Urban Nation is a contemporary museum housed in a two storey building situated in the corner of Bülowstraße and Zietenstraße that is painted with large murals and paintings on the outside. With its ever-growing collection of contemporary and street art, Urban Nation has bought about a revolution in the local art scene and has built an establishment where the artists and art enthusiasts in the city can connect. Various exhibitions organized here feature artwork curated by the expert panel of international artists that choose only the best artwork from across the globe keeping the quality of exhibits always high.
Berlin has its fair share of weird but wonderful tourist attractions, Designpanoptikum is a less known example of this. The exhibits here are bizarre and outlandish in the best possible ways and immediately transport you to a world caught between dreams and Willy Wonka's workshop. The whimsical collection is privately owned by Vlad Korneev, an artist in his own right. He is usually around to assist you with explanations, view points and sometimes, to help you draw your own conclusions. Step in, give that imagination of yours a thorough workout.
Germany's most recognizable symbol is not as large as many visitors expect, yet its history is rich and fascinating. Built in 1791, the Brandenburg Gate was modeled on the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens. The Quadriga statue on top of the Gate, designed by sculptor Gottfried Schadow, represents Victoria, the Goddess of Peace, riding a four-horse chariot. This was one of Berlin's original 14 city gates, yet the only remaining evidence of the other gates are the names of underground stations such as Kottbusser Tor and Schlesisches Tor. The Brandenburg Gate and Pariser Platz have played center stage to numerous turbulent historical events. The south wing houses a tourist information office.
Throughout the centuries, many churches have stood on the location of the current Berliner Dom. The first one was erected in 1465 for the reigning royal family, the Hohenzollerns, and was little more than a chapel at that time. In 1747, it was replaced by a Baroque cathedral designed by Johann Boumann, before being transformed once again in 1822 by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Today's Dom was built between 1894 and 1905 during King Wilhelm II's reign. Almost completely destroyed in World War II, the Berliner Dom remained a ruin until restoration work finally began in 1973. Some of the cathedral's highlights include the mosaics covering the cupola, the crypt, the altar and the altar windows. The Dom also enshrines over 80 members of the Hohenzollern family. Those visiting must take a look at the Sauer organ within the cathedral, one of the largest in Germany, and take in the views from the roof promenade.
Treptower Park was designed in 1880 and is nowadays split in two by the Puschkinallee which runs through its centre. One side of the park contains the imposing Soviet Memorial and the Archenhold Sternwarte, an observatory with the longest refracting telescope in the world. The other side of the park borders onto the river Spree, where there is a quay for boat trips on the river. Further along the Spree, the Eierschale café is a good spot to stop and relax.
Museum Island is located on the northern half of a historically-significant island in the Spree River that runs through Berlin. The island takes its name from the five Berlin State Museums that reside in the area - the Altes Museum, the Bode Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Neues Museum, and the Pergamon Museum. Museum Island was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. The island's first museum was erected in 1797, and the whole area was designated specifically for art and science by King Frederick William IV of Prussia in 1841. An assemblage of spectacular historical monuments, the Museum Island is a stunning heritage hub.
A riveting beacon of multiculturalism, Berlin's history bears testimony to the fact that the city was and continues to be an extremely influential European icon. Marked with vestiges of history at every turn, Berlin is strewn with life-altering landmarks and monuments that were shaped by the turbulent times it was dealt with. Whether it is the graffiti-etched Berlin Wall that split the city into ideologically distinct entities, or the sandstone grandeur of the Brandenburg Gate that came much before, Berlin's cityscape is filled with a timeless parade of historically significant symbols. While on one hand, historical monuments like the Reichstag capture the imagination and transport visitors to a post-war era, modern marvels like the Fernsehturm and Potsdamer Platz are a proof of the country's progressive economy. This politically charged city is also home to over 150 theaters, almost 170 museums and more than 200 private galleries. A throbbing urban culture with a spirited nightlife, haute fashion and a strong affinity for football, Berlin is undoubtedly a German city at its best.
The original Alexanderplatz, locally called 'Alex' by Berliners, was completely flattened during World War II. Its present day appearance is a prime example of East German town planning: a huge, windswept pedestrian area surrounded by 1960s high-rises. But those who are familiar with Alexanderplatz from Alfred Döblin's novel of the same name will find that none of the hustle and bustle of the square has disappeared. Alexanderplatz is still very much a commuters' thoroughfare and is regarded by locals as the true center of Berlin. Named after Russian Czar Alexander I who visited the Prussian capital in 1805, Alexanderplatz was at the center of the mass-demonstrations which brought the Berlin Wall tumbling down in November 1989.
Opened in 1929, just three years before Hitler seized power, this art house film theater soon became a place of refuge for anti-Nazi resistance fighters during the Third Reich. A commemorative plaque in the foyer reminds visitors of those dark days. After the War, the Babylon became socialist East Germany's only art house cinema. Even after the fall of the Wall, the cinema has remained true to its tradition and continues to show old silent movies, East German classics and other controversial or arty films, all of which should make any film lover's heart beat a little faster. Besides these, it also hosts concerts, theater, readings, festivals and workshops.
Urania-Weltzeituhr stands for Urania World Clock. It is a ten meter high metallic world clock built in the capital city. It is a popular eye catchy landmark and a historic structure built in 1969. Today, the locals and tourists consider this place to be a common meeting point.