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.
More than half a million demonstrators and spectators were present at this years Parade. It was a diverse crowd: Men and women, gay and straight, young and old, from Berlin and all over the world.
The CSD Parade is a political demonstration. Every year there is a motto, and a list of demands for political changes that are necessary for the equality and acceptance of LGBT persons.
And of course it is also an opportunity to throw a big party down the streets of Berlin. There are dance beats, brilliant costumes, decorated floats, and the occasional naked upper body.
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.
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.
Like every year, the Coca Cola Christmas Trucks were on a tour through every major city in Germany and the final parade was held in Berlin yesterday. Ten trucks with four stages and a snack bar to buy Bratwurst and Glühwein against the cold.
With -16°C (3.2°F) and heavy snowfall, it was the coldest day of the year. But that was not a real problem and thousands of people were following the parade on its way from the Kurfürstendamm, via the Potsdamer Platz and the Brandenburger Tor to its final goal, the Rote Rathaus Berlin.
A few weeks ago, Berlin got a new subway line, the U55. If you think about it, it’s nothing special, but you should know some facts about it. The U55 has 3 stations, Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Bundestag and Brandenburger Tor and does not connect to any other subway line.
The name Kanzlerbahn or Kanzlerlinie (Chancellor Line) is a nickname given due to its way through the government quarter. The whole project has cost over 350 million euros, therefore, it is the shortest and the most expensive subway line ever build.
But that’s not all, the famous Brandenburger Tor station is surrounded by a huge block of ice, so the temperature inside the hall is always about 0 °C. That was necessary to stop the groundwater to soak into the construction area.