Sunday, March 31, 2013

Itinerary #2 - Rosa-Luxemburg Platz

This itinerary is a bit longer and will bring you to Prenzlauer Berg up to S-Bahn Prenzlauer Allee and then down again from the hill till Rosenthaler Platz.
This is also a good bike tour.
(in the description you'll find the links to the other posts on this Blog related to the places we're going to come across).

Full map:

You can start this path from U-Bahn Rosa-Luxemburg Platz and then walk till the Soho Haus (1). This is one of my favorite buildings in Berlin, with a long story of changes, from a jewish shopping mall, to nazi's headquarters, then Central Committee for SPD, then empty space and today is a luxury hotel. It's the synthetis of Berlin.
From here you can walk on Prenzlauer Allee and pass through the Botzow Brauerei - brewery (2), which is not always open (but you can have a look from the outside anyway) - sometimes they have exhibitions here. This space has also been used as set for the film Russendisco.
You can reach the top of the small hill of the Wasserturm (3), the oldest water town in Berlin, a circular building that now is an appartments building and have some rest in the small park just behind it or have a visit to the exhibition center (there are two different entrances, at the base of the hill).
Now it's time to walk a bit from here to the Ernst Thälmann Park (4), which is not so close, but you can enjoy the way on Greifswalder strasse or you can walk through smaller streets. The park is nice and from the Thälmann statue you can go inside the park and reach directy the Carl Zeiss Planetarium (5) on the other side. Thälmann was the leader of the Communist Party of Germany during much of the Weimar Republic and was imprisoned in Buchenwald and then killed by Nazis on direct Hitler's order. The park has been built for the 750 years of Berlin.
From here the best is to walk back on the Danziger strasse and go west, passing  through the Kulturbreuerei (6), which once was a brewery complex and today has been renovated and inside you'll find different activities.
The opposite exit is not far from the Stadtbad (7), the swimming pool complex (unfortunately also this one is not always opened, but just for special events).
Our itinerary ends at the Zionkirche (8), which has its particular story of anzi-nazism and protests during the DDR period, with punk concerts and an indipendent press.

Soho Haus (1)

Botzow Brewerei (2)

Wasserturm (3)

Carl Zeiss Planetarium (5)

Ernst Thälmann Park (4)

Stadtbad (7)

Zionkirche (8)

Kulturbreuerei (6)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Schloss Babelsberg - UNESCO Castle (Potsdam)

Babelsberg Palace lies on top of a small hill in a big park in Potsdam. For over 50 years it was the summer residence of Prince William, later Emperor William I and his wife.

The building, designed in the English Gothic style, was built in two phases over the period 1835–1849. The contract to plan the palace was given to the architects Karl Friedrich Schinkel (the same of the Altes_Museum), Ludwig Persius and Johann Heinrich Strack.
Babelsberg Palace is managed by the Berlin-Brandenburg Foundation for Prussian Palaces and Gardens (Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg) and is protected by UNESCO as a world heritage site within the Potsdam ensemble.

After the death of William I in 1888 preferred the imperial successor other castles as a residence. The furniture was lost through looting after 1945. From 1953 some rooms have been used by the Academy of State and Law of the DDR. The classrooms were located in new buildings from the 1950s, behind the palace, which are now demolished.

From 1970, the building housed a museum of prehistory and early history, while now they're going to completely renovate it.

More infos: 
Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg

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