Natural and built environment.
Berlin is located in eastern Germany, about 70 kilometers (43 mi) west of the border with Poland in an area with marshy terrain, and is surrounded by the federal state of Brandenburg. The Berlin–Warsaw Urstromtal (ice age melt water flow), between the low Barnim plateau to the north and the Teltow plateau to the south, was formed by water flowing from melting ice sheets at the end of the last ice age. The Spree follows this valley now. In Spandau, Berlin's westernmost borough, the Spree meets the river Havel, which flows from north to south through western Berlin. The course of the Havel is more like a chain of lakes, the largest being the Tegeler See and Großer Wannsee. A series of lakes also feeds into the upper Spree, which flows through the Großer Müggelsee in eastern Berlin.
View over central Berlin. Unter den Linden in foreground and skyscrapers of Potsdamer Platz up to the right.
Substantial parts of present-day Berlin extend onto the low plateaus on both sides of the Spree Valley. Large parts of the boroughs Reinickendorf and Pankow lie on the Barnim plateau, while most of the boroughs Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Tempelhof-Schöneberg, and Neukölln lie on the Teltow plateau. The borough of Spandau lies partly within the Berlin Urstromtal and partly on the Nauen Plain, which stretches to the west of Berlin. The highest elevations in Berlin are the Teufelsberg and the Müggelberge. Both hills have an elevation of about 115 metres (377 ft). The Teufelsberg is in fact an artificial pile of rubble from the ruins of World War II.
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