Mitte: The center of an evolving city

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Thomas Proske

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The historic center and beating heart of the city of Berlin is the Mitte district. Vital core and symbol of the tormented vicissitudes of the past, it represents a cultural and trendy center, full of trendy bars and shops. Mitte it is home to elegant and evocative cityscapes, the famous Brandenburg Gate and many of Berlin's major monumental attractions. Generally the starting point of every visitor.

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    The central district of Berlin

    Mitte is the central district of Berlin and is crossed east-west by the Spree River. The island in the center is the Museum Island, which in the southern part is called Fischerinsel. It is home to the main Berlin museums and has been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its enormous cultural and artistic importance.

    The southern part of the Fricherinsel island, literally"fishermen's island", was once one of the oldest and most characteristic neighborhoods of Berlin, until it was completely destroyed by the war. To date, it retains as a single element of the past, the small Ponte Maiden Bridge which connects with the mainland to the west of the island.

    Il Mitte district it was the one in all of Berlin that got the worst of it. During the Second World War it was subjected to very violent bombings, both for its central position and for its symbolic value. With the division of Germany, the area was assigned to the Soviet occupation sector and then to East Berlin, immediately on the border with the West.

    When the Wall was built, the area became inaccessible and the city's most famous monument, the Brandenburg Gate, became a symbol of the division of the country.

    Mitte includes the main attractions of Berlin, both historical and modern, a brief summary will give a good idea.

    What to see in the Mitte district

    The famous square of Alexanderplatz, an important commercial center and transport hub, is part of the district; here is located the TV Tower, built to be a symbol of East Germany. In a few minutes on foot, you reach the Museumsinsel (Museum Island), which includes Schlo脽platz, the Berliner Dom (the cathedral of Berlin), and the most important city museums (Altes Museum, Pergamon Museum and Aegyptisches Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode Museum).

    The next suggested stop, perfect for a relaxing Berlin stroll, is Unter den Linden the elegant "Viale dei Tigli", at the top of which is the famous Brandenburg Gate, historic gateway to the city, overlooking Pariser Platz, one of the focal points of the city.

    Moving west Unter den Linden proceeds under the name of Stra脽e des 17. Juni, a wide avenue on which stands Siegess盲ule (the Victory column).

    In the immediate vicinity is located Bellevue Palace, the official residence building of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Regierungsviertel ("Government Quarter") and the Reichstag, seat of the German Parliament, known for its large glass dome on the roof which offers one of the most attractive views of the city.

    Moving towards the south you meet the Gendarmenmarkt square, on which the asked twins of German cathedral e French cathedral, and the Concert hall, Home of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, is located in the middle between the two cathedrals. Adjacent to the square runs the Friedrichstrasse, a long road that enters the Kreuzberg district to the south, the Wall divided it into two parts and, right there, Checkpoint Charlie was built, the most famous border checkpoint between the Soviet and the American one.

    Towards southwest area, you are struck by the majesty of the Holocaust Memorial, officially the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, a memorial to the Jews who died during'Holocaust, capable, in terms of size and shape, of conveying that sense of anguish and segregation well.

    The hall is also located in the area Philarmonie concerts, whose bold architecture is a good match for that of Potsdamer Platz, a huge square located on the border with the Tiergarten district, Seat of the Sony Center and completely rebuilt by famous international architects after the fall of the Wall, including the Italian Renzo Piano.

    Mitte, central district of Berlin, preserves heavy memories in its entirety and has been a junction between two opposite worlds of the same city. Today we see it resting majestically and elegantly, ready to welcome its visitors and tell its story, showing itself to be fertile ground for the evolution of the German capital.

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