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Berlin, Germany City Info
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Visitors are often surprised by the extent of Grunewald’s 19 square miles of secluded verdant forest, lovely parks, and lakes. The area serves as a green oasis for the urban dwellers of Berlin.


Museumsinsel (Museum Island)

This island in the Spree River hosts a complex of museums housed in neoclassical buildings. Its most famous museum, the Pergamon, contains magnificent reconstructions of ancient temples.


Potsdamer Platz

Before World War II, this was the thriving heart of Berlin. Blasted into rubble by wartime bombings, it was bulldozed almost out of existence when the Wall went up on its western edge. After reunification, it was transformed into a glittering, ultra-modern square dominated by such corporate giants as Daimler-Chrysler. It stands as a symbol of the corporate culture of a reunited Germany.



This is the wealthiest and most densely commercialized district of western Berlin. Its Centerpiece is Charlottenburg Palace.


Mitte (Center)

Closed to western investors for nearly 50 years, this district is at the heart of Berlin. It was originally conceived as the architectural Centerpiece of the Prussian Kaisers. Its fortunes declined dramatically as the Communist regime filled it with starkly angular monuments and buildings. Although some of Mitte’s grand structures were destroyed by wartime bombings, unification has resulted in restoration of its remaining artistic and architectural treasures. The district’s most famous boulevard is Unter den Linden (Under the Lime Trees). Famous squares within the district include Pariser Platz (adjacent to the Brandenburg Gate), Potsdamer Platz, and Alexanderplatz.



Tiergarten ( Animal Garden) refers both to a massive urban park and, to the park’s north boundary: a residential district of the same name. The park was originally intended as a backdrop to the grand avenues laid out for the German Kaisers by a leading landscape architect of the day, Peter Josef Lenné. The neighborhood contains the Brandenburg Gate, the German Reichstag (Parliament), the Berlin Zoo, and some of the city’s grandest museums.


Eastern Berlin

The broad, stately boulevard of Unter den Linden starts at the Brandenburg Gate.


Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin

Unter den Linden 13–15

daily 11am–8pm

Free admission on Mondays

take U-Bahn Französische St.

located just to the east of Friedrichstrasse, the Guggenheim contains an extensive collection of contemporary art and hosts three to four major exhibitions per year. Lining the wide promenade beyond are a host of historic buildings restored from the rubble of the war


Neoclassical Humboldt University

Alte Bibliothek,

Deutsche Staatsoper

St Hedwig’s Cathedral, built for the city’s Catholics in 1747.



U-Bahn Französische St.

Faces the Cathedral and is the site of the infamous Nazi bookburning of May 10, 1933; an underground room visible through a glass panel set in the center of the square.


Neue Wache, a former royal guardhouse resembling a Roman temple and now a memorial to victims of war and tyranny. Next door, is one of Berlin’s finest Baroque buildings, the old Prussian Arsenal, which is home to the Museum of German History.


Museum of German History

10am–6pm; closed Wed


U-Bahn Friedrichstr.

currently closed for renovations until the end of 2001; until then, temporary exhibitions on historical themes are being held in the Kronprinzenpalais across the road.


Französische Kirche on the northern side of the square. Built as a church for Berlin’s influential Huguenot community at the beginning of the eighteenth century, it also now houses the Hugenottenmuseum.



Tues–Sat noon–5pm, Sun 11am–5pm

Contains exhibits documenting the way of life of the Huggenotts.


Deutsche Kirche

Tues–Sun 10am–6pm

free admission

The church was built in the 18th century for the city’s Reformed community. It houses an historical exhibition, “Questions of German History”



an upscale shopping district with an eclectic mix of modernist architecture, lies a block west of the Deutsche Kirche.



U-Bahn Alexanderplatz

At the eastern end of Unter den Linden lies the former site of the imperial palace and the current home of the abandoned Palast der Republik, the former GDR parliament building. It stands at the midpoint of a city-centre island whose northwestern part, Museumsinsel, is the location of some of the best of Berlin’s museums. Reopening following an extensive reconstruction program:

The Alte Nationalgalerie (U-Bahn Friedrichstr.), houses the city’s collection of nineteenth-century European art has been extensively renovated and restored.


Altes Museum

Tues–Sun 10am–6pm

free first Sun on month

U-Bahn Friedrichstr.)

Perhaps Schinkel’s most impressive surviving work is displayed in the Alte Nationalgalerie’s collection. In addition, it devotes a floor to the city’s excellent collection of Greek and Roman antiquities.



The commercial hub of eastern Berlin.



The church is open Mon. to Thurs. 10am to noon and 1 to 4pm, Fri. to Sun. noon to 4pm. Free tours are offered Mon. to Thurs. at 1pm and Sun. at 11:45am.

This is Berlin’s second opldest parish church, dating from the 15th century. Inside is the 1475 wall painting Der Totentanz (The Dance of Death), discovered in 1860 beneath a layer of whitewash in the church’s entrance hall. Also worth seeing is the marble baroque pulpit carved by Andreas Schlüter (1703). The cross on the top of the church annoyed the Communist rulers of the former East Germany--its golden form was always reflected in the windows of the Fernsehturm.


Fernsehturm or TV tower

March–Oct daily 9am–1am;Nov-–Feb 10am–midnight;

U-Bahn Alexanderplatz

The observation platform offers unbeatable views of the whole city on rare clear days.



Take U-Bahn Klosterstr.

A modern development that attempts to recreate the winding streets and small houses of this part of old prewar Berlin, which was razed overnight on June 16, 1944.



Tues–Sun 10am–6pm;


Take U-Bahn Klosterstr.,

a rebuilt thirteenth-century structure that is Berlin’s oldest parish church. Not far away on Mühlendamm is the rebuilt Rococo



Tues-Sun. 10-6.

U-Bahn Klosterstr.

housing a collection of Berlin art from the reign of Frederick the Great to 1945.


Western Berlin

Altes Museum

Bodestrasse 1-3, Museumsinsel


Tues-Sun 10am-6pm U-Bahn/S-Bahn: Friedrichstrasse. Bus 100 to Lustgarten Admission charged.

Karl Friedrich Schinkel, the city’s greatest architect, designed this structure, which resembles a Greek Corinthian temple, in 1822. On its main floor is the

This is a large collection of world-famous antique decorative art. Some of the finest Greek vases of the black-and-red-figures style, from the 6th to the 4th century B.C., are here. The best-known vase is a large Athenian amphora (wine jar) found in Vulci, Etruria.


Pergamon Museum

Kupfergraben, Museumsinsel


Tues-Sun 10am-6pm

U-Bahn/S-Bahn: Friedrichstrasse.

Tram: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 13, 15, or 53 Admission charged.

The Pergamon Museum houses several departments, but if you have time for only one exhibit, go to the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, housed in the north and east wings of the museum, and enter the central hall to see the Pergamon Altar, (180-160 B.C.), so large that it has a huge room all to itself. The Near East Museum, in the south wing, contains one of the largest collections anywhere of antiquities from ancient Babylonia, Persia, and Assyria.


Ägyptisches Museum

Schloss-strasse 70


Tues-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat-Sun 11am-6pm

U-Bahn: Sophie-Charlotte-Platz or Richard-Wagner-Platz.

Admission charged except: free admission 1st Sun of each month

The western Berlin branch of the Egyptian Museum is housed in the palace’s east guardhouse. It’s worth the trip just to see the famous colored bust of Queen Nefertiti, which dates from about 1360 B.C. and was discovered in 1912Other displays feature jewelry, papyrus, tools, and weapons, as well as objects relating to the Egyptian belief in the afterlife.


Bröhan Museum

Schlossstrasse 1A


Tues-Sun 10am-6pm (until 8pm on Wed)

U-Bahn: Sophie-Charlotte-Platz or Richard-Wagner-Platz

Admission charged; 11 and under Free

Berlin’s finest collection of Jugendstil (German art nouveau) is found here. When Professor Bröhan started the collection, Jugendstil was viewed as having little merit. It’s a different story today. The objects include glass, furnishings, silver and gold, paintings, and vases.


Museum für Vor und Frühgeschichte



Tues-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat-Sun 11am-6pm

U-Bahn: Sophie-Charlotte-Platz or Richard-Wagner-Platz

Admission charged.

This museum of prehistory and early history is in the western extension of the palace, facing Klausener Platz.


Schloss Charlottenburg



Guided tours of the Historical Rooms (in German)

Tues-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm (last tour at 4pm)

U-Bahn: Sophie-Charlotte-Platz or Richard-Wagner-Platz

Combination ticket for all buildings and historical rooms

English translation of guide’s lecture on sale at the ticket counter

Schloss Charlottenburg, one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in Germany, was built by Sophie Charlotte, a patron of philosophy and the arts, and the wife of Friedrich I, crowned as the first king in Prussia in 1701.

The residence was begun as a summer palace, but grew into the massive structure seen today.

At the far end of Schlossgarten Charlottenburg is the Belvedere, close to the River Spree. This former royal teahouse contains exquisite Berlin porcelain, much of it from the 1700s.


Gemäldegalerie (Picture Gallery)

Mattäiskirchplatz 4


Tues-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat-Sun 11am-6pm

U-Bahn: Kurfürstenstrasse, then bus 148. Bus 129 from Ku’damm (plus a 4-min. walk) Admission charged.

This is one of Germany’s greatest art museums. Several rooms are devoted to early German masters, with panels from altarpieces dating from the 13th to 15th centuries.

Most of the great European masters are represented.



Matthäikirchplatz, Tiergartenstrasse 6

Opposite the Philharmonie


Tues-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat-Sun 11am-6pm

U-Bahn: Kurfürstenstrasse; S-Bahn: Potsdamer Platz

Admission charged.

This museum displays applied arts and crafts from the Middle Ages through the 20th century. Its outstanding exhibition is the Guelph Treasure, a collection of medieval church articles in gold and silver.


Neue Nationalgalerie (Staatliche Museum zu Berlin)

Potsdamerstrasse 50 Just south of the Tiergarten


Tues-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat-Sun 11am-6pm

Closed Jan 1, Dec 24-25 and 31, and the Tues after Easter and Whitsunday

U-Bahn: Kurfürstenstrasse; S-Bahn: Potsdamer Platz

This modern glass-and-steel structure designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) contains a continually growing collection of modern European and American art. Included are works of 19th-century artists, with a concentration on French impressionists.


Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin

Unter den Linden 13-15 At the intersection with Charlottenstrasse


Daily 11am-8pm

U-Bahn: Französische Strasse

Admission charged

This state-of-the-art museum is devoted to modern and contemporary art. The exhibition space is on the ground floor of the newly restored Berlin branch of Deutsche Bank. The Guggenheim Foundation presents several exhibitions at this site annually, and also displays newly commissioned works created specifically for this space by world-renowned artists.


Die Sammlung Berggruen: Picasso und Seine Zeit (The Berggruen Collection: Picasso and His Era)

Schlosstrasse 1

Entrance across from the Egyptian Museum, in Charlottenburg


Tues-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm Closed Mon

U-Bahn: Sophie-Charlotte-Platz, followed by a 10-min. walk

Admission charged.

This unusual private museum displays the extensive collection of respected art and antiques dealer Heinz Berggruen. A native of Berlin who fled the Nazis in 1936, Berggruen later established a miniempire of antique dealerships in Paris and California before returning, with his collection, to his native home in 1996.


Friedrichswerdersche Kirche-Schinkelmuseum

Werderstrasse At the corner of Niederlagstrasse


Tues-Sun 10am-6pm

U-Bahn: Hausvogteiplatz

Admission charged.

This annex of the Nationalgalerie is located in the deconsecrated Friedrichswerdersche Kirche, which was designed in 1828 by Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841). It lies close to Unter den Linden, not far from the State Opera House. The twin Gothic portals of the old church shelter a bronze of St. Michael slaying a dragon. Inside, the museum is devoted to the memory of Schinkel, who designed many of Berlin’s great palaces, churches, and monuments.


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