The City captures your heart, history and modernism rolled up into one City that fights its way back from each crisis.
I spent Saturday afternoon wandering again - this time to Museum Insel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to some of Berlin's most famous museums - 5 of them built between 1824 and 1930 and since reunification, going through renovation and extension. Then I walked to the Neue Synagogue, desecrated by the Nazis on Kristallanacht and bombed in 1943, and reconstructed in 1995, although only the front and the dome remain as before. Then it was along Unter Den Linden (Under the Lime Trees - a great name for a street) to the Reichstag, the seat of the German government, where power returned after reunification. The renovation includes the glass dome over the plenary designed by Sir Norman Foster , one of Britain's most famous architects, and now offering views over the City.
The area around the Reichstag and the nearby Brandenburg Gate was no-mans land throughout the period of the wall and since that time a wide range of government buildings have been built to cope with the return to Berlin of the German government from Bonn after reunification. These are varied and many, running alongside the banks of the River Spree, and occasionally interspersed with little white crosses representing people who died trying to escape across the wall.
Then it was on to Potsdammer Platz, developed on no-mans land, including the Bahn building, the Kollhoff Tower and the Sony Centre and home to the 58th Berlin Film Festival, Berlinale.
OK - you may realise that I didn't take this picture this visit, but in 2006, the picture, does however, show off the platz in it's best light.
Left to Right
1. Charlottenburg Schloss
2. Sony Centre, Potsdammer Platz
3. Neue Synagogue
4. Government buildings, memorial crosses
7. Sir Norman Foster's glass dome on the Reichstag
8. More government buildings