Walking tour of Berlin (Image heavy!)

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This is Installment VII of my series of posts entitled Gardens and Castles of Germany (I - VI). Since this post contains no castles and few gardens, I decided to change the title.

On our way from Munich to Berlin, we stopped in Nuremberg and near Dessau for Woerlitz Gardens. On our first day in Berlin, we traveled to nearby Potsdam to view gardens and palaces (Cecilienhof and Sanssouci). Photos of all of these places are available on my web site (see my signature) under Travel.

On the last day of our trip we had a totally free day and the weather was nice, so we took map in hand and set out on a walking tour of Berlin.

From our hotel, it was a relatively short walk to the Gendarmenmarkt. We first looked into the Deutsche Dom. It was originally built as a cathedral, but after being destroyed in the war it was rebuilt as a museum.

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From the steps of the Dom, one gets a good view of the Gendarmenmarket with the theatre on the left and the French cathedral straight ahead.

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From there we walked to the famous avenue "Unter den Linden", named for the lime trees which line the street:

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Along Unter den Linden, we stopped at the Neue Wache, built in 1816 as a guard house for the troops of the Crown Prince of Prussia. It has been used as a war memorial since 1931:

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Interior sculpture:

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Almost next door is the Humboldt University

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with it's statutes of Helmholtz

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and Max Planck

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After peeking at the Opera House, we strolled on down Unter den Linden to the famous Brandenburg Gate:

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The famous sculpture which crowns the gate, called the Quadriga, has a colorful history. It was stolen by Napolean and taken to Paris in 1806. After Napolean's defeat in 1814, it was returned to Berlin. Severely damaged in WW II, it has since been restored to its original glory:

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From the Brandenburg gate, we walked behind the Reichstag to the River Spree and the new and very modern government buildings on both sides:

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We wanted to climb the stairs to the top of the Reichstag for the view, but the wait in line was at least two hours, so we passed on through the Tiergarten

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to the Soviet memorial

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which is flanked by 152-mm howitzers and T-34 tanks used in the conquest of Berlin in 1945

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Our next stop was the Symphonie, home of the famous Berlin Symphony, one of the greatest orchestras in the world:

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This brings one near to the heart of modern commercial Berlin; Sony Center, Deutsche Bahn, and Mercedes-Benz.

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After stopping briefly at the musical instruments museum, we walked back through the Tiergarten to the Avenue 17 Juni, where one gets a good view of the Siegessäule, or victory column

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(Daniel D., do Berliners really call it the Gros Spargel?)

A further stroll the Tiergarten affords a full frontal view of the Reichstag

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Passing back past the Brandenburg gate and the American Embassy, we came finally to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe:

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It consists of a 19,000 square meter (4.7 acre) site covered with 2,711 concrete slabs or "stelae", arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. Wandering between the slabs yields some startling views:

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From there, it was a long walk back to our modern hotel for a well-deserved rest!

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Hi Jim,
thanks for posting this interesting series! I hope to travel to Berlin anytime soon, as this city has changed a lot since I was there the last time. How did you like our capital?
 
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Hi Markus -

My wife and I enjoyed Berlin very much. Our only regret is that our time was too short. We want to come back during concert season and add Leipzig and Dresden to our itinerary.
 

LyndeeLoo

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You've taken me on quite a trip, Jim! First Germany, now Berlin. Your images are one of the reasons why I love the Wanderlust section so much; each photo is fantastic!!

Thanks sooo much for posting these!
 
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Hi Markus -

My wife and I enjoyed Berlin very much. Our only regret is that our time was too short. We want to come back during concert season and add Leipzig and Dresden to our itinerary.
Also the black forest should be included in your plans, only been there in winter but early summer must be a photographers paradise.
 
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I already had peeked into your smugmug site ... :biggrin: Looks you had a nice walk through Berlin.

To your question: It is said that Berlin citizen like to give popular buildings their own names, for example "Telespargel" (tele asparagus) to the Television tower at the Alexanderplatz (there are more than a handful others). My impression is that this habit, although it may be (or may have been) true for a minority of the Berlin citizen, this is rather a legend that is cultivated by tourist guides.

At least, although I know most buildings when they're referred to by those nick names, I don't know anyone who actually calls them by that name.

The people I know call the buildings by their normal name, "Siegessäule" in your case. The nick name for the "Siegessäule" is "Goldelse" (actually of the statue). (Else as a female name).

It may be that there is a habit to "invent" names for famous buildings, but they're not actually calling the buildings that way in daily life. An indication for this could be that there are also nick names for newer buildings, like

the Bundeskanzleramt (Federal Chancellery)
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is also referred to as the "Federal Washing machine"... :


But all in all I'd say no... people here call the buildings by their normal name, at least in daily use. We just invent those name for the tourist guides... :wink::wink:
 
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You've taken me on quite a trip, Jim! First Germany, now Berlin. Your images are one of the reasons why I love the Wanderlust section so much; each photo is fantastic!!

Thanks sooo much for posting these!
Thanks again, Lyndee.

Also the black forest should be included in your plans, only been there in winter but early summer must be a photographers paradise.
We were there once, back in 1969, but the weather was rainy and foggy so we need to return.

But all in all I'd say no... people here call the buildings by their normal name, at least in daily use. We just invent those name for the tourist guides... :wink::wink:
Actually, I got that one from a book (see below) which mentioned all the whimsical nicknames used by Berliners.

Nice Photos
Elliot
Thanks, Elliot.

Excellent set. You've placed Berlin on my must see list.
Thanks. Before you go, I recommend reading Berlin Rising by Neal Acherson. Gives an excellent and readable history of the city.
 
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Jim, great shots. I visited Berlin a couple of years ago. Fascinating place with an astonishing amount of history. You have captured it well.
 
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Jim, great shots. I visited Berlin a couple of years ago. Fascinating place with an astonishing amount of history. You have captured it well.
Thanks, Ronald. It is a fascinating city, and my wife and I hope to return someday in the not-too-distant future!

That's a great and complete photo-tour! Berlin is my next destination....
Thanks, George. You'll find Berlin fascinating.
 
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