Berlin Day 2
Berlin Travel Blog› entry 108 of 128 › view all entries
I woke up on my second day in Berlin and my foot still seemed fine. I had decided that I would revisit some of the sites we saw yesterday, but I would spend more time there today. Some things I did not need to see again, so it worked out really well.
My first stop, on my way to the Rathaus (town hall), was a bombed out church from the war. It was simply left that way as a reminder of what happened. I went from there to the red Rathaus. This was not too far away from the Berliner Dom, and our guide had said the inside was worth seeing, so I went back that way to check it out. It definitely was beautiful from inside, and I am glad I went.
As I continued my walk, I passed a building known as the "New Guard House". This building is dedicated to the victims of war and tyranny. Inside the all but empty building is a statue of the Virgin Mary holding her dead son.
From there, I walked over to Bebelplatz, which is where the infamous book burning took place by the Nazis. In an ironic twist of fate, they were having a book sale there. As I mentioned earlier, under the square is a memorial to the book burning - with just enough shelves for every book. There is a large piece of clear plastic that allows you to see the room.
Leaving the church, I moved on to Checkpoint Charlie, simply because it was on the way back to the Gestapo Museum. As I said before, this is a replica of the original checkpoint that existed here. There are also recreated signs and "imtimidating" pictures of military personnel. I then made it to the Gestapo museum and spent some time here. This outdoor area has a ton of information on the Gestapo and German government officials.
As I continued on, I came across the Brandenburg Gate again. I had wanted a picture in front of it yesterday, but the weather didn't want to allow it. So, I actually spent 30 minutes here having people take my photo until I got one I liked...pretty sad, huh? Near the Gate, and actually all over Berlin, are little gold stones in the ground. You really have to look for them in front of houses and other buildings. These gold tiles have a name on them and are dated. Each of these tiles refers to one Jewish individual taken from the city to a death camp near by.
I then headed back to the Reichstag, because I wanted to head up into it. All you can really do inside is catch an elevator to the top floor, where you can go out on top of the building. There is some very unique architecture at the top, and the views from there were pretty nice.
My last stop of the day took me to the Victory Column down the road a bit from the Brandenburg Gate. The column was designed to celebrate a series of victories by the Prussians in the late 1800's, including Denmark, Austria, and France. As the sun began to go down, I had a long walk back to the hostel.