HIS­TORIC SITES

Where Berlin - - SIGHTSEEING -

MUST SEE In the last 100 years, this mas­sive neo- Re­nais­sance build­ing has been set on fire, bombed, wrapped in pa­per by artist Christo, and ren­o­vated by Lord Nor­man Foster. It is now the seat of the Ger­man Par­lia­ment. Climb the mes­mer­iz­ing glass cupola and en­joy a breathtaking 360- de­gree-view of the city, then look down to watch the par­lia­men­tary pro­ceed­ings tak­ing place. The ple­nary hall can be vis­ited on guided tours only. Cupola: Open daily 8am– mid­night by ap­point­ment only. Reg­is­ter on web­site. Audio tours avail­able. € free. www.bun­destag.de. Platz der Repub­lik 1. T: 030.22732152. U Bun­destag. D3/E3

Siegessäule ( Vic­tory Col­umn)

The tri­umphal col­umn on the Straße der 17. Juni com­mem­o­rates vic­tory in the Prus­soDan­ish war, while the an­gel on top was added after two fur­ther war vic­to­ries against Aus­tria and France. The mon­u­ment orig­i­nally stood in front of the Re­ich­stag build­ing and was moved to its present lo­ca­tion in 1938. The ter­race of­fers great vis­tas. Open 9:30am– 6:30pm (un­til 7 on week­ends). Win­ter 10am– 5pm (un­til 5:30 on week­ends). € 3/2. Großer Stern 1. T: 030.3912961. U Hansaplatz. C3/D3

Asisi’s Wall Panorama

Artist Yade­gar Asisi cre­ated a panorama of di­vided Berlin pre­sent­ing every­day life against the back­drop of the Berlin Wall on an imag­i­nary day in the 1980s. His aim was to show how the pop­u­la­tion came to terms with the sit­u­a­tion and the cir­cum­stances, and the re­sult gives on­look­ers a very in­ter­est­ing glimpse of GDR life. Open daily 10am–7pm. €10/4. www.asisi.de. Friedrich­str. 205. T: 0341.3555340. U Kochstraße.

E3/E4 MUST SEE Walk along one of the few sur­viv­ing stretches of the Berlin Wall, then have all your ques­tions an­swered at the in­for­ma­tion cen­tre, of­fer­ing de­tailed ex­pla­na­tions on the Wall’s his­tory and pol­i­tics. Doc­u­ments, photographs, and orig­i­nal ra­dio broad­casts from the East and the West doc­u­ment one of Ger­many’s sad­dest his­tor­i­cal pe­ri­ods. Open Tue–Sun 9:30am–7pm (un­til 6pm Nov– Mar). € free. www.ber­liner-mauerge­denkstaette.de. Bernauer Str. 111. T: 030.467986666. U Bernauer Straße. E2

Check­point Charlie

Dur­ing the Cold War, Check­point Charlie was the main gate­way be­tween East and West. Shortly after the Wall went up, US and USSR tanks faced each other on this spot. To­day, this Cold War sym­bol is mainly the back­drop for tourist photographs. U Kochstraße, U Stadt­mitte. E3/E4

DID YOU KNOW? The Re­ich­stag was com­pletely wrapped by artist Christo in

1995.

Gleis 17

East Side Gallery

While West Ber­lin­ers loved to ex­press their cre­ativ­ity by draw­ing graf­fiti and paint­ing on the Wall, East Ber­lin­ers were never al­lowed to use the di­vid­ing struc­ture as their can­vas. To make up for all the art­less years, artists from 21 coun­tries were called upon in 1990 to dec­o­rate one mile of the east­ern seg­ment of the Berlin Wall with their work, cre­at­ing what is now known as the East Side Gallery. Müh­len­str. S+U Warschauer Straße, S Ost­bahn­hof. G4 Be­tween 1941 and 1945, 50,000 Berlin Jews were packed into the freight and cat­tle cars of 186 trains leav­ing from Track 17 of the Grunewald Sta­tion, des­tined for the con­cen­tra­tion camps and ghet­tos of Auschwitz, There­sien­stadt, Riga, and Lodz. The track is no longer in use, and a plaque com­mem­o­rates the tragic events. The small square in front of the S- Bahn sta­tion also fea­tures sculp­tures and in­stal­la­tions ded­i­cated to the de­por­tees. S Grunewald. Off Map

Holo­caust Memo­rial

MUST SEE Berlin’s trib­ute to the vic­tims of the Shoah is as big as a soc­cer field and con­sists of 2711 tomb­stone-like slabs of equal size and vary­ing heights placed on an un­even ground to con­vey a sense of claus­tro­pho­bia and dis­ori­en­ta­tion. The un­der­ground in­for­ma­tion cen­tre pro­vides a time­line of Jewish per­se­cu­tion. Ac­ces­si­ble 24 hours a day. € free. www.holo­caust-mah­n­mal.de. Cora-Ber­liner Straße. T: 030.2639430. U Bran­den­burger Tor. E3

Karl-Marx-Allee

Berlin’s best ex­am­ple of GDR- era neo-re­al­ist ar­chi­tec­ture. Built be­tween 1950 and 1960, the 90-m-wide boule­vard was meant to pro­vide hous­ing for thou­sands of peo­ple and a back­drop for mil­i­tary pa­rades, and quickly be­came a source of na­tional pride for the GDR. The res­i­den­tial tower blocks were in­spired by Moscow and by Stalin’s ideal style, na­tion­al­is­tic in form but so­cial­ist in con­tent. The boule­vard is an im­por­tant ar­chi­tec­tural showcase. Karl- Marx-Allee. U We­ber­wiese, Straus­berger Platz. F3/G3

KPM Berlin

Once upon a time in Berlin, a Ger­man king bought a lo­cal porce­lain fac­tory, and Königliche Porzel­lanMan­u­fak­tur was born. To­day known as KPM Berlin for short, the company still makes ex­quis­ite, worl­drenowned porce­lain table­ware and dec­o­ra­tive goods. At its Tier­garten head­quar­ters, the old­est still- run­ning man­u­fac­tory in the city, vis­i­tors can take a tour, take a break in the café, and – of course – shop for beau­ti­ful hand- painted porce­lain.

www. where­trav­eler. com

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