Although not the only football club in Germany's capital city, Hertha Berlin have enjoyed arguably the greatest success, so let bundesliga.com give you a lowdown on the Old Lady.

History

Hertha can trace their history back to 1892, their name and blue-white colours coming from a steamship taken by one of the new club’s founding members. The beginning was tough for the then BFC Hertha 92, where membership numbers once fell as low as four, but they did create history in 1910 against Southend United as they became the first continental European club to beat a semi-professional English team.

The club recovered well from both World Wars, and by the 1950s was one of the dominant teams in the Berlin Oberliga. Their title in 1962/63 ensured they were Berlin’s representative in the newly formed Bundesliga and saw them move to their new home at the Olympiastadion. Their first Bundesliga stay lasted only two years though as they were relegated for a bribery scandal. The 70s saw prolonged top-flight success with three third-place finishes and a second place in 1974/75. The 80s was a decade of yo-yoing between the Bundesliga and third tier for the Old Lady.

Hertha's current sporting director Michael Preetz is also the club's all-time top scorer, netting 108 goals in 278 appearances for the Old Lady between 1996 and 2003. © gettyimages / Boris Strubel

Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the club proved itself popular with East Germans. So much so that 11,000 came to watch Hertha play Wattenscheid just two days after the wall came down. BSC finally re-established themselves as a Bundesliga club in 1997, spending over a decade at the top table before back-to-back relegations and promotions between 2009 and 2013. A regular in the UEFA Cup/Europa League during the noughties, the club’s greatest continental achievement was reaching the semi-finals of the 1978/79 UEFA Cup, losing on away goals to Red Star Belgrade. They have twice reached the final of the DFB Cup, while the club’s reserves famously contested the final against Bayer Leverkusen in 1993.

Honours

2x German championships (1930, 1931)
3x Bundesliga 2 champions (1990, 2011, 2013)
2x DFB League Cup (2001, 2002)
23x Berlin championships (1906, 1915, 1917, 1918, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1933, 1935, 1937, 1944, 1957, 1961, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1987, 1988)
9x Berlin Cup (1920, 1924, 1928, 1929, 1958, 1959, 1966, 1967, 1987)
5x Intertoto Cup (1971, 1973, 1976, 1978, 2006)

Coach

After making a club-record 366 league appearances for Hertha, Hungarian midfielder Pal Dardai took over as coach in Berlin midway through the 2014/15 season while still officially in charge of his national team. The third-longest serving coach in Hertha’s history, he guided the Old Lady back into Europe for the first time in over five years

Pal Dardai took charge of Hertha midway through the 2014/15 season. © gettyimages / Franklin

Star man

In a team with very few players over 30, the experienced Salomon Kalou is both a leader and a role model on the pitch for Hertha. A Champions League, English Premier League, FA Cup (5 times) and Africa Cup of Nations winner, the Ivorian arrived in the German capital in 2014 after spells at Lille, Chelsea and Feyenoord. He was the first player ever to have double-digit goalscoring seasons in the Bundesliga, Premier League and Ligue 1.

Last season

Faced with the additional burden of the Europa League after their sixth place finish in 2016/17, last season was rather unremarkable in the Bundesliga. Never dropping below 14th but also never rising above eighth (except the opening game), the Old Lady were certainly steady on their feet. They also enjoyed a first proper European campaign since 2009/10, facing Athletic Bilbao, Östersunds and Zorya Luhansk in the Europa League group stage. The Berliners struggled to make inroads though and finished bottom of Group J with just one win to their name.

The Stadium

Hertha have played at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium – the Olympiastadion – since their maiden Bundesliga season in 1963. The ground was built for the 1936 Olympic Games in the city and currently holds 74,475 spectators. The stadium also hosts the DFB Cup final each May. In previous years when Hertha have not been in the Bundesliga, they have often played home games away from the Olympiastadion at smaller grounds in Berlin, such as the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark, the Poststadion and previously at the “Plumpe” Stadion am Gesundbrunnen before its demolition. The club are looking to move into a newly built, smaller stadium inside the Olympic Park or elsewhere in the city by 2025.

Watch: Hertha's Olympiastadion in all its glory

The city

The capital of Germany, Berlin is the nation’s largest city and one of its most diverse. It therefore has a little something for all the 30+ million tourists who visit each year.

An icon of the city and Germany itself, the Brandenburg Gate is the place to have your selfie to make sure your friends know you were in Berlin. The 220 ft tall Siegesäule Victory Column sits opposite the iconic Reichstag (Germany’s parliament), while the 4.7-acre Holocaust Memorial is also nearby.

Berlin's Brandenburg Gate - or Brandenburger Tor - is a symbol of the German capital and has been a focal point for national celebrations since reunification. © gettyimages / Clemens Bilan

While most of the Berlin Wall was torn down with reunification in the 1990s, small sections do still exist, and guided tours are an excellent way to see those remnants and understand the political struggle it represented.

On lighter notes, the Rathaus Schöneberg is the site of John F. Kennedy’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech, while the “KaDeWe” is the largest department store in continental Europe.

Berlin’s nightlife and music scene are also legendary, so it’s always well worth checking out in advance what’s on during your visit. For those who prefer a quieter time, the city has vast expanses of greenspace, with the Tiergarten being one of the largest and most popular. The Zoologischer Garten also dates back to 1844 and is Europe’s most visited zoo.

Berlin is simply a city for everyone. Take the time to research exactly what interests you most – Berlin will have something for you.

Getting there

Despite its status as Germany’s capital and largest city, Berlin currently lacks regular intercontinental flights. Tegel and Schönefeld airports serve the capital, but they are primarily hubs for low-cost European airlines. United Airlines are currently the only US carrier to offer direct flights to Berlin from Newark. Frequent and cheap flights, however, make connections in Europe simple for distant travellers. Berlin Brandenburg Airport will soon open as the city’s sole airport, with intercontinental flights expected to increase. Berlin is also connected to Munich and Frankfurt, Germany’s main international airports, by regular high-speed ICE train services.

Getting to the Olympiastadion

Hertha’s home is served by frequent U-Bahn and S-Bahn train services from the city centre. The station Olympia-Stadion is served by the U2, while Olympiastadion is served by the S3 and S9. All lines cross the centre of Berlin, and extra services are provided on matchdays. As with all German football matches, possession of a match ticket allows free use of local public transport to and from the stadium.

Buying tickets

Tickets can still be bought via the official club website HERE.

Watch on TV

If you can’t make it to the stadium, Bundesliga matches are broadcast around the world. FOX Sports and Univision provide coverage in the United States, while BT Sports are the exclusive broadcaster in the United Kingdom. In Germany, Sky Sports show the majority of matches, with Eurosport hosting one match per week.

Buying the kit

You can get your own Hertha jersey from the official club shop.

Stateside fan clubs

There are no official Hertha fan clubs in the USA yet, but a number can be found across Europe in London, Budapest, Marbella, Copenhagen and Dalarö, Sweden.

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