Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Berlin, The Capital

In 1994, I was fortunate enough to visit Berlin with my family. I remember seeing portions of the wall still intact throughout the city, but knew little about the Cold War efforts that brought about the separation of the city into East and West. It’s hard to imagine how a wall can separate a city into two parts for more than 28 years. Only four years prior to my visit, this wall still stood in its place until it was mostly torn down in 1990, as Communism collapsed and the Cold War ended. Berlin was once less than half a city to many and now it has twice the appeal as most other Continental capitals.
Berlin is the largest city in Germany and is situated in northeastern portion of the country. It is known for never standing still and its ability to constantly evolve. Even though the wall is gone, Berlin is still considered to be divided among its inhabitants by the glitz of the West and the shabbiness of the East. Berlin is still thought of as a fascinating city year-round to visit with its richness in culture, atmosphere and history. The capital city has numerous attractions for its visitors to see, such as:
The Brandenburg Gate
-A triumph arch and the symbol of Berlin, Germany
-Built in 1791 as a sign of peace under Friedrich Wilhelm II
-The gate is located on Pariser Platz which led directly to the former royal residence
-The largest prison and death camp in Eastern Germany under the Nazi regime
-Currently houses a museum that documents the tragic history of the two totalitarian regimes
The Potsdamer Platz
-One of the busiest traffic center in Europe, attracting 70,000 people a day
-The area houses Daimler-Benz, Sony’s European headquarters, and various prestigious businesses and law firms
-It has a top shopping area, three movie theaters with more than 40 screens, a film academy and a film museum
The Juedisches (Jewish) Museum
-The largest Jewish museum in Europe
-It celebrates the achievements of German Jews and their contribution to culture, art, science, and other fields
The Reichstag (Parliament) Building
-The building opened in 1894 and housed the Reichstag until 1933; it later became the seat of the German Bundestag (Parliament) in 1999 after its architectural reconstruction
-Most visited attraction in Berlin, gives an impressive view over the city
A New Wall
-A partial wall constructed by the German government as a memorial to those who suffered during the time of the Berlin Wall
-It stretches for 70 meters (230 ft) along Bernauer Strasse (street) and Achkerstrasse


Blogger k_ricker06 said...

I definitely agree with you that Berlin is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world. The history of this beautiful city is one that has gone through some serious changes in the last century. The most common event that people associate the city with is the Berlin Wall, the most notorious happening to a city in the twentieth century. It is truly amazing that a city can be divided for nearly three decades by a ten foot concrete wall. If you could have visited both cities in the 1980s unaware that they were different parts of the same city, you would probably have thought these two areas were on different continents. The Soviets area of the city was one of chaos while the westerners' influence led to the rest of Berlin experiencing remarkable growth. Even today it is clear the Cold War really did have a huge impact on the entire country and especially the city of Berlin.

11/17/2005 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger nguyen said...

I am very impressed about what you have in your blog about this city. Its sceneries and history are very attractive to all tourists. I haven't been there yet but I want to visit this country. I love traveling and learn about different culture and history. I think Germany is one of my favorite historical country.

11/19/2005 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Shayna said...

Berlin sounds like such a cool and historical city and I am sorry that I won’t get to visit it while I am in Germany. I never really knew that the city was still so divided even though the wall is gone and I find that very interesting. In my blog posts I write about my visit in high school to Israel and how important that was to me because it represents so much of my history. The more that I read your blog, the more I feel like you have that kind of connection with Germany and it really makes me jealous that you have had the opportunity to visit a place you care about so many times.

11/22/2005 01:11:00 AM  
Blogger ckrause said...

I cannot believe that you visited Berlin only 4 years after the fall of the wall. I am sure that the effects of the wall were still evident throughout the city. When you think about the fact that a wall seperated a city of people from passing from one side to another it is mind boggling.

I did not know that Berlin was the biggest city in Germany. I would have guessed that Frankfurt or Munich was the biggest. Maybe it is because I have been to Frankfurt and Munich. I would love to visit Berlin. It is crazy that you can still tell the diffence of the east and west. It is such recent historical event that it would be great to witness it first hand.

You have provided alot of different places that would be of interest to see when visiting Berlin. You are truely the German know it all! Thanks again.

11/22/2005 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

You are so lucky that you have been so many places in Germany at such a young age. I wish my family took me to Europe. The history behind the wall is obviously very cool, and it must be a sight to see even though the wall is gone. Hopefully I will get a chance to check it out. You definitly know a lot about the history of Germany, and I am so glad that subscribed to your blog!

11/22/2005 09:32:00 PM  

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