Call of the North (3): Berlin, a city ALIVE

Architecture is not the thing that knocked me out in Berlin. Probably the most historically battered big metropolis of the Western World is a relatively chaotic mix of styles, mostly modern and… construction site-ish, with oasis of old buildings in-between.

What makes Berlin special though can hardly be captured in pictures. It is in the air, in the people, in their minds. The atmosphere, spirit, life which pulsates from every corner. Maybe because of so many hardships, some lasting till very recently, Berlin feels a city ALIVE, with capital A, L, I, V and E.

Our walk started at the Alexanderplatz, whith the World Clock

and, of course, the television tower, second highest in Europe. Compare with the church tower to its left…

Before seeing the Dome, we stopped for the Neptune fountain in front of the red City Hall

and then saw the Dome, on the river banks – what river crosses Berlin?

The Spree.

Inside, the Dome is even more spectacular, both upstairs

and downstairs.

Outside, relaxation,

totally.

We then finally reached a “classical” point, Unter den Linden. The Berlinese Champs Elysees is not as large, but chic.

and ends with an equally symbolic construction, the Brandenburg Gate.

From there, on to the Reichstag, the Parliament,

which you can visit for free for a rainy panorama

from the pantheon-style (but modern) dome

The Holocaust Memorial is in controversy for its weird style,

But I liked it. It is absurd, which fits.

Gendarmenmarkt is one of the nicest squares in Berlin. Especially cool the two domes, one for Germans,

one for Hugenottes

Potsdamer Platz is where we entered a different era. The Wall era. Few pieces are left over from the wall, some here

and in the meantime they are fixing several “memorial centres”

One of the important ones is Checkpoint Charlie, one of the 7 border crossings between East and West Berlin.

Before 1961 it looked like this,

today it looks like this

This is the best way to learn history. First you learn in school, but then visit the place, to be able to feel what must have been going on.

Now i wonder – how was this possible?!? And then I remember that not too long ago, the concept of “east and west berlin” was very “normal” to me. And that scares me – people forgetting so easily, this makes all sorts of horrors to be able to happen again, and again…

I first heard the words below in a music clip. Now i understand them much better.

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One thought on “Call of the North (3): Berlin, a city ALIVE

  1. Foarte interesanta!

    I like the Holocaust Memorial, as captured by your lens, too.

    The insides of the Spree and Reichstag domes are both majestic.

    Also the Gendarmenmarkt square looks great! I guess I have a thing for squares.

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