Steeped in history, Berlin is not only the capital city of Germany, but also the biggest with a population of 3.5 million. Around one third of the city's area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers and lakes. Large parts of Berlin were destroyed in the 1943-45 air raids and during the Battle of Berlin. On 13 August 1961 East Germany began building the Berlin Wall between East and West Berlin. Events escalated to a tank standoff at Checkpoint Charlie on 27 October 1961. At the end of the Cold War in 1989, the Berlin Wall fell on 9 November 1989 and was subsequently mostly demolished.