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Potsdamer Platz


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Berlin's most modern square

Translated by Helen Hardy — 2 years ago

Original text by Maika Cano Martínez

Potsdamer Platz is one of the most important squares in Berlin. Located in the city centre, the square is close to the German capital's main tourist attractions, such as Tiergarten Park, the Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Monument, the Topography of Terror and Checkpoint Charlie.

This square was of utmost importance during the nineteenth century, when it grew into an important commercial and culture area of Berlin. This original Potsdamer Platz was almost totally destroyed in the Second World War however, and due to the division of Berlin into Soviet and Allied sectors, the square was not rebuilt until the city and Germany as a whole was reunified in 1989. It was thought that the square would not be able to regain its former glory, but this goal was met.

Postdamer Platz is a very modern square, with very high buildings consisting of different designs which give the city a touch of irregularity, contrast and futurism. There are three main buildings on the square, one dark and original with a semi-arch shape, and another with a very pronounced corner, similar to the Flatiron building in New York, but much more exaggerated through being covered by windows instead of walls.

On each side of the main road crossing the square, there are two important U-Bahn (metro) and S-Bahn (overground train) entrances, since several lines converge here. Close to one of the S-Bahn entrances, there is also a small green tower with a clock on each side and traffic lights, but which is not actually a real one. I don't know if you know this, but the first traffic light in Europe was installed on Potsdamer Platz, so this tower was created as a symbol of this.

Berlin's most modern square

On the other side of the square, near the semi-arch building, there are some remaining sections of the Berlin Wall on display: in total, six blocks situated a few metres apart. They aren't in perfect condition, being dirty, graffitied and with chewing gum stuck to them.

Berlin's most modern square

The Sony Center is also located on Potsdamer Platz, and thanks to the fact that we went here with a friend who was on her Erasmus exchange here, we found out that it's hear the Berlin International Film Festival is celebrated, better known as the Berlinale; and that it would be taking place at the end of the week we were there. It's one of the most important film festivals in the world together with the ones in Cannes and Venice. The award is a golden bear - and why a bear you ask? Because the bear is the symbol of Berlin, and if you buy a souvenir from the city, it will normally take the form of a bear raised up with its paws in the air. There are lots of different colours and designs available. I think it's a hilarious symbol! The building is huge, has a cupola and a very modern style, with large parts of it being made out of metal; I'm not a huge fan of this style, but I suppose it's considered attractive for those who like modern architecture.

Berlin's most modern square

Berlin's most modern square

My opinion on this area of Berlin is that though it's not a pretty square, it's worth paying a visit to due to the contrast it offers with the rest of the city, since I think it's the most modern area (though Berlin is known for being characterised by its diversity and contrast). The shapes of the buildings are interesting to see, since I'd never seen such a style before (the only buildings I can compare it to are the Flatiron in New York and the Dancing House in Prague).

To get to Potsdamer Platz, it's best to catch the U-Bahn (metro) or S-Bahn (overground). The stop here is called 'Potsdamer Platz', though if you're already in Berlin city centre you can reach the square in five to ten minutes on foot from the Topography of Terror or the Brandenburg Gate.

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