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  • SIGHTSEEING

Berlin Highlights Walk for School Groups

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Walking 800 years of Berlin history

Berlin’s historical or modern city center, on our Walk through Mitte you can choose between these two options.
For our walking tour through Mitte you can choose between these two options:

Berlin’s Historical Center:

We start at Alexanderplatz, which as late as the 18th century was a cattle market that lay outside the gates of the city. It’s seedy underworld in the 1920s was immortalised in Döblin’s iconic novel ‘Berlin Alexanderplatz’. After World War II the square was rebuilt by the East German government to showcase architecturally the ‘new socialist utopia’ for a ‘new socialist people’.

From here we move on to the Red City Hall and the Nikolai Quarter, which was rebuilt in its medieval form in the 1980s in an unusual act of co-operation between East and West Germany. From here we head for the Lustgarten in front of the Berlin Cathedral and explore Museum Island, before strolling down Berlin’s grand central avenue, the Unter den Linden. On the way we take in the baroque beauty of buildings from the Prussian era and hear stories of neglected wives, party princes and even the significance of potatoes in the history of Germany.

At the Gendarmenmarkt you’ll learn about the French immigrants who sought sanctuary in Berlin in the 18th century, giving the city its famous meatball dish, the Berlin Boulette. The tour ends at the iconic Brandenburg Gate, Berlin’s only surviving city gate, which is both a famous landmark of the capital, and also a potent symbol of Germany’s division and reunification.

Berlin’s New Center:

We start at Central Station, opened in 2006 for the FIFA World Cup. From here you cross the river Spree to the Federal Chancellery, home of Germany’s chancellor Merkel. A lot of glass and exposed concrete in the new Government District symbolize transparency. And visitors can climb to the top of the parliament building Reichstag and enjoy the sweeping views from its glass dome.

Pariser Platz at Brandenburg Gate presents itself as a unified ensemble – today it is hard to imagine that the gate stood all by itself in the death strip during Germany’s division.

From here the Wall ran in a straight line to Potsdamer Platz, a waste land right in the city center that was only rebuilt after reunification. Just south of the Academy of the Arts and the new American embassy you can find the 2711 concrete slabs that form the Holocaust Memorial. Just next to it the site of Hitler’s self aggrandizing head-quarters, the Reichskanzlei, with the infamous “Führer Bunker”, is now strewn with ubiquitous prefabricated apartment blocks.

Our tour ends at Potsdamer Platz, once home to the world’s first traffic light, the Wall and Europe’s largest construction site, now a world of glittering steel and glass.

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