Next day we decided to explore the Mitte area, the most historical area in Berlin: from our hotel, we crossed Oranienburgerstrasse, where You can find some interesting buildings, such as the “Postfuhramt” – it was an ancient stable with two hundred horses employed to delivery mail – and the “Neue Synagoge”, the largest synagogue in the world, completed in 1866, but sadly set on fire during Kristallnacht in 1938, and after also damaged in 1943 by air raids. It was reconstructed starting from 1987.
We continued to the Sprea island (Museumsinsel), where are located many international museum of the city. The history of Museum Island started with King Frederick William III who, in 1810, commissioned the creation of a public museum on Spree Island. In 1822 Karl Friedrich Schinkel drew up plans to develop the island, and a first museum building, the Royal Museum – nowadays the Altes Museum – opened in 1830. The museum was built to allow the general public to view the royal art treasures of Prussia. The other museum were established during XIX century. Sadly, most of these buildings were destroyed during World War II and, after the conflict, the collections were split up between East and West Berlin. After German reunification the collections were brought together again and a masterplan was drawn up, to not only restore all five museums but also expand and modernize the museum complex.
We took the chance to visit the Pergamon Museum, where you’ll find a remarkable collection of Greek, Roman and Babylonian antiquities. Highlights include impressive monuments such as the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, the Market gate of Miletus and the enormous Pergamon Altar. It’s really impressive to see such kind of artifacts included in closed rooms, with for example, Ishtar Gate that nearly reach the ceiling.
After the visit, we took a stroll around the Museum complex: crossing the colonnade, You’ll reach the Dom, Berlin’s main cathedral, that was built at the end of the XVIII century as a protestant counterpart of the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The cathedral is lavishly decorated in the Baroque style.
The basement of the cathedral holds the Hohenzollern family crypt. It contains more than ninety sarcophagi, including that of Frederick William, the Great Elector.
If You don’t have fear of heights, you can climb to the dome and enjoy a great view on the rooftops of the city.
The garden in front of the Dom is called “Lustgarten”. The garden was originally created as an exotic garden for Princess Luise, spouse of the Great Elector. King Frederick William I, the so-called ‘Soldier-King’, turned the garden into a military parade ground. Here you find Altes Museum, reopened in 1966 as a museum of contemporary art, it houses nowadays ancient Greek and Roman antiquities. The building resembles infact a Greek Ionic Temple.
“Per visitare Berlino bisogna saper vedere anche quello che non c’è più e saper intuire una ingannevole realtà. Qui gli eventi sono cicatrici sul volto della storia, ma la loro capacità evocativa è intatta. A Berlino nulla resta più visibile di ciò che si cerca di cancellare.”
“To visit Berlin must be able to see what is not here anymore, and be able to grasp a deceptive reality. Here events are scars on the face of history, but their evoking ability is unaltered. In Berlin nothing remains more visible than what you are trying to delete.”
Hello!Happy New Year!We’re just back from some days spent in the Bernese canton and I’m recollecting things to show you in the next posts. In the meanwhile, I made a gallery with some of my fave photos. Have you ever been in Switzerland? It would be nice to know also your first impressions about this country. Stay tuned for the update of the tale of our itinerary! Cris
Hello! How are you doing? I’m just back from a wonderful trip through Yucatan and Quintana Roo: in these days, I’m just trying to recollecting feelings, photos, emotion. My perceptions are still a bit “confused”, so I leave you some words and images which totally match with my first impressions.
“Maybe I’m doing better than I think, and maybe one day Mexico will be like a second home to me.”
“Forse me la sto cavando meglio di quanto non creda, e forse un giorno il Messico mi parrà una seconda patria. “
LA is a city that you can love and hate at the same time. It’s too big, too messy, too chaotic. But it makes you dream, because after all, Los Angeles means Hollywood, the myth, the chance of a life. It means sun, palm trees and neverending golden beaches, from glamorous Malibu to multiethnic Venice Beach.
“La Spagna ha molto da offrire al visitatore: la sensazione di trovarsi d’improvviso in un altro continente; la novità di paesaggi vasti e selvaggi, le memorie – nell’architettura, nei nomi, nelle usanze – della passata dominazione araba; le austere, splendide chiese; le bianche città andaluse simili a zollette di zucchero sparse su colli spogli; processioni, ferias, zingari, tori focosi, cantanti di flamengo.”
“Spain has much to offer to visitors: the feeling of being suddenly in another continent; the news of extended and wild landscapes, the memories – in architecture, in the names, in the mores – of past Arabic domination; the austere, splendid churches; the white Andalusian cities like sugar cubes scattered on barren hills; processions, ferias, gypsies, fiery bulls, flamengo singers.”