Reunited Berlin (1990- today)

Reunited Berlin (1990- today)

Capital of Germany

Reichstag – © Scholvien
Bundeskanzleramt – © Scholvien

End of the division of Germany

The 2+4 Treaty, signed on 12th September 1990 in Moscow by both Germanys as well as the victorious powers from the Second World War (USA, England, France, Soviet Union), set the seal under international law on German reunification and Germany’s full sovereignty as well as the end of the four-power responsibility for Berlin. It was then possible for the Unification Treaty between East and West Germany to come into effect, enabling 3rd October 1990 to be enshrined as the “Tag der deutschen Einheit” (Day of German Unity) in the new/old capital of Berlin. The withdrawal of the Allies from Berlin in 1994 was celebrated with parades and a Grand Military Tattoo in honour of the protecting powers on Pariser Platz.

Berlin as the Capital of Germany

On 11th January 1991, the first Senate for the whole of Berlin was elected in the Berlin Parliament, and on 20th June the new German Parliament, still based in Bonn, made its historic decision to return to Berlin. The Ruling Mayor of Berlin moved his official seat from Schöneberg Town Hall to the Berlin Town Hall (“Red Town Hall”) at Alexanderplatz. With the completion of the newly renovated Reichstag (1999), the new Bundeskanzleramt (Federal Chancellery) (2001) as well as the adjoining parliamentary buildings (Paul-Löbe House 2001/Jacob-Kaiser House 2002/Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders House 2003), the new political centre of power in Germany was created between the Brandenburg Gate (itself restored in 2001-2002) and the Humboldt harbour.

The new face of the German capital

Since reunification, Berlin has established itself as an internationally attractive city bustling with creativity and open to the world. The FIFA World Cup Finals in 2006 provided for a markedly improved image of Germany and Berlin. The so-called “Sommermärchen” (summer fairy-tale) attracted millions of visitors from the four corners of the world, including to the famous fan mile between the Brandenburg Gate and the Siegessäule (Victory Column), where enormous numbers of fans peacefully and joyfully cheered on the teams. Berlin continued to develop into a world centre for contemporary art and fashion. The Berlin Fashion Week, which has been held twice a year since 2007, as well as the art fairs such as the Berlin Art Week, which took place for the first time in August 2012, quicken the interest of fashion industry experts as well as the many tourists who stimulate Berlin with their visit.