Travel to Berlin
Day 2 Alexanderplatz, Unter den Linden, Reichstag
Alexanderplatz: We began our visit to the city on the eastern side, just in the Alexanderplatz square. Located in the center, is one of the most important transportation links in the city (with several stations of the lines S-Bahn, U-Bahn and tram). A tourist stands out for the communications tower, the church of Marienkirche, the Neptune Fountain and the Town Hall of Berlin. South of the square is the Marx and Engels Forum and near are Nikolai Quarter and the Berliner Dom cathedral, near the river Spree.
Alexanderplatz - Fernsehturm
The Fernsehturm is a television tower 368 meters tall. Inaugurated 3th October 1969, is the second tallest freestanding structure in Europe, after Moscow´s Ostankino Tower. There is rotating restaurant in the middle of the sphere. Just below the restaurant there is a visitor platform at a height of about 204 meters, and is accesible by two lifts that shuttle visitors up to the sphere. visibility can reach 42 km. on a clear day. Actually is one of the most visited places in Berlin with around a million visitors every year.
Alexanderplatz - Marienkirche and Neptune fountain
In this square we found the Neptune Neptune fountain (Neptunbrunnen), surrounded by four women that represent the four main rivers of Germany: Elbe, Rhine, Vistula, and Oder and animals as a crocodile and a turtle. A few meters from the source we found Marienkirche (St. Mary´s Church). It is one of the oldest churches in the city. The interior is Gothic but with a touch of baroque can be seen in the marble pulpit by Andreas Schlüter (1703) and the High Altar. Stresses on the left side of the entrance the frescoes depicting the famous Dance of the Dead of 1485.
Berliner Rathaus (Red city hall)
The Rotes Rathaus (German: Red Town Hall) is the town hall of Berlin. The name of the landmark building dates from the facade design with red clinker bricks. Was built between 1861 and 1869 in the style of the north Italian High Renaissance. The building was heavily damaged by Allied bombing in World War II and rebuilt to the original plans between 1951 and 1956. Then located in the Soviet sector, it served as the town hall of East Berlin, while the Rathaus Schöneberg was domicile of the West Berlin Senate.
Marx-Engels-Forum is a public park that lies on the eastern bank of the River Spree. It consists of a rectangular wooded park with a large, circular paved area in the centre. In the middle of this stands a sculpture by Engelhardt, consisting of larger-than-life bronze figures of Marx (sitting) and Engels (standing). Behind the statues is a relief wall showing scenes from the history of the German socialist movement. Founded about 1200, the Nikolaiviertel (Nikolai Quarter) is a reconstructed historical heart of the German capital Berlin. The Nikolaikirche (Saint Nicholas Church), Berlin´s oldest church, lies at the centre of the neighbourhood. Beside the Nikolaikirche, the best-known building of the quarter is the Ephraim-Palais, built in 1766. His Rococo facade became famous as Berlin´s "finest corner".
We will travel to the most imperial Berlin, the Gendarmenmarkt and the boulevard Unter den Linden. The Gendarmenmarkt is a square and the site of the Konzerthaus and the French and German Cathedrals. The French Cathedral (Französischer Dom) the older of the two cathedrals was built by the Huguenot community between 1701 and 1705. It houses the Huguenot museum. The German Cathedral (Deutscher Dom) is located in the south of the square. It has a pentagonal structure and was built in 1708 and since 1996 houses the museum of German history. The centre of the Gendarmenmarkt is crowned by a statue of Germany´s poet Friedrich Schiller. The Konzerthaus Berlin was built by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in 1821. It was based on the ruins of the National Theatre, which was destroyed by fire in 1817. Parts of the building contain columns and some outside walls from the destroyed National Theatre. Behind German cathedral we find the most famous chocolate in Berlin: Fassbender & Rausch Chocolatiers.
Unter den Linden - Neue Wache and History museum
(under the linden trees) is the main avenue in Berlin. It runs east–west from the Brandenburg Gate to the former site of the imperial palace (Berliner Stadtschloss). Is at the heart of the historic section of Berlin dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. Buildings along the street include the Opera of Berlin (Staatsoper Unter den Linden), Humboldt University, the Bebelplatz, the monument to Frederick the Great, Neue Wache and the Berliner Dom. Emphasizes the Bebelplatz as a place with important buildings (the State Opera, the University and the Cathedral of St.Hedwig) and its history. Is the site of the book burning ceremony held on May 10, 1933 by Nazi youth groups, on the instigation of the Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels. The Nazis burned around 20,000 books.
The Neue Wache (New Guard House) is located on the north side of the Unter den Linden. Dating from 1816, the Neue Wache was designed by the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel and is a leading example of German neoclassicism, with a portico of Doric columns. Originally built as a guardhouse for the troops of the Crown Prince of Prussia, the building has been used as a war memorial since 1931. In 1931 the architect Heinrich Tessenow redesigned the building as a memorial for the German war dead. He converted the interior into a memorial hall with an oculus (circular skylight). In 1960 the repaired Neue Wache (was damaged during the World War II) was reopened as a Memorial to the Victims of Fascism and Militarism.
The Reichstag building was constructed to house the Reichstag, the first parliament of the German Empire. It was opened in 1894 and housed the Reichstag until 1933, when it was severely damaged in a fire allegedly caused by the communists. The building remained in ruins until the reunification of Germany when he was subjected to a reconstruction completed in 1999 and became the meeting place of the modern German parliament, the Bundestag.
Reichstag - Dome
The main tourist attraction of the Reichstag building (and perhaps of all Berlin) is his glass dome, designed by Norman Foster and completed in 1999. With reunifiación of Germany and the decision to relocate the capital from Bonn to Berlin, it was decided that the Reichstag building was rebuilt with a new dome that is identified with the reunification of Germany.
Reichstag - Dome
Access to the dome is free, but usually you must wait about an hour to enter. After passing security checks, we get to the roof of the building in which the dome is. Since this place you has a vision of 360 degrees, on one side you have viewd of the eastern city (the television tower, etc), at the other to side Tiergarten, the Brandenburg Gate, and so on. From this point you can enter inside the dome, which can be reached by climbing a spiraling ramp. The debating chamber of the German parliament, the Bundestag, can be seen below the dome. A reflector cone (formed by 360 mirrors) in the center of the dome directs sunlight into the building. On the top of the dome there is another panoramic viewpoint (at 47 meters above the ground).