Unter den Linden

Unter den Linden

Where Old and New collide

Berlin's grand boulevard "Unter den Linden" – © Enrico Verworner

Whether now or at the time of the Hohenzollern dynasty, Unter den Linden is and was undeniably the main artery of the bustling cosmopolitan city of Berlin. The boulevard is around 60 metres wide and attracts many tourists and locals like me who enjoy taking a stroll at all times of the day or night.
I always enjoy a walk here because there is nowhere else that shows me the unity of the historical splendour of this Prussian city and the fast pace of modern Berlin as clearly as on the stretch between Schlossbrücke and Brandenburg Gate.
Bebelplatz impresses me the most because, although it served the Nazis in 1933 as the setting for the burning of books, thanks to its proximity to the Staatsoper, St. Hedwig's Cathedral, Royal Library and Humboldt University, it symbolises the cultural diversity of Berlin.
At Universitätsstraße, the sight of the equestrian statue of "Alter Fritz" (Old Fritz) briefly takes me back to the Prussia of the 19th century - an impression that in the face of continual heavy traffic on Unter den Linden quickly merges with the reality of the modern era of motorised Berlin.
Behind the statue of the horseman, the lime trees that extend down the boulevard are a wonderful sight. And during the Festival of Lights and over Christmas the colourful lights are enchanting. Here I can linger for hours to see the mass of excited, chattering tourists and Berliners while enjoying the typical flair of my hometown.
When I look over busy Pariser Platz and take a deep breath of the perhaps not so fragrant but familiar air of Berlin, I can almost physically feel the fast-moving virtuosity of the German capital.