Berlin Things to Do Tips by sim1
Berlin Things to Do: 3,227 reviews and 6,187 photos
From Checkpoint Charlie I walked towards "Unter den Linden", sometimes taking some sideroads. I just liked this bike which was in front of a garden store. It was filled with flowers, and plants. It made me think of spring, with the sun shining nicely outside... hahaha, of course I still have to wait quite a few months before it is spring. It is only January!
Hahaha, I can't remember where this is, and I have no clue what it is. But it fits perfectly well in this city. It has a modern feel to it : Berlin. It is a huge city, and that is exactly how it feels to me. Old mixed with new, huge monuments, and hi-tech modern buildings. It is not my kind of city, but than again, I am not a city person. I like to be outside, and enjoy nature. There are only a few cities in the world that I really like. And besides that, my thoughts weren't really with sightseeing this day, what of course didn't help either.
The Gendarmenmarkt is a beautiful square, and a must when you visit Berlin. Here the Deutscher Dom (German Cathedral), the Französischer Dom (French Cathedral) and the Konzerthaus create a beautiful architectural ensemble.
The square was laid out from 1688 to the plans of J.A. Nering; it was originally known as Linden Markt, then Friedrichstädtischer Markt or Neuer Markt. Because the square was used by a curassier regiment "gens d´arms," from 1736–82, complete with sentry boxes and stables, the name Gendarmenmarkt arose.
It was a cold day when I was in Berlin, and there was some ice on the pavement, so I had to watch my step. But it was beautiful standing here. I stood on the middle of the square for quite a while, turning around, looking at the beautiful building surrounding the square.
The French Cathedral was built from 1701–05 to the designs of Cayart, as a church for Berlin's Huguenot community, thus the reason for its name. The narrow side of the rectangular main building has semicircular extension wings. From 1780–85, the imposing tower was added to plans by Gontard and Unger as part of the redesigning of Gendarmenmarkt. The cathedral, which was badly damaged in the Second World War, was rebuilt from 1977.
Deutcher Dom (German Cathedral)
From 1701–08, the German Cathedral – also known as the New Church – was built by Giovanni Simonetti to plans to M. Grünberg. From 1780–85, Carl von Gontard extended the building with the addition of the domed tower, during the redesigning of the Gendarmenmarkt. The cathedral was destroyed in the Second World War and reopened on October 2, 1996 following complete restoration.
drawing of the Gendarmentmarkt from 1840
This is a drawing of the Gendarmentmarkt from 1840. You can see this drawing on a billboard at the Gendarmenmarkt, and also read about the history of this square.
From left to right : Deutscher Dom, Schauspielhaus, Fransozischer Dom.
The Konzerthaus is the new building designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel to replace the Nationaltheater built from 1800–02 by Karl Gotthard Langhans, which was burnt to the ground in 1817. The conception of the Konzerthaus integrates the remains of Langhan's rectangular building and adds a higher, wider, gabled solidium in the center, complete with an ionic columned hall projecting at the front. Following its destruction in the Second World War, the building was initially only made safe, and the systematic restoration of the original design only began in 1979. Since its reopening in 1984 it has served not as a theatre, but as a concert hall.
The last photo I want to show your from the Gendarmenmarkt is this areal photo from 1930.
The Brandenburg Tor is Berlin's only remaining city gate, and is the true symbol of the city. Because it was situated in the no man's land just behind the wall, it also became symbolic of the division of the city. The Gate was reopened on December 22, 1989, after the fall of the Wall.
What can I say to this picture.... pure disappointment when I got here. The Brandenburger Tor was under restoration and covered by a big sheet. I always thought of going to Berlin and seeing this place, but I was out of luck, and felt so very disappointed. The restorations should be complete in October 2002 and I hope that you will have more luck in seeing it than I did.
I only had a few hours to spend in Berlin, and hadn't done any preperations at all! So I had no clue where to go or what to see. The only think I had was a very small map of the city center, showing some of the sights to see. So on this cold, winter day, I strolled through the city, wondering what would be around the next corner... hahaha, because I had no clue :-)
So please come and join me, on my walk through Berlin, and let me show you some images of this city....
It was strange standing here... there is not so much to see here anymore. Just this sign, and the small checkpoint. But images went through my head, newsflashes, such an important historic place this has been. I stood here, wondering how it must have been like here, before the Wall came down... thinking. Strange to realize that is not that long ago that the Wall came down. But looking down the street and walking in Berlin, nothing really indicates what a strange situation it was here, a divided city, not so very long ago.
Close to the sign at checkpoint Charlie, you can read this bit of info and see this picture :
During the time Germany and Berlin were divided by THE WALL, the sign which symbolizes world history was standing here : The victorious powers of World War II and the two Germanies confronted each other here, and the Western powers defended the fundamental rights of the special Berlin-Status until the confrontation between USA/USSR tanks.
This sign is a copy. The original sign still exists and can be seen in the Haus am Checkpoint Charle - 40 meters from here.
The US-Military Forces in Berlin - on the order of the US-chief of Staff, Colonel Baker - gave this valuable sign a present to the Haus om Checkpoint Charlie on February 22, 1991, in aprpreciation of its work.
When THE WALL came down, avalanches of freed people began to move. The separation of the two worlds, East and West, ended without a boodbath. Special thanks is therefore owded to the numerous victims of the resistance on the other side of THE WALL and to the protctive powers for their commitment to West-Berlin.
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