Robin's Adventures

Central and Eastern Europe
An Adventure Steeped in History

Altes Museum

This museum, built in 1830, was designed to display the art collection of the royal family of Prussia. The museum currently has classical antiquities on display, including a wonderful collection of mummies and sarcophagi.

Pergamon Museum

The Pergamon houses some amazing full sized reconstructed ruins such as the second century Market Gate of Miletu, the Ishtar Gate, and a large Assyrian statue with a human head and a lion's body with wings.

Altes Art Gallery

This national gallery of art had a large and varied collection. Some of our favorite paintings are shown here: Sirens, painted by Arnold Bocklin in 1875, Paul Baum's Willows on the Brook painted in 1900, and Spring in the Village painted in 1872 by Karl Buchholtz.

Seen about Town

There were many unique and unexpected sights that we came across as we explored the city of Berlin. We got a kick out of seeing WWII vintage gas masks being sold by street vendors. In addition, our guide pointed out bullet scars in many of the buildings that we passed.

There was a cool puppet in a store window and a man dressed all in silver trying to get tourists to pay him for taking a photo... must be a tough way to make a living.

KaDeWe

Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) means department store of the west. This is a huge eight floor department store that is very popular in Berlin. The store, which is the largest department store in Europe, has more than 380,000 items for sale.

The sixth and seventh floors are devoted to all kinds of food and the store advertises that it has \"two football fields of food.\"

Bridge of Spies

The Glienicke Bridge, which spans the Havel River, connects Berlin to the city of Potsdam. The river formed a natural boundary between East Germany and West Berlin during the cold war and the bridge was used a few times to exchange captured spies.

Potsdam still has three well preserved city gates standing in town. The gates were built between 1720 and 1755. Back in the day, the gates were connected by a wall and provided the city with protection. Today they simply add a bit of charm.

Chateau Cecilienhof

Chateau Cecilienhof is a 176 room palace that was built in 1917 to be the home of the Prussian crown prince and his wife. It was built in the English Tutor style and the large buildings surround several courtyards with English style gardens. The home had 55 different chimneys and a sitting room that was designed to look like a state room on a ship.

When the Soviet army moved into Germany in 1945, the chateau was seized by the Russians. Stalin invited Truman and Churchill to a meeting at the chateau to discuss issues relating to post-war Europe and the peace treaty.

The delegates met at a large round table in the Great Hall. The prince's smoking room became the offices of the American delegation. The British used the library as their offices and Stalin used the Red Salon for his office. Stalin had a large red Soviet star planted in the garden for the occasion.

Sanssouci Palace

Sanssouci Palace was built to be the summer home of Prussian King Fredrick the Great. The name of the palace is a French term which means \"without worries\" and this palace was where the king came to escape the worries of his court in Berlin. The home is at the top of a terraced hill with beautiful gardens and fountains surrounding it.

Following his death, Fredrick wanted to be buried in the garden near the graves of his beloved greyhounds. Apparently he named the dogs after the various mistresses of the king of France in order to annoy him. Since Fredrick introduced the potato to Germany and it became a staple crop, the tradition is to place potatoes on his grave.

Inside Sanssouci Palace

The interior rooms of Sanssouci are very elaborately decorated. There were many guest rooms and the king often entertained distinguished guests at the palace.

Next Stop: Moscow

The next leg of our adventure took place in Moscow, just two and a half hours away by air. We stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel right off of Red Square and walking distance to the Kremlin.