Here's a look at the entrance to Weißensee Cemetery. I just love the intricate work on the wrought iron gate. As you come inside, you see the inscribed stone that I showed you earlier in the week.
There are also a number of other memorials, like this one to victims of the National Socialist regime who were tried at killed at the Plötzensee Prison in Berlin.
There was also this more general memorial made up of a marble star of David and a myriad of white stones. Very appropriate for a Jewish cemetery.
I am so glad Friday is finally here. I've been feeling under the weather this week and there's a lot going on with my new job, so I'm ready for a few days of rest. What about you, do you have any big plans for the weekend, or are you going to just take it easy? Whatever you have on your calendar, I hope it's fun! And don't forget to take a look at Good Fences for more gates and fences.
As I explained earlier this week, the cemetery was left to ruin behind the Iron Curtain. There are a few reasons for the decay, one being there were not a lot of Jewish people left in Berlin after the war. Survivors mainly went to live in the US, Israel or other countries, so there was no Jewish community to maintain the graves. The other reason is practicing any type of religion was generally frowned upon in the communist GDR.
Today volunteers from Berlin's newly thriving Jewish community are working on restoring the graves and bringing some order to the wilderness.
I really enjoyed walking around through the older part of the cemetery and just taking a look at all of the names. I was also happy to see there are new burial areas, so these sacred grounds are being used once more. I'll show you some more of the cemetery tomorrow, but until then, you'll find more signs at Signs, Signs.
These lovely benches have been placed in the hallway leading up to the synagogue as a place for visitors to rest before the service. I just love those arched windows. Tomorrow I'll show some of the graves, hope you'll come back!
This week we'll take a trip through Europe's second largest Jewish cemetery - Weißensee. Unlike other Jewish cemeteries in Europe, this one was not destroyed during WWII. Rather, it was left to ruin during the divided days as it lies in the former East Berlin.
Many of the graves are barely standing anymore, but this beautiful, brick building still stands in the center of the cemetery. It houses a small synagogue for funeral services. I hope you'll come back tomorrow for a look around.
I showed you the U-Bahn station Klosterstrasse last October and I tried to get back in November before I started my new job, but, unfortunately, I learned the cloister ruins are closed during the winter months. However, I did get this picture of the gate and a statue running for freedom behind it. I hope to get back during the open months to get a better look inside. Until then, I hope you enjoy this peek inside and you'll find more gates and fences at Good Fences.
This is also another Einmannwagen, the driver both drives and sells tickets. I hope you've enjoyed this little trip back in time. I loved seeing all the old buses and I hope the BVG will do this again!
Sadly, the bus line 69 doesn't run anymore, but we were lucky enough to get the full experience last October.
This bus is a 1960s vintage with the entrance in the back. A BVG employee would stand at the back of the bus and sell tickets, leaving the driver free to concentrate on the road. This particular bus was sponsored by Bodenheim, apparently it was Berlin's biggest carpet seller at the time. You'll find more signs at Signs, Signs.
Back in October, the BVG put its collection of old buses out on some historic lines in honor of 25 years of transport reunification. The weather was perfect and it was such fun to ride around in the old-timey transport. This particular model was used in the late 1970s in West Berlin.
Here's a close-up on the front. This was one of the first "One-Man" buses, meaning the driver also sells tickets. Previously, there would be two BVG employees on the bus, one to drive and another to sell and validate tickets.
A colorful place for football fans to gather! I happened upon this fun mural during one of my walks around town last November. I really tried to live it up in the weeks before I started my new job. Sadly, I haven't been out and about too much in the new year, so it will be archive shots for awhile longer. For more murals, take a look at Mural Monday.
The Bunker is in the former East Berlin. During the
divided years, the DDR used it as a storage area for tropical
fruit (things that weren't available to the common citizen). When the Wall came down, it went through a number of
reincarnations -the most memorable being a techno dance club (my husband
visited during that time).
By the mid-1990s, the
club got too loud and seedy for the neighborhood and it was closed down.
The Bunker stood empty for a number of years until the government
decided to auction it off to a private owner. Christian Boros purchased
the space in 2003 and hired an architectural firm to redesign it to make
it a place where he could both live and showcase his art collection.
Renovations were complete in 2007 and the space opened to the public in
2008 (by guided tour only).
Some photos of the Bunker pre-renovation are here. You can also read more about the Bunker from a NY Times article here.
You may be wondering why I haven't shown you any of the art. There's a simple answer - photography of the art was not allowed. The Boros Sammlung is actually a private collection that Christian Boros, the owner and resident of the bunker, has been kind enough to open up to the public. I did, however, sneak these two shots on my way to the toilet before the tour started.
I don't recall the name of the artist who created these sculptures. It's a shame I couldn't really get the whole room as it's quite open, not what you'd expect in a bunker. Hope the lack of art won't stop you from coming back tomorrow for more on the bunker.
As with most everything German, the bunker was very well-organized. There were signs and arrows that would have guided occupants of the bunker to their specific hideout spot. Our first part of the tour took us through the "A" quadrant of the building.
Check back tomorrow for more from the bunker and take a look at Signs, Signs for more signs.
Once guests pass through the heavy doors into the former bunker, they are welcomed for a short presentation before embarking on the guided tour of the Boros Sammlung. The tour groups are small, only 8-10 people, and very informative.
Once the presentation was over, we followed the arrows to the first room. More to come tomorrow.
Follow me through these doors and I'll take you on a journey through one of Berlin's secret art galleries. Best of all, all of the art is displayed in an old, WWII-era bunker. I hope I've intrigued you to come back for more!
PS: There are more photos from my holidays in Florida on Halcyon Travels. Stop by for a look!
I just got back to Berlin this morning and thought I'd put up a post here in between unpacking and throwing everything in the wash. I find picking a favorite photo really difficult, but I do like this one from last summer at Krumme Lanke. You can see the original post here and more favorites of 2015 can be found here.
PS: I'm taking a little break from my Berlin blog, but you can find pictures from my recent trip to Florida and my other travels here.