Berlin, then Schwerin Palace


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Europe » Germany
August 9th 2015
Published: June 22nd 2017
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BebelplatzBebelplatzBebelplatz

A square just off the Unter den Linden, made famous as the Berlin site of Nazi student book-burning on the night of 10 May 1933. In 1995 an interesting memorial was built on the site. It is a small, bare underground room, with empty bookshelves lining the walls: enough to hold the 20,000 books burned that night. The room is viewed through a large glass skylight set flush with the cobbles of the square. Interesting and thought provoking!
Geo: 53.6245, 11.4187

Today a 30min meandering walk to view the exhibits at the Neues Museum on Berlin's Museum Island.

Then drive back to Hamburg via the impressive Schwerin Palace, a grand ducal residence and seat. Unfortunately we missed the guided tour and made do with an audio commentary via headphones.

We lost half an hour during the drive due to a traffic jam resulting from an inexplicable transition from autobahn to a single lane road ending at a set of traffic lights. This was never going to work but it did not appear to be temporary situation, and we were left wondering at the logic of the road planners.

Irritatingly, intersections controlled by traffic lights do not have lights on the far side of the intersection. If you're stopped at the lights at the front of the line you have to crane your neck to watch for the change of lights on your side of the intersection. And half the time, the lights are directly behind the rear-view mirror!


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Typical Berlin street sceneTypical Berlin street scene
Typical Berlin street scene

The new building beside the heavily battle-scarred older building. The blue pipes are ubiquitous in Berlin. Berlin is built on swampy ground and major de-watering infrastructure is needed at the many building sites. Berlin must be one of the few major cities where water conservation is not a priority. Shower and flush away! The sewerage system was designed for far more inhabitants than the city now has, and areas get stinky where there isn't enough waste water to flush the system.
Gold HatGold Hat
Gold Hat

Berlin's Neues (New) Museum houses mainly Pre-history and Egyptian exhibits. It's most famous exhibits are the 3,300 year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti (no photographs!) and this Gold Hat. Apparently Gold Hats were worn by European village dignitaries on ceremonial occasions three thousand years ago. The adornments depict all sorts of astronomical and numerical symbology. This Hat is one of four known to have survived to the present day, and can easily be imagined as the inspiration for today's pointy wizard and witch hats.
Schwerin PalaceSchwerin Palace
Schwerin Palace

The residence and capitol of a northern grand ducal dynasty from the 12th century. It is now a museum and a state parliament building. It was largely rebuilt in the mid-19th century and major restoration and refurbishment works are ongoing. It has a fairy-tale setting on its own island, with beautiful surroundings.
Schwerin Throne RoomSchwerin Throne Room
Schwerin Throne Room

The most richly decorated of all the amazing rooms.


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