The TV Tower (Fernsehturm) on Alexanderplatz

26 09 2007

The TV Tower (Fernsehturm) on Alexanderplatz is, as mentioned before, enormous. It can be seen from virtually everywhere in Berlin, and actually, it’s a very good navigation mark. It was built in 1969, and is 365 meters high (so every schoolboy could remember its height, you see…). Apart from fulfilling the former GDR’s technical need for a separate broadcasting system, it became an architectural and political symbol.

The TV Tower on Alexanderplatz.

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Alexanderplatz

24 09 2007

Alexanderplatz (Alexander square) was once called Ochsenmarkt (ox market), but was named Alexanderplatz after a visit by the Russian Tsar Alexander in the beginning of the 19th century. Most of the buildings on the square were destroyed in WW2, and being in the center of East Berlin, the place was used as a showcase of Communist architecture. That means plain bulky buildings, and an enormous Television tower.

Part of Alexanderplatz from above.

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Berlin Must-Sees: Potsdamer Platz

18 09 2007

Before WW2, Potsdamer Platz was a very busy square, a central transportation hub, with numerous bars, cafés and cinemas. The place was badly damaged in the war, and after the war, it became a junction of the American, British and Soviet sectors, and was cut through by the Berlin Wall. So it became a no man’s land in the middle of the city.

After the Wall came done, the area around Potsdamer Platz became the biggest construction site in Europe. Between the years 1993 and 1998, a completely new quarter was built there, very modern, with high rise buildings and a lot of metallic décor. The square, together with several adjacent blocks, were redeveloped under the supervision of the architects Wilmer and Sattler.

Potsdamer Platz.

The DaimlerChrysler complex.

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Berlin Must-Sees: The Reichstag

30 08 2007

The Reichstag is the seat of the German Bundestag (federal government), near Brandenburg Gate at the west end of the Mitte quarter. It was constructed from 1884-1894 by the architect Paul Wallot. The inscription “Dem Deutschen Volke” was added in 1916, during WW1.

Dem Deutschen Volke.

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Berlin Must-Sees: Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral)

28 08 2007

The Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom) was the former court cathedral of Prussia’s royal family (the House of Hohenzollern), and was supposed to be the Protestant answer to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The Cathedral was build according to plans by the architects Julius Carl Raschdorff and Otto Raschdorff, between 1893 and 1905, and of course reconstructed after WW2 (from 1975 to 1993).
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Berlin must-sees: Around Bebelplatz

20 08 2007

Bebelplatz is surrounded by the State Opera (Staatoper), St. Hedwig’s cathedral and the Alte Bibliothek (the old library), and is located across the road from the Humboldt University.
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Berlin must-sees: Brandenburg Gate

4 08 2007

Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) is one of the most prominent “trademarks” of Berlin. Located at the west end of Mitte quarter it is the only remaining city gate, and also became a symbol of the division of the city, because it was situated in the “no-man’s land” just behind the wall (click on the images to enlarge).

Brandenburg Gate and bear. Brandenburg Gate ruins.

Brandenburg Gate Quadriga. Brandenburg gate at night.

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