I found a lot of small and large pretty old architecture in Berlin. And I often could find many interesting architectural details. Just keep your eyes open, you will be amazed unless you don't like old architecture.
My picture was made hmm... not at all off the beaten path but on the main shopping street of former West Berlin: Kurfürstendamm (# 237) called usually shortly Ku-Damm. It was easy to miss it on busy street that's why it was off the beaten path (or maybe sight) for me.
It was the portal of the entrance gate to the old house which housed H&M (Hennes & Mauritz) store. There were stone sculptures there: two statues with a coat of arms between them.
My 3 silly questions for you:
1. Were the statues guys?
Hmm... I was not sure about a gender of the left statue, not full nudity there :-), no breast but somewhat woman's shape of the body as well.
2. What did they keep in their hands? Baseball bats ? Too long as I know.
3. What the coat of arms was there?
It was white eagle with a crown on its head on yellow (gold) background. Hmm... German eagle is black, Polish is white but somewhat different.
This is an old watter tower that today is has been inhabited, so they made apartments on it.
It is in a park where the dependences of the water cistern was. on top of the park there is a nice view over the Fernsehenturm.
The area is surrounded with restaurants and terraces, and one of the most important synagoges of berlin, the only one that was not fired during all the Nazi periode due to its location around apartment buildings. On the old Cistern there was a hospital, or first aid house before the WWII that then the Nazis then change to a concentration camp or area. Today is under reforming and will probably held an expotition area.
While on a walking tour keep an eye out at crosswalks. You may find figures which are unique to East Berlin (and East Germany in general) and have become so popular that they are showing up now on t-shirts and souvenirs. While in West Berlin you will not see these types of cross walk figures. Only the traditional ones are found there. If you would like one below is a website site to souvenirs a shirt with one of these little walking people. Personally i think they are a little tacky.
Well keep an eye out and enjoy.
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This very looong, old, beautiful and pretty renovated buiding on my picture was located along western side of Mehringdamm. It housed local tax office of the district of Kreuzberg ("Finanzamt Kreuzberg"). Probably not all locals loved this building :-).
Hmm... one district and a few hundreds tax office staff working there? Was it a sign of huge European/German beaurocracy or of perfect tax system?
I would never guess what was inside this old neo-classic in style building on my picture. It was the entrance to a metro/subway station (U-bahn Wittenbergplatz: U1, U2, U15). It was the last underground station, father east the metro went over ground.
The first documentary mention of Cölln (Berlin's sister town that time) comes from 1237. So, Berlin is over 700 years old city which surely means that it's... relatively young European city.
But I could easily find hundreds amazing, well-preserved old buildings around the city especially in Charlottenburg and Kreuzberg districts (belonged to West Berlin until 1989) and along/around Unter den Linden (former East Berlin). My suggestion is to turn from the main streets to see some of them.
Just first example on my picture (enlarge, please): corner building at Bleibtreustraße and Mommenstraße. Pay attention to beautiful architectural details of the front elevation like the helmet roof and the bay windows.
Wouldn't you like to live there? It's very good location - quiet and safe street. But must be expensive, I am sure. Hmm... I could see quite many advertisements of doctors and lawyers on houses around.
Have a look at a huge road full of Soviet style buildings built in the 1950s. I love this street, it looks gorgeous!! It's probably my favourite street in Berlin!
Once my friend wanted to visit her friend who had just moved into a house at Karl-Marx-Allee so I even had the chance to look at the inside of these buildings. The flats and especially the staircases are great!
The the park over the old cistern of the watter tower is today a good place to admire the Fernsehenturm and the civil archicture of Berlin.
If you like sportscars you have to go to the Friedrichstrasse. It is nice to see the futuristic designs and the men who really would like to have such a car (but can't afford it).