The Sofitel Berlin Gendarmenmarkt welcomes you in the heart of the capital. Located close to the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate, only 10 km from the exhibition centre and the airports, our prestigious hotel ...more
The hotel emphasizes the unique location and its rich history, aspiring to combine exceptional service with extraordinary comfort. Within the rich history of graceful architecture The Regent Berlin strives to integrate the ...more
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About Berlin Mitte
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Berlin Mitte is so-named because it is central to the city. Mitte, a term used for central, might be misleading now that the city is so large, but at one time, the Mitte was indeed central to Berlin's city life. This can been seen from the placement of the Brandenburg gate, the only one standing from the 1800s, as well as the cathedrals, massive protestant churches and even the remains of a 3,200-seat synagogue. These religious groups chose the Mitte, in part, to proclaim their religious prominence.
Before World War II, the Mitte had thrived just as Berlin did. In depression, the Mitte suffered as well. In good times, the Mitte thrived. After World War II, it contributed to Berlin's rise to prominence. Even though West Berlin shared the Mitte with East Berlin, the Mitte thrived. Then the Soviets launched their blockade of West Berlin. The Berlin Wall was erected, dividing the Mitte. This left both sides with an eyesore that both symbolized and created great division between the two Berlins. Many East Germans died as they tried to escape to freedom, and many others lived in fear, knowing that they could not reach the freedom on the other side of the wall.
While the capitalist, democratic Germany grew its economy, West Berlin slowly regained its economic footing. Salvaging the Mitte on its side, it maintained relics, created museums and began the process of returning the Mitte to its former glory. On the Soviet, communist side, the Mitte was considered a tool of the past. East Germany destroyed much of the original Mitte buildings. It constructed high-rise apartment buildings that were anything but beautiful. These were standardized, low-budget high-rises that were designed to provide cheap, quick housing. East Germany's economy suffered, and with that suffering, the Mitte fell further into disrepair.
A turning point came when President Reagan visited the West German side of the Berlin Mitte. He took political aim at the Berlin wall and demanded that it come down. In 1989, with the slow fall of the Soviet Union's power and the economic demise of communism, the East Germans were finally able to heed his words. With their own hands, East and West Germans tore down the wall that had divided the Berlin Mitte. Finally the Berlin Wall was gone, and the Mitte was once again able to claim the cultural and physical center of Berlin.
Over time, the East German side began to reshape itself to reflect the West German efforts at revival. The former East Berlin buildings were either torn down or used for better purposes. The Berlin state government helped bring prosperity to the Mitte when it located offices there.
Now the Mitte is celebrated as a place for culture and history. Some museums offer frank reflections on the terrible events of World War II. These recall Berlin Mitte's darkest days as home to the Third Reich. The art museums, galleries and shops offer a brighter and more hopeful picture.
Looking back at the past and offering beauty to the present, the Berlin Mitte has again reached a prominent place in the life of its city. Visitors flock to see the historic sites, and they mingle with residents as they enjoy the Mitte's vibrant cultural offerings and interesting cuisines. The era of division is almost forgotten as Berliners form a united city based on renewed commitment to democracy, a love of the arts, and a purposeful dedication to the common good.