| The Reichstag Building
building in Germany has undergone quite as many political and structural
transformations as the Reichstag. The Reichstag has closely escaped
destruction many times during its 100 year history, and although
it has undergone some major transformations over the years (not
to mention the legendary "wrapping" of the the building in the summer
of 1995 by the artist Christo and his wife), it has never lost its
symbolic political meaning for the German people.
One year after reunification in 1991 the Bundestag decided that
Berlin should once again become the seat of German
government and having recently undergone extensive
restoration work (following the design of British architect Sir
Norman Foster) the building is now once again home of the German
Parliament (the Bundestag). The newly constructed metal glass dome
over the parliamentary chamber offers good rooftop views over the
city but an early start is highly recommended for those who don´t
Note: Families with babies, physically challenged
persons, and of course VIPs Do NOT have
to wait in line and should take the side entrance ramp
on the right of the entrance.
| Potsdamer Platz
10785 Berlin - Tiergarten | U2+S-Bahn Potsdamer
Historically the focal point of Berlin with its luxurious hotels and
restaurants, during the 1920's the Potsdamer Platz was the busiest
crossroads in Europe. Having suffered almost total destruction during
WWII, the Postdamer Platz was later to be divided in two by the Berlin
Wall . It is hard to believe that this bustling construction
site was for many years so spookily deserted. Many offices, homes,
shops and cultural institutes are currently under construction or
newly completed. These include the futuristic-looking steel and glass
architecture of the Sony Center (the company´s new European
headquarters), which houses offices, apartments and an urban entertainment
Nollendorfplatz , 10777 Berlin - Schöneberg | U2 Nollendorf
At the intersection of U-Bahn lines 1, 2 and 4 is Nollendorfplatz.
In the days of the Weimar Republic in the 20's and early 30's it was
the hub of the fashionable gay and lesbian community in Berlin. It
was in a room at Nollendorfstr. 17 that renowned pre-war author Christopher
Isherwood wrote of the city. The liberal environment in Berlin at
that time allowed people to be proud of their sexuality and this was
reflected in the number of gay cafés, nightclubs and brothels,
with theatre pieces and art often dealing with homosexual themes.
With the rise to power of the Nazis, the "undesirable" elements in
society were forced to categorise themselves with pink and black triangles.
Social ostracism was only the first step in a larger plan, and many
thousands were taken to concentration camps and, more often that not,
murdered. A red granite triangle plaque at Nollendorfplatz U-Bahnhof
commemorates the gay and lesbian victims of the Nazi era. Once again
the bustling centre of the gay scene, Nollendorfplatz is home to a
large number of gay cafés and bars with the recently renovated
Metropol Theater providing an impressive focal point.
| The Berlin Bears
Just over the grass from the Märkisches Museum is a walled-off-island-come-bear-pit
with a little house. This is the home of the city's official symbols,
the bears. Although not totally suicidal, the bears appear not to
have adjusted to the city lifestyle in which they have been imprisoned.
It's a sad sight to see and an even sadder one to walk away from.
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