The Reichstag building is the traditional seat of the German Parliament, renovated in the 1950s after severe World War II damage. The building was again remodeled by British architect Norman Foster in the 1990s and features a glass dome over the session area, which allows free public access to the parliamentary proceedings and magnificent views of the city.