During half term, very early on a Monday
morning, our Year 13 German students set off from Luton airport on a four day
visit to Berlin.
Woodhouse Head of Languages Mrs Pari told us about their visit...
"After dropping off our suitcases at out hotel close to
Heinrich Heine U Bahn station we headed to Alexanderplatz, a busy square at the
centre of East Berlin.
Mr Hooper (just...) at the world clock located in Alexanderplatz
We had lunch at the Alexa mall, and then walked past in
the ‘Fernsehturm’ to the DDR museum located on the banks of the river Spree,
opposite Berlin cathedral."
Inside a typical DDR apartment in the DDR Museum
The DDR Museum is a museum in the centre of Berlin, located in the former governmental district of East Germany, right on the river Spree, opposite the Berlin Cathedral.
Its exhibition shows the daily life in East Germany (known in German as the Deutsche Demokratische Republik or DDR) in a direct "hands-on" way. For example, a covert listening device ("bug") gives visitors the sense of being "under surveillance"
At the Oberbaum Bridge, a double-deck bridge
crossing Berlin's River Spree,
The next day’s
programme included a visit to the Brandenburg Gate, once part of the Berlin
Wall, and only accessible to East German border guards, but now a bustling
"We also visited the nearby Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe, a
haunting experience. We then moved on to the Mauer Panorama exhibition to see a
3D depiction of the Berlin Wall, followed by the Checkpoint Charlie Museum to
learn about escape attempts across the wall.
In the evening we went to see the
film ‘Lion’ dubbed in German (‘Löwe’) which was enjoyable but sad."
Day three started with a
visit to the East Side Gallery – a 1.3km stretch of the Berlin Wall, displaying
paintings from over a hundred different artists. Unfortunately many of the
paintings were obscured from view by a metal fence!
Student Alex Manlove said "Studying the history of the Berlin Wall in class was fascinating but it paled in comparison to the staggering atmosphere of experiencing it in person."
Classmates Johnny Orr and Coral Haran agreed "The wall panorama was amazing. We have spoken and written so much about it but to actually see the difference between the two sides in such vivid detail was incredible."
The group then headed to the Stasi
museum - which displayed Stasi
spying equipment and archives housed in the imposing, original HQ of the secret
Joschka Costello and Amber Ormerod where quite surprised "We didn’t appreciate how great the contrast between west and east was until we saw it for ourselves."
Mrs Pari said "After a quick lunch we travelled to West Berlin, saw the remains of the Kaiser Wilhelm
church, and then strolled along the ‘Ku Damm’ doing some shopping in the
KaDeWe, a famous department store.
The students on the
trip were amazing, funny, interested and positive! We thoroughly enjoyed our
visit to one of the most historically fascinating cities in Europe."
Students Elena Hodder and Orli Vogt-Vincent enjoyed berlin... "It was a memorable experience
full of amazing sights and great company. And we gained very specific information
related to our course"
And Luca Prichard-Levy summed up the trip perfectly... "Ich werde es nie vergessen!"
Thanks to Daniel Ossorno Reyes for the great photos