Comprehensive guide to Berlin Germany with information on Modern Capital.

Medieval Remnants
Prussian Glory
Nation to Republic
Nazi Germany
Divided City
Modern Capital
Modern Capital

The Reichstag Building
Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin - Tiergarten | Tel: 227 32152, Fax: no fax | S-Bahn Unter den Linden, Bus 100 |

No building in Germany has undergone quite as many political and structural transformations as the Reichstag. The Reichstag has closely escaped destruction many times during its 100 year history, and although it has undergone some major transformations over the years (not to mention the legendary "wrapping" of the the building in the summer of 1995 by the artist Christo and his wife), it has never lost its symbolic political meaning for the German people.

One year after reunification in 1991 the Bundestag decided that Berlin should once again become the seat of German government and having recently undergone extensive restoration work (following the design of British architect Sir Norman Foster) the building is now once again home of the German Parliament (the Bundestag). The newly constructed metal glass dome over the parliamentary chamber offers good rooftop views over the city but an early start is highly recommended for those who don´t like queuing.

Note: Families with babies, physically challenged persons, and of course VIPs Do NOT have to wait in line and should take the side entrance ramp on the right of the entrance.

Potsdamer Platz
10785 Berlin - Tiergarten | U2+S-Bahn Potsdamer Platz |
Historically the focal point of Berlin with its luxurious hotels and restaurants, during the 1920's the Potsdamer Platz was the busiest crossroads in Europe. Having suffered almost total destruction during WWII, the Postdamer Platz was later to be divided in two by the Berlin Wall . It is hard to believe that this bustling construction site was for many years so spookily deserted. Many offices, homes, shops and cultural institutes are currently under construction or newly completed. These include the futuristic-looking steel and glass architecture of the Sony Center (the company´s new European headquarters), which houses offices, apartments and an urban entertainment centre.

Nollendorfplatz , 10777 Berlin - Schöneberg | U2 Nollendorf Platz |
At the intersection of U-Bahn lines 1, 2 and 4 is Nollendorfplatz. In the days of the Weimar Republic in the 20's and early 30's it was the hub of the fashionable gay and lesbian community in Berlin. It was in a room at Nollendorfstr. 17 that renowned pre-war author Christopher Isherwood wrote of the city. The liberal environment in Berlin at that time allowed people to be proud of their sexuality and this was reflected in the number of gay cafés, nightclubs and brothels, with theatre pieces and art often dealing with homosexual themes. With the rise to power of the Nazis, the "undesirable" elements in society were forced to categorise themselves with pink and black triangles. Social ostracism was only the first step in a larger plan, and many thousands were taken to concentration camps and, more often that not, murdered. A red granite triangle plaque at Nollendorfplatz U-Bahnhof commemorates the gay and lesbian victims of the Nazi era. Once again the bustling centre of the gay scene, Nollendorfplatz is home to a large number of gay cafés and bars with the recently renovated Metropol Theater providing an impressive focal point.

The Berlin Bears
Am Köllnischer Park , 10179 Berlin - Mitte | U2 Märkisches Museum |
Just over the grass from the Märkisches Museum is a walled-off-island-come-bear-pit with a little house. This is the home of the city's official symbols, the bears. Although not totally suicidal, the bears appear not to have adjusted to the city lifestyle in which they have been imprisoned. It's a sad sight to see and an even sadder one to walk away from.

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