Berlin, UNESCO’s City Of Design

A survey of some of the city’s cultural highlights

Text and Photos by Dorothea S. Michelman

To those who know the city of Berlin, the fact that the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently named Berlin the “City of Design” will come as no surprise.

They will know that Berlin has been a marvel of diversity and unconventional design for many years now and has hosted designers and architects ranging from the 18th Century classicists, Andreas Schlüter and Karl Schinkel to their contemporary counterparts, modern masters such as Sir Norman Foster, I.M.Pei, and Daniel Libeskind.

Those who don’t know Berlin, well they are learning….This booming gateway between East and West welcomed 16 million overnight guests in 2005, the largest number since such numbers were tracked. And what, you might ask, will visitors to Berlin discover in 2006 and beyond?

As Germany’s cultural center Berlin is home to three opera houses (offering 772 performances a year!), eight major professional symphony orchestras, 130 theaters, 300 galleries and 175 museums (with usually two new venues opening each year). Potsdamer Platz, as one example, will be opening its own “Moulin Rouge” with performances.

For Germany, North America is the most important and strongest overseas market. One new attraction in 2008 will be the new U.S. Embassy near the Brandenburg Gate.

Among the highlights this year will be the opening on April 20, 2006 of the charming summer home and studio at Wannsee of Germany’s perhaps most famous impressionist Max Liebermann, whose home and magnificent gardens inspired much of his paintings pastels an graphic works.

* Bode Museum on the Museum Insel, a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE, will complete its major restoration in October. Bode Museum is famous for its exquisite Byzantine Art and its largest collection of sculptures.

* “Melancholy-Genius and Madman in Art,” from ancient and modern times is featured in the Neue Nationalgalerie from February 7 to May 17, 2006.

* “Barock in the Vatican Art and Culture in the Rome of the Popes” runs from April 12 – July 10 with 300 works of art in the Gropius Building.

* “Egypt’s Sunken Treasures” comprising 500 artifacts will be shown from May 13 to September 4, at the Martin-Gropius Bau.

* German National History Museum opens June 5, 2006 with a display of 8000 items depicting 2000 years of history.

* The Love Parade on July 15, 2006 will feature 40 floats and expects one million visitors from around the world.

For more information, please check:

Berlin infostores at the Europa-Center
Budapester Strasse 45, 10787
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m.–7.p.m.

Brandenburg Gate
South Wing, Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin
Hours: Daily, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

TV Tower
Alexanderplatz, Panoramastrasse 1A, 10178 Berlin
Hours: Daily 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Museum Information in Berlin

Berlin Tourism Marketing North America
Convention and Visitors Bureau
2934-1/2 Beverly Glen Circle, #323
Los Angeles, CA 90077
Tel.(818) 385-0631, Fax: (818) 385-0632

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