The Wall is the most potent symbol of the former division of Berlin. What remains of it extends along 1.4 km, including the cleared ground and fortifications behind, providing modern visitors an understanding of what East Berliners had to bear in the years up to 1990. The tour will include the monumental boulevard Karl-Marx-Allee, flagship of the post-war communist reconstruction, designed to contain spacious apartments for ordinary workers as well as shops, cafes and cinemas. You will also see the “Eastside Gallery” of 101 wall paintings celebrating the fall of the end of the Wall and the liberation of the East, and visit the Kulturbrauerei Museum, depicting everyday life under communism, highlighting the gulf between the claims of the ruling SED party and the real living conditions of GDR citizens. Lunch will be provided at Spreegold Restaurant.
Our local organiser has been able to offer us an exclusive visit to the world famous Berlin Philharmonic, seen by many music lovers as the world’s greatest orchestra. This will include a tour of the Philharmonie concert hall, meeting musicians, a concert by a small group of Philharmonic players, and refreshments.
Numbers are limited, and the cost is €145. Those already registered are welcome to switch from their existing choice on that day.
You will set out on foot to visit the iconic Reichstag. Seat of the modern German parliament, the Reichstag has been carefully restored and transformed by its modernistic British-designed glass dome, central to Berlin’s attempt to move away from its Nazi past and look towards a united, democratic future. Having viewed the dome you will have lunch at the famous Käfer restaurant with its commanding view over Berlin. On the way, you will take a close look at and hear expert commentary on the Brandenburg Gate, symbol of Berlin over hundreds of years: you can also visit the nearby Memorial to the Jews of Europe.
Please bring your passport with you for security.
Each day hundreds of people walk past a green door within the Gesundbrunnen underground station, unaware that behind it lies the start of a subterranean labyrinth of tunnels and underground chambers. As the nerve centre of the Third Reich, the city was among the principal targets of allied bombing in WW2. A huge system of bunkers was put in place, saving the lives of thousands of residents of a city which was 80% destroyed.
A knowledgeable guide will show part of the surviving network, and give a vivid of the everyday experience of Berlin's citizens in the wartime years. By also seeing something of the metro, postal and other infrastructure you will receive a fascinating and informative insight in to the 150 years of underground history of the city. A light lunch will be available at the conclusion of the tour.