Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Sunday, 3 October 2021

May I invite you to walk with me through Berlin? (first we visit the Museumsinsel)

 This is ONE of my most beloved places in Berlin: the Bode-Museum in Berlin-Mitte. It is part of the ensemble of other museums on the museum-island, the ensemble is a UNESCO-World Cultural Heritage. 

I go there as often as possible - the flair is Parisienne - many planes soften the light, the river so lovely (sorry, the photos here I took on a rainy day). 

It was built between 1889 - 1904, style new-baroque, and the dome is 39,5 m high. You might have heard about the Bode-Museum when in 2017 the 100 kg gold Big-Maple-Leaf coin was stolen (two suspects of a Berlin Clan-family were Ahmed and Wissam Remmo, they got nabbed, and Ahmed is now suspected to have robbed the valuable Dresdener Green Vault too, while out of prison during appeal). 

But I do not want to give you history-lessons - I just want to walk with you around on the beautiful museums-island: 


In the background you see the Fernsehturm at the Alexander-Platz, and yes: the underground seems to go through the museum... :-) 

(The Neue Synagoge in Berlin, built in 1866. Sorry, a mistake, look at Hels comment please) 

The Alte National Galerie (built 1862 - 1876, style Neo-Klassizismus and Neo-Renaissance (inside utterly old beautiful sculptures and paintings!) 

with Kolonnaden-Hof: in summer you can sit between the colonnades and listen to concerts or lectures, drinking a Gin Tomic and watch boats on the Spree.

The equestrian statue of Emperor Friedrich Wilhelm IV, who draw the first sketches for the building of the Alte Nationalgalerie. 

The Fernsehturm again - built by the GDR in 1965 - 1969 is with 368m the highest building in Germany (with a revolving restaurant in the "ball" - malicious tongues say that it turns quicker now since West and East Berlin is reunited, capitalists know how to increase profit :-) 

Here a glimpse into the Alte Museum (as everywhere you have to book "time frames" in Covid-time)

I collect Pegasus with my camera: 

The Pergamon-Museum (with the famous Pergamon altar), the James Simon Gallery is the new entrance building) 

and a lovely sight when you leave the Museumsinsel. 

I know that I only gave you a few superficial labels - you can read tons of books if you are interested - but my intent is to show you why I enjoy living in Berlin so much - and on other walks you will see how different the neighbourhood (in Berlin you call that Kiez) is - it's unbelievable, really. 


  1. Thank you. I had only 2 weeks in and around Berlin, and tried to see at least the most beautiful and significant religious buildings, museums and galleries. But if we get another chance post-Covid, I will use your list to build a bigger itinerary.

    You wrote about the Neue Synagogue, but I cannot find your photo. So here is one to have a look at, with its stunning dome.

    1. Dear Helen, oh thank you for your words about the Neue Synagoge!
      So politely you made me notice my mistake: yes, what one sees on the photo is the Berliner Dom - also very near, also a green dome - but the Neue Synagoge so much more beautiful! I intend to write about it a post of its own.

      So you have been in Berlin for two weeks - that is a very good time span to discover a city! If you come again, please tell me - when I am there (and not in Bavaria) I would be happy to meet you!

    2. If you look very, very hard at the photo with the red freight-laden barge, you see something golden blink in the distance - THAT is the stunning dome of the Neue Synagoge.

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  2. Imagine having so many museums on an island. Thank you so much for the walk. Perhaps one time we can go inside.

    1. Thank you, Emma! Yes, there is such a lot of museums and theatres and castles and old buildings - they fill up one's day.
      And thank you for that very interesting idea to show a bit from the inside - it is allowed to take photographs inside, so I will do that.

  3. Museums are such an important part of our lives. I love the collection of artifacts and housing them in a museum for our study and augmentation of our understanding. I did not realize Berlin was home to so many major rivers.

  4. Dear Joanne, yes, there are two main and many, many little rivers and oh so many brooks in Berlin. Berlin has 960 bridges (!!) - Venice 400....

    And there are 9 fine huge lakes (wild) for swimming and sailing.

    Of the inhabitants of Berlin is said that they are braggarts - so I may add that Berlin has about 430.000 trees in the city - that is so beautiful and soothing, so many green tree-lined streets!

  5. Beautiful architecture Britta …. I love Berlin. I need to visit again with you as my guide ! XXXX

  6. You are very welcome, Jackie!! I think we will have a lot of fun together in Berlin! XXXX

  7. Even on a gloomy day, your city is very beautiful Britta! The Bode-Museum is in a stunning location and I can agree that the vibe is Parisian. And I love the mix of old and new architecture.

    I have had one memorable night in Berlin in 1994 on a business trip and can remember the snow but not the bridges or waterways - how could this be possible? I must have had blinkers on!

    Yes, Berlin is on The List ... but in the meantime, do throw more delicious tidbits our way!

    1. Thank you, Pipistrello! Yes, you can do a lot in Berlin even if the weather is gloomy - but to save its honour: normally the weather is excellent, (well, not from November till end of March) - a lot of sunshine in summer, even heatwaves - but the "Russian whip" in winter.
      As I read above you have been there at winter time - sometimes one needs a fur and has no other interest but to hurry home (or to a hotel).
      I am glad of the mix of architecture - otherwise the city would become a mausoleum :-) But then - as you might have noticed with those graffiti - there are - still - so many different aspects of city life.

    2. Imagine: on a cold winter afternoon we might have hurried over the same street or place in 1994 - sorry, couldn't see you as I was concealed in my clothes!

  8. Thank you Britta for the introduction to your beautiful city. I've not been to Berlin but I could easily spend a month happily touring and getting to know Berlin. The architecture alone is amazing and the many museums are some of the world's best.

    1. Dear Susan, yes, it is a city where you can spend a lot of time. They say it was founded around 1240 by the merging of two town regions, so building a sort of trading union.
      As I child I came often to Berlin (then we had relatives in Berlin West; and my parents' friends in Berlin East - and I recall vividly how it looked then, more grey and not so posh - but I loved it, and when I became fourteen I wrote into my diary: "Berlin is the city where I want to grow old."
      See - intention is always important :-)

  9. I have only ever been to your wonderful city twice. The first time was spent visiting as many museums and art galleries as we could fit in. The work I really wanted to see the most was that of Kathe Kollwitz especially her very moving work called 'Die Mütter'.