25 Years Fall of the Berlin Wall Celebration

From November 7 – 9, 2014, the city of Berlin celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. A symbolic frontier of lights, the LICHTGRENZE, a line of 8,000 illuminated helium balloons along the 15 kilometer long path once occupied by the Berlin Wall, divided the city once again.

From the Oberbaumbrücke and its East Side Gallery, through Checkpoint Charlie, the Potsdamer Platz and Brandenburger Tor, up to the Bernauer Straße and Bornholmer Straße, which was, on November 9, 1989, the first checkpoint allowing people to pass through freely to West Berlin.

On November 9, all balloons were released into the Berlin night sky accompanied by the Staatskapelle Berlin playing “Ode An die Freude“.

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The Fall of the Wall Exhibition Berlin

This year on November 09, Berlin will celebrate 25 years fall of the Berlin Wall. In preparation for this big event, the Potsdamer Platz Arkaden are hosting an exhibition about the Wall, the old GDR (DDR) times and the life in a city divided by stone.

Learn about the construction of the wall on August 13, 1961 – the life with and behind a wall, the diversity between east and west and the fall of the wall on November 09, 1989 – the Exhibition not only features a variety of photographs but also various historical objects.

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Bernauer Straße – The Berlin Wall Memorial

The Bernauer Straße is a street in Berlin’s Mitte district, it was named after the City of Bernau which is located about 10 km northeast of Berlin. During the old GDR times, the Wall was erected alongside this street and it became famous for numerous escapes from windows of nearby apartments and houses in the eastern part of the city.

Now, a part of it was turned into a memorial park, explaining the history of a divided Berlin, with a newly constructed Visitor and Information Center, a viewing platform and an exhibition about the time when the Berlin Wall was built in August 1961.

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David Hasselhoff to save the Wall

A lot is happening in Berlin right now, the famous East Side Gallery, one of Berlin’s historical Landmarks, painted by many international artists, faces partial demolition.

Thousands of protesters have gathered during the last days, at the longest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall, to protest against a planned construction project, to remove small parts of the wall to make way for a luxury block of flats on the former GDR death strip.

On Sunday, March 17-2013, David Hasselhoff came back to Berlin, to support the protest, driving alongside the wall in a yellow van mounted with speakers while singing “Looking for Freedom”, the same song he sang at the 1989 New Year’s Party in Berlin, shortly after the wall dividing East and West Germany was torn down.

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Checkpoint Charlie Berlin

The Checkpoint Charlie is one of Berlin’s most famous landmarks, which served as the only crossing point for diplomats, journalists and non-German visitors, between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War, from the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 till the fall on November 9, 1989.

In October 1961, US and Soviet tanks had a close encounter because of a dispute over whether East German guards were authorized to examine the travel documents of a U.S. diplomat passing through to East Berlin, both sides tanks faced each other in an acrimonious moment feared around the World as a possible lead up to World War III.

Today, it is a must see sight in Berlin with huge historical and emotional resonance, even accounting for the fact that there is remarkably little left to recall the atmosphere of pre-1989 days.

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Maifeld Polo Cup Berlin

Polo is back in Berlin. The Finals of the German Polo High Goal Championship were held last weekend (11./12. August) on Berlin’s historical Maifeld (Mayfield) with national and international world-class players.

The Maifeld is a huge 112,000 square meters (28 acres) lawn and was created back in 1936 for gymnastic demonstrations, specifically annual May Day celebrations by Hitler’s government. During the 1936 summer Olympics, the field was used for the very first Olympic Polo event in Germany.

Since then, Polo is a famous sport in Germany and this year, eight teams sponsored by well-known companies like Tom Tailor, Land Rover or Samsung fought for the golden cup and the title “Best Polo Team in Germany”.

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13.4.1981 by Olaf Metzel

Another abstract sculpture can be seen beside the Universal Music Headquarters in Berlin, a chaotic arrangement of crowd control barriers (which were highly charged symbolically in the turbulent inner-political atmosphere of the former West Berlin) with a shopping cart on the top.

The sculpture, named 13.4.1981, was designed by Olaf Metzel in 1987 as part of Berlin’s 750th anniversary celebration called “Sculpture Boulevard” and was first erected at the crossing Kurfürstendamm / Joachimstaler Platz, six years after a violent demonstration took place at precisely the same crossing.

The Christian Democrat mayor at the time, Eberhard Diepgen, declared the work to be “a pile of junk” and called for an immediate removal. Then, after 14 years, the sculpture was erected again, but this time beside the Universal Music Headquarters, with a wonderful look on the Spree.

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Post Update: RAF Laarbruch – Military Airbase

One of the most-read articles of 2010 and 2011 was the RAF Laarbruch – Abandoned Military Airbase which is quite surprising, I never thought that such an article would be so popular.

Therefore, I went back to North Rhine-Westphalia, to take a couple more pictures to give you a better overview of the whole area. Well, that was the plan, but I had to notice, that many companies bought or leased properties around the airport and many of the old buildings were refurbished or demolished, to make place for a more modern architecture but I hope you will get an idea on how it looked like about 50 years ago.

I’m really happy that I went there once again to take these pictures because by the end of the year, the “old” Military Airbase will be almost gone.

>>> RAF Laarbruch – Abandoned Military Airbase [Updated] <<<

The Castle of Berlin and the Humboldt Box

The Stadtschloss, in English the Berlin City Palace, was a royal palace in the centre of Berlin. It was the principal residence of the Hohenzollern Kings of Prussia from 1701 to 1918 (the German Emperors from 1871 to 1918) and a museum following the fall of the German Empire in 1918.

Damaged by Allied bombing in World War II, although possible to repair at great expense, the palace was demolished in 1950 by the GDR authorities, despite West German protests. Following the reunification of Germany, it was decided to rebuild the Stadtschloss.

The new Castle will be named Humboldt Forum and will be rebuilt as a replica of the former Baroque building. In the meantime a big blue box, called HumboldtBox, will cover the empty space right beside the Berlin Cathedral. If you want to know more about the whole project, just visit the exhibition on the first floor, or if you just want to relax, the restaurant on the fifth floor provides you a 360° panoramic view over Berlin.

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