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#About the City of Berlin

There's no place like Berlin to show the change Germany has undergone since the days of the Nazis and World War II. Here the Germans tried even earlier to establish a democracy in the Weimar Republic, but the country fell into economic crises that completely crumbled democracy. Here Dada was born, the German expressionism in cinema, the cabaret, the "Bauhaus", the important school of design and architecture, and more.

Later the Nazi demons took control of Berlin, and from there tried to take over the world. Here the Nazis were finally defeated by the Allies, and the city was divided into two, the "Berlin Wall" was built, and what Winston Churchill called the "Iron Curtain" between East and West descended on Europe.

Here German reunited at the end of the 1980's, and on both sides Berlin, from East and West, a new Germany was being built, a European leader, a new nation with new values. This is the Germany who's leadership is an example for the rest of the world on how to assist refugees, even when the political price is a heavy one.

Berlin of today is vibrant and young, and might be the most cosmopolitan city in the world, tolerant, vibrant, and attractive city in Europe. A city that attracts beautiful and talented young people like a magnet from all over the world.

As soon as you land at the airport, buy a weekly AB ticket, 30 euros for all public-transport. Berlin's public transport is excellent and you will not need anything else.

Cold War sites, museums, global food, shopping, street art, the remnants of Nazism and the Berlin underground club scene.

#Must See
Want to see the most popular destinations? - Click on the tag "Must see in Berlin".

#With children
A trip for the whole family? - Click on the tag "Attractions for Children in Berlin".

Looking to eat well? Click on the tag "Must Eat in Berlin"

In most European countries service fees are already included in the check, so it is customary to give a 2 euro tip, regardless of the price of the check itself.

Start club the legendary club Knaak on 224 Greifswalder Strasse. It is known all over the world, open every day, partiers and night owls come here from all over the world. Berghain is so one of the world's techno temples, and if you will manage to get inside, will you feel blessed.

At the Berghain Club, which is located in an old power station and its parties continue past the sunrise, several floors and several dance floors are open to everyone. There is no discrimination of race, gender, or sexual preferences, and it has become known throughout the world in its permissive atmosphere.

The Matrix Club is also excellent, with two different music rooms that plays different music, there is an excellent atmosphere.

#Germany Country Code

For public transportation - buy a weekly free pass ticket, or a ticket for the number of days in the city, savings are huge.
Supermarket - Aldi and Rossmann chains are cheap and very available. The first is very economical but offers mainly basic products, the second is more expensive but offers everything.
Regular bus - a great way to get to know Berlin. Take our app and whenever you refresh it, the app will recognize what is nearby, and let you listen to explanations.
Discounts in all kinds of places - bring a student card.

If Primark at Alexanderplatz teased you, and you are looking for more, visit the Mall Of Berlin - a stunning shopping mall with a stunning shopping experience and even a map in Hebrew.

The Alcasa Mall with its great stores and excellent prices and the impressive Sony Center, especially in the evening, are worth gold.

Click on the tag "Shopping in Berlin" for other excellent recommendations.

#Electric Outlets
Possible plugs to use are Type C, Type E, and Type L (see link below with photos).

A taste of the upcoming trip:


The city in all its beauty:


A Little History - Modern Berlin, and Berlin of World War II:


Some of the Local street food:

#About Berlin’s Young and Bohemian Quarter

Kreuzberg borough (whose name means ‘Cross Hill’), is a great place in the city. The houses are painted over with graffiti, the residents are young, dressed in a varied colorful and dirty style, all together creating a very thrilling experience. Many of the residents are Turkish and Israeli families.

The area is full of flea markets, odd stores and urban artist projects. There is also a local Turkish market, open on Tuesdays and Fridays, located at the entrance of the alleyway. Here you can buy fruits and vegetables, desserts, clothing and jewelry.

At the North end of the borough you can see Checkpoint Charlie, where the entire square is full of historic attractions that make it a popular tourist destination.

#About the Borough's History

It can be said that the borough has changed a lot after World War II. Prior to the war, the entire quarter was industrial and important, it housed printed warehousing and newspaper warehouses together with a few hundred thousand residents, the war changed all this. The bombings over Berlin destroyed many parts of the quarter. Several attempts were made to develop the area, but by the time that came around, the Berlin Wall was built, and it surrounded the borough on three sides, essentially closing the area.

The quarter became inaccessible and closed off, what resulted in its lowered popularity. With that, rent control was put in place to help the area regain its prestige, and prevented landlords from caring enough to take care of their properties. The borough became a poor and neglected area that many immigrants started moving in here from Turkey, Pakistan, as well as squatters.

When the Berlin Wall finally fell, this area received the much needed care it deserved. It became one of the central popular areas in the city. The government put its weight behind it and invested a large sum of money in the quarter. Real estate prices started to rise, and the local community improved.

Inside large portions of the quarter, among them also the small streets, one can walk along and see many buildings from the end of the 19th century, today very expensive. Adding to the feeling of wealth are the local coffee boutiques, art galleries, and industrial lofts that today are offices for startup companies. Rent here can get as high as 15 euros per square meter, and selling price up to 3,500 euros for square meter.

#About the Borough for Tourists

As tourists, you would be able to easily spend full days here.

You can begin from the historic landmarks such as Checkpoint Charlie, the crossroad between East and West Berlin. At the checkpoint is a museum that transcribes that history of the Berlin Wall and the escape attempts of the people, there is a Jewish Museum and Technological Museum.

If you can to take a short rest, Victory Park with a view at the top of the hill, will do the trick. Another gorgeous park is the Gorlitzer Park, where many free concerts and events are held.

The quarter is packed with street performers and artists, and the night life here can provide many hours of entertainment. You can go to any of the many techno and house music clubs, like Watergate, Prince Charles, club SO36, the legendary concert hall, and more. Another popular bar is located on the banks of the river Spree, adjacent to the borough, the Berghain, it has a large swimming pool located right on the water.





Street art:

Topographie des Terrors
Topography of Terror
#About the Topography Museum of Terror

You are standing at the Topography of Terror (Topographie des Terrors), to understand the significance, you first have to know what the Gestapo was. Gestapo is the abbreviation for the "Secret State Police" of Nazi Germany, and in fact was one of the central bodies for the enforcement of Nazi totalitarianism. This name aroused great fear among the citizens of Germany and to this day it symbolizes the entire Nazi regime.

The museum where you are now standing was built just above the Gestapo headquarter s that was destroyed in the war. Fair warning, the whole place and the exhibits will easily give you a shivers, when they display and show about the place where so many people were tortured and murdered.

In the museum you can see exhibits about the suppression and murder of the Nazi regime through pictures and texts in German and English. You can learn here about the actions of the Gestapo and SS soldiers during the war, the imprisonment and murder of opponents of the regime and the persecuted communities, and the transformation of Germany into a tough state that suppresses all civil resistance.

#Museum History

Between the years 1933 and 1945, the headquarters of the Gestapo and the SS lay here, but in 1945 it was almost completely destroyed by Allied bombings. The parts that were not destroyed in the bombings were destroyed immediately after the war ended.

In 1992, a special fund was started aimed at maintaining the site, architects from all over the world were invited to participate in the competition to establish a museum teaching about the terrible history that took place here, the Nazi extermination.

The competition was won by the Swiss architect Peter Zumatur, who for five years was unable to progress with the construction work. All the while the exhibit was displayed without a building, in the open air, until Zumatur’s patience ran out and the architect was fired.

In 2007 a plan by the Berlin architect Ursula Wilms was accepted for the current museum. The new plan integrated the detention rooms and the torture basements that remained, thus creating a tangible connection between the museum and the chilling landscape of the complex, which it documents.

Free admission.

A Closer Look:

Mauer Park
#About the Park that is Located on the Borders of East and West Berlin

Mauer Park (Mauerpark) in German means the ‘Park of the Wall,’ and is a park in Berlin. The origin of its name is from the Berlin Wall that was built here in 1961 and created the border in Berlin, between the West and East sides. A part of the wall passed here and was considered ‘no-man’s-land,’ anyone trying to escape across the border towards the West side and its freedom, was shot and killed.

As the years pass, Mauer Park gained popularity by locals, and it attracts among the rest artists, musicians, and the homeless. The park, being one of the more popular destinations among the young locals, especially those from neighborhoods such as Prenzlauer Berg, attracts athletes, and circus jugglers, who come here for the semi-spontaneous summer nightlife. The also come for the Walpurgis Night celebrations, on April 30th of every year.

Since 2004 a flea market has been going on right near the park. The park still contains about 30 meters of the Berlin Wall, which is used as a memorial for the time when the wall used to divide the city. It has become common for Graffiti artists to paint graffiti on the wall, and repaint new artwork all the time.

However, the park’s biggest attraction, at least musical attraction, is the karaoke that goes on here. It all started as an unofficial karaoke show in February 2009. Since then, it has evolved into weekly Sunday afternoons performances, when the weather permits, the Bearpit karaoke show in the amphitheater. The show has long become an event that thousands come to, and get to listen to either new and exciting performances and voices, or out of tune singers who are not self aware of their voices.

In the 19th century and into the first half of the 20th century, the park was used as the location for the old North train station. Following the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961, this station was closed once and for all.

A Closer Look:


The Karaoke:


And the Street Artists:



Berliner Unterwelten
Berlin Underground Museum
#The Museum that Showcases the Dark Period of Berlin

If you are interested in the dark past of Berlin, during the Nazi regime, during the bombings over the city during World War II, during the Cold War and the like, the Berlin Underground Museum (Berliner Unterwalten), the secret and mysterious Berlin, is for you.

Beneath the surface there is a whole dark world in Berlin waiting to be revealed. It contains large dark bunkers from the war days, subterranean underground channels, hidden tunnels that lead to rooms that have been forgotten somewhere in difficult times - in short, a Berlin that is not talked about today. Not talked about, until you arrive to the Berliner Unterwalthen, the museum that stores the dark and mysterious parts of Berlin's not-simple history.

The purpose of the Berliner Unterwalten is to study the forgotten places hidden in Berlin. The organization, whose name translates to "underground worlds of Berlin," finances these activities through guided tours it organizes at these sites, at low costs.

You can find yourself hearing explanations and being guided into places you would have never reached alone, such as your visit to a tower that contained anti-aircraft weapons and was partially destroyed during World War II. You can enter a huge underground bunker from the days Hitler ordered the destruction of Germany, trying to ensure that nothing would be left to the occupiers. Some difficult thoughts might come up to you when you visit a metro station that contains an atomic bomb bunker for emergencies, a remnant of the Cold War days. And you may even wander through a network of shelters that were used to defend against air raids during the difficult days of Berlin during World War II.


Tours in the anti-aircraft tower take place only between April to the end of October, so as not to disturb the winter sleep of the bats living inside.
The tours at the museum and the sites are in English, German and several other languages, but not in Hebrew.

Ticket price plus guidance is 9 euros, and 7 euros for students, and seniors.

Take the U8 line to the southern exit of the Gesundbrunnen underground station. The exit signs will direct you to Humbulthein Park and Brunnenstrasse.
Alexander Sqaure
#About Berlin’s Main Square and Its Massive Department Store

Alexander Square (Alexanderplatz) is a big square on the East side of Berlin. This square is a Berlin-style combination between the still present communist design, nearby modern luxury shops, and big chain brands that have sprung up in the recent years.

Alexanderplatz is a popular tourist destination in Berlin. All the public transportation in the city pass through the square, making it a great location for huge shopping centers, souvenirs shops, and many street artists and peddlers.

At the center of the square is the Berlin TV tower, one of the tallest buildings in Europe. Tourists are able to reach the top of the tower and enjoy the beautiful view of all Berlin and its surroundings. If you visit during high tourist season, you can take advantage of the long elevator wait and spend time wandering around the square.

Make sure to see the mechanical statute ‘The World Clock,’ which has been located in the square since the Eastern Germany days. The clock displays the time in different big cities around the world.

Near the square you can see the red City Hall of the Berlin municipality building.

#Alexanderplatz History – Once this Place Was Used to Sell Meats!

Up to the 18th century, the Alexanderplatz area was Berlin’s main cattle market. Changing the square’s name to ‘Alexanderplatz’ was on October 25th, 1805, when the city officials decided to honor the Russian Czar Alexander I, during his visit to Berlin.

At the end of the 19th century, a railway station was established there, and it became a main center for transportation. Pretty soon the area developed all around the station, turning the square into an extensive trading area with an active market.

At the time of the Weimar Republic in the 1920’s, Alexanderplatz alongside the Potsdamer Platz, became the center of Berlin’s nightlife. At the end of the 1920’s, Alexanderplatz was commemorated in the novel “Berlin, Alexanderplatz,” by novelist Alfred Dublin. The basis of this novel created the storyline for two movies, the first in 1930’s and the second in the 1980’s.

During World War II the square was heavily bombed, and was badly damaged. In the 1960’s it was renovated by the Eastern German government, and the square became the center of East Berlin. This is when the TV tower (The Fernsehturm) was added to the square, which was the second tallest tower in Europe.

A Closer Look:

Aqua Dom Sealife
Aqua Dom Sealife
#About Berlin’s Cylinder Shaped Aquarium

Across Europe there are quite a few aquariums, and Berlin also has one to boast for - the Aqua Dom Sealife. It was completed in 2004 and cost 12.8 million euros to build.

Come on and see more than 5,000 marine animals and creatures that are here: sharks, octopuses, seahorses and more, coming from Lake Constance, from the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. They are found in more than 35 displays that simulate the animal’s natural environment.

Arrive at the central elevator at the aquarium, which is a large cylinder, reaching the height of 25 meters, and has millions of liters of water. Tourists enter the aquarium through a transparent elevator, so that hundreds of fish from all species will surround the elevator from all sides.

The visit is perfect for a trip with children, and of course also for a winter visit (because the facility is indoors). Enter the maze of mirrors, see the interactive pool of rocks, and see the different changing exhibits. If you schedule your visit according to the feeding schedule (listed on the website) you can take a part in that activity.

A Closer Look:

#About the Square Where Books Were Burnt

This public square, located in the center of Berlin, was once called the ‘Opera Square’. The current name, Bebelplatz, was renamed after World War II, after the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in the 19th century, August Babel.

At the square you can see some important buildings such as the Opera House, the Humboldt University buildings, and St. Hedwig Cathedral (an ancient Roman Catholic Church).

#About the Burning of the Books

One of the most prominent events to happen in this square is known as the burning of the books. The event took place at the square on May 10th, 1933, the Nazis burned the books of the Prussian library. About 5,000 students and faculty members from the University of Berlin burned more than 20,000 books of various authors: Communists, Jews, and everyone who wrote things that did not fit into the Nazi ideology.

This event severely damaged freedom of expression, and led to the oppression of Nazi ideology in an extreme and unbearable manner. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda, was in charge of this whole event. That same day, Goebbels gave a speech about ‘Un-German Literature.’ In the wake of this incident, students throughout Germany burned more books.

It is interesting to note that in 1820, a few decades earlier, the sentence was written: "Where books are burned, people will be burned," by the German poet and philosopher Heinrich Heine, who foresaw the future of many of his books being burnt.

#About the Empty Library Monument

The Israeli sculptor and recipient of the Israel Prize, Micha Ullman, established a monument in 1994 to commemorate the terrible book-burning event that took place at the square. The sculptor, who participated in an international competition in which 30 sculptors from around the world competed, won the competition to create this commemorative monument. This monument, by the way, is now considered to be his most important and familiar work.

The monument is a transparent square (armored in glass) located in the ground, embedded in the square itself. It is not possible to enter the pit, but it is recommended to look through at the underground library with 14 empty shelves. The emptiness of the shelves symbolizes the enormous cultural space left behind by the burned books, which were burned by the Nazis.

Two of the shelves by the way are hidden and out of site, and out of the 14, one can observe the only 12 shelves, symbolizing the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve months of the year. The dimensions of the room are not random either, they were calculated according to Ullman's body size multiplied by four, indicating the humanism that was buried in that shocking event. In the library room, a closed door facing the local university, from which the students who burnt the books existed the university.

Ullman said about the monument: "The image that stood before me at all stages of the work was the cry of Edvard Munch: a relatively small opening in a large picture, a small black pit, an element of shouting, a cry without a sound."

A Closer Look:


Berliner Dom
Berlin Cathedral Church
#About the Berliner Dom - Berlin's First Cathedral

The Berlin Cathedral Church, Berliner Dom, Berlin's Evangelist Cathedral, is an impressive cathedral, that once was more impressive. Today's structure is a partial reconstruction of the ‘Dom’ that was built at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries by the brilliant church builder Julius Karl Rachdorf. He built it at the request of Kaiser Wilhelm II, in a style that was then called "historicism."

The height of the main building, from the ground to the top of the golden cross at its top, was 114 meters. The octagon preaching church contained 2,100 seating places. The ‘Dom’ was actually the base for two churches, with its southern wing being the Church of Baptism and Faith, and in the northern wing the Church of Burial and Remembrance.

Because of to its proximity to the royal palace, the ‘Dom’ over the years became the church of the court and the burial site of the Hohenzollern rulers.

The bombings over Berlin in World War II destroyed the ‘Dom,’ and only in 1975 was it rebuilt, without the northern wing, and significantly reducing the height of the main building to 98 meters. Funding for the renovation was given by the German government, with contributions from all Evangelical churches in Germany. The reconstructed building was inaugurated in 1993, and six years later returned to display the Hohenzollern tombs.

Among the 90 tombs, one can see the sarcophagi of the greatest Prussian kings of the last 500 years, such as Frederick II (Frederick the Great) buried in the garden of his palace in Potsdam, or Queen Sophie Charlotte, wife of his father, Frederick I.

The Berliner Dom is located on the island of Shapere, east of Lustgarten and southeast of Museum Island.

A Closer Look:

#About the "Television Tower," the Tall Tower that Became a Symbol of Berlin During the Cold War

The extreme height and special shape of the TV tower, the "Fernsehturm," will not allow anyone to ignore its presence. It reaches a height of 368 meters, and this is why the tower can bee seen above the city buildings, and has become a local symbol.

It is built as a long, narrow concrete column, above which lies a huge steel ball with seven floors in it. Above the ball is a thin antenna that completes the unique shape of this tower.

The construction of the TV tower was completed in 1969. Its aim was to convey a clear message - a symbol of the power of the Communist government, and to further the differentiation between East Berlin from West Berlin.

The fast elevator will bring you in 15 seconds straight to huge glass windows that will provide a spectacular view of the city, at a height of 204 meters. Tourists can also indulge themseles at the revolving restaurant (it completes a full rotation every 20 minutes), enjoy a good meal with a spectacular view at an altitude of 207 meters above ground. Both the vantage point and the restaurant can be seen up to 40 kilometers away on a clear day with good visibility.

The tower is located at Alexanderplatz Square, which is located in the area of former ​​East Berlin. It is a popular attraction among tourists.

#About the Pope's Revenge Against the Communist Regime

Across of the well-known TV tower of East Berlin, a building was built in West Berlin in the same time period, the Radio Tower, reaching the height of 55 meters. A restaurant and observation deck were built at the top. The West Berliners saw this building as a counterweight to the TV tower on the eastern side of the city. This was their consolation for the painful split imposed on them by the Soviet Union and the Communist regime on the other side.

Really interesting was the cross created by sunlight onto the Radio Tower. Just when the East German Communist regime closed the churches and forbade Christianity to show itself (Communism saw religion as "opium for the masses"), the Radio Tower brought a metaphorical image. This was because without being planned, the cross was created by the sunlight hitting the tower, standing out for everyone to see.

Was God's hand involved in this? - It is not clear. But one way or the other, the cross on the high Radio Tower all over East Berlin seemed to form what was then called the "Revenge of the Pope."

If you buy tickets in advance for the entrance you can avoid standing in the tiresome.

A Closer Look:

#About Berlin’s Beautiful Square

In the area of Mitte, Berlin, is one of the squares that some say is the most beautiful in the square of Berlin. This is the Gendarmenmarkt Square, a square that was established in 1688 and was intended to be the area's market square. It is known as the "Gendarmerie Market" (named after the Gendarmerie Regiment - police stationed nearby) or the "police market."

The square was established at the end of the 17th century by Georg Christian Unger.

If you arrived during the Christmas season, do not miss one of the city's major Christmas markets held here every year. But do not worry, it is not every evening that the square is crowded with tourists. It is usually calm and pleasant here, and easy to enjoy its beauty.

#The Square's History

Prince Frederick III gave the order to build the square. Johann Arnold Nering took over the planning of the square. Around the square were mainly Huguenot residents, close Protestants associated with Calvinism. They were allowed to settle in Prussia following the promise of freedom of worship in 1685 (in Potsdam's Edict).

King Frederick I let the Huguenots and Lotternes build churches in the square. During World War II, the square was bombed and severely damaged, but after the war the buildings in the square underwent significant reconstructions, and today no war damage can be seen.

#What is there to See in the Square?

In the center of the square one can see the statue of Friedrich Schiller, the national poet of Germany, surrounded by the four muses representing different fields of spirit - theater, art, philosophy and music. The decision to add the statue was made in 1859, marking the 10th anniversary of the poet's birth. Its construction was completed in 1871.

In the square you can also see the French Cathedral (Französische Dom), and the German Cathedral (Deutsche Dom). Inside each cathedral operate museums. In the French Cathedral is located the Hugenotten Museum, for the French who fled their country and found refuge in Prussia. The German Cathedral has the The Museum of German Parliamentarian History.

Between the two impressive cathedrals is a concert hall which is the home to the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. The Orchestra appears there almost every evening at 8 pm (unless you are not touring during the holidays). Sometimes you can even bump into them in the main square and watch them for free (try to leave a tip ... they will be very happy).

A Closer Look:

French Cathedral
#About the French Cathedral

The French Cathedral (Französischer Dom) in Gendarmenmarkt Square is an inactive Protestant church. It was established between the years 1701-1705, for the Huguenot community of Berlin. The Huguenots were French Protestants - Calvinists, fleeing from their country and found refuge in Prussia, at the beginning of the 18th century.

During World War II, the cathedral was destroyed and was rebuilt only in the 1980’s.

A great advantage of the cathedral is the magnificent observation from its upper section, to reach it one must climb 524 steps. Feel free to buy a good bottle of wine and enjoy the breathtaking view!


It is not as tall as the nearby TV tower, but the French Cathedral can is a great substitute if lines for the TV tower are too long.

A Closer Look:

Hackesche Höfe
#About the Colorful and Playful Complex in Berlin

One of the more colorful attractions in Berlin, is the complex named Hackesche Höfe, at the old Jewish quarter of the city. Around the inner courtyards, existing here since the 20th century, streets are paved with stores, bars, restaurants, galleries and design stores. The courtyards are nicknamed by some of the Berlin locals as ‘The Barn.’

During the evening and night hours the complex changes so much, it could even be hard to recognize it! Many have a hard time believing it is the same place that they visited earlier that very day. The complex fills up with young people, coming in to pass away the hours in the lively area. The Hackesche Höfe is one of the most recommended nightlife areas in Berlin. There is vast nightlife here, with clubs, bars, and restaurants where alcohol flows like water, and the celebrations can go on until the small hours of the night.

There is a decent number of tourist attractions to be found in this complex. In the courtyards themselves one can see all kinds of vegetations, and art is a key player here (by the way, notice that the connecting between the courtyards remind the shape of the letter ‘S’, which is a calculated architectural concept and is not by accident). Despite the constant effort to provide to tourists, it seems that this complex truly shows an authentic Berlin that enables a true local experience.

Beyond the set tourist sites, the Hackesche Höfe becomes an even livelier center for a few occasions during the week. On Thursdays and Saturdays there is a food market, and during the summer months tourists
can enjoy street artists scattered around the complex. Sometimes the complex can be over crowded (especially during the summer months and weekends), but in a way this is part of the charm.

#Inside the Hackesche Höfe Complex

In this interesting complex are eight courtyards that were built at the beginning of the 20th century, in the Jugendstil style. Not only did these courtyards serve to the Jewish population, but the owner of the complex was a Jewish man named Jacob Michael.

If you walk into courtyard number 39, you would probably observe a mostly neglected courtyard (the Schwarzenberg House), but inside are several small museums in the memory of the Holocaust. Among them is the Otto Weidt Workshop for the Blind (in German - Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt), which hides a spectacular story of the owners that saved the lives of their Jewish employees during World War II.

Tourists can go to the movie theater where movies are screened in their original languages (which is, by the way, one of only several theaters in Berlin that do so).

Additionally, tourists can walk along the colorful graffiti walls where Anne Frank’s famous painting is located.

A Closer Look at Hackesche Höfe:

Humboldt Box
#About the Modern and Impressive Building

Next to the eastern edge of Den Linden Avenue, across from the Museum Island, West Garten and the "Dom," is a hexagon shaped structure with a futuristic appearance, made of metal and glass beams called the Humboldt Box.

The Humboldt Box was supposed to be a temporary building in the city which was designed originally to be deconstructed at the end of its use, but became an attraction for curious architects, and drew interested people from around the city and tourists, and was decided to be permanently kept.

The building, was built with a large investment for money and creativity, was designed by thtee architects, Kruger, Schubert and Oandriich. The project cost over 590 million euros.

It is 28 meters in height, made out of steel and covered in blue glass. It has a variety of spaces, used for events, exhibits and art displays, having to do with the site's planned palace.

The Humboldt-Terasen Restaurant, located in the building, has two external balconies 21 meters above ground. The balconies are a viewpoint of the wonderful view of the city center.

A Closer Look:

Museum Island
#About the Island with the Important German Museum

The Museum Island (Museumsinsel) is Berlin's cultural center. A number of important art and science museums are located on this natural island, located on the Spree River from 1830, and is considered a source of pride for Berliners.

Among the museums is the famous museum for antiquities, the Pergamon Museum, which houses one of the most important collections of antiquities in the world.

Also on the island are several other museums:

The Old National Gallery - featuring 19th-century German art.

The Neues Museum - which displays ancient Egyptian art, an ancient papyrus collection, prehistoric exhibits and antiques from the classical period. The most famous item in the museum is the statue of Nefertiti, Queen of Egypt.

The Bode Museum - a museum dedicated to the art of Byzantium, medieval art and early modern art.

Due to the architectural importance of the museum buildings themselves, the whole island was declared a World Heritage Site. In the large, pleasant park next to the large museum plaza, the Lustgarten Park, one can relax a little while strolling between the museums.

#The History of Museum Island

The foundations for the island were put up by King Frederick Wilhelm IV in the first half of the 19th century. He decided to establish a museum complex, to which he would transfer the royal family’s collections, a generous decision that allowed the German public to enjoy the kingdom’s treasures that had been compiled by kings for generations.

For this purpose the king chose the northern side of the island inside Berlin, which was formed between the arms of the Spree River, which passes through the city. He ordered the architect Schinkel, whose work he admired and loved, to set up the first museum on the Museum Island.

Before the bombings of World War II, the authorities moved most of the contents from the museums outside the Berlin city area. This was done to protect the items from destruction. Things that could not be removed from Berlin were covered with sandbags. During the last bombardment over Berlin in the war, the Americans completely destroyed the island. The fact that most of the items were taken out of it before the bombings kept them from being completely destroyed.

A Closer Look:

Neptune Fountain
#About the Fountain that is Nearby the TV Tower

The most important work of the sculptor Reinhold Begas, is the Neptune Fountain (Neptunbrunnen) between the Church of Mariam and the Red Town Hall building. It was given as a gift by the Berlin Municipality to Kaiser Wilhelm II (Emperor of Germany and the King of Prussia). It is decorated in a Neo-Baroque style, and imitates other important fountains in Rome. The fountain’s diameter is 18 meters, and is 10 meters tall.

The fountain was nicknamed "Porkenbeken," a word play in German that means "pelvis with a trident," but it is hard to ignore the fact that this nickname is very closely related the name of the mayor of Purknebek at the time. So why a pelvis, you may ask? In the statue of Neptune, God of the sea, the god standing in a water basin (made of red granite) and holds a trident in his hands, lying on his left shoulder.

The trident is a symbol of Neptune’s great power. He is standing over a giant oyster that is being pulled by four tritons. Around the shell are many statues of marine life.

On the edges of the fountain are four women who symbolize the four great rivers of Germany: the Rhine, the Elbe, the Oder and the Vistula.

A Closer Look:

Neues Museum
#About the Museum of Ancient Art and its Architecture

At Museum Island, where you can find a variety of museums on different subjects, you will also see the "Neues Museum." It was built in the early 19th century, between 1843 and 1855, by the German architect Friedrich August Shteller.

During World War II, the museum was badly damaged. Since 1999, the British architect David Chipperfield has been working on the Museum’s restoration, which has the award of Most Important Architecture in Europe. Chipperfield conducts the restoration with the help of various experts. They are trying to preserve the historical authenticity of the place, and leave the fragments of bombing and the remnants of the worn-out murals.

Chipperfield tries not to blur the differences between the old and the new, and this is what earned him his award. The judges' reasoning was "Chipperfield manages to produce an excellent mix of contemporary architecture with conservation and art." As early as 1999, UNESCO declared the building a World Heritage Site.

Some attribute the opening of the museum to the end of the war era of the Museum Island.

#What's in the Museum?

In the museum you can see ancient Egyptian art. The museum displays thousands of items from prehistoric times up to the Middle Ages. Sarcophagi decorated with hieroglyphs, Hellenistic statues from Alexandria, swords, weapons and more.

One of the most important highlights of the place is the statue of the ancient Egyptian queen from 1340 BC, Nefertiti. The statue was discovered by a German archaeologist at the beginning of the last century, and displays the magnificent beauty of the Egyptian queen. For many years the statue was displayed at a different museum, however today it is located on the second floor of the Neues Museum.

There is an interesting story about this statue. A dispute arose between Egypt and Germany, after Egypt complained that the statue had been taken without permission in 1912. The Germans, on the other hand, claim that it was given to them as part of the distribution of items found in an archaeological excavation in Egypt. Recently a special document was revealed claiming that the Germans did not tell the whole truth about the importance of the statue from the French representative who was responsible for the distribution of items in the same excavation.

A Closer Look:


Palace of Charlottenburg
#About the Big Palace in Berlin

One of the most important Baroque buildings to survive in Berlin is also the biggest palace among 9 palaces in Berlin, the Palace of Charlottenburg (Schloss Charlottenburg). In its past Berlin was once the capital of the Prussian Empire. The palace is actually one of the most incredible remains of that time.

It was built between 1695 and 1699. Prince Frederick I gave the order to build it for his wife Sophie Charlotte. Following the death of the queen in 1705 the king decided to name the palace after her, Charlottenburg. In the following years it became the king’s summer housing.

In 1740, King Frederick II ascended the throne and lived in the palace for some time.

In 1952, a monument by Andreas Schlöter was placed here, with the prince riding his horse in the garden entrance to the palace.

Today visitors can view the permanent exhibit for Baroque furniture, ceramics, and other displays about the lifestyle of Prussia in the 17th and 18th centuries.

#The Palace’s History

The amazing palace was built between 1695-1699. Though the design was created by the court architect Johann Arnold Nering, the actual building was overlooked by Martin Grunberg after Nering’s death.

The palace has managed to maintain its ancient vibes, however throughout the years many architects have made changes to it.

Between the years 1702-1713 a Swedish architect Eusander von Gette added a building, a chapel and a greenhouse for oranges. In 1711 a statue was erected for the the goddess of fortune, Portuna, on the central roof.

In 1740, during Frederick II's stay in the palace, the royal architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff added the ‘new wing,’ continuing the main building from its eastern side.

In the year 1790 an addition was made to the "orange greenhouses" - the "Little Oranges," and in the years that followed a theater was also added, the Belvedere in the Palace Park, a Mausoleum and a Schinkel pavilion.

In World War II the palace was destroyed. Restoration and reconstruction of the rooms were based on photographs taken from before the war.

#About the Palace Gardens

In the 17th century, a long time before the outbreak of the war, Simone Gudu planned the palace gardens in the formal French style. He was greatly influenced by the French architect Andre La Notre. In 1788 the tea house was added to the garden. In 1810 the mausoleum was built for Queen Louise, and in 1825 the Neapolitan villa was built.

During the air raids of World War II, and during the Battle over Berlin, the palace gardens were almost completely burned.

The palace gardens were only partially reconstructed. Those who were restored remained in the formal French style, as they were in the 17th century, and the parts that were far from the palace were restored, but in English style. Today the palace gardens are used by the residents and the entrance to them is free.


Children enter the palace for free.

Entrance to the gardens is free to the general public.

A Closer Look:

#About Prussian Versaille, the Houses of the KGB’s Officers and the City of Riches

If you want to head out of Berlin for a few hours and visit a classic German city in its full glory, go for a short visit in Potsdam. The capital of the Brandenburg State and the state’s largest city.

Castles, palaces, and spotless parks of this magical city, with alleyways, are a part of the magnificent view of the ancient city, where the king and his family preferred to reside, for its closeness to the capital and its vast beauty.

The German city Potsdam sits on the banks of the Havel River, about 26 kilometers south-west of the German capital Berlin. Until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, lived here officers of the Russian KGB, who would go around East Berlin. Today, it is a city for vacations and for German royals and is famous as one of the hub spots for the movie industry in Europe.

Only a half hour ride from the center of Berlin to Potsdam in a Train. This city is wide, and has many interesting points to visit. It contains a series of lakes that are all connected.

If you have some time, take a look at the Sanssouci Palace, the palace that Frederick II built and preferred to enjoy his time. Notice the internal decorations of the castle, in the Rococo style, and the fact that today it is acknowledged as a world heritage site.

Extravagant parks are also at Sanssouci Palace, remaining from the royal times. It contains fountains, statues and many pieces of art for all to admire.

Also worth looking at is the Einstein building, an observatory place that was built in accordance with the famous Albert Einstein and one of the greatest German architects, Erich Mendelsohn.

A Closer Look:

Pergamon Museum
#About the Museum that Catalogues Ancient Cultures

In Museum Island is located one of the most noticeable museums in Berlin – Pergamon Museum (Pergamonmuseum). You can be exposed to different architecture from different time periods – ancient Greek and Roman, Middle East, and more. The museum was built between the years 1910-1930 by Alfred Bin and Ludwig Hoffman.

So what is the reason that this museum was opened for? When the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum was constructed it was already understood that not all the archeological items that were discovered and collected around the world could be housed there. This is why back in 1907, the decision was made to built another building to house the rest of the collection by Wilhelm von Bode, the Kaiser Museum curator.

More than a million visitors come to the museum each year. This museum today is considered a world heritage site, especially for its unique architecture and the unique collections it possesses.

#What to See at the Museum

At the museum anyone can see a few amazing historical exhibits; the Pergamon altar, a marble altar built in the 2nd century BC, in the Greek city of Pergamon, and remained almost intact. Also on display are 113 meters of the Frieze altar. The market gate from Miletus from the Roman period, the Ishtar Gate which was the eighth entrance to the city of Babylon, the façade of the Shata Palace, and a milk room directly from the milk room in Syria. Visitors can also admire the other exhibits from Near Eastern cultures such as Babylon, Assyria, and other great empires of the ancient world.

More at the museum is the fascinating Islamic Museum. The Islamic Museum used to sit at the entrance to the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, but was moved here. Among the displays is the façade of the Palace of Shata, today located South of Amman in Jordan. This frontal façade was given as a gift from the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II to the Kaiser Wilhelm II

There is also an ancient collection of statues from marble and bronze at the museum, and architectural elements from ancient Greece and Rome such as mosaics and jewelry.

#Pergamon Museum during World War II

During World War II the building of the museum was badly destroyed. This is also the reason that many of the artifacts were stored ahead of time in a shelter for their protection. Full models were covered by a protective layer. Until today one can see damage to the building from the war on its North side.

In 1945 the Red Army collected the displays and moved them to the Soviet Union. They were returned to German only 13 years later. Not all of them, only parts. The ones that were not returned can see today in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Overall, even with Russia’s promise to return all items to Germany (an agreement that was signed in 2003), it has still not done so because of a Russian law (Russian law forbids taking archeological finds outside the country).

A Closer Look:

Prenzlauer Berg
#The Prenzlauer Berg Borough for Tourists

This borough, which is in fact a part of another borough, Pankow, has 144,000 young residents. This is a very fashionable borough. There are many hotels and hostels here, which is not a coincidence. It is very close to city center. Berliners don’t always appreciate this area, and many nickname this area “baby housing’ (because this borough has the highest birth rates in Berlin) and also the “Bourgeois District” because according to them it's expensive and boring. But it’s interesting that the beautiful buildings, the quiet and the cleanliness are what make the area the most liked by tourists.

You can enjoy here hopping through difference cafes, stops at boutique stores and shopping tours, second hand retro-style furniture stores, and eating at fantastic local restaurants and bars.

The borough is full of young families with children arriving from all across Berlin, along the original East Berliners. They live in buildings with about 30-40 apartments each. The earnings of the residents here are the highest in Berlin.

Truth is, originally the architects did not want to build buildings that were adjacent to one another, but they did not succeed with this because of growing population numbers and the rise in local real estate.

It is recommended to travel around here by foot or bike, both popular mode of transportation in the area. You can see here many bike lanes, and where there aren’t any – enlargements of streets to fits this style of commute. You can rent bikes at local bike shops or different locations in the city.

#The Borough in History

If you were wondering about the difficult name, Prenzlauer Berg
is named after the main street leading from North-West Berlin towards the city Prenzlau. Most of the residents that originally lived here were intellectuals, artists, and students.

Not by accident did this place make it through World War II. It was mostly populated by poor workers, as opposed to other areas where military and governmental leaders were living, and was therefore not an important bombing site.

Right after the fall of the Berlin Wall many young people came here because of the low real estate prices, and its proximity to the city center.

The area underwent a massive renovation – houses that were previously heated by coal stoves and without bathrooms and were renovated and all modern systems were implemented.

In 2001, the "neighborhood reform" occurred here, Prenzlauer Berg was reunited with Pankow and Oiisenza neighborhoods. Many of the residents are still not used to the change, and they still use the old names and not the new one, the unified name "Pankow."

In the 2000’s tourists began to find a lot of interest in the area, and is considered even by locals a popular location. The local residents tend to be ‘hipsters,’ and young families with creative and free professions.

#What is There to See in the Borough?

A few spots you don’t want to miss: the old water tower, Kollwitz Square (Kollwitzplatz), Chestnut Avenue (Kastanienallee), The Prater Beer House (Prater biergarten), the Jewish Cemetery at Schonahauser Avenue (Schönhauser Allee), and the old microbrewery that was repurposed as a cultural brewery (Kulturbrauerei).

At Kollwitz Square and Helmholtz (Helmholzplatz) weekly markets are held, and at Chestnut Avenue (Kastanienallee) there is action during all hours of the day.

A Closer Look:

Unter den Linden
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
Berlin Wall Memorial

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