Berlin is full of culture and history, whilst walking through the city there are many different sights and buildings that could easily go amiss. Whilst some of these subjects did not have enough content to validate their own post, I still couldn’t see them not being featured. The following is a collection of some of my favourite obscurities from around the German capital.
Nearby the Wittenbergplatz U-Bahn station, two fountains are the focal point of the square and shopping area above. Both installations only operate in peak periods, however, without the water running, there is still a lot of beauty to be appreciated in the fountains. Built in 1982 and designed by Waldemar Grzimek, a local sculptor, this piece, the Skulpturenbrunnen (sculpture fountain - how apt?) has designed in a mushroom-like shape. Perhaps hinting at the ongoing tension between the USA and USSR at the time? The fountain is clad in steel with a copper coating, meaning that slowly with time, the fountain changes colour as the water is turned off and then brought back on and also with changing weather.
This building and graffiti caught my eye while walking around Berlin in August of this year (2018). Many of the buildings are quite easy to identify as either east of west german design. In contrast, this terrace I found difficult to recognise, without looking at a map of the border. The street art along this street appreciated the architecture, or had been quickly covered up if it was there. Along with the placement of the staircases and the work on the trees and bushes, there was a great focus on the building together with the dividing pavement wall.
Rosa Luxemburg memorial
Rose Luxemburg’s name features greatly throughout Berlin. Herself a Berlin-ite by immigration, born in Poland and marrying to gain a german passport and moving permanently to the city in 1898. The rise of socialism was in full swing during her time, and was her focus throughout her life. She campaigned against the fighting in WWI under a pseudonym of ‘Spartacus’ by signing leaflets with the name. Towards the end of the war she was imprisoned, then released after the defeat of the German army in France. After this she continued to fight for what she believed in.
Stand By Me Tree
This tree has been carved with the lyrics with Ben E. King’s Stand By Me, which has been covered by many artists since its creation. It is unknown when the vandal decided to act, however, their actions will seem almost permanent to many with natures slow changes. Finding this tree was a great deal of fun, biking through the Tiergarten up and down the many streets and only knowing the rough area of the tree. Many others have followed suit and have inscribed meaningful lyrics or quotes into surrounding trees.
Within the city of Berlin, many universities feature throughout, from the very prestigious to the new and experimental. This building is home to students of many universities in the faculty of experimental medicine, and it is safe to say, that the building is a complete contrast to the actions going on inside. The building is a pinnacle to brutalist architecture to some, in the fact that it looks like a destroyer ship or an other-worldly tank. The noise that this building produced through its extraction system only added to the eerie feeling created by its appearance.
Ehrenmal der Bundeswehr
This memorial is dedicated to those that have lost their lives fighting in the Germany army (Bundeswehr). The feelings made moving from one end to the other are unique, the interior of the building silences all of the surrounding area. The plinth being the only part of the construction that is not vertical or horizontal makes it a very unnerving but poignant experience nonetheless. It was originally idealised in 2007, however, was only completed to its current state in June, 2018.