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Walking Through The Streets Of Berlin

Feb 27, 2008
Bearing marks on every corner of its history, both positive and negative, walking through the streets of Berlin is like walking through a time warp that enables you to catch a glimpse of all the periods seen, endured, suffered and celebrated by this wonderful, proud, cultured, and innovative city.

The city itself is a relatively new city which underwent very slow expansion until the early nineteenth century after which it experienced so many changes so quickly that within mere decades it became several times the city it once was.

Many of the greatest buildings were destroyed or damaged during the bombings of the second world war, but non-the-less enough remnants remain of the pre-war periods to marvel at its rich taste, grandiose culture, and proud heritage.

The palace at Charlottenberg is just such a building, a Baroque royal place in the north-western part of the city, originally the summer home of the wife of Fredrick III named Sophie Charlotte and for whom of course the palace was named.

The Berliner Dom situated in the centre of the city is one of the finest examples of Neo-Baroque architecture in the city. Originally a rather simple Baroque design constructed in the mid eighteenth century it underwent massive extension in 1905 including the addition of its 98m high copper dome. Today, it has actually been simplified somewhat following damage during the war.

Museum Island is exactly what it says it is: situated in the Spree River this is the place where the first settlement of Collin was established in the early thirteenth century. It was here that the Brandenburg Electors palace was built and where they resided from 1470 until it was converted first into a royal palace and then into the enormous Stadtschloss Imperial Palace.

The building was razed to the ground in 1950 but the island and many of its other buildings survived, including the Berliner Dom and the island is now home to Altes Musuem, Old National Gallery, The Royal Stables, The Bodemuseum, and the New Museum, amongst others.

In stark contrast to the classical architecture of the old city is the bustling and vibrant new city with all the innovation that came with it. Postdamer Platz is one of the best example of the later stages of development in this city. One of the busiest plazas in pre-war Germany, it was destroyed during the war and left as a rubble heap under the shadow of the Berlin Wall, that was until the city was reunified and the square was finally redeveloped with the aid of big business such as Sony and DaimlerChrysler. Today it enjoys once again its position as vibrant centre for business, commerce and entertainment with over 150 shops and a 19 screen cinema complex.

Finding holiday accommodation in Berlin is no problem, and virtually wherever you end up will be full of character and there will be plenty to see. Having said that, the centre of the city and the west side are still considered to be safer and more luxurious although with that comes a less genuine experience and in many ways a partial view only of the city. Hotels will vary from under 80 Euros a night to in excess of 250 Euros per night for a double room. Most will include breakfast, but vegetarians should be warned; meats and sausages are a staple of every meal.

Berlin is a city unique in many ways, because of its history, both for good and for bad. It in no way shirks its past and the Berliners that you meet are open to discussion and debate. The city itself has a life blood running though it that is infectious and unstoppable a truly wonderful destination.
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