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© TopDomizil Vacation Service GmbH

(Office) Platz vor dem Neuen Tor 1B
10115 Berlin
T:+49 (0)30 / 9 22 77 207
E: info@topdomizil.de

 

Surroundings Checkpoint Plaza

Our apartments are located literally just down the street from the Gendarmenmarkt, one of the most beautiful squares in Europe, Potsdamer Platz, with its impressive archeitecture and shopping, and the historic Checkpoint Charlie. Since the completion of the new buildings around the square at Gendarmentmarkt, the square has an almost cozy atmosphere, what with the German and French cathedrals on either side of the classically built Schinkel’s Schauspielhaus theatre (now the Konzerthaus) with its magnificent open-air staircase. The many bistros in this area are popular with trendy people intent on “seeing and being seen.”

Potsdamer Platz was named after the city of Potsdam as it was the station here that first offered service to the outlying city. In the 20s it, along with neighbouring Leipziger Platz, became one of the busiest intersections in all of Europe. As a symbol of times that once were, the first traffic light system outside of the USA still stands in its original location in the centre of Potsdamer Platz.

Since both the Reich Chancellery and Hitler’s bunker were close to the square, the surrounding area was bombed to the ground toward the end of the war. For nearly five decades after, it remained a deserted wasteland until about ten years after the fall of the wall when it was transformed into one of the world’s busiest building sites. During that time around 2.5 million EUR were spent in excavation costs every day on this area alone. Now the Sony Centre, designed to look like Mount Fiji, is easily spotted from any Berlin skyline view, not to mention the aweinspiring architecture that is free to the public to view from under the dom.

Some of our apartments have a view of Checkpoint Charlie, the namesake of the apartment complex. Here was once the control point for entry to East Berlin, and it was here that the conflicts between East and West were often most dramatic and visible. It is at this intersection that the museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie stands with its unique exhibits of escape methods, which were for the most part successful.

To the north of Checkpoint Charlie is the beautiful avenue Unter den Linden, created as a connection between the former Stadtschloss by the Museum Island and the entrance to the Tiergarten at the Brandenburg Gate. Beautiful linden trees and restaurants, as well the magnificent Hotel Adlon, grandiose Humboldt University, State Library and many other breathtaking sites now line this shady boulevard. At the far end of the avenue is the Brandenburg Gate which has become a national symbol and is even on the reverse side of German euro coins. It is the city’s only remaining gate but it has come to symbolize much more than just being a decorative entranceway to Unter den Linden.

Upon the reunification of Berlin, the centre of the city shifted from Charlottenburg to Mitte. However, Charlottenburg is still seen by some as one of Berlin’s most important districts, what with its famous up-scale shopping boulevard the Kurfuerstendamm, the zoo and the trade fair grounds that host the International Media Exhibition every other year, among other events. Walking down the Ku’damm, a common nickname for the Kurfuerstendamm, is an absolute must for all tourists and newcomers. Also in this area is the impressive KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens, or shopping centre of the west) with name brands, a great selection of food out of numerous countries and awesome displays.

A few hundred meters to the south of Checkpoint Charlie is the district of Kreuzberg, another very important Berlin district. It is easily counted as one of the most popular and lively of the city’s districts as it has a wide range of bars, restaurants and bazaars, theaters, galleries and cultural cinemas. The streets here are filled with an air of multiculturalism, with people from all over the world living here. When people talk about Kreuzberg, they usually mean the so-called ‘SO 36’ quarter which was at the center of the illegal alternative ‘squatter scene’ of the 70s and 80s. In contrast is the southern part of Kreuzberg, where there is a somewhat older, more established alternative scene.



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