Unique & Colorful Buildings
There are colorful buildings everywhere in Berlin. This picture is an example.
According to our tour guide:
Back in the Communist days, many people lived in buildings that de-emphasized individualism and personality. The architecture was bland and nondescript. But later on, many of the buildings were colorfully painted, as if to distinguish one building from another.
I have to admit that I didn't go inside this grand church. I was somewhat put off by its over-grandiose exterior. Although the Dom is based on a Baroque design, it was built during the Wilhelmine Era, whose guiding principle seems to have been "Nothing Succeeds Like Excess."
However, I've been told that there are some interesting monuments and statues inside the Dom, some of which date from the Renaissance. So, on my return to Berlin I will be sure to include the Dom in my itinerary.
The city belongs to the runners!
... and not only the runners, also the skaters and wheel-chair racers!
The Berlin marathon takes place every year in late September. Either you can join the run through the city or you can be among the crowd along the streets and cheer, clap hands and enliven the runners. Great fun!
I live on a street that is part of the course, so it's always a pleasure to watch the marathon runners from the window.
By the way, the "little brother" of the marathon, the half-marathon, takes place every April.
Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche, Kreuzberg, 1885-1888
The Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche (Church of the Holy Cross ), a brick building in neo-gothic style with a Greek cross as ground plan, was designed by Johannes Otzen, an important church architect in the late 19th century. In World War II it was heavily damaged and rebuild in silghtly simplified shape with a post-war interior.
Due to changes in the population of the quarter – more and more people quitting their membership in the church, ‘natives’ moving out and non-Christian groups moving in (Kreuzberg has a large foreign, mostly Turkish, population), the parish community had to think of new ways to use their church and attract people. The church has been turned into a multi-purpose building in the 1990s which is still used for church services but also for other cultural events. The side wings and attic now contain a café, offices, rooms for discussions, classes and meetings, so that the church has become a cultural and social centre for everyone in the quarter, Christian or not.
Architect: Johannes Otzen
Address: Kreuzberg, Blücherstraße
Location: Close to Mehringplatz and the American Library
How to get in: open in the daytime
The Red Room
"So, less one sleepy Italian, we headed off on the second of our cross-town treks with Hanno. After seemingly endless tram journeys and a quick marathon walk, we arrived at the "Roter Salon" in Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz. The club was advertising itself with posters as some kind of Indie Britpop noise session, which sounded worth the six euros the grumpy door staff were charging. However, once inside, we found that we'd been conned. It was not Indie Britpop at all, but DJ Thomas Bohnet with his Tour de France blaring out never-before-heard-by-non-francophone tunes in unfathomable French. Hanno was despondent. I was enthralled. Craig and Martin couldn't care less as long as they had beer in front of them.
Hanno was upset because the place was relatively empty, and wasn't playing the music he'd brought us to listen to. He was unhappy that we weren't being entertained in proper Berlin fashion. I, on the other hand, was enchanted by the idea of Berliners so eclectic in their musical taste that not only would they come along to a Französicher Musik night, but they would also be such regular patrons of the event that they knew all the words to sing along to. I tried to impress this upon Hanno, but he was too far gone. Nothing was going to change his mood while we were in that club. Craig and Martin were staring, goggle-eyed like the train obsessed boy on the ICE to Berlin, at a young couple as they enthusiastically made passionate virtual love to each other on the bar, behind the bar, on the dance floor, on the sofa, before finally disappearing behind a meter high stall." - from my travelogue
This is a happening little club in Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, which seems to have quite an interesting line up of events. The Friday we went it was French night, and the following Saturday was the far more popular Britpop Indie night. You can find out what's on at their website, linked below, although it is invariably Indie, or something very similar.