“Rediscover Berlin. Because Berlin loves you!” The friendly plea comes from the CEO of Visit Berlin, Burkhard Kieker. “Berlin’s DNA is a tradition of tolerance, freedom, lifestyle, talents, history and openness. All of them are strong elements in our appeal to world travellers,” he says.
On August 8, the city gave a strong message to the tourism community by organising a giant dinner at the former Tempelhof Airport field – now a public park. Hundreds of Berlin locals shaped together a giant “Berlin Loves You” slogan. “It has been a considerable success across the world as 240 million people across the world watched the video,” recalls Kieker.
New activities around the Humboldt Forum
Rediscover Berlin will be motivated in 2022 by many new attractions opening in the city, beginning with the very recent reopening of three cultural institutions: the New National Gallery, closed during four years. It reopened in September after a careful restoration which gave back the original volumes and spaces it had when it originally opened in 1968.
In parallel, the huge exhibition areas on the second and third floors of the recently opened Humboldt Forum (the former Berlin City Castle) have been presenting, since the end of September, the collections of the Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asian Art.
The landscapes around the Humboldt Forum continue to be shaped. In 2022, construction is starting on a huge 38-metre-wide seating area under the shadow of trees along the Spree Canal. Named “Schlossfreiheit”, it will invite visitors to relax and sunbathe from 2024, but some areas could be ready before that date.
Next to the sitting area, in autumn 2022, the city is due to inaugurate a giant sculpture in front of the castle. Called the “Freedom and Unity Monument”, it will be a gigantic walk-in bowl made of steel mounted on a wide plinth. It will commemorate the peaceful revolution and the fall of the Wall in 1989 and symbolising how democracy can swing : if more than 20 people gather on one half of the bowl, the sculpture will gently tilt.
Many new cultural institutions are due to open next year. A museum dedicated to Japanese samurais will open in March presenting around 4,000 objects from the weaponry and blacksmithing of Japanese samurai culture as well as works from contemporary Japanese artists. During the same month, the treasury of the State Library will open to the public. Located on Berlin’s famous boulevard Unter den Linden, the Schatzkammer Staatsbibliothek will display precious exhibits of book art.
In April 2022, the collections of artist Käthe Kollwitz, a major figure of the expressionism movement, will be relocated in the theatre building of the baroque Charlottenburg Castle in the western part of town.
In the autumn, visitors will again be able to visit the Ephraim Palace, a beautiful rococo style building dedicated to the city’s history.
Meanwhile, a brand new institution from Sweden, the Fotografiska Berlin will open its doors in the former “Tacheles” art centre. The institution will be the fourth branch of the renowned Fotomuseum along with Stockholm, New York and Tallinn.
For those seeking an exceptional experience, a new rooftop and exhibition space is opening at the former Tempelhof airport. Tower THF – 360° Berlin provides sweeping views over the former airfield, but also its surroundings, stretching as far as Kreuzberg and Mitte historical districts. The space can also be privatised for functions and conferences.
When talking about the former Tempelhof airport, many might think about Berlin Brandenburg International airport (BER), the new air facility in operation today. Some good news is around the corner: for the next Easter holidays, $ Terminal 2 will finally open to the public. It will add a capacity for six million more passengers, and help relieve congestion inside the current main terminal.