December 4, 2012

Traveller Tales: A Touch of Berlin

“A city flourishing, destroyed, rebuilt, divided and reunited. Berlin is a city with many tales,” said our traveller abroad, Tarryn, after she visited Berlin for a few days in October while on the Berlin to Budapest Contiki tour.

This is what she had to say about this fascinating and diverse city:
“Berlin’s turbulent World War I and II history, combined with the horrors of the Holocaust and Cold War have left the landscape of the city and country as a whole marked with deeply embedded scars. Yet the city is hopeful and has done well in attempting to address issues of whether to commemorate or condemn some of its history.

I found that the best way to explore Berlin is by doing a walking tour. Contiki offered us one as an option on our tour and it was marvellous. Our guide was an American named Rick and he was extremely knowledgeable on German history. He explained it all in a way that after a roughly four hour walking tour around the city centre, I felt I had learnt more about German history than I ever did at school. He encouraged us to ask questions and really think about how history is taught and represented in the present day.”

From an entire island of museums, to exhibitions of historical interest such as the Topography of Terror and the Check Point Charlie Museum, to the lush Tiergarten for nature lovers, Berlin is an intriguing city to visit. Take a wander through the city with the help of Tarryn’s photographs…

Berliner Dom or Berlin Cathedral is the largest church in the city and is still referred to as a cathedral although technically it has never been the seat of a Bishop

Brandenburg Gate is a former city gate and the only remaining one of the series of 18 gates that were used to enter the city in the 1730s.

Checkpoint Charlie or Checkpoint C is the name given by the Western Allies to this Berlin Wall crossing during the Cold War. It is also well known for the stand off between Soviet and US tanks that occurred there in October of 1961

In 1993 the Neue Wache (New Guard House) was rededicated as the central memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany for the victims of war and tyranny. Inside they replicated and enlarged a sculpture by Käthe Schmidt called 'Mother with her Dead Son'. The sculpture is located directly under an oculus (rain-hole) allowing it to be exposed to all measures of weather as people in war are exposed and battered. 

'Labour makes (you) free'. This phrase was a widely used slogan over the entrances to concentration camps and Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, located in Oranienburg about 35 kilometers from Berlin, was no exception. Sachsenhausen was established in 1936 and was used mostly to imprison political prisoners and as a training ground for the SS (Schutzstaffel).'

One of the many memorials that can be found outside the concentration camp.
A wall to divide, a wall to conquer, a wall to express - the East Side Gallery, Berlin. 

'The Kiss' was painted by Russian artist Dimitri Vrubel in 1990 just months after the wall was opened to artists from around the world. 117 artists from 21 countries painted the 1316 metre long section of the Berlin Wall. The East Side Gallery which runs parallel to the River Spree is the longest remaining piece of the wall. 

A Berlin street captured at night during the annual Festival of the Lights.

Images projected onto the Berliner Dom as part of the Festival of Lights. 

View more photos and read the Berlin article in full on Tarryn’s blog here.
All photographs copyright Tarryn Liddell. 

A photojournalism graduate by day with an office job in Aberdeen, Scotland, but by night, a really awesome photographer who comes out to play. Addicted to coffee, biscuits, travelling and photography (obviously) and a red wine enthusiast, Tarryn is a true creative who is set on exploring the world through the lens of her trusty Nikon. 

Check out Tarryn’s blog at


Awesome photo's of this city! Often depicted as drap and grey to me in most photo's, these show a different side to Berlin. Great.

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