Berlin Journals

Berlin, the New-Old Capital of Germany

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A June 1999 trip to Berlin by Overlander

Checkpoint Charlie Photo, Berlin, Germany More Photos
Quote: I am, admittedly, a Germanophile; however, even if I weren't, there is little doubt that Berlin would be one of my favorite cities. I hope to share a least a little of my enthusiasm for the city with any who might view this journal.

Berlin, the New-Old Capital of Germany

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Overview

Checkpoint Charlie Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
Berlin is one of those cities that the Germans quite sensibly call a "Weltstadt" or "world city", a city that is hard to pin down because it is so many-faceted. There is the artsy-fartsy Berlin with its cutting edge galleries, theatres, and cabarets. There is the traditional Berlin with its museums and monuments. And there is the "ordinary" Berlin with its neighborhoods that can be trendy or working class, luxurious or ramshackle. In a word, it is a city that takes time to get to know. For a short visit here is my list of "musts": An evening stroll down the Ku'damm A day or two on the "Museuminsel" ("Museum Island") A night out at a concert or a cabare...Read More

Pension Rotdorn

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Hotel

Pension Rotdorn Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
Pension Rotdorn is very well located in the heart of Charlottenburg directly across the street from the Heerstrasse S-Bahn (suburban train) station. The nearest U-Bahn (metro) station is a 10 minute walk away at Theodor Heuss Platz. It''s also very close to the Berlin Fairgrounds (Berlin Messe) and the TV tower. One disadvantage to the location: there are no restaurants in the immediate vicinity, although you can find snacks in the S-Bahn station across the road. As for the rooms, doubles are quite spacious with comfortable beds, wardrobe, telephone, satellite TV (Both BBC World Service TV and CNN), and a sparkling clean bath. There''s also a small table with a couple chairs as well, so ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 10, 2001

Pension Rotdorn
Heerstraße 36
Berlin, Germany
(030) 3009 92 92

The Reichstag/German Parliament

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Attraction | "Der Reichstag: the German Parliament"

The Reichstag/German Parliament Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
The Reichstag is a neo-Classical building that was originally put up by Kaiser Wilhelm in the late 19th century. During World War II it was severely bombed and its dome completely destroyed. For forty years it lay forelorn and unloved in East Berlin. After the fall of the Wall in 1989 and the subsequent reunification of the country, the decision was made by the Federal German government of then-Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, to return the capital to Berlin from Bonn and, in so doing, refurbish the building so that it would again be the seat of the parliament of the newly reunited Germany. On entering the building, there is not a lot that the public is allowed to see. Beyond the spacious, gl...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 9, 2001

The Reichstag/German Parliament
Platz Der Republik
Berlin, Germany 10557
+49 30 2273 2152

Brandenburg Gate

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Attraction | "The Brandenburg Gate"

Brandenburg Gate Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
Das Brandenburger Tor, to use the German name for this piece of Germanic history, is emblematic to both Berlin and the German State. Its silhouette or the "quadriga" atop it is seen everywhere: on television news programs as a backdrop when the subject is domestic, on travel posters and brochures, and on stamps. It may not be the most inspiring structure in the country from an architectural or artistic point of view, but as a symbol for German culture and history, it is probably unique in its importance. It was originally conceived in the latter half of the 18th century as a suitable marker to place at the end of the new Unter den Linden boulevard through the heart ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 21, 2001

Brandenburg Gate
Pariser Platz
Berlin, Germany

Museum Island Berlin/Museumsinsel

Attraction | "Die Museuminsel -- Berlin's Museum Island"

Museum Island Berlin/Museumsinsel Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
In the early 19th century, then-crown prince, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, conceived the idea of turning an island in the River Spree into a "sanctuary of Art and Science." This began a period during which major museums were built while newly-rich Germany began buying up enormous quantities of art. The intent was to make Germany's museums as impressive as any in Britain or France; and it succeeded. Berlin, by the turn of the 20th century was one of the richest repositories of art on the planet. With the coming of Hitler, however, what had been superb collections of contemporary German and European art were decimated: works were either sold off or simply destroyed. Impressionism, Expressi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 20, 2001

Museum Island Berlin/Museumsinsel
Central Mitte District, Spree River
Berlin, Germany

Berlin Zoo (Zoologischer Garten Berlin)

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Attraction | "The Berlin Zoo"

Berlin Zoo (Zoologischer Garten Berlin) Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
The Berlin Zoo is certainly in the top five in the world; arguably, it could be the world's best. It certainly has more species on display than anywhere else in the world. Prime attractions are, of course, the pandas and the gorillas (There are even babies; Berlin is one of the few zoos with a successful gorilla breeding program.) I'm a pushover for orangutans, so I always head there, too. Other extraordinary exhibits that one should visit are the 2,000 m2 lion enclosure, which dates from 1936 and was the first time that one was designed without bars, the Humboldt Penguin exhibit with its climate-controlled enclosure, the African Savana area, and the South American Pampa exhibits. Don'...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 10, 2001

Berlin Zoo (Zoologischer Garten Berlin)
Hardenbergplatz 8
Berlin, Germany 10623
49 (0)30-254 01-0