When you hear the word ‘Berlin’, what do you immediately think about? If you are like most people, the first thought that may come to mind is the Berlin Wall. However, if that is the only landmark you see while you are on break in Berlin, you will certainly miss out on a lot.
With that being said, there are many other attractions and landmarks you must take the time to visit while you are on break. These include:
- Berlin Wall
- Brandenburg Gate
- Berlin Island
- Berlin Zoological Garden
- German Historical Museum
So, grab your Berlin city guide and start exploring this historical and interesting city!
This wall was constructed in 1961 and it divided the city into West Berlin and East Berlin. It even caused division among families who lived on opposite sides of the wall. Between 1961 and 1989 more than 5,000 people attempted to escape through the wall or over it, and unfortunately, over 100 people lost their lives in the process.
Barriers and barbed wire stretched over 95 miles, surrounding the western sections. 27 miles of barrier also divided the west and the east. President Kennedy gave his speech in 1963 calling for the wall to be torn down, and President Reagan also challenged President Gorbachev to tear the wall down. What was the result of those speeches? Only a little part of the wall still remains and it serves as a memorial.
One of the landmarks that should be on your ‘to see’ list whilst in Berlin is the Brandenburg Gate. This gate was built in the 1700s and it was at one time the main gate to the city. However, today the gate is an iconic historical landmark in Germany, and a reminder that Berlin stood strong as it fought to maintain its independence.
The Reichstag was built in 1894, and was the home of the government (Diet) until 1933. It was damaged by fire the same year. After the building fell into disrepair, the East German government (Volkskammer) decided to hold meetings in East Berlin, whilst the Western German government, or Bundestag, held meetings in Bonn. After both sides reunited, the Reichstag was rebuilt in 1999. It is now the location of the reunited government, known as Bundestag.
This is the location of the five top Berlin museums. The Old Museum, or the Altes Museum, features artefacts that are from the Roman and Greek period. The New Museum, the Neues Museum, features papyrus and artefacts from the Egyptian period.
The Bode Museum features coins, medals and art from the Byzantine period, whilst the Pergamon Museum houses Greek and Roman pottery, sculpture and art.
Do not forget to add the Old National Gallery (the Alte Nationalgalerie) to your list of museums to visit during your break. It houses works of early Modernism, Classicism, Impressionism and Romanticism.
To truly appreciate everything that Berlin has to offer, you should allow several days to fully explore the city and take in the sights, sounds and history of the city.