By BER – Berlin Brandenburg Airport
India has given the world the Holi festival, the Hindu spring festival, also called the “festival of colours”. In India, red stands for love, fertility and marriage. Blue represents Krishna, while green symbolises new beginnings. Many cultures attribute a protective effect to the colour yellow.
Berlin is also full of colour. You often hear, “Berlin is so colourful!” This usually refers to the diversity of the German capital. However, the metropolis on the Spree is indeed brightly painted and colourful. Red, yellow, green, blue—all the colours of the rainbow and countless shades and nuances make Berlin a destination that wipes away the greyness of life and is simply fun. “Colourful is my favourite colour” architect Walter Gropius once said—this could be the city’s secret motto. Berlin Brandenburg Airport is the perfect gateway to this colourful pleasure and increases the anticipation of red, yellow, green and blue.
Berlin is red
Red like the Red City Hall. The seat of Berlin’s governing mayor already bears the colour in its name. It was built between 1861 and 1869 in the neo-Renaissance style, modelled on an Italian palazzo. Even in the days of the Kaiser, its 94-metre tower was a symbol of the self-confidence of Berlin’s citizens.
The reason for the red colour is the use of bricks, a building material that was often used in Berlin and the surrounding area. Many churches shine red, but probably none as beautifully as the Friedrichswerder Church. It is a masterpiece by the famous architect Friedrich Schinkel. The former place of worship now houses sculptures from the Schinkel period to the Empire from the collection of the National Gallery.
The bricks of the raw walls in the Brikz (!) in Charlottenburg are also red. Chef Arne Anker brings unusual flavours to the table and enchants his guests’ palates with home-made vinegars or vegetables fermented in-house. To extract flavours from unusual ingredients such as blackcurrant wood, he sometimes uses an ultrasound bath. His cuisine is regional, seasonal and above all always original.
Berlin is golden
Golden like the monumental figure on the Victory Column. Berliners affectionately call her “Goldelse”, meaning something like “Golden Lizzy”, and joke that she is the only woman in Berlin you can gaze under the skirt. It may be difficult to climb the 285 steps to the highest platform, but the reward is a breathtaking view over Berlin.
The Philharmonie and Chamber Music Hall, architectural masterpieces that form the Kulturforum together with several world-famous museums, and are also home to the equally world-famous Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, also shine golden. Just like the bar and walls of the Rheingold bar. Here, professional bartenders from the “Barschule Berlin” mix classic cocktails and trendy drinks.
Berlin is green
Mother Nature must have had considerably more than “50 Shades of Green” on her palette when she doused trees and shrubs, grasses and flowers in the more than 2,500 parks and gardens with colour. Worth seeing are the Tiergarten, 210 hectares larger than Hyde Park, Tempelhof Airport with its seemingly endless expanse or the Gardens of the World with charming and creative theme gardens.
The largest forest in the west of the city is the Grunewald with lakes that reflect the green a thousand times over at their edges. A dream for walkers and hikers—and swimmers: the Wannsee lido is the largest inland lake lido in Europe and is considered the bathtub of Berlin. The Botanical Garden is just as green, but much more exotic.
Covering an area of 43 hectares, it houses almost 20,000 plant species in 15 greenhouses, a plant-geographical complex unique in the world and informative theme gardens. The ceilings in many beer gardens are also green: ancient chestnut trees and huge lime trees, under which the apple spritzer or the freshly tapped beer taste even better. Berliner Weisse beer with woodruff syrup is also green—but no original Berliner would drink it (despite all the love of green).
Berlin is blue
Blue like the Ishtar Gate in the Pergamon Museum. This processional street is just one of the highlights of Museum Island and, along with the bust of Nefertiti (with blue headdress) and Pergamon Altar, the undisputed star of the Neues Museum.
The panes of the new Memorial Church building also glow blue. They come from the workshop of the glass master Gabriel Loire from Chartres. Even at night, they radiate their metaphysical blue inside and out in equal measure. The secret is double walls with lamps that cast their light through the glasses in the dark. If you like, you can count them: In the new building, i.e. church and tower, a total of 22,570 individual glass panels are installed.
Less metaphysical, much more maritime is the blue in the aquarium, which is already 100 years old. Freshwater and saltwater fish, corals and jellyfish, crocodiles and giant snakes, lizards and turtles are at home here. Particularly impressive: several large tanks with, among others, blacktip reef sharks.
Blue is also one of the specialities of Princess Cheesecake. Nobles are said to have blue blood anyway, but here it is fresh blueberries that make the blueberry cheesecake thematically appropriate. A truly royal temptation!
Berlin is colourful, that’s for sure. The beauty of it is: the colours are sometimes strong, sometimes pastel, sometimes vivid, sometimes muted. Every visitor will be able to discover the city in the colouring they prefer, in the intensity they desire. You just have to set out and come here to discover it for yourself!