Berlin Attractions(Part 2): Grosser Platz, Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Victory Column

continuePrevious article.This post is about the sights west of the museums in the center of Berlin, including the Gendarmenmarkt, the Brandenburger Tor, the Reichstagsgebaude, and the Siegessaeule. The walk from the Brandenburg Gate to the Siegessaeule takes a bit longer, but it's probably a good idea to walk through the Great Tiergarten while you're there. If you just want to take pictures of the sights, taking the bus is faster and more convenient, depending on your interests and time.

Kingswood Plaza

The Grosser Platz is said to be the most beautiful place in Berlin. It is surrounded by three beautiful buildings, including the Berliner Concert Hall in the center, on the west side, and the two opposite buildings on the north and south sides. On the north side is the French Cathedral and on the south side is the German Cathedral. The history of the square dates back to the 17th century. The square is surrounded by a large shopping and restaurant area. If you come here before or after Christmas, it will become a romantic Christmas market. When we were there, the church was under maintenance and the weather was rainy, so we didn't get to see the beautiful view like the one on the internet.

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The Berlin Concert Hall in the center is a neo-classical building, formerly the Royal Theater, the current building was rebuilt after World War II according to the original design, in the middle of the square in front is the statue of the poet Schiller.

Kingswood Plaza

The French Cathedral and the German Cathedral are similar in style. The French Cathedral is now a Huguenot museum and the German Cathedral is a museum of German history.

Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate is not only a landmark of Berlin, but also a landmark of Germany. It is also the most popular and tourist-concentrated area in Berlin that I visited, and it is almost impossible to find a space to take a picture inside the gate. The Brandenburg Gate is also a neoclassical building, originally built to commemorate the victory of the Prussian Kingdom in the Seven Years' War.

The statue on the top of the Brandenburg Gate is the Goddess of Victory, driving a horse-drawn carriage facing the city of Berlin. Berlin was occupied by Napoleon in 1806 during the Fourth Coalition against France, and Napoleon ordered that the goddess of victory be dismantled and taken back to Paris as a trophy of war. In 1814, Prussia occupied Paris during the Sixth Coalition, and Napoleon surrendered, so Prussia was able to bring the goddess of victory back to Berlin, where it had been taken from him. This is why the Berliners called this statue "The Returning Wagon". After the return of the Goddess of Victory, Prussia rose to power again. Sixty years later, William I won the Franco-Prussian War and became the first emperor of the German Empire.

Because of its importance in so many historical events, the Brandenburg Gate was preserved even after all the walls were demolished, and remains a symbolic icon of Berlin and Germany today.

Brandenburg Gate

Capitol Building

The Reichstag is also a very historic building, located just a few minutes' walk from the Brandenburg Gate. It was formerly the Reichstag. The building itself utilizes a combination of elements. The original design included the Italian Renaissance style, the German Neo-Baroque style, and the steel and glass structure, which was extremely modern at the time of its design. The vaulted section, which was modified after the Second World War, is quite unusual in that the transparent glass structure serves as a lighting and ventilation system for the Great Hall and is part of the advanced energy technology of the Reichstag building.

Capitol Building

The Capitol Dome

The Dome of the Capitol is accessible, but there is a limit to the number of people who can visit the dome. We made a reservation for around 7pm, and there was a security check before entering the dome, and a free audio guide was provided. You can not only see the special design of the vault, but also have a panoramic view of Berlin. We made a reservation for the evening to see the night view of Berlin.
There are 360 mirrors arranged in a funnel shape in the middle of the interior of the dome, which are designed to bring daylight into the interior of the Congress Hall. This design prevents direct sunlight from raising the temperature, and the mirrors can be computerized to change to reflectors or shades depending on the position of the sun to achieve good lighting effects. The funnel-shaped design also directs hot air from the interior to a round hole in the center of the vault. There is also a heat recovery device in the tunnel to recover the residual heat.
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Looking out from the inside of the dome, it is still pre-dusk, and you can see the Spree River and the Berlin TV tower from this angle.

The same angle after dusk, when the city's night scene starts to heat up.
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After visiting the interior of the dome, the route leads visitors to the exterior of the dome, where they can enjoy a close-up view of the building from the outside.

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Victory Column

The Victory Column was located in a square in the center of the Great Tiergarten Park. The Great Tiergarten Park is a large park with a boulevard running through it, and the Victory Column is now located in the center of the circle. The column was built to celebrate the Prussian victory in the war, and was originally located opposite the Reichstag, but was moved to its current location due to the need to widen the city's roads.
The Victory Column was also open for tours, and you could see some tourists standing at the top. It's in the center of the circle, but I couldn't find any sidewalks leading to the interior, and it seemed like you'd have to find a way to get through a line of speeding cars to get to it.
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Victory Column

Further reading

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