Berlin, Germany: Postdamer Platz and the Reichstag
Potsdamer Platz, once the busiest square in Europe, was sliced in two by the Wall in 1961, leaving a deserted no-man's-land. Today, this immense commercial/residential/entertainment center, perched atop a futuristic transportation hub, is home to several companies' European corporate headquarters. Nearby, the Reichstag — Germany's historically charged parliament building — is a great example of striking and meaningful contemporary architecture. The building combines old and new, just like the reunited Berlin. While the original (late 19th c) cupola was stone and steel, the new one is glass, symbolizing the need for transparency in government. For more information on the Rick Steves' Europe TV series — including episode descriptions, scripts, participating stations, travel information on destinations and more — visit www.ricksteves.com.