Friday, June 1, 2018

Elegant Elbe: Berlin 2a (6/1/2018)

Friday, June 1, 2018
Today ends the Elegant Elbe cruise/land tour, and it was time to check out of the InterContinental.
I had planned to head straight out of the hotel, cross the street, and walk a few blocks to Lützowplatz to catch a bus that would take us to our new hotel without transfers. When Program Director Michael heard our plans, he said, "Oh, yes, you can catch that bus up on Kurfürstenstraße. It's a double-decker!" Well, we trudged to Kurfürstenstraße, and the bus stop did not indicate our bus number. We continued on to An der Urania/Schillstrasse to find the proper bus stop, having walked about twice as far as planned. Yes, it was a double-decker!
Balancing Man/Balanceakt (2009,
by Stephan Balkenhol)
Checked into the Hotel LebensQuells at Checkpoint Charlie (not really!) and had our luggage put in storage. Headed over to the Adina Apartment Hotel Berlin Checkpoint Charlie to meet Peter & Beth. (I guess if you are within a half-mile, you can claim kinship with a tourist site.)
Entrance to Hotel LebensQuelle
Entrance to Adina Apartment Hotel
(they have their own bear!)
We headed over to Museum Island to take a tourist boat ride, but along the way:
St Gertrude's Bridge/Gertraudenbrücke (1895-1896, by Otto Stahn);
unfortunately the statue of St Gertrude and the rats was not there
A couple town houses dating back to the 17C.
Nicolaihaus (rebuilt 1787, by Carl Friedrich Zelter in late
Baroque-Classicist style) was the home and bookshop of
writer, critic, and publisher Christoph Friedrich Nicolai,
one of the personalities of the Berlin Enlightenment;
now a museum of a house as it changes through the ages
Gallows House/Galgenhaus (1688), now a gallery
The legend of the name of the house is: a maidservant was hanged right in front of the house in 1735, being falsely accused of stealing a silver spoon. There had been so many thefts in the area, the king said to hang the very next culprit right from the house where the crime was committed.
Virgin Bridge/Jungfernbrücke (1798), the oldest bridge in Berlin
The theory behind the name of this bridge is that there were two French women who sold handmade crafts near the bridge and Berliners, at the time, called foreigners "virgins."
What's this in the canal that once was a moat?
A prototype water filtering barge
A mini-lock next to a small weir
The Humboldt-Forum is an ambitious project to rebuild the
Berlin or City Palace/Stadtschloss (1702-1845, by Andreas Schlüter)
that served as the winter residence of the Electors of Brandenburg,
the Kings of Prussia and the German Emperors; after 1918 it
was used as a museum, then ignored by the Nazis
After World War II, the East German government demolished the burned out ruins of the Berlin Palace and built the Palace of the Republic (1973-1976), which housed the parliament of East Germany. That building was torn down in 2008 in preparation for the reconstruction of the Berlin Palace. Actually it will be only three sides of the original palace, while the interior and a fourth side will be brand new. It will house museums, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
Building Academy/Bauakademie (1832-1836,
by Karl Friedrich Schinkel), demolished in 1962
to make way for the East German Ministry of
Foreign Affairs which was then torn down in 1995)
Kent discovered that this was not the typical
screen covered scaffolding (KSS)
In 2000-2001, students built a temporary structure to show the size and form of the Bauakademie, with one corner in brick. Still today, they have not decided what to do with the space.
But there is a Schinkelplatz, where workers
fine tune a sculpture under that of Karl
Friedrich Schinkel (1869, by Friedrich Drake)
Old National Gallery/Alte Nationalgalerie (1867-1876, by
Friedrich August Stüler, rebuilt 1949-1969) was built with brick and iron
to be fireproof for its collection of contemporary art of the time
Diesterweg Memorial (1990, by Robert Metzkes)
for Adolph Diesterweg, an educator who
campaigned for the secularization of schools
Our Berlin Passes provided a free ride on the BWSG boat
for its one-hour tour up and down the Spree River
...which meant we could afford drinks!
Arcades under the street for only one block
near the Ephraim Palace
Renaissance style building at #8 Schifferbauerdamm
The serpentine building of apartments called the "MPs' Snake"
(1999, by Georg Bumiller) as it was built for members of
parliament and federal employees; the rainbow-colored calla lilies
are part of the memorial to the first gay emancipation movement/
Denkmal für die erste Homosexuelle Emanzipationsbewegung (KSS)
The first homosexual rights movement was in 1897 with the founding of the Scientific Humanitarian Committee by the Jewish physician and sexologist Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld. And that was 30 years after Karl Heinrich Ulrichs called for homosexual acts to be decriminalized at the Congress of German Jurists.
"Capital Beach"
There is something shiny and neon green inside the
Paul-Löbe-Haus federal office building (KSS)
Someone waving from a ladder? (KSS)
Bode Museum (1905, by Ernst von Ihne) is home
for a collection of sculptures, Byzantine art, and coins and medals
Oh, those eyes are spooky!
After the Spree River cruise, we walked over to Hackescher Markt, thinking to find things to eat at the places the Viking Taste of Berlin optional tour visited.
Sewer cover showing the way to the TV Tower
Hackescher Markt S-Bahn station (1882, by
Johannes Vollmer in Italian Renaissance style)
is one of only two stations preserved in their
original condition
Hackescher Courtyards/Hackescher Höfe (1906, by Kurt Berndt, and the
Art Nouveau façade was by August Endell) in an area settled by
Jewish residents beginning in the mid-1700s; although little
damage occurred in World War II, it became dilapidated during
East German ownership; now a tourist magnet 
Courtyard #1 is the Endellscher Hof, designed by
the Art Nouveau artist and architect August Endell,
decorated with polychrome glazed bricks
Courtyard #5 has a large chestnut tree surrounded by a sand "box"
In courtyard #7, the EAT Berlin shop had some mustards, sauces and
dressings, and pesto; we would really have to piece together a meal!
Rosenhöfe Art Nouveau entrance
The other Taste of Berlin stops did not seem to appeal, so we returned to Hackescher Markt with its many sidewalk eateries.
Some new beers
Currywurst with fries, plus mayo and sauerkraut
Berliner Bouletten, like breaded meatloaf burgers,
with chopped almonds and mustard, and potato salad
Peter & Beth did better by ordering the Spätzle and Königsberger Klopse/meatballs.
After lunch, it was time to head to the museums.
Next: Berlin 2b.

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