Cool Cities, Berlin Wall


Cool Cities & Attractions in Germany

© German Information Center USA
Philipp visits the Natural History Museum© German Information Center USA

Berlin is the capital of Germany. It's also one of the biggest and most famous cities in Germany. If you go to southern Germany, Munich is where a giant Oktoberfest happens every year. That's one of the biggest parties in the world! Dresden is in eastern Germany and is where people go to see a famous painting by Raphael Sanzio called “The Sistine Madonna.” That's because the two little angels at the bottom of the painting are famous all over the world. If you like fashion and to shop, you should go to Düsseldorf in western Germany. I'd rather go a little further south to Stuttgart, so I can see where Porsche and Mercedes cars come from!

All over Germany there are lots of cities and towns with castles, cathedrals, even universities and other famous buildings that are hundreds of years old. There are even places with ruins over a thousand years old! Many people come to Germany to look at the towns from the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. There is something called the Fairy Tale Road, which stretches from the little town of Hanau, where the brothers were born, all the way to the city of Bremen, where the fairy tale “The Bremen City Musicians” is set. One nice place to stop on the road is the small town of Sababurg with Sleepy Beauty's castle. You can even spend the night in a castle there!

There is also an old route called the Romantic Road. Hundreds of years ago it was a trading road in Germany. Now if you travel from Würzburg to Füssen, you can see many old towns from the Middle Ages. The famous Neuschwanstein Castle built King Ludwig the Second of Bavaria (“Mad King Ludwig”) is in Füssen. If you think the castle looks like something you've seen before, it's probably because Walt Disney liked Neuschwanstein Castle so much that he built one like it in Disney World.

The Berlin Wall

After World War II Germany was divided. The government of East Germany built a wall around West Berlin in 1961 and sealed off East Germany from the West. People could no longer travel between East and West Germany.

This meant that people with family members on both sides of the wall could no longer see each other. The wall stayed in place for 28 years. During those years, many people in Easy Germany tried to go to West Germany. Sadly, many were hurt or killed.

In the fall of 1989, protests in East Germany against the government intensified and spread rapidly. People wanted to end the communist government, be free to elect their own leaders, and be able to travel whenever they wanted. The Berlin Wall began to fall after weeks of protests on November 9, 1989. The East German government did not stop people from tearing down the wall or crossing the border. On October 3, 1990, East and West Germany officially reunited.

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