BERLIN – Buildings, Structures and Other Arty Bits

In my short time in Berlin I couldn’t possibly have photographed all the interesting buildings in the City, indeed there were many amazing places I didn’t see at all.  It was just a case of typical tourist sightseeing while taking as many photos of whatever caught my attention. In this post I have been struggling to decide which buildings to show but finally I’ve decided to just show a number of photos of one particular building. More will follow in future posts.

This is the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. It is  one of the most famous and very popular landmark in Berlin. It was first built in the 1890s but it was bomb damaged in an air raid in 1943, and much of it was destroyed. However, some has  survived, and has been repaired and maintained as a memorial and symbol of reconciliation and a very busy tourist attraction.   Also the Church was rebuilt in the form of a number of new modern buildings, between 1959 and 1961, in a totally different style to the original.

DSC_0126

This is the old Church with its damaged spire (above) and the tall building on the left which is one of the new additions.

On the left of the picture above (also below), you can see the shrine that has been set up to remember the victims of the terrorist attack at this site last December, when a truck was driven into the crowd at a Christmas Market.

DSC_0135 - Copy

The photos below show the inside of the old building, with the wonderfully ornate ceiling, walls and the beautiful mosaic floor.

 

august 2017 226

 

august 2017 220

 

august 2017 266

The photo below shows the new building for worship, on the right. It was designed by architect Egon Eiermann with very striking stained glass walls designed by Gabriel Loire. Perhaps it’s not so attractive on the outside, but on the inside it’s quite beautiful, and although I’m not religious I found the predominantly blue stained glass creating a perfect calm and contemplative environment.

DSC_0161-

 

august 2017 208

 

organ playing

Opposite the altar on a gallery is an organ containing about 5,000 pipes (above), which was built by Karl Schuke.  Plexiglas panels have been installed over the organ gallery to improve the acoustics. I was lucky enough to hear the organ playing, you can see a person seated at it in the above photo.  I also very much enjoyed a concert of classical music here one evening, performed by the Berlin Chamber Orchestra.

august 2017 268

A couple of tourists inspect their photos under two modern sculptures outside the old  tower.

I hope to post more photos of Berlin shortly. Please visit my website, which has several photos of Berlin. All photos are for sale. Thank you for viewing my post.

http://www.helene-brennan.com/c860-germany

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

BERLIN – MEMORIALS AND MEMORIES

I was recently a tourist in Berlin for just a week.  Of course I took hundreds of photos, as I always do, and as all tourists do.

This, my first post on the Berlin topic is focusing on some of Berlin’s numerous memorials, museums and other history related installations that remember with courageous honesty, the stories of terrible events that destroyed so many lives, particularly in the early 20th century.

Below are some photos showing images from Berlin’s East Side Gallery. After the collapse of the Berlin Wall, a long section of the  remainder of the structure was utilised as a surface for murals of artists from all over the world. Millions of tourists pass this way every year, to remember, to take photos, to take selfies, to hope for the future.

DSC_0244- - Copy

DSC_0230

DSC_0276 - Copy

DSC_0264

The Holocaust Memorial, below.

DSC_0416 - Copy

Above is the Holocaust Memorial, designed by New York Architect Peter Eisenman. The site covers 19,000 square meter’s, with 2711 concrete slabs, set on a slightly sloping and uneven site. There is also has an information centre underground.  Adults wander, reflect and contemplate, while children do what children do and generally play hide and seek around the slabs.

DSC_0425 - Copy

DSC_0016DSC_0017

 

DSC_0198-2 - Copy

The Jewish museum, above, is a very innovative building with an unusual zigzag shape when seen from above, and it has narrow diagonal windows. It was designed by Daniel Libeskind. More information about the building can be found on https://www.jmberlin.de/en/libeskind-building.

The photo below shows a room inside the building.

DSC_0209 - Copy

Outside, at the museum there is a Garden of Exile and Emigration, which is reminiscent of the Holocaust Memorial, and where children also play enthusiastically, and perhaps inappropriately.

DSC_0197

The brass tiles (stolperstein) that can be seen embedded into the pavements all over Berlin each remember the name and life dates of a jewish person who lived or worked in the adjacent house before falling victim to Nazi Extermination or persecution. This inspirational stolperstein art project was initiated by the German artist Gunter Demnig in 1992, and is still ongoing.

august 2017 284

 

DSC_0441 - Copy - Copy

Pondering and reflecting at the Sinti Memorial (above). This was constructed to remember the ethnic cleansing at the hands of the Nazis, of some 220,000 – 500,000 Sinti and Roma people. It’s a beautiful tranquil memorial designed by the Israeli artist Dani Karavan.

august 2017 136

This sculpture, “Reconciliation” was created by Josefina de Vasconcellos following the devastation of the Second World War. It is located at the modern Chapel of Reconciliation, which replaces the original structure. There are copies of this sculpture at Coventry Cathedral, in the  Hiroshima Peace Museum, and in the former border strip at the Berlin Wall.

DSC_0180-2 - Copy

The sculpture above, “Balancing Act” at the Axel Springer Building was created to commemorate 50 years after the laying of the foundation stone for the building, and 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Stephan Balkenhol was the sculptor. Axel Springer SE is the largest digital publishing house in Europe.

 

Below is the famous landmark Checkpoint Charlie, the best known checkpoint between East and West Germany, before the collapse of the Berlin Wall. It is located on the corner of Friedrichstrasse and Zimmerstrasse. Now a major tourist attraction, thousands, if not millions of tourists flock to see this place and have their photos taken with the ‘guards’ who will charge €3 for the privilege. The hut is a replica of the original which is now on display at The Allied Museum in Berlin.

DSC_0325

DSC_0326

 

DSC_0332

Looks like she found her man in uniform!

Below is the famous Brandenburg Gate, an 18th-century neoclassical monument in Berlin,  built on the orders of  the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm II. When the Berlin Wall was built in 1961, the gate became part of the wall between East and West, and it was closed. Now a major tourist attraction and a symbol of freedom for many Germans.

DSC_0437 - 2

Thanks for looking at my first post on Berlin. I hope to post more on this city shortly, which will focus on some of the many interesting buildings in the city. Please come back.

There are many more photos of Berlin on my website. Please take a look:

http://www.helene-brennan.com/c860-germany

 

 

LAST NIGHT’S WEST KERRY SUNSET

sunset and wild roses_9307Yes, I have taken many photos of sunsets, many of which are previously posted in my blog.  https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/tag/sunset/  But it’s so very hard to resist, when you see from your window the red-golden tree tops in the garden, and you know this is a special one – again. These special sunsets don’t happen often, but they happen a number of times in the year.

DSC_9070

It isn’t always convenient to be out taking photos at these ‘special’ times. Last night, for instance I had just returned from a strenuous row on the sea, and wanted nothing more than to sit and relax.  I tried to ignore the reddening of the sky outside, but eventually I had to just run outside before the colours disappeared.  As usual in these situations, I just grabbed the images, no time for the tripod or anything like that.

DSC_9308-2

Sunset Pictures on my website: http://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/sunset

THANK YOU FOR LOOKING AT MY BLOG

GANNET IN DISTRESS – read below

DSC_9246

On a recent beach walk on Béal Bán Beach, Ballyferriter, near Dingle, I came upon this beautiful gannet. It’s not often I have an opportunity to get this close to a gannet. This bird was struggling to pull a piece of rope which appeared to have something heavy on the end of it. I watched it struggle up from the water, pulling its object up the beach. I stupidly thought she was doing this by choice, and that she may have some purpose in mind, for her piece of treasure. I took several photos, not wishing to get too close and scare her away.

Another passer-by, who was more enlightened than myself saw the bird’s distress and stopped to free her from the rope, which was apparently stuck to her beak. She must have become entangled with it when she was diving for food.

DSC_9271

Having been set free, one might expect that she would fly away, but that didn’t happen. I can only guess that she must have been exhausted. She seemed unconcerned about me getting closer, taking more photos, and made no attempt to get away. I left her there, just standing on the middle of the beach. It was a sad sight. There was nothing more that anyone could do. I don’t know what happened to her; I hope she managed to fly away as the tide came in some hours later.

So, my reason for writing this post – just to make people think more carefully about what they throw into the sea, or leave on the beach for the tide to claim. Thousands of birds and other creatures suffer and die unnecessarily because of human carelessness.

Please visit my website for more animal and bird photos.

http://www.helene-brennan.com/c101-animals-and-birds-photos