Wednesday, February 3, 2010


This is the Pariser Platz. It is a very prominent symbol of the city. This city is incredibly historic. WWI and WWII were both started here and the cold war began and finished in this city.

This is the very posh Hotel Adlon. This is the building where Michael Jackson dangled his baby from the 3rd floor in 2003.

This is the Reichstag, which is the German government building.

Next stop was the Jewish memorial, suprisingly only built in 2005.

It is made up of this blank slabs of dark rock. No jews acutally died on this sight but it is right in the center of Berlin where people pass very often and can remember the attrocity of the Holocaust.

The spot where the tour guide is standing, just beyond tha blue car is the sight directly over the bunker where Hitler committed suicide. He ceremoniously killed his wife and favorite dog first with cyanide and then shot himself (because soldiers die from gun shots not cyanide). Our tour guide pointed out that it is very fitting that there is nothing to mark the spot of his death except a big ugly parking lot.
The wall.... It was interesting to learn more about it. Apparently there were 4 different parts of germay and west berlin was in a part of the country where they were offering 100 deutchmarks to immigrate and life was better and thriving there, so they built the wall to stop immigration, then to stop it, they had to shut all the borders and eventually people were trapped there. It finally came down on November 9, 1989 and people from east germany flooded in and ran around and eventually went home, they didn't necessarily want to live there, they were simply fighting for the right to travel...

This area on the west side of the wall is where the building stood where all the masterminding of the holocaust was done. You can see remnants of brick walls underground, this would have been where prisoners were kept and tortured before being sent to concentration camps.

Here is Checkpoint Charlie. It was one of the most used crossings between west and east Germany.

This is the book burning memorial which is in the same spot where 20,000 books by forward thinking authors were burned in 1933. You can vaguely see book shelves under the glass. There is just enough space on those shelves to hold 20,000 books.
There is also an intersting plaque nearby that has a quote by Heinrich Hein in 1821, "Where they have burned books, they will in the end burn people" Very prophetic.

This is Humbolt University. Anciently teaching was very different, teacher taught student, student grew up and became a professor and taught what he was taught from his previous teacher. Someone here came up with the idea that professors should also be students and thus was research born.....curses!

This is the German national cathedral. It was built in the late 19th century mostly because they were trying to keep up with St. Paul's and Notre Dame.

After the walking tour I went to one of the best muesums in Berlin, the Pergamonmuseum. This is the Pergamon altar, where sacrifices were burnt to their gods.

This is the ancient gate to the city of Babylon. The lower tiles are the original tiles and the rest is a recreation.

This is the recreation of the path walking up to the gate, very ornate.

This is a mini model of what it would have looked like int he time of Nebacunezzar II.

After the museum I headed back to the Reichstag (governmnet building) to climb up in the dome. It has spiral walkways all the way to the top. The view of the city was amazing.

I have really seen just a tiny piece of this huge city.

While the dome offers a great view it is also very symbolic, this is the view looking down on the parliament room where all the politicians meet, so this may serve as a reminder that they are very literally under the the people they are representing.

There is a good night view of the dome, not sure what is with the rainbow of lasers to the side, kind of cool though. It was really very intersting to come face to face with so much recent history today, very educational.

1 comment:

Fiagle Family said...

isnt checkpoint charlie so amazing. The museum is so interesting and yet sooo sad