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Potsdam, Charlottenburg

Home -> City trips -> Berlin -> Travelogue Berlin -> 06 September 2002

Friday 06 September, Potsdam, Charlottenburg

Hotel Königin Luise Hotel Königin LuiseWe are up early and use the mirror-elevator to descend to the breakfast room. The sun outside looks very inviting, so we hurry to leave the hotel and go into town. The name of the hotel is Königin Luise (Queen Louise) and it is very luxurious. It isn't cheap, but also not as expensive as we had feared (€ 90) and at least it has rooms available unlike many other Berlin hotels. Included in the price are tickets for all public transport in Berlin (U-Bahn, S-Bahn, busses) for all the days we spend here, including the day of departure.
First we travel from Alexanderplatz to Potsdam, south west of Berlin. The trip takes about 45 minutes and then we are in this pompous suburb of Berlin where there are hundreds of monumental buildings. The city was expanded with great palaces mainly by Frederik I (also called the Great) in the 18th century. In the 19th century Frederik Willem IV perfected the city and Sanssouci.
Sanssouci Wasserwerk, SanssouciVanaf het station lopen we langs de Nicolaikirche and andere opvallende gebouwen naar het park Sanssouci, door de Unesco aangemerkt als wereldcultuurerfgoed. Het is een groot gebied dus je bent wel even zoet.
From the station we walk past the Nicolai church and other eye-catching buildings to park Sanssouci, assigned by Unesco as a world heritage monument.
On our way we see this mosque-like building, but in reality it is the cover of the so called Wasserwerk: a pump station from where the parks and fountains of Sanssouci were provided with water. It was build in the 19th century.
Park Sanssouci covers a large area where several palaces were build. Parts of the park are cultivated, other parts are left desolate. Castle Sanssouci was build by Frederik the Great in the middle of the 18th century: it should be a place where he could stay 'sans souci' (without worries).
Orangerie, Sanssouci Neues Palais, SanssouciTo the left the Orangerie and to the right the Neues Palais (new palace), a large building in rococo-style with more than 200 rooms. Big, but not really nice, in our opinion.
Chinese tea house, Sanssouci Chinese tea house, SanssouciThe Chinese teahouse is also build in rococo-style, but a bit more playful and we like it much better. Especially the elaborate details and the figures on the foreground make it into an interesting building. It was build in the middle of the 18th century as a whim of fashion.
Chinese tea house, Sanssouci Chinese tea house, SanssouciThe statues are gold plated, although we didn't check for ourselves whether it is real gold. The ladies of the court could drink tea here together and exchange gossip about the court.
Castle SanssouciBy this time our feet are getting very tired by the long walk through the vast park. The sky is clear and it is warm, so we are thirsty, too.
Castle Sanssouci Castle SanssouciAt last we arrive at castle Sanssouci itself. The ascending terraces are cultivated with grapes, a real vineyard. But we have walked enough and seen enough palaces for now. So we start looking for a place to have a drink where we finally can quench our thirst. Who would have thought it would be over 27°C!
In the S-BahnThis time we return to the S-Bahn station by bus and let our feet rest for half an hour.
Castle CharlottenburgWe change trains in a subway station and get off in the quarter Charlottenburg. Of course we pass castle Charlottenburg, a gift of Frederik III to his wife Sophie Charlotte. The Egyptian museum in this district is really worth a visit (with the famous bust of queen Nefertete), but first we need some more rest.
The Spandauer DammWe find it at a pizzeria on the Spandauer Damm. The walk through Potsdam was more tiring than we thought. From this place we also have a nice view on the busy streets.
After an hour we walk further and now and then drive by subway to various parts of Berlin. In the end we arrive at Wittenbergplatz. The first thing we do is pay a visit to the KaDeWe, (Kaufhaus des Westens, that is: shopping center of the west) with many floors filled with delicacies. Fornunately, we can't make a choice in this overabundance and we don't buy anything. A drink is enough. Teije remembers there used to be a beautiful water-clock in this building, which stretched over several floors, but that was more than 15 years ago. (An attentive reader wrote us this clock is in another shopping center opposite of the KaDeWe, something for the next visit). Now we ascend to the upper floor in a glass elevator through the main hallway.
Near the KurfürstendammBerlin is a mixture of old and new, of east and west and old buildings are flanked by hypermodern buildings. It doesn't make the city prettier, but it is imposing and impressive.
Memorial church Gedächtniskirche Memorial church GedächtniskircheBack outside, we walk in the direction of the Kurf?rstendamm and it is then impossible to overlook the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche. The ruins of the tower, which was destroyed in 1943, stand as a memorial to the second world war.
Fasanenstrasse, BerlinThe Ku'damm is, as always, yelling out to spend money, as much as possible. The side street Fasanenstrasse is a beautiful (but also the most expensive) shopping street of Berlin with nice buildings and the well-known Literaturhaus with a garden-terrace, seemingly idyllically far from the centre of Berlin.
We spend most of the evening in the district Prenzlauer Berg. The temperature is still pretty warm and we walk around for a bit and now and then have a drink in an outdoor cafe. But we are still tired from our long walk, this morning, and at 10 we return to our hotel. It has been a beautiful day and we have seen already a lot, mainly because of the good weather.


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