Our tour guide, Hannah
The Television Tower, Fernsehturm
|When Hannah introduced herslef to the group, I was impressed by her command of the English language. Come to find out she was born in Seattle, Washington. So she was the first ex-pat I met on my trip.|
As the tour went on I was even more impressed by her knowledge of History. But that's her job. I came away with too much information to remember, and I wasn't able to write it all down. So I supplement the info retained with that which I find on the Web. She is the person, who told us that the Fernsehturm is referred to as the "Silver Skewer".
Our tour group (Hannah in blue hat)
Tour boats on the river
We started on a bridge on River Splee near the
The opposite side of the German Historical Museum from that
on the other page
The Berliner Dom from the bridge
And a closer look
Street lights near the Altes Museum
Another street light in Pariser Platz
"Mother with dead son"
|Bebelplatz is the site of Nazi book burnings. There is a window in the ground in the center of the platz showing row after row of empty white bookshelves. Enough shelving, in fact, to hold all the books that were burned.|
Neue Wache: It is Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Victims of War and Tyranny. The center of the chamber is occupied by the enlarged (and consequently also controversial) sculpture "Mother with dead son" by K䴨e Kollwitz. Somehow this one bare room and tragic sculpture quietly hits you with sadness of war and how it effects us all.
On a lighter note,I found the street lamps in Berlin to be very interesting. Works of art, as is the city as a whole. I've included a couple here for you.
Neue Wache houses the above sculpture
Franzcher Dom undergoing restoration
Altes Museum (Old Museum)
The Rose Bowl
|We got to walk through the rows of ionic columns fronting the museum, and there we got a close up look at the damage to and restoration of Berlin. The shading in color on the columns is where repairs have been made. On a couple you can see horizontal lines where they were reassembled.|
Now for the bowl: It wouldn't fit!
"Out front of the Altes Museum stands the Rose Bowl a giant bowl carved out of a single piece of stone by Berlin artisans to act as a centerpiece for the giant atrium Schinkel had designed for the heart of the building. Unfortunately upon completion, it was found that it didn?t fit through the door, and so it found its home out front where the locals dubbed it The Eighth Wonder of the World, thus demonstrating that they didn?t get out much." (Source: Hannah and someone with the online name "Mutt" writing in Berlin: Gateway To Eastern Europe, (their journal.)
The Russian Embassy entrance
Flowers left for the victims in Beslan
The hammer and sickle are still around
A Pegasus flies
A chariot with griffins on the Konzerthaus
A winged Victoria atop the Brandenburg Gate
|The Brandenburg Gate was commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm II to represent peace. The Gate was designed by Karl Gotthard Langhans in 1791. Below is Pariser Platz with the Brandenburg Gate on the left. On top the goddess of Peace, Eirene, a winged woman driving a chariot. In 1814, after the war with France, the quadriga came back to the top of the gate but the woman became Victoria, the goddess of Victory with a Prussian eagle on an iron cross to her ensemble added. The German Democratic Republic removed the Prussian eagle and cross from the Quadriga in 1961. As you can see it's been replaced.|
Pariser Platz with Brandonburg Gate on left
The Hotel Adlon
|The original Hotel Adlon Kempinski was a legend, a gathering place for the rich and famous from Garbo to Einstein. Now completely rebuilt in the classic style, the Hotel Adlon Kempinski has quickly reclaimed its reputation as Berlin 's most sought after hotel. I did not stay there.|
Part of Pariser Platz
Palast der Republik - GDR Bundestadt
|The Ministry of Finance: Built in 1935-36 from Sagebiel's design, this impressive building on the corner of Wilhelm Str. and Leipziger Str. was G?g's Air Force Ministry (Reichsluftfahrtministerium) until the end of the war. It, somehow, survived the war and went on to be the first home of the GDR government. After the government moved to Schlossplatz, it was the home of the planning ministry until reunification, when it was taken over by the German Finance Ministry and was utilised by the Treuhand (the agency which sold off East German property and companies). It is now the main building of the Finance Ministry.|
The new Holocaust Memorial (unfinished)
Site of the new U.S. Embassy (barely started)
Helmut Jahn's Sony-Center Tower, the Dome is the SONY
A late afternoon shot of the Franzcher Dom on my way
back to the train station
THE BERLIN WALL
A remnant of the Wall
It went on for 103 miles
Checkpoint Charlie (recreated)
Of the Wall
"Berliner Mauer 1961-1989"
See the section below!
|The Berlin Wall was a concrete and steel wall, 4 meters (12 ft) high and 166 km (103 mi) long, of which 45 km (28 mi) lay between two sides of the city. Where a wall was not possible, buildings were bricked up. Rivers, railways and subways were closed off. What they had done was to cut West Berlin off from the rest of the world. All because the people of the east wanted freedom.|
A double row of cobblestones marks where the Berlin Wall once stood. It stood completely around the British, French and U. S. portions of the city for 28 years. It ran through the middle of blocks and across streets.
Checkpoint Charlie was the most famous checkpoint when Berlin was still divided. It was only for diplomats and foreigners, Germans were not allowed to cross the border here. Being the third checkpoint built on the borders of West Berlin, it was named Charlie, following the NATO phonetic alphabet. The original checkpoint is in a museum not far from here. This re-creation is for tourists (like me) to photograph.
About that roof top labeled "Escape Point":
An East German engineer made his escape with his family to the west from this roof. You may remember reading about it in the papers or seeing it on TV. He manufactured a frame and sent a cord over the wall near the spot of the first photo of the wall. He used the cord to pull a cable up to the frame and he and his family slid down the cable to freedom. Had he not been an engineer and in a position of relative trust, this story wouldn't be told.
On the way to the Czech Republic
Small German Towns and a label
|I was sitting on the train drinking my peach tea, when I decided to read the label. I thought about peeling it off to scan when, I arrived home. But it wouldn't cooperate. (see the photo up by the wall above) So I photographed it. At least they have a sense of humor.|
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