When you think of Berlin souvenirs you probably think of plastic TV towers and tacky T-shirts. None of these things really capture the spirit of the city as we see it, and I’m sure none of you would be interested in any of those.
The Italian label Palomar came up with a new design souvenir titled City Icons that really took us by surprise. They completely rethought the concept of a city snow globe, creating a series of contemporary objects that highlight an architectural icon of the city that is not your typical tourist sight. The series that was designed by Paolo Dell’Elce and curator by Marco Sammicheli includes sleek black snow globes of cities such as Paris, London, Sydney, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Barcelona and of course also Berlin. But instead of the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben or the Sagrada Familia you will see the minimalistic shapes of buildings that are maybe not on mainstream tourist’s itineraries but are nonetheless iconic for the respective cities.
photo: kaffeeeinstein / CC
What is the essence of a city? What is Berlin made of? As we already established, it is mostly made of the people inhabiting it. Berlin is a concrete jungle, with many beautiful buildings. Old architecture and new people mix well. They flow through the city like water in the canals. Water is life, water pulsates, water is the substance we are made of. And there is a lot of this substance in a metropolis like Berlin. Next to the Spree and the seas of the capital, there are other springs of water: Fountains. All over the capital you will find those sometimes grandiose, sometimes simple water oases.
But they are always architectural masterpieces, relics of other times, loaded with history and symbolic meanings. But they are also places to rest and dwell. On fountains, people who don’t know each other come together, people who have a date, people who are alone.
See ten of our favorite water places in Berlin and get some inspiration to plan your next walk in the city. Right after the jump.
photo: Steve Blackburn / CC
With longer daylight hours comes more time for nice walks in town. Most of the people living in Berlin have probably already taken plenty of walks through Mitte, visited the Museum Island or strolled through Mauerpark. But just a few have ventured out to Treptower Park to discover this impressive historical gem from the former GDR: The Soviet Monument of Honor. This monument was built in 1949 and is one out of three monuments built to remember the fallen soldiers from the red army.
What makes this monument so impressive is not only the giant statue of the child-saving soldier with the massive sword resembling more a knight from a fairy tale than of a Sowjet soldier. The gates to the monument are crystal-shaped pyramides that look like they were constructed for a space station from an alien nation. I guess the fascination for space and the idea of a Soviet world imperium already existed back then, continuing in the Cold War in the following decades.
I recommend to visit this place inside Treptower Park on a cloud free day to enjoy the view. The whole area and especially the soldier statues can give you goosebumps. I think getting in touch with this part of Berlin’s history is a stimulating experience not to be missed. More pictures after the jump.