Finding Heine and Treasures in Berlin

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“We don’t catch hold of an idea, rather the idea catches hold of us and enslaves us and whips us in to the arena so that we, forced to be gladiators fight for it.”

– Heinrich Heine 1797 – 1858

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So says the inscription on the statue of German Poet, Journalist and literary critic, Heinrich Heine, in Berlin, Germany. His words of wisdom have often intrigued me and it was for that very reason that I tracked down his statue, on a recent trip to Berlin.

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Why bother to search for a statue, you might say? After all, the Heine statue is a little off the usual tourist path and one has to actively search for it, [and you already know that I was doing just that]. It is because I’ve been fascinated by the liberal, and at times prophetic words, of this free thinking writer and how his words written in the 19th century, became catastrophically true, in the twentieth century. But more about that a little later.

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Heine’s statue sits in a small square, fringed with manicured hedges and shady trees, and is a suitable spot to rest and reflect, as Heine did, upon the world, (although I suspect, today’s visitors might update social media, rather than navel-gaze). Whilst mapping out my walking route around Berlin attractions, finding his statue was a short stop before my walking destination – the Pergamon, a Berlin absolute ‘must – see’.

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Towards the entrance of the Pergamon

The Pergamon is situated amongst a complex of museums, housed in several palatial buildings on Museum Island. The classic architecture of the museum buildings harkens back to Ancient times and is an excellent visual attraction in itself.

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The Neue Museum

Also in the Museum complex, the monumental Neues Museum, circa 1800’s, contains Ancient art and archeology, whilst Neoclassical art fills the neighbouring and awe-inspiring Altes Nationalgalerie.

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Altes Nationalgalerie

But, I am here to see the Pergamon itself, and its jewels in the archaeological crown – one of which is the excavation finds of frieze panels of the Pergamon Altar, reclaimed in archaeological digs, from 1878 to 1886. Disappointingly, for me and future visitors, I find that the Pergamon Altar exhibit is closed for renovation, until 2019. Well, maybe next time.

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What you won’t see till 2019. Wikipedia Photo

Nevertheless, I am aware that one ‘altar’ doth the Pergamon, not make. There are other ‘jewels’ to see. Some of the other monolithic exhibits, such as the Market Gate of Miletus, the Ishtar Gate and the Processional Way from Babylon, are overwhelming and to say that is a complete understatement. Just look at them!!!

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If you don’t ever get to visit the historic sites of the Middle East yourself, visiting the Pergamon will make you feel like you have!

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The exhibits are unlike anything I have seen and are but a small window into the world of ancient civilizations. I am completely gobsmacked by the level of intricate detail and the skills necessary to produce such fine work.

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The Museum complex now houses three of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin’s collections: the Antikensammlung, Vorderasiatisches Museum, and the Museum für Islamische Kunst.

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To Plan a visit, go to the Museum website here, and please note there’s an option to purchase a combo ticket, for entry to all three museums, at a discounted price. A good tip to remember is to arrive at the Pergamon around opening time so as to avoid the lengthy queues commonly found, later in the day. I arrived just on opening time, and already the queue to enter took around 20 minutes.

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If you decide the queues to the Pergamon are too long on your arrival, the surrounding gardens and Berlin’s Domkirke cathedral are in themselves, a delight to see. The square in front of the Cathedral church is filled with buskers, street artists, and unfortunately, a few less desirable folk angling for the tourist dollar, legally or illegally. Be careful with your money around them.

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Berlin Domkirke
The Pergamon Museum complex is located on Bodestraße 1-3, Berlin and if you don’t want to walk there, from your accommodation, as I did, you can take a Bus, Tram, UBahn or Uber. Me? I enjoyed the a brisk, but lengthy early morning walk from my room at Comfort Hotel Auberge, which is located on Bayreuther Straße, a few steps from Wittenbergplatz station, but the walk back was a little too much, after being on my feet all day, so a bus near the Brandenberg gate took me right back to Kurfürstendamm, and then it was only a short stroll home past the farmer’s markets.

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2016-07-16 22.38.00 Berlin
My room at Hotel Auberge
Hotel Auberge is family run boutique hotel with classic old world features. Think ornate plaster ceilings, chandeliers in every room, carpeted stairs with turned wooden banisters, and a spacious room overlooking a leafy courtyard. Breakfast is an ample and satisfying buffet and tea is served to your table.

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On a 37° Celsius summer day like this one, the balcony seat was a perfect place to enjoy the sounds of the birds, and the city waking from its slumber before embarking on my walk.
The modern KaDeWe and Kurfürstendamm shopping precinct, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the Europa-Center and the Zoological garden are an easy 10 minutes walk away.
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Wittenbergplatz is a short stroll away

On my lengthy walk around Berlin, and the Pergamon, I was happy to find Heine, and pondered his thought-provoking words, especially his tragically prophetic line from the 1821 play, Almansor,

Where they burn books, they will, in the end, burn human beings too.”

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Fragment of the Berlin Wall on Freidrichstaße

Today, as I read a book called Stasiland by Australian author, Anna Funder, and learn of what it was like to live in the GDR, prior to the fall of the infamous Berlin Wall, I remember the inscription on Heine’s statue and ponder more his words, in much the same way as Anna Funder did, in her book:

“Heine, the free thinking poet, would be turning in his grave to see the sort of enslaving and forcing and fighting that has gone on here, under his cold black nose and pigeon shit shoulders.” -Anna Funder in Stasiland.

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Have we really learned any lessons?

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If you enjoyed reading my Tuesday Travel adventures, and are looking for other Travel themed blogs, you may like to check out:

Mindful Traveller

Restless Jo’s Monday Walks

leggypeggy.com/2018/01/05/

If you have a blog post on Travel and would like me to add it here, please leave a comment below with your link, so that others can find your post.

Amanda at Something to Ponder About

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THE STRANGER ON THE BUS RESTORED MY FAITH IN HUMANITY!

It is becoming more difficult to know what to believe from social and commercial media outlets, so blogging from real people is a future force to be reckoned with. We can give good news, positive, inclusive, stories the “air time” they deserve.

This is a blog post that is worthy of re-blogging over and over again! I think it has positivity, addressing judgemental ism and prejudice and definitely restores one’s faith that we can all feel that we are in this together – we, as humans of all kinds and persuasions, but the world’s people first and foremost.
Thanks to Leggy peggy for directing me here!

Proverbial Thursday – Global Words of Wisdom

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you will too.

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As politics in the Western world is front and centre, the proverb and quotes this week are my own reflection on the current situation. You may be someone who is not interested in politics, but as it affects how each and every of us live our lives, to varying degrees, it is vitally important to have an opinion.  As we can see things can so very quickly change from one day to the next.

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Something to Ponder About?

To deceive a diplomat – speak the truth, he has no experience with it –

Greek Proverb

A few words from the Women’s marches in America earlier this week:

Women’s Rights aren’t up for GRABS.

Disability Rights are Civil Rights.

Respect for Existence or Expect Resistance.

https://friendlyfairytales.com/

 

and a final quote on materialism:

 

“Things that you own, end up owning you.”

annaherschand.com

Do you agree with the final quote?

The Greeks invented Democracy and yet their proverb sound quite cynical, don’t you think? Why would this be?

Were there marches in your city? How did you feel about them?

I would be pleased to hear your thoughts. Add to the discussion!

Proverbial sml

Solidarity

No matter what you political affiliation, it is hard to steer a conversation away from the Trump phenomenon in America. People are concerned for the future, and few are jubilant. Democracy has a failing in that everyone has a choice to vote, but if voting is not compulsory, is it really indicative “of the people, by the people, for the people?”

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When time become difficult, it is the girls, the women, and the Mothers who often worry about the children and the future, and yet it is conversely, often the men who are invariably in positions of authority, who decide everyone’s future!

We are not at war, but we have every right to be concerned about the future.

Clearly many people are, looking at the map of women’s marches around the world.img_13831.jpg

Source: https://61musings.net/2017/01/21/womens-march-around-the-world/

New Zealand TeMata

 

A Danish writer, Andrea Heiberg, penned the following to express her concerns:

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE II

Who’s the lady with the torch

Boko Haram hates to see?

Who’d bid me welcome

if it should be?

 

She’s my independent friend who

voices freedom

loving

care.

 

She’s still standing

sending out hope

to me

and

my sisters in

Afghanistan,

Nepal,

Nigeria,

Syria

and elsewhere

everywhere

when not grabbed by her pussy.

 

So go

Pearl,

go.

Andrea Heiberg

Denmark

January 2017

 

What do you think of her words?  Something  Serious to Ponder About

 

 

 

 

Welcome to my brain. Please keep all hands and feet inside the vehicle, and secure loose objects.: Tony Abbott, you’re an arsehole.

a MUST READ  if you are a Nurse or ex – nurse and / or live in Australia. Hilarious, but sadly true.

 

Welcome to my brain. Please keep all hands and feet inside the vehicle, and secure loose objects.: Tony Abbott, you’re an arsehole..