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Posts tagged ‘Unter den Linden’

My Berlin: Humboldt University’s court of honour

Above/featured: Illuminated by autumn morning light, Helmholtz stands proud in the Humboldt University’s “Ehrenhof”.

If you’re in Berlin for the first time, you’ll likely make your way to the city centre and the classic tree-lined avenue Unter den Linden. When you’re not people-watching, you’ll likely admire the architecture along the way. Across the street from Bebelplatz plaza is the main building of the Humboldt University (HU). In its front court or “court of honour” are several memorial statues dedicated to some key figures in the history of arts, sciences, and the university: Hermann Helmholtz, Lise Meitner, Max Planck, and Theodor Mommsen.

The Humboldt University was one of many stops in Berlin during my visit in November 2021.

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My Berlin: Mitte on Christmas Eve

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Hauptstadt,
no residents were stirring, not even a tourist …

Well, except me, that is …

It’s little surprise many find themselves where they’re supposed to be on Christmas Eve.

Ever since visiting Berlin the first time in 2002, I’ve always entertained the idea of photographing the German capital city during winter holidays. The city slows down, becomes quiet, and sits back as if to take a deep long breath.

Crammed train stations seem cold, emptied of all who normally stream through the halls. The usual sounds of the city are muted by diminished traffic on the day before Christmas and by the sound-diffusing and -absorbing property of falling snow. City fixtures and Christmas decorations cast bright spotlights down on the ground layer of snow while diffuse glow of colour is scattered up to the cloud deck overhead.

Under blizzard-like conditions and little street traffic, I cannot deny myself this beautiful photographic opportunity.

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Berlin on Christmas Eve, Christmas in July (14 of 14)

This post marks the 14th and final installment in my “Christmas in July” photo-post series.

Berlin, Germany – 11pm, 24 December 2010.

Judging from my Flickr set, it’s easy to see why I enjoy visiting Berlin. I’ve always had this idea of coming back and photographing a number of sites around Berlin during the winter holiday season. The city slows down, becomes a little quieter, and sits back as if to take a breather. These were precisely the reasons why I wanted to come back. The huge bonus was the snow, both on the ground and in the air. With steady snowfall and gusty winds, the scattered light created a diffuse glow, which hovered above the city and permeated throughout all of the photos made on this night.

Unter den Linden, or “under the linden/lime trees” is a wide tree-lined boulevard, which runs east-west through the Mitte, from Brandenburg Gate and the edge of the Tiergarten in the west, to Museum Island in the east. The record goes back as 1647 when the first set of trees were planted.

On a quiet late evening with little vehicular and pedestrian traffic, surrounded by falling snow and lights on in full force, photographic opportunity would not be denied.

Unter den Linden, Berlin
Unter den Linden, Berlin
All lit up on Unter den Linden, Berlin Mitte.

While Brandenburg Gate is visited and photographed by many, it’s hard to beat a relatively straight-forward photo like the one below, made just 12 minutes before midnight and the advent of Christmas Day. The diffuse diagonal patches are streaks of blowing snow against the darker background night-sky.

Pariser Platz, Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
Pariser Platz, Brandenburg Gate, Berlin.

As I wrote above, this is the final installment in the “Christmas in July” photo-post series. I hope you’ve enjoyed following and reading this series, as much as I enjoyed making these photographs and writing about them.

I made the three photos above in Berlin on Christmas Eve 2010. This article was posted originally on Fotoeins Fotopress (

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