Population.—The stupendous growth of the population of Berlin during the last century is best illustrated by the following figures. In 1816 it contained 197,717 inhabitants; in 1849, 431,566; in 1871, 826,341; in 1880, 1,122,330; 1890, 1,578,794, and in 1905, 2,033,900. The birth-rate is about 30, and the death-rate 20 per 1000 inhabitants a year. Illegitimate births amount to about 15% of the whole. According to religion, about 84% are Protestants, 10% Roman Catholics and 5% Jews, but owing to the great number of Jews who for social and other reasons ostensibly embrace the Christian faith, these last figures do not actually represent the number of Jews by descent living in the city.
Environs.—Marvellous as has been the transformation in the city itself, no less surprising results have been effected since 1875 in the surroundings of Berlin. On the east, north and west, the city is surrounded at a distance of some 5 m. from its centre by a thick belt of pine woods, the Jungfernheide, the Spandauer Forst, and the Grunewald, the last named stretching away in a south-westerly direction as far as Potsdam, and fringing the beautiful chain of Havel lakes. These forests enjoyed until quite recent times an unenviable notoriety as the camping-ground and lurking-place of footpads and other disorderly characters. After the opening of the circular railway in 1871, private enterprise set to work to develop these districts, and a “villa colony” was built at the edge of the Grunewald between the station West-end and the Spandauer Bock. From these beginnings, owing mainly to the expansion of the important suburb of Charlottenburg, has resulted a complete transformation of the eastern part of the Grunewald into a picturesque and delightful villa suburb, which is connected by railway, steam-tramway and a magnificent boulevard—the Kurfürstendamm—with the city. Nowadays the little fishing villages on the shores of the lakes, notably the Wannsee, cater for the recreation of the Berliners, while palatial summer residences of wealthy merchants occupy the most prominent sites. Suburban Berlin may be said to extend practically to Potsdam.
Traffic.—The public streets have a total length of about 350 m., and a large staff of workmen is regularly employed in maintaining and cleaning the public roads and parks. The force is well controlled, and the work of cleaning and removing snow after a heavy fall is thoroughly and efficiently carried out. The less important thoroughfares are mostly paved with the so-called Vienna paving, granite bricks of medium size, while the principal streets, and especially those upon which the traffic is heavy, have either asphalt or wood paving.
Water-Supply and Drainage.—The water-supply is mainly derived from works on the Müggel and Tegeler lakes, the river water being carefully filtered through sand. The drainage system is elaborate, and has stood the test of time. The city is divided into twelve radial systems, each with a pumping station, and the drainage is forced through five mains to eighteen sewage farms, each of which is under careful sanitary supervision, in respect both of the persons employed thereon, and the products, mainly milk, passing thence to the city for human consumption. Only in a few isolated cases has any contamination been traced to fever or other zymotic germs. In this connexion it is worth noting that the infectious diseases hospital has a separate system of drainage which is carefully disinfected, and not allowed to be employed for the purposes of manure.
Hospitals.—In no other city of the world is the hospital organization so well appointed as in Berlin, or are the sick poor tended with greater solicitude. State, municipal and private charity here again join hands in the prompt relief of sickness and cases of urgency. The municipal hospitals are six in number, the largest of which is the Virchow hospital, situate in Moabit and opened in 1906. It is arranged on the pavilion system, contains 2000 beds, and is one of the most splendidly equipped hospitals in the world. The cost amounted to £900,000. Next comes that of Friedrichshain, also built on the pavilion system, while the state controls six (not including the prison infirmaries) of which the world-renowned Charité in the Luisen-strasse is the principal. The hospitals of the nursing sisters (Diakonissen Anstalten) number 8, while there are 60 registered private hospitals under the superintendence of responsible doctors and under the inspection of government.
Charities.—Berlin is also very richly endowed with charitable institutions for the relief of pauperism and distress. In addition to the municipal support of the poor-houses there are large funds derived from bequests for the relief of the necessitous and deserving poor; while night shelters and people’s kitchens have been organized on an extensive scale for the temporary relief of the indigent unemployed. For the former several of the arches of the city railway have been utilized, and correspond in internal arrangement to like shelters instituted by the Salvation Army in London and various other cities.
Markets.—Open market-places in Berlin are things of the past, and their place has been taken by airy and commodious market halls. Of these, 14 in number, the central market, close to the Alexander-platz station of the city railway with which it is connected by an admirable service of lifts for the rapid unloading of goods, is the finest. It has a ground area of about 17,000 sq. yds., and is fitted with more than 2000 stalls. The other markets are conveniently situated at various accessible places within the city, and the careful police supervision to which they are subjected, both in the matter of general cleanliness, and in the careful examination of all articles of food exposed for sale, has tended to the general health and comfort of the population.
The central cattle market and slaughter-houses for the inspection and supply of the fresh meat consumed in the metropolis occupy an extensive area in the north-east of the city on the Ringbahn, upon which a station has been erected for the accommodation of meat trains and passengers attending the market. The inspection is rigorously carried out, and only carcases which have been stamped as having been certified good are permitted to be taken away for human consumption.
History.—The etymology of the word “Berlin” is doubtful. Some derive it from Celtic roots—ber, small, short, and lyn, a lake; others regard it as a Wend word, meaning a free, open place; others, again, refer it to the word werl, a river island. Another authority derives it from the German word Brühl, a marshy district, and the Slavonic termination in; thus Brühl, by the regular transmutation Bührl (compare Ger. bren-nen and Eng. burn), Bürhlin. More recent research, however, seems to have established the derivation from Wehr, dam.
Similar obscurity rests on the origin of the city. The hypotheses which carried it back to the early years of the Christian era have been wholly abandoned. Even the margrave Albert the Bear (d. 1170) is no longer unquestionably regarded as its founder, and the tendency of opinion now is to date its origin from the time of his great-grandsons, Otto III. and John I. When first alluded to, what is now Berlin was spoken of as two towns, Kölln and Berlin. The first authentic document concerning the former is from the year 1237, concerning the latter from the year 1244, and it is with these dates that the trustworthy history of the city begins. In 1307 the first attempt was made to combine the councils of Kölln and Berlin, but the experiment was abandoned four years later, and the two towns continued their separate existence till 1432, when the establishment of a common council for both led to disturbances of which the outcome was that Frederick II. the Iron in 1442 abolished this arrangement, seriously curtailed the privileges of both towns, and began the building of a castle at Kölln. A feud between the elector and the Berliners ended in the defeat of the latter, who in 1448 were forced to accept the constitution of 1442. From this time Berlin became and continued to be the residence of the Hohenzollerns, the elector John Cicero (1486-1499) being the first to establish a permanent court inside the walls. It was not, however, until the time of King Frederick William I. that the sovereigns ceased to date their official acts from Kölln. In 1539, under the elector Joachim II., Berlin embraced the Lutheran religion. Henceforth the history of Berlin was intimately bound up with the house of Hohenzollern. The conversion of the elector John Sigismund in 1613 to the Reformed (Calvinist) faith was hotly resented by the Berliners and led to bloody riots in the city. The Thirty Years’ War all but ruined the city, the population of which sank from some 14,000 in 1600 to less than 8000 in 1650. It was restored and the foundations of its modern