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There are many boroughs of Slavic origin in the city: Berlin-Karow, Berlin-Malchow, Berlin-Pankow, Berlin-Spandau (earlier: Spandow), Berlin-Gatow, Berlin-Kladow, Berlin-Steglitz, Berlin-Lankwitz, Berlin-Britz, Berlin-Buckow, Berlin-Rudow, Berlin-Alt-Treptow, Berlin-Schmöckwitz, Berlin-Marzahn, Berlin-Buch, and Berlin-Köpenick.Since the Ber- at the beginning sounds like the German word Bär (bear), a bear appears in the coat of arms of the city. The first written records of towns in the area of present-day Berlin date from the late 12th century.
Berlin lies in northeastern Germany, east of the river Elbe and its tributary (Saxon/Thuringian) Saale, which once constituted the eastern border of the Frankish Realm.
In 1701, the dual state formed the Kingdom of Prussia, as Frederick III, Elector of Brandenburg, crowned himself as king Frederick I in Prussia.
Berlin became the capital of the new Kingdom, replacing Königsberg.
At the end of the First World War in 1918, a republic was proclaimed by Philipp Scheidemann at the Reichstag building.
In 1920, the Greater Berlin Act incorporated dozens of suburban cities, villages and estates around Berlin into an expanded city.