A walk through Berlin starting at the Brandenburg Gate and ending at the Victory Column takes us down the Boulevard “Straße des 17. Juni”, named after the riots in the now defunct so-called “German Democratic Republic”

on June 17, 1953, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) erupted in a series of workers’ riots and demonstrations that threatened the very existence of the communist regime. The outburst, entirely spontaneous, shocked the GDR’s ruling Socialist Unity Party (SED) and their Kremlin sponsors, who were still reeling from the death of Joseph Stalin three months earlier. (The National Security Archive)

On this occasion, due to celebrations surrounding twenty five years of reuniting with the GDR, the Boulevard itself is filled with stalls offering food and drink. Everything from the famous German sausages and bread rolls with fish of varying sorts, as well as alcoholic drinks starting with foaming German beer and various cocktails, put the visitor in the right frame of mind.

Turning off to the right, just after leaving the Brandeburg Gate, the casual walker arrives at the Reichstagsgebäude, seat of the German Parliament since vacating Bonn after the fall of East Germany.

Continuing down the street, also off the “beaten track” to the right, we arrive at the whitewashed “Bellevue Palace” the seat of the German Bundespräsident (Joachim Gauck at present) before continuing to the imposing Berlin Victory Column, which forms a roundabout, from which other roads branch out, one of which leads to the main shopping precinct “Kurfürstendamm”, another former grand boulevard.


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