9. Berlin: App-Based Audio Guide of Former East Berlin
Former East Berlin’s mix of architecture paints a picture of its fascinating history across different eras. It’s here that you’ll see remnants of the 17th-century baroque town and the Communist era, find traces of the city’s days as capital of the German Empire, and witness the devastation left by the World Wars. On this walking tour, you’ll also see newer buildings created by the architects who, once again, transformed East Berlin and the way the world saw it. Starting at Checkpoint Charlie, you’ll make your way down Friedrichstraße and into the heart of the historic city. There, I’ll share the stories behind the area’s architectural treasures, like Gendarmenmarkt Square and Unter den Linden, the famous boulevard. I’ll tell you why the French community was given the rights to use the Französischer Dom (French Dome church) for all eternity. And I’ll show you where to find the spa and pool in Hotel de Rome, once a state bank. You’ll also hear about some of the square’s famous former residents including writer and philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, and E.T.A. Hoffmann, author of The Sandman. On the way from picturesque Bebelplatz Square to Museum Island’s Lustgarten, where our tour ends, I’ll point out various monuments and memorials, including: • The Friedrich Schiller monument in front of the Konzerthaus Berlin concert hall • Micha Ullman’s Empty Library, also known as the Book Burning Memorial, which commemorates the day Nazis burned books by Jewish and communist authors • A statue of Frederic II on his horse in front of the buildings which were commissioned by the king and later transformed into Berlin’s first university, the Humboldt University • Heinrich Heine Denkmal (Heinrich Heine statue), a famous German poet and satirical writer On this tour, you’ll also have a chance to: • See where Angela Merkel used to live on Museum Island when she was Chancellor • Photograph some of the most beautiful buildings in all of Europe • Discover a modern pieta by Käthe Kollwitz, exposed to rain and snow and housed in the Neue Wache (New Guard House) • Learn about the oldest free-standing opera house in the world, the Berlin State Opera • Take in the works of famous architects like the German Historical Museum by I.M. Pei, the James Simon Gallery by David Chipperfield, and the Altes Museum (Old Museum) by Friedrich Schinkel • Browse the selection of delicious chocolates at Rausch Chocolate Store • Hear about the Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) and the Humboldt Forum, where the Hohenzollern Palace used to be So have your cameras ready, and join me on a tour that’ll surely make you fall in love with Berlin.