Alexanderplatz, often just abbreviated to ’Alex‘, is Germany‘s most monumental downtown square, with a large pedestrian zone at the center. As well as abbreviating the names of streets and buildings, the Berliners often have quirky nicknames for them. The 365 m tall television tower at Alexanderplatz, for example, is known as the ’Telespargel‘ (Tele-asparagus). From the Telecafé, from a height of over 200 m, you have a fantastic view of Berlin Cathedral, the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag and the famous boulevard ’Unter den Linden‘.
Brandenburg Gate and Paris Square
Everybody is familiar with Berlin’s best known landmark, the Brandenburg Gate. It was built from 1789–1791, modelled on ancient Greek buildings. This fact together with the presence of other classical Greek buildings in Berlin accounts for why Berlin‘s second name is ’Spree-Athens‘. The LEGO® version of the Brandenburg Gate in MINILAND weighs 128 kg (282 lb) and was constructed using 128,700 LEGO bricks. Paris Square on the east side of the Brandenburg Gate was and still is a very important place for artists, statesman, banks, embassies and investors. World famous: the re-built Hotel Adlon.
’Unter den Linden‘
Berliners say ’Icke‘ instead of ’Ich‘ when they speak of themselves. And they like to breathe the local Berlin air along ’Unter den Linden.‘ This magnificent legendary boulevard stretches more than 1.5 km (0.16 mi.) from the Palace Bridge to Paris Square and the Brandenburg Gate. It was once a hunting and bridle path leading from the Berlin City Castle to the zoo gardens that were created in 1527. Nowadays it is a busy commercial street with the Linden trees now only along the west side.
The Berlin Cathedral with its mighty green dome is the main Evangelical church for Berlin and Brandenburg. Its history reaches back to the Middle Ages. Today, it is also used as a concert venue. Up to 1,600 people can fit into the church.
Teamwork: Four model builders collaborated on the Berlin Cathedral at MINILAND.
St. Nicholas Quarter
The area around St. Nicholas’ Church is the birthplace and cradle of Berlin. This area was almost completely destroyed after being bombed in 1944 and remained so until the 1970s. For Berlin‘s 750th anniversary in 1987, the center of the city was rebuilt as much as possible to original plans to reflect its historical significance and so that people can experience the lively connection to Berlin‘s rich historical tradition. As a result, a new ’historical‘ old part of the city was created in the St. Nicholas quarter from 1979 to 1987.
Red City Hall
If you take a closer look you can see that a servo drive steers cars over an induction loop that is laid in the track. Nobody goes by Red City Hall without noticing it. It is the first thing people see when they enter MINILAND. The base is 99x88 m (324x288 ft.) – a complete city quarter had to be removed when it was built between 1861 and 1869. In 1991, it became the home of the gov-
ernment of the Federal State of Berlin. It is named Red City Hall because of its red bricks.
The Museum Island
There is a lot to see and learn at the Berlin Museum Island. In 1999, it was given UNESCO World Cultural Heritage status. Five famous museums can be visited here, namely, the Pergamon Museum, the Bode Museum, the Old National Gallery, and the Old and New Museum. If you have time, you can visit more than 150 museums in Berlin, and can see famous art treasures such as the bust of Queen Nefertiti, the Pergamon Altar or the 23 m (75 ft.) high brachiosaurus skeleton.
In 1995, the well-known artist Christo made headlines around the world by ’wrapping‘ the Reichstag in fabric for a week which was quite an achievement. LEGO® model designers spent a total of 1,858 hours and used over one million LEGO bricks to build the Reichstag model which weighs over a ton and occupies an area of 12 m². The ’real‘ Reichstag in Berlin was built between 1884 and 1894, and today, after extensive renovation, now houses the German Parliament. The viewing gallery inside the newly-designed glass dome, at a height of 40 m, provides a magnificent view over the city.
With over 14,000 animals and 1,424 species, the Berlin Zoo boasts more species than any other zoo in the world. It is also the oldest zoo in Germany. It opened in 1844 and has two entry points: the Lion Gate and the impressive Elephant Gate. The famous aquarium has more species than any other aquarium in the world. It was founded by Alfred Brehm in 1869.
Zoo and Victory Column
Once the zoo was a large forested area right outside Berlin where kings and electors went to hunt. Today, it’s the green belt of Berlin that features many playing fields, soccer pitches and picnic spots. The largest body of water in the zoo is the lake called ’Neue See‘ which boasts a beer garden, a boat rental station and a café. The best view of Berlin can be had from the Victory Column at the Grosser Stern, a central square where all paths meet. The goddess of victory on top of the Victory Column weighs 35 tons and is called Gold-Else by Berliners which means something like Golden Lizzy.
Did you know?
Dr. Rudolf Köppler, mayor of Günzburg from 1970 to 2002, was given the title ’Mayor of MINLAND Berlin‘ on 1 May 2002 in appreciation of his commitment to help establish LEGOLAND Deutschland in Günzburg.