Berlin architecture exhibition at Stilwerk

This friday (20th March) the Berlin chamber of architects (Architektenkammer) will open an exhibition of Berlin architecture at Stilwerk in Berlin-Charlottenburg. On display are 65 architecture projects from Berlin – and by Berlin architects.

You can have a preview of all 65 exhibited projects at the homepage of Architektenkammer Berlin: http://www.ak-berlin.de/publicity/ak/internet.nsf/tindex/de_da_2015_projekte.htm

da! Architektur in und aus Berlin

21. March –  18. April 2015
stilwerk Berlin, Kantstraße 17, 10623 Berlin
Opening hours: Monday – Samstag, 8 a.m.  – 8 p.m.

English homepage of stilwerk: http://www.stilwerk.de/en/berlin/

S-Bahn replacement shuttle buses

Currently the north-south S-Bahn tunnel between Gesundbrunnen and both Yorckstrasse stations (S1, S2, S25) is closed – and will stay closed until 1:30am on 4 May 2015 (Monday).

One of Berlin’s S-Bahn official recommendations is to use ‘Ringbahn’ instead – which might be a good idea if you really want to travel from Gesundbrunnen to Yorckstrasse – or of course the other direction. Alternatively you may jump on one of the “Schienenersatzverkehr” (SEV – S-Bahn replacement shuttle buses) Buses serving the closed S-Bahn stations – more or less.

The SEV-Buses go quite frequently – every 3–4–5 minutes. There is a north branch and a south branch, meeting at S-Bahn station Friedrichstrasse.

Find more information on this information page about the construction work – and here you can download a fly with detailed information, time tables, positions of the bus stations etc.

One curiosity: the bus drivers neither sell tickets nor check tickets – just as S-Bahn drivers would.

Berlin S-Bahn-Bus Ersatzverkehr-Haltestelle

S-Bahn Ersatzverkehr Bus-Haltestelle “North” at Brunnenstrasse / near Bernauer Strasse

Berlin public transport live view map

The regional public transport authority VBB (Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg) recently released a map of Berlin and Brandenburg region showing the position busses, trams, S-Bahn- and U-Bahn-Trains and even ferry boats live.

While this map may not be the best tool to find your next vehicle it is quite a hypnotic waste of time staring at the little symbols crawling and creeping across the map.

see also:

Berlin International Film Festival Berlinale 2015

The Berlin International Film Festival Berlinale 2015 took off already last wednesday. Maybe you already went – and saw the one or the other movie? Maybe you still don’t know if you want to go – and maybe you even think you won’t have a chance to get tickets anyways.

Berlin Film Festival Berlinale-Logo

Berlinale-Logo and Disco Ball (2014)

While it is true that it may be difficult to actually get tickets there are various ways to try – and maybe you won’t find tickets for the movie you originally intended to see, but maybe you’ll see some other movie and be surprised to find something you didn’t expect.

Anyhow – the Berlin International Film Festival is the largest public film festival – so naturally there are many different options where and how to find tickets.

  • You can purchase tickets at these four Central Ticket Sales up to three days before the screening: Potsdamer Platz Arkaden, Kino International, Haus der Berliner Festspiele (Schaperstraße 24, 10719 Berlin), Audi City Berlin (Kurfürstendamm 195, 10707 Berlin)
  • On the day of the actual screening you can purchase tickets at the related box office – check well in advance where / which theater the movie will be shown and when the box office will open
  • Online Advance Sales: you can also buy tickets through the festival’s website

Further details can be found from the festival website:
www.berlinale.de/en/programm/tickets/

Berlin Film Festival Ticket Sales Potsdamer Platz Arkaden

Ticket Sales at Potsdamer Platz Arkaden

Hope you enjoy the show – good luck!

Berlin world wide – a documentary report on Berlin world wide

Berlin – the town I was born, the place I live, the city I love – is only one of over 100 cities, villages and places world wide called ‘Berlin’. Throughout history people have again and again called places ‘Berlin’ for various reasons – be it german missioners or colonists calling a spot ‘Berlin’ where they could build a harbour or be it german immigrants, calling their new found home after the german capital when they finally settled down in the United States of America.


In the US alone there are dozens of places called Berlin – even though many towns changed their name after the first and again after the second world war. But also in Russia and in many other countries people decided to call their city Berlin – and in most if not all cases they named it after the german capital Berlin.

Just recently a couple of german TV broadcasting stations and media institutions teamed up and produced a comprehensive documentary report which is available in different formats: as a one-piece video stream, as an interactive web-documentary and ‘in pieces’ on youtube. I highly recommend watching it since it’s really quite some entertainment – and a totally different view on “a place called Berlin”

On the website of Deutsche Welle you can watch video stream english version of the ‘linear’ documentary report split in two: www.dw.de/program/worldwide-berlin/s-101261-9798

Here you’ll find the english version of the interactive web-documentary, featuring additional clips from the world’s various Berlins: www.worldwideberlin.com/en/

And here’s the youtube channel of worldwideberlin with lots of short clips from all over the world: www.youtube.com/channel/UClcOMPrMtL9tSV2861OyVAg

Also interesting: a radio special “How Many Berlins Are There In The U.S.?” by NPR News Berlin focusing on the Berlins located in the United States of America: http://www.nprberlin.de/post/how-many-berlins-are-there-us

Spring-like weather in mid-January

Berlin winter weather sunshine

After some weeks of Berlin’s typical mostly grey-grey-cloudy winter weather today the day began with a surprise: Good Morning Sunshine! And the weather forecast says that we might enjoy sunshine, blue skies and temperatures between 5°C to 15°C until next weekend.

Update: Maybe I misunderstood some details of the weather forecast: the early spring lasted for only two days – now it seems we’re back in the grey-cold-windy-and-wet phase of Berlin winter….

I took the chance to update the weather page.

Berlin advertising – poster pillars everywhere

Berlin advertising: posters pillars everywhere

In Berlin almost every flat object can be a billboard – and almost every round object can be a poster pillar. And ‘everybody‘ thinks, “it’s just me – hanging a single poster on that pillar” then lamp poles and traffic signal poles can easiely become huge round objects that may look like ‘real poster pillars’, but basically they are just lamp poles and traffic signal poles, burried underneith layers and layers and layers of posters.

An interesting side effect: these ‘Poster Pillar’ might even work well as bumbers – so if a car would crash into one of these well-cushioned / padded / upholstered poles, the layers of posters might soften the impact – almost like an air bag. So maybe every street pole should be covered with layers of posters for the sake of safety? Maybe so. Maybe not.

You probably won’t see these objects in every Berlin destrict – but at least in Mitte there are some. This one I found near Rosa-Luxemburg Platz.

Historical Berlin Maps online and offline (exhibition)

The Berlin Landesarchiv (Archives of the Land Berlin) in Reinickendorf / Tegel have recently opened an exhibition worth seeing. On display: historical maps of Berlin by Julius Straube, as well as historical photos and posters of Berlin of the 19th century.

One particular map of the year 1897 for example resembles what today would probably be called a “biking map” – a map made for bicycle riders. It shows which streets, which routes are comfortable to bike on – and which are not. And it also shows what pavement to expect: asphalt, cobblestone or cross-cut wood (yay!),

And additionally it also shows where it was forbidden to bike. Yes, there were already no-go areas for bicyclists at the end of the 19th century. The german king probably didn’t like the idea of having bikes and bicyclists all around him when walking down the boulevard Unter den Linden – so it was forbidden to ride a bike there. And also on Leipziger Strasse, Potsdamer Platz and Königstraße and anywhere near the castle no bikes were allowed.

The Landesarchiv also recently opened a web based research tool for historical Berlin maps. The interactive tool lets you explore Berlin while using any of the provided ‘historical map layers’. A bit difficult to explain – but pretty easy to use: www.histomapberlin.de (en). The so called Strauble-Plan is probably the most spectacular map layer available on that interactive tool – since it is really old – and really complex, mapping most of Berlin’s inner city district Mitte. Pointer: the Strauble-Plan layer is actually a bit hidden behind the tab “More Layers”. There you’ll also find a layer for the Berlin Wall. Interesting:  you can actually combine a map from 1897 with the Berlin Wall border line…

Berlin historical maps navigator
interactive navigator for historical maps of Berlin at www.histomapberlin.de

Details about the exhibition:

“Die Pläne mit der Berolina – Kartografische Exkursionen mit Julius Straube”
7th October – 31st December 2014
Landesarchiv Berlin, Eichborndamm 115 – 121, 13403 Berlin (map)

See also: news at Landesarchiv (german)
www.landesarchiv-berlin.de/lab-neu/home.htm

via Tagesspiegel:
www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/ein-berliner-stadtplan-von-1897-radfahrer-auf-dem-holzweg/10920130.html?r=7771522

Border of light: 25th anniversary of The Fall of The Berlin Wall

Already on sunday evening about 8000 balloons were released to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall – one milestone of the reunification of East and West Germany.

For three days a 15 km “border of light” (Lichtgrenze) symobilized the line where over 25 years ago the Berlin Wall divided the city in two. Walking along the row of illuminated balloons gave a great impression of how and where The Wall once was: across bridges, along streets, around Brandenburg Gate – right through Berlin’s heart.

Here’s some photos I took during the three days the Berlin border of light was up. More photos will follow hopefully rather soon over at bilderbook.

Berlin Wall and balloons at Bernauer- Street light border
border of ligtht at Bernauer Street: Berlin Wall and balloons (© bilderbook/T.Bortels)

Balloons Berlin light border Mauerpark
Balloons of the border of light beeing released at Mauerpark (© bilderbook/T.Bortels)

And here’s an amazing fast-forward walk (video by ChrisK) along the light border – all the way from Bösebrücke at Bornholmer Street down to Oberbaumbrücke btween in Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain:

And somebody drew the path of the Berlin Wall on a Google Map – in case you really want to know where the Berlin Wall once was standing between 1961 and 1989:

And here it is at Google Maps.

see also:
BBC: “8,000 balloons released to remember Berlin Wall” (photos)
www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/29984351