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Berlin - Walking the Grounds of German History

April 8, 2018

Hey again!

IES Abroad Freiburg LAS (Language and Area Studies) provides two student trips in the semester and this trip to Berlin was one of them. It is not a mandatory trip; however, since we would be learning so much about Germany in our classes, I thought it would be a great opportunity to go see the capital and walk the grounds of German history.

I learned a lot during this trip and thoroughly enjoyed my time there! Here are a few highlights:

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Brandenburger Tor – This gate is one of the most famous landmarks in Germany and a big national symbol. The Goddess Victoria stands at the top of the gate with her chariot and four horses and brings peace to the city.

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Berliner Dom – This is the largest protestant church in Germany and overall largest church in Berlin. I find this one of the prettiest sights in Berlin, especially with the TV tower in the background.

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Old National Gallery – This is an art museum. I unfortunately did not have enough time to go explore it, but I saw it on the city tour we took. I enjoyed the different architectures of the many different buildings in Berlin. It makes for a very unique city.

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Another Museum - This is another museum that is across the courtyard from the Berliner Dom! I snapped this picture as we were walking during our city tour! Nothing more than some more great architecture. 

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Holocaust Memorial – This memorial commemorates the murdered Jews of Europe. The meaning behind this memorial is different for everyone and that was the artist's intention. 

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The Jewish Museum of Berlin – This is a very beautiful museum. On the bottom floor there is a holocaust exhibition, however there was also an amazing “Welcome to Jerusalem” exhibition. I love Israel, especially Jerusalem, so this was really exciting to see.

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German Chancellery – This is where Angela Merkl has her office. She was just elected back into office when we went to visit, so the people working in there were mostly new employees for her new term in office. I was REALLY hoping to run into her, but I think she was a little too busy to talk. Next time. ;) 

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Chancellery Lobby - This is where Angela Merkel and other foreign leaders come to address their nations. I just kept trying to imagine Frau Merkel here with Obama. What a dream. 

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Reichstag - I am standing in front of the German parliament. What an incredible building. This is definetly a must-see since visitors are allowed to go to the dome at the top! The next two photos are from the dome:

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Reichstag Dome – This is the outside of the glass dome with a European Union flag in the background. Anyone is allowed to access the rooftop of the Reichstag and explore the dome. It gives visitors a 360-degree view of the city. This was definitely a trip highlight for me since we learned about German politics and history here!

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Inside the Dome – As you can see, there are paths that go around the Dome to the very top. The people below who are looking downwards can actually see a parliament session happening. German politics really interests me so this tour was very interesting!

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Pergamon Museum – This was one of the museums on Museum Island that we went to! I super recommend this museum because all the artifacts they showcased are very impressive. They have this HUGE Babylonian gate that was the entrance to the marketplace. I tried to take a picture of it, but no photo can do this gate justice! You will just have to go see for yourself! ;)

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Essen (Food) – There are many kinds of foods you can eat in Berlin! The variety exceeds Freiburg by a lot. Here is a collection of food that I ate when I went. Unfortunately, I am the most drawn to traditional German food, whoops! Maybe in my next life…

Well that about wraps up the trip to Berlin! It was a great experience. If you are thinking about going to Berlin, do not second guess it - just go!! I do suggest going in the Spring/Summer though, because it was pretty cold when we went. 

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