There will be miracles here

Berlin is a young European capital, first making an appearance in 1237 as an obscure fishing village. Berlin has certainly spread its net since then, making up for its relative youth by becoming a dynamic and occasionally hedonistic centre point of Europe. From the symbolic chaining of the bear on Berlin’s crest by Friedrich II […]

Berlin is a young European capital, first making an appearance in 1237 as an obscure fishing village. Berlin has certainly spread its net since then, making up for its relative youth by becoming a dynamic and occasionally hedonistic centre point of Europe. From the symbolic chaining of the bear on Berlin’s crest by Friedrich II to the depredations of the Nazi period this city has experienced some of the lowest points in European history. However in the last two decades since the fall of the wall Berlin has experienced a contemporary upswing in the arts, culture and architecture. Districts that once lay behind the Iron Curtain such as Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain are thriving areas for students and artists, and the goliath Potsdamer Platz complex has been built extraordinarily quickly considering it was until recently the largest urban wasteland in western Europe.

The thriving street culture and graffiti are some of Berlin’s coolest prospects right now, with graffiti artists and taggers from all over the world coming to make their mark here. The gay, lesbian and transgender scenes are particularly strong here and every year a large Pride festival is held to protest and to show solidarity. Schöneberg is the hub of this scene and numerous bars, clubs and restaurants proudly display their rainbow flags, although most districts in Berlin are equally friendly.

Eating and going out in Berlin is a real treat as it is both cheap and high quality, with clubs charging relatively low entry and bars plying you with high quality beers and cocktails inexpensively. Food comes in a bewildering range, from Turkish doner in the east to simple sushi in Mitte, boiled cabbage in German restaurants and Tapas bars. With so much food choice it can be hard to decide. Fear not as even choosing a cheap restaurant will normally unearth a rough diamond at the least.

Architecture and buildings in Berlin have been weathered, destroyed and rebuilt in this thriving capital. With everything from the Media Spree development and Potsdamer Platz to the palaces at Potsdam and the Reichstag, Berlin has serious potential for those with an eye for sights. Memorials old and new cluster along famous boulevards and avenues, whilst cyclists in their dozens brush past on the Radweg. The story of Berlin is best exemplified in the Mitte district, the centre of division during the Cold War and the hub of historic rallies, speeches and declarations. Museums sprinkled liberally around Berlin present a visitor with a fresh perspective on events – from the Third Reich to the Ramones pretty much most subjects get a look in. With excitement around every corner…
Curso24/CTR Sommer 2010

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