Kulturforum Berlin

4 September 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Berlin, General, Museums, Exhibitions

Gemäldegalerie © Membeth

Gemäldegalerie © Membeth

The Kulturforum is a collection of cultural buildings in Berlin. It was built up in the 1950s and 1960s at the edge of West Berlin, after most of the once unified city’s cultural assets had been lost behind the Berlin Wall. The Kulturforum is characterized by its innovative modernist architecture; several buildings are distinguished by the organic designs of Hans Scharoun, and the Neue Nationalgalerie was designed by Mies van der Rohe. Today, the Kulturforum lies immediately to the west of the redeveloped commercial node of Potsdamer Platz.   read more…

House of the World’s Cultures in Berlin

1 November 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Berlin, General, House of the Month, Museums, Exhibitions

© flickr.com - holger doelle/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – holger doelle/cc-by-2.0

The Haus der Kulturen der Welt (“House of the World’s Cultures”) in Berlin is Germany’s national centre for the presentation and discussion of international contemporary arts, with a special focus on non-European cultures and societies. It presents art exhibitions, theater and dance performances, concerts, author readings, films and academic conferences on Visual Art and culture. It is one of the few institutions which, due to their national and international standing and the quality of their work, receive funding from the federal government as so-called “lighthouses of culture.”   read more…

Potsdamer Platz in Berlin

7 September 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Berlin, General

© Ansgar Koreng/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

© Ansgar Koreng/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

Potsdamer Platz (literally Potsdam Square) is an important public square and traffic intersection in the centre of Berlin, lying about 1 km (1,100 yd) south of the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag (German Parliament Building), and close to the southeast corner of the Tiergarten park. It is named after the city of Potsdam, some 25 km (16 mi) to the south west, and marks the point where the old road from Potsdam passed through the city wall of Berlin at the Potsdam Gate. After developing within the space of little over a century from an intersection of rural thoroughfares into the most bustling traffic intersection in Europe, it was totally laid waste during World War II and then left desolate during the Cold War era when the Berlin Wall bisected its former location. Since German reunification, Potsdamer Platz has been the site of major redevelopment projects. After the initial opening of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989, Potsdamer Platz became one of the earliest locations where the Wall was “breached” to create a new border crossing between East and West Berlin. The crossing began operating on 11 November 1989, earlier than the iconic Brandenburg Gate crossing which opened more than a month later. The crossing required the dismantling of both the inner and outer walls and the clearance of the death zone or no man’s land between the two. A temporary road, lined with barriers, was created across this zone and checkpoints were set up just inside East German territory. Proper dismantling of the entire wall began on 15 May 1990 and all border checks were abolished on 1 July 1990 as East Germany joined West Germany in a currency union. On 21 July 1990, ex-Pink Floyd member Roger Waters staged a gigantic charity concert of his former band’s rock extravaganza The Wall to commemorate the end of the division between East and West Germany. The concert took place at Potsdamer Platz – specifically an area of the former no man’s land just to the north of the Reich Chancellery site, and featured many guest superstars.   read more…

The Berliner Philharmonie

16 May 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Berlin, General, Opera Houses, Theaters, Libraries

Kammermusiksaal © Jorge Franganillo/cc-by-sa-4.0

Kammermusiksaal © Jorge Franganillo/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Berliner Philharmonie is a concert hall in Berlin. Home to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the building is acclaimed for both its acoustics and its architecture. Actually a two-venue facility with connecting lobby, the Philharmonie comprises a Großer Saal of 2,440 seats for orchestral concerts and a chamber-music hall, the Kammermusiksaal, of 1,180 seats. Though conceived together, the smaller venue was added only in the 1980s.   read more…

Bellevue Palace

8 March 2012 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Berlin, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

© Peter Kuley

© Peter Kuley

Schloss Bellevue is the official residence of the President of Germany since 1994. The palace in the central Tiergarten district of Berlin is situated on the northern edge of the Großer Tiergarten park, on the banks of the Spree river, near the Berlin Victory Column. Its name (“beautiful view” in French) derives from the scenic prospect over the river course.   read more…

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