Berlin & Potsdam – a personal recommendation 2019

In 3 1/2 days we managed to visit 7 museums/galleries/palaces with the utmost ease, while not missing out on Berlin’s culinary food experiences either. As part of my family lives in Berlin, I’m able to visit quite frequently and so have ticked off most, if not all, the ‘must sight-seeing-sites’ in Berlin. This meant that I was able to target specific exhibitions and some places I hadn’t been to before. Most of them were stunningly brilliant, others were difficult to grasp and one left us with a soft sadness about live’s fleeting beauty and peacefulness.

Day 1 – Gemäldegalerie, special exhibition: “Mantegna and Bellini. Masters of the Renaissance”, 01.03.2019-30.06.2019.

If you have only one day to spare while in Berlin you must visit this special exhibition! Whether you are madly in love with art or are rather sceptical of clerical paintings, this exhibition will not disappoint you – trust me! For the first time Renaissance superstars Andrea Mantegna (ca. 1431-1506) and Giovanni Bellini (ca. 1435-1516) are being shown alongside one another. Their interesting friendship is highlighted in ways that show their mutual admiration and understanding for each and their works. Equal influence can be found in both their works, with Mantegna however emerging as the innovative of the two in regards to composition and reception of classical antiquity. The exhibition has been produced in collaboration with The National Gallery in London and the British Museum.

Gemäldegalerie Berlin

Entrance

In case this is your first time at the Gemäldegalerie, plan enough time to visit the permanent exhibition, which is equally as grand. One will be able to find many great names, such as Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt, Diego Velázquez and Sandro Botticelli. As I’m madly in love with all things art, we nearly spent the entire day here, roaming through all the rooms, sitting in front of numerous art works and contemplating the depicted figures fictional or true lives.

The evening was spent at Mädchenitaliner, where you will be able to find the best Pasta dishes in all of Germany! They are famous for their incredible green and red pesto, as well as their dreamy honey comb dessert!

Day 2 –  Potsdam, Sansoucci, New Palace and Museum Barberini with the special exhibition: “Picasso. The Late Work”, 17.11.2018- 02.02.2020.

We left Berlin early on day two and took the short train ride to Potsdam to secure an early admission to Sansoucci and the New Palace, as these two attractions can become crowded quite quickly. It was particularly lovely to enjoy the Sansoucci Park on our own and walk up the main stairs to Sansoucci Palace. For a comprehensive audio guide tour of the castle you will roughly need about one hour. Afterwards we strode along the main park avenue, which leads directly to the New Palace. If you don’t want to walk, you can also take the bus. Once arrived at the New Palace, you will also be able to receive a walk through via audio guides. Especially the grotto as one of the main entrance rooms from the palace is a must, and will baffle you in every way possible!

The afternoon was then spent at the Museum Barberini, which is situated close to the train station. This fairly new museums, established in 2017, emerges as cultural venue for a large scope of art epochs. Its current main exhibition is dedicated to the late works of Picasso, displaying many which have never been seen before. This ‘once in a life-time’ atmosphere was mirrored by the masses of museum goers – and rightly so! The museum offers a well-written audio guide, which will guide you through the museum/exhibition and provide valuable insight into not only the works on display, but also into the persona Picasso.

For dinner we went to NU, a asian fusion restaurant and we’re very happy with their menu, location and especially their desert! Make sure to order the fried banana with caramel – trust me!

Day 3 – Berlin, Gropius Bau with the special exhibition: “And Berlin Will Always Need You”, 22.03.2019-16.06.2019 and Berlinische Galerie with the special exhibition: “Lotte Laserstein. Von Angesicht zu Angesicht”, 05.04.2019-12.08.2019.

Our last very comprehensive museum day consisted of two very contrasting exhibitions. Originally I was drawn to the exhibition hosted at the Gropius Bau, because of my prior work engagement at a gallery in Spain, where we had works from Chiharu Shiota (1972). I was therefore extremely eager to experience one of her large room installations after having worked with one of her smaller sculptures. The exhibition as a whole was quite difficult to grasp, as it primarily dealt with materials and how the individual artist utilised them in regards to their Berlin experience. This meant a comprehensive biographical knowledge of each artist was necessary, in order to understand their works on a superficial level alone. Despite the difficult approachability of this exhibition Shiota’s work is definitely my personal highlight and did not disappoint, but left me rather baffled with appreciation, not only for the building of the Gropius Bau itself, but also for its rich history.

After this exhibition we felt rather peckish and decided to grab a small lunch at the in-house cafe. Excellent idea, as they served fresh herbal teas and lemonades, with an assortment of small sandwiches and salads.

Lastly we went to the Berlinische Galerie, a museums for modern and contemporary art. The building alone excites with its cubic body and vast areas inside, enabling for a good formulated display for their special and permanent exhibitions. They also especially cater to the visually impaired, by providing braille script and haptic visualisation of some of their more iconic art works. The exhibition dedicated to the Berlin female artist Lotte Laserstein (1898-1993) discussed her early modern portraits, which float somewhere between fragility, honestly, tradition and innovation. At least one of her portraits will touch any visitors heart, as they are the visual and sensational document of pre-World War II catastrophe.

To finish off this brilliant day we had reserved a table with Cecconi’s at the Soho House Berlin. Make sure to book your table well in advance, as it can get quite crowded on the weekends.

Day 4 – Neues Museum, Museum Island.

As we only had half a day left before leaving Berlin, we decided to visit the Museum Island in the heart of Berlin and go to the Neues Museum. As one of the great museums on the Museum Island, it houses the bust of Nefertiti, the Egyptian collection, the museum for prehistory and early history and Priam’s Treasure. There is not much to say about this museum, as it’s a classic and we’ll never tier of visiting it. Every time we go, we discover something new and in general we just really love the calm atmosphere of this place.

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