Some Interesting and Fun Facts for your Berlin Holiday:
Berlin is an interesting city on many fronts. For your next Berlin holiday, here are some interesting facts about Berlin attractions that you may visit:
- Many of the city’s landmarks go back to the time of the Prussian kings from the House of Hohenzoller. During the last 300 years of the empire, many of these kings were named either Friedrich or Wilhelm and you’ll see many references to these two names in street names, monuments and places such as Friedrichstadt Palast and Friedrichswerder, Friedrichstadt and Friedrichstraße, Friedrichshain, Friedrichsfelde, Friedrichshagen, Wilhelmstraße and Wilhelmshagen.
- In 1806, Napoleon took the Quadriga on top of the Brandenburg Gate back to France as a symbol of his victory. (Ironically, the Quadriga is the statue consisting of the Goddess of Peace, driving a four-horse triumphal chariot.) The Quadriga was returned to the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin’s most famous landmark, in 1814 after the European allies’ defeated Napoleon. Since then it has also been commonly called the “Retourkutsche” or “Tit-for-Tat”. Contrary to some rumours, the Quadriga has always been positioned facing east – the way into the city in Old Berlin.
- Berlin is one of the few cities that has three UNESCO World Heritage sites. The famous Museum Island and the Prussian castles and gardens were joined in 2008 by the Berlin modernist housing estates. In 2006 the German capital was awarded the title “UNESCO City of Design”.
- There are nine castles in Berlin, including the Schloss Charlottenburg and the Köpenicker Schloss. The Schloss Schönhausen has been made into a new Museum Castle. There are also six former manors and mansions, which are commonly referred to as “Schlösschen” or little castles.
- Berlin is the only city in the world with three active opera houses, which can accommodate a total of 4,411 opera attendees. Berlin also has some 150 theatres and halls for every type of event.
- Berlin’s weekly markets are a long-standing tradition. They are held in numerous squares and frequently in front of the town halls, usually on two days in the week. One of the nicest things to do is to wander through the market in Winterfeldplatz in Schöneberg on a Saturday. You can also visit the numerous second-hand bookstores and antique shops in the neighbouring streets.
- The East Side Gallery is the longest open air gallery in the world and also has the longest surviving stretch of the Berlin Wall at 1,316m. The section was painted by 118 artists from 21 countries with 101 works. Many of the artists returned to Berlin in 2009 to freshen up their works of art. The retouching work has now been completed and their artwork restored its former glory.
- The “Zur letzten Instanz” , the oldest public house in Berlin is almost 400 years old and still running today. It is located in Waisenstraße and is regularly visited by celebrities.
- As a result of its former division, Berlin has two zoos, the Tierpark in Friedrichsfelde, with its very attractive outdoor enclosures, and the Zoologische Garten near the station with the same name. This makes Berlin the city with the most zoo animals in the world.
- The largest department store in continental Europe is Berlin’s Kaufhaus des Westens – better known as the “KaDeWe”. KaDeWe’s shop floor area is 60,000 square metres (equating to the Olympic stadium plus four football pitches), spread over eight floors. There are a total of 380,000 articles for sale. 64 escalators and 26 lifts convey an average of 80,000 visitors per day in comfort. The delicatessen section covers 7,000 square metres and offers around 34,000 different products, making it Europe’s largest food department. In the bread, cheese and sausage sections there are 400 different types of bread, 1,300 types of cheese and a selection of 1,200 types of sausage, bacon and ham on offer. Visitors to the 33 cooking stations, gourmet stands and restaurants are pampered by some 500 employees every day – including 150 chefs and confectioners.