Berlin, Germany

Karl Schinkel, known as one of the best European classicists, designed much of Berlin's post-Napoleonic structures. This is the Neue Wache, his first building in Berlin. After much debate, in 1993 the Neue Wache was re-inaugurated as the Central Memorial with a Mother and Child bronze dedicated to 'all victims of war and violence'.

The Reichstag, whose foundation dates to 1871, was rebuilt after allied WWII bombing.

These young ones enjoyed an ice cream while waiting in the long queue at the Reichstag.

The state of affairs in Berlin: under construction. Jim says to short the crane and construction companies since once the jobs are done, the market will feel the effect.

Dedicated this year (1999), the glass dome atop the Reichstag offers great views of Berlin via a spiraling ramp.

16 October 1999 - We arrived at the Reichstag early afternoon to find a tremendous queue and waited approximately 1.5 hours before making it inside Germany’s top parliamentary building (Bonn claimed this exploit until recently).

Once inside we walked around the newly opened glass dome – I had heard you could look down from the dome and see parliamentary sessions in process, but this is not true. The massive dome does have an interesting spiral, semi-steep walkway up and down with mirrors on the inside support pole offering abnormal or multiple views to anyone who looks.

The vista from atop the Reichstag shows the unbelievable number of cranes in Berlin. When I looked out on this still under-construction city, I found it difficult to believe building has been going on here since soon after East and West united in November 1989. Granted much work has been completed – everywhere you look in former East Berlin, you see new modern buildings, but there is still much in progress. This adds to the excitement and intensity of the city; there’s a sense of ‘we’re on the way’. Amazingly too, Berlin appears more ‘under construction’ than even Pudong in Shanghai.


  The Reichstag
  The Reichstag (Paige)
  Shops (Jim)
  The Reichstag (Paige)
  The Berlin wall (Jim)