Posts Tagged ‘cultural Mecca’

Berlin – A Cultural Mecca

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Over the years Berlin, Germany, has become a cultural Mecca. For almost 45 years, the city was divided. East Berlin was under Soviet control, West Berlin under American, British and French control. After the Berlin Wall was erected on August 13, 1961, the two halves of the city no longer shared sewer, gas or electric lines. Transportation systems were cut. With time, the two halves grew into two separate cities.

When Germany was reunited in 1990, the city suddenly found itself with a double compliment of everything. The unbeatable array of cultural attractions ranges from classical to traditional, from lifestyle to avant-garde. Today, the city boasts 1,500 cultural offerings every day, ranging from theaters, art galleries, concerts, ballet, cabaret, opera, shows, cinema, symphonies and exhibits to museums and memorial sites. Berlin’s large opera houses and show arenas lie next to small independent theaters, while traditional houses stand next to modern acting workshops. The many events in Berlin are diverse, and their requirements for a suitable location vary from vast arenas to large concert halls, and from open-air theaters to small club cellars. The city has 400 art galleries, which includes the Berlin Wall, because the largest remaining wall section holds 106 murals alone.

And, of course, there are countless historic sites to visit – the Brandenburg Gate, Jewish Museum, Philharmonics, Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin Cathedral, French Cathedral, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Stadtschloss, Red City Hall, Reichstag, Radio Tower, Cecilienhof Palace, Sanssouci Palace, Charlottenburg Palace, Hackesche Hoefe, Nikolai Quarters, the Huguenot Museum, Memorial to the Jews murdered of Europe, Soviet Memorial and the Tiergarten – just to name a few.

Brandenburg Gate - Berlin - Photo by J. Elke Ertle © 2014

Brandenburg Gate – Berlin – Photo by. Elke Ertle © 2014

In addition to the cultural variety that can be enjoyed in Berlin, the city’s nightlife, sports events and shopping opportunities are unequaled. According to art historian Karl Scheffler, Berlin “is a city that never is, but is always in the process of becoming.”

For a sneak peek at the first 20+ pages of my memoir, Walled-In: A West Berlin Girl’s Journey to Freedom, click “Download a free excerpt” on the home page of Walled-In is a story of growing up in Berlin during the Cold War.