Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Berlin: Alexanderplatz and Museuminsel

A few days ago as I was scrolling through Facebook noticing all of the places that my friends were currently traveling, I thought "why don't I ever get to do anything like that?"  Then I realized that I was sitting in a flat in Berlin, and that within the last week I had traveled to Wittenberg, Nuremberg, Linz, Vienna, Brno and Prague among others.  Seriously? I had the "why don't I ever get to do anything like that?" thought?

Maybe it was the sandy beaches, oceans and warm weather in the photos that I was looking at that made me a bit jealous, but alas, I'm back home in Jupiter, FL (and I have no reason to EVER be jealous of anyone who has to drive more than 10 minutes to get to the beach).

My husband has been working in Berlin for two months so he was ready to take me out to see the sites of the city as soon as I arrived.  I, however, needed a nap after getting basically zero sleep on the plane. After my nap, we headed out to Alexanderplatz (note that the photos I will be posting were taken over several days).  This post, and the ones to follow, is a diversion from my normal posts, but I feel like this is the best way to share my photos.

Alexanderplatz is located in the central Mitte district of Berlin.  According to Wikipedia, the Fernsehturm (TV tower) is the second tallest structure in Europe.

Looking towards Alexanderplatz from the old City Hall Building
The Fernsehturm (taken from Klosterstrasse)
Notice the crane on the left in the first photo (above).  The cranes became a theme of our trip because so much of the area is under construction, not only in Berlin but throughout Germany, Austria and The Czech Republic.  Cranes are often a large part of the skyline.  Because of the war and the many political changes overtime in Berlin, much of the city was destroyed and is currently in a phase of rebuilding.  The Berlin Palace, originally built in the 15th century, was demolished in the 1950's after being heavily damaged in WWII.  It is currently being rebuilt.  The Berliner Schloss is expected to be completed within the decade.  The photos below show the construction on the Berliner Schloss with the Berliner Dom in the background.

Berliner Dom
I found the above photo of the Berliner Dom to be kind of funny (note that the crane is actually in front of the dome, not touching it).

Construction on the Berliner Palace in the Foreground
In the next photo, more construction next to the palace.  Also notice the above ground water pipes that can be seen throughout some areas of Berlin.

Construction is a Common Sight in Berlin
Continuing onto Museum Island.

Exhibit: Resistance and The Public Sphere
The exhibit shown in the photo on the left, Resistance and The Public Sphere, can be found in the Lustgarten in front of the Altes Museum.  The Lustgarten was often the site of public demonstrations and speeches.  This exhibit explains many of the demonstrations held in the Lustgarten from 1933-1945, including: The Attack on Propaganda, Jewish Resistance, The Red Opera, The Boycott of Jewish Businesses, the demonstration of unity between the social democrats and communists which was itself an act of resistance, censorship and Prestige through Culture.
Interior of St. Mary's Church

Europe is home to many beautiful, old churches.  This is the interior of St. Mary's Church on Neptunbrunnen Plaza.  St. Mary's Church is believed to have been built in the 13th Century.  Buildings that old don't exist in America, and it's amazing to see the detail in the old churches.


The Neptunbrunnen was built in 1891 and was originally in the Schlossplatz at the Former Berliner Stadtschloss (Berlin City Palace).  In the center is the Roman god Neptune.  The four women surrounding him represent the four main rivers of Prussia.

The Neptunbrunnen was removed from it's original home when the Stadtschloss was demolished in 1951 and was placed in it's new home in 1969, after being restored.

Berlin Bears, like the one in the photo below can be found throughout the city.

Berlin Bear
The Fountain of International Friendship was part of the remodeling process in Berlin and was dedicated in 1970.  It was created by artists belonging to Walter Womacka and is listed as a protected historical site, though I had trouble finding information on its significance.

The Fountain of Friendship

Somedays, The Fountain of International Friendship is surrounded by merchants, mostly from Africa and the Caribbean Islands trying to sell items to the many tourists in the area.
Look for more posts to come.  I have many more photos to share!

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