Saturday, 28 April 2012

Berlin: Amazing Architecture

I will wrap up the Berlin posts with more examples of the amazing architecture in that city.  Often the buildings look unexciting on the outside but could be quite spectacular on the inside.

Buildings near Potsdamer Platz (Sony building in the distance)

Who would have thought the inside of the Deutscher Dom you see above would look like
this (below) -

The traditional-looking St. Hedwigs Kathedrale - the Catholic Church of Berlin
The unconventional interior with a horizontal crucifix (the 18th century church was completely gutted during the war)

the contemporary cupola

the magnificent organ

The German Historical Museum in a stunning I. M. Pei building

The Pei building from a different angle

Liebeskind's Jewish Museum, awe-inspiring on the outside, echoed on the inside

Sloped hallways  and ceilings
Holocaust Tower with no light other than a slit in the wall evoked strong feelings

It's a very powerful, emotive building - difficult to walk out untouched

The Garden of Exiles - there was no escape even when you're outside

The beautiful cupola of the Martin Gropius Bau Museum

The acoustically perfect Berlin Philharmonic Hall -
and on that harmonious note, we reached the end of my Berlin posts.  Thank you for coming along with me!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Berlin: The Wall

There seems to be bits and pieces of the Berlin Wall all over Berlin, in places, cobblestones traced the actual wall on the street.  The longest section in the East Side Gallery had been painted over with some very expressive graffiti images which you can see below.  But the section in Bernauer Strasse, which was only a short walk from our apartment, was the most fearsome.  You can climb up a tower to see the two parallel walls and the no man's land in between.  The site has a memorial chapel and a museum with some very touching and thought-provoking exhibits.  Definitely worth a visit.

Cobblestones mark the wall on Berlin streets

The longest stretch of the wall at the East Side Gallery

My favourite
Here's the section on Bernauer  Strasse with the tower in the distnace
Sculpture on the grounds of the Bernauer Strasse Wall Memorial
Chapel of Reconciliation built on the grounds of the former Church of Reconciliation, which was destroyed in 1985 because of its awkward location between the walls - 5 years later, the Berlin wall came down
The new chapel with its double walls 
A section of the wall just in front of the Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum, itself a historical monument.  I was very lucky to catch the Hannes Kilian photography exhibit when I was there.

The iconic Frulingstanz

The sign at Checkpoint Charlie

Monday, 16 April 2012

Berlin: Potsdam, the Sans Souci palaces

We spent a day at the Sans Souci palaces in Potsdam, a 20 minute train ride away from the Berlin City Centre.  The three main palaces were the Sans Souci, the New Palace and the Orangery.  I wish I were less rusty and more confident on a bike - really the best way to see the parks and palaces with the bike rentals just outside the train station.  Instead we had to opt for the double-decker tourist bus.

Old town Potsdam

A building in the New Palace complex

The formal gardens
The garden in the Sans Souci palace

This was a summer palace - all on one floor

Looks familiar?  The same sculpture was also in the Altes Museum in Berlin

The Tudor style Cecilienhof Palace, for the Crown Prince and Princess Cecilie
The grounds of Cecilienhof

The tower of the Church of Peace on the edge of the Sans Souci park

The beautiful proportioned grounds around the church - built by the artistically gifted King Frederick William IV - no wonder, it's my favourite structure in the entire palace grounds

These lovely cloisters surround the church and end in a gorgeous tiered portal
The exquisite marble fountain in an arcade on the Church grounds
One of the less gaudy part of the Chinese Tea Garden

The lush gardens around Sans Souci - this was a great day trip!

Next post: the Berlin Wall