Berlin under the rule of the Hohenzollern dynasty
The Hohenzollern were Prussia's ruling dynasty ever since it turned from duchy to kingdom in 1701. Looking up to the French , everything that was created under their rule was modeled on their much envied French neighbors. But unlike the French kings, the Prussian kings were always short of cash, which is why most of their palaces are slightly less opulent than their French counterparts.
Having said that, there was one, Frederick The Great, who ruled Prussia from 1740 to 1786, who did indeed have a vision, and who most definitely left his mark on the city, never mind the fact that he, too, was very much in awe of what went on "outre-Rhin". That said, under his reign, some buildings were created which mark Berlin and its surroundings to this day, among them the State Opera (at the time Europe's largest), and, of course, Sans Souci Palace.
But there is a lot more. For instance, Gendarmenmarkt, the Prince Heinrich Palais (today: Humboldt University), that make this tour more than worth your while!
Starting at Gendarmemarkt - which is full of history - and considered one of Berlin's most extravagant squares, we'll continue along Jäger Strasse, which once was the domain of the Mendelssohns, having owned three buildings (or rather, palaces) on this tiny street which is full of history since it was also the home of Rahel Varnhagen, one of Berlin's foremost 18th century (Jewish) salonnieres, whose Literary Salons were attended by anyone who was someone at the time, including the Humboldt brothers.
Reaching Hausvogteiplatz, I'll explain its meaning to Berlin's garment industry (similar to the Sentier in Paris), before we get to Bebelplatz with its wide range of buildings and memorials (former State Library, State opera, Book Burning Memorial, Hotel de Rome, Altes Palais, etc. ). Next, we continue to Schinkel's Neue Wache, the Zeughaus, the Humboldt Forum (still under construction), before ending our tour on Museum Island.
Meeting Point + Tour Duration
Meeting Point Options: Suggested by Guide: Gendarmenmrakt, in front of the Concert Hall, by the Schiller Statue.
End Point Options: Rail or Bus Station, Cruise Ship Port, Airport, Hotel, Address or Intersection, Monument/Building
Duration: 3 hours
Estimated Local Cash Needed
20 EUR - If a customer wants/ needs to stop for a tea or coffee break
I am not a driver. I can accompany you in your vehicle or I can arrange for a separate car and driver.
I am only able to guide groups up to four people through historical monuments and museums.
A Recent Review of this tour
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We really really enjoyed the tour. We saw far more of the main sights in Berlin than we would have done if we had done it alone and I found the nature of the things we discussed weren't too harrowing for the kids. Martin himself was warm and kind and very accommodating and I would highly recommend him for tours of Berlin.