Tuesday, July 28, 2015

This morning I took care of the final piece of research at the Postdamer Platz location of the Berlin State Library.   I had viewed the façade of the building and the surrounding area on Google maps so I knew I was near when I saw the steeple of St. Matthäus Kirche, built in the mid-1800’s ahead of me.  

If I had timed it right  I would have stayed to listen to an organ concert and, of course, visit the graves of Wilhelm and Jakob Grimm.  There’s still time and I’ll likely return during my free days at the end of this week.

Once I finished my library business I headed back toward the train station and I was stopped by a couple ladies who needed directions.  They were asking me - HA!  Amazingly, though,  I knew where the Kulturforum is (near St. Matthäus Kirche) and I was able to help the ladies.  

This evening our entire group traveled to Reichstag, the imposing German Parliamentary building.  To get there we walked through the Brandenburg Gate, the last of the original 14 gates of Berlin’s old city wall; it is topped by the goddess of peace. 

The Reichstag is the seat of Germany’s Bundestag and the building is a combination of historic and modern times expressed through its architecture.  Its exterior reflects the original late 19th century design while its very core, where parliament meets, is covered by the environmentally friendly glass dome designed by architect Norman Foster.  This amazing dome functions to reflect natural light into the legislative chamber and also ventilate it.

Can you pick out Angela Merkel's seat?

A wonderful day that has taught me much about Germany’s history and given me an actual glimpse into where the recent discussions on the situation in Greece have taken place.