Lustgarten & Berliner Dom in Berlin

“History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.”

When I walk through cities that have as much history as Berlin’s, I sometimes just stop for a moment and breathe in the history that happened in that exact spot over the years. Although I may not recall exact historical details, that’s okay with me; I’m more concerned with the longevity and gravity with the history than the minutia.

There are two areas in particular that have a unique place in Berlin’s history: the Berliner Dom and the park directly outside its front doors, the Lustgarten.

Hitler speaking at the Berlin Lustgarten just prior to the presidential election
of 1932.
Image credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Lustgarten originally started out as a kitchen garden located next to the palace in the 16th century (I believe the Altes Museum now takes the place of the former palace). It later became a sand-covered parade ground in 1713, and was turned into a formal park with paths dividing it into different sections in 1826. In the 20th century, political protests, demonstrations, and rallies occurred here, too. After the destruction of the WWII bombings and the German reunification in 1991, this garden was once again transformed into a public park for all to enjoy.

Present day Berliner Dom, Berlin, Germany
Image credit: Jet Set With Mary

Most of the churches that I’ve visited thus far have been Catholic; I think that this is the first Evangelical church that I’ve seen during my time here in Europe. I didn’t actually go inside the church (although from the pictures that I’ve seen online and in brochures are quite beautiful), but I did try to buy a ticket to the Christmas concert that was scheduled for later in the day at the Dom. Unfortunately, all of the tickets were already sold out.

Having visited the city, it’s been fascinating to look online through pictures of these two locations throughout Berlin’s photographic history. Walking through the grounds where history has taken place, and imaging what people must have felt as it was being written, is a very powerful thing.

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