ICH BIN EIN BERLINER ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
Where are you reading this newsletter right now? In Vienna, New York City, Buenos Aires or maybe Amsterdam? Then you might know how it feels to live in the city where political decisions are being made and to walk by buildings some might only know from the news. Today it is all about this feeling for us. We are taking you to Berlin´s most important political spots and some historical sights and take a walk through the government quarter.

Maintaining social distance in front of Brandenburger Tor is astonishingly easy these days. The reason for this is probably the manner in which the public transport system communicates the rules for Berlin´s inhabitants.
Let´s start at the seat of the German Bundesrat (lit.: Federal Council; comparable to the British House of Lords or the United States Senat) in Leipziger Straße, just a stone´s throw away from Potsdamer Platz, which we have already visited during the Berlin film festival.

The building was completed in 1904 for the use of the Prussian House of Lords. The neoclassical house was damaged during World War II and renovated bit by bit.

It was used by the GDR for several institutional purposes. Since 2000 the Bundesrat meets here. As part of the German legislative power it takes part in legislation on federal level by participation of the federal states. If you would like to know more about its tasks, you are welcome to find out more in this video.
Leaving behind Potsdamer Platz in the direction of Brandenburger Tor, we pass by the holocaust memorial. The memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe consists of 2711 Stelae, thus large flat stones resembling gravestones, and an underground information centre.

The exhibition does not only offer important information about the systematic destruction of Jewish life during times of nationalsocialism, but also commemorates the six million Jewish women and men, who were murded, in the Room of Names. This part of the exhibition is constantly being updated, because to this day only about 3.2 million names of the victims are known. Thanks to time-consuming research, the Room of Names contributes to the personification of human sorrow.
With this impressive place in mind, it is hard to get back to the Berlin we know today. What helps us with this, are some examples of great architecture we come across in this area.
Continuing our way towards river Spree we now reach the Reichstag building, the main seat of the German Bundestag. The German parliament is elected directly by the citizens as the only body on federal level. The 709 members (as many as never before) regularly meet at the plenary hall underneath the dome with a great view on the “fat hen“ (the sculpture´s symbol is part of the coat of arms of Germany, a black eagle, and weighs 2.5 tons).

The original building was created from 1884 to 1894 under the lead of architect Paul Wallot, carried out in the style of neorenaissance. Before it was partly destroyed during World War II it had suffered great damage due to the Reichstag fire in 1933.

Until today it remains unclear who placed the fire. It seems little probable to many, that Marinus van der Lubbe should be responsible alone. Some assume that the Nazis themselves were directly responsible for the fire.  The following Reichstag Fire Decree and the Enabling Act had great impact on the growth of power of Adolf Hitler.

But enough of this - have you ever visited the building or its beautiful glass dome, created by Norman Foster and Gottfried Böhm? Take a look at the building´s most interesting spots and learn more about the everyday life of a German Bundestag member. Or, if your children would like to watch, too, how about the 30 minutes children´s movie „Applause for Felix“, shot at the Bundestag?
The Reichstag building is connected to Paul-Löbe-Haus and Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus by a tunnel. The three buildings form the main houses of the Bundestag.

On our way there, we pass the Federal Chancellery and say Hi to Angela Merkel. As a thank you she shows us around a little bit and explains the advantages and disadvantages of her spacious office.
Opposite the Chancellery we see the Swiss Embassy. Wow, travelling to Switzerland would be great now, wouldn´t it? But as this is a bit complicated at the moment, we also enjoy entering a small part of the country virtually. Would you like to join us?
Once we have reached the river Spree, Berlin´s dark history gets us again. This memorial remembers those, who died at the Berlin Wall. The river once marked the former border between German Democratic Republic and Federal Republic of Germany.

By the way: on the right side of the picture you can see Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus with its public bridge to the Paul-Löbe-Haus.
Neo Rauch´s man on the ladder („Mann auf der Leiter“) seems to be waving at us here.
Or is he simply picking invisible fruit? We will go and ask him.
What kind of political walk would this be without saying Hello to Frank-Walter Steinmeier?
We relax our feet in the suburban train and get to Bellevue Palace, the official residence of the President.
The neoclassical villa was completed in 1787 and used as alternative residence by the West German Presidents from 1959 to 1994 - first residence was Villa Hammerschmidt in Bonn.  
Today they changed parts and the “White House in Bonn“ is today´s secondary residence of the President.

In spite of the stunning gardens and a private palace park, most of the Presidents use Bellevue Palace only as official seat and decide not to move here privately.

How would you decide? We know it is not very probable, but if you should not have visited Frank-Walter for tea yet, just take a look inside the villa now.

After all these new impressions we will now head back to the place we consider the most beautiful in all of Berlin: Orania.Berlin.
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  Orania.Berlin GmbH & Co. Hotel und Restaurant KG
Oranienplatz 17
10999 Berlin-Kreuzberg
Tel: +49 (0) 30 695 39 68 0

E-Mail: info@orania.berlin
Web: orania.berlin
Persönlich haftende Gesellschafterin:
Orania.Berlin GmbH
Geschäftsführer: Philipp Vogel, Dietmar Mueller-Elmau
Registergericht und -nummer:
Amtsgericht Charlottenburg, Berlin,
Handelsregister HRB 184313 B
Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer gemäß § 27 a Umsatzsteuergesetz: DE311458924
Inhaltlich Verantwortlicher gemäß § 6 MDStV:
Philipp Vogel, Dietmar Mueller-Elmau