Berlin held very high expectations from me since the beginning. After Amsterdam, we arrived late at night in a very cold and windy Berlin. In order to not waste precious time, we decided to take a stroll around Postdamer Platz, a public square in the center of Berlin, and we stumbled upon the Sony Center Forum.
Next to it was the Institute of Film and Video. The complex includes many shops, restaurants, a hotel, offices, cinemas and more. All the buildings stand underneath one textile and glass roof covering a public space at the center.
The next morning, we went to Gendarmenmarkt to visit the French Cathedral, Konzerthaus and Neue Kirche. A self-guided tour in the 18th century Neue Kirche allowed us to take a peek inside the parliamentary democracy of the Bundestag.
In the evening, we walked south to see Checkpoint Charlie, an important landmark of a crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War. Then, we travelled towards the Tiergarden to see the famous Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag Building and Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Walking through the Memorial was an interesting experience. According to Peter Eisenman, who designed the project, the stelae are designed to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere, and the whole sculpture aims to represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason.
Located in the South of the city, the Jewish museum holds impressive designed spaces envelopping its visitors in a confusing ambiance. The point is to create discomfort and portray the helplessness of the Holocaust;s victims and the dark moments in the Jewish history.
Berlin truly holds an important message about what happened during the atrocities of both World Wars and the Cold War. It is also a bustling center for culture and art in Europe through its many galleries and museums.