MA­JOR SIGHTS

Where Berlin - - SIGHTSEEING -

The “Alex” TV Tower

The 368m(1,027 ft)- high TV tower of Alexan­der­platz can be seen from al­most any point in the city and has been iconic of Ber­lin ever since it was built by the GDR in 1969. The gi­ant steel- clad sphere houses a re­volv­ing restau­rant and café as well as a view­ing plat­form. The el­e­va­tor ride lasts 40 sec­onds. Get there early to avoid lines. Open from 9am– mid­night (from 10am Nov– Feb). €13/8.50. www.tv-turm.de. Panora­mastr. 1a. T: 030.24757537. S+U Alexan­der­platz. F3

Ber­liner Dom

The city’s neo- Re­nais­sance cathe­dral was be­gun in the late 1700s, fin­ished in 1905, and ren­o­vated in sim­pli­fied form af­ter WWII dam­age. Walk up 267 steps for glo­ri­ous views of the city from the dome, or stay on the ground floor to gaze at elab­o­rate sar­cophagi con­tain­ing the royal re­mains of Ho­hen­zollern fam­ily mem­bers. Thanks to the church’s per­fect acous­tics and a 7,200- pipe or­gan, the Ber­liner Dom is also an im­por­tant con­cert venue. Open Mon–Sun 9am- 8pm (un­til 7pm in win­ter). € 7/4. www.berlin­er­dom.de. Am Lust­garten. T: 030.20269119. S Hack­escher Markt. E3/F3

Bran­den­burg Gate

MUST SEE Ber­lin’s icon par ex­cel­lence. Got­thard Lang­hans’ neo­clas­si­cal tri­umphal arch has wit­nessed the city’s best and worst mo­ments, from the mil­i­tary pa­rades of the Third Re­ich to the Wall be­ing raised and torn down. Dur­ing the Iron Cur­tain years, it stood on the East side. To­day, it is mainly the back­drop for fes­ti­vals, New Year’s Eve par­ties, and tourist snapshots. U Bran­den­burger Tor. D3/E3

Char­lot­ten­burg Palace

The sum­mer home of So­phie Char­lotte, wife of King Friedrich I of Prus­sia, re­flects the grandeur of the Ho­hen­zollern fam­ily. Be­gun in 1695, the luxury Baroque com­plex con­sists of a main build­ing with a cen­tral cupola and two side wings that en­close a court­yard. The two ad­di­tional wings were added at a later stage. The pic­turesque park sur­round­ing the cas­tle in­cludes a for­mal French- style gar­den and an English gar­den with a pond, flower beds, and stat­ues. There is also a belvedere and a mau­soleum. To­day, the cas­tle hosts tem­po­rary art and his­tory ex­hi­bi­tions. Open Tue–Sun 10am– 6pm (un­til 5pm in win­ter). €12/8. www.spsg.de. Span­dauer Damm 20-24. T: 030.9694200. U So­phie- Char­lotte- Platz. A3

Hack­esche Höfe

An in­tri­cate se­ries of in­ter­con­nected court­yards pro­vid­ing a good ex­am­ple of early-19th- cen­tury Ger­man Se­ces­sion­ist style. The first court­yard is en­tirely dec­o­rated with glazed blue and white tiles in ge­o­met­ri­cal de­signs. The apart­ment build­ings and the small maze-like al­leys lined with cafés, shops and the­aters give the Höfe a familiar and fas­ci­nat­ing at­mos­phere. Rosen­thaler Str. 40- 41. S Hack­escher Markt. E2/F2

Haus der Kul­turen der Welt

Dubbed the “preg­nant oys­ter” by lo­cals be­cause of its curvy shape, the Haus der Kul­turen der Welt was built as a congress hall in 1956. The build­ing quickly be­came a sym­bol of west­ern free­dom and cre­ativ­ity, in con­trast to East Ger­man ar­chi­tec­tural projects of the time. Com­puter- guided chime

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