Sightseeing in Berlin
The Television Tower
Anyone who has ever been to Berlin has seen it, because it is hard to imagine not being able to take notice of it. The Berlin Television Tower is situated close to Alexanderplatz. With 368 meters height it is the highest publicly accessible building in Europe.
The Berlin Television Tower was installed on 3 October 1969 by the administration of the GDR as a symbol of Berlin, which it remains today, as it is easily visible throughout the city.
But while the GDR has long since been history, the Berlin Television Tower still stands and it is now accepted as a landmark for all of Germany. More than a million guests from 86 countries visit the monument every year and enjoy the breathtaking view of the pulsating and constantly changing city.
The Brandenburg Gate is one of Berlin’s most significant monuments – a landmark and symbol all in one with over two hundred years of history.
While the only remaining city gate of Berlin formerly used to represent the separation of the city between East and West Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate now symbolize German unity and peace.
On both sides, there are six Doric columns supporting the 11 meter-deep transverse beam, which divide the gate into five passages. In 1793, a quad Riga was placed on the gate, which points to the east in the course of the city center.
In 1894, after ten years of construction, the Reichstag was completed. Kaiser Wilhelm II was preventing the famous inscription “Dem Deutschen Volke”, later in 1916.
Since now the Parliament building was remained and reflected the turbulence of German history. In 1918, Deputy Philipp Scheidemann announced from the window the creation of a republic.
Under mysterious circumstances, in 1933, the Reichstag caught on fire. The fire served as a pretext for the Nazi regime to persecute their political opponents.
After being destroyed in the war, it was rebuilt between 1961 and 1971 in a simplified form. Since 1999, after German reunification, the Reichstag is once again the seat of the Bundestag. The accessible glass dome has then become one of the landmarks of Berlin.
Berlin’s Museum Island, the northern tip of the Spree Island, is so called for the complex of five internationally significant museums that are all part of the Berlin State Museums.
Since 1999, the museum has been the only architectural and cultural ensemble that is a considered part of world heritage by UNESCO. At the southern part of the island, near the Berlin Cathedral, the Old Museum can be found.
In the northern part, there is the New Museum as well as the Alte Nationalgalerie. On the Kupfergraben side of the island can be found the Pergamon Museum. Moreover there exists the Bode Museum.
East Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery is an international memorial for freedom. A segment of the Berlin Wall has been turned into the longest open air gallery in the world, which is 1.3 km long.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the East Side Gallery was painted by 118 artists from 21 different countries. The artists commented on the political events that took place in 1989 and 1990 in over 100 works of art found on the eastern side of the wall.
The Potsdamer Platz is the old heart of Berlin and an important public square with traffic intersection. It is serving as a junction between the old city center in East Berlin and the new West Berlin. Together with Leipziger Platz it lies directly in front of the Potsdam city gate, the customs and excise wall of Berlin.
The Place is named after the city of Potsdam, some 25 km to the south west and marks the point where the old road from Potsdam passed through the city wall of Berlin at the Potsdam Gate. In fact the Potsdamer Platz was the first traffic light on the continent and one of the busiest squares in Europe.
The Berlin Victory Column
“Golden Lizzie”, as it is known in Berlin slang, is a colossal structure located in the middle of Berlin’s Tiergarden and is constructed between 1871 and 1873 to celebrate Germany’s victory over France in the 1870/71 Franco-Prussian.
Firstly the column was placed directly in front of the Reichstag and was moved by the Nazi government in 1939 to its current location, as part of their plans to extensively redevelop the center of Berlin.
At the same time the column was heightened by about 66 meters tall and is crowned by a bronze statue of the goddess Victoria. During the era of National Socialism, the Victory Column increased in size to a total height of 67 meters.
The 8,3 meter high bronze sculpture weighing 35 tonnes, represents Victoria wearing a helmet and holding a laurel wreath in one hand and in the other a staff bearing an iron cross. Her eagle helmet also lets Victoria appear as Borussia, the female personification of Prussia.
A trip to viewing the platform offers a wonderful panoramic view of Berlin.
The Berlin Cathedral is an Evangelical church located on the northern part of Spree Island in Berlin. Berlin Cathedral’s official name is ‘Upper Parish Church and Cathedral of Berlin’ and was built between 1894 and 1905.
The architecture follows Italian high renaissance and baroque style and is one of Germany’s most eminent evangelical churches.
Moreover the cathedral includes a central sermon church under the dome, as well as a marriage and baptism church. Many members of the House of Hohenzollern are buried in the crypt of the cathedral.
Visitors can also go up to the top of the dome to have a remarkable view of the center of Berlin.
A very special attraction set in Berlin is the KaDeWe shopping mall. With over 60,000 square meters of selling space and more than 380,000 articles available, it is the second-largest department store in continental Europe.
Even from the outside the KaDeWe enthrall with its imposing architecture. Already opened in 1906, this department store is one of the first and oldest department stores across Europe.
During the ’20’s, the department store became a popular meeting point for the rich and beautiful and was already offering goods which could not be bought anywhere else in Germany.
At 1950 only a small part of the department store was suitable for public access. It was another six years before all parts of the KaDeWe were completely restored.
Today the KaDeWe became a symbol for new Germany, whose market economy annually reached new records.
Many Berliners believe that the Gendarmenmarkt is the most beautiful place in Germany and indeed in all of Europe and so it is a really must-see for all visitors to Berlin. Moreover many restaurants, businesses and hotels are located around the place.
The Gendarmenmarkt also is a lovely example of an architectural ensemble full of harmony. In addition it includes both, the French and the German cathedral as well as the Concert House.
Built in 1688, the square was originally called Linden-Markt, later on Friedrichstädtischer Markt and then Neuer Markt. Later, after being used from 1736 to 1782 by the military for sentry duty and housing their horses, it came to be known as the Gendarmenmarkt.