lies across the Kaiserdamm, the main road running west out of
Berlin to Spandau. A prosperous suburb, it grew up round Queen
Sophie-Charlotte's out of town palace, the baroque Schloss Charlottenburg
(1695), now, after the demise of the Hohenzollerns, owned by the
city and home to a fine collection of paintings, statues and furniture.
Its low, two storey facade is flanked with two wings, crowned
with a golden cupola, and fronted with an immense statue of The
Great Elector - behind the Schloss, landscaped gardens run northward
to the River Spree. Directly opposite the Bröhan (Art Deco and
Jugenstil) and Egyptian museums are to be found.
The most dramatic way to enter the suburb is from the Strasse
des 17.Juni which runs through the Tiergarten Park - you pass
through enormous ceremonial gates which marked the boundary of
what used to be an independent town. Crossing Ernst-Reuter-Platz
(named after a post-war major of Berlin), the road becomes Kaiserdamm,
to the left of which, running south and across Kantstrasse, are
countless small restaurants and bars, scattered around squares
Further west the Deutsche Oper, West Berlin's famous opera house
presents a modernist face to Kaiserdamm.
again lies Kurfürstendamm, the main shopping street of West Berlin
running east-west, the old road from Berlin to the town of Potsdam.
At the east end of Ku'damm the stumpy tower of the Gedächtniskirche
rears up contrasting strangely with the 60s modernity of the Europa
Centre with the famous Mercedes symbol. Here, near to the main
station for the west side of the city, Zoo, everything is in motion.
New buildings, like Jahn's glass faced tower at the Kranzler Dreieck,
are springing up in an attempt to outdo the construction frenzy
of the east city.
To the west of the district lies the Radio Tower and International
Congress centre (for trade fairs like the International Tourism
Fair, or Green Week). Nearby is the enormous Deutschlandhalle,
a concert venue. And further west again, the Olympic Stadium built
by Hitler for the 1936 Olympics. Behind this is the Waldbühne,
an open air stage set in a natural hollow and home to pop and
classical concerts. Charlottenburg is served by the S-Bahn, U1,
U2 and U8.
The suburb lying to the south of Charlottenburg is a little quieter
- residential, with pockets of cafes and restaurants, notably
around Ludwigkirchplatz, near to which the tented cabaret venue,
Bar jeder Vernunft, can be found.
In Fasanenstrasse is the Käthe-Kollwitz museum (artist and sculptress
murdered by the Nazis), and opposite, a Jewish school. On Hohenzollerdamm
the blue domes of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Resurrection
date improbaly from 1938. A good bet for theatre lovers is the
Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, a modern experimental theatre, from
the ranks of whose actors many of the current German film and
TV stars stemmed.
To the south the suburb merges into the Grunewald wood, home
to Berlin's wealthy, with their large detached villas displaying
every kind of artistic caprice, standing in spacious grounds.
To the west the artificial hill of the Teufelsberg (Devil's Hill),
created from rubble left after the bombardments of World War II,
provides and opportunity for sporting activities ranging from
downhill skiing, climbing and hang-gliding.
Wilmersdorf is served by the S-Bahn, U1 and U7.
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