CELEBRATING GERMAN UNITY
Berlin fêtes the milestone 25th anniversary of a nation reunited.
In 1990, one year after the Wall fell, Germany was officially reunited. When East once again merged with West, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) ceased to exist and the reunited country embarked upon a new chapter in its history. The event is commemorated each year on 3 October, officially known as German Unity Day ( Tag der deutschen Einheit), and with 2015 marking the 25th anniversary, the whole country — and the capital city in particular — is planning a celebration befitting the occasion.
For the main festivities, head to the party mile stretching along Straße der 17. Juni, beginning at the Brandenburg Gate (p. 36), for a family-friendly street festival featuring live entertainment, beer gardens, and Deutschland delicacies. Fairground attractions, including a ferris wheel with sweeping views of Tiergarten park, keep the kids entertained, while adults can toast unity with a Berliner
Weisse, a regional variation of northern white beer, often flavored with raspberry or woodruff syrup. But for many revelers, the best is the Wurst, whether that be Bratwurst, Weißwurst, or Berlin’s ubiquitous Currywurst, which is so popular it has its own museum (p. 39).
For a more low-key occasion honoring the black, red, and gold (the colors of the German flag), attend a special concert at the neo-Renaissance Berlin Cathedral (p. 36), known for its perfect acoustics and 7200-pipe organ, or a performance by actor Klaus Maria Brandauer at the Konzerthaus (p. 54). As an educational option, you can learn about everyday life in the reunited country at the exhibit Unification: German Society In The Transition at the Deutsches Historisches Museum (p. 41). A short train ride from city center, Rennbahn Hoppegarten (Goetheallee 1, www.hoppegarten.com) holds a celebratory horse race at which the winner will receive the Westminster Award of German Unity. Or you can do as many Germans do and simply enjoy the holiday with a barbecue or picnic in one of Berlin’s many parks.