Posted by on Oct 20, 2012 in 31 Days in Europe, Adventures in Germany, Europe, Travel |

31-Days-of-Travel-in-Europe-PENSIEVE(Continued from Why I loved Berlin (and why you should add it to your Travel Bucket List) ~ Click to see more great ideas and pictures!)

6.  Jüdisches Museum
(Berlin Jewish Museum)

Jüdisches Museum, Berlin

See the red logo at the top of the sign?  My word, if you look at an aerial view of the Jewish Museum, you’ll discover the logo IS the museum!  Brilliant, zig-zag design from architect Daniel Libeskind; the museum’s exterior, interior and flow from room to room are all art themselves.  Remarkable.  

Housed in two buildings, Libeskind’s and the original Berlin Museum, 2,000 years of Jewish history fills 161,000 sf.  Entering through Berlin Museum’s baroque wing, visitors can only access the new section through an underground passageway.

We toured for a few hours; too long for my teenage children, not near long enough for me.  

 

Torah, Jewish Museum, Berlin

The Torah

 

Circumcision 2,000 years ago

 

Circumcision bench and tools at Jewish Museum, Berlin

Circumcision bench and tools of the trade…

 

Circumcision tools, Jewish Museum, Berlin

O u c h…

8053391632_d566e95b6e_c

Prejudices against Jews

Waaaaay before Hitler……

The Jüdisches Museum is huge and interesting and educational and amazing; go for a few hours or for the day, but GO if you’re in Berlin.  

 

7.  The DDR Museum

8053320019_30cc32e136_c
Billing itself as “One of the most interesting museums in the world,” I’d have to agree.  Hands-on, interactive, and accessible to young and old, the privately-funded DDR Museum provides a glimpse into the daily life of a former East German (Deutsche Demokratische Republik=DDR).  You’ll open cabinets and drawers, listen to recordings, and handle vintage artifacts during your visit, truly causing you to enter the exhibit.  The DDR Museum would be a WONDERFUL learning opportunity for school-age children, but I was absolutely fascinated.  Another plus?  It’s small compared to most museums.

DDR Museum, school children exhibit, Berlin

Contents of one of the drawers that explained toys for young children

8053320823_7a9d3410b6_c
Nude volleyball, DDR Museum
8053325902_f16ce35270_c

 

8.  Reichstag Building

Reichstag Building, Berlin
Reichstag Building
First opened in 1894, the building suffered a fire in 1933 and fell into further disrepair post-WWII.  After Reunification, the Reichstag was renovated and re-opened in 1999 to house Germany’s parliament.  A large glass dome was added that offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding Berlin cityscape, but you have to register to visit.  We didn’t; here’s the link so you can!  I think it’s probably worth it.

 

9.  Berlin Cathedral

It was pouring rain when we arrived at Berliner Dom AND there was a service going on; so we saw it, appreciated it, and moved on quickly.  The building has seen several incarnations both in denomination and architecture, but it’s impressive and beautiful and worth your time to explore.  And on a sunny day, I bet the pictures turn out better :).

8053314449_38e22fd815_c

Ceiling under front arch of Berliner Dom
Beautiful architectural detail
Back view Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom)
The rear view is as love as Berlin Cathedral’s front view.
Berlin Cathedral
We’re SMILING because the rain finally stopped!! Perfect photo op with Berliner Dom in the distance.

10.  Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz

Sony Center Berlin
Sony Center @ Potsdamer Platz
Retail and restaurants in a modern setting, the Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz was within walking distance of our hotel.  We didn’t spend a lot of time there because we were interested in a more historical tour of Berlin, but it was nice to find a spot to grab morning coffee and it gave us our last meal heading out of town at Billy Wilder’s.  If we had a few more days, I’m sure we would’ve learned it inside out.

________________

A future Berlin post will include street scenes that didn’t fit my top ten and the top places I’d like to visit if we ever have opportunity to return.  But next up, I think we’ll take a look at more travel tips, and then……I’m in the mood for love.  Paris anyone??