The government quarter
Berlin Travel Blog› entry 10 of 17 › view all entries
September 16th, 2009 – by: Adrian_Liston
We then visited the Holocaust memorial (officially, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe). It is a very interesting memorial, no large statue just a field of 2711 stelae standing in rows like gravestones. The surface across the stelae forms a rough sea, flat across the horizon, but when you walk among them they soon tower over you, as the ground deceptively swells and falls.
We then walked up to the Brandenburg Gate, the historic entrance to the city and one of the few old buildings in this quarter (which was largely destroyed during WWII).
Finally we moved to the Reichstag, the parliament of Germany. The beautiful old Reichstag was left just a shell after WWII, the architect Norman Foster took advantage of this by building a modern glass and steel building within the old shell. The glory of the Reichstag is the glass dome on top. We climbed up onto the roof of the Reichstag and into the dome, where we could look out over the city of Berlin or down onto the Bundestag. The ability of the public to watch their parliament closely at all times through the glass dome is meant to be a key symbol of transparancy. Possibly another symbolic gesture is the central air shaft which allows hot stale air from the debating chamber to vent.
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