Berlin Highlights – Part 1

Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin - Berlinale
International Film Festival Berlin – Berlinale
October 20, 2015
Berlin Highlights – Teil 2
Berlin Highlights – Part 2
November 2, 2015
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Berlin Highlights – Teil 1

A treasure trove of human history: Berlin’s Museum Island

Berlin MuseumsinselA UNESCO World Heritage site in the heart of the city, Berlin’s Museum Island is a hugely popular attraction both with locals and international tourists.

A UNESCO World Heritage site in the heart of the city, Berlin’s Museum Island is a hugely popular attraction both with locals and international tourists. One of the world’s most important museum complexes, it is home to priceless cultural treasures. Collections at the Museum of the Ancient World, New Museum, Old National Gallery, Bode Museum and Pergamon Museum take visitors on a fascinating journey through art and culture from the cradle of civilisation in Mesopotamia through Egypt, Classical Greece and Rome, Byzantium, the Islamic World and the Middle Ages right up to the modern age and 19th century Romanticism.

‘Haus am Checkpoint Charlie’ Museum

Berlin CheckpointOriginally opened back in 1962, shortly after the Berlin Wall was built, the museum at the legendary Checkpoint Charlie traces the history of the divided Germany and is one of the city’s most popular visitor attractions.

A symbol of the tensions between the major world powers, Checkpoint Charlie became the world’s most famous border crossing within a city. The ‘Haus am Checkpoint Charlie’ museum has a permanent exhibition on the history of the Berlin Wall and many other related themes – from opposition, resistance and the Stasi to the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989.

The memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe

Berlin Holocaust MahnmalThe memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe at the northern end of Wilhelmstrasse close to Brandenburg Gate testifies to the fact that these unspeakable crimes had their origins in Berlin. Covering approx. 19,000m², the site is adorned with 2,711 rectangular concrete blocks designed by New York architect Peter Eisenman. The information centre underneath the wave-shaped ‘field of stelae’ has an exhibition documenting the persecution and murder of European Jews. A place for mourning, reconciliation and perhaps forgiveness, but not a place for forgetting.

A taste of Old Berlin: the Hackesche Höfe

Berlin Hackesche HoefeThe Hackesche Höfe is a magnificent retail complex that embodies the history and characteristic buzz of Berlin’s Mitte district. Germany’s largest interconnected series of courtyards, the site has been under a historical preservation order since 1977. This extremely popular ensemble has brought back to life a genuine slice of Old Berlin. Exuding all the distinctive charm of the city’s traditional courtyards, it is home to a vibrant mix of art galleries, cinemas, theatres, variety venues, restaurants and bars, not to mention all the charming boutiques and big-name flagship stores.

All the way up: Berlin’s TV tower

Berlin Fernsehturm panthermediaBerlin’s 368-metre high television tower is the tallest building in Germany. It was erected in Berlin’s historic centre right next to the medieval Church of St. Mary close to the Rotes Rathaus and immediately to the west of Alexanderplatz square. At a height of more than 200 metres, its observation platforms offer a magnificent panoramic view of the city. The tower was opened in 1969, although apparently the architects were not invited to the ceremony. The reason was that those in power at the time were annoyed about the cross-shaped reflection on the outer panels – known as ‘the Pope’s revenge’.

Quiet contemplation in the pleasure garden: Berlin Cathedral

Berlin Berliner DomBuilt on the northern part of an island in the river Spree, Berlin Cathedral is the city’s largest religious building and holds great significance for the Protestant Church in Germany. Year after year, it attracts many thousands of visitors from all over Germany and abroad – and of all faiths and beliefs. Built between 1894 and 1905 to plans by Julius Raschdorff in the Italian high renaissance and baroque style, the cathedral is one of the most important church buildings in Germany. The main entrance is reached through the pleasure garden.

A memorial to peace: the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

Berlin GedaechtniskircheA neo-Romanesque masterwork with Gothic elements, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church was consecrated on 1 September 1895. Its impressive mosaics, reliefs and sculptures were created by famous artists. In November 1943, however, the church was destroyed in a bombing raid. Its ruined tower was turned into a memorial and is now one of the signature attractions in the west of Berlin. The new Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church designed by Egon Eiermann was consecrated in December 1961. It is famous for its blue glass walls and the incredible acoustics inside – standing in the centre of a bustling metropolis, you could hear a pin drop.

For those with expensive tastes: Quartier 206

Berlin Quartier 206 EinkaufspassageLuxury fashion, cosmetics and interior design: Quartier 206 features DKNY, Etro, Strenesse, Gabriele Strehle and Gucci concessions, glasses from B54 and the Out of Asia furniture store. The architecture with its glass prisms, mediterranean-style atrium and Venetian mosaics is an attraction in itself. A consumer temple par excellence, Quartier 206 offers an exclusive selection of the most beautiful (and most expensive) items in the world, collections and confections the like of which you won’t find anywhere else in Germany.

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