Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free

From Prussia to the German Empire: The Evolution of Berlin as Germany’s Capital

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Original Berlin


Germany, known for its rich history and vibrant culture, has seen several cities serve as its capital throughout the centuries. However, one city in particular stands out as the most iconic and influential – Berlin. In this article, we will explore the fascinating journey of Berlin’s rise to becoming the capital of Germany.

The Early Days: Prussia and the Unification of Germany

In the late 19th century, Germany was fragmented into numerous kingdoms, city-states, and territories. Among them, the Kingdom of Prussia emerged as a dominant force, both politically and militarily. As Prussia sought to unify the German-speaking states, the need for a centralized capital became evident.

Berlin: A City on the Rise

Berlin, already a significant city in Prussia, was strategically located in the heart of the country. Its growing population, thriving economy, and progressive political atmosphere made it an ideal candidate for the capital city. Thus, on January 18, 1871, Berlin was officially declared the capital of the newly established German Empire.

The Weimar Republic and the Impact on Berlin

Following the defeat in World War I and the abdication of Emperor Wilhelm II, Germany faced a turbulent period known as the Weimar Republic. During this time, Berlin became a hotbed of political, intellectual, and artistic movements.

A Cultural Renaissance

Artists, writers, and thinkers flocked to Berlin, seeking inspiration and freedom of expression. The city witnessed the birth of the Bauhaus movement, which revolutionized architecture and design. Legendary painters such as Otto Dix and George Grosz depicted the social and political realities of the time through their art, while theaters and cabarets flourished.

Social and Political Unrest

However, alongside the cultural renaissance, Berlin also experienced social unrest and political extremism. The economic crisis, political instability, and the rise of extremist ideologies, including the Nazi Party, set the stage for momentous changes in Germany’s history.

The Capital of East and West

Following World War II, Germany was divided into East Germany (German Democratic Republic) and West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany). The capital, Berlin, was no exception to this division.

Division and the Berlin Wall

In 1961, tensions between the Soviet-controlled East Germany and the Western Allies reached a tipping point, leading to the construction of the Berlin Wall. The wall physically divided the city and separated families, friends, and communities. West Berlin, although geographically within East Germany, remained under the administration of the Western Allies and became a symbol of resistance against the communist regime.

The Fall of the Wall and Reunification

On November 9, 1989, as a result of mounting pressure and peaceful protests, the Berlin Wall finally crumbled, marking the end of an era. Germany was officially reunited on October 3, 1990, and Berlin, once again, became the capital of a unified Germany.

Berlin Today: A Global Capital

In the decades since reunification, Berlin has transformed itself into a vibrant and dynamic global metropolis. It attracts millions of tourists from around the world who come to explore its rich history, cultural diversity, and artistic creativity.

Historical Landmarks

Visitors to Berlin can explore historical landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag building, and Checkpoint Charlie, reminding us of the city’s turbulent past and its resilience.

Cultural Hub

With over 180 museums, including the renowned Museum Island, and a thriving music, theater, and film scene, Berlin has cemented its reputation as an international cultural hub.

Economic Powerhouse

Berlin’s economy has undergone significant growth, attracting startups, tech companies, and creative industries. It has become a hotspot for innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe.


From its early days as the capital of Prussia to its current status as the capital of a unified Germany, Berlin’s journey has been one of both challenges and triumphs. Its rich history, cultural vibrancy, and economic prowess make it a city like no other. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, or a business traveler, Berlin has something to offer everyone. Explore its past, experience its present, and be inspired by the ever-evolving spirit of this remarkable capital.

Thank you for reading. If you're inspired by the stories of Berlin and want to delve deeper, why not join us on our Free Berlin Walking Tour? It's a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the city's rich history and vibrant culture. We look forward to welcoming you soon.


  • 3.5 hours walking tour
  • Berlin’s major highlights
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Reichstag and Berlin Wall
  • Historical sites

Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free