MA­JOR SIGHTS

Where Berlin - - SIGHTSEEING -

The “Alex” TV Tower

The 368m- (1027ft)- 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 atop houses a re­volv­ing restau­rant and café as well as a view­ing plat­form. The el­e­va­tor ride lasts 40 sec­onds. Ar­rive early to avoid lines. Daily 9am– mid­night (Nov– Feb from 10am). €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 7200- pipe or­gan, the Dom is also an im­por­tant con­cert venue. Mon– Sat 9am– 8pm, Sun 9am– 8pm (win­ter un­til 7pm). € 7/5. www.berlin­er­dom.de. Am Lust­garten. T: 030.20269119. S Hack­escher Markt. E3/F3

Bran­den­burg Gate

MUST SEE The de­fin­i­tive Berlin icon, 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. For­merly be­hind GDR bor­ders, to­day the gate acts mainly as 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, added in later years, that en­close a court­yard. The picturesque park sur­round­ing the cas­tle in­cludes a for­mal French-style gar­den, English gar­den with pond and stat­ues, belvedere, and mau­soleum. The cas­tle hosts tem­po­rary art and history ex­hi­bi­tions. Tue–Sun 10am– 6pm (win­ter un­til 5pm). €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 pro­vides an ex­am­ple of early-19th- cen­tury Ger­man Se­ces­sion­ist style. The first court­yard is en­tirely dec­o­rated with glazed blue-and-white tiles in geo­met­ric de­signs, while the apart­ment build­ings and nar­row, maze-like al­leys lined with cafés, shops, and the­aters give the Höfe an at­mos­phere both fa­mil­iar and fas­ci­nat­ing. Rosen­thaler Str. 4041. S Hack­escher Markt. E2/F2

Haus der Kul­turen der Welt

Dubbed the “preg­nant oys­ter” by lo­cals due to its curvy shape, the build­ing that is now home to the House of the Cul­tures of the World was orig­i­nally built as a congress hall in 1956 but 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. Daily 10am–7pm. Prices vary. www.hkw.de. John- Foster- Dulles-Allee 10. T: 030.397870. U Bun­destag. D3

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