Berlin

Because our kids are living in Germany we try to get over there a few times a year. We love just being with them and the grandkids but this visit we also got to accompany them on a short vacation to the Capitol City of Berlin.
The concept of Passiv Haus was started in Germany but our visit consisted of the inspiration of German palaces, churches and government buildings.
The intricacy of German woodwork and the beauty of gilt carvings in the Potsdam palaces is amazing. My favorite room in the old palace was the library.

Old Palace Library
Old Palace Library

The books are classics of the time bound in red goat leather with an identical collection in each of the king’s seven residences.
My favorite room in the new palace was the Grotto. A huge open room decorated with shells and minerals.

New Palace Grotto
New Palace Grotto

There were marble shell patterns on the floor and actual shells in the side niches.

Decoration with minerals and shells
Decoration with minerals and shells

And the wall bands were studded with semi-precious minerals.

Grotto walls with bands of minerals
Grotto walls with bands of minerals

This is what it means to be the king of a great Prussian Empire. Frederich the Great from the country and times of my great grandfather.
But we also toured the Bundestag, the main government building of modern Germany. It is built inside the old government building walls. The original building was abandoned during Hitler’s reign due to a fire in the dome that the Nazi’s are suspected to have started to sow discord and confusion. Right after that Hitler was appointed Chancellor and he did away with the elected government killing many in the congress who were opposed to him.

Bundestag
Bundestag

Inside is a modern impressive remodel.

Modern interior
Modern interior

Russian graffiti was uncovered during the remodel and it was kept except for dirty words.
The chambers were also quite modern with a large metal eagle hanging over the proceedings.

Congressional chamber
Congressional chamber

The officials sit together by party. There are several in Germany.
Above this room is the vast dome that can be traversed by a spiral walkway. The views of the city are wonderful.

Famous Bundestag Dome
Famous Bundestag Dome

On our way through the building we stopped by the memorial to elected representatives. Over 8000 empty boxes piled in rows. Our grandkids counted and did the multiplication. There were black stickers on the boxes for those who were killed by Hitler.

Monument to elected congress
Monument to elected congress members

There were other sites including the Berlin Mall with its McDonalds, the Berlin cathedral and its huge organ, and the bombed out WWII cathedral ruins with the modern blue glass interior next to it. Wonderful city to tour with the grandchildren. We are so fortunate.

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