Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Berlin, Germany

We visited Berlin for a long weekend in April 2009, a surprise 40th birthday present from Susy to me. As you'll see from some of the photos we were blessed with fantastic weather. I had been there once before for a conference but did not have the opportunity to see all that this city has to offer. To really cover all the sites you need more than a long weekend.

The Reichstag

Thanks to the lovely weather we spent a lot of time walking around the city, above you'll see a photo of the Reichstag, the view from the glass dome is supposed to be spectacular however it's also a big tourist attraction to you need to get there early to avoid the queues.

There is so much to see in Berlin that you could easily spend a week there and not do the city justice. So here are a couple of highlights.  Charlottenburg Palace or in German Schloss Charlottenburg) is the largest palace in Berlin, and the only royal residency in the city dating back to the time of the Hohenzollern family. The palace was built at the end of the 17th century and was greatly expanded during the 18th century. It includes much internal decoration in baroque and rococo styles. During the Second World War, the palace was badly damaged and has since been reconstructed. 

Schloss Charlottenberg

Berlin is a city so steeped in history that it really requires little introduction to most people. For me one of the most interesting and inspiring memories from our trip, was visiting the Checkpoint Charlie museum. The stories of the great lengths that people went to in order to escape across the wall from East into West Germany, are simply incredible.

Finally on Berlin, some more images of iconoic landmarks from our visit ......
Brandenburg gate

The Brandenburg Gate stands at the end of Unter den Linden. It is crowned with a 6m high sculpture of the Roman Quadriga driven by Victoria, the goddess of victory.

Berliner Dom
The Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedachtnis-Kirche was almost totally destroyed during the Second World War. It was rebuilt in 1963 by Egon Eiermann. The damaged roof of the former church has become one of the best known symbols of Berlin.

Franzosischer Dom
The Franzosischer Dom was built for the Huguenot community, who found refuge in Protestant Berlin following their expulsion from France in 1598. It houses the Huguenot museum which charts the history of this community in France and Brandenburg.