Think you know Berlin?
See if you can answer these 25 questions in our Berlin Quiz and find out. There is a 60 second timer for each question, so you will have to think fast!
But don’t be too intimidated – this is an entry level quiz – with questions dealing with basic Berlin history, geography, and landmarks. When you have answered each question you will also get a small description of the correct answer – so you might even learn something new along the way.
Your final score will be presented at the end of the quiz, as well as the option to share your results via Facebook or Twitter to challenge your friends.
If this is all too easy and you think you know the city better then consider taking our Berlin Expert Quiz…
#1. Berlin is said to get its name from an Old Polabian word meaning:
Although the origin of the name Berlin is uncertain. It is popularly consider to have its roots in the language of West Slavic inhabitants of the area of today’s city, and may be related to the Old Polabian stem berl-/birl- (“swamp“).
#2. When did Berlin become the capital of Germany?
When Germany was founded in 1871, following the Wars of Unification against Austria, Denmark, and France, Berlin became the capital of this new state.
#3. What is this building?
Commonly referred to as the TV Tower, but also known as the Berliner Fernsehturm. At a height of 368m, it is the tallest structure in Germany and the third tallest structure in the European Union.
#4. True or False: Berlin has more bridges than Venice?
There are more than 1,700 bridges in Berlin. Which means not only does Berlin have more bridges than Venice. It has more bridges than Venice, Amsterdam, and Stockholm combined.
#5. When was the Berlin Wall built?
Constructed on August 13th 1961 by the East German government, the Berlin Wall would stand for another 28 years 3 months and 28 days until the ‘Fall of the Wall’ on November 9th 1989.
#6. Which US President spoke in 1987 and called on Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to ‘Tear down this Wall’?
US President Ronald Reagan spoke on the western side of the Brandenburg Gate in June 1987, not only calling for Gorbachev to “Tear down this Wall” but importantly for many Berliners to “Open this Gate” – as the Brandenburg Gate was at that time inaccessible, stranded in the ‘Death Strip’ of the Berlin Wall.
#7. Which of these colours is not on the Berlin flag?
The Berlin flag is black, red, and white. Not to be confused with the German flag, which is black, red, and gold.
#8. Around which river was the original centre of Berlin built?
Like many cities, Berlin originally grew around a river – the river Spree. In fact it was here that two settlements – one called Berlin and the other called Cölln grew before being merged into one city in 1710 by Prussian King Frederick I.
#9. Which of the following people was NOT born in Berlin?
Although Adolf Hitler would become a naturalised citizen of Germany in 1932 – following his appointment as a low-ranking official for the city of Braunschweig – the future Führer was born in the Austrian town of Braunau am Inn and remained an Austrian citizen until renouncing his citizenship in 1925 to become a stateless individual for the next seven years.
#10. Which animal is featured on Berlin’s coat of arms?
The oldest preserved and known seal of Berlin is from 1253. It depicts the Brandenburg Eagle spreading its wings and was supposedly the seal of Berlin’s first mayor Marsilius. However, in 1709, for the first time a bear appeared on the Berlin coat of arms, formerly alongside the eagles of Brandenburg and Prussia. The present day Berlin coat of arms was introduced in West Berlin in 1954, while the East German government used a slightly different version – both making use of the bear, that had by that time become something of a city mascot. Take a trip around the German capital today and you will see the bear everywhere…
#11. What is the capital of the state of Berlin?
Berlin is not only a city but also a state – the capital of the state of Berlin is…Berlin.
#12. From 1949 the seat of government of West Germany was in which city?
Whilst East Berlin would serve as the defacto capital of East Germany from 1949 until 1990; the West German government was based in Bonn – a city of around 300,000 located in the most populous of the current 16 German states: North Rhine-Westphalia. From 1990 to 1999, Bonn also served as the seat of government – but no longer capital – of reunited Germany.
#13. What is the name given to the Berlin underground?
The Berlin underground network is known as the U-bahn. Whilst the S-bahn trains are predominantly overground (although with some notable exceptions), there are also some instances where the U-bahn appears overground too (albeit only for a few stations on the line).
#14. How many museums are there on Berlin’s Museumsinsel?
There are 5 museums on Berlin’s Museumsinsel: the Altes Museum, the Neues Museum, the Alte National Galerie, the Pergamon Museum, and the Bode Museum. In July 2019, the James Simon Gallery was completed as the sixth building on the island and acts as a visitors centre.
#15. Roughly how many people live in Berlin?
According to government statistics, there are 3.669.491 residents in Berlin as of December 31st 2019.
#16. What is special about this landmark?
Completed the same year as the Television Tower (seen in the background of the image), the Urania-Weltzeituhr was a popular meeting place in East Berlin. By walking around the clock it is possible to travel around the world and see the time in different time zones, with the important cities listed above and underneath the central clock section.
#17. Berlin was previously the capital city of which European power that no longer exists?
From 1701, Berlin served as the capital of the Imperial Kingdom of Prussia – which would grow to become the largest state in Germany following Unification in 1871, with Berlin from that point serving as the capital of the united country. The Kingdom of Prussia continued as a Germany until 1918 when it was abolished in favour of a republic.
#18. What was the name of the royal family that established the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701?
Elector Frederick III of the House of Hohenzollern established the Kingdom of Prussia by crowned himself “King in Prussia” and taking the title of Frederick I on 18 January 1701.
#19. Where did US President John F. Kennedy give his famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech?
Kennedy spoke to an audience of 120,000 from a platform erected on the steps of Rathaus Schöneberg on June 26th 1963 – at that time the building served as the seat of the state senate of West Berlin and as the seat of the Governing Mayor – future West German Chancellor Willy Brandt.
#20. Which city is connected to Berlin by the ‘Bridge of Spies’?
Officially known as the Glienicker Brücke, this green bridge connects Berlin with the neighbouring city of Potsdam but also connects the state of Berlin to the state of Brandenburg – which incidentally also has Potsdam as its capital. The Glienicker Brücke served as a Cold War era crossing point between West Berlin on one side and East Germany on the other – and as the only crossing point in the city that fell completely under the control of the Soviet authorities it was used to facilitate a number of spy exchanges. Including the exchange on February 10th 1962 of captured U2-pilot Francis Gary Powers for Soviet Colonel Rudolf Abel.
#21. What is the name of the official residence of the President of Germany?
Schloss Bellevue has been the official residence of the President of Germany since 1994. Its name derives from the French – “beautiful view” – to refer to the vantage point it has over the nearby river Spree.
#22. Which former Berlin airport is now a city park?
Now known as Tempelhofer Feld, this city park was opened in 2008 and is located on the site of the former Tempelhof airport. During the Cold War era this airport was used by US occupation forces and played an important role in the Berlin Airlift.
#23. Complete this famous quote by East German leader Walter Ulbricht from June 1961…”Nobody has any intentions of…”
At a press conference on June 15th 1961, East German leader Walter Ulbrich was asked by the journalist Annemarie Doherr from the Frankfurter Rundschau whether creating a free city will involve building a state border at the Brandenburg Gate… to which he replied: “I understand your question in this way: that there are people in West Germany who want us to mobilise the construction workers of the GDR capital to build a wall. Am I right? I am not aware of any such plans. Most of the capital’s construction workers are busy building flats and their manpower is being put to full use in these projects. Nobody has any intention of building a wall.” Less than two months later, the construction of the Berlin Wall began on August 13th 1961.
#24. Which US celebrity is famous for having performed a concert next to the Berlin Wall in 1989 whilst dangling from a crane?
Wearing a piano-keyboard scarf and a leather jacket covered in Christmas lights, David Hasselhoff stood in a bucket crane and performed his song Looking For Freedom to a crowd gathered near the Brandenburg Gate on New Years Eve in 1989. While famous for his roles in Nightrider and Baywatch, Hasselhoff has also had a successful musical career, with his album, also named Looking For Freedom, going triple platinum in Europe in the 1980s. The title track even managed to reach number 1 in the West German charts.
#25. Which famous European arrived through the Brandenburg Gate in 1806?
Following the defeat of the Prussian army in the twin battles of Jena and Auerstedt, Napoleon Bonaparte triumphantly entered Berlin through the Brandenburg Gate on October 14th 1806. His army marched in dress uniform, while Napoleon, in disregard for his personal safety, rode alone, yards in front, in his humble colonel’s attire.
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