20 - 22 June, 2014.
I am deeply sorry that it took me ages to update my Berlin trip's entry. Busy bee me with so many things, plus Raya some more. Since I don't visit anywhere anymore, so I decided to take it slow. So continue with our trip with my brother and SIL last June (fyuhh it's August already laa wehhh i know i know) to the capital city of Germany, Berlin y'all! Datang Germany tak pergi Berlin is like, datang Malaysia tak pergi KL. Whattt? yes!
So, BERLIN. Ever since the creation of a unified Germany in 1871, the nation's tumultuous history has had a profound impact on the history of its capital Berlin. Many historic neighborhoods and monuments were destroyed during the Second World War, but since the reunification after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, historic areas like Potsdamer Platz and Pariser Platz have been completely revamped. Nowadays, Berlin is once again one of the greatest European cities: lively, dynamic and inviting.
After stopped by at Dachau Concentration Camp, we drove straight to Berlin, about 4-5 hours, we arrived and checked in Adina apartment hotel near to Hauptbahnhof. It was pretty late to visit anywhere anyway, so our visits started on the next day.
Since our hotel was located near to most the main attractions, we decided to walk (Nike air max shoes are my saviour). It was still pretty cold in June and too bad I didn't bring warm clothes with me. But yea, I kinda enjoy that kind of weather anyway!
We first arrived at Reichstag Building, the seat of the German Parliament, which is one of Berlin's most historic landmarks. But the queue to enter this building was super longgggg, so we decided to line up the next day.
The Brandenburger Tor is a monumental gate built in the eighteenth century as a symbol of peace. During the Cold War, when the gate was located right near the border between East and West Berlin, it became a symbol of a divided city. It was originally part of a wall surrounding Berlin and was the main entrance to the city. It is the only gate that remains of this former city wall.
|Now that I look at the background here, that STAGE behind me! It was meant for World Cup 2014 winning celebration! The team came back to Germany and celebrated it with their fans here, yea, I watched it on television. When this was taken, they were qualified for quarterfinal, yet they knew they have chance to win. Oh mann. I don't know why I feel excited for no reason hahaa.|
|The Quadriga of victory on top of Brandenburger Tor.|
|Holocaust Memorial, officially named the Monument to the Murdered Jews in Europe.|
The Berlin Wall, which separated the city in an eastern and western part, was the symbol of the Cold War. Built by the goverment of the DDR to prevent East Germans from escaping to the West, most of the Berlin Wall has been demolished since the border between East and West Berlin opened in 1989.
The history begins after the second world war, defeated Germany was divided up into 4 parts: an American, British, French and Soviet occupation zone. Berlin was also divided into 4 sectors. In 1948, the Soviet authorities tried to annex the whole city and started a blockade of the US, British and French sectors. The plans failed due to the Berlin Airlift which carried supplies to the Western sectors, and in May 1949 the blockade was lifted. That same year, the Soviet part of Germany became the German Democratic Republic (GDR) with East Berlin as its capital. The other zones became the Federal Republic of Germany with the capital Bonn. The western part of Berlin became a separate enclave surrounded by East Germany.
Until 1961, East Germans could move freely between the Western and Eastern parts of Berlin. But many East Berliner were attracted by the more prosperous West, and by 1961 up to 20,000 East Germans a month flocked to West Berlin. On August 12, 1961 the East German authorities decided to close the border around the Western sectors of Berlin in order to prevent people from fleeing. Officially, it was an antifascist protection barrier to defend the East against Western aggression.
The next day, early morning August 13, West Berlin was surrounded by barbed wire. Traffic at the border was halted and the underground and S-bahn connecting the different sides of the city were put out of operation. Houses at the eastern side of the border were evacuated and the windows on the border side were bricked up.
Over time, the barbed wire was replaced by a 3.6m high wall. Along the Wall's east side ran a 'death zone', an area controlled by guards. A total of 302 watchtowers and 20 bunkers were built along the 155km long border. The guards were given the order to shoot at escapees. As a result 192 people were killed in an attempt to cross the border to the West.
After Soviet President Gorbatchev visited West Germany in 1989, Hungary opened its border with Austria. This allowed East Germans to flock to the West. Meanwhile, street protests drawing more and more people put pressure on the GDR government. Finally on November 9, 1989, travel restrictions were lifted. Shortly after, border gates opened and people flooded into West Berlin.
To the shock of the world, Peter was just left there. The East German guards did not shoot him again nor did they go to his aid. Peter shouted in agony for nearly an hour. Once he had bled to death, East German guards carried off his body. He became the 50th person to die at the Berlin Wall and a symbol of the struggle for freedom.
Once the busiest crossing in Europe, the Potsdamer Platz was completely destroyed after the war. In 1998 the new Potsdamer Platz, full of modern buildings, officially opened.
|Small sections of Berliner Mauer can be found around Potsdamer Platz area too.|
The Berlin Wall was erected in 1961 by the East German government. Shortly after the wall was built, President John F. Kennedy ordered the U.S. forces to build three checkpoints at different points in the wall through which diplomatic corps and allied forces could enter West Berlin. Checkpoint Charlie became the most famous.
Checkpoint Charlie, one of the ultimate symbols of the Cold War, came to epitomize the separation between east and west. For nearly 30 years, this checkpoint represented not only a divided Germany but a world in political turmoil.
We then browsed through the museum, Haus am Checkpoint Charlie.
Before we got back to the hotel, someone did some shoppingggg! Of course, not me hahaa.
Ohh and the bear has become the symbol of Berlin, so you can find bears anywhere here. And this is only one of them!
Another two days in Berlin. Till then, I don't know when, but.. yea. Hehee
P.s. I tried to make my entry short, but this is Berlin and its important histories, for my future reference, I can't missed any important details here. Sorry!
P.s.s. And this is the Weltmeister celebration I was talking about!