If you were asked in which European cities you’d find interesting architecture, art galleries, monuments, fountains and statues, you’d probably reply London, Paris or Rome. Berlin would probably be somewhere down your list.
However, when it comes to thinking about where to go on your holidays, Germany’s capital city is an extremely under-rated tourist attraction. Those who visit will discover a past unlike anywhere else in Europe. From its tree-lined boulevards and sprawling parks, to its historic buildings and network of waterways, Berlin really is a magnificent city with which to spend a few days.
It doesn’t cost much to visit the city either – particularly if you stay in one of the many campsites in Germany on Zoover.co.uk.
With that in mind, we thought we’d put together a list of Berlin’s five most important sights worth photographing. From the things you really must see to the most important palaces, viewpoints and memorials of the capital’s hidden places.
Photo #1 – Brandenburg Gate
Perhaps the most famous of all Berlin’s sights, the only remaining city gate of Berlin used to represent the separation of the city between East and West Berlin. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 the Brandenburg Gate has now come to symbolise German unity.
Made of sandstone and built in 1791, the Gate one of the finest examples of German classicism. On both sides, there are six Doric columns supporting the 11 metre-deep transverse beam, which divide the gate into five passages. Since October 2002 the Brandenburg Gate has been closed for traffic, including buses and taxis.
Photo #2 – Alexanderplatz
Alexanderplatz is one of the most famous squares in Berlin and certainly the largest.
Named after the Russian Tsar Alexander I, who visited the capital of Prussia in 1805, the square became a traffic hub when a train station was established there in 1882. Alexanderplatz took on its present form in the 1960s after it had been largely destroyed in World War II. During this time, Alexanderplatz was converted into a pedestrian zone with traffic being diverted round it via a four lane street. Also during this time the former Centrum department store was built as well as the Alex Passages and the Berliner Fernsehturm (Berlin TV Tower).
Photo #3 – Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie is a must-see – the scene of several thrillers and espionage novels ranging from James Bond’s “Octopussy” to “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold”.
The most famous East German-West German border crossing, Checkpoint Charlie was a a transition point for the members of the Allied forces. In 1961 it was the scene of a famous tank ‘stand-off’ between the USA and USSR. Nearby you can find the Berlin Wall Museum – Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie, which has a replica of the first Allied guardhouse set up on the median strip of the Friedrichstraße.
Photo #4 – Charlottenburg Palace
The Charlottenburg Palace is the largest palace in Berlin and is the only surviving royal residence in the city. Built at the end of the 17th century and expanded in the 18th century, it includes exotic internal decoration in both Baroque and Rococo styles.
Behind the Palace you’ll find a large formal garden surrounded by woodland. Designed in 1697 by Simeon Godeau, who was behind the design of the gardens at Versailles, it’s the perfect place for a leisurely stroll.
Photo #5 – The Reichstag
The final sight on our list has to be The Reichstag – a scene of so many important moments in history. Built in 1894, it was the scene of the declaration of the new Weimar Republic in 1918. On 27 February 1933 (under mysterious circumstances that still have yet to be explained), the Reichstag was set on fire, paving the way for the Nazi Regime to take hold.
After being destroyed in WW2, the Reichstag was rebuilt in a much more simplified form. Between 1994 and 1999, the Reichstag was redesigned and expanded with today’s glass dome by the British architect Sir Norman Foster while retaining its extensive, historical dimensions. The dome, which initially generated a lot of controversy, has since become one of the landmarks of Berlin. Since 1999, the German Bundestag has been convening in the Reichstag building.
So there we have it – five of the most sought-after photos from Germany’s capital city. If you’re planning your holiday, why not give Berlin a whirl?