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Four cities in the running to host Eurovision 2011

21 August 2010 at 08:00 CEST

Berlin is the capital of Germany and lies in the north-east of the country, less than 100 kilometers from the Polish border. The city has 3.5 million inhabitants and is famous for its complicated history of division between east and west. Since the wall that divided the city in two came down in 1989, Berlin has become one of Europe's popular tourist destinations as well as a cultural, economical and political centre of importance.

With 1.7 million people, Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany after Berlin and the seventh largest city in the European Union. It is the home to broadcaster NDR, which airs the Eurovision Song Contest in Germany, making it one of the country's media capitals. It lies close to both the Dutch and Danish borders.

Düsseldorf is the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia and lies close to the Dutch and Belgian borders. It has some 590,000 inhabitants. The city is considered an important German centre of economic activity and is famous for its annual fun fair, which attracts over 4 million visitors every year in July.

Hannover lies north from central Germany, and is the capital of Lower Saxony. It has 520,000 citizens, one of them being German Eurovision Song Contest winner Lena. In 2000, Hannover hosted the world fair Expo 2000. The Hannover fairground is the largest in the world.

Thomas Schreiber, speaking on behalf of NDR, says: "All competing cities are very motivated. The plans they presented are all very detailed and highly impressive. We will now carefully examin their plans in order to find the best production environment, infrastructure and economic conditions." After a first evaluation of the four bids, Schreiber added: "Whoever wins this bid, Germany will be an excellent host to viewers from around the world!"

The 2011 Eurovision Song Contest will take place on 10, 12 and 14 May next year.