Baffled by Berlin

Hannah Dirgins is a student at the University of South Dakota and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Prague, Czech Republic.

At first glance Berlin could pass for an American city. The modern buildings, the crowds of diverse people, and the abundance of shopping malls made me feel like I was back in the States. But if you look past the façade, you’ll find the history held within the city. I was fortunate enough to have a very knowledgeable tour guide who shared information about the rich history that covers every block of the city.

I found the history to be very interesting. Berlin was heavily bombed in World War II, leaving only a few original buildings standing. We explored a church that had withstood the bombings, though only about a quarter of the building was left. It was not rebuilt and thus serves as a reminder of the background behind the structure. Many buildings were under reconstruction to maintain the cities original appearance.

On the last day, I visited the Berlin Wall, which once separated the city to the East and West sides. The wall has a somber history behind it, but it was nice to see the city embracing a part of the remains with creative and colorful artwork.

Berlin is definitely worth the visit; the city is bursting with fascinating history (and superb shopping)!

The world awaits…discover it.

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