Berliner Dom and Schnitzel

After spending the majority of my day at Museumsinsel, the sun was still out and I had some energy left to keep sightseeing.  Next to Museumsinsel is this beautiful cathedral, the Berliner Dom.

IMG_2550 The exterior of this cathedral is absolutely breathtaking, especially since most of it was not damaged during WWII.  Though there was some fire damage that caused the roof to collapse.

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Walking into a cathedral this size is always either a huge disappointment or an eye-opening experience.  Let’s just say my eyes were wide open for a long time.

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I was lucky enough to walk in during a rehearsal for Bach’s Matthäuspassion that was to be performed in April.  The beautiful sounds of operatic singing and strings playing filled the dome.  I sat down for at least an hour enjoying this free concert of sorts.

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With only a little time left before the cathedral closed I knew I had to motivate and walk around.  One of the most impressive pieces in this cathedral was the pipe organ.

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Though I didn’t realise it when I bought the entrance ticket, I had the opportunity to climb up to the top of the cathedral and look upon Berlin.  So I climbed, and climbed and continue climbing until I reached a door and walked outside.  Had it not been cloudy, it would have been absolutely amazing.  But, beggars can’t be choosers, and I enjoyed the views the best I could.

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From there I found myself in the crypt.  This was one as I’d never seen before with large coffins lined up and crowns displayed to recognise royalty.

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Feeling absolutely famished I made my way over towards Hackerscher Markt to find a bite to eat.  The night before I played it safe with some Italian food but after this day, I wanted a beer and some traditional German food.

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I found myself at Restauration 1840.  There were people sitting and eating inside, which is always a good sign, so I made my way in and found a table for one.

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IMG_2597The servers were extremely helpful and I ordered a Warsteiner and Schnitzel Weiner Art.  Never having schnitzel before, I was a little skeptical.  You always hear about schnitzel but if you’re like me, ask yourself, “What the heck is a schnitzel?”  Basically, it’s tenderized meat, coated and fried.  Delicious, but extremely filling.  While I didn’t finish the whole thing, I only left a few bites.

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A fine end to a great day!

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Berlin’s Museumsinsel

A city such as Berlin is bound to have some fantastic museums.  Fortunately, I had the opportunity to visit three of the five museums that make up Museumsinsel.

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I started my day at the Pergamon Museum.  Now, the great thing about being a student again is paying half the price of a regular ticket.  Because of its exhibits, the Pergamon ticket is sold separately.  But, for only 3 euros more (at the student price, of course),  I was able to buy an all-museum pass.

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After dropping my bags off (all the Museumsinsel museums have lockers because you aren’t allowed to carry backpacks around), I was greeted by The Ishtar Gate and the Processional Way of Babylon.  Story time – back in 2010, my brother, cousins and I went to the British Museum in London.  My brother was so excited to be there and raced around looking for these gates because he believed they were here.  Unfortunately, this is when we learned the gates were in Berlin.  So, in honour of my brother’s determination, I knew I had to go and see the Gates of Babylon just for him, and I’m glad I did!  They were massive, and the most beautiful blue colour.  These sections in the Pergamon Museum are only a small part of the original gate and wall but truly provide a breathtaking perspective.

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From there I moved on to the:

Market Gate of Miletus

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Pergamon Alter

IMG_2452 IMG_2456Many Middle-Eastern pieces

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Mshatta Facade

IMG_2499 IMG_2500The Pergamon Museum was well worth the visit and I highly encourage anyone going to Berlin to take a few hours check it out.

After the Pergamon Museum I went next door to the Neues Museum.  After being heavily damaged during WWII, this museum reopened in 2009.  While the third floor was closed, I did see the Egyptian and Prehistory and Early History collections.

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Wanting to get my money’s worth from the ticket, I decided to grab a quick bite to eat and check out the Bode Museum.  The museum is home to a collection of sculptures and Byzantine art.  When I lived in Rome, Italy during my undergrad, I can honestly say I saw enough religious paintings and marble sculptures to last a lifetime!  But, the Bode Museum’s collection was quite impressive and I’m glad I made time for it.

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One observation from Museumsinsel and The British Museum…The Germans and the British have a LOT of precious items that don’t necessarily belong to them.  Now, whether they’re “borrowed” or not is an entirely different question, but this is just an observation, nothing more.

A long, long day of museums but definitely one I won’t forget anytime soon!