A bit of a follow up on the Prora Resort story we did back in 2008, to recap the Prora resort was built by the Nazi’s under Hitlers Kraft durch Freude (strength through joy) program to provide a cheap holiday to 20,000 workers at a time. To try and convince the public that all his plans were great, Hitler liked to use a fair bit of propaganda and grand projects to win support from his people. At almost 5klm long the Prora complex was the largest hotel in the world at the time it was constructed and further plans were on the drawing board for stadiums to seat 20,000 people, pools and a wharf for his cruise ships. Construction halted around 1940 and no one has ever got to take their holiday at the complex and it has been mostly been derelict in recent years apart from a small visitors centre. Recently it has been reported a section of the complex will be renovated into a youth hostel so for the fist time in over 60 years you will be able to stay at the Prora resort. While we are interested in the history of the building we think it might be a bit too creepy to spend the night at nasty old Hitlers holiday home. What’s your thoughts? hit up our comment form below, and check out the interesting video above. Read the rest of this entry »
Posts Tagged ‘Germany’
The Friedrichstadt Palast is one of the most famous of Berlin’s revue theatres and is located in the heart of the Mitte district of the city. Opening in 1867 the theatre has gone through various rebuilds and transitions and the current building dates back to 1984. The theatre hall houses 1895 people and boasts the largest stage in the world spanning a massive 2854 square metres. The space can even feature a pool with 140000 litres of water and an ice surface making it ideal for a host of performances. As the change in entertainment changes with time, the theatre has also evolved and played host to some of entertainments biggest names as well as huge productions including huge fashion launches and award shows. The centre has a behind the scenes tour for visitors see their website for details. There’s also a very chic bar called La Diva which worth a visit to see the amazing décor alone.
The thought of beer and sausages yesterday made me want to do another Munich story today. So thought I would talk about the National Theatre building which is on Max-Joseph Platz 2. Used as an Opera House it has seating for 2100 people complete with a royal box and circular auditorium. The theatre is home to the Bavarian State Ballet and Bavarian State Opera who hold regular performances at the magnificent venue. It was destroyed in World War II bombing but rebuilt and the current building opened in 1963. The opera house has had a huge list of world premiers including works by Wagner, Strauss to name just two. For visitors not able to take in a show the theatre has hour long tours of the venue which happen most days at 2pm. It is a great chance to see one of the finest opera houses in the world so rich in history and tradition.
Just a short distance from the Munich’s main square the Marienplaz is a fantastic open air market callde the Viktualienmarkt. This market is basically a food market selling all sorts of fresh foods including fish, meat, cheese, fruit and vegetables. But the market is also a great meeting place to enjoy the sausages and beer. And belive me Munich has the best sausages and beer you will find anywhere in the world. It is imposible to stop at one as the they are just so delicious. The market has penty of seating so you can enyoy the festivities, food, drink and atmosphere for hours- not a bad way to fill in a sunny afternoon in Munich. The market opens 6 days a week being closed on Sundays.
A result of the cold war’s technology rivalry when the Soviet Union they copied many things the west made including the some pretty impressive technology including the Space Shuttle. Another of their copies was the Concorde, they produced a pretty similar supersonic get which they called the Tupolev TU-144. But they didn’t really pull it off to good and the plane was never certified to fly passengers. They had a bit of a media disaster at the Paris Airshow in 1973 where a TU144 fell out of the sky, break up and crash. They ended up using the plane for mail runs across Russia, then a second one crashed in 1978 followed by you guessed it a third a bit later and this was out of a fleet of 22 which included a prototype. The US ended up buying a few in the mid 90’s and refit them for testing of a future supersonic project. Today one of the remaining TU-144 is on display in Germany at the Auto & Technikmuseum at Sinsheim. Interestingly the craft is on display right next to a Concorde it is interesting to see how similar the aircraft are. For more information: http://www.gizmohighway.com/history/tu-144.htm
The Berliner Dom or Berlin Cathedral as we know it, dates back to 1451 although it has been rebuilt several times, with the current building dating back to 1905 which in fact it was severely damaged by World War II and only finally fully restored in 1993 although in smaller and far less grand. The Cathedral is located in Colln and part of the central Mitte Island which houses many of Berlin’s most historic buildings and museums. Today the cathedral’s magnificent dome stands 115 metres and the building is 114 metres long. It is built from Silesian Sandstone. Many visitors come to the Dom to see the beautiful mosaics and the Sauer’s Organ. For those wanting to see the view from the top of the dome there is a 270 step climb which is well worth the effort for the amazing sight.
An art installation that has caused outrage recently has seen Hitler return to Germany but this time in gnome form. The gnomes are a typical garden gnome but have one arm raised in a “Heil Hitler” salute and are taking over an area of Ludwigsplatz in the Bavarian City of Straubing. The artist behind the project is Ottmar Horl who has done other gnome type projects before including everything from puss in boots to rabbits and dogs. Some people complained that his new installation entitled “Dancing With the Devil” breaks German laws forbidding the use of Nazi symbolism but Horl argued that the piece was clearly mocking the Nazis, who likely would not appreciate being depicted as an army of garden gnomes. The installation is on until the 19th of October 2009 and you can even buy your own nazi gnome at his website below. Read the rest of this entry »
Unter den Linden is one of Berlin’s premier and grandest streets. Travelling through the city east to west the street is home to some of Berlin’s most impressive buildings and monuments including the German Historic Museum and Humboldt University and the Staatsoper. The street is lined with linden trees which give the street its name, they date back to the mid 1600’s although have all been replanted several times including after the Second World War when the street was severely damaged. The Unter den Linden stretches from the Brandenburg Gate to the Palace of the Republic and makes a fantastic walking tour when visiting the German capital, there are several great coffee shops or Kaffeehaus along the way where you can kick back and enjoy the beautiful scenery while sipping a Latte Macchiato- a Berlin specialty.
One of the things you notice most about Berlin is the huge and striking new architecture which has been created since the fall of the Berlin Wall. One of the most striking is the Bundeskanzleramt or Chancellery which opened in 2001 as part of the government’s move from Bonn to Berlin. This huge exposed concreted masterpiece of modern architecture is opposite the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate and is just as imposing. Taking four years to construct and nearly quarter of a million Euro to build it was designed by German architects Alex Shultes and Charlotte Frank. The 300 plus office building is home to the German cabinet and office of the German Chancellor who has his office on the seventh floor of the building while living on the top floor. Due to security issues the Bundeskanzleramt is not open to the public but the just to view the impressive architecture outside is well worth the visit to see it.
The beautiful Baroque Berliner Dom or Berlin Cathedral was built on Museum Island on the river Spree between 1894 and 1905 but the site has been a church for over 600 years and has been home to many churches since. The Berliner Dom was constructed under Emperor Willem II’s reign and designed by Julius Raschdorff who had the task to design something as impressive as St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The Second World War saw much damage to Berlin and the Dom was no exception, it suffered serious damage after a fire bomb hit the structure and destroyed much of the building including the dome roof. 1975 saw the start of the painstaking restoration project which saw the church reopen in 1993. The interior is not as elaborative as it was before the war but it is still simply stunning. The church has a magnificent organ and some amazing stained glass windows and also has an alter from the previous cathedral which was raised to build this new one.