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Berlin, city of contrasts, a confluence of historic and modern, brilliant and stark, flourishing and forgotten. This multicultural city, considered a haven for artists and international residents, has been growing since the federal government of unified Germany moved from Bonn to Berlin in 1999. It is a wonderful city to explore on foot, with its distinctive architecture and abundant outdoor cafés.
Alexanderplatz is a large pedestrian plaza in East Berlin. This square has existed for hundreds of years, originally as a livestock market; it was named Alexanderplatz during a visit by the Russian Czar Alexander in 1805.
The television tower near Alexanderplatz is the tallest structure in Berlin, standing at 1,209 feet. This is the second-tallest tower in all of Europe.
Socialist statue in front of a department store.
Please don't ask what is going on here.
The chancellery, sometimes called the "washing machine" thanks to its shape and windows, is a
work of modern art. The lightness and openness of this building are meant to symolize the
transparency of today's German government.
Some buildings in Berlin are still marked with bullet holes.
The Berlin Wall, of which only small pieces remain, existed from 1961 through 1989. 165 km long, the wall separated the city of Berlin into two: the Federal Republic of Germany, controlled by Western powers, and the German Democratic Republic (GDR), occupied by the Soviets. Around 100 people were killed trying to cross from East to West Berlin.
The "United Buddy Bears 2003" is a display of decorated fiberglass bears near the Brandenburg gate, promoting international understanding and tolerance. Each of the 123 bears represents one country, painted by an artist from that country.
GDR vs. West Berlin Architecture
The oldest Prussian palace in Germany, construction began in 1695 and
lasted until 1790. The first section of this palace was constructed from
1695-1699 as a summer home for Sophie Charlotte, wife of Elector Frederick III. It now
contains some 70 rooms, a mausoleum, and an expansive, manicured garden.
This tree-lined, 12 km canal is delightful to stroll or bicycle along. Parks and cafés abound, and a Turkish market lines the canal in Kreuzberg every Friday.
This stadium, built for the Olympics of 1936, is one of the few remaining
examples of Nazi architecture. Although Hitler had intended to impress the
world with the greatness of the German athletes, Jesse Owens, African-American
son of an Alabama sharecropper, stole the show with four gold medals. The
Olympic stadium is still used for soccer and other sporting events.
Potsdamer Platz, once a bustling commercial center, was destroyed
by allied bombing in WWII, with the little that remained flattened when
the Wall went up in 1961. Since the 1990s, new construction has given
the area an ultra-modern feel.
The ancient town of Spandau has cobblestone, pedestrian-only streets. Chartered in 1232, Spandau officially became part of Berlin in 1920 and is now engulfed by the city on all sides.
The Spandau Zitadelle is a 16th century fortress, surrounded by a moat,
overlooking the town of Spandau.
The Reichstag, home to Germany's parliament, was built in 1894, but
a fire in 1933 destroyed the dome and much of the interior; WWII damaged the building further. Renovation began in 1958, but the glass dome, open to the public, wasn't built until after the country's reunification in 1989.
Along the Havel River, one encounters castles poking out of the dense forests, towns, industry, bridges, beaches, and the most subtle locks (a water level difference of only a few inches) I've ever seen.
Niederfinow is a "ship lift", serving the same purpose as locks. This
impressive structure on the Oder-Havel Canal was built from 1907 to 1914,
and reaches a height of 60 meters.
Additional Berlin Architecture
Eve Andersson (email@example.com)
What a pity for me!!!
The very first internet-active lady I know of, was visiting Berlin (for real),
collector of Pi stuff,
great inventor of ACME Nerd Suppressant
(see http://eveander.com/nerd/, it does work!!!),
and much more (yes, I was a secret admirer some 6 years ago),
in one word: the (in)famous Eve A. Andersson was visiting Berlin,
and I didn't know it.
Eve, we might have met at the Landwehrkanal... where I like to ride bicycle on sunny afternoons!
Anyway, all the Berlin pictures are great! Most places I know by myself, they are well shot.
I hope you also had a stay that nice here!
-- Eberhard (Physicist from Berlin)
P.S. "The Garden of Eden" hopefully won't go away! I found no more links to it...
-- Eberhard Koehler
Well, Eberhard, your comment sets off a chain of associations. First, your eyes, which remind me so much of my aunt, Barbel Braunstein. Second, that you are an admirer (bewunderer) of Eve. Count me in (along with the other ten thousand).
Many years ago I was sitting in a swanky bar in Karlsruhe, Germany. Beside me was a well-dressed gentleman who identified himself as the director of the CERN facility just outside the city. I was an engineering physics student, so we struck up a conversation.
After a time I told him that I much admired the lady that owned the bar, who also was serving us that night. He immediately called out to her, saying "Christiane, here is yet another admirer of yours". She went into the back and came out with three champagne glasses, a bottle of the bubbly.....poured us all a drink, gulped hers down and retreated back to work. But not before giving me a look that, had I had my traveler's pack on me, the sleeping bag would have immediately unfurled into a double bed.
-- Dino Mario Cremonese
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