Berlin is the capital of Germany, and one of the 16 states of Germany. Located in northeastern Germany on the banks of River Spree, it is the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, which has about 4.5 million residents from over 180 nations.
Berlin is among the top three congress cities in the world and home to Europe's biggest convention center, the Internationales Congress Centrum (ICC) at the Messe Berlin. Several large-scale trade fairs like the consumer electronics trade fair IFA, the ILA Berlin Air Show, the Berlin Fashion Week, the Green Week, the transport fair InnoTrans, the tourism fair ITB and the adult entertainment and erotic fair Venus are held annually in the city, attracting a significant number of business visitors.
As of 2011 Berlin is home to 138 museums and more than 400 art galleries. The ensemble on the Museum Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is situated in the northern part of the Spree Island between the Spree and the Kupfergraben. As early as 1841 it was designated a "district dedicated to art and antiquities" by a royal decree. Subsequently, the Altes Museum was built in the Lustgarten. The Neues Museum, which displays the bust of Queen Nefertiti, Alte Nationalgalerie, Pergamon Museum, and Bode Museum were built there.
Apart from the Museum Island, there are many additional museums in the city. The Gemäldegalerie focuses on the paintings of the "old masters" from the 13th to the 18th centuries, while the Neue Nationalgalerie specializes in 20th-century European painting. The Hamburger Bahnhof, located in Moabit, exhibits a major collection of modern and contemporary art.
In Dahlem, there are several museums of world art and culture, such as the Museum of Asian Art, the Ethnological Museum, the Museum of European Cultures, as well as the Allied Museum and the Brücke Museum. In Lichtenberg, on the grounds of the former East German Ministry for State Security, is the Stasi Museum. The site of Checkpoint Charlie, one of the most renowned crossing points of the Berlin Wall, is still preserved and also has a museum, a private venture which exhibits comprehensive documentation of detailed plans and strategies devised by people who tried to flee from the East.