West Berlin (former)
The west side of the former Berlin Wall, torn down in 1989, includes the following districts: Reinickendorf, Wedding (in the former French sector); Spandau, Charlottenburg, Tiergarten, Wilmersdorf (in the former British sector); and Zehlendorf Schöneburg, Steglitz, Kreuzberg, Tempelhof, Neukölln (in the former American sector).
Although the Tiergarten has a longer history, most of what can be seen today was planted after 1949. It is a pleasant area of trees and shrubs, with walking trails.
The Wannsee is a district within Berlin known for its lovely villas and gardens. It is also the name of the lake which provides ample opportunities for recreation.
Grunewald is a mixed forest with a variety of trees. Most of the trees have been replanted since the end of the WWII, when most were cut and burned for heating.
The Culture Forum began with the rebuilding of the Philharmonic Hall and is focused on the arts, located at the southern edge of the Tiergarten. The urban development plan focuses on urban space.
Rare and unusual food items are just some of the attraction at the KaDeWe department store in Berlin. There are seven floors in total with everything from computers to sporting goods available.
On the way to the picturesquely situated village of Lübars (in Berlin's Reinickendorf district), passing through the Märkisches Viertel
, the contrast could not be greater. Like Gropiusstadt, the Märkisches Viertel (the "Brandenburg Quarter," named after the Mark (March) Brandenburg) is a modern satellite town, built between 1964-72 on an area of 280 hectares/690 acres formerly occupied by allotments. This new settlement with its brightly painted high-rise blocks has a population of some 50,000. It has about 20,300 houses and flats, twelve schools, eight nursery schools, an old people's center, a library, swimming pool, cinemas, community centers and a large shopping center. The houses are grouped in neighborhoods and surrounded by lawns and play areas. However, there is another aspect of the development which has made the Märkisches Viertel a social problem area. The flats are too small for the families occupying them, and there are inadequate recreation facilities and room for the children to play; the areas of grass are lost among the concrete. The "pub on the corner," so dear to Berliners' hearts, did not at first exist, nor did community centers. The result was to produce a feeling of isolation, which often resulted in aggression. The Märkisches Viertel has thus become a classical example of well-intentioned planning that went wrong, a social project that has given rise to social problems.
Bellevue Palace, situated to the northeast of the Victory Column in the Tiergarten district, is the Berlin residence of the President
of the Federal Republic, at least until the end of 1994. Bellevue was built in 1785 as a summer palace for Prince Augustus Ferdinand, Frederick the Great's youngest brother. It was destroyed during the Second World War and rebuilt after the war, retaining the exterior aspect and general layout of the original palace. The oval reception room (by C. G. Langhans, 1791) was also restored in its initial form, and following subsequent renovation the original floor plan was adhered to. The palace and park (apart from the English Park) are closed to the public. The western part of the park (20 hectares/50 acres) is landscaped in the English manner. With the help of the Shropshire Horticultural Society and donations from friendly British gardeners (including the Royal Family) it was restocked in 1952 and landscaped afresh with stone and nature gardens, rare plants and the thatched park building in which exhibitions and concerts are held. There is also a cafe and a reading room with literature on gardening and fauna.
Address: Spreeweg 1, D-10557 Berlin, Germany
Useful tips: The palace is closed to the public.
Facilities: Restaurant or food service
The Congress Hall in Berlin's Tiergarten district was built with funds provided by the Benjamin Franklin Foundation as the American contribution
to the International Building Exhibition of 1957. A daring construction for its time, the roof of the hall, rising to a height of 18 m/60ft, resembled an open oyster shell and was at once christened the "Pregnant Oyster" by irreverent Berliners. In front of the hall is a large pool with a sculpture by Henry Moore.In the summer of 1980 much of the roof structure collapsed. After having been rebuilt the hall was reopened in 1987 with the "Science in Berlin" exhibition which formed part of the city's jubilee celebrations. The auditorium on the upper floor has seating for 1,250. In 1989 the building also took on the function of "House of World Culture," mainly to serve as a forum for Third World countries.Near the Congress Hall stands a 42 m/138ft-high bell-tower with the fourth largest set of bells in the world, a gift from Daimler Benz AG of Stuttgart. The 68 bells can be rung by hand or from a keyboard. The middle two octaves can also be controlled by computer.
Address: John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, D-10557 Berlin, Germany
Opening hours: 10am-9pm; Closed: Mon
Lübars, an old village grouped round a green, belonged for a long time to the Spandau Convent. The earliest documentary reference to it was
in 1247. It is the last of Berlin's villages to have remained almost completely preserved and to have kept its rural character. Today there is a preservation order on it. Surrounded by fields, meadows and paddocks, Lübars was once so well hidden that the soldiers in the Thirty Years' War never found it. In winter the village becomes a very cold spot, with the lowest temperatures in Berlin.The very center of Lübars is the village green, with the church dating from 1793, the village school and the fire station, All around are single-story farmhouses and a few detached villas, as well as the village inns named "Zum lustigen Finken" (The Merry Finch) and "Alte Dorfkrug" (The Old Village Inn).Lübars is a good starting point for some lovely walks. Paths lead through the characteristic Brandenburg marshes, with their rich flora and fauna, to the Tegel valley.
Map of Berlin Attractions