Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin


Here´s something I´ve just read in Rory Maclean´s wonderful “Berlin – Imagine A City”- something I could not possibly express better myself:

“Why are we drawn to certain cities? Perhaps because of a story read in childhood. Or a chance teenage meeting. Or maybe simply because a place touches us, embodying in its tribes, towers and history an aspect of our understanding of what it means to be human. Paris is about romantic love. Lourdes equates with devotion. New York means energy. London is forever trendy.

Berlin is all about volatility. Its identity is based not on stability but on change. No other city has repeatedly been so powerful, and fallen so low. No other capital has been so hated, so feared, so loved. No other place has been so twisted and torn across five centuries of conflict, from religious wars to Cold War, at the hub of Europe´s ideological struggle.

Berlin is a city that is forever in the process of becoming, never being, and so lives more powerfully in the imagination. (…) So much of it has been lost of reinvented that the mind rushes to fill in the vacuum, fleshing out the invisible, linking facts with fiction. (…) Yesterday echoes along today´s streets and the ideas conjured up by Berlin´s dreamers and dictators seem as solid as its bricks and mortar. The hypnotic and volatile city comes alive in the mind.”

I am home.

View from the Rotes Rathaus in 1900.

View from the Rotes Rathaus in 1900.


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This entry was posted on April 3, 2014 by in Berlin, BOOKS, history, history of Berlin and tagged , , , .

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