The capital of Germany, Berlin is best known for its historical associations as the german capital, internationalism and tolerance, lively nightlife, its many cafés, clubs, bars, street art, and numerous museums, palaces, and other sites of historic interest.
Although badly damaged in the final years of World War II and broken apart during the Cold War, Berlin has reconstructed itself greatly, especially with the reunification push after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
For 30 years, the Berlin Wall was the defining symbol of the Cold War, separating families and keeping the people from jobs and opportunity in the west. … The Berlin Wall stood until November 9, 1989, when the citizens of the GDR (German Democratic Republic) as an ecstatic crowd swarmed the wall. Some crossed freely into West Berlin, while others brought hammers and picks and began to chip away at the wall itself. To this day, the Berlin Wall remains one of the most powerful and enduring symbols of the Cold War.
The best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War was the Checkpoint Charlie. Today is just a tourist attraction where you approach to the military officer with a EUR coin and your passport and he hits you 4 stamps that were needed to cross the wall.
If you wanna know more about the Cold war times in Berlin and biased life of the Berlin citizens between East and West, you should definitely visit the DDR Museum. The DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik) or GDR in english, contains a kitchen from the 50’s or 60’s with all its wall decorations, the popular car Trabant etc…
Close to Check point Charlie is the The Brandenburg Gate (German: Brandenburger Tor). An 18th-century neoclassical monument in Berlin, and one of the best-known landmarks of Germany.
Next to the Brandenburg Gate is The Bundestag – the national Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is open for visiting and once you get on the top you get a nice view on the river Spree. The Parliament was almost completely bombarded during the World War ll, so the building is renovated like it used to be (19 century building) but the large glass dome was added. At the very top of the Reichstag has a 360-degree view of the surrounding Berlin cityscape. The main hall (debating chamber) of the parliament below can also be seen from inside the dome, and natural light from above radiates down to the parliament floor.
The dedication Dem deutschen Volke, meaning To the German people, can be seen on the frieze of the building.
When talking about beautiful buildings in the city, I have to mention the cathedral or in german Berliner Dom. It is located on Museum Island in the Mitte (central) borough. It is an evangelistic church and a main work of Historic architecture of the Kaiserzeit – the times of the German Empire.
I got the impression that Berlin is one big I am sorry to the rest of the world. One of the things that made me think about the city this way are the Jewish Memorial and the 2 men kissing statues and murals.
A very popular meeting point is the Alexanderplatz with the world clock. It is where I spotted many colourful bears. These bears are quite popular attraction in the city since 2002. The idea was to bring the street art back and remind the citizens on the origin of the name of the city: german der Bär, english bear.
But my favourite place is Charlottenburg Palace! 🙂 The largest palace in Berlin, built at the end of the 17th century with much of exotic internal decoration in baroque and rococo styles. The palace is surrounded with amazing gardens and pavilions. The palace was built by Sophie Charlotte, the wife of Friedrich III – Elector of Brandenburg (meaning the prince of Holy Roman Empire) and Duke of Prussia. The visit inside the palace is recommended since the inner rooms are described as “the eighth wonder of the world” like the room filled with porcelain or next to it the Amber Room (Bernsteinzimmer), a room with its walls surfaced in decorative.
My second favourite place is the Humboldt University. I dreamed about studying here. Well it was one of the dream places… The Uni was founded in 19th century by the liberal Prussian educational reformer and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt. Since then it has been home to many of Germany’s greatest thinkers of the past two centuries, among them the subjective idealist philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte, or Otto von Bismarck the first german chancellor, Albert Einstein, Max Planck, Max Weber…
And of course the night out! If you go out in the night in Berlin, I recommend you to go to the Hackischer Markt. It is a vibrant area with many bars, discos and restaurants. It is a square in the central Mitte locality of Berlin and considered as a starting point for the city’s nightlife. A friend of mine Matea and I went there on a Saturday night and we had amazing time.