Sunday, 16 August 2015

Day 2 Berlin

Today was a day of deep reflection for me, I started the day see the Berlin Wall Memorial a central memorial to the German division, situated in the center of the capital. In Bernauer Strasse a 1.4 km in length memorial on the former border strip. On the grounds of the memorial is the last piece of the Berlin Wall, which has been preserved in its signal depth and an impression of the construction of the border fortifications conveyed to the late 1980s. The border barriers and the dramatic events that took place at this location, the history of the division becomes very real leaving a lasting impression of the once divided country. 

The 1961 history of the Wall’s construction and the circumstances of the divided city are explained in the documentation centre. From the tower, you get an impressive view of the preserved parts of the border facility and the memorial in memory of the division of the city and the victims of communist tyranny.

The Reconciliation Church was located at this site, which was blown-up in 1985, as it stood right on the no man’s land “death strip”. After the fall of the Wall, the Chapel of Reconciliation was erected on the foundations as an oval rammed earth building with a wood lamellar casing. The victims of the Wall are regularly remembered during church services.

Families were separated and could no longer see each other.

Cars were left behind in Hungry when an opportunity to cross the border was available, these people had waited approx. 15 years to get a car, so the sacrifice was significant.

Here you can see the border area, with inner wall, signal fence, watchtower, patrol and border wall.

The height of the wall is apparent here with people standing beside, measuring 3.6 metres in height of solid reinforced concrete

Views of the Chapel of Reconciliation which stood inaccessible amidst the border fortifications since 1961 in January 1985 the SED had the church nave and then the tower blown up however the foundations remained mostly intact beneath the border strip.

Wreaths left beside the wall from all nations of the world – perhaps there had been services of some kind in the last couple of days held here

Inside the church of today

The remains of the foundations

I was amazed that very few people visiting this memorial seemed to be moved, I could not help but feel deep sadness for these people who suffered so much, and was left in deep gratitude for the blessed life that I have led, the freedom that I continue to live to travel, to speak, to act as I feel best for myself. These are things that we can so easily take for granted but just sit for a while and imagine what life would be like when freedom is not part of every day.

I had chosen to spend the afternoon in the Gardens of the World which was an ideal way to intergrate all that I saw this morning, all that I have experienced on my trip, and then even the fact that here I am forced into a type of silence to be with myself as I can’t speak any German, so my afternoon was very slow paced, reflective, and still within.

Marzahn-Hellersdorf is one of the greenest areas in Berlin and here you can find the "Gardens of the World" with traditional theme gardens from Asia, Europe and the Orient.

The extended former Marzahn Recreational Park was inaugurated in 1987 for the 750th anniversary of Berlin, when the city was still devided. In 2000, the "Garden of the Reclaimed Moon" was added. This is Germany's largest Chinese garden and symbolizes the reunification of Berlin, for the moon is in the ancient Chinese scholars the symbol for perfect harmony and unity of the world. Little by little, as part of the project to "Gardens of the World", the Japanese, the Balinese, the Oriental, Korean and the Christian garden and an Italian Renaissance garden were opened. Also to be found is a maze and a labyrinth floor, and the Karl-Forster-Perennial garden with its year-round flowering plants to stay. There is an English garden being worked on at present to be opened in the future.

Around 21 acres the "Gardens of the World" offer beautiful  gardens, but also recovery from the city in one of the most beautiful green lungs of Berlin. 

The Oriential Garden of Gour Streams

The Labyrinth

Chinese Garden of the Reclaimed Moon

The garden near the entrance of the gardens

This little friend came across my path, sometimes you don’t need to speak the same language

The Korean ‘Seoul Garden’

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