Berlin, Germany’s capital city, where architecture, art, and a whole lot of history are unmistakably interwoven in a colorful tapestry. Its unique past blends cultures – from Germanic tribes to Roman sophistication,Prussian royalty and conquest to leadership in music, science and art. And still today, Berlin is a cultural European powerhouse, throbbing with life and excitement. The city draws in millions of visitors, some seeking to admire the unique architecture representing different times; those who appreciate both fine art and street art; as well as people intrigued by Berlin’s amazing and diverse history.
Modern Architecture as Political Statement
The history books about Berlin are packed with significant events. The city has lived through a number of different eras, each contributing to the dramatically shaped architectural landscape. The political field changed – and that needed to be reflected by new construction. Architects took on the project of designing and creating today’s Government Quarter that is meant to symbolize this new democratic time. Clean structures, transparency through light glass creations, and open, welcoming patterns – that is an essential part of what Berlin is and stands for today.
Here, the symmetrical architectural structure invites the visitor to come up close, to hang out for a while. Inhale the spirit of contemporary Berlin, tempered by the good, lingering aftertaste of historical events that will always be the heart of the city. And that heart keeps beating, its blood keeps flowing through its veins, as the time keeps ticking.
So, even Berlin’s contemporary face that, especially here in the Government Quarter, looks so very clean, manicured, and accessible will – behold! – just be a chapter of architectural history at some point in the future. Savor it now; take it all in, as you walk the modern path of town, on its historic, yet modern”ized” streets. The intensely illuminated buildings provide a glimpse of the inside, perhaps in anticipation of what the future holds.
Art Is A Lifestyle Found on Every Corner
Berlin is art. A city of art, filled with art, living and breathing art, art flowing through it, around every corner, in every building, and in every person. No two streets in this city are the same. Depending where you are, you will find everything from fine or modern art installations to thoughtful graffiti with historic messages, all created with a purpose. And they all so wonderfully reflect the diversity of this city.
Artist and songwriter David Bowie, who lived in Berlin-Schöneberg for two years, puts it so fittingly. He describes the creative, free atmosphere that characterizes Berlin:
Berlin, the greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine. – David Bowie
Consider the aptly named “Molecule Men” created by Artist Jonathan Borofsky. This three-figure aluminum sculpture symbolizes the beautiful coming together of people and the merging of three Berlin boroughs. It also reminds us that we are all created from the same basic atoms and molecules, even though we’re different in our individuality. Furthermore, it asks us to strive for harmonious unity – just like after the fall of the Berlin wall – a token of history (peaceful unification!) that will always honor exactly this important thought.
On the Trail of History
The Altes Museum is not just a place for those appreciating classicist art, but it is also a place where history and art merge beautifully together. Far removed from modern constructions and installations, this museum is one of the most important buildings from Berlin’s era of classicism. A preservation order ensures the museum will always be a part of the city’s historic architecture. Within its walls, the visitor finds the fine antique collection of the State Museums of Berlin. Allow yourself to travel back in time. Wander through the museum, and continue the experience by staying in one of the many historic hotels that grace the city. One of the most famous and luxurious is the Hotel Adlon, which, throughout Berlin’s history, has seen many famous personalities from near and far pass through.
Berlin is all about volatility. Its identity is based not on stability but on change. – Rory MacLean
This quote expresses it clearly: Berlin is change. It has always been; it will always be. Berlin is motion in every aspect of life, in every creative, architectural and historical field. Berlin moves. It has an identity so deeply rooted in history that shaped today’s landscape. Yet, it never stands still. Berlin lives and continuously redefines its personality through various faces.