Happy Travel Tuesday, everyone! Today I’m sharing a small overview of the third city I visited on my Germany trip, Berlin. I do not know where to even begin by sharing this trip. So. Much. History. And not just any history, but emotional history. Dominik and I didn’t even get to see half of Berlin it is so big! I don’t have a lot of pictures but this day trip was more reflective and moving than any of the other cities. When people ask me what Berlin is like, I say a mix of Miami and New York City with much more history!
The Holocaust Memorial was incredible in so many ways. So many emotions and thoughts going through my head as I read the history and just simply observed. I read that the lined up, uneven blocks of cement are to represent an orderly system that has lost touch with humanity. The entire monument is supposed to create a confusing and uneasy atmosphere, which I can attest too. One of Hitler’s bunkers is close to the monument, which is why it was placed here. This bunker is known as the administrative center of his killing machine.
The Brandenburg gate is known to be the most famous monument in Berlin. Built in the late 1700’s, it is the only gate still standing that was used to enter Berlin. This gate segregated East Berlin from West Berlin, along with the Berlin Wall, which was torn down in the 1980’s.
Soviet War Memorial
The Soviet War Memorial was built in the 1940’s to signify the end of the Soviet War and to represent the 80,000 soldiers who died in the Battle of Berlin.
The Bismarck Memorial is dedicated to Otto Von Bismarck, the Minister President of Prussia and the first chancellor of Germany. Below is what each statue represents:
- Atlas, showing Germany’s world power status at the end of the 19th century;
- Siegfried, forging a sword to show Germany’s strong industrial and military might;
- Germania pinning underfoot a panther, symbolizing the suppression of discord and rebellion;
- a sibyl reclining on a sphinx and reading the book of history.
Along with the Victory column, the Bismarck Memorial was moved to Berlin by Hitler in 1938, which could possibly be the reason it still stands today. What I found fascinating was on the back of the memorial, you could see bullet holes and markings that one could assume was from the war.
This building is most similar to a State’s capital – where the parliament gathers. It was originally built in the late 1800’s and was set on fire before (during?) WWII. It was slowly reconstructed and became the “capital” building again when Germany was reunified in 1990. From there, the building was fully restored from the damages. You can take a tour of the building and visit the glass dome on top to view the city. The Reichstag Building is the second most visited attraction in Berlin.
^^ The residence and office of the German Chancellor, across from the Reichstag Building
Berlin Victory Column
The Berlin Victory Column is a major monument in Berlin. It is a monument dedicated to the Prussian victory from the Danish-Prussian War. Why is this monument in Berlin then? Well, in 1939, the Nazis had the column reloacted to Berlin as they were in the transition of redesigning Berlin to Welthauptstadt Germania, World Capital Germania. This column is MASSIVE you guys. Beautiful and massive. and if it wasn’t for it’s relocation to Berlin, it would have most likely been destroyed during WWII.
The column is in the middle of a roundabout and can be accessed underground through 4 different tunnels, also constructed in the transition to Germania. You can actually climb to the top to overlook Berlin.
I’m pretty sure this is the first castle I saw. Ever. Doesn’t really look too much like a castle though! This is where the President of Germany lives! It is gorgeous to just stare at!
Berlin is a city that I could visit over and over again. Being the second most populous city in Europe and the largest in Germany, there is just so much to see! We also got to view the Berlin wall but unfortunately it was gated and I did not snap a picture. Have any of you ever visited Berlin?
Have a happy Tuesday!