04.01.2012 - 04.01.2012
Charlottenburg palace occupied the first half of our day today. The palace, commissioned by the wife of the first King of Prussia and completed in 1699 was no Schonbrunn, but did have a number of magnificent and awe-inspiring rooms. We toured both the old and new wings of the palace which still had many of the original wall panels, door frames and floors, as well as original decor and furnishings, although the new wing of the palace had bee reduced mostly to rubble in World War II and subsequently restored. The room decorated entirely with precious china vases and plates was probably the most interesting along with the crown jewels and silverware of the Hohenzollern dynasty. Frankly, the free audio tour was information overload, especially for the new wing of the palace where the commentary was focused mostly on the aesthetic and architectural value of the rooms and less on the larger narrative of their function and the associated characters and their stories. Historically and culturally punch drunk we grabbed a snack in Alexanderplatz and visited the DDR museum, an interactive exhibition about life in the German Democratic Republic (Communist Germany). It provided a good contrast to the Prussian history lesson learned earlier, and was decidedly more hands on. Having scoped out the local Turkish takeaway place previously, we ate there again today, along with our 400g of erdbereen (strawberries) and half a kilo of cherries. Yum!