The Spring 2004 Trip to Europe

Part 5 - Berlin

East Berlin from Berliner Dom
Our Berlin hotel was in the eastern part of the city, and this eastward look from the Berlin Cathedral shows some landmarks near Alexanderplatz.  The Red City Hall (because of the brick) and the twin towers of the Church of St. Nicholas date from around 1300.   Actually, the church was rebuilt in 1987; it was a victim of war damage.
Berliner Dom
The Berlin Cathedral is a lot younger than the Nikolaikirche.  It was completed in 1905, and its post-war reconstruction, completed in 1993, took 40 years.  It is a huge, baroque space, with an incredible number of stairs taking you up to the dome.
Neptune Fountain in Alexanderplatz
Back to Alexanderplatz, we see the Neo Baroque (1895) Neptune Fountain, with four figures symbolizing four of Germany's most important rivers.  The Marienkirche is in the background.
Marx Engels Forum
Adjacent to Alexander Plaza, we have the Marx Engels Forum.  These statues were completed in 1986. while the DDR stilled ruled this ground.
Check Point Charlie
One of the symbols of the two Berlins is Check Point Charlie.  This place played a huge role in the spy novels of both John LeCarre and Len Deighton.  The adjacent private museum is sort of eerie.
Line of Berlin Wall
The line in this picture marks the footprint of the Berlin Wall, passing immediately to the west of the Brandenburg Gate.  Sorry about the rain.
Brandenburg Gate
Now the Brandenburg Gate is open, connecting Unter den Linden with Strasse des 17 Juni, which runs through the Tiergarten.  The open gate is being used here by runners in a city marathon.  The runners from Kenya passed here a few minutes earlier.
The Reichstag has a short and hectic history.  It was completed in 1894, destroyed by arson in 1933, further damaged by bombing during WW2, and its reconstruction was not started until it was clear that the parliament of a reunited Germany would meet in Berlin.  The famous dome was completed in 1999.
Dome of Reichstag
One of the features of the dome is this arrangement of mirrors and windows that illuminate and ventilate the Plenary Hall, where the parliament has met since April, 1999.
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial
One piece of war damage that has been retained is the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, in the western city center, near the Zoo railroad station.  Rather than razing the remaining bits of the church, a new church was built beside it between 1957 and 1963.  This shot shows the new bell tower.
Temple of Zeus
When we were in Turkey, we visited the town of Pergamon.  Among the things missing was the altar to Zeus, dating to about 160 BC.  This is it, here in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
Gates of Babylon
Also in the Pergamon, we see the very impressive Ishtar Gate.  This was built in Babylon during the 6th century BC during the reign of King Nebuchadnezar.  The Pergamon Museum is an amazing place, and I guess it was more amazing before the Soviets took some of the goodies to Russia.
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