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to the Murdered Jews of Europe
A sobering monument commemorating the Holocaust, this memorial ground,
established in the spring of 2005, is marked by over 2700 concrete
slabs arranged in grid pattern near the Brandenburg Gate. The varying
heights of the slabs in what is also known as the Field of Stelae
present a wave-like appearance. The site includes a vast abstract
artwork, an underground museum with elaborate details on the Holocaust
bearing the names of the dead. Its credibility is accounted by the fact
that it was visited by over 3.5 million visitors in the first year of
its construction, taking the first place amongst the most visited
memorials in the city.
The Wall fell in 1989
reuniting the two halves of the city that had stayed separated for
decades. What remains now are the last vestiges of the infamous
fortification and memories of those who died attempting to cross it.
The site includes an Open-Air-Wall-Museum and the Wall Trail, a hiking
and bike track, which in fact traces the course of former GDR border
Yet another historical
destination Checkpoint Charlie dates back to the Cold War times and
marks the crossing point between East and West Germany, the only path
foreigners could utilize for shuttling between the two parts. East and
West Berlin residents were restricted from using it; therefore, it
served as a junction of unauthorized activities. Presently, the Wall
remains have been replaced by the American Business Center and other
The East Side Gallery is a 1.3 km stretch of the Wall. It is also
regarded as a memorial of freedom and derives its name for bordering
the east of the city along the River Spree in
Mühlenstraße near the Oberbaumbrücke. It
bears paintings centred on the theme of international freedom. While
most of the original paintings have been vandalised and ruined by
graffiti, there have also been efforts to revive and restore some of
these ruined or fading artworks. This interesting preserve is a treat
for tourists to watch. Expect it to leave you feeling slightly
emotional, a sentiment that may linger on for a while.
Gendarmenmarkt is a hot tourist square surrounded by Deutscher Dom
(German Cathedral), the Französischer Dom (French Cathedral)
and the Konzerthaus (Concert Hall). The Deutscher Dom is a museum with
exhibits of German history, and has a unique pentagonal structure.
Französischer Dom is the oldest of the three adjacent domes
and is identical to the destroyed Huguenot church in France.
Konzerthaus has the sculptures of great music composers in its
exterior, whereas its interiors are blended with Neoclassical style.
Gendarmenmarkt is named after the (cuirasse), the breastplate armour
regiment, Gens d'Armes from 1736-82.
Brandenburg Gate is a famous symbol in Germany. The design is almost
unaltered till today, It functions as an awe-inspiring
entry to Unterden Linden, the avenue of linden trees, which leads to
the city palace. The onslaught of the World War II left the site in
tatters and the Monument Conservation Foundation initiated a
restoration process in 2000. The site was restored successfully to its
original status two years later. After the demolition of the Wall, the
Gate has come to be recognised as a symbol of reunified city
one that every tourist to the city should include in his/her itinerary.
This place harbours some of the city’s top museums, namely
the Pergamon Museum, Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Bode Museum and the
Nationalgalerie. And don’t forget the Dom church, which
belonged to the Hohenzollern ruling family and was built in 1894.
Standing tall next to the Altes Museum, the church marks the final
resting place of 90 family members. Basically, this island was designed
to be ‘a sanctuary of art and science.’ Notably,
the museums were added to the list of World Heritage Sites in 1999 and
also bears the UNESCO National Heritage Site tag.
To enable a mind boggling birds’ eye view, a modern glass
dome has been erected above the old building. The Reichstag was planned
by Paul Willot in 1884-94. Having suffered considerable damage from the
Reichstag Fire in 1933 and borne the onslaught of the war, it was
rebuilt from 1961 until 1972. The view of the cityscape from the dome
is worth a look, especially at night.
Any visitor who wants his trip to be memorable must visit this
meticulously restored courtyard complex. Shop till you drop or
experience lighter moments in the galleries, Varieté
Chamäleon, theatres and cinemas. The eight courtyards, among
the largest in Europe, situated in the heart of the city are bound to
Tiergarten (German for ‘animal garden’) was
originally a hunting ground. Today it’s an expansive 630-acre
urban park spanning from the Brandenburg Gate (in the east) right
through to Zoo Station (in the west). Designed way back in 1742 by
Peter Joseph, the site was restored during the 1950s following damages
from the War. Besides a zoo, the park houses the 69-metre Victory
column Bellevue Palace as well as Haus der Kulturen der Welt (the House
of World Cultures). The Haus der Kulturen der Welt is famous for its
exhibition of global cultures and non-European art.
Another popular attraction is the 2000-year-old Jewish Museum, which is
situated in Lindenstrasse near the Hallesches Tor U-Bahn. It comprises
two buildings -- the old Kollegienhaus, built in the 18th century; and
Daniel Libeskind-designed modern-day structure. Its modern art
exhibitions are an added attraction.
This three-winged museum hosts some important archaeological treasures
that includes the huge Altar of Zeus and the famous Ishtar Gate from
Babylon, and is sub- divided into the Middle East museum and the museum
of Islamic art. An estimated 850,000 people visit this site every year.
This modern art museum has its main focus on the 20th century. Designed
by Mies van der Rohe in the 1960s, the museum’s naturally-lit
podium reflects simplicity yet a unique geometrical shape bringing
forth a scintillating view of Cubist artefacts from Picasso, Gris and
Léger, and key works by Kirchner, Schmidt-Rottluff and
Heckel. George Grosz and Otto Dix represent Neue Sachlichkeit while
Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky add glory to the Bauhaus.
This oldest surviving railway terminus building is now a museum that
attracts hoards of tourists every day. The building, now renovated, had
stopped functioning from 1884 and now doubles up as a contemporary art
gallery. You will also come upon some rare collections, including
locomotives of that age; most of the exhibits include Erich Marx
Collection as well as intricate masterpieces of Amseln Kiefer, Andy
Warhol and Bruce Nauman.
Just besides the Museum Island lies the city’s largest
palace, built in the early 18th century, decorated in Baroque and
rococo styles. A collection of Porcelain named Belvedere is a wonder to
watch. A walk in the palace garden can be a relaxing experience. The
Great Orangery of Charlottenburg Palace, a festival room for cultural
events, is thronged by visitors.
Dating way back to the 1100s, the Zitadelle (or the Spandau Citadel) is
a preserved fortress that was completed in 1594 and is distinguished by
its Italian design accent. Now converted to a museum, the structure
includes a built-in tower intended to keep a watch on enemies. A climb
to the top of the tower is amply rewarded by the breath-taking view of
the Spree and Havel rivers. The annual Citadel Music Festival is world
This is Germany’s largest lake common to Switzerland and
Austria. The area, known for its microclimate, is very popular among
the home crowd and is usually flooded by Germans during the peak of
summer. There is an old-fashioned resort in this area that is
Adding more colour to the already romantic Germany, the River Neckar
ripples past the ancient towers and bridges. You can trod along the Old
Bridge (Alte Brücke) to take a view of the 14-17th
century-built castle. The Philosophers Path (Philosophenweg) on the
opposite bank of the river also offers great views that you may want to
capture in your camera.
It is often believed to know a place better, walk on its streets. The
Mitte and surrounding districts are sure to provide you with an
exclusive adventure-filled experience, if you plan on walking down many
of its historically-important streets. There are many interesting
details about the city that you may gather from a walking tour, things
that you may miss otherwise. You can check with your hotel/hostel if
they offer any such tours, or if they can guide you in the right
direction. Some of the options available include:
Sightseeing Tours: Primarily
organises individual city sightseeing tours and city walks. Depending
on the size of your group, you can opt for a 3 or 4 hour drive in a
motor coach, panorama bus or mini van. Certified multi-lingual tour
guides aim to make the tour pleasant.
tours: This service runs on a
tips-only basis. You can plan an English tour starting at 11.00 in the
morning at Alexander Platz TV tower, right in front of Starbucks
Coffee. The trip will cover a list of sites, focusing particularly on
the underground sites and sounds of city, including technological
wonders, landmarks of rock & electronic music and art &
Tours: They provide walking
tours with English language support. The tours require no reservation.
You just need to show up at the designated time and location and choose
which of the tour options ('Insider Tour' or 'Red Star') you wish to
Tours: High-quality tours for
those wanting more detailed information, including historical facts and
trivia. We call them high-quality tours also because you will have no
less than PhD and graduate students of German history or American
Fulbright exchange students as guides on this tour. So, you can come
back loaded with information regarding architecture, Jewish History and
The Film Festival is a huge attraction, much like the Cannes and Venice
versions. Here is a fact that may help raise your interest in this spot
further. 150,000 tickets are sold every year during this mega event
that screens 500 films and hosts a series of parties and events every
year. Most screenings are open to the public. Tickets are cheap and are
easily available for the ‘International Forum of Young
Film’ category and the ‘Berlinale
Panorama’ (movies that are not in the run for awards).
Nacht der Museen
This cultural event takes place in January and August. The city bustles
with activity around these times with museums remaining open till 2 AM.
A good time to visit the city, especially if you are looking for a
pleasant and eventful visit. Info Line Tel. +49 30 90 26 99 444.
de la Musique
June 21 marks Fête de la Musique, a festival that celebrates
music, similar to the street music festival in France. This is a time
when the entire city is engulfed in music, giving tourists a unique
experience to last a lifetime.
Tourism Guide Berlin
Basic info Berlin