History Lessons in Berlin, Part Two

Our adventures in Berlin continued…

Our next visit was to the Reichstag Building, which is the seat of German parliament.  The Reichstag Building has a fascinating history.  It was opened in 1894 to house the Imperial Diet of the German Empire.  However, in 1933 it was severely damaged in a fire and after World War II, the building fell into disuse.  The ruined building was partially refurbished in the 1960’s, but no attempt was made at full restoration until after reunification in 1990, when it underwent a reconstruction.  In 1999, it finally once again became the meeting place of German parliament.

The Reichstag Building

The Reichstag Building

Although not being one for politics, I was fascinated by the futuristic dome that sits on top of this historical building.  Thankfully, it was open for a visit.  The sun beating through the glass dome made it a bit intense heat-wise, but it was worth it…

The Dome that sits on top of the Reichstag.  The Dome symbolizes that the people are above the government.

The Dome, sitting on top of the Reichstag, symbolizes that the people are above the government.

Looking inside the dome, with steel ramps that lead to the top of the Dome

Looking inside the dome, with steel ramps that lead to the top

The mirrored cone in the center of the Dome directs sunlight in the building

The mirrored cone in the center of the Dome directs sunlight in the building

Selfie at Parliament!

Selfie at Parliament!

This automated shade (on the left) rotates around the dome, providing some relief from the intense rays.

This automated shade (on the left) rotates around the dome, providing some relief from the intense rays.

After our Reichstag visit, we proceeded to walk around the rest of Berlin, taking in different sights along the way…

The Sony Center, housing restaurants, shops and a movie theater.  The cone at the top collects rain water, which is reused for the fountains.

The Sony Center, housing restaurants, shops and a movie theater. The cone at the top collects rain water, which is reused for the fountains.

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Thelma looks at what remains of the Berlin Wall

Thelma looks at what remains of the Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall Remnant and Commercialism

Berlin Wall Remnant and Commercialism

We found our brothers and sisters!

We found our brothers and sisters!

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

Seemingly simple, yet haunting, sobering and disturbing at the same time, 2711 steles stand in memorial to the victims of the Holocaust

Seemingly simple, yet haunting, sobering and disturbing at the same time, 2711 steles stand in memorial to the victims of the Holocaust

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The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, built in the 1890's and damaged in a bombing raid in 1943.  The church was largely destroyed, leaving only the shell of its spire and the entrance hall.

The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, built in the 1890’s and damaged in a bombing raid in 1943. The church was largely destroyed, leaving only the shell of its spire and the entrance hall.

I love the Ampelmann!  These distinct pedestrian traffic signals were designed by the East Germans and kept around after the reunification of Germany due to their clear symbols and widespread acceptance

I love the Ampelmann! These distinct pedestrian traffic signals were designed by the East Germans and kept around after the reunification of Germany due to their clear symbols and widespread acceptance

And one thing that I can’t neglect to mention in our travels to Germany… the food!  German portions are huge and the foods heavy.  It was delicious, but I’m glad that I didn’t stay too long – I don’t think I could continue eating like this…

Menu of an awesome café that we discovered on our last morning in Germany

Menu of an awesome café that we discovered on our last morning in Germany

That's a LOT of Schnitzel...

That’s a LOT of Schnitzel…

My favorite food in Germany:  Apple Studel!!!

My favorite food in Germany: Apple Studel!!!

Somehow, after all that food, our plane was still able to take off from Berlin.  Next stop… Amsterdam!!!

 

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