Berlin: hippos, chocolate, and space needles

As some of you may know, I spent a few weeks in June on a European adventure. The trip started in Budapest and ended in Berlin, two of the most fascinating cities I’ve ever visited. I’ve already posted my photos and experiences from Budapest—you can check them out here! Berlin is an incredible city, so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and photos with you all.

Berlin Germany Travel Pictures Photos Cool Historic Weekly Show Fernsehturm Soviet Space Needle Television Tower

The Fernsehturm, Berlin’s Soviet space needle, is a television tower in what was East Berlin. It is one of the few Soviet buildings still standing. The tallest building in Germany, it houses a rotating restaurant and on a good day offers a 26-mile view.

First, some history. Berlin is the capitol of Germany and sits in the heart of mainland Europe. Its central location on the Spree, Dahme, and Havel rivers has made it the capitol of multiple empires, including the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Republic, and the Third Reich. Despite these advantages, the city has a tumultuous past. It served as the headquarters of the Central Powers and the Axis in WWI and WWII respectively, tumbling into ruin after each defeat. After the Nazi’s fall in 1945, the city was divided between the Soviets and allied powers, separated in two by the infamous Berlin Wall. The city is no stranger to reconstruction.

It is impossible to talk about Berlin without mentioning its role in the Holocaust. Nazi Germany, centered in Berlin, perpetrated the largest genocide in history, systematically murdering more than six million Jews and between fifteen and twenty million Slavs, Jews, homosexuals, Soviet POWs, Poles, Romani, disabled people, Freemasons, Slovenes, and Jehovah’s Witnesses in total. Some estimates put the death toll even higher. The city has changed, however, and Berlin is now heralded as a beacon of tolerance and diversity. The city openly acknowledges and condemns the Nazi era. Streets contain exhibits and memorials, and Nazi propaganda is illegal (this brings up questions of free speech, but that is for another post!). The city is a wonderful destination, and I highly recommend visiting. It feels rather disconcerting, though, when you remember what happened there and how easily people forget.

Let me know what you think of the photos! Please share any thoughts or experiences about Berlin below—I love hearing what you guys think. Click on any photo to expand it and view it in the gallery. Enjoy!

So what do you think about Berlin? Sound off your thoughts in the comments section below! The city was a blast, and I’d love to go back someday. Please like, share, or reblog this post if you enjoy it. That small click really helps me out! Be sure to check me out on Twitter and Facebook as well. Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe for new content every Wednesday! IT’S FREE!

Click here for last week’s post: Showcase Superlux: a movie theater for the one percent!

Other related articles:

Top 10 Reasons Why Berlin is the Greatest City on the Continent (EuropeUpClose)

The Top 10 Places and Things to Do in Berlin (Just travelous)

Berlin: A Brief History (AthensBerlin)

Budapest: city of wonders and flooded subways [Thoughts and photos from the first half of my trip!]

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Comment question of the week

What are your thoughts about Berlin or Germany in general? Have you ever been there? If so, what are some fun facts or stories?


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