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Berlin - Easter --- NEW

For Easter I flew to Berlin to visit with Christein and her family. I had a rather unique tour guide as Christine’s dad Jens grew up in Berlin just meters away from the Berlin Wall.

Berlin is the capital city and one of the sixteen states of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is the heart of the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region, located in northeastern Germany. With a population of 3.4 million in its city limits, Berlin is the country's largest city, and the second most populous city in the European Union. The Berlin metropolitan area is the fifth largest in the EU with a population of 4.9 million people from over 180 nations.

First documented in the 13th century, Berlin was successively the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia (1701-1918), the German Empire (1871-1918), the Weimar Republic (1919-1932) and the Third Reich (1933-1945).

After World War II, the city was divided; East Berlin became the capital of the GDR (East Germany), while West Berlin remained a West German enclave surrounded by the Berlin Wall from 1961-1989. Following the reunification of Germany in 1990, the city regained its status as the capital of all Germany.

Berlin is a major center in European politics, culture, media, and science. It also serves as a continental hub for air and rail transport. The city's economy is primarily based on the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, media corporations, environmental services, congress and convention venues.

Berlin is the third most-visited tourist destination in the EU. Other industries include traffic engineering, optoelectronics, IT, vehicle manufacturing, health care, medical engineering, and biotechnologies.

The metropolis is home to world-renowned universities, research institutes, sporting events, orchestras, museums and personalities. Berlin's urban landscape and historical legacy has made it a popular setting for international film productions. Recognized for its festivals, contemporary architecture, nightlife and avant-garde arts, Berlin has evolved into a focal point for individuals attracted by liberal lifestyle, modern zeitgeist and low-cost living.

Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall, known in the Soviet Union and in the German Democratic Republic as the "Anti-Fascist Protective Rampart," was a separation barrier between West and East Germany.

An iconic symbol of the Cold War, the wall divided East and West Berlin for 28 years, from the day construction began on August 13, 1961 until it was dismantled in 1989.

When the East German government announced on November 9, 1989, after several weeks of civil unrest, that entering West Berlin would be permitted, crowds of East Germans climbed onto and crossed the wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, parts of the wall were chipped away by a euphoric public and by souvenir hunters; industrial equipment was later used to remove the rest of it.

The fall of the Berlin wall paved the way for German reunification, which was formally concluded on October 3, 1990

The City

Berlin is a major center in European politics, culture, media, and science. It also serves as a continental hub for air and rail transport. The city's economy is primarily based on the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, media corporations, environmental services, congress and convention venues.

Berlin is the third most-visited tourist destination in the EU. Other industries include traffic engineering, optoelectronics, IT, vehicle manufacturing, health care, medical engineering, and biotechnologies.
The metropolis is home to world-renowned universities, research institutes, sporting events, orchestras, museums and personalities. Berlin's urban landscape and historical legacy has made it a popular setting for international film productions. Recognized for its festivals, contemporary architecture, nightlife and avant-garde arts, Berlin has evolved into a focal point for individuals attracted by liberal lifestyle, modern zeitgeist and low-cost living.

Murals on the Wall

Bright Colorful Murals adorn what is left of the Berlin Wall.

Soviet War Memorial

This war memorial was built to honour the Soviet soldiers that fell in the battles against the German army in the Second World War. It was located at the 17 June Street very close to the German parliament - the Reichstag - in what would soon become West-Germany which meant that it was beyond everyday reach for the Soviet Army.

To be able to visit the memorial it was agreed that Red Army troops had free passage to the memorial on certain days of remembrance. Around the time in the early 1960's when the Berlin Wall was erected the presence of Soviet troops on the streets of Berlin awoke much anger among the West-Berliners and Soviet military veichles was on many occassions bombarded with stones from angry protestors.

The memorial is constructed as an arch with a bronze soldier on top pf it. The design actually resembles the Brandenburger Gate which is located only 100 metres away.

Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church

Photo of Christine and me in front of the ruin of the Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church. The most well-known memorial in Berlin is the Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church. It has been destroyed by an air-raid in 1943.

Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate is a former city gate and the symbol of Berlin. It is located between the Pariser Platz and the Platz des 18. It is the only remaining gate of a series through which one formerly entered Berlin. One block to its north lies the Reichstag. It constitutes the monumental termination of Unter den Linden, the renowned boulevard of Lime trees which led directly to the royal residence. It was commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm II as a sign of peace and built by Carl Gotthard Langhans from 1788 to 1791.

The Brandenburg Gate consists of twelve columns built in the Doric order of architecture, six on each side. This allows for five roadways, although originally ordinary citizens were only allowed to use the outer two. Above the gate is the Quadriga, with the goddess of peace driving it (the Quadriga) in triumph. The gate stands 26 m (65 ft) high, 65.5 m (213 ft) wide and 11 m (36 ft) thick.

Old Town Berlin

River Spree

Many of the city's most important buildings and historical sights are situated on the banks of the River Spree. Examples include the 13th century Nikolaiviertel, Schloss Charlottenburg, Palast der Republik and Schloss Bellevue.

Note the apartments that have been added to the outside of the bridge.

Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Churchhttp://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7327132046941108111

Grand Parents - Ostern

Shawn and Christien with her grandparents in front of their home in the Berlin Country side.