Berlin, Pariser Platz, 27°C, a small helicopter is hovering above the Brandenburg Gate, suddenly a group of GSG9 Special Forces is jumping out of the helicopter, attached with a parachute and a smoke flare gun. Thousand of tourists waiting for them to land in the middle of the Pariser Platz right in front of the Brandenburg Gate.
The Berlin Federal Police celebrated its 60th Anniversary yesterday on August 20th 2011, with a big street festival and the GSG9 paratroopers as a special event.
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.
Since 1992 every summer the Gendarmenmarkt in the heart of Berlin turns into a great concert arena and yesterday was the last day of this years event. This summer was the 20th anniversary of the Classic Open Air Festival and it ended with a special concert, the soundtracks of the James Bond Series performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London.
Dominique Horwitz will accompany you on a musical voyage though almost half a century of Bond movie history, under direction of the American conductor Carl Davis, London’s world-renowned Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the British singer Mary Carawe.
The whole place was filled with music and people enjoyed the concert sitting in the warm evening sun, drinking a beer, eating an ice cream, even without buying a ticket.
Oh and I tried to record it with my DSLR, check it out:
The legendary tourist attraction Art House Tacheles was closed last month after serving as a home for many artists from around the world for more than 20 years and I went there to take a couple of pictures before the whole thing will be demolished in the near future.
The Kunsthaus Tacheles was an art center and nightclub that was opened in East Berlin after the Berlin Wall came down in the spring of 1990. Tacheles is a large (9000 square meter) building on Oranienburger Straße in the district known as Mitte. The exterior of the building was damaged from shelling in World War II, and much of the damage was never repaired. Huge, colorful graffiti-style murals are painted on the exterior walls, and modern art sculptures are featured inside.
The Kunsthaus was formerly a department store in the Jewish quarter (Scheunenviertel) of Berlin, next to the synagogue, it was originally called Friedrichsstadtpassagen. After serving as a Nazi prison, the building was taken over by artists, who called it “Tacheles”, Yiddish for “straight talking.”
Last year, I mentioned that Berlin’s Siegessäule (Victory Column) is under construction. Now, the scaffold was removed and the golden Statue of Victoria again shines in all her glory in the middle of the Great Star.
During the refurbishment works, about 1200 gram of gold leaf were put on the bronze sculpture of Victoria, which is 8.3 meters high and weighs about 35 tons. If you want to pay her a visit, you have to climb 285 steps upstairs to reach the observation platform on top of the monument. There is no elevator but your effort will be rewarded with a great view on Berlin Tiergarten.
So yesterday was Earth Hour, a world wide event organized by WWF. Hundreds of cities in 131 countries around the globe switched off their lights for one hour, from 8:30 pm till 9:30 pm, 26 March 2011.
Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change.
In Berlin, the Brandenburger Tor, the Rote Rathaus as well as the Fernsehturm and many other public buildings turned off their lights during this hour. Hundreds of candles were build up in front of the Brandenburger Tor to form the words “Energiewende Jetzt” which means something like, “change your energy sources now” or “change to clean energy now”.
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe or Holocast Memorial is a construction which was build on 1st April in 2003, well let’s say they began to build it, because the last stelae was erected on 15th December in 2004.
The Memorial, which contains 2,711 stelaes, covers a vast area of 19.000 m² and can be found near the Brandenburger Tor in the middle of Berlin.
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in the centre of Berlin is Germany’s central Holocaust memorial site, a place for remembrance and commemoration of six million victims. The Memorial consists of the Field of Stelae designed by architect Peter Eisenman and the underground Information Centre and is maintained by a Federal Foundation.
Sebastian Vettel, the youngest Formula One World Champion ever, who won the title on Nov. 14 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, celebrated his victory by driving his 750hp race car in front of the Brandenburger Tor.
It was freaking cold but an amazing show, about 85.000 people came to see Vettel and his RB6 (called “Randy Mandy”) speeding down the Straße des 17. Juni.
You will see a lot of stuff when you visit the Brandenburg Gate, even at night and while it’s getting cold outside and everyone is wearing their winter jackets, some brave fire dancers thought it would be interesting to deliver a fiery show, topless.
The Festival of Lights has finally ended and during the last two weeks, I took a couple of pictures from Berlin’s most known Landmarks. Sadly, due to restoration works, the Victory Column wasn’t illuminated this year, but I got some nice shots from the Berliner Dom, Schloss Charlottenburg and the Brandenburger Tor.