Berlin – Germany’s World Metropolis
With its reputation as cosmopolitan city for culture, politics, media, sciences and sports Germany’s capital has something to offer for everyone. While Berlin has 3.6 million citizens, more than 31 million tourists explore the city every year. With citizens from more than 20 different countries Berlin is a real melting pot of cultures and languages and spreads a modern cosmopolitan spirit.
As its historical past as divided town between West and East Germany and its significant role in German reunification 1990 are widely known, there are many historical relicts and places to explore. In this context Berlin’s spirit fits well to Korea, Germany’s opponent in the opening game January 10th 2019 in Berlin, which on the initiative of the IHF plans to compete as a unified team of South and North Korea. “The vision of experiencing a unified Korean team in Berlin affects us due to our own past. This opening game can have an effect beyond the sport,” says Andreas Michelmann, President of the German Handball Federation.
Besides this symbolical character Berlin has a lot more to offer. Being Europe’s third biggest city after London and Paris, the German capital has hosted countless events, trade fairs and concerts. A variety of museums, theatres, festivals and sights awaits visitors from all over the world. Besides its handball club Füchse Berlin, the city is also known for international sport events: i. e. the final of the FIFA World Championship in 2006 and the Indoor Hockey World Championship in January 2018 took place in Berlin. Besides the IAAF Athletics European Championship in Berlin’s Olympiastadion, starting August 7th, 2018 is just around the corner.
The metropolis is well-prepared for an outstanding 26 IHF Handball World Championship in January 2019 and promises to be a great host for the games.
Matthias Aut, head of the local organisation team, emphasizes especially the city’s image as sport metropolis: “Berlin stands for variety, culture and sports. That’s why there is no German city more suitable for the Handball World Championship. The fans can look forward not only to the handball games, but also to the city itself as it is a worldwide hotspot.”
The Mercedes-Benz Arena, where Germany will play its preliminary round, has an audience capacity of 14,800 including seats and standing area. It was inaugurated on September 10th, 2008 and since then host of various events, like a boxing match of Wladimir Klitschko, or international stars like Madonna, Britney Spears, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Elton John or Whitney Houston. Besides the arena is home of the capital’s basketball team Alba Berlin and icehockey club Eisbären Berlin.
Aut is looking forward to an exciting tournament: “Now, there are only six more months to go until the start of the World Championship in January. We are in the planning stage of the event and the preparations are running at full speed. All in all we are looking forward to exciting games in the Mercedes-Benz Arena and to a great fan party in the fan zone directly in front of the arena.”
After watching the exciting encounters in the hall or in the fan zone, a shopping trip to Berlin’s famous and crowded Friedrichstraße or Kurfürstendamm is just the right choice. And if you are more into smaller creative boutiques, the Hackesche Markt with its beautiful backyards, cafés and restaurants might rather suit your preferences.
And everyone who is enthusiastic about getting to know Berlin’s famous nightlife after a sightseeing or shopping day will definitely enjoy her- or himself – regardless of age and interests. From notorious clubs like Berghain to cultural highlights like the State Opera or art house cinemas – Berlin is full of fun!
Go to www.visitberlin.de for more information about a great stay in Berlin.
Arena Name: Mercedes-Benz Arena
Arena capacity: 14,800
Games in Mercedes-Benz Arena: Preliminary Round of Group A
Famous current players from Berlin: Silvio Heinevetter, Fabian Wiede, Paul Drux
Tickets for the games in Berlin: www.handball19.com/#tickets