Gendarmenmarkt - The most beautiful square in Europe
The opinion of many Berliners is that Gendarmenmarkt is the most beautiful square in Europe. Adorning two seemingly identical parallel churches, The Französischer Dom (French Cathedral) and The Deutscher Dom (German Cathedral) on either side of The Konzerthaus (Concert House) it's easy to see why.
Gendarmenmarkt is beautiful alone, however there are two times in the year where it is an especially fantastic place to see. Between October 14th and 16th Berlin has an annual 'Festival of Lights', during which the German Cathedral is lit with the colours of the German flag and in turn The French Catherdral lit by the colours of the French flag. The other time of the year is December where the most prestigious and popular German Christmas Markets are held. They are the only markets to charge an entrance fee (1 euro) but well worth the small admission price. Instead of the traditional wooden huts that are at the other Christmas Markets these have star topped white tents containing stalls from some of Berlin's best restaurants, an enourmous Christmas tree and live music on the steps of the Concert House. At all times of the year the cathedrals are now a museum of German history and a Huguenot museum complete with resteraunt and viewing platform. The Concert House was built by Karl Friedrich Schinkel - Berlin's most prominent architect in 1891 and now hosts the Berlin Symphony Orchestra - admission usually costing around 19 euros.
I really love this square, do not miss out on this beautiful place when visiting Berlin!
Some History of The Square:
The first thing many visiters notice is that the name of the square is French. This is due to Kaiser Frederick Wilhelm offering asylum to The French Huguenots in the sixteenth century, 6000 of which migrated to Berlin making up twenty percent of the city's population. To welcome them to Berlin The French Cathedral was built and shortly after the German Catherdral was built on the South of the square (prehaps due to the whining Berliners). Both buildings were badly damaged during World War Two and rebuilt, however the statues are original due to Hilter having all the statues in Berlin stored safely during the war. [more ]
chicKnown as the most beautiful square in Berlin although its goal at inception was to be the most beautiful in Europe, it tries to live up to this moniker throughout the year. It hosts the most beautiful Christmas Market in Berlin, outdoor concerts in the summer, and is a favorite spot for international artists to display their public art. You are always surprised to see what is on display at Gendarmenmarkt.
The surrounding building around the square are also aesthetically pleasing, being an enclave of chic hidden behind the main thoroughfares of Friedrichstrasse and Unter den Linden with bars, offices, and boutiques.
The central building is a Schinkel design called the Schauspielhaus and functions as a concert hall that looks exactly like the one in Vienna and was renovated with former East German artist. The two buildings that flank the Schauspielhaus is the French and German Cathedral. [more ]
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