A church for the Hohenzollern family
With its magnificent dome, the Berlin Cathedral is definitely one of the capitals crowd pullers.
Located in the northern area of the Spree Island, many of the buildings that were previously located here date all the way back to the 15th century.
In the 19th century, the ruling family of Germany, the house of Hohenzollern, was living right next door in the Berlin Castle and they thought that Schinkels rather modest domed cathedral no longer corresponded to the image they wanted to project of their family. King Frederick William IV thus decided that a magnificent cathedral should be built.
The cornerstone of this beautiful cathedral was laid in 1894 and the inauguration ceremony took place in 1905. During World War II, the cathedral suffered heavy damage. Only in 1975 did the GDR begin restoring it. The restoration was finally completed four years after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1993.
Tourists can see the ministry church and its impressive cupola along with the baptismal and matrimonial chapels, the imperial staircase, the Hohenzollern crypt with nearly 100 coffins dating back four centuries and the Cathedral museum. Visitors can also go up to the top of the dome to have a remarkable view of the centre of Berlin.
No visits during services and events.
Berlin Television Tower
Symbol of the capital
Anyone who has ever been to Berlin has seen it. Indeed, it is hard to imagine not being able to take notice of it. No wonder - the Berlin Television Tower, which is 368 metres tall, is the highest publicly accessible building in Europe. But its even more than that.
The Berlin Television Tower, or the Berliner Fernsehturm as it is known to Berliners, was inaugurated on 3 October 1969 just before the 20th anniversary of the GDR. For Walter Ulbricht, who was the State Council Chairman of the GDR at the time, it was one of the most important symbols demonstrating the superiority of socialist societies. The construction of the Berlin Television Tower showed that a better future was being built in the East.
But while the GDR has long since been history, the Berlin Television Tower still stands - and it is now accepted as a landmark for all of Germany. Every year more than a million visitors from 86 countries go up 200 metres to the observational level and there take in a breathtaking view of the bus-tling and constantly changing city. And so it comes as no surprise that many of those who come back down end up purchasing posters, t-shirts or cushions showcasing the Berlin Television Tower, which has become a cool symbol of the united city of Berlin.
Olympiastadion Berlin Visitor Center
Capital City of sports
The Olympic Stadium is the central venue for major events in Berlin and also serves as home field to the football club Hertha BSC Berlin.
The Olympic Stadium was designed by architect Werner March and was built between 1934 and 1936 on the occasion of the Olympic Summer Games in 1936. It has a capacity for holding up to 100.000 spectators In regard to form, the stadium with its clean geometric shapes is reminiscent of ancient sport facilities. Since half of it is buried in the ground - thus only the upper ring is above ground level - it seems to have a less powerful effect than other buildings from the era of National Socialism.
In 2006, the Olympic stadium was used for the football World Cup and in 2009 the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics took place here as well. Every spring final round of the DFB Cup is also played here.
Part of the former Reichsportfeld is also the Maifeld, which was designed to serve as a space for propaganda events. Another event facility was designed to be like an ancient forest amphitheatre stage and in the 1936 Olympic games gymnastics competitions were held there. Today, amidst the green, open air concerts take place instead.
There is also a bell tower to be found in the Olympic Park, offering an extensive view of the city as well as an impressive view of the Olympic Stadium, the May Field and the forest stage, which otherwise can only be viewed when events are being held.
A historical path at the Olympic site has 45 tables in both German and English offering information about the origin and history of the former "Reichsportfeld and the historic buildings and art works from the early days of National Socialism.
Infos for school classes
A 60-minute guided tour through the Olympic Stadium costs 140 for school classes, and one lasting 90 minutes 190. Whether architecture, sport or history you are free to choose the theme of the tour. There are also discount admission tickets for school pupils to a Hertha game.
Garden Architecture, Greenhouses and Europe's only Botanical Museum
With 22.000 types of plants, Berlins Botanical Gardens rank among the three most important botanical gardens in the entire world.
Created between 1897 and 1910 according to the plans of the architect Alfred Koerner, the Botanical Gardens 43 hectares are a wonderful place to take a stroll.
The Botanical Gardens consist of three areas: the park-like arboretum (collection of woody plants and roses), the exhibition area showcasing plants from around the world in their geo-graphical context and the collection of 1.500 types of plants, which have been systematically categorised. There is also 3.000 square metres large garden with a focus on smelling and touching various kinds of plants for our guests who are visually impaired or who are in wheelchairs.
Fifteen greenhouses are located in a geometrical arrangement on the eastern edge of the park, including a tropical greenhouse built in 1907 which is 25 metres high and 1.700 square metres large one of the largest in the world and a superb example of 19th century glass and steel architecture.
Located on Königin-Luise-Straße, the Botanical Museum was created on the basis of the for-mer Royal Herbarium. In addition to its comprehensive scientific collection of plants, it is also Europes only museum that is purely botanical in nature. Besides the numerous plant species found in the museum, the plants associated with the tombs of the Egyptian Pharaohs can be studied here.
By the way: The Botanical Garden is not only a summer highlight. Even in winter you can discover the flora of Africa, Australia, East Asia, the tropics and the Mediterranean on the season path.
Toilets and elevators are wheelchair-accessible.