Thousands of tourists stroll down Unter den Linden. They notice the impressive neoclassical facade and colonade of the Neue Wache building, just before reaching the Lustgarten.
Not all of them walk inside. Some peep in, see what seems like an almost empty hall, and walk out again. My tip is: take your time and spend a few minutes inside.
The Neue Wache is today the official "Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany". The interior is dark and empty, creating a sensation of void, and and in the center you will find Käthe Kollwitz 's "Pieta" sculpture, eloquent, expressive and moving, like all of her sculptures (see my tip on the Käthe Kollwitz Museum in Berlin).
This is a memorial to all war victims.
The history of the building goes back to 1816, when Friedrich Wilhelm III ordered its construction as a guard house. This was the first architectural gem conceived by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in Berlin. It served afterwards as "Memorial for the Fallen of the War" (First World War) before 1945, "Memorial for the Victims of Fascism and Militarism" (during the communist era), and now "Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany".
So, take 5 minutes of your time, admire the building and the Pieta sculpture, and remember all the victims of war.
A neoclassical building now used as a tasteful anti-war-memorial; the interior is cobble-stone-paved, with a Käthe Kollwitz - sculpture of a mother holding her son in her arms in the centre. A quiet, special place in the middle of a busy city (next to the History Museum).
A beautiful boulevard which runs from the Brandenburg Gate. Walking from the gate there are some reasonably priced souvineer shops immediately on your right and these are shortly followed by the rather large Russian Embassy.
In the middle of the boulevard there are little groups of table where you can enjoy a nice, cool beer.
Down Unter den Linden on the left is the Humboldt Universitat where Marx studied and opposite here is Babelplatz
Take a stroll down Unter den Linden and enjoy the streetscape. It is full of classic buildings, statues, history, culture and people. Deutsches Historisches Museum has web cams looking down Unter den Linden to Brandenburger Tor and back to Berliner Dom. I enjoy regularly looking at this web cam site as it brings back so many great memories. The web-cams are updated every 30 seconds 24 hours a day. The museum itself, as you can probably guess from it's name, has a focus on German history and is open daily, except Wednesday, from 10am. to 6pm with free entrance. This photo was taken April 12, 2005 and shows a large roadworks project in action, other photos attached show the completed works and seasonal impacts. The first building on the right is the courtyard entrance to Humboldt University. The statue in the middle of the street is the famous equestrian statue of Frederick the Great. The Brandenburg Gate can be seen in the distance and is an excellant start, finish or return point fror a walk down the street. The trees you see dividing the roads are lime trees from which the name of the street was derived, "under the lime trees".
This was my favourite Berlin "Walk", picture taken from viewing platform of TV Tower. You can see Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathederal) just before start of Unter den Linden (One of the most famous streets in Berlin) leading up to Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburgor Tor - last city gate remaining, built in 1791) and the Reichstag (German Parliament) and Reichstag Dome.
Travel my train to Zoologischer Garten S Bahn or U Bahn and catch Bus 100 for a pre walk tour down Unter den Linden, exit at Alexanderplatz and walk back.
Some of the many sites to see on the walk
* Alexanderplatz (communist designed commercial square and transport hub)
* TV Tower (365m) is worth going up on clear days and queues are not long
* Marienkirche - Gothic Lutheran Church built 1270 (free tour (donation) 1pm)
* Neptunbrunnen - Neptune Fountain (within Alexanderplatz)
* World Time Clock (within Alexanderplatz)
* Statue of Marx and Engles in the park opposite Alexanderplatz
* Schlossbrucke (Bridge) that leads over river onto start of Unter den Linden
* Berliner Dom (Cathederal, royal crypts / climb 270 steps for good views)
* Unter den Linden (One of the most famous streets in Berlin)
* Deutsches Historisches Museum, History museum
* Kronprinzenpalais, Crown Princes Palace
* Neue Wache, war memorial (neo classical architecture)
* Humboldt University (statue of Helmholtz in front)
* Reiterdenkmal Friedrich, (Equestrian Statue of Frederick the Great)
* Staatsoper, State Opera House (neo classical farcade)
* Bebelplatz, old opera square (site of the book burning)
* Alte Bibliothek, old state library (beautiful baroque building)
* Altes Palais, neo-classical palace (behind Alte Bibliothek)
* Staatsbibliothek, state library (ivy-clad building)
* Russische Botschaft, Russian Embassy (monumental wedding cake design)
* Pariser Platz (Monumental square close to Brandenburg Gate / embassies)
* Brandenburg Gate / Brandenburgor Tor (last city gate, built in 1791)
* Reichstag (German Parliament)
* Reichstag Dome (free entry / long queues shorter in late pm)
Unter den Linden (under the lime trees) starts at the Brandenburg Gate and ends at the Schlossbrücke Bridge and is approximately 1 mile in length. It is a street that has a grassed central mall with a carriageway running down either side. It is a place to sit and rest, have a drink or something to eat. It is a street of grand buildings right in the heart of Berlin with expensive hotels, embassies, museums, the State Opera House, University Buildings and statues. The street has a long history with the lime trees first being planted in 1647 and was used as a riding path, over the years contained many grand buildings and palaces. The area ended up totalling ruined during WW2 with all the trees being cut down for firewood and all the building destroyed but reconstruction over the years has returned the street to its former glory.
"Unter den Linden" has been the most representative avenue of Berlin since the days of the Prussian kings. It is dotted with neo-classical limestone buildings, museums, embassies, banks, shops and cafes, and leads to the Brandenburg Gate. The nearby "Friedrichstrasse" is a commercial center ideal for shopping. Especially beautiful ist the "Schlossbrücke" with 8 monumental sculptures.
To name but a few interesting buildings along "Unter den Linden":
- German History Museum (Deutsches Historisches Museum / "Altes Zeughaus")
- "Neue Wache" ( a remembrance place dedicated to the victims of the world wars)
- Humboldt University
- Hedwigskirche (resembling the Roman Pantheon)
- Deutsche Staatsoper (German State Opera)
- monument of Prussian King Frederick the Great
- Russian Embassy
This historic Berliner avenue crosses the campus of Humboldt-University. The buiding on the picture is one of University complex, a former palace of prince Henry. The Humboldt statue in front of the main entrance was donated by La Habana University and gives Humboldt the title of "segundo descubridor de Cuba". Marx and Engels studied here and Albert Einstein teached at Humboldt also.
Esta historica avenida berlinesa cruza el campus de la Universidad Humboldt. El edificio de la foto es uno de los del complejo universitario, originariamente un palacio del principe Enrique. La estatua de Humboldt que hay delante de la entrada principal fue donada por la Universidad de La Habana y otorga a Humboldt el titulo de "segundo descubridor de Cuba". Marx y Engels fueron alumnos de esta Universidad y Albert Einstein impartio clases aqui.
Bebelplatz is a special square to hold on your visit for half an hour
Main attractions are :
The Hedwigs Kathedrale
The staple of books
In 1933, Nazi Minister for Propaganda Joseph Goebbels began to synchronize culture, by which the arts were brought in line with Nazi goals. The government purged cultural organizations of Jews and others alleged to be politically or artistically suspect. The works of leading German writers such as Bertold Brecht, Thomas Mann Lion Feuchtwanger and Alfred Kerr were thrown in to flames in a book burning ceremony in Berlin.
The writer Heinrich Heine wrote long before this ceremony (see plate):
“Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen“"Where they burn books, they will end in burning human beings."
You MUST walk down the Unter Der Linden. It stretches from the Berliner Dom to the Brandenburg Tor. There are a number of restraurants and bars that are definately worth stopping for a mid-day break. The cafes scattered in the middle center median are a relaxing way to take a break from the sight seeing. This is the transition from east to west.
It is good to have a walk along the Karl Libkneht street and Unter den Linden "street under lindens". It was the most well-known parkway of Germany in days of Fridrich the Second. The monument in his honour is installed here.
Unter Den Linden is Berlin's main street, which goes all the way from Alexanderplatz TV Tower to Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building.
It is best to walk it by foot, at list the part between Humbult University and Brandenburg gate (about 1 hour walk). Humbult U. is where Marx learnt and Einstein teached, and along the way from there to Brandenburg Gate there are lots of beautiful buildings ans statues. Also, there's a Max Ernst artwork.
But the best part in Unter Den Linden for me was Cafe Einstein, where you can order a ONCE IN A LIFE TIME apple shtrudel - and I'm not kidding. they laso make very good coffee, and great breakfasts. on a sunny day, this makes a wonderful pitstop.
This is one of the most famous streets in Berlin, leading to Brandenburger Tor [or the Door, as Holli & I called it... ;)], the big gate symbolizing unification of the two Germanies. I'd suggest taking the S-bahn to Unter den Linden stop & just walking around there for a bit, checking out the small streets & the University, getting to another sight [the Reichstag is just a minute away from the Tor] or simply sitting for a coffee (or a beer, hehe) & a sausage...
Along Unter den Linden there are several buildings that belong to the University! Maybe the most famous one is Humboldt Universität, where I even managed to attend an International Students Welcome Party. ;) Most of the time [especially during the weekend] there's a Flohmarkt, where you can find all kinds of books, dictionaries, comics aso. Hollie & me found some interesting covers like 'The Woman of Today', 'The Three Degrees of Erotic', 'Happy Pocketbook' aso [see photos]. ;)
On the eastern end of Unter den Linden, gathered around the monument to Friedrich the Great we find some of the most important buildings in Berlin. It is amazing to compare what we have today with images showing the 1945 postwar rubble and it must be admit that the former GDR has put a lot of effort, time and money to reconstruct all these historic buildings.
Humboldt University today occupies the building that was originally palace of Friedrich the Great's brother. After Wilhelm Humboldt established the University here in 1809 this was the house of some of Berlin's best brains including Karl Marx, Karl Liebknecht and Albert Einstein.
When I was here a small market of used books was held in front of the main entrance and it made a nice contrast with the Neoclassical facade of the University building.