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Berlin ~ 1648

     Fortified settlements from the 8th century were established on the sites of Spandau and Köpenick, now districts in the city of Berlin. In 1160 the Ascanians, followers of Albert I, the Bear, established a fortress at Spandau, where the Spree flows into the river Havel. The fortress acquired the privileges of a town in 1232. Kölln and its sister town, Berlin, were founded early in the 13th century. Kölln  appeared as early as 1236  and Berlin, in 1244, between Spandau to the northwest and Köpenick to the southeast. By 1250 Berlin-Kölln  controlled the Mark (border territory) of Brandenburg east to the Oder River, and dominated the east-west trade route that crossed over the river Spree.
     In the 14th century it was the center of the league of cities of the Mark of Brandenburg, founded in 1308, and joined the Hanseatic League of trade cities in northern Germany. in 1411 Frederick VI of Nürnberg became the governor of the Mark of Brandenburg, and by the end of the 15th century Berlin-Kölln had become the capital and permanent residence of the electoral princes of Brandenburg.
     The map on the stamp reflects the city at the end of the Thirty Years war. It was drawn by Johan Gregor Menhardt in 1648, and is entitled Grundriss der beyden Churf ürstlichen Residenz Stätte Berlin und Cölln an der Spree. It is identified as the oldest plan of the city, and was issued in honor of the 750th anniversary of Berlin in 1986.  

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Berlin Zoological Garden ~ 1841

     The Berlin Zoological Garden is the oldest zoo in Germany. It was founded in 181 with a gift from King Frederick William IV of pheasants and his menagerie. It officially opened in 1844. One hundred years later there were 4,000 birds and mammals and 8,300 aquarium specimens. The zoo was totally destroyed during the Second World War; only 91 animals survived.
     Peter Joseph Lenné designed the zoological garden. His plan, Plans of the Zoological Garden, Berlin, is represented on the stamp.

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