Berlin

This was the most serious place we have been so far in Europe. I really wanted to see how the capital of Germany was recovering after the many years of trauma it has endured. The city is an interesting mix of booming growth and re-birth and solemn and stark reminders of the past. There were still many buildings with bullet impacts visible and we also found a small section of the Wall just above a Nazi torture museum. The old bombed-out Church that is pictured is the 'Kaiser Wilhelm Gedachtnis Kirche" or the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. It was built in 1895, but was bombed in 1943 during WWII. After the war, it was left a a memorial and a new, much more modern church was built next to it. Berlin goes to great pains not to forget its past, but it isn't stuck their either. The new construction is everywhere and the renovation to old landmarks is happening at great speed. The Reichstag renovation is remarkable and the Brandenburger Tor was completely covered up for renovation. The weather there was a bit overcast and foggy for the most part which helped with the mystic. There is a strong Russian presence there and it doesn't take too much imagination to recognize which sections of the city were under Soviet rule. Heidi has a cousin that was present at the destruction of the Wall and it feels like it is a city that has been fighting for survival for a long time.

 

We also toured Potsdam to see the Sanssouci castle and the Neues Palais in the Sanssouci park constructed by Friedrich II. This was one of the few areas in Potsdam that was spared bombing in WWII so it is still intact. The grounds are amazing and I wish we could see them in Summer.

 

If you ever have the chance to tour Berlin, I highly recommend it. It is an amazing city and is one of the most historical cities from the Twentieth Century.

 

The photos are roughly in chronological order. Enjoy!