Page:1902 Encyclopædia Britannica - Volume 26 - AUS-CHI.pdf/258

This page needs to be proofread.


226

BERLIN

the Reichskanzler) the “ official ” quarter of the capital, conditions of Berlin were the worst of any city in and the long Friedrich and Leipziger Strassen, both of Europe. It needed a Virchow to open the eyes of the which are flanked by handsome and attractive shops and municipality to the terrible waste of life such a state of restaurants, among the latter being the “ bier palaces of things entailed. But open sewers, public pumps, cobblethe great breweries. It is beyond this quarter that great paved roads, open market-places, and overcrowded subadditions have been made. In 1870 Berlin was practi- terranean dwellings are now things of the past. The city cally bounded on the south by the Landwehr canal, but is excellently drained, well paved, well lighted, and it has since extended far beyond, and on this side is now furnished with an abundant supply of carefully filtered only limited by the Tempelhofer Feld, the “champ de water, whilst the cellar dwellings have given place to light Mars ” of the capital, where the famous military reviews and airy tenements, and it justly claims to rank with the are held. The Landwehr canal, leaving the Spree at the cleanest and healthiest capitals in Europe. The immediate effect upon Berlin of the successful Schlesisches Thor and rejoining it at Charlottenburg, after issue of the war of 1870 was electrical. The old Prussian a course of six miles, adds no little to the charm of the southern and western districts (the residential quarter of capital girded itself at once to fulfil its new role. The the city), being flanked by fine boulevards and crossed concentration upon the city of a large garrison flushed with by many handsome bridges, notably the Potsdamer and victory, and eager to emulate the vanquished foe in works Victoria Briicke, which carries the traffic from two of peace, and vie with them in luxury, was an incentive to converging streets into the outer Potsdamer Strasse and Berliners to put forth all their energy. Besides the military, the Hercules Briicke, connecting the spacious Liitzow Platz an enormous immigration of civilian officials took place with the Thiergarten. To the north of the Unter den as the result of the new conditions, and as accommodaLinden lies the university quarter, with numerous hospitals tion was not readily available rents rose to an enormous and scientific institutions, which, interspersed with barracks figure. Building proceeded in hot haste, and in the years and other military buildings, practically occupies the immediately following the war whole streets of tenement whole district lying between the Spree and the Oranien houses, for the most part badly arranged, ill built, and of no architectural pretensions, were hurriedly erected. and Karl Strassen, the so-called Luisenstadt. Berlin is the principal residence of the emperor, the The year 1878 marks a fresh starting-point in the developseat of the Reichstag and the Prussian diets, and of the ment of the city. In that year Berlin was the meetingvarious State offices of the empire, the sole exception place of the famous congress which bears its name. The being the Supreme Court of Justice (Reichsgericht) which, recognition of Germany as a leading factor in the world s despite the exertions of Prussia, remains fixed at Leipzig. counsels had been given, and the people of Berlin could Since 1871 the growth of the city and its economic pro- indulge in the task of embellishing the capital city of gress have been phenomenal; indeed, it is only in Buda- the empire in a manner befitting its position. I roni pest that any parallel can be found among cities of the this time forward, State, municipal, and private enterprise eastern hemisphere for such rapid expansion and develop- have worked hand in hand to make the capital cosmoment. Its population has more than doubled in the last politan. Since the last edition of this work was published three decades. While in 1871 it amounted to 826,341, Berlin has been enriched by many public buildings, and in 1890 to 1,578,794, it had in 1900 reached a total (in- is able in this respect to vie in magnificence with any other capital in the world. Especially in the matter of cluding a garrison of some 20,000 strong) of 1,857,000. The marriage-rate (1898) was 22'09 per thousand, as against churches a striking increase is noticeable. The city now 21 '92 for the preceding ten years ; the birth-rate, for the same contains 115 Christian places of worship: viz., 99 Evanyear 28'93 per thousand, of which 4‘58 were illegitimate, as gelical, 15 Roman Catholic, and 1 Greek; and 9 Jewish ♦ against an average of 31-20 for the 10 yeare ; the death-rate synagogues, and of these no fewer than 30 have been dedi18-25, a rate which has rapidly diminished, the average for the cated during the reign of the Emperor William II. First ten years ending 1898 being 21-00, the average for the whole and foremost among them is the new cathedral (Dorn) century from 1798 being no less than 30 per thousand. The situation of Berlin, so far from being prejudicial which replaces the old building pulled down in 1893. It an imposing edifice of sandstone in the style of the to its growth and prosperity, has been the greatest deter- is Italian Renaissance, and has a dome rising with the lantern mining factor in its rapid rise to the position of the greatest industrial and commercial city on the Continent. to a height of 380 feet (see article Architecture). Kaiser Wilhelm Gedachtniss Kirche (in the suburb The Spree with its deep-water channel, and rarely frost- The Charlottenburg) with a lofty spire, the Dankes Kirche bound, connects it on the east through canals with the Oder, and thus with Stettin and other Baltic ports, and (in commemoration of the Emperor William I.’s escape with-river navigation in upper Silesia, loland, and upper from the hand of the assassin Nobilmg in 1878) m Austria, while linking it on the west through the Havel Wedding, and the Kaiser Friedrich Gedachtniss Kirche a grassy knoll in the north of the Thiergarten, are lakes with Hamburg, and with the cities of the upper on worthy of especial notice. In the Montbijou Park, on Elbe. In addition to its waterways, it is also the centre the north bank of the Spree, and just behind the Royal of an extensive railway system bringing it into close con- Museum, has been built the very pretty little English nexion with all the leading cities of the Continent. church of St George. The establishment of the imperial For administrative purposes the city is divided into Government in Berlin naturally brought with it the 48 wards, with 369 municipal and 102 police districts. erection of a large number of public buildings, and the fter 1870 doubts were often expressed whether the great prosperity of the country, as well as the enhanced Capital would be able to bear the burden of empire, so national feeling, has enabled them to be built on a scale enormous was the influx of citizens. It is due to the magnificent services of the municipal council that the city of splendour befitting the capital of an empire._ hirst in importance is the Reichstagsgebaude, m which the was enabled to assimilate the hosts of newcomers, and Reichsrath (imperial council) and the Reichstag (imperial it is to its indefatigable exertions that Berlin has in point diet) hold their sittings. The building is described m of organization become the model city of Europe. In the article on Architecture ; a special feature is the none other has public money been expended with such library, which is exceedingly rich in works on constituenlightened discretion, and in none other has the municipal tional law. A new house has also been built for the system kept pace with such rapid growth and displayed Prussian parliament (Landtag) and the Prussian House greater resource in emergencies. In 1870 the sanitary