Berlin – Historical overview – The beginnings

Few cities have a history as clear as Berlin. Walking through the streets you cannot help but see the forces, which shaped the city because they left physical traces in the form of damage to buildings from bomb fragments, and most clearly in the form of a large dead area in the center of the city.

This is the key to Berlin's atmosphere. The past and the present coexist in him. When talking about history, we talk about events, that have a direct impact on it, what's in front of your eyes. No city embodies the twentieth century more than Berlin. Even after the darkest days of the Cold War passed and as a result of arrangements between the superpowers, the city ceased to be the center of international tensions, somehow it still symbolized the post-war order. The process is still ongoing. Today, when the next act of world history takes place, Berlin serves as a stage again.


Archaeologists judge, that man inhabited the area of ​​modern Berlin for approx 60.000 years ago. The areas of activity of hunter-gatherer tribes date back to approx 8000 year BCE. . also discovered more extensive remains of agricultural settlements from the Stone Age in a year 4000 p. n. e. The Romans considered this territory barbaric and left nothing behind. Although the Germanic tribes first appeared in the historical arena in the 5th and 6th centuries A.D.. e., many of them left these areas during the great migrations in later centuries, and the abandoned areas were occupied by the Slavs. German domination did not begin until the 12th and 13th centuries, when the Saxon feudal lords of Marcin Brandenburg ousted the Slavs. The Saxons also granted city rights to two modest riverside towns - and this is where the history of Berlin really begins.


Situated in the marshes around the island (today Museuuminsel and Fischerinsle) located at the narrowest point of the Spree River, Berlin and Kolno (renamed Colln) they were situated on an important trade route to the east and entered the period of development as cities. Despite many interconnections (including the common town hall built in 1307 year), they retained their distinct identity throughout the fourteenth century, when both were given the right to mint their own coin and to pass death sentences in local courts. Admission of Berlin and Colln to the Hanseatic League (1369) confirmed their economic and political role. To year 1391 cities gained practical independence from the Marcha of Brandenburg, in which chaos reigned at the beginning of the 15th century.

Order was introduced by Frederick Hohenzollern, murgrabia Nuremberg. At first, the citizens of Berlin and Colln favorably accepted the subjugation of the province by Frederick. However ,when his son Johann tried to treat them just as badly, they forced him to withdraw to Spandau (former Spędów). Only divisions in their ranks made it possible for Frederick II. brother Johann. takeover of both cities. Some of the guilds offered him the keys to the city gates, if he had taken their side in a dispute with the councils of Berlin-Colln. Fryderyk accepted the offer, and then built a palace and established a hard-fisted reign, ordering the severance of ties linking Berlin with Colln.

Having immediately suppressed the revolt of St. 1448 Fryderyk imposed new restrictions on the year. A chain symbolizing the strengthening of the Hohenzollern power is hung around the neck of the bear from the coat of arms of Berlin, (it limited the freedom of the animal to 1875 year). When the Hohenzollerns moved here with their court, Berlin-Colln uzyskał status Hesidenzstadt (royal residence) and grew rapidly, the former houses made of woven braided plaster were replaced with more durable stone buildings, which culminated in the erection of a Renaissance castle completed in 1540 year. But life was still hard, because despite opting for the Reformation, Berlin-Colln was backward in relation to the great cities of western and southern Germany, a w 1576 he suffered from the plague. Nadir development of the city occurred during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648).
After further invasions by the Swedish army, the twin city lost half of its population and a third of its buildings.