Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Berlin - A few pictures

I finally had the time to gather a few (believe me, those are "a few"... I think I have around 300 or 400 pictures from those 3 days!) pictures from my short visit to Berlin (I was there in the beginning of March). Enjoy, Berlin is such a wonderful city, so beautiful and so full of history!

The Brandenburg gate, one of Berlin's most famous places.

A closer look of the beautiful statue on top of the gate - would you believe me if I told you that some hundred years ago, this statue (which is not small, let me tell you) was stolen? And then retrieved? It amazes me how they did that without modern technology :)
We took a tour inside the national parliament, which is called "Bundestag". Inside, we saw this miniature version of the parliament. Isn't this building beautiful? This model was built by students in the university of arts, for blind people, so that they could feel what the building looks like.
Also inside the parliament is this wall - it is an old one, and withstood World War II (those walls they have there are incredibly thick and durable!). Russian soldiers wrote short sentences on this wall when they attacked the parliament during World War II, and after the war, when the Germans were rebuilding the parliament, this wall was covered. Now, however, it has been revealed again, and is left as a reminder of the past.
A closer look at one of the writings on the wall - you can clearly see the year "1945", as well as something else, written in Russian, if I'm not mistaken, probably by a Russian soldier.
This piece of art is in the parliament's basement, and each plate has the name of an important person in the history of German politics.
From the parliament's basement. This piece of a tunnel, is not just any piece of any tunnel :) It's a piece of the tunnel through which it is believed that the parliament was set on fire in 1933. That fire played an important role in the rising of Adolf Hitler and his movement. When I was there, I could almost see somebody sneaking in through the tunnel...
Inside the parliament. It's so gracious.
Also inside the parliament - you can see the eagle, and above, you can see the dome on top of the parliament.

Taken from inside the dome - isn't the German flag just beautiful?
 Also taken from inside the dome, the Victory Column ("die Siegessäule" in German).

The front of the parliament, saying "Dem Deutschen Volke", which means "For the German nation". 

The side of the parliament. This is such a beautiful building, I couldn't help taking so many pictures! 

From the Holocaust Memorial (Holocaust Mahnmal) in Berlin. This is an abstract piece of art (a huge piece of art...), to honour the memory of all the Jews who lost their lives during Hitler's reign. 

 I thought it was beautiful how the clear sky separates the two blocks of concrete, almost like the sky stands for hope and a brighter future.

 The "Park Inn" hotel at the Alexanderplatz, and the "Television Tower", or the "Fernsehturm" to the right.

The Television Tower again (sounds weird, I always think of it as the "Fernsehturm" :), with the burning sun behind it. 

 We went to the DDR Museum (and no, that's not me in the picture, it is a friend :), where you get a "hands-on" experience of history. You can, among other things, sit in a prison cell... 

... look through books which were popular... 

 ... or relax in a "typical" living room and watch TV recordings from those years. I highly recommend that you visit this museum, since it's different than any other museum I've been to.

This is taken outside the DDR Museum (this building is opposite the museum).

We also went to the Zoo, and saw the famous polar bear, Knut. He passed away a few days later, bless his memory.

 Another museum we visited (you can never visit too many museums, people!) was the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, which is a huge museum, placed where the US Army Checkpoint was. This checkpoint (seen above) is outside the museum, and you can actually the man posing as a soldier there, to the right (holding a flag).

 The best place to buy great-quality chocolate in Berlin, is at Fassbender & Rausch Chocolatier. They have amazing chocolate, but they also have amazing buildings, made from chocolate! Above is the Bundestag (the parliament), but they also have the Brandenburg Gate, The Television Tower and Titanic!

 The front of the main building of the Humboldt University of Berlin - this is a highly respected and old university, and I believe its buildings are spread widely around the city. This particular building, however, is on the street "Unter den Linden".

A statue inside the Brandenburg Gate. 

 The Berlin Cathedral on a foggy day.

 Those are some seriously beautiful balconies!

"The Missing House". The house that used to be there, exploded during the Second World War, and everybody inside died. The space has been left empty ever since as a memorial, and the victims' names have been written on plates on the walls. This memorial is something you don't easily forget once you've seen it.

 The Olympic Stadium (Olympia Stadion), built in 1934-1936 for the Summer Olympics.

 Inside the Olympic Stadium.

 We went to a great restaurant, called "12 Apostel", where they serve Italian food. I had to photograph the ceiling, it was just so pretty :) Random me...
 A poster from the German History Museum. I didn't have time to go there now, but I really wanted to and I will one day ;) "Wir sind ein Volk" means "We are a nation", and this is a well-known sentence from German history, which was chanted by the protesting public in 1989 (I actually believe though, that the sentence was "Wir sind das Volk", which would mean "We are the nation").

And finally, this "hole" in the ground, which can be found near the Humboldt University of Berlin. Those empty bookshelves stand as a reminder of all the books which were burned during the reign of Adolf Hitler, for their content was not to his liking. Imagine all the literature, all the tales and all the words which were lost in the flames.

I hope that you enjoyed my pictures and my comments! Have you ever been to Berlin? If so, then how was your experience?

Miss Diorista

Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections. - Anonymous
And I want to post this one again, since I find it so true:

The moment we shared might only have lasted a few seconds, but the memory will never fade. - Anonymous.

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