Wednesday, July 13, 2011

berlin wall, brandenburg & check-point charlie

i will not be blogging about all the shore excursions on the cruise because not all of them have made a lasting impression on me. other than st petersburg, the other stop that has left a lasting impression on me is berlin. some friends would ask: why go all the way to germany to see the wall when we have a section of it in singapore? true, but nothing beats seeing the wall at its original site. we had to travel 3 hours by coach from the port to the city. some took the train. it was worth all the 6 hours of travelling because berlin is not on the popular tourist circuit.

i was actually more excited at seeing brandenburg gate than the remains of the berlin wall. the most famous landmark in berlin was built as a monument to prussian power and it embodied german unity, which it still does. bandenburg gate is today the symbol of the reunification of germany.

the statue, known as quadriga, sits at the top of the gate. during the napoleanic wars in 1806, it was taken to paris as a war trophy. however, in 1814, the prussian army managed to wrest it back from the french.

another reminder of world war ii and the divided germany is check-point charlie. what you see today - which is a tourist draw - is a replica of the american guardhouse. the original check-point charlie was removed on june 22 1990. it is now housed in the allied museum.

the main function of check-point charlie was to register and inform members of the western forces before entering east berlin.


Icemoon said...

Who's the MP beside Stars and Stripes? A real security officer or tourist?

yg said...

icemoon, i do not know whether he is a real mp or not. all i know is that he charges tourists for wanting to have their photos taken with him. you will notice that he carries a sling bag.

Icemoon said...

If he carried no weapon, I smell a fraud. haha

yg said...

the original check-point had been taken down. this replica is just to attract tourists. so, the mp is also a replica, not a genuine one.