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Location - Western Europe; Capital - Berlin; Population - 83 million; Currency - Euro MORE GERMANY

I spent a few days at the beginning of September in Germany, flying to Berlin and returning to London via Cologne.


euroGermany is in the Euro zone









germany5The 18th century Brandenburg Gate is the sole surviving gate into the city - Berlin



germany7The Berlin Quadriga sits atop the Brandenburg Gate - Berlin



germany1Close to the gate is the Hotel Adlon Kempinski, notable for the Michael Jackson baby dangling episode - Berlin













germany14Just off the Unter den Linden is Bebelplatz, famous as the site of the book-burning event by Nazis in May 1933 - Berlin













germany16Opposite Bebelpatz is Humboldt University. Amongst many notables, Albert Einstein lectured here and Albert Einstein was a student - Berlin



germany17Keep walking down Unter den Linden and you'll arrive at Berlin Cathedral - Berlin



germany21In 1961 the East German goverment constructed the Berlin Wall, cutting off West Berlin from the East German territory surrounding it and dividing the city in two - Berlin













germany22It was built in order to reduce the huge numbers of Eastern Bloc emigration to West Germany; though officially it was erected to prevent 'fascist elements' interfering with the creation of a socialist state - Berlin












germany23Looking through the Berlin Wall to the Spree River. East Germany referred to it as the Anti-Fascist Protection Wall - Berlin



germany26Only a small length of the Berlin Wall now exists, the main section being the East Side Gallery, home to this controversial painting of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German counterpart Erich Honecker getting cosy - Berlin



germany28Checkpoint Charlie was the most famous crossing point between East and West Berlin, and a symbol of the Cold War - Berlin

















Replica signs at Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin. Wikipedia entry on Checkpoint Charlie.



germany27One of the last Soviet flags. This is also a replica, the original being housed inside the Checkpoint Charlie Museum - Berlin



germany35Near Potsdamer Platz is the site of the Fuhrerbunker, aka Hitler's Bunker, his last hideout. On 30th April 1945 Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva (Braun) committed suicide in the bunker. Soviets blew up the bunker in 1947; it was eventually filled in and is now a car park - Berlin

BBC and Wikipedia entries on Adolf Hitler.



germany37The 'Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe' consists of a museum and 2711 stelae - Berlin














germany40Walking amongst the Memorial's stelae, which was inaugurated in 2005 - Berlin













germany42The Reichstag is home to the German parliament - Berlin



germany61A celebration of Vietnamese culture in full flow at Alexanderplatz - Berlin



germany59Straining the neck to take in the 368 metre TV Tower, or Fernsehturm - Berlin

















germany50Walking down Freienwalder Strasse in the eastern part of Berlin. In the Cold War period this was a restricted area within East Germany (GDR); it was home to a prison and also intelligence, armaments and foreign espionage departments - Berlin



germany56In the restricted area was the secret archives building, which contained dossiers from the Nazi period on individual citizens - Berlin



germany47The Berlin-Hohenschonhausen restricted area's main draw nowadays is the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial, better known as the Stasi Prison - Berlin














germany53At the end of World War II a Soviet internment camp was set up here. It then became the main Soviet remand prison in Germany.
In the 1950s East Germany (GDR) took it over as the main remand prison for the Ministry of State Security, or 'Stasi'.
This is the U-Boot, or Submarine (cellar prison) section - Berlin












germany51Physical and psychological torture were carried out on alleged Nazis and suspected political opponents - Stasi Prison, Berlin



germany54The interrogation wing of the Stasi prison - Berlin



germany55Padded dark cells of the Stasi Prison. The prison was closed in October 1990 following reunification - Berlin














germany98North-west of central Munich is Schloss Nymphenburg, a 17th century royal palace



germany100Schloss Nymphenburg served as the Bavarian rulers' summer residence - Munich



germany104Schloss Nymphenburg, or Nymph's Castle - Munich














germany108The gardens of Schloss Nymphenburg - Munich














germany109Preparations for Munich's Oktoberfest - the world famous beer festival - were well under way in Theresienwiese, a park south of the main train station



germany111Overlooking the Oktoberfest grounds is the Bavaria statue - Munich



germany114Climb inside and up to the statue's head for views - Munich















germany117Looking down on Theresienwiese and the Oktoberfest grounds - Munich













germany119aAt the centre of Munich's old town, or Altstadt, is the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall)



germany124The Mariensaule statue stands outside the Neues Rathaus on Marienplatz, the old town square - Munich



germany125The New Town Hall's Glockenspiel - Munich

















germany128Climb the tower of St Peter's Church for views of Marienplatz and the New Town Hall - Munich













germany123Also on Marienplatz is the Fish Fountain - Munich



germany129A statue of Bavarian King Maximilian Joseph stands in front of the National Theatre - Munich



germany131Evening descends on the Altstadt (old town) in Munich













germany133A great place for a beer is the Hofbrauhaus in the old town - Munich













germany136A traditionally dressed Munchener sits next to a set of padlocked steins owned by locals. These steins have often been passed down through the generations - Munich



germany137With Taran, Manu and an empty stein at the Hofbrauhaus - Munich



germany139Lining Odeonsplatz, site of the Beer Hall Putsch, are the Feldherrnhalle (Field Marshal's Hall) and the Theatinerkirche (Theatine Church) - Munich













germany140The Munich Residenz was the royal palace of Bavarian monarchy - Munich













germany143A few minutes walk from the Residenz is the vast Englischer Garten (English Garden) - Munich



germany147The Olympic Tower stands in the Olympiapark, site of the 1972 Olympics - Munich



germany149The Swimming Hall at Olympiapark - Munich














germany152Also at Olympiapark is the BMW Museum and BMW Welt - Munich













germany63A short train and bus ride from Munich is the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial. The camp was the first one built by the Nazis, in 1933 by Heinrich Himmler. The above photo shows the Jourhaus, the entrance to the camp - Dachau.

Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial website


germany65The Jourhaus entrance gate. 'Arbeit macht frei' translates to 'Work sets you free' or 'Work will make you free'; the slogan was placed at the entrances to Nazi concentration camps - Dachau


germany68The maintenance building was built by the prisoners in 1937/38 - Dachau













germany71A watchtower overlooks the camp. Electrified fencing and ditches surrounded the camp - Dachau













germany78Dachau processed over 200,000 prisoners of which at least 43,000 were killed. Pictured here are the sites where the blocks or barracks once stood; they were torn down in 1964, with the two front blocks being reconstructed for the memorial - Dachau



germany74Inside one of the reconstructed blocks are the prisoners' sleeping bunks - Dachau



germany76Block 5 was one of the blocks used for medical experiments on prisoners - Dachau













germany77Poplar trees line the road between the rows of barracks - Dachau













germany82The crematorium building was built as the number of dead increased - Dachau



germany87Above the entrance to the gas chamber is the word 'brausebad' or shower room - Dachau



germany86For some reason the gas chamber was never put into operation, though executions were carried out here.
The gas flows are disguised as shower heads - Dachau













germany84Hangings were performed in front of the furnaces in the incinerator room - Dachau














germany90'Grave of many thousands unknown' - Dachau



germany92The entrance to the 'Bunker' (prison camp), where torture and executions were carried out - Dachau



germany93The Bunker's interrogation room was used by the Gestapo to force confessions - Dachau














germany97The Bunker's corridor - Dachau














germany96The SS area of the Bunker - Dachau



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LINKS - German tourist board - Berlin transport - excellent German train website. Buy tickets online.


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