The grand hotel Adlon, overlooking Pariser Platz and the Gate clearly needs no further introductions. What perhaps not many people know is that this was the same hotel where Michael Jackson caused a memorable media scandal by dangling a 9-month old baby over one of Adlon’s balconies. What’s even more ironic about the incident is that he was invited to Berlin to accept an award in recognition of his charity work dedicated to children.
8. Holocaust Memorial:
Located just a few metres away from the Brandenburg Gate and the Sony Centre at Potsdamer Platz, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is probably one of Berlin’s most impressive sights. History meets personal reflection upon visiting Peter Eisenman’s architectural masterpiece, designed to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust. The memorial consists of a total number of 2.711 of concrete slabs, also known as “stelae” whose sloping pattern allows visitors to descend deeper and lose themselves among the blocks. The memorial’s most touching detail is perhaps the fact that the slabs are completely devoid of any names or dates, giving visitors the chance to understand the sculpture’s poignant symbolism from a personal perspective. Eisenman’s design has been often compared to a graveyard, and the cold grey dominating the whole field could be in fact an allusion to the ashes of the Holocaust. Nobody can tell for sure what kind of emotions the sight of the Holocaust Memorial may trigger, whether it is confusion, uneasiness or abandonment, the only thing every visitor can be sure of is that it will not leave you indifferent.
9. Line of stones former Berlin Wall:
The Berlin Wall came down in 1989 thanks to the public mistake of Günter Schabowski, a state official, whose understanding of the new GDR travel regulation was to change the course of history. Nowadays, the original course of the Berlin Wall, dividing East- and West-Germany can still be easily tracked by following a double row of cobblestones set into the ground.
Tip: start your quest behind the Brandenburg Gate; you can’t really miss them if you look carefully!
10. Women sculptures overlooking the Berlin Dome:
Up to this very day I was perpetually intrigued by the four bronze statues overlooking the Berlin Dome. The sculptures are entitled “Drei Mädchen und ein knabe” (Three girls and a boy)and were designed by Wilfried Fitzenreiter for the Palast Hotel which used to be located on the corner of Karl Liebknecht Straße. They seem to blend in with the atmosphere surrounding the Dome perfectly and I can’t imagine seeing them anywhere else in Berlin.
Many thanks to SandemansNew Europe Berlin who provided me with an excellent and engaging insight into Berlin’s amazing history.
The Travel Corner