The city is divided into quarters, the most famous of which is Charlottenburg. During the Cold War years, when Berlin was divided into East and West Berlin, Charlottenburg was the centre of West Berlin. Here you can stroll along the Kurfürstendamm and shop to your heart's content in all the major department stores, and designer boutiques alike.
The Gedächtniskirche, or Memorial Church, on the Breidscheidplatz is definitely worth a visit. This monument of peace and reconciliation consists of a cluster of ruins surrounded by a modern building, embodying Berlin’s character of history and modernity. The original church, the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, was destroyed during a bombing raid in 1943. The ruined church was intended to make way for a new building in 1956, but after a storm of protests it was decide to incorporate the old building into the new, creating the enduring monument the building is today.
In Charlottenburg you will also find the Olympic stadium, where the infamous 1936 Olympic Games took place. The stadium underwent a complete renovation for the 2006 football World Cup.
Should you wish an excellent birds’ eye view of the city, you must go up the Funkturm, known as 'langer Lulatsch' (lanky lady) by Berliners. From the viewing platform at 126mtrs you have fantastic panoramic views over this magnificent city.
On a Saturday morning it is worth visiting the Winterfeldtmarkt in the district of Schöneberg – here you will find top quality fruit and vegetables, cheeses, flowers, clothing stalls, and arts and crafts. Once tired of shopping, the area has countless bars and cafés where you can refresh yourself with a coffee, or a glass of the local Georg Pils.
You cannot miss a trip to the famous Brandenburger Tor, in the Mitte district. This symbol of Berlin, German separation and reunification is Berlin's most well known building. The sandstone gate was constructed between 1788 and 1791, and in 1794 it was crowned with it’s statue of the goddess of victory. During the years of separation, it was situated in no-man’s land, just behind the Wall, ensuring it became Berlin’s most enduring symbol of reunification. After the fall of the Wall the Brandenburger Tor was re-opened in December 1989. Stroll eastwards from the Tor along the legendary avenue ‘Unter den Linden’; see the Opera House, the St. Hedwig’s Cathedral, the Berliner Dom, and the Staatsoper, to name but a few of the famous buildings here. You cannot afford to miss the Rotes Rathaus, and the Alexanderplatz. With its massive tower blocks it was and still is East Berlin’s urban centre. Within walking distance you will find Checkpont Charlie, which between 1961 and 1990 was the only border crossing point for Allies and foreigners.
Restaurants of all cuisines are to be found all over Berlin, and the local cuisine is well represented. It is mostly simple dishes, such as ‘Boulette’, which is a kind of fried meat loaf, washed down with a ‘Berliner Weisse’.
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