Tiergarten (animals' garden) is Berlins green oasis and it is also Germany's political centre with the Bundestag parliament, the new Bundeskanzleramt (chancellor's office) and the presidents residence (the Bellevue Castle). The district began life in the 1600s as the Great Electors hunting grounds but following major development in the 1800s it became part of the urban landscape. Tiergarten park runs from the west to the east of the city and is the largest park in Berlin. Numerous embassies are taking up residence in the old Diplomatenviertel, the diplomatic quarter south of the park. Since the mid 1990s, Potsdamer Platz once an area of no-mans-land between the two Germanies - has been rapidly developed and it now boasts shopping centres, cinemas, a casino and restaurants. Large multinational companies tend to have their offices in this district. Overground trains S3, S5, S7 and S9 run east to west and intersect at Tiergarten, which is also linked to the U9 underground line. The S41/42 ring train crosses the north and the U1 and U2 lines cross the south. The Hauptbahnhof/Lehrter Bahnhof central station is due to become Europe's biggest rail hub by 2006.
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