West Berlin Part~2

18 Aug


 Judy Wills



One of our favorite places to visit in West Berlin was the Charlottenburg Palace.

1It is very like many of the palaces and castles built by German King Ludwig, and part of it was influenced by those structures.  It is built in rococo and baroque style.  It was built in the late 1700’s.  The central area has a large domed area with a gilded nude statue of Fortune as a weather vane.  The grounds are beautifully landscaped, similar to Versailles in France.


Within the Palace is the Charlottenburg Museum.  One of the most fascinating things in there is the original bust of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti.  We’ve always wondered why the original was in Germany and not England or even Egypt.

In the Tiergarten area of West Berlin (a large public park to the west of the city center) is the Russian Memorial.  It commemorates the 480,000 Russian war dead who died in the Battle of Berlin in April and May of 1945.  Throughout the Cold War, Soviet honor guards from the Soviet occupation zone were sent to stand watch at the memorial.  It is an impressive sight.

5Another impressive sight is the Victory Column, also in the Tiergarten area of Berlin.  It was built from 1864 to 1873 to commemorate the Prussian victory in the Prusso–Danish war in 1864.  The shaft of the monument is made of cannon captured from the enemies. The bronze figure at the top was added later, after further Prussian victories in wars against Austria (1866) and France (1870– 71); so the column marks also the unification of Germany after these victories.  It’s really beautiful.

We had heard of the Congress Halle, and walked past it when our oldest daughter 6and I were in West Berlin with Fred, who was on a TDY (Temporary Duty) back in 1969.  It was built by the Americans and given to the Berliners as a symbol of friendship between the two countries.  Because of it’s unique design – an “open” oyster – it is affectionately known as the “pregnant oyster” by the locals.

While we were with Fred on that TDY, we were staying in a hotel that was miscpart of  Templehof Airport, where the Berlin Airlift originated.  One day, I wasn’t feeling very well, kind of like I was getting the flu.  When I went down to the restaurant, the German server inquired about my health.  When I explained, he said he had just the thing for me – and he brought me a cup of the most delicious lentil soup I’ve ever had.  Mostly broth – nice and hot.  And then he put together a tray of very hot water with several tea bags and had it sent up to our room.  After all that TLC, I was back to normal by morning.

One of our fondest memories of West Berlin is the English-speaking Baptist church we visited.  There was a large group of English-speaking people in7West Berlin, and they managed to find each other and form a church.  All were welcome – including any Germans who might wish to attend an English-speaking service, even if it was more to increase their knowledge of English, than to worship our Lord.  But along the way, they were sure to be touched by the people around them, as well as the Holy Spirit, and perhaps come to know Christ as their personal Savior.


Our tour and trips to West Berlin were some of the most satisfying of our time in Europe.  Certainly something we will never forget.

2 Responses to “West Berlin Part~2”

  1. PaperbackDiva August 19, 2013 at 6:09 am #

    Wow, this brings back memories! Germany is a fascinating country, to me, despite its history.


  2. Louise Gib son August 18, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    What a memorable tour, Judy. Beautifully written.


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