Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Building a History

Unless you have been to Europe, you would think that our buildings in the United States are relatively old. That is one big joke! Our buildings have no history, no story in comparison. The Berliner Dom on Museum Island (located in Mitte) has a history that even predates known American history. It survived war only to be destroyed to a fire. It was restored and reopened in 1993.

Walking into the church, no words can adequately describe it. The size alone is breathtaking. Add a few thousand pipe organ the size of a middle class American home and an alter made from pure gold and the picture will never leave your mind.  

Besides being a church and place of worship, the cathedral also holds over 90 sarcophagi and tombs of the Prussian royal family. One of the heartbreaking things to see was how many children sized coffins there were. Another thing I noticed which I thought was interesting was that some of the sarcophagi were the size of a middle size American car. I mean, really, were these people huge or what?

One of the interesting things that we learned on our photography tour the day before was that during WWII the building was shot at. According to the guide, the bullet holes were covered with patches. the crazy thing is that there are other buildings throughout East Berlin that still have remnants from Nazi Germany. 

To view our video, please go to the Wartburg College Communication Arts Facebook or YouTube pages.

Amanda Groff in front of the Berliner Dom
To end our time at the Berliner Dom this afternoon, we met two other Americans who were traveling around Europe; they were gracious enough to do an interview on camera with us. Unfortunately, we lost most of their interviews due to camera errors. But we didn't lose any of the memories made there. 

Traveler Information

How to get there: The Berliner Dom is accessible by foot, public transit and is conveniently located on the Spree River and just off of the Karl-Liebknecht-StraBe. The Berliner Dom is one of the five museums located on Museum Island. 

Family friendly or adults only: The Lustgarten lawn in front of the Berliner Dom is a great place for a picnic lunch and soak up the breathtaking architecture which first took shape in 1465. While the exterior of the Berliner Dom is great to view as a family, to view the interior, visitors must pay a fee of seven Euros. School children and students pay a reduced price of four Euros.

However, it should be noted that young children (babies and those under the age of five) may have difficulty with the strictly enforced quiet policy. The Berliner Dom is still a working church and the parish asks for a respectful silence when touring the interior and crypt.

The 'To Do' list:

Keep in mind: No flash photography, few English signs and  tours are multilingual (so you'll listen through other languages along the way), 40 cents to use the bathrooms, worth while to see the the inside if you are able.


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