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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.

#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? - Here's a video that will show you the city in all its beauty:


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


Some of the Local street food:

#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:

Denkmal Fr Die Ermordeten Juden Europas
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
#About the Memorial in Memory of the Many Jewish People Murdered by the Nazis

The Holocaust Memorial (Denkmal Für Die Ermordeten Juden Europas) was built exactly where the office of the Nazi oppressor Hitler was once located. The monument is the main memorial in Germany for the commemoration of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and for the crimes against humanity committed by the Nazis.

The monument purposefully reminds us of a massive grave site, a sort of huge collection of graves and dark headstones, all different sizes, as if its designers wanted to say that everyone was murdered – men, women, and children.

The location of the memorial site, right at the center of Belin and near the Reichstag Gate, makes sure that no one can ignore it. Many people are not aware that under the memorial is an information center underground dedicated to conserving the Holocaust victims, with multimedia presentation about the subject.

The designer of the Holocaust Memorial, the official name being “The Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe,” and spans over 19,000 square meters, is the Jewish American architect Peter Eisenman. He designed it as a field, with 2,711 horizontal headstones, an older style of headstones, in columns and rows, creating mazes between the spaces, where one can stay and contemplate. Eisenman refused to explain the odd number of headstones, and said the number had no meaning.

#About the Scandal Around the Holocaust Memorial

Before the memorial site was finished being built, a few scandals arose regarding it. This started criticism for its simple design, others complained about the absurd amount of space it would take up, some said that children run around and play at the site like a park, and there were groups who complained that the memorial needs to be in the memory of other groups also murdered by the Nazis.

But the most embarrassing moment brought up was that that the company for the coating of the pillars, Degusa, was found to have held a subsidiary company during World War II that produced that same Zyklon B type gas, used for the mass murders of Jews. The executives of this company were even tried for their part in the war.

A Closer Look:

Berliner Spreepark
Berliner Spreepark
#The Amusement Park that Stopped Running

Berliner Spreepark is an old amusement park that has not been active for many years, but the rides remain in their original place and attract a lot of visitors.

Up until recently, ‘Do Not Enter’ signs were hung up all along the fence of the park. And as the saying goes, ‘stolen water is sweeter,’ the fun and excitement of sneaking into an abandoned amusement park made the abandoned Spreepark into a real attraction.

Today, the park is open twice a week, the rides of course do not work, but there is a train that runs around the park.

The park originally opened in East Berlin in 1969, it was reactivated after the German unification, and in 2001 was abandoned by its owner, who relocated some of its rides in Peru and opened a new park there.

The owner left behind what seems like the movie set of Jurassic Park. There are leftovers of plastic mammoths and dinosaurs bodies, which were once used as a part of the Park’s rides, and today lay lifeless on the ground, adding to the extinct prehistoric feeling.

The Spreepark is located in Treptower Park in the South Eastern side of Berlin, on the banks of the Spree River. After a quick walk along the river and around the Park, you will see a Soviet monument that has remained from the East Berlin times, and pleasant green spots to spend some nice quiet and peaceful afternoons.

A Closer Look:


#Then and Now:


#A View from above:



Gedenksttte Berliner Mauer
Berlin Wall Memorial
#About the Death Belt Around the Berlin Wall

In Bernauer Street in North Berlin, there is the official memorial site for the Berlin Wall (Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer). Here you can see a section of the original Berlin Wall, along the length of the historic "death belt" section, the area where East German soldiers guarded, equipped with watchtowers and lighting equipment, shooting anyone trying to move towards to West Berlin side of freedom. From a nearby watchtower, you can watch the death belt. There is also a documentation center for the history of the wall and along the street are explanatory signs displayed in a kind of open museum, which deals with the Berlin Wall and the escapes from it, and displays with arrows the escape tunnels dug underneath.

#About the Wall that Divided Europe and the Whole World

The Berlin Wall was a very long fence, about 155 kilometers long, that served as a buffer between West Germany and East Germany in the period after the end of World War II. East Germany was a communist state, which was ruled after the war by the Soviet Union and did not allow its inhabitants free movement to Western Berlin and the rest of the free world.

From the famous wall that surrounded the city of Berlin and divided it, only a few fragments remain, which are evidence of the period in which it divided the two areas, the eastern and the western parts of the city.

Throughout Berlin you can follow the outline of the Berlin Wall with a brick track that runs across the city and marks the places where it once passed.

#About the History of the Construction of the Berlin Wall

It all began in August 1961, when the Russians, who then ruled East Germany and East Berlin, began to build a barrier between the part controlled by them and the one controlled by the West. Thus Berlin was divided into two parts: East Berlin and West Berlin.

Initially the Berlin Wall was only a fence, but soon the forces of East Germany began to replace it with a wall. Many watchtowers were erected along the wall and eight border crossings were set up, which did not allow the residents of East Germany to move to the west.

Thus the Berlin Wall was built, which was about 155 kilometers long. It divided the city between east and west and became the unofficial symbol of the Cold War. Its presence created a split among the city's residents and many tried to escape over the years. Most of these escape attempts ended with death.

In 1989, about 28 years after its establishment, the wall was toppled, and Germany was reunited into one state.

To this day, small sections of the wall remain, as evidence of the folly of its construction, and the route of the wall is marked all through Berlin, with metal plates posted throughout the city, with the German inscription "Berliner Mauer.”

#How was the Berlin Wall Taken Down?

The 1980's were marked by years of crisis among the Warsaw Pact countries, the Soviet-controlled states. It all began with the economic crisis itself. When the pact countries weakened they were opened freely, under the policy of its leader, Gorbachev, the Communist-inspired regimes in Eastern Europe collapsed. One of them was the communist regime of East Germany.

The toppling of the Berlin Wall on November 9th, 1989, about 28 years after its establishment, marked the fall of the Communist regime in East Germany and was the signal for the reunification of divided Germany. It was also one of the most significant symbols for the collapse of the Communist bloc, and the victory of the west in the so-called Cold War.

At the same time period, the German reunification, bringing about the fall of the wall caused considerable concern for the future. In particular, the world worried about a situation in which Germany might again become a superpower that would threaten the free world. In the meantime, Germany has become one of the leaders of the free and democratic world, and learned the lessons of the past all too well.

A Closer Look:

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, unless 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.
Potsdamer Platz
Potsdam Square
#About Berlin’s Main Square – Where Everything Started

Potsdam Square (Potsdamer Platz) is a lively central city square. It may be the busiest intersection in all of Berlin. The square is located about a kilometer south of the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag, adjacent to the South-East corner of the public Park Tiergarten.

The square contains buildings constructed by some of the most famous architects, and are some of the most impressive buildings in Berlin. Notice the building with the big futuristic looking dome. This is the Sony Center, which is a heaven for modern architecture enthusiasts.

Beyond the shape and aesthetic of the new and modern building, you can find the big and luxurious Sony store. In this store one can see all the company’s new technologies, with a wide variety of options for cafes and restaurants. In the Sony Center there is also an IMAX movie theater, and a very nice film museum.

At Potsdam Square is also loved the Panorama Punkt, a great viewpoint to see the whole city of Berlin. Among the sites that one can see is the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, the Berlin Cathedral, the TV Tower, the Kaiser Wilhelm Church, the Holocaust Memorial, and more.

#About the History of Potsdam Square

Potsdam Square is named after the city of Potsdam, which is located about 25 kilometers South-West of Berlin. The square commemorates the place where the road from Potsdam enters Berlin. This is where the Potsdamer Gate is located.

Potsdam Square, or Potsdamer Platz in German, is the center of historic Berlin. In the 1920’s this was a center for nightlife in the flourishing Weimar Republic, a decade before the Nazi’s darkness will fall upon Germany, Europe and the whole world.

Within 100 years, the square has developed from a suburban crossroad to one of the busiest intersections in Europe. During World War II the square was almost completely destroyed by bombings, and after the war the area was abandoned for many years. The reason was that during the Cold War this area ran alongside the Berlin Wall, and this prevented the area from developing. At the end of the 1980’s, with the unification of Germany, plans for the reconstruction began, and in 1990 the construction of a new urban quarter began, named Potsdamer Platz after the square.

A Closer Look:

The Soviet War Memorial
Soviet War Memorial Tiergarten
#About the Soviet Monument Erected After Their Victory

In Tiergarten Park at the center of Berlin, in 1945, a Soviet monument was erected, shortly after the Russian army takeover of Berlin. This is not the only monument that was built to remember the 80,000 Soviet soldiers that died in the battle over Berlin during April and May of 1945. But it is the most impressive of them all.

Photos from that time show the monument surrounded by open space. Following the bombings over Berlin, many of the park’s trees were burnt. The rest of the trees were cut down and burned for heating in the final months of the war.

An interesting fact – during the Cold War, the Soviet soldiers were permitted to maintain an honor guard at the monument, event though the monument was located in British held territory. Soviet soldiers were even permitted to cross over onto the British territory to the monument and pay their respects to the fallen soldiers.

The architect Mikhail Gurevich is the designer of the monument, and nearby are sculptures by artists Vladimir Chigal and Lev Karbel.

A Closer Look at the Museum:


Berlinische Galerie
Berlin Gallery
#About Berlin's Museum of Modern Art

One of the city's most innovative museums, the Berlin Gallery (Berlinische Galerie) is the Museum of Modern Art, Photography and Architecture of Berlin.

The museum specializes in modern art. There is a unique multidisciplinary collection of works of art, photography and architecture, created from the 19th century up to the present - all within the boundaries of the Berlin metropolis.

In addition to the permanent exhibition, the Berlin Gallery offers temporary exhibitions and also has a rich library, a lecture hall, a museum shop and a cafeteria.

The Berlin Gallery emphasizes innovative artistic happenings that took place in Berlin. Among them are the Dadaism art movement, which was born here, the German Vienna Secession group from the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian avant-garde of Berlin in the 1920’s, the "New Objectivity" (Neue Sachlichkeit) of the 1920’s and 1930’s , the art school that began in the 1930’s, the conceptual art of the 1960’s, and modern multimedia.

All the works and art pieces here are backed up by extensive archives of documentary material and research sources that assist art researchers who come here.

The museum, a private enterprise, was founded in 1975, when the need to present modern art in the city was felt. For many years it operated in the building of Martin Gropius in the city.

In 2004, the museum moved to its current location, and since then it has been housed here, in a former glass warehouse, not far from the Jewish Museum.

A Closer Look:

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:

East Side Gallery
#About Berlin’s Open Gallery

The East Side Gallery, is a gallery for graffiti art painted on the Berlin Wall, conveying various messages, social, political and universal.

The gallery is located on Mühlenstraße Boulevard in the Friedrichshain district, in the center of Berlin, Germany. The wall here, as you can see, is completely covered with beautiful, colorful, graffiti. These colorful, aesthetic and expressive paintings are full of creativity and ingenuity. Like graffiti should be, but with permission and often even invitation. All the artists were invited to paint on the Berlin Wall.

The East Side Gallery is the longest surviving remnant of the Berlin Wall. The paintings on the wall were painted by 118 artists from 21 countries, there are 105 paintings in all. In 2009, the colorful paintings were restored and preserved to ensure they will continue to be as beautiful and unique as in the past.

A Closer Look:

#About the Worker’s Borough that was Taken Over by Artists

This borough, like the one next to it (Prenzlauer Berg), is part of former East Berlin, and in the past it was inhabited mainly by workers. The name of the borough, Hain in German, comes from the word orchard, for an orchard planted by King Frederick the Great in the 18th century in this area. In the beginning, the borough was considered a working-class neighborhood. Most of the neighborhood was occupied in the 19th and early 20th centuries, when the railway line between Berlin and Frankfurt was also built. Also contributing to the popularity and growth of the neighborhood are the first water sanitation plants in 1865.

In 1933 when the Nazis came into power, the name of the district changed, and was renamed after Horst Wessel, the Nazi anthem composer. During World War II, the borough was brutally damaged. The reason for this was that the Allies aimed the bombings on the industrial buildings in the area.

In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, the prestigious and luxurious Stalin Avenue was built.

In 2001, during the "Neighborhood Reform" period, the borough was merged with its neighbor Kreuzberg and officially called Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain, however many residents still refer to them as separate neighborhoods.

Today there are fashion stores, artists' studios and pubs. Among the Berliners the entire district is best known for its most interesting breweries.

#What is There To See in the Borough?

The first is the East Side Gallery, a gallery of graffiti art painted by artists on a remnant of the Berlin Wall. The length of the wall is 1.3 kilometers.

The other is the Karl Marx Road, a monumental boulevard built in Berlin between the years 1952 -1960 in the Classicism Stalinist style.

The Jewish Museum is also located here, and next to it is a famous museum of modern art, photography and architecture - the Berlin Gallery.

Take a look at the pubs and cafés in the Zymen Dach Street, the farmers' market which opens on Saturdsays, and the flea market on Sundays at Boxhagener Platz.

You will also see the red bridge connecting the neighborhood with Kreuzberg and Berlin's Eastern Railway Station.

A Closer Look:

Jewish Museum Berlin
#About the Museum with the Jewish History in Germany

The Jewish Museum in Berlin (Jüdisches Museum Berlin) opened in 2001 and was designed by the famous Jewish architect Daniel Liebeskind. Liebeskind’s building is impressive and large, coated with zinc and built in the shape of a broken Star of David. This building’s exterior looks like ruins, broken walls with cracks. In Liebeskind’s design he evokes identification with the terrible Jewish catastrophe of unparalleled magnitude - the Holocaust.

The museum displays a permanent exhibition 3,000 square meters, where visitors can examine and learn about the 2,000 years of Jewish history in Germany: pictures, objects and stories that together provide a clear and nostalgic picture of Jewish life in Germany. To enhance the experience, visitors will also experience interactive exhibits with multimedia, becoming active participants in the exhibition.

The temporary exhibits at the museum show the history of German Jewry, from the Roman period to the present. The exhibits showcases the Holocaust and give a glimpse into the years following the war, years of flourishing culture, years of cultural ruins of the many communities that were no more.

The museum halls emphasize the missing, the absent. This is how the museum manages to mention the millions who were murdered.

#The History of the Museum

How did the idea begin for a Jewish Museum? Well, Albert Wolf's collection of Judaica was donated to the Berlin community, where the collection began to develop. The person who developed it was Karl Schwartz, the Museum's first director.

The first Jewish Museum was not located here, and opened many years prior to the present museum. In 1933, in Oranienburger Street (Oranienburger Straße) stood the first museum. Among the items found here was a collection of royal medals inscribed in Hebrew.

In 1938, not surprisingly, the Nazi regime ordered the immediate closure of the museum according to the Nuremberg Laws (racial laws defining a German citizen). The museum's works were then vandalized. Years later, in 1961, there was another attempt to display the Jewish exhibits, this time at the Jewish Community Center in Berlin.

In 1971, the Berlin Municipality reopened the museum, and in 1975 a special association was established to build the Jewish Museum. The museum opened as an annex at the Berlin Museum, and became an independent museum in 1999, moving to its present location in the center of Berlin. It was officially opened in 2001.

#The Museum's Architecture

Berlin is a city that is not easy to stomach, especially for Jews, as it returns them to a difficult and intolerable past. The Jewish Museum in Berlin was built so that it could respond to these difficult feelings. On the outside, it is not clear what the sealed bloc holds, and it is impossible to know how many floors or halls are inside.

The building's facade looks like ruins, inside are halls in which absence is clearly felt. Its general shape is that of a broken Star of David. The building is 150 meters long and 27 meters high. Without a doubt, the purpose of Daniel Liebeskind, the Jewish architect who designed this building, who was also the son of a Holocaust survivor, was to oppose the neo-classical architecture or any other symbol that represented Nazi architecture.

The entrance to the museum is through the nearby building that was once the city municipal court and also the Berlin Museum. In 2007 Liebeskind connected the two buildings with a glass ceiling and created a closed courtyard designed according to the Jewish Sukkah.

On the steps inside the museum, visitors will reach a fork in the way that leads to three different paths: one that leads to a dead end (whose purpose is to undermine the stability of the visitor, to provide a feeling of helplessness and confusion), another to the historical wing (the history of the Jews over hundreds of years), and the third one that leads outside to the garden, representing the diaspora and immigration.

When it opened in 2001, the museum succeeded in creating a cultural debate that was hard to ignore. The architecture was talked about, the design, the materials, the history, the exhibits and all. Another question that arises is whether the architecture of the museum succeeds in answering the real needs of the museum or whether the interesting work harms the display of exhibits and items. With that, it is hard to ignore the fact that the museum manages to attract about 700,000 visitors every year.

A Closer Look:
Unter den Linden
#About the Elegant Avenue of Berlin - Avenue de la Linden

This wide boulevard, full of the classic European splendor and elegance, starts at the Brandenburg Gate and ends with Museum Island, this is undoubtedly the city's main tourist axis and an excellent starting point for a fascinating tour of the history of the German capital and its tourist attractions.

The boulevard received its name the from the Linden trees planted alongside it. In recent years, the boulevard has been extensively renovated.

Unter den Linden Boulevard, meaning "under the trees" in German, stretches for about a kilometer and a half. On both sides are some of the city's most important sites and buildings. One can see so many intriguing sites and architectural monuments that stand in its vicinity.

From there you can see Humboldt University - the first university in Berlin, the Opera Building and the Academy of the Arts, the Berliner Dom, the Guggenheim Gallery, as well as the Alexanderplatz to the east, with the TV Tower attached to it, the Reichstag Gate, the Holocaust Memorial to the West and the Friedrichstrasse shopping street across it.

But this boulevard, with its neo-classical structures, is not only beautiful. Here, one of the most difficult historical events in modern history took place. In the square of Bebelplatz, opposite Humboldt University, in 1933 the burning of the books took place, in which the Nazis set fire to thousands of books whose contents were against their distorted ideology.


A weekly artists' fair takes place every week on Saturdays and Sundays. It happens in the little pedestrian walkway just before the bridge crosses the Spree River.

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:

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:

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.

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:

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:

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:

Sony Center
#About the Futuristic and Tourist Shopping Attraction

The Sony Center, the huge glass and steel building at Potsdam Square, is a futuristic tourist attraction for shopping. A few thousand tons of steel and glass were installed here (some of the glass panels are actually electric solar panels). The glass and steel, who shine bright during the day, make this building quite remarkable. During the evening hours the building is lit up with many different color lights.

The building is built on 132,500 square meters and contains a huge amount of stores and offices, a hotel and conference center, movie theater and an impressive film history museum.

The building was designed by architect Helmut Jahn in 2002, and was built for the price of 750 million euros, and it is not difficult to imagine which company it was built...for Sony of course. In 2008 the center was sold for 600 million Euros to investors.

Before World War II the square was a trading area full of people and cars. With the bombings over Berlin, almost the entire area was destroyed. Because of its proximity to the Berlin Wall, the square was abandoned, and only after the Berlin Wall was taken down was the square reopened.

By the way, your kids would be really thankful if you would take them to the Legoland Discovery Center.

A Closer Look:

Palace of Charlottenburg
French Cathedral
Wilmersdorfer Eisstadion
Hackesche Höfe
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

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