One of the most famous cultural sites you might want to visit would be the Berlin Wall – or at least what’s left of it. A testament to a tension-filled history that had a democratic West Germany pitted against a communist East Germany, it used to be a concrete wall that separated East and West and was only torn down in 1989, after standing for almost three decades, and claiming the lives of 192 people, all of whom were shot trying to escape the communist regime of the East. Most of it has been dismantled, but some parts still remain, the longest being a 1316m long stretch which you can find along Mühlenstrasse which is between Warschauer Strasse and the Ostbahnhof. Called the East Side Gallery, it showcases 106 paintings.
There are few other sites in Berlin besides the Reichstag that reflect its culture as a city and capital of one of the most progressive countries in the world. The seat of the German Parliament, it is also one of Berlin’s most historical sites.
The Reichstag has gone through many renovations to its base neo-classical design, as it was heavily damaged during the war.
Now you will be delighted to find a glass dome over the plenary hall, which was only added in 1999. Through the glass dome, you’ll be able to see the parliament at work when they are in session – the reason why the Reichstag has become one of the most visited cultural sites in Berlin.
Once you’re done seeing the Reichstag, you may also want to visit the Brandenburger Gate, which is near the parliament building. Originally constructed in 1778, it took a total of 17 years before it became fully complete. The quadriga you will see at the top of the gate was intended to be a symbol of peace, but was claimed by Napoleon to be a symbol of victory when Berlin was occupied by the French in 1806. After Napoleon’s defeat in the Battle of Waterloo though, it was taken back to Berlin to stand in original place of glory.
The Brandenburger gate was also the site of victory and celebration when the Berlin wall was torn down in 1989. Many Germans, both from the East and West, flocked together to celebrate their country’s unification after years of separation and bitter conflict.