Latest posts by Therese Iknoian (see all)
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Berlin is a city that is filled with memorials to fallen buildings and people as well as churches or synagogues that were destroyed during World War II. They are all moving, all stark reminders of a terrible time in our world’s history. The most poignant of these of course is the much-visited Kaiser Wilhelm Church right in the center of Berlin where much of the bombed church was left standing as a memorial to peace as well as to the will of the Berlin people in rebuilding their city.
The subject: This memorial on the Berlin Bethlehemkirchplatz (Bethlehem Church Square) is a little different. It was actually the work of Spanish artist Juan Garaizabel to commemorate the Bohemian Bethlehem Church. This small church was built for Bohemian evangelical refugees in about 1735 and was a center of the community. It was destroyed by bombing in 1943. Garaizabal constructed a skeletal steel framework in the dimensions of the church that was placed on the site in June 2012. It was to remain until September, but approval was received for it to remain until fall 2013. The memorial was so haunting in its simplicity that it received permission to remain for an unnamed period of time.
The inspiration: We came across this structure in July 2013 completely by chance. It is on a side street not far from the tourist-filled Checkpoint Charlie area and not mentioned in tourist guides. Such a surprise encounter makes such a memorial even more mysterious. Its framework rises 30 meters above the quiet square’s stones with the background of both modern and older buildings as contrast to its starkness. You can wander “in” and around it, imagining the worshipers inside so many decades ago.
Artist’s tools: My Nikon D90 still serves me well for many an adventure, as does the 18-105mm lens f/3.5-5.6, both of which I got when I returned to photography after about 25 years! What I like about this focal length on a lens is its ability to capture almost everything for me without fiddling with changing lens or being draped with several cameras with different lenses. I’m a simple photographer like that. For this photo at the Berlin Bethlehemkirchplatz I was set at a 1/320th of second at f/9 with a focal length of 18mm. I also try to avoid over-processing so this has only the simplest of touches.
Read more travel tips for Germany
What to do in Germany planning map
In the map below, pins mark the exact location of the sites and places to see mentioned in our articles and travel tips on Germany. Zoom in or out on the map using the controls. Switch easily from map to satellite view. Click on each pin to pull up a tooltip with the name of the destination or location as well as any additional information, including links to stories and articles. This map is the perfect place to begin planning what to do in Germany for several days, one week, two weeks or more.
The Schiffshebewerk Niederfinow was completed in 1934 and is part of the Haavel-Oder waterway connecting the Elbe and Oder river basins. The waterway begins in Berlin at the Spandau lock and opens into the West Oder at the border area between Poland and Germany. Watching ships being raised and lowered in this ship elevator is amazing. A true engineering marvel.
Kleinhesselhoer See, Englischer Garten
Sophie Scholl Memorial
Planten Un Blomen Garden
St Nikolai Kirche
International Donaufest in Ulm
Drei Annen Hohne
Wernigerode Train Station - Brockenbahn
Quedlinburg Old Watch Tower
The rolling foothills of the Harz mountains that surround Quedlinburg feature forested terrain with open, rolling meadows, some hills and plenty of farmland – perfect for those who need to stretch the legs and mind a bit on an easy wander. We’d heard about the Quedlinburg Old Watch Tower (“Altenburgwarte”) that was located approximately 0.5 miles (just under 750 meters) from the southwest edge of town, on a sandstone ridge overlooking the village below.