I had the chance to spend a few days in Berlin late february 2003, thanks to a video game show of Vivendi. I spent the week end walking around in the whole city, about six or seven hours a day. I think I saw a lot :) Here are all my shots !
This is the centre church of the city (Kaiser Wilhelm Church), just besides the center Zoo. Well there is only just a part of the church left, very close to a ruin. And behind it you can see a sort of very modern (well, in the sixties) "building" that supposedly mimics what's left of the church. It is a bizarre mix, but this is a very valid summary of the city : both old and modern, and a large part of it left to be built.
One or two hundred meters away is the entry to the city zoo. I didnt have time to visit, and it was certainly more interesting to walk the city :p The zoo seems to be the real center (mathematical !) of Berlin.
On the Königsplatz (King's place) is the statue of the Goddess of Triumphs, standing more than 60 meters above the ground. It is perhaps the only notable sight of the whole large park in the middle of Berlin. The interesting part is that one can walk up the more than 250 steps of the stairs and get just below the statue, to get a nice view of the city.
A view at the base of the pillar, looking east, to the Brandenburg Gate. You should see it right in the middle of the picture :)
Then, 60 meters up, the same direction, the city linescape appears behind the trees ! On the very far right is the Potzdamer Platz. I should have taken a picture of the place, this will soon be the "Manhattan" of Berlin, with lots of brand new skycrapers and businesses. It was standing in the "dead zone" of Berlin during the dividing of the city. After 1989, germans were left with blank space in an attractive part of the city, a dream for all architects and city designers.
North of the park is the House of World Cultures. I only passed in front of it, on my way to the Reichstag and the Gate.
The german Reichstag is home to the parliament. Its a large although conventionnal building. Except for the glass rounded rooftop, with a walkway up to the top.
The symbol for Germany is the Brandenburg Gate, it is more than two centuries old. This is the only surviving building in this part of the city, as everything around is brand new (and some are not even finished). Among the closest buildings is the french embassy (and also the english one). A shameful decision, in my opinion, have been to build just two meters from the Gate, it would have been much better to leave some space around it.
On the place in front of the Gate was the statue of the Thinker of Rodin. It was here as a gift, for one month, from the french to the german people, to celebrate fourty years of friendship. I was surprised to see him here before reading the explanation !
As I was enjoying a currywurst (sausage with curry - quite nice) a few meters from the Gate, a demonstration came up and passed by. It was HEAVILY lined with police forces, perhaps one policeman for ten persons. Well the demo was a bit small, perhaps a few hundred people. It was an arnachist/anti-capitalist demo against war. I saw two others demo against war in the four days in Berlin. Oh and I had another currywurst !
The Berliner Dom in the afternoon sun, one of the rare old buildings still standing and looking beautiful. This is the part of the city with lots of universities and churches, the closest to another european city.
This is a closeup of the TV tower. It was built by the communist government in 69 to be seen from the West part of the City.
This is the "red Rathaus", another landmark of the german government. If I'm correct this is home to the federal representatives of each länder of Germany, while the Reichstag is a classical parliament.
Here is one of the most famous landspot of the cold war : checkpoint Charlie. This is the passage place between east and west berlin that is known to everyone, with the famous message "you are entering (or leaving) the american sector".
Of course the symbol of the Cold war is the Berlin Wall, dividing a whole major city in two parts, controlled by the Allies and by USSR. But just after 1989 the 150kms of the wall were quickly destroyed, and what is here are the remaining 200 meters of it. The area around it will be used to be home to a memorial for the second world war.
Something completely different, a very unusual sight : one of the few lakes of Berlin, with most of it frozen, and lots of germans walking on it without any limitations :) I took a careful path, where other people were standing, to cross it :)
Another very special view : as you can see, tobacco advertisement is not banned in germany (although alcohol ad seems to be, I saw none). Having one just besides a blood donor poster is a very strange sight !
This is a view from i-dont-remember-what-place, on the main city avenue, the 17th june, named after the rise of east Berlin people. It crosses the whole park up the Gate.
A usual and comic view is the pay automat working with sun energy. Not all of them do though.
Walking the Berliner street early at night, I came up this store... with a heavy french mistake :p
The Bear is the symbol animal of the city. You can see a different one a each corner of the main streets, most of them standing, a few walking, each with different colors.
To conclude this tour of Berlin, this is a basic view of a street in Berlin, with people, cars, trees and so on :) You dont get this kind of views so often :)