Style, ease and lightness reign in Berlin. Too many grandiose and at the same time tragic events took place in the German capital - the announcement of the Third Reich, Nazi pogroms, almost complete destruction by bombing, half a century of division into Western and Eastern parts. Now the city seems to be resting and is happy to write its history anew.
The districts of Berlin are not at all similar to each other. In the historical central part, the gloomy bulks of the Reichstag and the palaces of the Museum Island rise. The trendy eastern quarters are home to interesting restaurants, stylish clubs and art spaces. The best shops of the city are located on the Kurfürstendamm boulevard.
Berlin, of course, is not as elegant and ceremonial as other European capitals, but it has its own soul, which is gradually revealed to the traveler.
What to see and where to go in Berlin?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a short description.
An important architectural monument of Berlin with a special symbolic meaning. In 1871, a solemn procession of Prussian regiments passed through the gate, which marked the declaration of the German Empire. In 1933, the famous Nazi torchlight procession took place here and the "Thousand-Year Reich" was proclaimed. After the Second World War, the Brandenburg Gate became the border of the division of Germany into West and East.
The Reichstag was the seat of the German Legislative Assembly during the German Empire, the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich. The modern German parliament also holds meetings in the Reichstag. The building itself is built in a very pompous and somewhat overwhelming manner, which, according to the plan of the architects, was supposed to emphasize the greatness of the Empire. Everything in the Reichstag seems huge and incomprehensible - columns, gray facades, a grandiose glass dome.
The wall, which, following the results of the Second World War, divided Berlin into zones of influence of the two main opponents - the military blocs of the Warsaw Pact and NATO. The wall stood for almost 30 years and became a symbol of the Cold War. It was a real border with checkpoints and guards. After the fall of the Wall and the unification of Germany in 1989, its fragments were gradually taken away for souvenirs. It was decided to save some fragments of the structure as a monument.
The largest Protestant church in Germany, located within the Museum Island. The cathedral was erected in the era of Kaiser Wilhelm II and was conceived as a German counterpart to St. Peter's Cathedral in the Vatican. The building simply dazzles with its solemn and majestic architecture. It looks like it was built by giants. From the observation deck of the temple offers an excellent panoramic view of Berlin.
Palace of the late 17th century in the Baroque style, a gift from King Frederick I to his wife Sophia Charlotte of Hanover. After the construction was completed, it immediately began to be used as a royal residence. In front of the palace there is a park in the classical traditions of French and English landscape art. At first, the building was called Litzenburg, but after the death of the queen, it was renamed in her honor.
A 17th-century fortress on the outskirts of Berlin, built during the reign of Joachim II. At the beginning of the 20th century, weapons and ammunition were made on the territory of Spandau. In 1935, a secret Nazi laboratory was placed here, where they developed chemical weapons. The last secret warehouse was found in the 70s. Tourists were admitted to the territory in 1992, after the final "defrost" of the facility.
The building is located in the Tiergarten park. It is used as the residence of the President of Germany. During the German Empire, Bellevue belonged to the ruling family and was used as the summer palace of one of the princes. After the fall of the monarchy, he became the property of the state, in 1935 the Museum of Applied Arts was located on the territory. You can only get inside the building at certain times once a week.
The palace, standing on the site of an ancient fortress (presumably built by the Slavs). In the 16th century, Köpenick was a more modest building and was used as a hunting castle for Elector Joachim II. In the 17th century, the palace was expanded and a park was laid out on the adjacent territory. Nowadays, the building houses the Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts. Concerts are held in the square in front of the palace in summer.
red town hall
The Red Town Hall is the seat of the city government and the Berlin burgomaster. It is a Neo-Renaissance building with elements of the Neo-Gothic style of the late 19th century. As a result of the bombing of Berlin in 1945, the building was badly damaged, and a long restoration was required. Interestingly, the ceremonial halls of the town hall can be rented for private events.
Six-storey store of the beginning of the 20th century. As his permanent slogan, he uses the call “Come, look, be surprised!”. Despite its rather advanced age, the department store offers the best service and a wide variety of goods in almost all price categories. In terms of significance and prestige for the Germans, it can be compared with London's Harrods. In Ka-De-Ve it is impossible to stumble upon a fake or buy a low-quality item.
The square where Kaiser Wilhelm III received Emperor Alexander I at the beginning of the 19th century. The place was named after the Russian monarch. On the square there is a city hall, a modern TV tower, a fountain of Friendship of Peoples. Until the 17th century, there was a cattle market and a place for the execution of criminals. The houses surrounding the square were mainly inhabited by butchers, cattlemen, merchants, and shepherds. In the XVIII century, the list of permanent residents was replenished with artisans and petty bourgeois.
Parade ground in the Tiergarten area on the site of the destroyed Potsdam Gate. Before the bombing of World War II, a well-maintained quarter adjoined the square - a popular place for leisure and recreation for Berliners. Everything was destroyed and turned into ruins, nothing of the historical buildings survived. Today, modern high-rise buildings rise around the square, where the offices of large corporations are located.
One of the most beautiful squares in Berlin. The main architectural ensemble consists of three buildings: the German and French cathedrals and a concert hall located in the middle. All three buildings are designed in tones of strict classical style. In December, a Christmas tree is set up on the Gendarmenmarkt and a fair begins to operate. Festive lights are lit on the facades of cathedrals and the Concert Hall.
Berlin State Opera
The very first opera house was built in the middle of the 18th century. During the Second World War, it was destroyed twice - during the bombing of 1941 and 1945. Restoration work was carried out until 1955. The renewed opera stage opened with a production of Die Meistersinger Nuremberg, the immortal work of the German musical genius Richard Wagner.
Madame Tussauds museum
Berlin branch of Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Located on the boulevard Unten der Linden. Here you can see copies of Otto von Bismarck, A. Einstein, Ludwig Beethoven, K. Marx. Of the more modern exhibits - Angela Merkel, Johnny Depp, Rihanna, Madonna and many other famous characters. Particular attention is drawn to the figure of Hitler behind the glass wall. The sinister Fuhrer is depicted at the moment of making the decision to commit suicide.
Berlin's large Museum Quarter, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Five museums are located here: the Old National Gallery, the Bode Museum, the Old and New Museums, and the Pergamon Museum. Extensive expositions tell about history from primitive times to the present day, hundreds of paintings by masters from different countries, schools and periods are exhibited in numerous art galleries.
Topography of terror
Memorial complex dedicated to the victims of the Nazi regime. It is located on the territory where the headquarters of the SS and SD were located. The complex is a whole group of expositions, memorials, open-air exhibitions, preserved administrative buildings of the Third Reich, cellars and barracks. The Topography of Terror began work in 1987. The total exposition area is more than 800 m².
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Monument in honor of the Jews killed by the Nazis. The memorial complex has a rather interesting and unusual architectural solution that accurately conveys the atmosphere of horror that reigned in Germany after Hitler came to power. The memorial consists of several rows of nameless gray tombstones of various sizes. They seem to form a labyrinth and symbolize death and hopelessness.
Germany's main memorial dedicated to all victims of war and tyranny. It is a sculpture of a mother with a murdered son in her arms. Neue Wahe appeared at the beginning of the 19th century and, according to the idea of the king, was supposed to serve as a monument to those killed in the Napoleonic wars. In those years and until the end of the 20th century, it was a guardhouse with an honorary guard. The sculpture was installed in 1993 on the initiative of Chancellor G. Kohl.
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
Temple of the late 19th century, built in honor of the first Kaiser of the united German Empire, Wilhelm I. The building was badly damaged by bombing, only part of the western tower remained of it. In the 60s. a modern building was erected near the tower. It was assumed that the new building would form a harmonious ensemble with the remains of the church. Inside it is a 4.6-meter figure of Christ.
Church of St. Nicholas
The oldest church in Berlin. It is believed that it appeared in the XIII century. Services were held here until 1938. As a result of the destruction during the war, only the outer walls remained of the church. After restoration in 1981, the building began to be used as a concert hall and as a platform for exhibitions. The construction is a building in a typical "Protestant" style with laconic forms and sharp spiers of towers.
Church of St. Mary
An old functioning Lutheran church not far from the Berlin TV tower. The history of the church began in the XIII century, since then it has repeatedly burned and rebuilt. Like many historical buildings, St. Mary's Church was rebuilt after the war in the 60s and 70s. XX century. Inside the temple there is an organ, which I.S. himself played. Bach. On Sundays, during the service, you can enjoy the performance of the church choir.
Jewish temple of the middle of the XIX century. Surprisingly, the Wehrmacht authorities did not destroy it, but simply closed it in 1940, and the premises were adapted for storage. The synagogue also survived the bombardments, although it was significantly damaged. After the war, the temple was decided not to be restored, since almost all Jews - potential parishioners were killed under Hitler. The building was demolished in 1958, leaving only the facade. After the unification of Germany, the synagogue was restored.
An iconic and iconic place on Friedrichstrasse, a symbol of confrontation between two irreconcilable enemies of the Cold War - the USSR and the USA. After the division of Germany, the border passed here and a military checkpoint was organized. It was at Checkpoint Charlie that the tank confrontation took place during the Berlin crisis of 1958-1962, during which the world came close to nuclear war.
Berlin TV tower
The TV tower is over 360 meters high. Builds in fourth place among the tallest TV towers in Europe. Started working in 1969. In sunny weather, the shape of a cross is reflected on the ball crowning the structure (probably from a nearby church). This fact is associated with the speculation that the architect was interrogated in the relevant authorities, allegedly for the deliberate design of the cross.
Zoological garden in the Tiergarten area with a total area of 25 hectares. 1500 species of animals are represented here (15 thousand individuals in total). The zoo was opened in the middle of the 19th century for the Prussian King Wilhelm IV. Gradually, access was allowed to mere mortals. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Berlin Zoo was considered one of the most advanced and modern zoological gardens. During the war, a bomb hit the territory, and out of almost 4,000 animals, only about a hundred survived.
A park on the banks of the Spree River, where there is a large memorial complex in honor of the Soviet soldiers-liberators. The central monument of the park is an 8-meter figure of a soldier with a sword and a little girl in her arms. The Alley of Sarcophagi leads to the statue, where the remains of several thousand soldiers lie in five mass graves. Parts of the Reichstag façade were used to make the alley slabs.
The garden was laid out in the 19th century and at first served as a recreation area. Over time, it became a research center. At the moment, several thousand plants grow here, among which there are many exotic and not typical specimens for these latitudes. There are several greenhouses in the Botanical Garden, where a rich variety of exotic flowers, cacti, ferns and other species are presented.
Boulevard Unter den Linden
One of the most famous streets in Berlin, the local "Broadway" and the center of the fashionable life of the capital. Famous city sights are located along the boulevard. Unter den Linden starts at the palace square and leads to the Brandenburg Gate. Back in the 18th century, the boulevard became the hallmark of Prussia. The local nobility liked to arrange evening promenades along the picturesque linden alleys.
Greater Tiergarten Park
A green oasis in the city center where you can admire nature and enjoy the tranquility. There are dozens of paths, well-groomed alleys, cozy pavilions and benches in the Tiergarten. In the center of the park stands the grandiose Triumphal Column, which symbolizes the might of the German nation. In the summertime, on the numerous lawns, people sunbathe or simply relax in the generous shade of the trees.