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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.



#Tips

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.
Kreuzberg
Kreuzberg
#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.


Guide:

https://youtu.be/r25Y2YUX6s0


Bloggers:

https://youtu.be/gF-MC9HVn5s


Street art:

https://youtu.be/vdW173Ozwyk
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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GedfLvThWN8
Ka-De-We
Ka-De-We
#About the Largest Department Store in Europe

The Ka-De-We Department Store has real consumer power. This is the largest and most prestigious department store in Europe. Even if shopping is not your favorite pastime, you should visit it. Between 40,000 and 50,000 customers visit here on any given day and nearly 400,000 products are sold here daily.

Ka-de-Wa is short for "Kaufhaus des West" in German: “The Western Department Store."

The store was founded in 1905 by the Jewish businessman Alfred Jendorf, inspired by the department stores that were then in the United States. He combined a large number of specialized shops under one roof. It was very luxurious and innovative for those times, so much so that the people of Berlin flocked to it like doves. The entire street where it was built became a commercial street and many businesses gathered around it. There were rare technological innovations in Berlin of those times, such as the fact that the whole building was lit with electricity and had no less than 20 elevators.

Over the next few years, the department changed hands until 1933, when the Nazis came to power and nationalized it. At the request of the Nazi regime and the banks' threats, the Jewish owners, the Titts family, were ‘persuaded’ to transfer control of the company to a businessman of Aryan origin. Thus, for 50,000 marks, the store was bought by businessman Georg Karag from the state.

During World War II, an American bomb crashed into the building. Only in the 1950’s was the building rebuilt and the store reopened. Berliners saw this as a sign of a return to normalcy, since the end of the war.



#Tips

Be sure to do up to the dining floor in the upper levels, on the sixth and seventh floors of the department store. There is a huge food area here and a cafeteria and restaurant. The food is amazing and the quality is great. Try to sit in a place by the window towards West Berlin.



A Closer Look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-nV_U1ff1s

Berlin in Winter

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx22VkmXzZc
Legoland Discovery Centre
Legoland Discovery Centre
#About Berlin’s Lego Kingdom

Who among us doesn’t love the playful pieces of Lego? It speaks to everyone in the same language – kids and adults alike. Children’s creativity will stand the test here, and adults will find themselves returning to their childhood days.

Legoland, the Lego Company’s center, is located at the Sony Center, and it includes a long list of activities. It is perfect for a trip with the kids, and of course most relevant during chilly days. At Legoland you will find activity booths, different rides that will put you face to face with different shapes and figures built with Legos.

At Legoland are a few interesting attractions: a small roller roaster, Miniland – where famous sites and buildings are built here, Gymboree for smaller children, a 4D movie theater, and a pink princess area. Don’t forget to see the huge giraffe made of Legos at the entrance.

If you want to take advantage of the opportunity and fill up on your Lego supply, this would be the perfect time. Here you can buy Legos in all shapes, colors and sizes.



A Closer Look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lf24HO5JXX8
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.


#Tips
Free admission.


A Closer Look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5cTWgQ7IuE
Wilmersdorfer Eisstadion
Wilmersdorfer Eisstadion
#About Berlin's Frozen Stadium

Berlin's Ice Stadium (Wilmersdorfer Eisstadion) is a perfect attraction for the snowy days of the year. Beyond the main stadium, which is really a huge skating rink, there are three large playgrounds, an awesome tennis court, a sports hall and more. The stadium can sit up to 4,000 people.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/nXmBGlE6QIg


Another Look:

https://youtu.be/SU4n0OC4awg


Jdisches Museum Berlin
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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKucqKcmlrM
Fernsehturm
#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."

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



A Closer Look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4Ede6aC-UA
Botanical Gardens of Berlin
#About Berlin’s Green Gardens

The Botanical Gardens of Berlin is large in size, green and full of colors. It reaches up to 430 hectares, and contains about 22,000 different plants. It is considered one of the largest and most well-known gardens in the world. The big grassy lawns, the colorful flower beds, the waterfalls and the plants that surround them - all this makes anyone understand exactly why these gardens are considered one of the world's leading ones.

Here you will find a variety of about 22,000 different plants - from small grasses to giant bamboos. The garden is divided according to areas and walking along its paths one can be move between the Far East, to Europe, and to the Middle East.

In the open areas of the garden tourists will see a huge rose garden filled with a variety of species: from large lily burgundy roses to small roses in a variety of colors. Trees are also abundant here, including conifers.



#What There to See at the Botanical Gardens

In the botanical gardens you will see several greenhouses with tropical vegetation, where there are orchids and fern rock, climbing plants, banana trees, trees with heavy fruits, and a variety of interesting and tropical plants. In one of the greenhouses, one of the largest in the world, you will see a large glass house.

Near the tropical forest greenhouse, you can see and visit the driest pavilion (unlike the humid greenhouse) - the cactus house. Here you can observe different species of cacti growing in different deserts around the world like America and Australia. The shapes, colors and lengths are interesting and worth seeing.

Next to the botanical garden, is a huge garden has been planted for touching and sniffing, made for people with visual impairments. Something else located in the gardens is a botanical museum, specializing in the morphological structures of plants and seeds.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/FVkoEbR-TOA
Weissensee
#About Berlin’s White Lake

In this authentic and charming working neighborhood, the Wiessensee neighborhood, one can see a variety of early 20th century houses characterized by low construction and classical Berlin architecture. The neighborhood is located in the Pankow quarter in northeastern Berlin, and because of its "older" character, not many young people live here.

The white lake of the neighborhood, Lake Weissensee, is actually a relic of the Ice Age. It is about 83 hectares large and is the deepest lake in Berlin, reaching up to 10 meters in depth. Anyone can go for a nice stroll in the park around the lake, on tracks that are 1.3 kilometers long. There is a fountain is in the center of the lake. Notice the animals living in the area: swans, ducks, Mandarin ducks and more.

The complex includes a boat rental station, a cafe standing here since the communist rule, and a small zoo. Near the eastern shore of the lake, stands the church of the village of Weissensee - the oldest building in the district.

Tourists love to reach the lake all year around, though summer in particular perfect for a warm and pleasant vacation, one can swim in the lake and sunbathe in the hot sun. On winter days, many will find interest in the ice skating rink located on the lake.



A closer look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkEDSFIVNuM
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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61_FIiuaTwI


אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

העולם הוא צבעוני ומופלא, אאוריקה כאן בשביל שתגלו אותו...

אלפי נושאים, תמונות וסרטונים, מפתיעים, מסקרנים וממוקדים.

ניתן לנווט בין הפריטים במגע, בעכבר, בגלגלת, או במקשי המקלדת

בואו לגלות, לחקור, ולקבל השראה!

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

שלום,
נראה שכבר הכרתם את אאוריקה. בטח כבר גיליתם כאן דברים מדהימים, אולי כבר שאלתם שאלות וקיבלתם תשובות טובות.
נשמח לראות משהו מכם בספר האורחים שלנו: איזו מילה טובה, חוות דעת, עצה חכמה לשיפור או כל מה שיש לכם לספר לנו על אאוריקה, כפי שאתם חווים אותה.