If I'm not better at least I'm different.

Trip Start Sep 07, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Flag of Germany  ,
Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jess and I continued our next day in Berlin by taking it easy. We slowly explored a part of Berlin known as Nikolaiviertel.  This area is the historical heart of the German capital and dates from the 13th century.  Today, this area is entirely reconstructed to resemble traditional German architecture and design.  At the center of this quarter is Nikolaikirche (The Church of St. Nicholas), the oldest church in Berlin.  Of course, today this too is a reconstruction after the original dating from 1230 was destroyed by air raids from Allied Forces.

On our way to the Französischer Dom, we passed through part of the Mitte district which is probably the nicest part of town.  There were rows and rows of more typical European style buildings.  Jess and I were finally a bit impressed with the architecture for once.  There wasn't much, but we did appreciate finally seeing an area of the city that felt more like a capital than the other parts we’d been to.  Jess’s friend Jonny had recommended that we go to the Französischer Dom for a 360° view of Berlin that was better than the view you would get from the Fernsehturm (the TV tower) because the view from the TV tower is seen through peach colored glass…

The Französischer Dom did not disappoint.  Built in the 18th century, it was reconstructed in the 1980’s after the war.  It wasn’t totally destroyed, but the dome on the top needed to be replaced.  Once we’d walked all the way to the top, we could walk around a terrace on the outside of the church to get full unobstructed views of the city which, unfortunately, has about zero in the way of a skyline.  However, it was still nice to get a bird’s eye view of everything.

Our next stop was the famous avenue called Kurfürstendamm.  The street is lined with restaurants, shops, and houses; however, we were here to visit the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.  Like everything else in Berlin, it suffered extensive damage during WWII leaving only the partial remains of the spire.  To supplement the remains after the war, a new church was built around the remains of the old one.  Unfortunately, the new church is a disgusting concrete honeycomb pattern that resembles in no way a church.  Little did we know, that the remains of the church were undergoing renovation and we could only visit the ground floor and see a few historical items from the church’s past.

We meandered back to our hostel after making a few other stops by some museums.  We were glad that we were able to see a more refined version of Berlin that wasn’t entirely covered with graffiti (though there was still plenty).  Our last stop will be a concentration camp known as Sachsenhausen, just outside of Berlin.

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