When we were landing in Berlin I began to think about my first visit in December of 1976 when it was still divided into east and west. Today when I passed by a portion of the wall I recalled with great vividness that day I crossed from west to east Berlin to visit the Pergamon Museum. There is still a little of Checkpoint Charlie where I crossed over that day. The city is so different and lively. As soon as I arrived in the city I spent a full day touring. The Marienkirche and the Berlin Protestant cathedral were highlights. The churches testify to the sovereignty of the state over religion which was the hallmark of German Protestantism.
The cathedral houses the crypt of the Hohenzollern dynasty. Walking across the Schloßbrucke designed by Schinkel in 1821 I looked back and imagined the incredible destruction of the city during the bombings. Berlin was an imperial city with magnificent buildings and very few remain. However with photos you can get a grasp of the city in its former splendor.
The bridge connects Schloßplatz with the Unter den Linden. This is one of the most famous streets in Berlin which was once the route to the royal hunting grounds. Then at the end of the street is the Brandenburg Gate. When I was here before you could not get to the gate because it was in no man’s land; however today it stands in all its neoclassical beauty. And then around the corner is the Reichstag that is the Parliament which witnesses to a unified Germany.
Then on to Charlottenburg palace which was the summer home of Sophie Charlotte who was the wife of Friedrich III. Once again it sustained incredible damage during the war; however with its restoration it once again displays its unequaled elegance.
At the end of the day I explored a Christmas market and enjoyed some great food from the stalls. I look forward to more markets that lend such festivity to the Christmas season.