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Berlin - Around Town : Tiergarten & Federal District (part 1)

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In 1999, Berlin’s green centre became the government district. Around Tiergarten, Berlin’s largest and most popular park, stand the Reichstag, the Bundeskanzleramt and Schloss Bellevue, seat of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany. Tiergarten itself is a great place for strolling and cycling, and it also boasts the Neuer See, the Spree River and Berlin’s Zoo. In summer, its lawns are used for soccer games and barbecue parties.

Peter Joseph Lenné

Lenné (1789–1866), regarded as Germany’s most important landscape architect, was born into a family of gardeners in Bonn. He studied in Paris and joined the Royal Gardens in Potsdam as an apprentice in 1816. There he met Schinkel and, together, these two men set out to design the parks of Berlin and Potsdam in the harmonious style of the time.



Top 10 Sights

  1. Reichstag

    More than any other Berlin landmark, the Reichstag - seat of the German parliament – has come to symbolize German history.

    The renovated Reichstag
  2. Kulturforum

    This unique complex of buildings features the best museums and concert halls in western Berlin .

  3. Großer Tiergarten

    The Großer Tiergarten is Berlin’s largest park, straddling an area of 200 hectares (494 acres) between the eastern and western halves of the town. Formerly the Elector’s hunting grounds, it was redesigned in the 1830s as a park by Peter Joseph Lenné. At the end of the 19th century, the Siegesallee was established in the east of the park, more than 500 m (1640 ft) in length, lined by the statues of monarchs and politicians. After World War II, the starving and freezing population chopped down nearly all the trees for firewood and dug up the lawns to grow food. Thanks to reforestation work since the 1950s, Tiergarten today has become Berlin’s favourite green space and the lungs of the city.

    • Tiergarten

    In Tiergarten
  4. Siegessäule

    In the middle of Tiergarten stands the 62-m (203-ft) high Victory Column, erected to commemorate Prussian victory against Denmark in the war of 1864. After victory over Austria in 1866 and France 1871, the structure was crowned by a 35-ton gilded statue of the goddess Victoria. There are excellent views from the viewing platform .

    • Großer Stern

    • Closed for renovation until 2011

    • Admission charge

    Statue on Siegessäule
  5. Diplomatenviertel

    In the late 19th century, an embassy district sprang up. Its extent is still marked today by two pompous Fascist buildings (Italian and Japanese embassies of 1938 and 1943 respectively). Most structures were destroyed during World War II, and until the reunification of Germany the diplomatic buildings were left to decay. Since 1999, new life has been breathed into the diplomats’ quarter and, thanks to its adventurous architecture, it has been transformed into one of the most interesting parts of Berlin. Especially worth seeing are the Austrian and Indian embassies on Tiergartenstraße as well as, on Klingelhöferstraße, the embassies of the Nordic countries and of Mexico.

    • Between Stauffenbergstr. and Lichtensteinallee as well as along Tiergartenstr

    Roof of the Japanese Embassy

    The Austrian Embassy
  6. Hamburger Bahnhof

    The former Hamburg railway station, now the “Museum of the Present Day”, holds a cross-section of contemporary paintings and the latest multi-media works of art and installations. One of the highlights is the private collection of Erich Marx, including works by Beuys and others. Apart from well-known artists such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and Robert Rauschenberg, it also shows works by Anselm Kiefer and Sandro Chiao.

    • Invalidenstr. 50–51

    • 10am–6pm Tue–Fri, 11am–8pm Sat, 11am–6pm Sun

    • Admission charge

  7. Sowjetisches Ehrenmal

    The giant Soviet Memorial near Brandenburg Gate was officially opened on 7 November 1945, the anniversary of the Russian October Revolution. It is flanked by two tanks, supposedly the first ones to reach Berlin. The memorial commemorates 300,000 Red Army soldiers who died during World War II in the struggle to liberate Berlin. The large column was constructed from marble blocks from Hitler’s Reich Chancellery, which had just been torn down. The column itself, designed by Nicolai Sergijevski, is crowned by the huge bronze statue by Lev Kerbel. Behind the memorial, 2,500 Russian soldiers are buried.

    • Straße des 17. Juni

    Sowjetisches Ehrenmal
  8. Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand

    The 1930s complex, which is today known as Bendlerblock, lies behind the former Prussian Ministry of War. During World War II it served as army headquarters. It was here that a group of officers planned the assassination of Adolf Hitler. When the attempt failed on 20 July 1944, Claus Schenk Count von Stauffenberg and the others involved were arrested in the Bendlerblock, and many of them were shot in the courtyard during the night. A memorial, created by Richard Scheibe in 1953, commemorates these events. On the upper floor is a small exhibition documenting the German resistance against the Nazi regime. Today, the Bendlerblock has been incorporated into the Berlin branch of the Federal Ministry of Defence.

    • Stauffenbergstr. 13–14

    • 9am–6pm Mon–Wed, Fri, 9am–8pm Thu, 10am–6pm Sat, Sun

    • 030 26 99 50 00

    Main entrance Bendlerblock
  9. Hansa-Viertel

    The Hansa estate west of Schloss Bellveue was built for the “Interbau” trade fair in 1957. World War II bombs had flattened Tiergarten, and 36 residential complexes were erected in the park, designed by distinguished architects from around the world, including Walter Gropius (Händelallee 3–9), Alvar Aalto (Klopstockstr. 30–32) and Oscar Niemeyer (Altonaer Str. 4–14).

    • Tiergarten, Hanseatenweg

  10. Villa von der Heydt

    The late-Neo-Classical Villa von der Heydt is one of the few surviving examples of the architectural villa style typical of Tiergarten. It was built in 1860–61, according to plans by Hermann Ende and G.A. Linke, for one of the most elegant residential areas in Berlin at the time. Since 1980, the Prussian Heritage Foundation has had its headquarters here.

    • Von-der-Heydt-Str. 18

    Villa von der Heydt
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