Where Berlin - - THE GUIDE -

MUST SEE In the last 100 years, the mas­sive neo- Re­nais­sance build­ing, now the seat of Ger­man Par­lia­ment, has been bombed, set on fire, wrapped by artist Christo, and ren­o­vated by Lord Nor­man Foster. Climb the glass cupola for a 360- de­gree view of the city, then gaze down at par­lia­ment in ses­sion. The ple­nary hall can be vis­ited only on guided tours. Cupola: Daily 8am– mid­night by ap­point­ment only. Free. Reg­is­ter on web­site; it is rec­om­mended to do so at least three days prior to your visit. Au­dio tours avail­able. 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, in the middle of Tier­garten park, com­mem­o­rates vic­tory in the Prusso- Dan­ish war, while the an­gel on top was added af­ter two fur­ther war vic­to­ries against Aus­tria and France. Daily 9:30am– 6:30pm (week­ends un­til 7pm); win­ter 10am– 5pm (week­ends un­til 5:30pm). € 3/2. Großer Stern 1. T: 030.3912961. U Hansaplatz. C3/D3

Asisi’s Wall Panorama

Yade­gar Asisi cre­ated a panorama of di­vided Ber­lin, pre­sent­ing ev­ery­day life against the back­drop of the Wall on an imag­i­nary day in the 1980s. The artist's aim was to show how the pop­u­la­tion came to terms with the sit­u­a­tion, and the re­sult gives on­look­ers a glimpse of East Ger­man life. Daily 10am– 6pm. €10/4. www.asisi.de. Friedrich­str. 205. T: 0341.3555340. U Kochstraße. E3/E4

Ber­lin Wall Doc­u­men­ta­tion Cen­ter

Ber­lin’s best ex­am­ple of GDR- era Ne­o­re­al­ist ar­chi­tec­ture is a 90m- (295ft-) wide boule­vard built be­tween 1950 and 1960 to pro­vide hous­ing for thou­sands of res­i­dents and to act as a back­drop for mil­i­tary pa­rades. The street quickly be­came a source of na­tional pride for East Ger­many, due to its res­i­den­tial tower blocks in­spired by Moscow and by Stalin’s ideal style: na­tion­al­is­tic in form but so­cial­ist in con­tent. The boule­vard is an im­por­tant ar­chi­tec­tural show­case. U We­ber­wiese, Straus­berger Platz. F3/G3

Stasi Prison

Ber­lin is one of three fully

fledged city states of Ger­many, the other two be­ing Ham­burg

and Bre­men. MUST SEE Walk along one of the few sur­viv­ing stretches of the Ber­lin Wall in an area of the city where its im­pact was par­tic­u­larly dra­matic, then delve into its sto­ried his­tory at the doc­u­men­ta­tion cen­ter. Doc­u­ments and orig­i­nal ra­dio broad­casts from both East and West chron­i­cle one of Ger­many’s sad­dest his­tor­i­cal pe­ri­ods. Grounds and open-air ex­hi­bi­tion: 8am-10pm daily; doc­u­men­ta­tion cen­ter: Tue–Sun 10am– 6pm. Free. www.ber­liner-mauer- gedenkstaette.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 Soviet tanks faced each other on this spot. To­day, the cross­ing MUST SEE Ber­lin’s trib­ute to the vic­tims of the Holo­caust is as big as a soc­cer field and con­sists of 2711 tomb­stone-like slabs of equal size and vary­ing heights, placed on un­even ground to con­vey a sense of claus­tro­pho­bia and dis­ori­en­ta­tion. The un­der­ground in­for­ma­tion cen­ter 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


MUST SEE Be­tween 1945 and 1989, more than 20,000 peo­ple sus­pected of op­pos­ing the East Ger­man political sys­tem were ar­rested by the Stasi (se­cret po­lice) and brought to this cus­tody build­ing. In its first and dark­est years, the prison’s cel­lars, known as “the sub­ma­rine,” were used to in­flict psy­cho­log­i­cal tor­ture on the in­mates, while the rel­a­tively more hu­mane cells are on the up­per floors, next to a seem­ingly never- end­ing cor­ri­dor lined with in­ter­ro­ga­tion rooms. Tours in English on Wed, Sat, and Sun at 2:30pm in win­ter, daily at 11:30am and 2:30pm in sum­mer. €6/3. en.stiftung- hsh.de. Gensler­str. 66. T: 030.98608230. S Landsberger Allee, then Tram M5 to Freien­walder Str., then 10- minute walk. Off Map

To­pogra­phie des Ter­rors

MUST SEE On the site of the for­mer head­quar­ters of the SS and the Third Re­ich’s most im­por­tant of­fices, this per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tion re­counts the tragic his­tory of Nazi forced la­bor, fo­cus­ing on the cen­tral in­sti­tu­tions of the SS and Third Re­ich po­lice and the crimes they com­mit­ted through­out Europe. A pre­served seg­ment of the Ber­lin Wall runs along ex­hi­bi­tion grounds. Daily 10am– 8pm. Free. www.to­pogra­phie.de. Niederkirch­n­er­str. 8. T: 030.2545090. U Kochstraße, S+U Pots­damer Platz. E4

Trä­nen­palast (Palace of Tears)

Un­til 1990, the de­par­ture hall of the Friedrich­straße sta­tion was also a bor­der cross­ing

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