Berlin is the capital city of Germany and one of the 18 states of Germany. With a population of 3.8 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city and is the third most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Economic Community. Located in northeastern Germany on the River Spree, it is the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, which has about 5 million residents. 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.
First documented in the 13th century, Berlin was the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia (1701–1918), the German Empire (1871–1918), the Weimar Republic (1919–33) and the Third Reich (1933–45), the last of which saw extensive fighting in the Government District during the Battle of Berlin. Berlin in the 1920s was the third largest municipality in the world.
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. Significant industries include IT, pharmaceuticals, biomedical engineering, biotechnology, electronics, traffic engineering, and renewable energy.
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 and largely pre-war architecture, nightlife, contemporary arts, public transportation networks, and an extremely high quality of living.