Berlin (pron.: /bɜrˈlɪn/; German pronunciation: [bɛɐ̯ˈliːn] ( listen)) is the capital city of Germany and one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.5 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city and is the second most populous city proper and the ninth most populous urban area in the European Union. Located in northeastern Germany on the River Spree, it is the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, which has about 4½ million residents from over 180 nations. 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.
The Brandenburg Gate (German: Brandenburger Tor) is a former city gate, rebuilt in the late 18th century as a neoclassicaltriumphal arch, and now one of the most well-known landmarks of Germany. It is located west of the city centre of Berlin at the junction of Unter den Linden and Ebertstraße, immediately west of the Pariser Platz. One block to the north stands the Reichstag building. The gate is the monumental entry to Unter den Linden, the renowned boulevard of linden trees, which formerly led directly to the city palace of the Prussian monarchs. It was commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia as a sign of peace and built by Carl Gotthard Langhans from 1788 to 1791. Having suffered considerable damage in World War II, the Brandenburg Gate was fully restored from 2000 to 2002 by the Stiftung Denkmalschutz Berlin (Berlin Monument Conservation Foundation). During the post-war Partition of Germany, the gate was isolated and inaccessible immediately next to the Berlin Wall, and the area around the gate featured most prominently in the media coverage of the opening of the wall in 1989.
Throughout its existence, the Brandenburg Gate was often site for major historical events and is today considered as a symbol for the tumultuous European history but also of European unity and peace.