Thursday, 6 November 2014

Berlin - Mitte

As I have been posting lots of photos from Wroclaw in Poland recently, here are some from Berlin Mitte, just as the Autumn sun was beginning to set, to redress the balance. Wroclaw might be a wonderful city to visit, but Berlin stays in the kernel of our hearts!

We start off in the Nikolai Viertal, and the bronze sculpture of  'St. Georg im Kampf mit dem Drachen' (1853) by August Kiss. This was originally situated in the courtyard of the Berliner Stadtschloss, where we'll be heading towards next.

photos of Berlin Mitte by Andie Gilmour

The rebuilding of the Stadtschloss is coming along steadily, but isn't finished yet. But here are some of the Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) and the Lustgarten (Pleasure Garden) instead.

photos of Berlin Mitte by Andie Gilmour

photos of Berlin Mitte by Andie Gilmour

You can see the building-site of the Stadtschloss in this next photo. It is on the right-hand side, where all the cranes are (big clue!).

photos of Berlin Mitte by Andie Gilmour

photos of Berlin Mitte by Andie Gilmour

photos of Berlin Mitte by Andie Gilmour

This is the Berliner Dom reflected in the glass of Karl Friedrich Schinkel's Altes Museum, completed in 1830.

photos of Berlin Mitte by Andie Gilmour

A look towards the Fernsehturm and we can see the infamous cross blazing from the TV Tower's globe. The tour guides will tell you that Berliners used to call this die Rache des Papstes (the Pope's revenge) because East Germany was a God-less state, and that the East German Government declared that no, it is in fact a positive plus sign (+) for Communism.

photos of Berlin Mitte by Andie Gilmour

Next we came to the Reichstag Building, home of the Bundestag or German Parliament, and the sun is now setting and giving a golden glow to the sandstone.

photos of Berlin Mitte by Andie Gilmour

photos of Berlin Mitte by Andie Gilmour

photos of Berlin Mitte by Andie Gilmour

photos of Berlin Mitte by Andie Gilmour

photos of Berlin Mitte by Andie Gilmour

By the time we had got to das Brandenburger Tor the sun was nearly set and Pariser Platzy was in shade. Still, the Quadriga (four horses and chariot of the goddess Nike / Victoria - originally Eirene the goddess of Peace) was nicely lit up.

photos of Berlin Mitte by Andie Gilmour

By the way, this isn't the original Quadriga sculpted by Johann Gottfried Schadow, taken as war bounty by Napoleon, to be recaptured at the end of the Franco-Prussian War and then redesigned with an Iron Cross by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. That Quadriga was just about destroyed during the end-phases of the Battle of Berlin. This is a reproduction, which itself was damaged by revellers during the celebration of the Mauerfall - the Fall of the Berlin Wall on 9th November 1989 - which will be celebrated this coming weekend. Hopefully the 25th anniversary celebrations won't end up with more damage to the Quadriga! Poor Victoria has seen enough already.

Footnote: The only surviving part of the original Quadriga is the head of one of the horses, which can be seen at the Märkisches Museum.


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