Art and Culture, Berlin
Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841) was a Prussian architect, city planner and the painter. He was one of the most prominent architects of Germany known for designing buildings in both neo-Classical and neo-Gothic style. His most famous buildings in Berlin are: Neue Wache, Gendarmenmarkt, Altes Museum, Schauspielhaus (now the Konzerthaus) and Schloss Rosenau in Coburg.
Schinkelplatz was named in honour of a great architect. There are three bronze statues on the square, from left, of Peter Christian Beuth (work by August Kiss from 1861), of Karl Friedrich Schinkel (work by Friedrich Drake from 1867-1869) and Albrecht von Thaer (by Christian Daniel Rauch and Hugo Hagen from1858-1859), all standing in front of the Schinkel's Academy.
Gerhard Thieme, born in 1928, is probably the most prominent sculptor from ex-GDR, his numerous works could be seen all over East Berlin, especially in the public parks. Most of his works glorifying working class, ordinary people without a face. In so-called real socialistic art, substance of an art-work was more important then a form. Thieme, however, proved that form could be equally if not even more important.
Berliner Originale (Berlin characters) from 1987 is fine example of an well made sculpture which satisfying both substance and form, very atypical in real socialistic arts.
This attractive modern art styled sculpture could be seen on Marlene Dietrich Platz, right in front of Adagio theater and Spielhaus casino. The sculpture is work of American artist Jeffrey Jeff Koons, known for his reproductions of banal objects, such as balloon animals produced in stainless steel with mirror finish surfaces. This sculpture is called "Balloon Flower".
When I planned my trip to Berlin this giants were a part of a must see sights, however, bad weather conditions have cost me to miss it. At least I had opportinity to make this low quality photos from the taxi on my way to the airport. The photos should be taken from the opposite bank of the River Spree and if possible in a bright sunny day.
The sculpture is called "Molecule Man" and is work of famous American artist Jonathan Borofsky, on show in Berlin since 1999. The idea of the artist was to reminds us that both people and molecules excist in a world of probability. Actually, there are three figures standing inside the river Spree. The sculpture is located in the district of Treptow.
I’m not sure where I heard that the main museums in Berlin are open on the first Thursday evening of the month from 6pm till 10pm and admission is free. I tried asking if this was true at the hotel where I was staying but only received blanked looks. So I decided to give it a try and discovered it was true. I went into the Altes and Pergamon Museums for free. I tried the Alte Nationalgalerie but because there was a special exhibition on at the time there was the normal entrance charge. So if you want to save some money and your in Berlin on a Thursday evening give it a try.
Like many large cities around the world a night out in Berlin starts later than in smaller towns in general. Most have dinner or something to eat around 9-ish, but club and bar hopping really cranks up after 11pm or especially midnight. Some friends visiting were surprised and disappointed when they wished to go out around 9pm but not many people were out. I said, "Just wait".
It's not really fashionable to arrive at a venue until after the times I mentioned. Most times my flatmate and I don't even get dressed until 10 or so, then decide hey let's go dancing or out to have a drink. Meeting friends at 1 or 2am is normal for many of the younger set. Just remember that only on weekends and some holidays does the U-bahn run late night/early morning hours. You have to take the nightbus or a taxi, or get out and walk to return to homebase.
This funny work of art stands on a small square which is situated close to the Checkpoint Charlie. The square is located right opposite to the Museum of Communications, if you know where it is. Looks like good idea to make this "gray" square attractive. I wish to know more about this peace of art and its author.
Finaly I find it out, the sculpture is called "Houseball" and is work of Oldenburg and van Bruggen. It is located on Bethlehemkirche platz.
In the picture you can see Staatsoper on Unter den Linden. Berlin has three state opera houses, more than any other European city. This probably stems from both Berlin's cultural history and from the fact that two or more of everything was needed when the city was divided.
It was last expected to see the theatre in Berlin which is named for Russian author and founder of the socialist realism literary movement but it was located in the East Berlin and since the reunification of the town the names of the institutions hasn't been changed.
The theatre was originally built in 1827 under the plans of architect Karl Friedrich Shinkel and was concert hall at that time. It was place where the oldest mixed Berliner choir concert took place. The building was completely demolished in WW II and after rebuilding was opened as a theatre venue.
Nowadays Maxim Gorki is one of Berlin's largest theaters performing classic dramas and contemporary plays and dramas.
The house was built in 1906 and once it housed "Neues Schauspielhaus" (the new theatre). Goya is located at Nollendorfplatz 5 in the district of Schonenberg. I had no idea what it is but was attracted by the illumination when passing by.
Goya is suitable for organising gala dinners, partys, concerts, fashion shows, presentations or conferences. It has various areas individually or in combination for up to 2000 guests. The place provides perfect illuminations, already from the outside.
Hackersche Hoefe is notable courtyard complex situated adjacent to the Hackescher Markt. The complex consists of eight interconnected courtyards designed in Art Nouveau style by August Endel. The idea was of clear separation between residential areas, crafts, trade and culture, which distinguishes it from the backyards of the 19th century.
The complex is situated in the triangle in between Sophien - Rosenthaler - Oranienburger Strassen.
Mauermuseum (Checkpoint Charlie Museum) is named after the famous crossing point of the Berlin Wall and was created to document how absurde the history of an town and people could be if created for the political reasons only.
The museum displays photos and related documents of successful escape attempts from East Germany. It began in the apartment with two rooms only in Bernauerstrasse. The Bernauerstrasse was divided along its whole length, the buildings in the east part had been vacated and their windows were bricked up. In my opinion, something like that could be created in the sick mind only.
Komische Oper, situated in Behrenstrasse, is specialized in German language productions of opera, operetta and musicals. It was built in 1892 by famous theatre architects and builder Fellner and Helmer, who designed a number of theatres in the Central Europe.
The theatre was closed already in 1896 because its directors went bankrupt, but reopened again in 1898 as Metropol Theatre and become most famous and successful variety theatre in Berlin. Due to a decline of variety, however, was closed again in 1933. In 1934 the theatre was nationalized and renamed Staatliches Operettentheater.
During WW II the theatre was completely demolished in bombings, provisionaly rebuild and reopened in 1947 as the Komische Oper.
I turned to be so called „African days“ when I was visiting Berlin in June 2012. The African market and celebration stage took place in Alexander square (Alexanderplatz). It was not only possible to get to know African culture, music, dances, languages, but also to taste some food or to buy souvenirs, that looks African style. Stage was always full of different music bands. It happened the last two days of my stay, so I wonder how long it lasts.
Excuse, it's more German or maybe Prussian than Berlin custom.
I noticed that Germans built their houses with small bricks of various colours in the past. The colours created various patterns. You can often see brick houses with usually horizontal, vertical and oblique brick lines - perpendicular one to each other. The color bricks were often replaced by wood creating brick - nogged - timber - walls called "Prussian wall". You can see it either in Berlin/Germany and in parts of Poland which belonged to Germany in the past including my hometown.
Sometimes, especially on churches or other "more important" buildings the brick patterns were more complicated like on the round wall of the apse of St. Mathew Church (St. Matth?us Kirche). Enjoy :-)