Apart from our Berlin Wall bike tour this excursion is popular, especially among guests who visit Berlin for the first time.
It starts from a history-charged spot (Bornholmer Straße), where the first Berliners from East and West jubilantly fell into each others arms on the day the Wall came down. We move on bike lanes and side roads to Brandenburg Gate and back, past the greatest sights in the core of Berlin as well as lesser-known but intriguing places. One stop is on Oranienburger Straße, nowadays one of the hottest party miles. Magnificent historic buildings dominate this street, i.e. the former Imperial Post Office and the New Synagogue which has an exciting history. A stone’s throw from there you find Friedrichstadt Palace, the variety theatre with the world’s largest stage. Its unique mix of traditional revue and modern show elements delights the young and old alike.
Opposite the Berlin Main Train Station, number-one railway hub of the capital, lies a large branch of the Charité. Originally planned as a hospital in anticipation of the plague more than 300 years ago, it was then used as a military hospital. More and more medical disciplins were established here. Students from Humboldt University collaborated with physicians and scientists who worked at the Charité and who were ahead of their time. The combination of research and therapy made this institute successful. Europe’s largest university hospital in the 19th century, the “Charité“ still is one of the most popular clinics in Germany. The governmental quarter nearby represents modern local architecture. Past the “Ribbon of Governance“ with the German Chancellery, we cycle to the Reichstag building (Lower House of the German parliament).
Simply THE emblem of Berlin, Brandenburg Gate, is the actual destination of our little trip. Numerous contemporary and historic examples of architecture line the path of our return, among them the Holocaust Memorial, inaugurated in 2005. Potsdam Square, a state-of-the-art entertainment ensemble, competes with the elegant “classicist“ square called Gendarmenmarkt. The Forum Fridericianum (called August Bebel Square today) arranged by Frederick II of Prussia as a symbol of tolerance, became a symbol of barbarism, when Hitler‘s Nazis had their infamous “Burning of the books“ there in 1933. We pass the “Cradle of the city“ (Nicolai Quarter), Red City Hall, Neptune Fountain, the TV tower and St. Mary’s Church, before we reach Alexanderplatz (Alexander Square). From there we return directly to our base.
Eventually, after all that, you can be certain to have seen a lot of Berlin’s gems, heard relevant stories and done something good for your health.