Nom de Plumage

June 18, 2013

Berlin – The City of Museums


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I started my day back at the very gate that welcomed me to Berlin; the Brandenburg Gate. The Kennedy Museum is next to the US Embassy and the first of many museums that I would visit today. I have always been fascinated with America’s royal family and the power and tragedy that came at a high price. The museum is mainly a photo gallery of the main Kennedy players, along with wonderful memorabilia of John F Kennedy.

Linten Strasse is a wide and very impressive street that is lined with beautiful neo-classical buildings. I unexpectedly came upon the Humboldt University and wanted so much to go inside, but I was not allowed for obvious reasons. I am content with a photograph and walked further down the street to a very beautiful and very pink building that is the German History Museum. I am not deterred by the unusual colour and enter to discover a wonderfully rich and varied collection from ancient to modern times, royal families, art, philosopher’s and both world war’s. A great museum and one of my favourite displays is dedicated to philosopher’s such as Voltaire, Rousseau and many other’s. But the most outstanding of all, would be the moving and confronting memorabilia of both wars. To actually see SS and Nazi uniforms and footage of the destruction of both lives and cities, is very powerful viewing.

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Directly beside the pink museum is a channel of water that is partly frozen. I turn and follow this frozen path and what stands before me, is again, beautiful classical stone structures that could easily find a home in ancient Greece or Rome. The Pergamon Museum is a huge building dedicated to Egyptian and Islāmic works. The front entrance is impressive enough, but when you enter the building, ancient makes way to a modern interior housing very old precious artefacts. Further up the road is the Bode Museum and this smaller building has a very regal entrance and even more regal antiquity. From German, Greek and Roman artefacts, to sculptures, paintings and silver and bronze pieces of workmanship, this museum is also wonderful.

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But wait……there are more museums.

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I would like to write and boast that I visited every museum within the vicinity, but that would be a lie. It would not have been humanely possible nor could I have done justice. There is also the possibility that I may have come away either cross-eyed or blinded from all the reading and glare from the precious metal and stones, that I thought better of it as I still have some way to travel. These buildings are very impressive and I do not even know if any of them are the original or if they were rebuilt after the war. What I can write, is that no city that I have visited thus far, has been able to fuse ancient or modern, stone or glass; quite so perfectly as Berlin has.  What I do know, is that the Berliner Dom was destroyed in the war and was painstakingly rebuilt to its original design. What is even more surprising, is that the royal family crypt is all that survived the bombings. I am sure that the royal bones were rattled a bit, but there place of rest is once again at peace.

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Needless to say, that the cathedral was not only beautiful, but built-in stone, marble, gold and wood. There is a small museum upstairs that shows drawings, paintings and model replica’s of the cathedral and other old buildings. The guide was very friendly and even directed me on which angle and position I should stand to get the best photo’s. Very sweet!

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Alexanderplatz is a modern precinct where I stopped to have lunch. In all honesty, I was not overly impressed. But in saying that, I can see that what my not be impressive now, will change very quickly. It is still an area of vast open space, filled with modern glass high rises and growing at an unprecedented rate. It is edging closer to the old Berlin and what is a construction site now, will be something amazing in the future.

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