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article imagePhoto essay: Berlin is made for art lovers Special

By David Silverberg     Jul 13, 2015 in Travel
Berlin - Berlin is an artistic paradise. From the unique architecture of Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum to the outdoor East Side Gallery, Berlin showcases memorable art you won't see anywhere else.
Let's begin with the East Side Gallery. Stretching for more than one kilometre, this section of the Berlin Wall includes 105 paintings made by artists influenced by the fall of the Wall. It's unlike anything I have seen: panels of art depicting an array of perspectives of a unified Germany, some cartoonish, some deadly serious, some abstract.
Such a display of creativity makes Berlin a hotspot for art lovers. Besides this impressive outdoor gallery, Berlin is well regarded for their museums, art galleries and architecture. The design of their churches are particularly impressive: the Berlin Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in the city, sits in the Mitte area on Museum Island, several feet away from the Altes Museum, the oldest museum in Berlin. Such ancient architecture carries a grace and design aesthetic that makes you feel very very young. It's particularly awe-inspiring to see the 15th-century artwork etched along the cathedral's facade.
The East Side Gallery is a 1.3 km long section of the Berlin Wall located near the centre of Berlin ...
The East Side Gallery is a 1.3 km long section of the Berlin Wall located near the centre of Berlin on Mühlenstraße in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
High on my list of must-see's in Berlin was the Jewish Museum, designed by famed architect Daniel Libeskind. Created with his trademark slashes and sharp angles, like what Toronto has experienced with the Royal Ontario Museum, this Berlin landmark is powerful for what it doesn't contain. Libeskind intentionally left many exterior and interior areas devoid of design or content, as a metaphor for the loss the Jewish population felt after the Holocaust.
The exterior of Berlin s Jewish Museum  designed by Daniel Libeskind
The exterior of Berlin's Jewish Museum, designed by Daniel Libeskind
Inside, two main exhibits struck me as exceptionally poignant: a room called the Shalekhet, or Fallen Leaves, is dedicated to the many innocent victims of war and violence, as it features 10,000 faces covering the floor. Credit goes to Israeli artist Menashe Kadishman for this visually powerful piece of art.
A haunting room in Berlin s Jewish Museum depicts the many casualties of war.
A haunting room in Berlin's Jewish Museum depicts the many casualties of war.
I was also intrigued by an interactive map explaining how many immigrants left which countries to escape Nazi-occupied Europe. By turning a dial to a particular country like Canada, you can see how many Europeans were accepted through her borders (a paltry 2,700) and scrolling text divulged that country's immigration policies in the late 1930s, early 40s. Nothing is quite as memorable as seeing hard data shedding insight into the international support (or lack thereof) for Jews during the Holocaust.
In Berlin s Jewish Museum  this map shows how many Jewish immigrants left which country to settle wh...
In Berlin's Jewish Museum, this map shows how many Jewish immigrants left which country to settle where
Leaving the Jewish Museum gives you a sense of exhaustion but also appreciation. You understand fully the struggle many Jewish familites underwent during the WWII, and how other countries may have been shrugging their shoulders when this world crisis struck. Libeskind did a remarkable job in conveying the Jewish sorrow and pain during the Holocaust with a building that said a lot with simple design.
Enough text...time for more visuals of my time in Berlin. See below for a selection of sites (and tastes) I was privy to in this German gem of a city:
Statue found in Volkspark Friedrichshain in Berlin
Statue found in Volkspark Friedrichshain in Berlin
The Altes Museum (Old Museum) is  Berlin’s oldest museum
The Altes Museum (Old Museum) is Berlin’s oldest museum
Street art in Berlin  along an apartment building
Street art in Berlin, along an apartment building
In Berlin  I tried the currywurst and was not disappointed
In Berlin, I tried the currywurst and was not disappointed
Statues depicting Roman or Greek gods can be found in Berlin
Statues depicting Roman or Greek gods can be found in Berlin
The massive ceiling inside the Sony Centre  near Postdamer Platz
The massive ceiling inside the Sony Centre, near Postdamer Platz
The famed composers monument (1904) in the Tiergarten  Berlin.
The famed composers monument (1904) in the Tiergarten, Berlin.
The Berlin TV Tower
The Berlin TV Tower
A stunning piece of art found along Berlin s East Side Gallery
A stunning piece of art found along Berlin's East Side Gallery
A piece of art at the Eastside Gallery  a 1.3 km long section of the Berlin Wall located near the ce...
A piece of art at the Eastside Gallery, a 1.3 km long section of the Berlin Wall located near the centre of Berlin on Mühlenstraße in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
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