Montag, 8. April 2019

Berlin, until now 6 city tours, 288 pics

The Berlin Bear welcomes you on this picture tour through his livable, exciting and chaotic city. The bear has been the coat of arms of Berlin since about 1280.

As an overture I serve you some appetizers: Twenty typical views of the extraordinary capital of Germany.

An early morning view through the narrow Dorotheenstraße eastward to the TV tower.

In the Gründerzeit Museum ( Wilhelminian era) of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf (manor house Mahlsdorf)

View of the huge park Großer Tiergarten in late May,
extending from the Brandenburg Gate westward to the City West.

No, it's not the world-famous Nefertiti (Nofretete) for once, but it's also in the Neues Museum. That's part of the World Heritage Berlin Museum Island, built between 1843 and 1855.

The Spree still flows through Berlin ... on a cold March morning with the park Großer Tiergarten, the Carillon tower and the TV tower.

In the cupola of the Reichstag (Reichstagsgebäude), the parliament of the Germans = Deutscher Bundestag.

The statue of Bert Brecht, an influential German dramatist, librettist and poet, in front of the BE = Berliner Ensemble, one of the most famous stages of the German capital.

The antique market gate Miletus in the Pergamon Museum.

A very small part of the 3,5 km long boulevard Kurfürstendamm with the most famous landmark of Berlin West Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche (the tower ruin = memorial to peace) and the modern tower of the church.

Part of the East-Side-Gallery on the former Berlin Wall.

The Jüdische Museum Berlin is the largest Jewish museum in Europe. Architect Daniel Libeskind.

May 1945, the Soviet Army conquers the Reichstag.

German Historical Museum (Deutsches Historisches Museum) -
Middle Ages - armor for knight and horse.

Morning mood: the victory column (Siegessäule) on the square Großer Stern, in the center of the park Großer Tiergarten.

In front of the Humboldt University, Unter den Linden, the equestrian statue Friedrich der Große.

Sculpture on the Tauentzienstraße, the modern tower of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche (the old tower is scaffolded) and the 32-floor building in the background called "Zoo Fenster" with the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Tierpark Friedrichsfelde, one of the two Berlin zoos

The TV tower and the red town hall - since 1992 the seat of the Berlin Senate and the Governing Mayor.

Summer in the city

The Quadriga on top of the Brandenburg Gate, one of Berlin's most famous landmarks and a national symbol.

1st tour incl. East Side Gallery

Let's go to the Potsdamer Platz.

Before World War II. the Potsdamer Platz was one of the busiest squares in Europe. The picture (1988, looking east, with the East Berlin TV tower) shows the square after World War II with the Berlin Wall (white line).

Inside the Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz

Buildings at the Potsdamer Platz / Ebertstraße

Tempodrom, event location for concerts, galas, congresses, banquets, receptions, award ceremonies, sports events, comedy, theater ... for up to 3,500 people.

The Prussian parliament is the parliament building of the old Prussian Chamber of Deputies in Berlin. Since 1993 it is the seat of the Berlin House of Representatives.

In front of the Berlin House of Representatives stands the statue of Heinrich Friedrich Karl Reichsfreiherr vom und zum Stein (1757 - 1831). He was a Prussian official, an important statesman and reformer.

The Kunstgewerbemuseum is considered one of the most important collections of European crafts from the Middle Ages to the present day. The museum was built in 1867 and has changed its location and name several times until 1995.

Willy-Brandt-Haus, SPD party headquarters, Kreuzberg

Living machine right next to the SPD party headquarters, Kreuzberg

Konrad-Adenauer-House, CDU party headquarters, Tiergarten

Three views of the bridge Oberbaumbrücke. The metro (to the left) runs here as elevated train, terminus Warsaw Bridge.

The Molecule Man is a monumental work of art by the American sculptor Jonathan Borofsky, a three-person sculpture that was erected in the river Spree.

One of the old industrial plants along the river Spree, which has since been restored to become state-of-the-art office buildings, lofts and so on.

One of the many occupied houses (squatter scene) in Kreuzberg at the underground station Schlesisches Tor.

The tree house is a two-storey hut built during the devision of the city in the no man's land of the Berlin Wall by the Turkish immigrant Osman Kalin from bulky waste on an occupied traffic island in Kreuzberg. It has been preserved as a landmark.

Building of the Berlin Wall after 1961.
Fall of the Berlin Wall started on November 9th, 1989.
Painted by artists from February to September 1990.
Restoration in 2009. Ten examples.

The monument East Side Gallery is a permanent open-air gallery on the longest surviving section of the Berlin Wall in the Mühlenstraße. It was painted by 118 artists from 21 countries over a length of 1316 meters.

The Mercedes-Benz Arena (former O2 World Berlin) is a multipurpose hall in Friedrichshain for sports events such as ice hockey and basketball, concerts, etc. With up to 17,000 seats and standing room, it is the second largest multi-purpose arena in Germany.

The street was originally called Große Frankfurter Straße and was renamed Stalinallee in 1949. Stalin died in 1953. Since 1961 it is called Karl-Marx-Allee. The residential buildings, which extend from the Strausberger Platz to the Frankfurter Tor and into the Frankfurter Allee, were designed as "workers' palaces" and were intended to represent the strength and engineering of the GDR.

Alexanderplatz (Alex) is a transport hub for S-Bahn (urban railway), regional trains, metro, tram and buses.

The square and surrounding buildings were largely destroyed during the WW II. The East Berlin administration largely cleared the area in the 1960s and expanded it to a pedestrian zone and around eight hectares. With more than 360,000 passers-by a day, Alexanderplatz was the fourth-busiest square in Europe in 2009.

A personal note: I felt the huge square as a child oppressive and scary (early 1950s, picture). I thought it was extremely ugly after the fall of the Berlin Wall and I still think it's one of the ugliest squares in Berlin (2018).

2nd tour, city West, incl. KaDeWe and Buddy Bears

The Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) was opened in 1907 as a department store with an upscale assortment and luxury goods. Throughout its history, it has been rebuilt and reconstructed several times and it burned during World War II. Today, KaDeWe is the largest department store in continental Europe - and - a pure luxury department store, especially for people who do not know what to do with their piles of money.

Next to the KaDeWe is the Wittenbergplatz with two remarkable wells built according to the designs of the sculptor Waldemar Grzimek (the fountains started in 1985). The sculpture program for the South Fountain includes nine individual figures of people of different ages, as well as a group of two children with a dog and two free, sculptural forms.

Onto the median strip of Tauentzienstraße (a shopping street about 500 meters long, today one of the most expensive, well-known and highest-turnover locations in German) is this sculpture by Matschinsky-Denninghoff, a sculptor couple known for his monumental abstract sculptures made of stainless steel tubes.

This photograph was taken before 2008, when the two skyscrapers (behind the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church) did not exist.

The Sofitel Berlin Kurfürstendamm (formerly the 5-star Hôtel Concorde Berlin) with 17 floors on the corner of Augsburger Straße and Joachimsthaler Straße was completed in 2005 to designs by architect Jan Kleihues.

The Europa Center - with the huge, permanently rotating Mercedes star on top - is a building complex with a skyscraper on Breitscheidplatz. Built between 1963 and 1965, it became a symbol of West Berlin next to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche. With a eaves height of 86 meters, the office tower was for several years the tallest skyscraper in the city. The entire complex is now a listed building.

Former Auguste-Victoria Platz 1930, today Breitscheidplatz. On the top left you can see a small part of the Zoological Garden.

The Breitscheidplatz (early Fifties?) after the Second World War

2018 seen from my roof terrace, Upper West (33 floors, opened in 2017) and behind Zoofenster (32 floors, opened in 2010) at Breitscheidplatz.

In 1882 the "Berliner Stadteisenbahn" was opened with a 71 meter long hall - Zoologischer Garten station - for "local traffic". For the 1936 Olympic Games, the station was completely rebuilt. 

After decommissioning the other long-distance and head stations in the western sector of Berlin in 1952, the Zoologischer Garten station was the only long-distance station in West Berlin. It was the starting point of the interzone and later transit trains into the Federal territory.

The Zoological Garden - opened in 1884 - is the world's most species-rich zoo and Germany's oldest zoo. In the center of Berlin, 20,200 animals from around 1,400 species can be seen on a 33 hectare area.

The Aquarium Berlin (part of Zoologischer Garten) has existed since 1913. After almost complete destruction in the Second World War, problematic reconstruction and later comprehensive renovation and expansion, it is now one of the most species-rich facilities of its kind worldwide. In addition to marine and freshwater inhabitants also amphibians, reptiles and insects are shown.

The theater was built in 1895/1896 in the style of Wilhelminian historicism by Bernhard Sehring on a former coal field. From 1922 it was an Opera House. Since 1961 the Theater des Westens has been used for operetta and musical performances.

Opposite the Theater of the West is the "sail house", which has a sail on the roof (with advertising).

The flagship Café Kranzler (since 1825) was a famous Berlin coffee house in the historic center of the capital. Its branch in West Berlin was a West Berlin institution since its reopening in 1958 and until the end of 1999 it was a magnet for tourists and celebrities. 

In 2016 the new Café Kranzler was reopened. Since the building is a listed building, hardly anything has changed externally. The interiors have been completely redone.

The "New Kranzler Eck", 7 pics: Kurfürstendamm / Kantstraße / Joachimstaler Straße. The complex was built in 1998-2000 by Helmut Jahn, Murphy / Jahn Architects, Chicago. It includes Café Kranzler, the old building of the Viktoria-Versicherung, the two-storey shop on Joachimstaler Straße and the Karstadt-Sport-Haus. The new building is a 16-storey glazed building with a continuous passage from the Kantstraße to the Kurfürstendamm. 

A striking eye-catcher is the 54 m high edge that juts out far into the street of the Kurfürstendamm with the light installation "Lichtburg" by Yann Kersalé. In the center of the district there are two 22 m high conical aviaries with more than 100 parakeets, pheasants and ducks.

Only 5 years after the end of the war, the French city commander General Jean Ganeval, in the presence of Lord Mayor Ernst Reuter, opened the "Maison de France", the new cultural center as a Franco-German meeting place. Here were the French Consulate General (until 2002), the Institut français Berlin, the Kino Cinema Paris, a library of French literature ...

The Berlin Bear is the heraldic animal of Berlin since about 1280 and adorns the city emblem today. 

The Buddy Bear was developed in 2001 by Eva and Klaus Herlitz in collaboration with the Austrian artist and sculptor Roman Strobl. 

In 2001, around 350 bears were painted in Berlin and distributed in the city; it should be a one-time action. Because the symbol was well received by Berliners and tourists, the campaign was extended several times and it has been running without restriction since the 2010s. Most of the bears are no longer in Berlin. Nearly 2,000 bears were produced (as of May 2017), meanwhile 1,600 are located throughout Germany and worldwide.

This is not a good photo, but the building is important. The distinctive rotunda on the Kurfürstendamm in the style of "Neue Sachlichkeit" was opened in 1928 as the largest cinema in Berlin, destroyed during the Second World War, rebuilt after the war and used as a cinema, dance hall and musical theater. In 1979 it was listed as a historical monument. Since 1981 it is a theater: The famous Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, known for outstanding productions, outstanding stage directors and outstanding actors.

3rd tour incl. Reichstag und Tiergarten  

The Reichstag building - in short Reichstag - colloquially also Bundestag - at the Place of the Republic is since 1999 seat of the German parliament.

If you spontaneously decide to visit, you will land in an endless queue and waste a lot of time. 

I highly recommend 1) Registration Online - there are various options for your visit! Or

2) Seat reservation in the roof garden restaurant incl. visit of roof and dome = immediate entrance through a side door. Recommended is the breakfast .... lunch and dinner are expensive and quite ordinary. Or

3) an evening visit (the dome is open daily from 8:00 to 24:00 o'clock, last entrance 21:45 o'clock). In the late evening you will experience the building without tourist crowds.

The plenary chamber of the German national parliament has the dimensions of a church and is one-and-a-half times larger than the Berlin Philharmonic hall.

About 23 meters high and 40 meters wide - with the government move from Bonn to Berlin in 1999, the Reichstag building again received a dome. The architect Sir Norman Foster designed the steel and glass construction together with specialist engineers.

The Reichstag was built from 1884 to 1894 in Neo-Renaissance style under the architect Paul Wallot. The building housed the Reichstag of the German Empire and then the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic. It was followed in 1933 by the Reichstagsbrand fire and later by heavy damage in the Second World War. In the 1960s the building was restored in a modernized form and was used for exhibitions and special events. From 1995 to 1999, the Reichstag for the use as a parliament building by Norman Foster was fundamentally redesigned.

From the roof of the Reichstag you have a phenomenal view over the city in all directions. This is particularly impressive at night.

View to the Chancellery

View to the north. You see the elevated route of the railway and urbahn railway (S-Bahn) between Hauptbahnhof and Friedrichstrasse.

View to the east, right in the pic the Berlin Cathedral and the Red City Hall.

View to Potsdamer Platz with the Sony Center

Looking west with the Tiergarten, the Carillon and the House of World Cultures in the former Congress Hall on the banks of the river Spree. As an icon of architectural modernism, the congress hall has become a prominent symbol of the German-American alliance. In the vernacular of Berlin, the building is also known under the name "Pregnant Oyster".

View towards the northwest with the new central station, opened in 2006.

View towards the northeast with the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus, part of the government district.

3 x view to the southeast with the Brandenburg Gate.

View from the west in April

Since 2004, the Akademie der Künste at Pariser Platz has been a public corporation funded by the Federal Republic of Germany, which is dedicated to the promotion of fine arts, architecture, music, literature, the performing arts and film and media art. Their tradition goes back to the year 1696 and the first Prussian King Friedrich I.

The Hotel Adlon Kempinski is one of the most luxurious and famous hotels in Germany. It is located on the boulevard Unter den Linden 77, on Pariser Platz. It opened in 1997 and follows the tradition of the original Hotel Adlon, opened in 1907, which burned down in 1945 and was later demolished. 

On October 24, 1907, the "Vossische Zeitung" in Berlin reported: "During the previous day, the emperor, empress, princesses and princes had visited the magnificent hotel building and honored Mr. Adlon's appreciation of what he had created here."

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in short the Holocaust Memorial, in the historic center of Berlin, commemorates the approximately 6 million Jews who were murdered under the rule of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. 

The memorial, designed by Peter Eisenman, consists of 2711 cuboid concrete stelae. It was built between 2003 and spring 2005 on an area of ​​about 19,000 m² south of the Brandenburg Gate. Inaugurated on May 2005. Already in the first year came over 3.5 million visitors.

The "Place of Information" under the stele field documents the persecution and extermination of European Jews in an exhibition.

The Great Tiergarten in Berlin is a park covering 210 hectares (2.1 km²). Some wide roads cut through the park, including the Street of June 17; they intersect at the place Great Star, in the middle of which stands the Victory Column.

Originally it was the hunting ground of the Electors of Brandenburg. Frederick the Great, however, did not appreciate the hunt. In 1742 he commissioned the architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff to demolish the fences and transform the zoo into a pleasure park for the population. To the taste of the baroque, he planted flower beds, borders and trellises in geometrical arrangements, laid labyrinths, pools and ornamental oaks and erected sculptures .... (the following 13 pics)

The Victory Column (Siegessäule) on the square Big Star (Großer Stern) in the middle of the Great Tiergarten was built from 1864 to 1873 as a National Monument to the Wars of Unification according to a design by Heinrich Strack. It is a listed building and is considered a landmark of Berlin. 

It was inaugurated for the celebration of Sedan Day on September 2, 1873, the third anniversary of the victorious Battle of Sedan.

Inside, a narrow, steep spiral staircase with 285 steps leads to the 50.66 meter high viewing platform. From there you have a fantastic panoramic view. The total height of the Victory Column including the statue is 67 meters.

View towards the city center.

View towards the northeast with the Bellevue Palace, official residence of the Federal President (and before, the oval building) the Federal President's Office.

View towards the west.

The column carries a bronze sculpture created by Friedrich Drake in the form of a female figure, the Victoria (Siegesgöttin). She holds in the right a laurel wreath in the air, in the left a field with the Iron Cross. Her helmet is decorated with eagle wings. The Viktoria and other components were gilded in a renovation 2010/11 with 1.2 kg of gold leaf.

4th tour - the district Charlottenburg
with the mansions colony Grunewald and the radio tower

The "Kurfürstendamm" was built around 1542 - from the Berlin City Palace to the hunting lodge Grunewald (approximately 13 km) - as a bridle path for the Elector Joachim II - at that time nameless.  

Today the boulevard is about 3.4 km long - from the Breitscheidtplatz over the Halensee bridge to the Rathenauplatz.

From the Halensee bridge you have fantastic views towards the southeast and - as here - to the northwest to the Berliner Funkturm (opened in 1925) and the International Congress Center (ICC Berlin), from 1979 to 2014 one of the largest congressional buildings in the world.

Approximately at the end of the Kürfürstendamm begins - in the district Grunewald - the Königsallee (King's Alley), once part of that bridle path. Here you see a few house fronts in this exclusive residential district.

The picture shows the Königssee. Around the Königsallee there are a number of small idyllic lakes (with expensive villas on their banks) which run like a chain to the Great Wannsee.

Station Grunewald, today only station of the city railway, with the memorial track 17 ...

The memorial track 17 at the station Grunewald - officially since 1998 - reminds of the thousands of Jews, who were deported from this track with trains of the German Reichsbahn. The first deportation train rolled on 18 October 1941 from the tracks. 1013 people were on the train to the east. From here, in the years from 1941 until the end of the war, more than 50,000 German Jews were deported to work and concentration camps and mostly murdered. Destinations were next to Riga and Warsaw the camp Auschwitz-Birkenau and Theresienstadt.

The 120 m high hill in the middle of the Grunewald was built from the rubble of the Second World War. This roughly corresponds to one third of the rubble of bombed Berlin houses and about 15,000 buildings; In addition, there was a small proportion of industrial waste.

 The Teufelsberg (devil's mountain) gets its name from the nearby Teufelssee (devil's lake).

On the hill are the striking buildings of an air traffic control and listening station of the US Armed Forces. After the withdrawal of the military, the plant was used from 1991 to 1999 as an air traffic control radar station. Since then, the buildings are empty and dilapidated.

Early morning in March.

The Havel passes Berlin to the west.

The Great Wannsee is a bay of the Havel in Berlin. He named the district Wannsee. The capital is surrounded by many small and large lakes.

The Kleine Wannsee is located in the south of Berlin's district Zehlendorf and is part of the federal waterway Griebnitzkanal. On the shore are the Kleist grave (1777-1811*), some rowing clubs and predominantly representative estate. Since the shore lands are private property, there is no public access to the lake. 

* The dramatist, narrator, lyricist and publicist, then without literary success, doubtful of human ties and desperate about the political situation, he took his own life together with the terminally ill Henriette Vogel at Wannsee.

The Ruhleben subway station is the terminus of the 20.7 km U2 line. Like the lines U1, U3 and U4, it belongs to the pre-1914 opened sub-network of the Berlin subway, which is called because of the narrower vehicles and tunnels as a "small profile network".

The Olympiastadion Berlin is part of the Olympic grounds and was built from 1934 to 1936 for the 1936 Olympic Games with a capacity of 100,000 spectators. Today, the Olympic Stadium is home of the Berlin football club Hertha BSC. It offers 74,475 seats. Seen from the Olympic Square to the east gate, the main entrance.

The Rococo palace of the Prussian Queen Sophie Charlotte, opened in 1699, is one of the most famous sights in Berlin (in the district of Charlottenburg). The entire complex includes the New Pavilion, the Belvedere and the Mausoleum in the castle garden.

The Wühlmäuse is one of the famous German cabaret theaters with an ensemble of the same name, founded in 1960 by Dieter Hallervorden with Wilfried Herbst and several other actor colleagues in Berlin. 

In 2000, Dieter Hallervorden (*1935) - comedian, cabaret artist, actor, singer, voice actor, presenter and theater director - purchased the former Summit House on Theodor-Heuss-Platz, where he set up a two-level theater with a total of 516 seats, now called Berliner Kabarett-Theater.

The Stadtbad, Volksbad (public bath) and indoor pool on Krumme Straße in Charlottenburg was opened in 1898. It is still in use today. In 1974, a modern indoor pool with 50-meter swimming lanes was opened next to it.

In the urban area of ​​Berlin, there are 39 indoor pools, 17 outdoor swimming pools, 10 beach resorts (at lakes) and 9 pools exclusively for schools and swimming sports clubs.

Old Berlin house in the narrow Charlottenburger Krumme street, next to the two indoor pools.

The International Congress Center Berlin (ICC Berlin) was one of the largest convention centers in the world. The 313 meter long, 89 meter wide and almost 40 meter high building was opened in 1979 after only four years of construction. A striking feature is the silver-gray aluminum facade of the building in the style of high-tech architecture.

For years, the future of the building has been discussed in Berlin. The exhibition Messe Berlin has no interest in continuing operation as the operating costs exceed the income from events. Even a demolition was brought into conversation. The building was closed in 2014. 

In the wake of the refugee crisis in Europe in 2015, the ICC was used as an emergency shelter for initially more than 500 residents. Up to 1,400 asylum seekers were processed daily here.

The Berliner Funkturm - telecommunication tower and observation tower - is a famous landmark. View to the tower restaurant, which is 50m high.

The Berliner Funkturm is a 146.7 meter high steel truss tower on the exhibition grounds. The transmission tower was put into operation in 1926 for the 3rd Great German Radio Exhibition Berlin, 43 years older than the Berlin TV Tower at Alexanderplatz. Since 1966, the radio tower is a listed building. 

Starting from 1926 transmissions of the radio were broadcasted from the Berlin radio tower and starting from 1929 at first experimentally television test broadcasts. The world's first television program came in 1932 from the Berlin Radio Tower.

We start a tour and look in all directions. In the foreground the parking lot in front of the old halls of the Berlin fairgrounds. In the  north-western direction, we see the House of Broadcasting (Haus des Rundfunks), opened in 1929. The building is of great importance in terms of architecture as well as radio history. 

In 1957, the radio station Sender Freies Berlin (SFB) was able to move into the House of Broadcasting, which had been occupied by the Soviets until then. In 1970 - behind it - the new television center at Theodor-Heuss-Platz was opened, all together now Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg RBB.

In the north-east direction we see - front right - the forecourt and entrance to the ICC - the station Witzleben of the urban railway (now Messe Nord / ICC), next to the long-distance railway tracks and the city highway, the Lietzensee with the green Lietzensee park.

View to the south - from left - the tracks of the Berlin urban railway, the tracks of the long-distance trains and the city highway. Behind you see the three towers of the Wilmersdorf cogeneration plant.

In the middle of the sea of houses you see the idyllic Lietzensee in the Lietzensee park.

The skyscrapers form the center of City West, the green strip - to the left - is the Zoologischer Garten and behind it the buildings at Potsdamer Platz. On the right the railroad tracks that cut through Berlin from west to east.

View to the east with the park Großer Tiergarten, the Victory Column and the Fernsehturm at Alexanderplatz.

The oval on the left is the former south curve of the famous Avus car and motorcycle race track. From there, the racetrack led into the Grunewald to the west and is now just an ordinary highway. At right a partial view of the exhibition halls.

At the former entrance to the Avus race track, this sculpture recalls these two motorcycle racers.

Part of the Berlin fair grounds.

5th tour around the Chancellery

The equally spectacular as well as controversial monumental building ensemble of the new Federal Chancellery was designed by the Berlin architects Axel Schultes and Charlotte Frank and moved in 2001.

View from the roof of the Reichstag.

View from the top floor of the new Berlin Central Station with Moltkebrücke and Spree.

The Alsenblock, part of the parliament complex.

Alsenblock and Luisenblock - part of the parliament complex - with bridging of the Spree.

The Berlin Hauptbahnhof. The intersection station with 14 platform tracks, designed by the architect Meinhard von Gerkan, was opened in 2006. On the area north of the Spreebogen were already from 1868 to 1951 the Lehrter station and from 1882 to 2002 the Lehrter city station.

It is the largest tower station in Europe. With daily about 300,000 passengers and visitors, it is ranked fifth after Hamburg, Frankfurt (Main), Munich and Cologne, along with Stuttgart, the busiest railway stations of Deutsche Bahn.

The station building has two main levels that serve rail traffic, as well as three connecting and business levels. The upper track level consists of six tracks on four bridge structures. In between, there are three platforms at a height of around ten meters above street level. On the lower track level are four platforms with the eight tracks of the north-south connection at a depth of 15 meters. This is followed to the east by another platform with two tracks of the U55 subway line. East of the subway station, a similar double-track platform is being built as part of the S21 S-Bahn project.

View in eastbound direction to Friedrichstraße station.

This is where the Berlin-Warszawa-Express (BWE) arrives - an international joint train of the Polish state railway PKP and DB Fernverkehr. For the 575 km long route you need in 2019 still 6 hours and 17 minutes.

The bridge, which is richly decorated with pictures and sculptures was named after Helmuth von Moltke, the head of the Prussian General Staff from 1857 to 1888. It was opened in 1891, severely damaged during the Second World War, reopened in 1947 and comprehensively restored and modernized from 1983 to 1986.

Over the bridge the Willy-Brandt-Straße leads to the Federal Chancellery. The Moltke bridge is a listed building.

Berlin Hamburger Bahnhof (below) was once the starting point of the Berlin-Hamburg railway. The former reception building is the only surviving one of the large Berlin head stations. It dates from the 1840s, making it one of the oldest station buildings in Germany. In 1884 the station was closed for passenger traffic. 

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the reception building has been used as a museum (above). It houses the Museum of Contemporary Art, which belongs to the Berliner Nationalgalerie and, with over 261,000 visitors (as of 2015), is one of the most successful contemporary art houses.

Schloss Bellevue - Schöne Aussicht - is the first official residence of the German Federal President. The castle was built on behalf of the youngest brother of Frederick II, Ferdinand of Prussia, from 1785 to 1786.

From Theodor Heuss (1884-1963) to Frank-Walter Steinmeier (he has officiated here since 2017), all Federal Presidents have resided here during their term of office. The castle is used for New Year's receptions, state and inaugural visits. All citizens can visit the castle once a year on the Open-door day.

The House of World Cultures is an exhibition space for international contemporary arts and a forum for current developments and discourses. 

Since its founding in March 1989, the House of World Cultures has been based in the former Congress Hall on the banks of the Spree in the Tiergarten and Government District. As an icon of architectural modernism, the congress hall has become a prominent symbol of the German-American alliance. 

In the vernacular of Berlin, the building is also known by its name  "Pregnant Oyster".

The Paris-Moscow is a Berlin monument, which houses the eponymous restaurant Paris-Moscow. It is a small freestanding half-timbered house that was built by Hermann Streubel from 1896 to 1897 as a restaurant. It is the oldest privately run restaurant in Moabit district.

Soviet Memorial in Berlin Tiergarten, on the street of June 17.

The Battle of Berlin was the last major battle of World War II in Europe. It lasted from 16 April to 2 May 1945 and had the occupation of Berlin, the capital of the German Reich, (the liberation of Germany from Nazi madness!) by the Red Army of the Soviet Union with the participation of some Polish units result. 

After the end of the Second World War, four Soviet cenotaphs were created by the Red Army in the city of Berlin. They should be reminiscent of the slain Red Army soldiers, especially the approximately 80,000 soldiers who died in the Battle of Berlin. These cenotaphs are not only monuments to the victory, but also memorials in association with military cemeteries and thus Soviet war cemeteries in Germany.

6th tour - The heart of Berlin and its historical center.

This sign in four languages separated Berlin and the world into West and East for 45 years.

The equally famous and dramatic Checkpoint Charlie was one of the Berlin border crossings through the Berlin Wall between 1961 and 1990. It joined in the Friedrichstraße between Zimmerstraße and Kochstraße the Soviet with the US sector. 

The checkpoint was established in August 1961 as a result of the construction of the Berlin Wall and was only allowed to be used by Allied military and embassy staff, foreigners and employees of the Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the GDR and GDR officials. 

Since the fall of the Wall, Checkpoint Charlie has been a devastating tourist hype. The construction around the checkpoint has been discussed for 20 years, and an end is not in sight. The picture was taken in 2011.

The (Berlin) BeerBike with its roaring, half-drunk tourists is one of the nastiest inventions to boost tourism.

The 15-17 meters relatively narrow Friedrichstraße, created in the 17th century and named after the Kurfürst Friedrich III. from Brandenburg, is one of the most well-known streets in the historical center of Berlin, and between 1882 and 1943 an extremely busy, lively business street. 

The picture above was taken on March 12, 1945. At the end of the Second World War, 28.5 km² of the built-up Berlin area was in ruins. The following two pictures were taken around 2010.

Over the bridges to the station Friedrichstrasse drive the trains of the light rail, the regional railways and the long-distance traffic.

On the other side of Friedrichstrasse station, the tracks cross the river Spree.

Behind the station Friedrichstrasse, near the river Spree, is the Berliner Ensemble (abbreviated: BE), one of the most famous stages of the German capital. It became famous through performances of the works of its founder Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956, monument on the forecourt) and is considered one of the leading German-language stages. Since 1954 the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm has been the venue of the Berliner Ensemble. Among his famous directors were also Helene Weigel (1949-1971), Matthias Langhoff, Fritz Marquardt, Heiner Müller, Peter Zadek and Claus Peymann (1999-2017).

The Gendarmenmarkt, it is said, is the most beautiful square in Berlin. To the left the German Cathedral (Deutscher Dom). In the middle the playhouse of Carl-Friedrich Schinkel, today concert hall. And to the right the French Cathedral (Französischer Dom).

The Gendarmenmarkt (photo circa 1900, colored) is a named after the originally located here Cuirassier Regiment Gens d'armes place in the district of Berlin Mitte. Built during the expansion of the city in 1688, it was destroyed during the Second World War and rebuilt in 1976-1993.

The square was built as a part of Friedrichstadt, the Kurfürst Friedrich III., later King Friedrich I in Prussia, end of the 17th Century had created. In this historic district, a large part of the French immigrants (Huguenots) settled on whom the Great Kurfürst Friedrich Wilhelm von Brandenburg had promised with the Edict of Potsdam in 1685 the protection of their religious freedom and full citizenship. 

King Friedrich I assigned both the Lutheran and the French Reformed congregation each a place on the square to the church: in the north for the French Friedrichstadtkirche and in the south for the German Church. Both churches were built after 1701 initially without the later attached towers. 

The monument to Friedrich Schiller in front of the Schauspielhaus is a commissioned work by Reinhold Begas. The ceremonial laying of the foundation stone took place on November 10, 1859 on the occasion of the 100th birthday of the national poet.

The New Synagogue (picture 1865) on the Oranienburger Straße is a building of outstanding importance for the history of the Jewish population of the city and an important architectural monument.

The synagogue was inaugurated in 1866. The remaining part of the building is a listed building. It was reopened after restoration in 1995, but not inaugurated.


The motif of the three arches characterizes the façade. This motif can be seen both in the three-arcade entrance, as well as the three windows in the round arch style on the upper floor of the central tract. The tambour of the dome takes up the same motif, so in the tambour small, three-part arched windows can be seen. 

The gilded ribbed dome above the vestibule is at its highest point exactly 50.21 meters high and forms the visible highlight of the structure. For the shape of the dome, the architect used an Indian-Islamic architecture, with the model of the Royal Pavilion served in Brighton.

The Red City Hall (Rotes Rathaus) in Rathausstraße 15 in the district of Mitte is the seat of the Governing Mayor and Senate of Berlin. Built in the years 1861-1869 according to plans by Hermann Friedrich Waesemann in the round arch style, it was rebuilt after the destruction in the Second World War 1951-1955 by Fritz Meinhardt. 

Its name goes back to the red brick facade. As Berlin's city hall, it was the seat of the Lord Mayor and Municipal Council of Berlin.

The Neptune Fountain (actually Schloßbrunnen, because it was originally located in front of the Berlin Castle) is a listed jewel fountain, which was built in the style of the Neo-Baroque by Reinhold Begas on the Schloßplatz between 1888 and 1891, after the demolition of the castle by the Communists in 1951 away. In the redesign of the East Berlin city center, it received in 1969 in the park on the TV tower opposite the Red Town Hall a new place.

The protestant St. Mary's Church is located in the park by the TV tower. It is the oldest still sacred used municipal parish church of Berlin, one of originally six medieval church buildings in the historical center of Berlin, in the formerly densely built Marienviertel. 

On January 3, 1292, the church was first mentioned in a document as a parish church (ecclesia St. Marie virginis = Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary).

The Marx-Engels-Forum (formerly park on the Spree) is a green space, which was built on behalf of the GDR leadership in the years 1974-1975 instead of the destroyed in the Second World War and then demolished Holy Spirit district

It is surrounded by the Karl-Liebknecht-Straße in the north, the park by the TV tower in the east, the Red Town Hall in the south and the river Spree in the west. In the middle of the green area was a monument ensemble created until 1986, which was moved in 2010 because of the extension of a subway line to the northwestern edge. 

Among other sculptures it consists of two bronze sculptures for Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels by Ludwig Engelhardt. Since 1990, the future of the Marx-Engels Forum has been discussed, with ideas ranging from preserving the green space to rebuilding the Holy Spirit Quarter.

The listed Nikolaiviertel (quarter of the church Nikolai) is the oldest settlement area in Berlin. It was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War. It was rebuilt in 1980-1987 on behalf of the Municipality of East Berlin on the occasion of the 750th anniversary of the city by the architect Günter Stahn (meaninglessly mimicking history). 

Around the reconstructed Nikolaikirche, an ensemble of some beautiful historic town houses and appropriately adapted (extremely ugly) prefabricated buildings was built on an almost medieval ground plan. Nevertheless, it is a popular "attraction" of Berlin.

City map around 1652. The name Berlin derives probably from the Slavic term br'lo or berlo with the meanings, swamp, damp spot. 

The city name is due neither to the alleged founder of the city, Albrecht the bear, nor to the Berlin coat of arms. The heraldic animal is derived from the city name. 

The town of Cölln, which is located on the island of the river Spree, was first mentioned in documents in 1237. 1244 then followed the mention of (old) Berlin, which lies on the northeastern bank of the Spree

Recent archaeological finds prove that there were already suburban settlements on both sides of the Spree in the second half of the 12th century. In 1280, the first detectable Brandenburg state parliament took place in Berlin. The two cities Cölln and Berlin got 1307 a common city hall.

Remains of the medieval city wall. 

With their emergence in the 12th and 13th centuries, the cities of Berlin and Cölln initially protected themselves by walls, palisade fences and ditches from external enemies. Beginning around 1250, a fortified, built of fieldstone, up to two meters high city wall was added, the Spree was left as a boundary between the two cities of it, between the cities, there was no wall. In the 13th century, the city wall was repaired with bricks and raised to five meters. In defense built at irregular intervals loopholes, towers and Wieckhäuser (a special form of defense structures). In the 15th century, two 15-meter-wide moats were drilled around the city walls, and between them a pile of earth up to ten meters wide was heaped up.

The Old Town House at the Molkenmarkt is the name of a representative administrative building, which was built by the then city government Magistrate of Berlin to relieve the Red Town Hall in the years 1902 to 1911 for 7 million gold marks (€ 40 million).

The Parochial Cemetery at Waisenstraße is one of the oldest preserved church cemeteries in Berlin. Like the Parochial Church, it was inaugurated by King Friedrich I and his wife Sophie Charlotte in 1705.

View from the Berliner Dom / Schloßbrücke westwards - along the boulevard Unter den Linden (under the linden trees)  - to the Brandenburg Gate and to the Großer Tiergarten. At the top left you can see the modern buildings at Potsdamer Platz.

The Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom) at the Lustgarten on the Museum Island is a protestant church and dynastic tomb, built in 1894-1905 according to plans by Julius Raschdorff in the style of the Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Baroque. The listed building is one of the largest protestant churches in Germany and one of the most important dynastic tombs in Europe. 

You may visit the cathedral, the tombs of the Hohenzollern dynasty and have a 360° panoramic view from the cupola - - - but I don't want to contribute to this swanky ugly blog here.

The Schloßbrücke (castle bridge) with the Berliner Dom.

View of the Museum Island and the Bode Museum. Left the river Spree, right the Spree channel.

The Bode Museum is part of the architectural ensemble of Museum Island. Commissioned by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1898-1904 by Ernst von Ihne in the style of the Neo-Baroque as the Kaiser Friedrich Museum, it is currently home to the Sculpture Collection and the Museum of Byzantine Art and the Coin Cabinet.

The art historian Wilhelm von Bode provided the later implemented proposals; Bode was knighted in 1914 for this.

The Museum Island in the northern part of the Spree Island in the historic center of the German capital is one of the most important sights in Berlin and the most important museum complexes in Europe. In the years 1830-1930, commissioned by the Prussian kings, designed by five architects, it was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1999. 

The Museum Island consists of the Old Museum, the New Museum, the Old National Gallery, the Bode Museum and the Pergamon Museum. Since the reunification of Germany (3.10.1990), it has been renovated and expanded as part of the Masterplan Museumsinsel.

The Pergamon Museum, commissioned by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1907-1909 by Alfred Messel in the style of Neoclassicism, it was executed in a simplified form from 1910-1930 by Ludwig Hoffmann. It is currently home to the Antikensammlung with the famous Pergamon Altar, the Museum of the Ancient Near East and the Museum of Islamic Art

It opened on 18 December 1901 by Emperor Wilhelm II. As part of the Masterplan Museum Island, the Pergamon Museum will be renovated by 2023 and is partially closed.

The Alte Museum am Lustgarten is part of the architectural ensemble of the Museum Island. Commissioned by King Friedrich Wilhelm III. Built between 1825 and 1830 by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, it is one of the major works of German classicism. Currently, the Alte Museum houses the Antikensammlung and the Münzkabinett.

The Berlin Palace, also known as the Berlin City Palace since the 19th century, was the dominant building in the historical center of Berlin. The Residenzschloss of the Hohenzollern was built in 1442 on behalf of the Margraves and Electors of Brandenburg on the Spreeinsel in Alt-Cölln. The palace was after Baroque extensions from 1702 to the Royal Prussian and from 1871 imperial residence in the German Empire. It was considered a main work of the Baroque because of its mainly by Andreas Schlüter created facades and interiors. 

After the Kaiser's abdication (9.11.1918), during the Weimar Republic, it housed the Kunstgewerbemuseum and other institutions, in the Schlüterhof concerts were held. During the Second World War, the Berlin Palace was damaged and partially burned out, but was stable and rebuilt. 

In 1950, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) decided on its III. Party Congress to completely remove the building in order to place in its place for large demonstrations and military marches the Marx-Engels-Platz. This destruction of unique cultural property has been publicly criticized worldwide. 

From 1973 on the grounds of the castle, the modernist Palace of the Republic, which was closed in 1990 due to asbestos contamination and demolished between 2006 and 2009. 

In 1992, the Förderverein Berliner Schloss was founded, in 2002 followed by the decision of the German Bundestag to the external reconstruction of the Berlin castle. Using reconstructed main facade and building parts of the castle, including its cubature, since the laying of the foundation stone on June 12, 2013, a representative event and museum building has been erected at its original location.

Here, where the remains of the Palace of the Republic can still be seen, once stood the stately Berlin City Palace. The following 3 shots show how the former Palast der Republik of the German Undemocratic Republic was disassembled.

The Friedrichswerder church is located on Werder's market. It was built between 1824 and 1831 to plans by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and was the first neo-Gothic church in the city. 

The current building was until 1872 a Prussian-uniate and French-Reformed simultaneous church (therefore also Temple du Werder in French). Thereafter, the Uniates acquired the share of the Reformed, who had held since 1835 in the church no longer separate services.

The Commander's House (Alte Kommandantur) marks the beginning of the boulevard Unter den Linden. Directly opposite the arsenal (Zeughaus) and in the immediate vicinity of the Museum Island, the historicizing monument stands on an important urban development terrain. 

As an example of a nearly complete reconstruction of destroyed, historical buildings, the building rebuilt as the capital representation of "Bertelsmann AG" and the "Bertelsmann Foundation" is architecturally controversial. 

The building was initially designed as a private palace with numerous living and ancillary rooms and horse stables. In 1799 it was designated the seat of the commander of the Berlin garrison. In 1806, during the occupation of Berlin by the troops of Napoleon, the writer Stendhal had inhabited the commander's house as a French war commissar.1818 took over the commandant's office also at the New Guard (Neue Wache).

The Stiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum is a foundation and a museum for German history and sees itself as a place of "enlightenment and understanding of the common history of Germans and Europeans". It is one of the most visited museums in Berlin. 

The museum is located in the arsenal (Zeughaus) Unter den Linden and in the adjacent exhibition building of Ieoh Ming Pei. The Armory is the oldest building on the Unter den Linden boulevard and the city's most important baroque building. Built between 1695 and 1706 by Johann Arnold Nering, Martin Grünberg, Andreas Schlüter and Jean de Bodt as an arsenal, Friedrich Hitzig redesigned it into the Hall of Fame of the Brandenburg-Prussian army from 1877 to 1880

After the complete destruction in the Second World War, it was rebuilt from 1949-1967 only on the outside true to the original and simplified inside as a Museum for German History. Today it is home to the German Historical Museum.

The Neue Wache on the boulevard Unter den Linden 4 is a memorial.1816-1818 built according to the plans of Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Solomon Sachs as a guard building for the opposite Royal Palace and Memorial for the Wars of Liberation, it is one of the major works of German classicism. 

Since 1993 it has been used as the central memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany for the victims of war and tyranny. After severe damage in the Second World War, the building was restored in the GDR until 1955 and redesigned in 1960 and again in 1969 as a memorial to the victims of fascism and militarism. From 1962 until the end of the GDR during the day two soldiers of the guard regiment Friedrich Engels stood as honor guard before the new guard. On Wednesdays and Saturdays at 14:30 o'clock an honor formation of the regiment moved to the large waxwork on the street Unter den Linden. 

Since the Memorial Day on 14 November 1993, the New Guard serves as the central memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany for the victims of war and tyranny. On Memorial Day and on other official occasions - such as wreath laying - the Guard Battalion places an honor guard on the building. In the reconstructed spacious interior of the building is located since 1993 at the suggestion of the then Chancellor Helmut Kohl by Harald Haacke on about 1.6 meters in height enlarged copy of the bronze sculpture mother with the dead son of Käthe Kollwitz, also called Pietà. It depicts the artist and her son Peter, who died in the First World War. In front of the sculpture, the lettering "Let the victims of war and tyranny" in the ground.

The Staatsoper Unter den Linden (from 1743: Royal Opera, from 1919: Prussian State Opera, from 1955: German State Opera, colloquially: Lindenoper) is an architectural monument on the boulevard Unter den Linden 7. Erected in the style of Palladianism by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff in the years 1741-1743, it was rebuilt by Richard Paulick as a part of the Forum Fridericianum 1951-1955 after being destroyed in the Second World War. It is the "first major theater ever built as a monumental, free-standing structure in a city". 

Since 2004, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Komische Oper, the Staatsballett Berlin and the Bühnenservice Berlin have formed the Stiftung Oper in Berlin. The planned renovation of the Linden Opera after the turn of the millennium initially led to heated controversy. Regardless of any difficulty in completion, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden reopened on October 3, 2017 with a staging of Robert Schumann's scenes from Goethe's Faust. The official game operation was resumed on December 7, 2017.

The Bebelplatz - since 1947 named after the SPD politician August Bebel (1840-1913) - colloquially: Opera Square - is a square on the boulevard Unter den Linden

The square was built in 1740 as part of the Forum Fridericianum. On the square stands the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, which surrounds the Prinzessinnenpalais, the St. Hedwig's Cathedral, the Rocco Forte Hotel de Rome, the Alte Bibliothek and the Alte Palais

On May 10, 1933, the Opernplatz area was the main scene of the book burnings planned and carried out by the German student body in Germany. In Berlin, about 70,000 students, professors and members of the SA and SS burned books by authors known as "un-German," including writings by Sigmund Freud, Erich Kaestner, Heinrich Mann, Karl Marx and Kurt Tucholsky. Kästner had gone under the fanatical spectators, he "heard the lewd tirades of the small, fake liar [Note: Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels meant]. Funeral weather hung over the city ". 

A monument by Israeli artist Micha Ullman is reminiscent of the book burning: Through a glass bottom plate in the middle of the square you look into an underground room with empty, for about 20,000 books (so many were burned) [5] white bookshelves.

St. Hedwig's Cathedral

Memorial plaque of the book burning monument

The monumental equestrian statue of Frederick the Great is reminiscent of King Frederick II of Prussia, called by the Berliners also briefly the "Old Fritz". It stands in the historical center of Berlin at the end of the Lindenforum on the central strip of the boulevard Unter den Linden. The main work of Christian Daniel Rauch is one of the most important sculptures of the 19th century and marks the transition to a realistic representation in sculpture.

The Humboldt University of Berlin (1828-1949 Friedrich Wilhelm University Berlin) was founded in the summer of 1809 as the University of Berlin and was the oldest of the four Berlin universities in the fall of 1810 on the teaching operation. 

It is the second largest university in Berlin and is headquartered at the Princes Heinrich Palace on Unter den Linden 6. Its one of the 20 largest universities in Germany and is regarded as a world-renowned university, which among other things trained 29 Nobel laureates.

In 1949, the Berlin University of Unter den Linden was given the name Humboldt University in Berlin, the partly war-damaged main building was reconstructed until then.

The monument is reminiscent of Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was a German naturalist with a far reaching beyond Europe field of effect. In his over a period of more than seven decades resulting complete work, he created "a new knowledge and reflection of the knowledge of the world" and became the co-founder of geography as an empirical science.

His several years of research trips took him to Latin America, the USA and Central Asia. He has conducted scientific field studies in areas such as physics, chemistry, geology, mineralogy, botany, vegetation geography, zoology, climatology, oceanography and astronomy, but also in questions of economic geography, ethnology and demography. In addition, he corresponded with his journalistic work with numerous internationally renowned specialists in the various disciplines and created a scientific network of its own kind.

Sorry, this Berlin Post is still under construction.
One more tour will follow within the next weeks.