We arrived here in Berlin a few days ago and headed out to explore the city. We walked just a few steps from our Airbnb to see the Berlin Wall Memorial. The Berlin Wall was a guarded concrete barrier that divided East Berlin from West Berlin from 1961 to 1989.
Last year William and I had seen parts of the Berlin Wall in my sister’s hometown of Fulton, MO. Fulton has a real connection with Winston Churchill so eight sections of the Berlin Wall were moved and reassembled here on the campus of West Minister College. They serve as a monument to the years when it was a very real division between communism and freedom. Now a work of art titled “Breakthrough,” the wall contains cutouts of two human forms.
Only a few sections of the wall remain here in the Memorial but all through Berlin you can see these brick pavers marking where the wall once stood.
When we first arrived in Berlin we both were always asking, “now are we in East or West Berlin.” After awhile though we realized that Berlin is not a divided city anymore but of course I had to take this snap shot standing in both East and West Germany at the same time.
Our next stop was to see the Brandenburg Gate. The gate was built in the late 1700’s under the orders of the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm II.
The Brandenburg Gate is modeled after the Greek Acropolis. Atop the gate is the Goddess of Peace in a chariot drawn by four horses.
Early the next morning we headed out to find “Check Point Charlie”. This is the actual place of the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East and West Berlin during the cold war but today these actors will pose for a picture for you for as little as 3 Euro.
Next we went in search of the Holocaust Memorial. I learned that the memorial was designed by an American and his aim was to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere. The Memorial has since taken on many different interpretations. For me I felt that the concrete gray slabs of different sizes, shapes, and slants made me think that although the murdered Jews were all one people, they were such different unique individuals and that those lives were lost for ever in a sea of dizziness. It was quite moving.
During our walk this morning we found this memorial to the Berlin Airlift.
Our last search for the day was to find The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. The tower of the church was the only part left standing after it was bombed and burned in 1943 during WWII. It was left in its ruined state as a reminder of the devastation of war.
When I walked inside I did not expect to see much but I certainly was surprised. It was full of gold and paintings like all the other European Churches we had visited except you could see cracks and missing tiles from the bombing and all the stained glass windows were empty.
Berlin is the capitol of Germany and as our host Philipe told us, it is 10 times bigger in size than Paris with about 1/3 as many people. After two days of touring around Berlin William and I decided to take a break and call it a night. Just across from this church was the “original currywrust stand” so we had to try this very local cuisine. It actually was very good. It was a very soft bratwurst covered with a curry flavored bbq like sauce.
Stay tuned for Berlin – Part Two posting soon.