Unter den Linden, Berlin

Between the Brandenburg Gate in the West and the main building of Humboldt University in the East stretches Unter den Linden, one of Berlin’s most important commercial streets. It is a bustling international thoroughfare, home to the Russian Embassy, Berlin’s branch of the waxwork museum Madame Tussauds, and dozens of restaurants. While at pedestrian level this might seem like any other city centre street, you must walk with your eyes to the sky to truly appreciate it. Nestled on the corner of the expansive Parisier Platz, which is dominated by the Brandenburg Gate, is the grand Hotel Adlon. The sight of this early 20th century hotel marks the beginning of rows of individual examples of wonderful classical architecture. Although the fact that they are all largely reconstructions of buildings that were destroyed in WWII perhaps ruins the magic, the street still manages to achieve a strangely enticing contrast between the old and the new. For example, it is not unusual to see horses and carriages carrying tourists down the length of the street, standing out amongst the sightseeing bus tours and Berliners returning from work. It is this juxtaposition that provides Unter den Linden with its charm – it is a street that must be visited to get a further taste of quintessential Berlin.

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