These are some photos that I took from my trip in Berlin last week. I believe that these shots reflect the rich culture, painful and darkest pasts, as well as the dynamic and contemporary landscapes of the city.
I was lucky to be there for the Festival of Lights, a ten day event that happens annually every October where many of Berlin’s famous landmarks and monuments are lit up with colorful light projections each night. This one of the Brandenburg Gate is my favorite! Everyone at the square stood in awe as we watched the structure awash in different colors and moods.
This marks the memorial for the book burning by the Nazis in Bebelplatz. In 1821, German poet Heinrich Heine wrote, “Where they burn books, they will in the end also burn people”.
In its heyday, this avenue was once the hedonists’ paradise, known to cater to the who’s who who got a penchant for kinky sex, drugs and booze.
This metal plate inscription marks where the wall once stood. It is almost surreal to think of how people can now freely walk between what used to be East and West Germany and that not so long ago, it was almost impossible to imagine that the Wall would ever fall.
Yes I do!
The iconic Ampelmännchen or the little traffic man, arguably one of the most recognizable icon of Berlin
I went to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp along with some new friends I met from the hostel. For some of us, it was our first time to visit an actual concentration camp and I can say that it wasn’t something that we were quite prepared for. The experience was so gut-wrenching and emotionally-draining that we didn’t even manage to take many pictures from this place. Pictured is the gate that greets the doomed souls with the infamous words “Arbeit macht freit” or roughly “work makes you free”.
Just walking between the concrete slabs of the memorial
The Berlin Cathedral bathing in the glow of sunset. This was the last picture I took from my week-long stay in Berlin before catching the midnight train back to Denmark.
The “Mother with her Dead Son” is set under an oculus, allowing snow, rain and sunlight to fall unto the sculpture. Must be a sight to behold in winter, I could imagine.
Gendarmenmarkt, my most favorite square in Berlin
East Side Gallery
Just because I like taking pictures of windows with people sitting by them
Gotta love autumn sceneries like this when the ground is adorned with splendidly coloured leaves!
Humboldt University, the very institution that produced Marx, Einstein, Engels and Heine. Pictured is the imposing facade of the Faculty of Law
Passing time on the train ride en route to Oranienburg station with my hostelmates from Spain, Australia and Austria
Random quote on a cement block
Admiring the golden domes of the Neue Synagoge
The Berlin TV Tower
Playing hide and seek with a photographer
Remembering the millions of lives lost during the Holocaust
The beautiful Berliner Dom, a baroque cathedral designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel.
The memorial was intended to be passive and rather abstract, where interpretation is left to the viewer. What do these blocks mean to you?
Travel Tip: To those visiting Berlin for the first time, I highly recommend the free walking tour offered by Sandemans New Europe. The tour gives an excellent overview of Berlin, its history, insider tips and the places that you can further explore on your own. Please note that although it is free, guides only earn on a tip basis. Rest assured that the tour is worth more than every little penny that you tip! Whenever possible, I always start my trips with a Sandeman tour. I have used them on my first visit to Rome, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Brussels – they never disappoint! :-)