Berlin is the capital of Germany and the second most populous city in Europe behind London. Berlin is one amazing hub of culture, entertainment and history as it was and still is one of the most important cities in Europe. Berlin is home to world-renowned universities, music venues, orchestras and sports. There are festivals going on all throughout the year from music to food to film and Berlin’s nightlife scene is not to be missed as it is one of the best in the world. Berlin has a host of old and important places all scattered through the city so if you’re visiting make sure you stop by some of these famous buildings in Berlin.
1. Berlin State Opera
The Berlin State Opera opened in 1742 and was commissioned under Frederick II of Prussia after his ascension to the throne. The Opera house is located in the Mitte district of Berlin and until reunification is was the state opera house of East Germany. Since 2004 the building also incorporated the Berlin State Ballet.
Berlin State Opera
Address: Unter den Linden 7, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Website: Berlin State Opera
2. Bellevue Palace
Located in the Tiergarten district of Berlin the Bellevue Palace has been the official home of the president of Germany since 1994. Its neoclassical design is beautiful and although it has only been the president’s residence since 1994, it was first commissioned in 1786 as a summer residence for Prince Augustus Ferdinand of Prussia. The surrounding area of the palace is a park which gives the area a nice green space in the city.
Address: Spreeweg 1, 10557 Berlin, Germany
Website: Bellevue Palace
3. Brandenburg Gate
Perhaps one of the most iconic symbols of Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate is an 18th-century neoclassical monument. The history of the gate dates back to the Frederick William II of Prussia who ordered the building of it on the area where the city gates once stood. One block north leads to the parliament building, the Bundestag. The Brandenburg Gate is the iconic symbol of Berlin but also one for Europe as a whole. It is a place where major historical events took place and are generally considered a symbol of peace and unity for Germany and Europe.
Address: Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Website: Brandenburg Gate
4. Television Tower
Located near the Alexanderplatz, the futuristic-looking tower was built in the 1960s by the East German government as a symbol of Communist power in Berlin. The tower can be seen from as far as the Berlin suburbs and around most places in the city and on top of that, it is the tallest structure in Germany and the second tallest in the European Union. It is unsurprisingly used as a television and radio tower but it also houses a viewing deck and rotating restaurant. Get some of the best views in the city from here!
Address: Panoramastraße 1A, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Website: Televison Tower
5. Berlin Wall
Although the Berlin Wall has been officially torn down there are in fact still a few places in the city where small sections of it still exist to serve as a reminder of Germany’s tumultuous past and as a symbol of reunification of East and West Germany. The wall served as a symbolic point of the cold war with socialist East Germany and capitalist west and when the fall fell in the 1990s, the USSR symbolically fell with it. The Wall was sometimes known as the “Wall of Shame” in the western portion of Berlin and was a physical manifestation of the Iron “Curtain” during the cold war.
Website: Berlin Wall
6. DZ Bank building
Designed by legendary architect Frank Gehry, the DZ Bank building is a multipurpose building located on the Pariser Platz facing the Brandenburg Gate. The construction of the building began in 1999 and was completed a year later. The building has a large atrium in the middle designed to be used as a conference space or performance area. The large glass ceiling is emblematic of Frank Gehry’s design and certainly is a cool building to check out especially for any architecture fans.
DZ Bank building
Address: Pariser Platz 3, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Website: DZ Bank building
7. Reichstag building
Another iconic building in Berlin is the Reichstag building. Used as the centre of German politics throughout the Imperial period, the building was from 1894 until 1933 when it was mysteriously caught on fire. The burning of the building was blamed on communists and used as anti-German propaganda which helped Hitler consolidate power. In the 1960’s it was refurbished and after unification was once again reused to house the German parliament, now known as the Bundestag.
Address: Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin, Germany
Website: Reichstag building
8. Potsdamer Platz
Potsdamer Platz is an important public square in Berlin with a major traffic intersection. The square is located near the Brandenburg Gate as well as the Reichstag so you can visit all three locations in an afternoon. The space has been under development for a little over 100 years becoming a place of rural thoroughfares to one of the most modern and busy intersections in Europe. During WWII the intersection was completely obliterated and in disuse, and the former Berlin Wall ran through the location bisecting it in two.
Address: Potsdamer Platz, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Website: Potsdamer Platz
9. Berlin Tempelhof Airport
The Berlin Tempelhof Airport was one of the first airports in Berlin and although it is not used as much today, it has quite a bit of history surrounding it. In the 1930s the Nazi government began a massive reconstruction of the airport anticipating a heavy use of the space and by the end of the war, it was a site of iconic Berlin airlifts from 1948-1949 delivering much-needed aid to the citizens of Berlin in the post-war era. Tempelhof’s main building was once one of the 20 biggest buildings on earth which also ironically had the smallest duty-free shops.
Address: Platz der Luftbrücke 5, 12101 Berlin, Germany
Website: Tempelhof Airport
10. Berlin Cathedral
The historic building was completed in 1905 after having started construction in 1451 and it is a huge monolithic building located on Museum Island in the Mitte borough. Because the cathedral is not actually the seat of any bishop, the term Cathedral is not used in a literal sense in the context of the building.
Address: Am Lustgarten, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Website: Berlin Cathedral
Berlin is a centre for lots of history that took place in the last 100 years. The buildings, the culture and the experience you’ll have when visiting these iconic places are like no other. Don’t miss out on the important places for not only people in Germany but Europe as a whole.
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