Tag Archives: Tiergarten

Snapshot: Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin at Night

Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin at Night

This photo of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures) was taken last week when I was out in Berlin on a video safari.

Inspired by the great videos I posted in my Video Week, Luci’s In a Berlin Minute channel and Berlin am Abend by Gilly, I decided to go out and have a go at shooting my own Berlin video.  It was supposed to be fun.  Now I realise that I have a whole new camera technique to learn and that’s before I even get started on editing.  It may take a while to produce something worth sharing.

Biergärten in the Tiergarten

 

The Biergarten at Café am Neuen See in the Tiergarten in Berlin

As well as being an oasis of calm in the heart of Berlin and a great place to lay in the grass and catch some sun, the Tiergarten is home to two of my favourite outdoor drinking spots in Berlin.

Walking around such a huge park can be very thirsty work and the Biergärten (Beer Gardens) of Schleusenkrug and Café am Neuen See are great places to have a beer by the water.

Schleusenkrug

The sign of Schleusenkrug, a Biergarten in the Tiergarten in Berlin

 

Schleusenkrug is just a short walk from Tiergarten or Zoologischer Garten S-Bahn stations and alongside the fences of the Berlin Zoo.

As well as serving great beer (I like the Veltins here) there is a kitchen and barbecue grill serving sausages and some traditional German dishes.

Those customers lucky enough to get a seat by the Landwehrkanal can watch boats negotiating the locks after which the Biergarten was named.

The one drawback of the location is the proximity of the rail tracks, which means that the peace is broken by passing trains.

The bar at the Biergarten at Schleusenkrug in the Tiergarten in Berlin Veltins at Schleusenkrug and the pirate ship in the background in the Tiergarten in Berlin The Biergarten at Schleusenkrug in the Tiergarten in Berlin

 

 

Café am Neuen See

The sign of Café am Neuen See in the Tiergarten in Berlin

 

Café am Neuen See is a larger Biergarten and gets its name from its position on the banks of the Neuer See (New Lake), where you can work up a thirst by rowing a boat.

Löwenbräu is my drink of choice here and, though I haven’t eaten them, the stonebaked pizzas look and smell great and there is a restaurant in addition to the Biergarten.

The bar at the Biergarten of Café am Neuen See in the Tiergarten in Berlin Löwenbräu at the Biergarten of Café am Neuen See in the Tiergarten in Berlin People in the Biergarten of Café am Neuen See in the Tiergarten in Berlin

 

 

You can walk from one Biergarten to the other with the Zoo on one side and the Landwehrkanal on the other.  You even have a view into some of the animal enclosures and can see the Llamas for example.

The trees at both Schleusenkrug and Café am Neuen See are strung with lights so that the drinking can continue into the night.

The Tiergarten

A close up of Das Deutsche Volklied, a statue in the Tiergarten in BerlinBerlin’s largest park, the Tiergarten, seemed like the perfect place to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon.  So yesterday, with Berlin enjoying some much needed sunshine, that’s exactly where I went.

And I wasn’t the only one.

Some people chose a spot on the banks of the canal and were absorbed in a book, others lay in the grass in one of the many open spaces, entwined in the arms of a lover, but everyone was enjoying the relative peace in the heart of the city.

But the Tiergarten is such a large park that even on a hot summer’s day when everyone has the same idea and people flock here it doesn’t feel overcrowded.

The name Tiergarten (Animal Park) comes from the park’s previous life as the hunting ground of the electors of Brandenburg when it was fenced off and stocked with deer and other animals.  It was Friedrich II (Friedrich der Grosse) who decided to turn the park over to the people of Berlin.

Some of the statues in the park hint at its history.

A hunting statue in the Tiergarten in Berlin

A close up of a hunting statue in the Tiergarten in Berlin

And there are many more statues in the Tiergarten – likenesses of poets, philosophers, composers and politicians and a memorial to Karl Liebknecht who was murdered there.

Das Deutsche Volklied, a statue in the Tiergarten in Berlin

A statue of Richard Wagner in the Tiergarten in Berlin

A statue of Prussian Field Marsall, Helmult Graf Von Molke, in the Tiergarten in Berlin

The Karl Liebknecht Memorial in the Tiergarten in Berlin

I was so taken by the Bismarck Memorial that I think I will devote a whole post to it soon.

The Bismarck Memorial in the Tiergarten in Berlin

It is hard to believe walking along the park’s leafy paths or enjoying its shady spots that almost all of the trees here were chopped down to be used as firewood in the aftermath of World War II.

One of many paths in the Tiergarten in Berlin

The Tiergarten is home to some of Berlin’s most famous landmarks: The Siegessäule, Schloss Berllevue, the Zoo and one of Berlin’s Soviet memorials.

There’s no shortage of water in the park either.  The Landwehrkanal and the River Spree  both run through it and those eager to get out on the water can row a boat on the Neuer See.

Rowing on the Neuer See in the Tiergarten in Berlin

As the park is so vast, walking here in hot weather generates a thirst but the Tiergarten is home to two of my favourite Berlin Biergartens but more of them here.

This is one of those places that has something for everyone.

A relaxing spot in the Tiergarten in Berlin

A tranquil spot in the Tiergarten in Berlin

A beautiful garden in the Tiergarten in Berlin

There’s even a section for devotees of Freikörperkultur (free body culture to those in the know – or getting naked to the rest of us), which you can read more about on Travels of Adam.

And as with everywhere in Berlin, the Tiergarten is full of surprises, such as this tree, into which, the lyrics of Ben E King’s Stand By Me have been carved.

The lyrics to Ben E King's Stand By Me carved into the trunk of a tree in the Tiergarten in Berlin

The Reichstag – A Berlin Phoenix From the Flames

The Reichstag from the Platz der Republik in Berlin

The view from the roof of the Reichstag must be one of the best free views in Berlin.

I first visited the Reichstag on my first full day in Berlin in 2009.  It was a gorgeous, sunny day and I got up early in the morning and queued on the steps to get in.  Unfortunately, the dome was closed for cleaning and renovation.  Fast forward to 2012 and a new booking system has been introduced.  It is no longer possible to just turn up – a visit must be booked online at least two days in advance.

So when the weather app on my phone suggested that we were in for a few days of sunny weather I booked my visit.  But my weather app let me down and when the day of my visit arrived it was grey and raining, however, as I was booked in I made the trip anyway.

The Reichstag, built to house the German parliament, was formally opened on 5 December 1894 but shortly after the Nazis came to power in 1933 it was ravaged by fire.

During the years of division, the parliamentary seat of the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (West Germany) was in Bonn but following reunification the Bundestag (German parliament) voted to return the seat of power to BerlinSir Norman Foster was selected to draw up the plans for the reconstruction of the building and the Reichstag resumed its function as the parliamentary home in 1999, complete with a spectacular glass domed roof.

The glass dome on the roof of the Reichstag from Platz des 18. Mai in Berlin

The cupola is 40 metres in diameter and a spiralling walkway allows visitors to climb to a viewing platform below the opening in its roof.

The spiralling walkway of the dome of the Reichstag in Berlin

Tourists passing the German flag as they climb the dome of the Reichstag in Berlin

The opening allows stale air to escape from the plenary chamber below and the light sculpture, a cone of 360 mirrors, reflects light back down reducing the energy needed to light the chamber.

The light sculpture in the dome of the Reichstag in Berlin

A giant sunshade rotates with the movement of the sun to reduce the glare of the reflected light.

The light sculpture and sunshade in the dome of the Reichstag in Berlin

The energy needs of the building are also served by 300 square metres of solar panels on the roof.

Even on a rainy day the elevated position affords some wonderful views over Berlin.

The Federal Chancellery from the dome of the Reichstag in Berlin

On a clear day you can see far into the distance and pick out many of Berlin’s landmark buildings with the help of the leaflet ‘Outlooks Berlin panorama: View from the dome’ available in the reception area.

The Carillion and Tiergarten in the foreground and Funkturm (West Berlin’s TV Tower) in the background.

The Carillion and Tiergarten in the foreground and Funkturm (West Berlin’s TV Tower) in the background

The Siegessäule rising from the Tiergarten and in the far distance the former NSA listening station at Teufelsberg.

The Siegessäule rising from the Tiergarten and in the far distance the former NSA listening station at Teufelsberg in Berlin

An audio guide is also available free of charge and provides a commentary to accompany the climb up to the top of the dome and the return to the roof.

The German flag flies from three of the four corners of the roof.  The flag of the European Union flies from the other corner.

The German flag flying on the roof of the Reichstag in Berlin

The stonework around the roof space is decorated with some very impressive statues and figureheads.

A carved figurehead in the stonework around the roof of the Reichstag in Berlin

Visits to the Reichstag in Berlin can be booked on the Bundestag website and don’t forget to take photo id with you on your visit.

Stolpersteine 60 – 72

Stolpersteine 64: In memory of Ruth Joseph (Metzer Strasse 30) in Berlin

After two weeks without seeing any Stolpersteine (though admittedly I spent the best part of seven days out of the country) it seemed like I couldn’t go anywhere without seeing them this week.

I have added photos of all the Stolpersteine I saw to the gallery here.  I think that some of them may even have been freshly laid.

The Stolpersteine I saw were dedicated to: Herta Jalowitz (Calvinstrasse 27); Alexander Fromm (Kirchstrasse 7); Fanny Getzow (Oderberger Strasse 20); Emil Simonsohn, Johanna Simonsohn, Erna Merkin and Bernhard Merkin (Templiner Strasse 17); Ruth Joseph (Metzer Strasse 30); Berthold Wolff, Waltraud Wolff, Jackie Drell and Helga Drell (Schönhauser Allee 163); Max Hersch Finger (Torstrasse 75); Manfred Rosenzweig, Luise Rosenzweig, Lilian Rosenzweig, Bertholt Feit, Sara Feit and Iro Feit (Torstrasse 89); Ernst Jacoby, Ernestine Jacoby, Wolfgang Jacoby and Lieselotte Jacoby (Oranienburger Strasse 46-47); Martin Jonas (Auguststrasse 4); Lothar Schreiber (Grosse Hamburger Strasse 38); Meta Winter, Minna Ring and Ismar Ring (Schönhauser Allee 175); Ernestine Jellinek, Bertha London and Rosa Dora Gross (Schönhauser Allee 174).

My first post about Stolpersteine gives more background about these memorials to the victims of National Socialism created by artist Gunter Demnig.

Siegessäule (Gold Else) – Berlin’s Victory Column

Gold Else, a statue of the goddess of victory, atop the Siegessäule (Victory Column) in Berlin

After a successful trip to the Französischer Dom I decided it was time to tackle the Siegessäule (Victory Column) and get some more great views over Berlin.

Known by the locals as Gold Else (Berliners have a fondness for giving their public buildings nicknames), the column is topped by a gilded bronze statue of the Roman goddess of victory, Victoria.  The column was renovated in 2011 at a cost of EUR 4 Million.

The construction of the Siegessäule began in 1865 to commemorate a Prussian victory over Denmark in 1864.  The statue of Victoria was not part of the original plans but was added later, as by the time the work was completed in 1873 there were further victories over Austria and France in 1866 and 1871 to be celebrated.

The Siegessäule was moved to its current position on the Grosser Stern, a roundabout (albeit a very grand one) in the Tiergarten, in accordance with Albert Speer’s plans for Hitler’s new Germania.  This move from the Platz der Republik (then known as Königsplatz), in front of the Reichstag, saved the column from destruction during the bombing raids of World War II.

There are light installations in the four tunnels leading from the surrounding roads to the Grosser Stern (Great Star).  The lights are activated by movement in front of cameras mounted in the opposite wall.  An unexpected find, I enjoyed these almost as much as the Siegessäule itself.

Light Installations under the Grosser Stern in the tunnels leading to the Siegessäule (Victory Column) in Berlin

Entrance to the viewing platform, reached by climbing the 285 steps of a tight and winding staircase is EUR 3.

Having reached the viewing platform a little breathless from the climb I was buffeted by the wind and assaulted by the cold on emerging 60 metres up.  I had to pop back inside the staircase when I needed to change the lenses on my camera, as my hands were so cold when I took off my gloves.

But for views like these over the Tiergarten and the city beyond, EUR 3 and cold hands is a small price to pay.

The view towards Berlin Mitte from the Siegessäule (Victory Column) in Berlin

The view along Strasse des 17 Juni to the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) and Mitte from the Siegessäule (Victory Column) in Berlin

The view over The Spree and Tiergarten from the Siegessäule (Victory Column) in Berlin

I’d like to come back to climb the Siegessäule again in the summer when I’ll be able to spend a bit more time appreciating the spectacular views over Berlin.