In honor of the opening quarterfinal today in Berlin, here's a pictoral tour of the city taken over the last few days from my city bus tour ("Stadtrundfahrt") Wednesday and the museum-hopping jaunt I took Thursday.
Here's the month-old "Haupbahnhof" (central train station) that I wrote about Thursday, when I compared it to something out of "Minority Report" or "I-Robot." I'll get some photos of the inside tomorrow when I leave for Frankfurt.
Here's the River Spree, which flows 400 kilometers from the Czech border through Saxony, Brandenburg and Berlin, Germany. It flows right through Berlin, giving it a small series of canals, part of which creates an small island in the middle of the city upon which the federal government has build five museums.
Adjacent to "Museum Island" is the "Berliner Dom" (Berlin cathedral), which was rebuilt in the second half of the 20th century after being severely damaged during World War II. It has been rebuilt much smaller than its original form, and remains much less impressive than Germany's most famous cathedral in Cologne.
(click more for 13 more photos)
One of the museums on "Museum Island" is the Alte Nationalgalerie, founded in 1861, rebuilt from 1949 to 1969 after sustaining major damage in World War II. It's collection contains 19th century works from Classicism and Romanticism. Major German artists include Friedrich, Schinkel and Blechen. Impressionist artists include Manet, Monet, Renior, Degas, Cezanne.
The Alte Nationalgalerie also includes the orginal "Thinker" sculpture by Rodin. Casts of the sculpture exist in over 20 museums around the world, but this is boasted as the original.
"Unter von Linden," which means Under the Limetrees, is one of the most exclusive addresses in Germany. Friedrich Wilhelm, "The Great Elector" planted the original lime trees in 1647, creating the pedestrian mall that became one of Berlin's most famous streets that stretches from Museum Island to the Brandenburg Gate.
In the southeast central part of the city, you can find a section of the Berlin Wall still standing near "Checkpoint Charlie," which is what the American military called the border crossing between the former West and East Berlin at Friedrichstrasse in the heart of the city.
Originally founded in 1933 on Oranienburger Strasse in another part of the city, the Jewish Museum Berlin was closed down by the Nazis in 1938. With its memorial to the six million people killed in the Holocaust, it is now one of the must-see sights of the city.
Kurfurstendamm, the tree-lined boulevard inspired by the Champs Elysees in Paris.
Potsdammer Platz, once one of the busiest squares in Europe, now a commercial center known for "The Sony Center" and other malls. The second photo captures the Coca Cola sign that says Germany will win its fourth world title here in Berlin next week.
Winged Liberty, the landmark which welcomes those to Tiergarten, the city's version of Central Park.