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Berlin Notes

News and views from Germany's federal capital in easily-digestible blog format.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Germany takes its public holidays seriously: they're "celebrated" on the day they fall on (no postponement to the following Monday etc.), and - with certain exceptions - all shops are closed. (Check our Out of hours shopping guide if you need to go shopping on public holidays).

Note that public holidays in Germany differ somewhat between federal states (Bundesländer), and some of the more Catholic states have extra holidays.


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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Germany takes its public holidays seriously: they're "celebrated" on the day they fall on (no postponement to the following Monday etc.), and - with certain exceptions - all shops are closed. (Check our Out of hours shopping guide if you need to go shopping on public holidays).

Note that public holidays in Germany differ somewhat between federal states (Bundesländer), and some of the more Catholic states have extra holidays.


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Monday, September 24, 2012

Twenty odd years ago, when your author first came to Berlin, maps were things which were printed on paper and became outdated pretty quickly (thanks to among other things the constant renaming of street and station names in the former East Berlin following reunification).

Now, thanks to the wonders of digital mobile communications, you can experience cartographical obsolesence from the comfort of your own iPhone (or other iDevice), as long as you're running the latest iOS6. For along with many other errors, Apple has replaced Berlin's modern main railway station, the Berlin-Hauptbahnhof, with the historical S-Bahn station Lehrter Stadtbahnhof, which was located just to the north of Hauptbahnhof until it was demolished in 2002.

 

 


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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Berlin's U-bahn line U2, parts of which are among the oldest on the U-Bahn network, is currently undergoing extensive reconstruction and the section of line between Gleisdreieck and Wittenbergplatz will be closed from June 24th until November 10th 2011.

Additionally, the western section of the U2 from Wittenbergplatz to Olympiastadion will be combined with the eastern section of the U1 as the U12, while the U1 will be scaled back to run between Wittenbergplatz and Uhlandstraße.

Not that Bülowstraße will be closed during this period. Bülowstraße is within easy walking distance of Kurfürstenstraße and is also served by bus M48.

(Fans of Berlin's transport history might be interested to know that this configuration of the Kleinprofil network resembles the situation before the reunification of the West and East Berlin halves of the U2 in 1993, except the line numbers have been shuffled around, and of course the U2 was not operational at all between Mohrenstraße and Gleisdreieck).


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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Germany takes its public holidays seriously: they're "celebrated" on the day they fall on (no postponement to the following Monday etc.), and - with certain exceptions - all shops are closed.

Note that public holidays in Germany differ somewhat between federal states (Bundesländer), and some of the more Catholic states have extra holidays.


Comments (1) Posted at 8:31 AM in


Sunday, August 29, 2010

It looks like the S-Bahn will still be suffering from restricted service for a while yet. A series of technical problems with its newest trains introduced over the last decade has resulted in severely limited availability, and the original schedule for returning to normal service in December 2010 will now no longer be met. It will probably be towards the end of 2011 when all trains can be restored to full working order - the S-Bahn is awaiting delivery of new sets of axles and wheels to replace the current ones, which are prone to cracking.

Service is currently restricted on the following lines:

  • S25 Teltow_(Station) - Potsdamer Platz Service every 20 minutes
  • S45 Schönefeld Airport - Bundesplatz No service (all stations on route served by other lines)
  • S85 Grünau - Waidmannslust No service (all stations on route served by other lines)


On other lines trains will be operating with four instead of the usual 6 or 8 cars.

The latest U-Bahn and S-Bahn network plan is available for download here (PDF).


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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Germany takes its public holidays seriously: they're "celebrated" on the day they fall on (no postponement to the following Monday etc.), and - with certain exceptions - all shops are closed.

Note that public holidays in Germany differ somewhat between federal states (Bundesländer), and some of the more Catholic states have extra holidays.


Comments (4) Posted at 4:52 AM in


Friday, January 1, 2010

Germany takes its public holidays seriously: they're "celebrated" on the day they fall on (no postponement to the following Monday etc.), and - with certain exceptions - all shops are closed. See our page Out-of-hours shopping for more details.

Note that public holidays in Germany differ somewhat between federal states (Bundesländer), and some of the more Catholic states have extra holidays.


Comments (0) Posted at 5:42 AM in


Sunday, November 1, 2009

A reader, Ken, sent in the following question by e-mail:

Hi, my friend is currently trying to do an assignment regarding Berlin and got a question asking what is the reason that Berlin has some serious rivals as the nation's primary city.
I have tried to search through the net but I can't really find 'reasons' other than assuming that other states have tourism sites and other specific aspects like Frankfurt as the city of banks. I hope that you can help in this matter. Thanks before hand.

I think there are two sets of historical factors at play here.

Firstly, Germany as a nation is quite recent (the first modern German nation state wasn't founded until 1870) and as such it consists of many regions with their own strong identities and political and economical traditions. For example, Frankfurt was always a centre of banking even in the middle ages. So following the establishment of Germany with Berlin as its capital, even though it was the nation's largest city it was still in some respects competing with other large cities such as Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Leipzig etc., something other European capitals such as Paris or London didn't face to the same extent.

Secondly, the division of Berlin after the Second World War effectively put an end to Berlin's status as the dominant economic and political city within Germany. While it remained nominally the capital of both East and West Germany, few western German businesses were willing to remain in West Berlin due to the uncertain political situation and the costs of getting goods and materials in and out, and many relocated to other areas of Germany. Siemens is one example which comes to mind. Meanwhile the economy of East Berlin was always a bit of a joke, though it was by far and away the "richest" city within the German Democratic Republic.

Following reunification, while government has returned to Berlin, few of the businesses once based there have moved back, so much of Germany's "strength" is spread about over its regions, rather than concentrated in the capital city.

I hope that helps to answer your question!


Comments (1) Posted at 4:18 AM in


Monday, April 13, 2009

Germany takes its public holidays seriously: they're "celebrated" on the day they fall on (no postponement to the following Monday etc.), and - with certain exceptions - all shops are closed.

Note that public holidays in Germany differ somewhat between federal states (Bundesländer), and some of the more Catholic states have extra holidays.


Comments (5) Posted at 12:56 PM in


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