• Photo: Vovez/Shutterstock

Mitte

After the fall of the wall, Mitte, which had been in East Germany, once again became the geographic center of Berlin. The area comprises several minidistricts, each with its own distinctive history and flair. Alexanderplatz, home of the iconic TV Tower, was the center of East Berlin. With its Communist architecture, you can still get a feel for the GDR aesthetic here. The nearby Nikolaiviertel is part of the medieval heart of Berlin. The Scheunenviertel, part of the Spandauer Vorstadt, was home to many of the city’s Jewish citizens. Today, the narrow streets that saw so much tragedy house art galleries, increasingly excellent restaurants, and upscale shops popular with tourists. Treasures once split between East and West Berlin museums are reunited on Museuminsel, the stunning Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bordering Tiergarten and the government district are the meticulously restored Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate), the unofficial symbol of the city, and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, whose design and scope engendered many debates.

The historic boulevard Unter den Linden proudly rolls out Prussian architecture and world-class museums—now the site of increased construction related to the extension of U-bahn U5 line, slated for completion in 2019. Its major cross street is Friedrichstrasse, revitalized in the mid-1990s with car showrooms (including Bentley, Bugatti, and Volkswagen) and upscale malls.

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