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Best Local History & Culture in Berlin

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Located at Alt-Hermsdorf, this quaint little museum strives to preserve and protect the history of Hermsdorf. Previously home to a school, the museum now showcases exhibits pertaining to the rich history of this district. The museum is housed in a charming historic home, in which each room discusses different eras of the district's history. Rooms such as the hunting parlor and Biedermeier room allow visitors a glimpse into the lives of the bourgeois in 19th Century Germany.

Built on the site of Berlin's oldest church, the Nikolaikirche today is still the site of regular services, but also houses a museum highlighting its rich history, a tower which boasts some spectacular views, and fantastic acoustics, which are a boon when it hosts musical acts. This attraction is also worth a visit for its Medieval architecture and twin green spires.

19th-century architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel provided Berlin with many of its greatest buildings, including the magnificent Konzerthaus and the equally striking Altes Museum. The museum, which opened in 1830, was the first to be built on Museum Island. It now houses rotating special exhibitions and is home to part of the Antique Collection, a breathtaking collection of ancient Greek and Roman artifacts that were excavated by the famous German archeologist Hildesheimer.

The building itself is worthy of being in a museum. Ludwig Hoffmann was the architect responsible for constructing the Markisches Museum in 1899-1908, and succeeded in creating an absolutely new kind of museum. This is no place for boring dust-covered relics. Instead, the visitor is presented with an intriguing mixture of objects which cover the history of architecture in Berlin and Germany. Glancing through the windows at the park and the romantic courtyard, the guest may feel far away from modern-day Berlin. Built in red brick with Gothic and Renaissance allusions, the museum is perfect for those wanting a taste of those darkly romantic German castles described in fairytale books. The small park behind the museum contains a bear cage where visitors can admire Berlin's symbol in real life.

When the infamous Berlin Wall was erected in 1961, Dr. Rainer Hildebrandt, a propagator of human rights, established this museum as a reaction to it. The museum saw humble beginnings as a tiny space, but its growing popularity forced it to relocate near the Checkpoint Charlie, where it has been functioning since 1962. With the fall of the Wall in 1989, the Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie, also known as the Mauermuseum, became pivotal in recording the rise and decline of the wall. Today the museum has expanded to include exhibits relating to human rights, as part of its collection.

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