Monday, June 20, 2016

Berlin: Gartens and Gates


The Brandenburg Gate is one of those landmarks I recognized without even meaning to. So many significant things have happened here! So much history! When I went running in the mornings, I ran under this gate while there was no one else around. It was the strangest feeling to think about all the other people that have passed under these pillars over the centuries. It gave me chills.
Napoleon paraded through this gate, for crying out loud!
Photo from here
Here's the gate after World War II. You can see the damage to the top of it.
And from above. So much destruction.
Picture from here
Here's President Reagan giving his "Tear down this wall" speech in front of the gate, with the Berlin Wall in the background.
And here are the crowds standing on top of the Berlin Wall, by the Brandenburg Gate, in 1989 when the wall fell.
And now it's just a normal place with people walking around! So interesting to think about that.
If you cross through the gate and across the street, you get to the Tiergarten, which is a huge park, kind of like Hyde Park in London. I think it started out as Frederick Wilhelm's hunting grounds, back in the 1600s or maybe even earlier. It was a big forest where they hunted deer and pheasants and so forth. You'd think the trees would be huge, being that old, but sadly most of the trees were cut down after World War II, and it's been reforested since then. It makes me wish I could see it as it used to be!
This was taken from the roof of the Reichstag Building, looking out over the Tiergarten.
And this picture, taken just after World War II, looks the opposite way, across part of the Tiergarten to the Reichstag Building. You can see how absolutely obliterated much of the forest is, and also how much damage the Reichstag Building sustained. It got even worse after this, because people were so desperate for fuel during the shortages after the war, they chopped down any remaining trees and used them for firewood. It's hard to believe these beautiful green trees have grown up in only the last 70 years or so.
There's an LDS Chapel right next to the Tiergarten on the South side. That meant I had a gorgeous walk home after church. I LOVE beautiful parks!
Crossroads
I loved all the Spring blossoms that were out!
One morning while I was running I saw about five little bunnies hopping around under a bush. So cute!
I loved this morning light on the trees.
And a ping-pong table…just in case the urge strikes you suddenly…
I love how the trees have encroached onto the path here.
We would have loved to stay in Berlin even longer, if only we hadn't been missing our kids so much. But it was an awesome trip; I'm SO glad Sam and I got to go. Maybe someday we will all get to go back!

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