On the road – discovering the Reichstagskuppel and Rixdorf in Berlin

Berlin never stops to have suprises for me. This time I explore the Reichstagskuppel and the village Rixdorf.

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The cupola of the Reichstag (Reichstagskuppel)

The architect Norman Foster has renovated the Reichstag incorporating modern elements. The most visible modern element is the cupola. The long queuing lines had always discouraged me to visit the cupola. To avoid the lines, Sabine has ordered tickets and reserved two seats in the restaurant Käfer next to the cupola.

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The cupola gives light to the plenary chamber with its white eagle. From the cupola we cannot see the plenary chamber. We walk up and down the revolving stairs and enjoy the view of the city. In the restaurant Käfer we share a meal – it is Buletten for me, the Berlin interpretation of  “hamburgers” that my mum had often prepared, when I was a child.

Today it is hard for me to imagine that the wall separating West and East Berlin was right behind the building of the Reichstag – but I remember those years.

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Rixdorf

One afternoon, my friend Antoinette takes me to Rixdorf which is part of Neukölln. “In search of Rixdorf” is a blog that nicely tells about the history and the ambiance today. In 1737 King Friedrich Wilhelm I. had invited protestants from Bohemia (Böhmen)  to settle near Rixdorf. Here he is – proudly overlooking the Richardplatz. This square is at the heart of Rixdorf.

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This panel points to the Bohemian brother community of Rixdorf.

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The Bethlehemkirche (church) at Richardplatz dates from the late 14th century. It was rebuilt after a fire in the middle of the 17th century reusing the old gothic elements. The entrance is below the surface of the Richardplatz.

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The Rixdorf of the Bohemians has kept its rural character.   We stroll along the cobbled streets.

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Returning back to busy Karl Marx Strasse, we stop in the Café Rix (Saalbau Neukölln) to share a cup of coffee and a piece of cake in the inviting garden.

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On the way to the metro, we come across the Rathaus Neukölln.

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At Hermannplatz we take the metro U7 that rattles under the ground. In the dark tunnels, Antoinette sighs: “I prefer to travel above ground”. We soon say good-bye and I continue my way underground, back to Theodor Heuss Platz and the comfy hotel Kastanienhof. Thank you, Antoinette, it was a great experience to see the village of Rixdorf – one more village that also is part of the big city of Berlin. Berlin never stops to have suprises for me.

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