Rich History, Unique Culture, One Amazing City
Ever since I accepted the opportunity to attend my university in Germany, I have always looked forward to the chance of visiting Berlin. As a professed history buff, Berlin offers some of the most interesting and important sites in the World War II/Cold War Era making it a must see place on my list. On the bus into Berlin you can tell that this city is as diverse as possible. Each building is different from the next and everyone seems to have their own personal style. The only way to describe Berlin is edgy, but in a good way.
One of the highlights of the trip for me was seeing the Berlin Wall. For so many years I had read in class about its history and affects, but I never truly understood the true impact this wall had on so many lives. It wasn’t until I was standing right beside the wall that I truly appreciated its sheer size and significance. After walking by the last few segments of the wall that remain it’s crazy to me that in one night this huge wall was built. Separating families, loved ones, and friends. One morning you could freely walk from one side of the city to the other, the next day you could not. I can’t even fathom the true impact this barrier had on so many German people. Additionally, our group had the opportunity to visit the East Side Gallery, which is one section of the Wall where artists have painted over sections in their own styles. It is currently the largest outdoor art exhibit in the world. Pretty cool.
The second highlight of the trip for me was see the Brandenburg Gate or Brandendburger Tor in German. Having seen pictures of this Gate (arch) for years on travel websites I have always wanted to see it in person. On the first night I had the opportunity to walk throughout Berlin and finally see the gate in person. It definitely lived up to my expectations. The gate is beautifully decorated with symbols of the region and has an ornate statue situated on the top overlooking the city. The longer I stayed in the city the more info I learned about the Gate and its significance for German Reunification. The Brandenburg Gate is essentially a symbol for Unity and Peace. It is even depicted on Euro coins and bills.
Overall, Berlin did not disappoint and I highly recommend it for anyone studying in the region. From the unique culture of the city, to the rich history, and to the sites.
This weekend I will be heading to Copenhagen, Denmark with a few friends.
Until next time…