Berlin', the capital of Prussia, and since 1871, of the German empire, and the third largest city of Europe, is situated on a flat sandy plain, in 52° 30' N. lat., 13° 24' E. long., and is divided into two nearly equal parts by the sluggish Spree. The inconvenience of its low-lying situation in the midst of the sandy flats of Brandenburg is more than made up for by the great geographical advantages of its position in the heart of Northern Germany. By rail it is 177 miles SE. of Hamburg, 101 NNE. of Leipzig, and 362 ENE. of Cologne; whilst from London it can be reached in 25 hours, Paris in 23 1/2, and Vienna in 15. The advance of the city has been extraordinary. In 1804 the pop. was 182,157; in 1871 it was 826,341; in 1880, 1,122,330; and in 1900, 1,888,848. It was not till the time of the 'Great Elector,' Frederick-William (1640-88), that the town became of consequence. In the 17th century it received many French and Bohemian religious refugees. Under Frederick the Great, it continued to prosper. Since the peace of 1815, Berlin has increased with extraordinary rapidity; by reason of the high rents, a tenth of the population are driven to take up their abode in cellars underground. At the centre of the city is the old royal palace, with nearly 700 apartments. Near this are the emperor's palace, the imperial residence; the royal library, which contains upwards of 1,300,000 volumes and 30,000 manuscripts; the old and new museums, the national gallery, the arsenal, the royal theatre, the opera-house, the guard-house, and the university. These are all situated between the Spree and the east end of the street ' Unter den Linden' (so called from its double avenue of limes). The city is adorned throughout with numerous statues of national heroes, the Great Elector, Frederick the Great, and many others. There are more than 20 theatres in Berlin. The university, established in 1809, has 400 professors and lecturers and 6000 students, with museums, institutes, and library. Famous professors have been Fichte, Hegel, Schelling, Schleiermacher, Eichhorn, De Wette, Neander, Wolff, Savigny, Niebuhr, the brothers Grimm, Ranke, Mommsen, Curtius, Lepsius, Dorner, Treitschke, Sybel, Dove, Gneist, Virchow, Helm-holtz, Van t'Hoff, and Harnack. Other institutions are the Academy of Sciences; the Military Academy; the Academy of Architecture; the Academic High School (of art); the School of Mines; the School of Agriculture; the Artillery, Technical, and Engineering Colleges; the Industrial (1881), Ethnological (1886), and other museums; the Academy of Music; and the Observatory. About 88 per cent. of the pop. are Protestants, 7 per cent. Roman Catholics, and 5 per cent. Jews. Berlin has a cathedral, rebuilt in 1893-95, 100 Protestant and 15 Catholic churches. Of these, the Nicolaikirche (restored in 1880), Marienkirche (with a spire 295 feet high), and Klosterkirche, all of the 13th century, are the oldest; the Petrikirche (with a tower 315 feet high) is the loftiest; and the Michaelskirche (Catholic), Thomaskirche, Zions-kirche, Dankeskirche (1884), and Heiligekreuz-kirche (1887), are more recent. The New Synagogue (1866) has seats for 3000 persons.
The Old Museum contains antiquarian specimens, a collection of 90,000 coins, a gallery of ancient sculpture, and a picture-gallery with about 1300 paintings. The New Museum contains six magnificent mural paintings by Kaul-bach in the grand staircase, a very valuable collection of casts, the Egyptian museum, and 500,000 engravings. The National Gallery includes about 700 works by modern artists. The celebrated Brandenburg Gate leads to the Thier-garten. To the south-west of this lies the Zoological Garden. The Botanical Garden (at Schoneberg) contains 25,000 species. Noteworthy also are the Rathhaus, the royal chateau of Monbijou, the Ruhmeshalle in the arsenal, the Gothic monument on the Kreuzberg, the Column of Peace in the Belle-Alliance-Platz, the Warriors' Monument, the Column of Victory, the War Office, the new building for the Reichstag, the Exchange, and the Reichsbank. Berlin now ranks among the most important mercantile places of continental Europe, and has large manufacturing industries.
See, besides the guidebooks, Vizetelly, Berlin under the New Empire (1879), and histories (in German) by Wilken (1826), Fidicin (1852), Schwe-bel (1882), etc.