Sind sie allein in Berlin

Berlin is a fascinating city, with plenty of history both medieval and modern.  Founded in the 12th century, it grew to be the capital of Prussia and then Greater Germany. It is the city of Frederick the Great, occupied by the French in 1806 but the Prussians would have their revenge in 1814 (when the armies of the 6th coalition took Paris) and in 1815 at Waterloo. It is also the site of the Battle of Berlin in 1945 (remember the article Monhke Business at Berlin Zoo?) and of the Berlin Wall.  I saw the wall but only travelled under Berlin Zoo.

Mysterious pink pipes in Berlin.

Emma and I stayed for three days before travelling to Leipzig (via bus as the trains are on strike until 7pm). We took the opportunity to check out some of the sights. The first mystery was that of the ‘pink pipes’ which seemed to spring up all over the city. I guessed correctly but the story behind them is very interesting.  Despite only having three days, we managed to cram in the major sites (the Deutsches Historisches Museum and the Pergamon Museum were a must. We saw the Brandenberg Gate and Reichstag too.

Pergamon Museum

We also took time to see the Topography of Terror and several memorials to the victims of the Nazi regime. It is hard to fully picture the insanity of such times and it is very good to see it frankly displayed in Berlin. 

Remains of the Gestapo HQ and Berlin Wall at the Topography of Terror.

Berlin is truly an interesting city. There is building work everywhere and in some of these sites you can see the outlines of the cellars of Old Berlin. Some buildings still proudly bear the scars of 1945. We had to make a visit to the Neue Wache  and pay our respects. This monument has seen several incarnations since its construction in the reign of Frederick William III of Prussia. It now is a fitting monument to all the victims of war and dictatorship. The central statue is a mother weeping over he dead son.

Kollwitz's 'Mother and Dead Son' at the Neue Wache

The title of this blog? Taken from the Mobiles - Drowning in Berlin of course!  Sind sie allein in Berlin? Nein, das ist meine Freundin mit mir!

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