This year Germany celebrates the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, marking the day with festivals, concerts and parades - and tight security.
Pomp and Circumstance
In Berlin, tens of thousands watched a massive-scale street performance featuring a pair of giant marionettes - made of wood and metal - suspended by cranes marching slowly through downtown, Saturday.
The spectacle, performed by France's Royale De Luxe Theatre Company, had the marionettes finding each other at the Brandenburg Gate and reuniting on the former dividing line between East and West Germany.
At the German Reichstag (parliament) crowds gathered to watch Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader at the time of German reunification, plant a tree in the grounds in front of the building to mark the anniversary.
"The final point of the Cold War was set here," Gorbachev told the crowd. "But I have to tell you, we are still far from solving all the problems in Europe."
The two Germanys were separated for more than four decades until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and official reunification in 1990.
On Saturday, security was tight in Berlin and across the country, after a series of extremist videos recently posted on the Internet threatened to attack Germany if its troops were not withdrawn from Afghanistan.
Security has also been very high at this year's Oktoberfest in Munich. Authorities have banned flights over the event and police have searched bags and cars as visitors arrived at the annual beer festival.
One German resident said, 'If something has to happen, it happens, with police, without police with fear, without fear."