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Where Berlin - - SIGHTSEEING -

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 con­certs ring daily at noon and 6pm and the build­ing now hosts con­certs and in­ter­cul­tural events. Open daily 10am–7pm. € prices vary. www.hkw.de. John- Foster- DullesAllee 10. T: 030.397870. U Bun­destag. D3

Kaiser-Wil­helm-Gedächt­niskirche

This church’s bombed- out bell tower has been an anti-war me­mo­rial and a sym­bol of West Ber­lin ever since its ru­ins were re­stored to their present state in 1957. The old church now hosts an ex­hi­bi­tion of be­fore-and-af­ter pho­tos doc­u­ment­ing its for­mer splen­dor and show­ing the Ku’damm be­fore the bombs. Look up to ad­mire what is left of the old mo­saic. Open daily from 9am to 6pm. www.gedaecht­niskirche- ber­lin.de. Bre­itschei­d­platz. T: 030.2185023. U Zool­o­gis­cher Garten, Kur­fürs­ten­damm. C4

New Sy­n­a­gogue

MUST SEE Be­fore the war, this Moor­ish- Byzan­tinestyle sy­n­a­gogue was Ber­lin’s largest Jewish place of wor­ship. The sy­n­a­gogue was se­ri­ously dam­aged dur­ing the in­fa­mous Kristall­nacht pogroms in 1938, while Al­lied bombs gave it the coup de grace in 1943. The ex­otic gold dome is to­day the icon of Ber­lin’s Jewish re­birth, and the par­tially re­con­structed build­ing now houses a Jewish cen­ter and a mu­seum. Mu­seum: €3.50/3. Dome € 2/1.50. Un­der- 6s free. www.cju­daicum.de. Oranien­burg­er­str. 28-30. T: 030.88028300. S Oranien­burg­er­straße, Hack­escher Markt. E2

Niko­laivier­tel and Knoblauch­haus

This is where Ber­lin was born. The area still re­tains its an­cient char­ac­ter although most of the build­ings in the nar­row me­dieval al­leys are repli­cas of the de­stroyed orig­i­nals, many of which dated back to the 1200s. The late- Gothic Niko­laikirche is Ber­lin’s old­est sur­viv­ing build­ing and is now a mu­seum. Other points of in­ter­est in­clude the Ephraim Palais Mu­seum and the Bie­der­meier- style Knoblauch­haus, a 19th­cen­tury mid­dle- class townhouse that es­caped WWII dam­age. Knoblauch Haus: Open Tue–Sun 10am– 6pm. www.knoblauch­haus.de. Post­str. 23. T: 030.240020171. S+U Alexan­der­platz. F3

Panorama­punkt am Pots­damer Platz

A 100-m-high plat­form of­fer­ing one of the best views in Ber­lin. The el­e­va­tor takes you to the top in 20 sec­onds, and there’s a café where vis­i­tors can en­joy drinks and cake with the city’s sky­line as a back­drop. Open daily 10am–7:30pm (un­til 6pm Nov– Mar). €6.50/5. www.panorama­punkt.de. Kol­hoff Tower, Pots­damer Platz 1. S Pots­damer Platz. D3

Phil­har­monie

MUST SEE The seat of the world-fa­mous Ber­liner Phil­har­moniker orches­tra is one of Ger­many’s finest post-war ar­chi­tec­ture achieve­ments. The ex­te­ri­ors slightly re­call a cir­cus tent, while the pen­tag­o­nal con­cert hall is ar­ranged with a cen­tral podium for the orches­tra and gal­leries for the au­di­ence around the five sides. See En­ter­tain­ment sec­tion for full pro­gram. Guided tours of­fered daily at 1:30pm. € 5/3. www.ber­liner- phil­har­moniker.de. Her­bert-von- Kara­jan-Str. 1. T: 030.254888156. S+U Pots­damer Platz, U Men­delssohn Bartholdy Park. D3

Pots­damer Platz and Sony Cen­ter

Be­fore the war, Pots­damer Platz was the city’s beat­ing heart, with depart­ment stores, banks, in­ter­na­tion­ally known the­aters, dance halls, and cafés. WWII bombs oblit­er­ated 80% of the square, which was left in limbo for a few years and then en­closed in an empty and des­o­late no man’s land be­tween the Wall and barbed wire fences. The square came back to life in the 1990s and the new Pots­damer Platz is a mod­ern rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of the orig­i­nal. Di­vided in three slices, it in­cludes the Sony build­ing with its cen­tral plaza, the Daim­ler City, home to a large shop­ping mall, and the Man­hat­tan- style Beisheim Cen­ter build­ing. S+U Pots­damer D3

Re­ich­stag and Foster’s Glass Cupola

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.

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