|Bahn Tower houses the corporate HQ |
of Deutsche Bahn (German Railways)
|Entering the public space of the Sony Centre.|
|Part of the massive roof of the Sony Centre.|
|"Fernsehturm" (TV Tower) with visitor|
platform and revolving restaurant.
|Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, with the Quadriga facing the square.|
|The Quadriga, driven by "Victory" atop the arch.|
|After the return from Paris the "Iron Cross" was added to the statue now denoting "Victory"|
Reminders of WW2
|A few of the concrete stelae making up the Holocaust Memorial|
|The Holocaust Memorial|
|This marks the location of the Führerbunker which was|
the air-raid shelter of the Reich Chancellery
|The window into the empty book room in Bebelplatz.|
|Empty bookshelves serve as a reminder of the book burnings.|
Moving On ..
During our walk the light rain cloud descended as a fog, restricting our views of anything more than a couple of hundred metres away, as can be seen in this picture of the sightseeing balloon with just a couple of occupants who were not going to see much.
|See Berlin from above - perhaps not today.|
|I doubt they can even see the ground. Do they get their money back?|
|Don't miss it. The 190th most popular attraction in Berlin.|
|The one and only "Trabi World".|
|Rent one for an unusual (perhaps "unforgettable") driving experience.|
|Berlin's icons on a drain cover: the TV tower, Brandenburg |
Gate, the Victory Column and the Dom are easily recognised.
The quaint style is described as "Northern German Brick Gothic" (very specific, very German) with many decorative elements such as pointed arches, cross vaults and coats of arms. The two towers were inspired by the Middle Gate Tower in the not-too-distant city of Prenzlau.
|The Oberbaum Bridge, Berlin|
|One of the two towers on the bridge.|
|One of the 8 courtyards in the Hackesche Höfe|
|Just a few minutes walk from Hackesche Höfe is the New Synagogue, built |
1859-1866 in a Moorish style with some resemblance to the Alhambra.
The Reichstag Building was opened in 1894 as the parliament of the German Empire, later the Weimar Republic. The Nazis had no need of a parliament during their dictatorship so after the devastating fire of 1933 it remained derelict until its restoration after German reunification. The parliament today is called the "Bundestag".
The building was reopened in 1999 after a reconstruction effort led by the British architect Lord Norman Foster (he also designed "The Gherkin", now an iconic London landmark). To replace the original large dome which was destroyed in the fire, Foster designed a wonderful glass dome which is open to the public (free but by appointment to regulate the huge demand). The dome contains a pair of ramps which separate the "up" and "down" movements of visitors who gain a 360 degree view (subject to fog, as we found). The main hall of the parliament can be seen immediately below the dome which has a large electronically controlled sunshield to permit light to enter the chamber without dazzling the occupants.
|The Bundestag (old "Reichstag") building.|
|Looking up from outside to the dome on the Bundestag building.|
The spiral footpaths can be seen through the glass panels.
|Inside the stunning glass dome.|
|A happy visitor to the dome.|
|The organ was restored after damage resulting|
from exposure to the elements when the dome
was struck by a bomb in 1944 and collapsed.
|In the extensive crypt beneath the church are 94 tombs and caskets of members|
of the Hohenzollern dynasty which ruled Prussia (1525-1918) and Brandenburg
(1415-1918). Another branch of the family ruled Romania (1866-1947).
|Daylight has completely gone and the Dom is lit by spotlights.|
Ice flows along the River Spree, past the building.